NEWS

Religion News: Public memorial service for Oral Roberts announced

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

A public memorial service to honor evangelist Oral Roberts, founder of Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Oral Roberts University, who died Tuesday, has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, at the Mabee Center on the campus of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.

The evangelist’s family has invited the public to join them in honoring the life and memory of their father and grandfather.

For those not able to attend the memorial service in person, it will be Webcast live at www.goldeneagle.tv. Arrangements have been made for the public to send condolences and reflect on Oral Roberts' life online at www.oralroberts.com. Those who would rather call in may do so through the prayer line at (918) 495-7777.

Nativity angers Italian political party

The Northern League, a political party in Italy, is decrying a nativity scene on display in a Verona courthouse because it features a dark-skinned baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

According to wire reports, the Northern League has taken a strong anti-immigration stance and believes the nativity display is an act of provocation. League proposals have ranged from separate buses and trains for immigrants to banning new mosques and forbidding the serving of ethnic food.

The chief public prosecutor in Verona said he set up the display in order to include people of all ethnicities.

Survey Says

Religiously mixed marriages are common in the United States, and a recent survey finds that the link between being in a religiously mixed union and attendance at multiple types of services is a complex one.

Overall, people in religiously mixed marriages attend worship services less often than people married to someone of the same faith. But among those who attend religious services at least yearly, those in religiously mixed marriages attend multiple types of services at a higher rate than people married to someone of the same religion.

-- Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

Good Book?

“The True Story of Saint Nicholas” by Rebecca Benson Haskell

Santa Claus is real. His name comes from the Dutch colloquial "Sinterklaas," a short way of saying Sint Nicolaas.

This book, ideal for under the Christmas tree, is the result of the effort of a great-grandmother from Marblehead, Mass., to tell her family about the real Santa Claus, a Christian saint born around 260 AD, known to us as St. Nicholas.

His way of giving anonymously became the foundation for today's Christmas Eve visitor, filling the stockings of expectant children. Haskell felt it was important for her family to understand the real person behind today's distorted conception.

Get to Know … Thomas Coke

Thomas Coke (1747-1814) was a British clergyman and an early Methodist bishop in America.

Growing up in Wales, he was ordained in the Church of England and served in England.

In 1776 while serving in Somerset, England, Coke became a close assistant of John Wesley, who is credited with his brother with founding the Methodist movement. When a new rector arrived, Coke was dismissed from his post due to his association with the Methodist movement.

He traveled to America, and Coke and Francis Asbury were elected bishops of the newly independent Methodist Episcopal Church. Coke returned to England in June 1785 and made eight further visits to America until he made his final visit in 1803.

While in America he spoke out against slavery. He hoped to open Methodist missions in the East Indies but died on his way to Sri Lanka.

The Word

Didache: a very early, short book describing Christian rituals and beliefs. – www.religioustolerance.org

Religion Around the World

Religious makeup of Ireland

Roman Catholic: 87.4 percent

Church of Ireland: 2.9 percent

Other Christian: 1.9 percent

Other: 2.1 percent

Unspecified: 1.5 percent

None: 4.2 percent

- CIA Factbook

GateHouse News Service