On a hot summer day last August, I was thinking back to an early December day when I was in the fourth grade at Hoxie Elementary School in Hoxie, Kan. Miss Karnes, my teacher, asked me to choose the Christmas tree for the class.

In our weekly feature spotlighting area religious leaders, Rantoul Press Editor Dave Hinton looks at the Christian Life Oil Change Ministry, an efforts by a Rantoul church to help women in the congregation with their car maintenance.

The St. Joseph-Ogden graduate who serves as executive director of C-U at Home chats about homelessness in C-U, his growing family and more.

In our weekly feature spotlighting area religious leaders, staff writer Debra Pressey talks with the Rev. Sheryl Palmer, pastor at Faith United Methodist Church in Champaign, which is partnering with C-U at Home to creating a new ‘sacred space’ at its homeless shelter in downtown Champaign.

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With children now counting down the days till Santa comes chugging down the chimney, here are just a few of the hundreds of highlights involving area churches over the holidays.

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In our weekly feature spotlighting area religious leaders, staff writer Tim Mitchell chats with the Rev. Anthony Co, new pastor at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Urbana.

To submit items, visit news-gazette.com/living and click 'Add an event' under the miniature calendar on the page. You must be logged in, then fill in appropriate fields and submit. Deadline is noon Tuesday before Friday publication.

In our weekly feature spotlighting area religious leaders, staff writer Tim Mitchell talks with parishioners at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ivesdale, the 'cathedral of the cornfield' that is celebrating its 150th anniversary this weekend.

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The executive director of the East Central Illinois Youth for Christ and pastor of Berean Covenant Church, both in Champaign, shared his insights on 'changing the culture.'

In our weekly feature spotlighting area religious leaders, staff writer Tim Mitchell talks with members of Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, which is set to receive the President’s Award from the NAACP of Champaign County.

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In our weekly feature spotlighting area religious leaders, staff writer Tim Mitchell gets the details on the Protecting Places of Worship Forum, a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, Sinai Temple, the cities of Champaign and Urbana and the University of Illinois, set for 1 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Sinai.

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Confession is good for the soul, but it will also tell you a little bit of how I have come to write some 750 religion columns for The News-Gazette. Way back in the day in northwestern Kansas where I was raised, when I got to High School, I was interested in sports and girls. I was a big fish…

In our weekly feature spotlighting area religious leaders, staff writer Tim Mitchell chats with the members of the 'Hear Our Prayers, Heal Our Church' group at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Urbana, which is turning to compassion, prayer and art in an effort to help victims of sexual abuse by clergy members.

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In our weekly feature spotlighting area religious leaders, staff writer Tim Mitchell chats with the Rev. Ryan Harris, pastor at The Assembly, a 230-member church in the heart of Danville.

To submit items, visit news-gazette.com/living and click “Add an event” under the miniature calendar on the page. You must be logged in, then fill in appropriate fields and submit. Deadline is noon Tuesday before Friday publication.