Faith and Values

John Hingsbergen

More than 400 people gathered Monday night in Lexington for a unique holiday celebration. “United in Harmony: An Interfaith Encounter” was held at Historic St. Paul’s Catholic Church downtown.

Refugee families from the Congo and Syria will arrive in Central Kentucky in January under a new resettlement program.

Catholic Charities in Lexington is now a part of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops Refugee Resettlement Program.  Fifty-one refugees, or 10 to 15 families, expected in the first year begin arriving in January.  Federal dollars go to cover lodging, transportation, and food costs for three months.

Kentuckians joined the rest of the nation and the world last weekend in marking the 15th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.  There were interfaith services, a memorial dedication, and a 9/11 stair climb.

Two Central Kentucky Muslims hold out hope for growing relationships in the next 15 years.

Dr. Nadia Rasheed is an anesthesiologist who was in an operating room when the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon occurred.  She says a television was placed in a common area and all were horrified and scared. 

Ky.’s Presence Felt in Louisiana Cleanup

Aug 26, 2016

    People well outside the borders of Louisiana are responding to massive flood damage in the gulf coast state. That includes a contingent from Baptist churches in Kentucky.

Corbin resident Dave Hampton is leading a crew of 21 to cut out walls, move out appliances, take up floors, pressure wash, and sanitize houses.  He compares the damage to that seen after Hurricane Katrina.  Hampton says neighbors are helping neighbors.  “A lot of times we go out to the house and it’s already half done because the neighbors are helping each other.”

Ground Broken for New Methodist Home for Children

Jul 18, 2016

    A new chapter in a long history is being written by the Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children and Youth.  Monday’s groundbreaking focused on centralization.

For almost three decades, the facility off Versailes road has offered residential services for children with histories of abuse and neglect.  It sits on more than 200 acres.  Now, it’s moving to a 35-acre site in Jessamine County. 

Stu Johnson / WEKU News


Former State Senator and civil rights legend Georgia Powers was remembered Thursday during a service at the Capitol Rotunda.   Powers was the first African American elected to the Kentucky senate and a key organizer of the 1964 civil rights march in Frankfort.   KET’S Renee Shaw opened the ceremony as Powers lay in state just a few feet away.  “It is indeed a high honor to participate in this capital farewell to civil rights trail blazer and icon, Senator Georgia Davis Powers,” said Shaw.

Stu Johnson / WEKU News

A longtime proponent of abolishing the death penalty, Sister Helen Prejean, brought her message to Lexington Catholic High School students Tuesday. Prejean’s central Kentucky visit comes as public safety officers and community members prepare to pay last respects to a fallen Richmond police officer. 

Ichthus Festival 20-15 Featured Brothers and Sisters in Harmony

Jul 15, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

    After making music for more than 40 years near Wilmore, Ichthus, a once nationally renowned Christian music festival made its debut last week at the Kentucky Horse Park. Bands with a sibling theme made up part of the inaugural lineup this year. 

'Bread of Stone' closed out the first night of the Christian music festival a week ago. The Sioux City band includes two brothers, Ben and Bill Kristijanto who are of Indonesian descent. After playing on Wednesday, the band did an acoustic set Saturday afternoon which included an Indonesian ditty. 

Ichthus Returns: First Time at Kentucky Horse Park

Jul 5, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News


What was once the longest running Christian music festival in the U.S. now has a new venue and a new date.  The first Creation-Ichthus festival is happening this week at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Nepal Pastor Speaks Before Central Ky Missions Organizatio

May 20, 2015


Officials with a central Kentucky based missionary program are continuing medical services in Nepal. 

Nepal Pastor Babu Varghese is in the bluegrass to meet with Go International officials in Wilmore.  He says several medical teams have traveled to his country since 2010.  Varghese says health needs in villages are only intensified in the aftermath of the earthquake.  "Many times people are very poor in the villages where they cannot get enough money to go and visit private doctors," said Varghese.

The arrest of 30 year old Antonio Lewis in connection with the April 19 slaying of a Lexington pizza delivery worker is calming some fears among area Muslims.  The body of Salahuddin Jitmoud was found with knife wounds in the breezeway of a Lexington apartment complex.  University of Kentucky Muslim Student Association President Layla Suleiman says the way Jitmoud was killed prompted concern.  "I think that, just the way he died and the way he was murdered, it made us think like it just seemed very personal," said Suleiman.

The bishop-elect of the Catholic Diocese of Lexington says the social needs of his 50 county region call for the church to 'get outside of itself.'  The Reverend John Stowe says during his 15 years on the Mexico-U.S. border, he experienced poverty under different kinds of circumstances. "You know they don't take a lot of things for granted that many of us are able to take for granted; they learn to help each other and that's the most powerful thing,” said Stowe. “There's no allusion that they can do it all by themselves, and I think we can all learn from that."

The pope has named a new bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Lexington.

The founder of a central Kentucky nonprofit says setting aside one day a week to do very little can do a lot to improve one's physical, emotional, and spiritual health.  That's the message from author and Blessed Earth founder Matthew Sleeth.

Stu Johnson / WEKU News


For almost 50 years, communities around the country have paused for a day in January to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Bright sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures welcomed participants to this year's march in downtown Lexington.


The leader of a national mentoring program will offer the keynote address Monday during Lexington's Martin Luther King Jr.celebration. Susan Taylor is making a return visit to central Kentucky for the festivities.

