Religion

Religion

Don Follis: Showing true empathy is the best gift

Okay Christmas shoppers, for this gift you can put away your credit and debit cards. Watching shoppers this week, I thought of a present that we all need and one that we can all give.

So get out your red and green markers. Write these words on the top of your bathroom mirror: "Those I love need my presence much more than my presents."

Religion calendar, Dec. 5, 2014

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Events

Live Nativity scenes:

Expansion planned at St. Patrick's

URBANA — St. Patrick's Catholic Church plans to start work on a large addition and remodeling project in late winter or early spring, depending on the weather, according to Joe Vitosky, co-chairman of the parish's building committee.

Construction helps church keep pace with growth

CHAMPAIGN — Senior Minister Randy Boltinghouse walks through a construction zone at Windsor Road Christian Church, where crews are busy adding more space for a growing congregation.

A dozen years ago, the Champaign church at 2501 Windsor Road served about 500 people on a weekly basis. These days, it's about 900.

Pulling off a live Nativity is not easy, but it can be well worth the effort

Trinity Lutheran Church trustee Dan Roney claims every year that he won't set up the stable again for the church's live nativity scene.

"I swear I'm tired of it, but invariably I put it up," he said. "It's a good thing. It's nice and we're getting older folks in the church that enjoy it."

Don Follis: First Sunday of Advent starts with the end — the very end

On this first Sunday of Advent, the faithful are not waiting for Christmas Day. Not today. Today we ponder, hope and wait for the end — the very end — the end of history.

It's coming soon, you know. The guy on the street corner holding the sign that says, "The world is coming to an end," is right.

Religion calendar, Nov. 28, 2014

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Events

Don Follis: Your gratitude can raise happiness level

This Thanksgiving week is the one week of the year that I am most apt to think about Sonja Lyubomirsky's thoughtful book "The How of Happiness" (Penguin Press, 2008). Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California at Riverside, has spent more than 20 years devoting her research to exploring what makes people happy.

Religion calendar, Nov. 21, 2014

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Events

One year later: The pastor

The Rev. Steven Lombardo has been the pastor at St. Paul's Lutheran Church for eight years. The Des Moines, Iowa, native has also served in Morris and Minneapolis. Lombardo and St. Paul's were at the forefront of Gifford's recovery from last fall's tornado. As the first anniversary of the storm appoached, staff writer Bob Asmussen sat down with Lombardo in his Gifford office: