WIUM Tristates Public Radio


Commentary: We Got This

Oct 7, 2020

A Pagan, a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim gathered for a leadership meeting of the multifaith ambassadors this past week to discuss our programs.  Sounds like a great line for a joke, but no, this is the great life I lead as a chaplain serving on a campus.  As I see how polarized the world is now with rhetoric of hate and especially distortion and outright ignorant statements about religion and spiritual identities, using my own education in theology, religious studies and pastoral care, I celebrate each time I get to be at an interfaith table in my profession of chaplaining.

The Confession window at St. Francis of Assisi doesn’t look all that different from a fast food drive-thru, except for a tiny sign taped to a traffic cone that reads “The Priest Is In.”

The Archdiocese of St. Louis halted most in-person services in March, as part of an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Soon after, priests at St. Francis of Assisi in Oakville devised a creative way to stay connected with parishioners: a drive-thru Confession window. 

An Illinois church is appealing a decision that upholds Governor J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order for religious gatherings.

Pastor Stephen Cassell with the Beloved Church of Lena sought a temporary restraining order so it could hold in-person services. Over the weekend, a judge ruled the governor’s order is constitutional in order to prevent mass infections and death. Senior Counsel Peter Breen is with the Thomas More Society, which is representing the church. He said the current limit on attendees in the coronavirus executive order violates religious freedom. 

As the coronavirus pandemic forces the nation to disconnect from usual routines, communities of faith tried all the harder to hold on to each other and offer solace. Many turned to worship online, some as a regular part of the program, others for the first time, using meeting programs such as Zoom.

Wikimedia Commons

Eleven years after some members of the Episcopal Church in the Quad Cities and western Illinois voted to leave and join the Anglican Church, a dispute over property has been partially settled.

Commentary: Faith is...

Apr 24, 2019
Diego Delso/Wikimedia Commons

Everyone has been exposed to the idea or thought of faith, but not everyone gives it a voice.

Who recognizes faith?

Historically, prophets of old, religious and world leaders, intellectuals, theologians, and existentialists -- to name a few -- have notably grappled with this notion as a lifestyle, foundation, and intellectual discourse.

Try to be the Light for a Hurting World

Jan 30, 2019

"Would you light my candle?"  These are the words Mimi asks Roger in their opening song in the musical Rent.   Yes, I watched it this last Sunday -- that is for a different essay. Mimi and Roger have both fallen behind in their rent, and their power has been turned off.  Mimi is using a candle for both heat and light in the cold, dark apartment. But her candle goes out and so she asks Roger to relight it.  And for the audience, since we experience the dark, stark apartment, the emanating light draws us all in to this intimate moment.  Roger and Mimi find themselves living in darkness: the darkness of being diagnosed with HIV in the late eighties, the darkness of addiction (Mimi is currently addicted to drugs), and the darkness of mourning loss (Roger has lost his girlfriend to AIDS -- and who else will he lose?).  But a candle on a cold night in December gives Mimi the courage to engage with Roger and even flirt with him a little.

Toward Interfaith Community

Oct 24, 2018

Although I have now lived in Macomb longer than I've lived anywhere else, I grew up in L'Anse, Michigan—an Upper Peninsula town about the size of Bushnell. And as often happens when you leave your hometown for somewhere else, I learned more about where I came from only after I left. So it was halfway through my years as a student at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota that I suddenly realized that most people in the U.S. don't have the ethnic backgrounds of the people I grew up among:  most people aren't Finnish American, or Native American, or—like many of my childhood classmates—a mix of both called "Finndian." And it was at Carleton College that I realized that as a child I had assumed that everyone shared a basic Christian worldview. Realizing this was not the case triggered a journey into a new view of the world and of what unites us in community.

Religion & Public Policy in the Land of Liberty

Jul 2, 2018

This week we celebrate the founding of our sweet land of liberty, and in thinking about this experiment that was supposed to fail, I more-than-ever appreciate that which we are.  A country not based on Christian liberty, but a country based on religious freedom, where all can practice openly and one religion does not get to be the official "American religion."

Rich Egger

The Interfaith Alliance of Macomb hosted what it called a Community United Celebration in Chandler Park.  The idea was to promote peace, unity, and understanding.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

As Highway 30 enters Denison, Iowa, a city of 8,000, the national fast food chains stand next to Mexican groceries and restaurants. In this small city near the Nebraska border, waves of immigrants have been arriving since at least the 1980s.