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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
A Kentucky pastor is leading a national, evangelical campaign to promote immigration reform. Russell Moore, who’s a Senior Vice President for the Louisville based Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, makes his pitch in a new radio commercial. Here’s an excerpt.
Exiled Tibetan leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner the Dalai Lama came to Louisville on Sunday for the first time since 1994, bringing his distinctive message of compassion not just for all humans but for other species. He blessed a Buddhist community center and then spoke to about 15,000 people at the Yum Center. The Dalai Lama was introduced by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who praised his moral clarity and trademark raucous laugh, which were in evidence often during the speech and question-and-answer session that followed. Read more...
The Family Foundation has filed response briefs with the Kentucky Supreme Court laying out its argument for allowing discovery in the instant racing case. In January, the high court agreed to review a ruling by the state Court of Appeals that would send the instant racing lawsuit back to Franklin Circuit Court. The Franklin court ruled in 2011 that historical wagering, a form of electronic gambling on anonymous old horse races, is legal and pari-mutuel even though it resembles a slot machine. Slots are not legal in Kentucky. But the conservative Family Foundation, which challenged the legality, appealed and argued it was not allowed to pursue questions about how the games actually work. Read more...
In anticipation for the Dalai Lama's visit next week, Louisville is offering several events centered around compassion. Below are several events open to the public (some include tickets) throughout the next week. Read more...
Father Norman Fisher participates in National Day of Prayer event in downtown Lexington
Credit Stu Johnson / Weku News
The 62nd National Day of Prayer was celebrated in communities all across Kentucky today. A small crowd gathered in Lexington’s Phoenix Park during the noon hour. A variety of public prayers were offered for first responders, educators, reporters, government officials and families. Organizer David Fultz of the Church of the Savior says the event focuses on more than an hour in a downtown park.
From left to right: Red Cross Volunteer Germain O'Connell, Marie Ndusha, Sifa Ndusha
Credit Stu Johnson / Weku News
After 15 years of uncertainty, two Congolese sisters who live in central Kentucky have rediscovered their father. The Bluegrass Red Cross Chapter played a role in reuniting the African family. In 1998, a military conflict in Congo resulted in a family tragedy for Sifa and Marie Ndusha. Masked Militia members invaded their home and killed their mother as the sisters and their siblings watched.
The Clinton 12 walk to school. Bobby Cain is pictured on the far left. Photo: Howard Sochurek/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images.
In 1957, Bobby Cain was the first black graduate of a court-ordered desegregated public school in the South. “When people start talking about things that have happened in civil rights, they talk about Little Rock and other areas and for some unknown reason they have not spoken about Clinton,” he says. There were 700 white students registered at Clinton High School when Cain started his then-senior year. Cain was one of twelve black students. “We were greeted with a throng of people there saying certain things; things we probably didn’t wish to hear,” he remembers.
Kentucky’s state epidemiologist hopes a just released report on vaccinations and autism eases many parents concerns. The study included in the latest Journal of Pediatrics shows no connection between vaccines early in a child’s life and the development of autism. Dr. Craig Humbaugh says there are certain risks to putting off recommended childhood vaccinations.
One of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous paintings comes to life the next couple of days in a Versailles church. It’s a play called ‘The Living Lord’s Supper.’ Director Linda Roscoe says actors depicting Jesus and his disciples take a turn in front of the table. “They drop pose and they step out of the painting. So, many of them get up from the table, come around to the front of the table and then they tell how they came to know Christ and their relationship with him and some of the other disciples sitting at the table,” said Roscoe.
In a sweeping bipartisan vote, both chambers of the General Assembly overturned Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s veto of the controversial religious freedom bill. Earlier this week, the House Democratic caucus met behind closed doors to hold a secret ballot, which ultimately favored bringing the measure back to the House floor. After a half hour of debate, the House rejected the gubernatorial veto by an overwhelming 79-15 margin. Supporters of the legislation affirmed it does not undermine anyone’s civil rights protections, and only safeguards First Amendment rights.
The naming of a new Pope this week brings with it questions about how he will lead the Catholic Church. Bishop Ronald Gainer, head of the Diocese of Lexington, doesn’t look for any change in doctrinal teachings. He says issues like the ordination of women, allowing priests to marry, or contraception are not up for debate.
As refugees flee the civil war in Syria, few will probably settle in the Commonwealth. Barbara Kleine with Kentucky Refugee Ministries says many displaced Syrians still remain within that nation’s borders. “There are just multiple layers of security checks before people are admitted to the U.S. and that can takes months up to years really. So right now, there is no process in place that is processing Syrian refugees who are outside the country,” said Kleine.
The bells toll. The noon mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption in downtown Louisville happens every Monday, and the stream of people walking into the doors showed no signs that something significant had happened within the Roman Catholic Church just hours before. Pope Benedict XVI had announced that he was retiring on Feb. 28, citing his health and age. He's the first to resign in more than 600 years; the first to willfully do it since the 1200s.
Tickets to hear the Dalai Lama speak in May in Louisville go on sale Wednesday morning. The Buddhist leader and Nobel laureate will speak on May 19-20 at the KFC Yum Center in an event called Engaging Compassion, focusing on "how an individual can engage with compassion from within his or her own religious tradition in order to build world peace from the local level to the world community," according to a news release from the KFC Yum Center. The Monday talk will be a two-part public Buddhist teaching called "Attisha's Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment."
A major is effort underway to map small cemeteries in Fayette County. So far, researchers with the Lexington Public Library have mapped just half an estimated 200 graveyards. Head Librarian Virginia McClure says rural cemeteries, some with 15 to 20 headstones, are often found in walled-off areas of the county.
Bells sounded at 9:30 in downtown Lexington Friday morning to honor those killed a week ago in Connecticut
At 9:30 this morning, people across the country paused for a moment to reflect on last Friday’s massacre at a Connecticut school. In downtown Lexington, WEKU’S Stu Johnson listened while a church bell tolled. Just prior to 9:30, Lauren Maat walked along Short Street. She says the murders of 26 people in a Newtown elementary school have been a topic of conversation for her and her friends. “Yes, a lot of my friends have talked about it. Unfortunately, it has been more about the political side of things, gun control, and that sort of thing, but definitely talking about it, yes,” said Maat.
The wording at the top of the web page simply reads ‘Ichthus Ministries closes its doors after 42 years.’ The message popped up on the internet Saturday. It means that apparently the long running Christian Music Festival has run its course. Since 2006 the organization based in Wilmore has faced significant financial challenges. Those included declining attendance, mounting debt, market changes, and adverse weather conditions.
A Kentucky woman is making history in her new position as a church leader in Alabama. The Reverend Debbie Wallace Padgett is making her mark on history in a couple ways. This fall the Eastern Kentucky native became the first female Methodist Bishop in Alabama. Padgett is also the first woman from Kentucky elected to such a position. She believes ministerial opportunities for women are growing all the time.
Lexington’s Nathaniel United Methodist Mission is inviting citizens to take a ‘journey’ through downtown Saturday morning. The event is designed to give participants a feel for those living ‘on the margins.’It’s called ‘The Journey’ and it begins with an early breakfast at the De Roode Street Mission. From there, people will be invited to travel the route of many area homeless.
At some point in their lives, the World Health Organization says more than a third of people report some kind of mental disorder. The care and treatment of a mental illness includes the use of ever improving medications and intense counseling. Some counselors believe ‘spirituality’ can impact mental health.
At the Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lexington, Reverend Troy Thomas uses history as an inspirational guide for his congregation. Before the Civil War, the church was a stop on the Underground Railroad, and helped many slaves travel the last leg of their journey to freedom.