Susan Taylor worked for close to 40 years in media, including time as editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine.  Taylor's National CARES Mentoring Movement program has some 130,000 people serving in that capacity.  "Mentoring is a sure way and an affordable way,and an impactful way of changing even the most challenged young people's lives," said Taylor.

Thousands of Wreaths to Decorate Kentucky Veterans’ Graves

Dec 12, 2014

Thousands of wreaths will be placed on gravestones Saturday at four state veterans' cemeteries.  The nationwide observance, part of the Wreaths Across America program, will coincide with a noontime ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Kentucky Baptist Convention

The Kentucky Baptist Convention has voted to sever ties with a Louisville church after its decision to support homosexuality. 

Latest Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Inductees to be Announced in Bowling Green

Oct 15, 2014

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is in Bowling Green this week to announce the latest inductees into the state’s Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

The Commission will unveil which of the 35 nominees will receive the honor at a ceremony Thursday afternoon at WKU’s Carroll Knicely Conference Center. The executive director of the state’s Human Rights Commission, John Johnson, says those nominated for the Hall of Fame have made contributions to a wide variety of causes throughout the commonwealth.


A student organization at the University of Kentucky is working to establish a campus 'personal reflection' room.  A new student center, yet to be built, appears to be the most likely location for such a space.

Gay Marriage Through the Eyes of Two Pastors

Aug 5, 2014

    The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban Wednesday.  It will also hear cases from Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan.  A ruling by the court in Cincinnati in favor of gay marriage could impact marriage ceremonies at some Kentucky churches.  Leaders at two Lexington churches have differing views about same sex marriage.

Songs in the State Senate

Apr 16, 2014
Stu Johnson / Weku News

The Kentucky House and Senate Chambers aren't always restricted to partisan disagreements, resolutions or passage of legislation.  The last day of the 2014 general assembly also included some impromptu singing.

Five lawmakers of both political parties and a senate page gathered around a desk just before going into session. 

Just moments after the rendition of Amazing Grace, Frankfort pastor Gary Hagger noted the singing during the opening prayer for the 60th day of the legislative session.

Ichthus Sounds Off in Early June

Jan 16, 2014

The Ichthus Christian Music Festival is back for 2014, but earlier than first announced.   The New England-based Creation Fest organization took over the Ichthus in 20-13 after financial challenges brought an end to the long running festival the previous year.  The first comeback event was initially scheduled for this fall.  Ichthus Director Bill Darpino says it is now set for June fourth through the seventh.

Civility Taken On By Religious Organization

Dec 9, 2013

Disagreements between well-meaning people are inevitable, but, a Christian group believes those dispute can be more civil.  The Kentucky Council of Churches will work over the next year on strategies to promote civility.  Director Marian McClure Taylor says sometimes humor is key.  It was a tactic commonly employed by her grandfather.

Dual Role Keeps Louisville Archbisop Busy

Nov 16, 2013

Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz says he doesn’t expect to have any difficulties balancing his new role as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops with his leadership of the archdiocese. The 67 year old Kurtz says the job will require extensive travel, but he’ll be able to do a lot of work online from Louisville and will “keep a steady pace” fulfilling his local duties.

Islamic Scholar Speaks on Muslim Covenant

Oct 18, 2013

An Islamic scholar from Canada was in Kentucky recently, spreading information about an obscure covenant linked to the Prophet Mohammed.  Doctor John Morrow has researched the document found in the Monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai.  He spoke recently to members of Lexington’s Christian Muslim Dialogue Group.  Morrow says the covenant outlines Mohammed’s instruction that religions, like Christianity, deserve protection.

U of L Begins New Civil Rights Program

Oct 14, 2013

The University of Louisville is launching a five-year program to celebrate the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The program called "Project Progress" will include lectures, exhibits and other programming to examine the aftermath of the movement.  It spans a time period from the Mongtomery bus boycotts of 1963 to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in Memphis, Tenn., in 1968.

Kentucky Church Allows Pooches As Parishioners

Aug 19, 2013
Leslie Guttman / National Public Radio

Church is a place where people go to worship, reflect and get away from the daily grind. A church in Paris, Ky., takes that a step further. They allow people to bring their dogs to church. Leslie Guttman of member station WEKU reports.  Read and listen.

Christian health program is doing business again in the Commonwealth. Medi-share pays medical bills for churchgoers who pledge not to smoke, drink or engage in extra-marital intercourse. Christian Care Ministry President Tony Meggs said Kentuckians are already rejoining Medi-Share.  It’s a less expensive alternative to traditional insurance plans because participants tend to be healthier.

Some Kentucky churches cut ties with Boy Scouts

Jun 6, 2013

At least three churches in central Kentucky — including one of the state's biggest churches — have said they are cutting ties with the Boy Scouts of America following the organization's decision last month to allow gay scouts. So far, churches in Lexington don't appear to be following suit. James "Chip" Armishaw, the Scout Executive/CEO of the Blue Grass Council of the Boy Scouts of America, said no one in this region has broken ties with the Boy Scouts as of Wednesday. Armishaw also said he has not heard from any group that wants to renew their charter to sponsor Boy Scout troops, but that typically does not happen until later in the year. Local church officials said they have not made a decision at this point in time. Read more...