Grandville pastor uses video sermons, email Bible studies to keep congregation together

Courtesy of Grandville United Methodist ChurchGrandville United Methodist Church in Grandville, Michigan. If Christian churches can be boiled down to one steadfast purpose, it’s keeping the faith and spreading the word of God. When the COVID-19 pandemic halted the world and life as we know it, keeping the faith became more difficult, as thousands died from the virus, and spreading the word simply became harder to do without face-to-face interaction. But one pastor, in a small church, in a small town in Michigan, wouldn’t take no for an answer in either facet. 

“This is something that most people of any age have not faced in their lifetime,” said Rev. Ryan Wieland of Grandville United Methodist Church. “People are stressed and overwhelmed.

Pope reaffirms ban on female ordination; Catholic women divided

Debrah MiszakLansing Diocese director of consecrated vocations Dawn Hausmann with an image of Pope John Paul II. Considered a saint by the church, he established the “theology of the body,” which states that people have different roles to play in the world according to their biological sex. As American women grapple with their role in society during  a Democratic primary which has featured a record number of female candidates, American Catholic women are struggling with their position in the church. In February, the Vatican released a document summarizing the 2019 Amazon synod — a meeting of bishops and stakeholders in that region. The document did not provide a final answer on the synod’s hottest topics: the ordination of women to serve as deacons and the ordination of mature, married men to the priesthood.

Pace the Priest 5k unites community

Runners gather for a pre-race prayer by Pastor Mark Rutherford. Photo by Eli Atzenhoffer. On a chilly morning on Oct. 12, participants in the Pace the Priest 5k gathered for a pre-race prayer before setting off on their run. As runners took their place at the starting line, a group of children lined the sidewalk cheering for friends and family members embarking on a scenic journey through Williamston.

Churches see the (solar) light

Interest in powering Catholic parishes, schools and missions with the sun is surging in the wake of a solar deal recently announced in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. And church groups nationwide, including ones in Michigan, are keeping a close eye on the project. We talk to experts, including the Michigan chapter of Interfaith Power & Light. For news and religion/faith pages.

Indigenous group concludes 310-mile walk to Capitol for safe water

Native water protectors walked 310 miles from the Mackinac Bridge to the State Capitol to protest Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. The group concluded its walk on March 30. People of Three Fires, the Anishinaabe alliance of Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi indigenous tribes, gathered at Adado Riverfront Park on Saturday afternoon. They marched to the Capitol yelling, “Shut Down Line 5” and “Water is Life.”

“Water is a precious thing for life,” said Dennis Durfee of Lansing. “Every part of Earth is dependant on that water for its survival.

MSU students honor New Zealand mosque shooting victims

After the deadly mosque shootings in New Zealand last week, Michigan State students gathered to honor the victims and their families. The vigil, put on by the MSU Muslim Student Association, was a time for prayer and reflection. Organizers say even though it was an emotional event, their goal was to unite everyone in love and solidarity. Speakers included representatives from different student organizations, community leaders, professors and religious leaders. “It was just like complete horror and frustration that nothing seems to be getting better,” said attendee Margot Valles. “And in particular in New Zealand, which is known for its safety, that it would happen there is just like…it just shows how much work we have to do.”