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Students should be allowed a reasonable number of excused absences, without penalties, to observe religious holidays within their traditions.

2nd Opinion: Public schools can avoid ‘War on Christmas’ tussle

Like much of the pre-Christmas hype that used to come only after Thanksgiving, cries of a “War on Christmas” began early this year.

2nd Opinion: A real magic wand

2nd Opinion: A real magic wand

Our 5-year-old granddaughter shared with her parents her Christmas wish list. Leading off was this simple request: “a REAL magic wand.”

Down Home: Trashing a garbage barrel? Kinda complicated

Down Home: Trashing a garbage barrel? Kinda complicated

When the bottoms of our big trashcans inevitably wore through this fall, I faced a predicament I hadn’t encountered in at least 29 years.

Right or Wrong: Economic Sanctions

Right or Wrong? Economic Sanctions

Where do economic sanctions rank on a scale that measures the appropriate use of power to attain peace?

2nd Opinion: Finding deliverance in Advent

2nd Opinion: Finding deliverance in Advent

What if this Advent, we were delivered from our need for security—delivered from any desire to play it safe with God?

Right or Wrong? Pragmatic hiring of women pastors

Right or Wrong? Pragmatic hiring of women pastors

If a pastorate is vacant and no males are viable candidates, then women are considered. Is pragmatism an ethical-enough motive for hiring women pastors?

Down Home: Lessons learned from an abrupt stop in the street

Down Home: Lessons learned from an abrupt stop in the street

A wrong turn and my split-second stupidity transformed an otherwise lovely evening.

2nd Opinion: Endings & beginnings in the life-cycle of a healthy church

2nd Opinion: Endings & beginnings in the life-cycle of a healthy church

Endings, beginnings and even recycling are part of the rhythm of healthy churches.

Guest Editorial: The Pope and his ‘magic wand’; Is he half-right?

Guest Editorial: The Pope and his ‘magic wand’; Is he half-right?

Pope Francis endorsed the Big Bang theory, but he could have been more biblical in describing the idea of an infinitesimal “singularity” as the beginning point for God’s creation.

2nd Opinion: Small-town churches should stop trying so hard

2nd Opinion: Small-town churches should stop trying so hard

It happens almost every week: A parent or grandparent comes to me expressing sincere concern over their grown kid’s or grandkid’s lack of interest in the faith.

Right or Wrong? Sheet music copyright

Right or Wrong? Sheet music copyright

Our church is compiling a songbook composed of our members’ favorite hymns. We only plan to use the book for our own congregation’s worship, but one member warned we should be careful about copyright laws. What does “be careful” mean? 

Down Home: We called her Grammar

Down Home: We called her Grammar

The long-anticipated call arrived early Thursday morning. Grammar, my mother’s mother, went to be with the Lord.

Right of Wrong? Importance of the budget

Right of Wrong? Importance of the budget

How can I encourage our members—nearly all of them older than I am—to keep up with our budget?

2nd Opinion: Everyone needs to go to Arabia

2nd Opinion: Everyone needs to go to Arabia

One of the pressing concerns of 21st century individual and congregational spiritual life is the question of depth.

Down Home: Over-reliance on microchips; or digital dementia

Down Home: Over-reliance on microchips; or digital dementia

Sometimes, I think I suffer from digital dementia. Or maybe it’s microchip amnesia.

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