Religion

Dan Bammes

  Some members of the Greek Orthodox parish in Salt Lake City are rejecting an effort from the church’s national leadership to settle some long-standing disputes.

Calling itself “Protect Our Clergy,” the group of about a dozen members says the plan proposed in a letter from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is not a viable one to restore peace and order in the parish.

  Members of Salt Lake City’s Greek Orthodox parish have received a letter from the national leadership of the church that hopes to resolve some of the issues that have divided the parish.

courtesy photo

  A group pushing for the ordination of women to the priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is urging its members to wear purple to the church’s general women’s meeting this weekend.

Dan Bammes

A national newspaper serving the Greek community says the Greek Orthodox parish in Salt Lake City will not be divided. 

The National Herald reports the decision to keep the parish together was made at a meeting of church leaders in Denver last week.  The parish includes Holy Trinity Cathedral in Salt Lake City and Prophet Elias church in Holladay.

Dan Bammes

  St. Mark’s Cathedral in Salt Lake City is hosting a rare visit from an Episcopalian monk this week.  Among other things, Brother Jim Dowd will be overseeing a Lenten retreat on Saturday. 

Dan Bammes

  A group of Mormon women asking for ordination to their church’s priesthood is planning to stage another demonstration at the LDS General Conference in three weeks.  But they may not get as far as they did last October.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tickets for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's performance of Messiah on Easter weekend were gone less than ten minutes after they became available last week.  But the choir has decided to make the performance available to a worldwide audience on the internet.

While the Tabernacle Choir has recorded George Friederich Handel's oratorio a couple of times, it's never done a public performance of Messiah in its entirety.

Elaine Emmi

  A petition asking the Greek Orthodox Archbishop to split Salt Lake City’s two Greek Orthodox churches into separate parishes is being circulated among some church members.

  As it did in 2012, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is urging its members in Utah to participate in neighborhood caucuses for this election year.

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

  The worldwide head of the Greek Orthodox church has reportedly become involved in a long-standing dispute between the parishioners of Salt Lake City’s two churches and the church hierarchy.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is planning to file a friend-of-the-court brief after all in the appeal of the federal court case on same sex marriage in Utah.  The case is currently before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

The church has been involved in other cases and in political battles involving same-sex marriage in the past.  But a spokesperson said shortly after the U-S Supreme Court issued a stay of Judge Robert Shelby’s decision that it probably would not add a formal argument to the case.

Wikimedia Commons

  A new study at the University of Utah is trying to determine what’s happening in the brain when someone has strong religious feelings.

Studies of Buddhist monks and Catholic nuns have shown significant changes in the brain during periods of quiet meditation.  Now, neurology researcher Jeffrey Anderson has designed a study to watch what happens to former Mormon missionaries as they experience religious emotions.

  The Salt Lake Veterans Affairs Medical Center has promised to continue Native American healing ceremonies every week – but the spiritual leader who’s conducted them may not be leading them any longer.

Dan Bammes

  An ongoing dispute over church finances brought police to Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church last Sunday.

Members of the parish council that governs both the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Salt Lake City and Prophet Elias church in Holladay have been trying to cut expenses by letting one of the three parish priests go.  The Greek Orthodox hierarchy has told the parish that the priests’ employment is its responsibility, and that conflict has divided parish members.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  A top leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says Utah’s liquor laws are just fine the way they are.  But that may not stop further attempts to change them during the upcoming legislative session. 

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been an active participant in some past court cases involving same-sex marriage, but it doesn’t look like it will make arguments in the state of Utah’s current legal battle.  

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published an article on its website last week taking an in-depth look at its past practice of refusing to ordain black men to its priesthood.  But a historian who’s studied the issue says there’s more to the story.

Newell Bringhurst has published several books on the history of the church’s denial of the priesthood to men of African ancestry – a ban that ended in 1978 with a revelation announced by then-church President Spencer Kimball. 

Chabad Lubavitch of Utah

  Over the weekend, somebody vandalized the Hannukah menorah in front of a synagogue in Salt Lake City.  But the rabbi doesn’t think it was meant as a hate crime.

The Leonardo

  Friday morning at 10:00, The Leonardo museum in Salt Lake City opens its exhibit The Dead Sea Scrolls – Life and Faith in Ancient Times.

The Riverside Church /BYU Museum of Art

  Brigham Young University is building on the success of its exhibition of Carl Bloch’s religious paintings three years ago to bring more works by Bloch and two other acclaimed religious artists to its Museum of Art on the Provo campus.

richardfale.com

  The Hawaii State Senate will vote on a bill Tuesday that would legalize same-sex marriage in that state, and it’s expected to pass.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has worked with opposition leaders to fight the bill, but it’s unclear exactly what role the Church is playing.

Wikimedia Commons

  The Hawaii legislature has opened a special session to look at a bill legalizing same-sex marriages.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other conservative religious groups oppose the legislation, but it appears likely to pass.

Brian Grimmett

Hawaii’s state legislature is holding a special session this week to vote on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in that state.  Hawaii was one of the first states to pass a constitutional amendment on the question, but it didn’t define marriage as amendments in other states have.  Instead, it gave that power to the legislature.

  Descendants of a big pioneer family that came to Utah in the 1850’s are gathering Thursday to meet with a British genealogist.  Peter Cousins  comes from Leicestershire in the English Midlands.  His research on a British industrialist named Orson Wright led him to the Greenwell family, whose forebears joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1850’s and emigrated to Utah.

In just a few days in Utah, Cousins says he’s met dozens of people descended from Ambrose Greenwell, who had five wives and forty children.

Jewish Identity in Utah

Oct 9, 2013
Congregation Kol Ami

  Last week, the Pew Religion and Public Life Project published an extensive report, A Portrait of Jewish Americans.  It includes population estimates, demographic information, a study of religious beliefs and practices and much more data about just who Jewish Americans are - and how that's been changing. Congregation Kol Ami is Utah's largest synagogue, and we invited Rabbi Ilana Schwartzman to offer some thoughts on the Pew study.

Dan Bammes

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints limits its priesthood ordinations to men and boys 12 and older.  And while the church’s positions on some long-standing policies have evolved in recent years, the group Ordain Women found little flexibility on that issue. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  It’s been a year since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints changed the age requirements for young men and women to serve as missionaries.  That’s led to a huge increase in the number of young Mormons who’ve signed up to serve.

In the opening session of the church’s General Conference in October, 2012, President Thomas S. Monson announced that young men would be allowed to begin missionary service at age 18 and young women at 19.

Alicia Geesman

  In the past, women have not been welcome at the priesthood session that is part of the general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  But the group Ordain Women is trying to change that.  Its leaders sent a letter to the church asking for 150 tickets for women to attend the session scheduled for October 5th.

  As Congress debates a possible military strike against Syria, Episcopalians around the country are remembering a bishop from Utah who paid a high price for his opposition to war. 

Today (September 4th)  is the feast day for the Right Reverend Paul Jones across the Episcopal Church in America.  Jones became the missionary bishop of Utah in 1916.  Over the next several years, he strongly criticized the United States’ entry into World War One.

A missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has died in Cali, Colombia.Elder Jose Daniel Encarnacion Montero died on Saturday from what appears to be a stray bullet. He was with three other missionaries at the time of the incident.

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