religion

"The Table of Knowledge" is a group of mostly old-timers who gather every morning at The Front Porch Cafe for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat.
Dan Wanschura

It’s five o’clock in the morning on Main Street in Ellsworth, and it seems like most of the village is sleeping. It’s quiet and dark outside, but there is a light on outside The Front Porch Cafe.

Inside, Brenda Powers is getting ready for another day.


Beards and baseball mixed with roller coasters and religion. That could be a nutshell description of a West Michigan religious society known as the House of David. 

Morgan Springer

What would it be like if Jesus Christ visited you periodically, and you chatted for a while? G.T. Long imagined just that and wrote about his interactions with Jesus in Facebook posts for the past two years. Then this year, he turned those posts into a book called Another Sunday in Horton Bay.

In one excerpt from August 23rd, Long describes seeing Jesus in his yard playing with wild turkeys. Long says to Jesus, "I thought that was more for kids."

They asked for permission to build a mosque in the city of Sterling Heights. After weeks of debate, the city denied their request.

Now, the leaders of the proposed American Islamic Community Center are suing the City of Sterling Heights, accusing the city of bias against Muslims and seeking damages. 

Faith is a very personal thing.

For some people, finding a faith that brings their lives meaning takes time and a whole lot of searching.

Bill Moser's family undertook such a journey, and eventually joined the Amish community in their search for a life that reflected their faith. Their story is told in a new book called Becoming Amish.

How do we break down stereotypes about each other?

That question has driven a Michigan State University journalism class to create a series of guides to help disassemble the myths and stereotypes about different groups in our country.

Bias Busters: Guides to Cultural Competence have been created by students. They're a series of questions and answers about African-Americans, East Asian cultures, Native Americans and more.

A big church in Traverse City is about to become part of a bigger church from metro Detroit. Bay Pointe Community Church announced Sunday that it will be “adopted” by the Troy-based Kensington Church.

Kensington says the new church will be called “Kensington Traverse City” and will act as a “hub” for more churches in northern Michigan.

Bay Pointe founder and pastor Nick Twomey will be replaced by Pastor Steve Andrews from Kensington. Twomey founded Bay Pointe in 1998.

A youth camp proposed for a small town east of Roscommon was denied. The Ogemaw County Planning Commission voted 4 to 3 against Muslim-American Nayef Salha's proposal.

Salha’s camp was denied for zoning reasons, but the decision is contentious in part because Islamophobic comments were made at another public meeting.

Morgan Springer

Updated June 25, 2015.

Last night, Ogemaw County Planning Commission tabled Nayef Salha's controversial request to build a camp for kids. County officials still have questions about the plan being proposed. Some members of the community expressed open hostility toward the property owner because he’s Muslim.

 


Governor Rick Snyder said today that he would veto a Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act if it's sent to his desk by the Legislature. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is the measure in Indiana that has been stirring controversy.

Snyder says he would not sign a Michigan RFRA unless it is coupled with legislation adding sexual orientation and gender identity protections to the state's civil rights law.

The Promise is a dramatic retelling of Christ's life, death, and resurrection.
New Hope Community Church

New Hope Community Church in Williamsburg, is a large church, but not a mega church. Yet, over a period of four days last year, 6,000 people crammed into the building to view The Promise, a dramatic Broadway-styled retelling of the Easter story. 

This year marks the 18th year of the show. 

Take one step into the dress rehearsal and you realize this isn’t your average church production. Viewers quickly find themselves immersed in culture 2,000 years old complete with authentic looking Roman soldiers and Hebrew priests. 

Tomorrow, for the second consecutive month, will be a Friday the 13th.

Professor Phillips Stevens of the University of Buffalo, whose research includes topics such as cultural anthropology and religion, says this fear could have religious roots.

A new study will create a digital sound map of religion in Midwestern cities by collecting sounds of worship – sounds like Gregorian chant, Muslim calls to prayer, and Native American chants.

The Religious Soundmap Project of the Global Midwest is led by Amy DeRogatis, an associate professor of religious studies at Michigan State University, and Isaac Weiner, an assistant professor of comparative studies at Ohio State University.

In 2008, like so many college graduates, Ellen Knuth was looking for a job. But unlike many grads Ellen found a job more than 6,000 miles away teaching English in Japan. All her mother could do was hope and worry from afar. 

Jane Knuth now has Ellen back home in Michigan and together they've written the new book Love Will Steer Me True: A Mother and Daughter's Conversations on Life, Love and God.

In addition to worrying about her daughter being halfway around the world, Jane had concerns for her daughter's spiritual well-being.

Indian mission churches face financial pressures

Sep 8, 2014
Linda Stephan

More than a hundred years ago, Methodist missionaries set up Indian Mission churches in northern Michigan. The goal was to bring Christianity and to do-away with traditional American Indian belief.

Today the missions blend those traditions. But they serve small congregations that can’t afford to pay their pastors.

The United Methodist missions have survived with lots of financial help from the denomination, but now leaders say they have to scale back.

For one mission pastor, it feels like a broken promise.

Blending traditions

When you think of "The Amish" what comes to mind?

Horses? Buggies? Long dresses and bonnets? Long beards? No electricity?

Well, yes, there is all of that. But there is so much more to the Amish in America, and here in Michigan, where the Amish population numbers around 11,000.

We wanted to find out more about the Amish -- especially what the rest of us might learn from them.

Consider this: how does a one-room Amish schoolhouse - going only to eighth grade, with only a battery-powered clock in the way of "technology" - how do these schools turn out highly successful entrepreneurs whose firms gross annual sales in the million-dollar range?

I'm joined by Gertrude Enders Huntington joined us today. She’s a retired professor from the University of Michigan. She is the co-author of "Amish Children: Education in the Family, School, and Community.”

*Listen to the audio above.