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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Assisted Suicide Draws Religious Fire

A federal court's recent "right-to-die" ruling cuts to the heart of religious principles. Catholics, Jews and Buddhists alike cite traditional doctrine as they oppose the court decision that asserts a right to assisted suicide. Quakers, Mormons and most evangelicals are against euthanasia for the terminally ill.

New Year For Baha’i Faithful Begins Wednesday

For the people of the Baha'i faith, the new year has yet to arrive. Their new year arrives at sundown on Wednesday , the vernal equinox. In preparation for the upcoming holy day, members of the Baha'i faith have been fasting from sunrise to sunset for the past 16 days and will continue to fast until the celebration. The day is seen as a time for renewal and a time to make spiritual plans for the new year, says Liberty Lake resident Mary Beth Bertis, one of 140 Baha'is in the Spokane area. The Baha'i faith began in 1844 with the prophet Baha'u'llah, who was born in Iran in 1817. He was imprisoned and exiled to Baghdad for his beliefs, which were seen as heresy by the more established religions of the time.

Lessons Learned Growing Up Catholic Once Was A Lot More Mystical Experience

Somewhere there is a nun in a gray flannel suit with a 12-inch wooden ruler shoved up her sleeve, waiting, just waiting for some clueless third-grader to step out of line. ... Lent. Oh, how I remember the Roman Catholic traditions that shaped my youth. And while growing up Catholic is different today from what it was 40 years ago, some old habits die hard. Once, there was great mysticism in the Catholic Church. The language was Latin, the lighting was low and the smell of incense pungent and sweet. Large men with heavy hands and nuns dressed in black with stiff white collars dispensed discipline and truth in the same motion. If the message wasn't clear, more than one doubting Thomas was persuaded by the power of a righteous hand or wooden ruler.

Faith’s Foundation Very Young Children’s Trust And Curiosity Open The Way To Learning About God

Second of three parts Children as young as 3 want to know where they came from and if God is real. Here is an age-by-age guide to encouraging your child's spiritual growth: Birth to 3: Learning to trust Can even an infant or toddler learn something about her parents' beliefs? "Absolutely," says Jerlean Daniel, president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and professor of child development and child care at the University of Pittsburgh. "When a child is born into a family, that's when her spiritual life begins. That family's value system starts to get passed down by the way family members treat each other." Even though babies and toddlers obviously won't ask too many questions about God, the first three years of life are when many of their basic attitudes are formed. "Children learn to trust from the time they're born," says Martha Ross-Mockaitis, a clergywoman with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). "If they cry and an adult responds to their needs, they come to believe the world is a good place. This lays the groundwork so they will eventually learn that God is good, too."

Whitworth Offering Christian Drama Fest

"The Shunning," a play about a Mennonite farmer who questions the teachings of his church, will be staged at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Seeley G. Mudd Chapel on the Whitworth College campus. The Patrick Friesen play begins the Whitworth Theater Department's 1996 Festival of Christian Drama.

God Can Show Us Hospitality In Radical Ways

Our son has been one of my most persistent, if aggravating, teachers all of his 24-plus years. Some of what I've learned from him has been quite immediate. Much has been time-released - like when what happened 17 years ago makes new and exciting sense to me today. Brian's flash-point temper boiled over one evening when he was 7. His tantrum brought loud cries, torrential tears, plus flailing arms and legs.

United Methodist Video Series Looks At Life’s Important Things

Once generally thought of as a time to give up stuff, Lent is now being seen as more of an opportunity for personal reflection. And one church that really hadn't celebrated Lent much until the last couple years is offering a weekly taped seminar during the season. Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 10422 E. Main, will show an installment of "Discovering Everyday Spirituality" each Thursday through March 28. The seminars begin at 6:45 p.m., preceded by dinner at 6. Similar events have turned the Lenten season into a time when about 100 people will attend church on a weekday there.

Meanings New Columnist Hopes To Provoke Thinking About Spiritual Matters In New Ways

It's never really fair to ask a new columnist to describe his writing before the first piece has even appeared in print. The thing to do is check it out and then decide for yourself. But the Rev. Paul Graves, who today starts a monthly column on The Spokesman-Review's Saturday religion page, already knows how he hopes readers will react to his perspectives on culture and spirituality.

Bishop Faces Heresy Trial After Ordaining Gay Man

An Episcopal bishop will stand trial for heresy Tuesday in Wilmington, Del. It doesn't happen often. In only the second such trial of a bishop in the more than 200-year history of the U.S. Episcopal Church, Bishop Walter Righter, 72, faces charges that he committed heresy in 1990 by knowingly ordaining a non-celibate gay man.

Pope Revises Guidelines For Electing His Successor Secrecy, White Smoke Remain; Cardinals’ Lodgings Improved

Pope John Paul II issued a new rule book on Friday for how future popes will be elected, largely reaffirming existing guidelines but reinforcing the secrecy of the process and improving accommodations for the 100 or so cardinals who will come to Rome to choose his successors. At a news conference on Friday, Bishop Jorge Mejia, secretary of the College of Cardinals, said the revised rules had been issued in part to take into account modern technological developments. More sophisticated listening devices, he said, mean the Vatican's walls "are no longer insurmountable." He said the new text bans all forms of communications between the secluded cardinals and the outside world.

Spiritual Lives Would Help Nation

This is the truth: You will live longer if you are engaged in regular religious practice. Not only will you live longer, but you will be happier, your family will be stronger and you will have higher self-esteem. That's the conclusion of a study of religious practice done by the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C., think tank. This should not be startling to anyone living in the United States, because we are probably, among developed nations, the most religious and pious. Almost 50 percent of the population attends worship in any given week. Seventy-eight percent pray at least once a week, and 57 percent say they pray daily.

Finding God At All Life’s Stations Lenten Guild Will Observe Way Of The Cross At City Sites

Christians will recreate Jesus' trial in front of the Gonzaga University Law School this afternoon, praying that today's law students become attorneys and judges who seek the truth. This will be the first in a series of observances at sites throughout Spokane during Lent, which started Wednesday. "The idea is not to make a political statement, but to say that in some sense Jesus is in all of these places," says Mike Leiserson, a Gonzaga political science professor and a member of the Lenten Friday Remembrance Guild.

Voices From Beyond Readers Share Stories Of Their Encounters With The Dead

Faith is something you can't see. A book - the Bible, say, or a copy of the Koran - is something you can see plainly. You can also feel it, smell it and drop it on the floor to hear the resulting sound. If you're so inclined, you can even taste it. But faith is not a book. Faith is a feeling. It's an idea, a concept, a notion built on trust. Try holding trust in your hands.