America's first Coptic monastery welcomes visitors again
Plus a new book on Carlo Acutis, a double album from Terry Scott Taylor and more headlines
Hi ReligionUnplugged readers,
America’s first Coptic monastery is flourishing in a desert 150 miles east of Los Angeles populated primarily by rattlesnakes. After almost two years during the pandemic, the monastery is open for small groups of pilgrims to visit and practice traditional Coptic liturgy.
“It’s not that the devil isn’t here,” said deacon Pavli al-Antony, a leader at the monastery. “You can live a holy life in Las Vegas or in a desert monastery, and you will have temptation. But we think there is spiritual value in cultivating a life of prayer here as St. Antony did in Egypt.”
As December begins, so does Christmas shopping. Senior contributor Clemente Lisi writes that this new book on Carlo Acutis is the perfect stocking stuffer for children and preteens. Find out why.
If you like what you read, share this with your family and friends!
In The California Desert, A Coptic Monastery Welcomes Visitors Again
Carlo Acutis Book Makes A Great Christmas Present For Catholic Children by Clemente Lisi
(REVIEW) “Carlo Acutis: God’s Computer Genius” makes for a perfect present for your child or preteen this Christmas. Catholic children are no strangers to books featuring saints, but Acutis is special because he speaks to the current generation. That is why his life is worth re-examination and why this is a book worth stuffing into a Christmas stocking.
Notre Dame's 'Woke' Restoration Plan Draws The Ire Of Traditionalists by Clemente Lisi
(ANALYSIS) The famed Notre Dame Cathedral was again catapulted into the news cycle after The Telegraph reported a scoop under the headline “Notre Dame interior faces ‘woke’ Disney revamp.” What followed was an amazing lack of mainstream news coverage.
Despite Southern Baptist Opposition To Women Pastors, Texas Baptists Celebrate Them by Anne Stych
The Baptist General Convention of Texas, one of few Southern Baptist groups that has not specifically excluded women from church leadership roles, passed a resolution at its 2021 General Convention earlier this month to “affirm and celebrate” the contributions of women in “advancing God’s kingdom.”
Terry Scott Taylor Wraps His Near 50-Year Career With ‘This Beautiful Mystery’ by Stephen Huba
(REVIEW) Terry Scott Taylor's new double album "This Beautiful Mystery," is a culmination of nearly 50 years laboring in the vineyard of Christian music with a quality and reach far beyond that much-maligned artistic ghetto.
From The Minichurch To Pastor Burnout, Four Key COVID-19 Religion Trends To Watch
In Friday’s Weekend Plug-In column, Bobby Ross Jr. discusses four key religion trends to watch as the pandemic rages on. Plus, as always, catch up on all the best reads and top headlines in the world of faith.
Don’t forget! You can subscribe to receive Bobby’s column early on Fridays for only $5 a month. Click the button below to subscribe!
As Right To Euthanasia Spreads, Where Do Religions Stand? by Richard Ostling
Politics In The Pews: The Relationship Among Race, Religion And Political Protest by R. Khari Brown and Ronald Brown
Michigan Town Elects All-Muslim City Government And Reaffirms The American Project by Ismail Royer
Don’t miss our latest podcast
Right to Education and Phones
As schools in India moved online in the pandemic, poor children without smartphones felt abandoned by the system. Charter For Compassion’s Anjali Gurmukhani Sharma works to ensure that underprivileged school girls, at risk for being married or being buried in housework, get phones to continue with online schooling. Published by ReligionUnplugged in partnership with Newsreel Asia. Find it on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or listen directly on our website.
In case you missed it
Editorial picks from our archives
Why Bibles Are Disappearing From Hotel Nightstands by Clemente Lisi
(TRAVEL) Bibles used to be ubiquitous in hotel rooms. But a 2017 survey by STR revealed that 79% of hotels had religious materials in their rooms, down from 95% of hotels in 2006. Indeed, as America becomes more secular and Wi-Fi more common, the need for a physical Bible inside your nightstand drawer has grown more obsolete.
'Gleaners' Fulfill Spiritual Commands To Feed The Hungry, Reduce Food Waste by Kimberly Winston
Up to a third of all produce never leaves the farm. That's why “gleaning” societies pick left behind fruits and vegetables to feed families in need— an estimated 50 million Americans this year, up 13% from 2018. It is one of the most ancient forms of faith-based charity. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all mandate gleaning as a way to live out the divine commandment to care for the poor, the widowed and the orphaned.
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