Archive: Religion

UPDATE 6/18: Conservative Christian Group Protests Saudi Academy

Update 6/18 The Traditional Values Coalition staged a small protest yesterday at the academy, alleging that the school teaches intolerance and hatred of Jews and Christians. The story is here. Updated 5/22 Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald W. Hyland (D) said he reviewed the school's textbooks and found no reason for concern. The story is here. Updated 12/10 The latest on the scrutiny the Islamic Saudi Academy is facing is in today's Metro section. Updated 11/16 The latest news is in today's Metro section. Originally posted 10/19 The U.S. State Department is being urged by a federal panel, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, to shut down a Fairfax school that is supported by the government of Saudi Arabia until the school can prove that it is not teaching religious intolerance. The story is on today's front page....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 18, 2008; 08:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

Parishioners From 80 Nations at Springfield Church

Word of Life Assembly of God in Springfield is presented as a microcosm of the multi-cultural and multi-national face of the area in a story from today's front page. But the church is also a bit unusual because, even as the local population has grown more diverse, most church congregations have remained fairly homogeneous. Read about it here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 21, 2007; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Churches Step Up Christmas Charity Efforts

Fairfax's faith community is taking I Corinthians to heart, -- "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" -- this holiday season. Read all about local churches' efforts to help the needy at home and abroad in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 13, 2007; 01:45 PM ET | Email a Comment

Church Property At Stake In Trial

The fate of the churches and property at Truro Church in Fairfax and the Falls Church will be determined in two trials, the first of which begins today. The courts will determine whether the property will remain with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia or with the congregations themselves which have broken away from the established church over the issue of whether gay and lesbians should be fully accepted. Read more in this article from today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 14, 2007; 08:03 AM ET | Email a Comment

New Pastor For Immanuel Bible Church

The Rev. Ron L. Jones will be the new minister at the Springfield megachurch which is planning an expansion to its facilities that already draw thousands of worshippers. Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 11, 2007; 12:22 PM ET | Email a Comment

Gesher Jewish Day School Settles Into New Home

The 25 year-old school finally has a home of its own in a new $14 million space that opened this month. Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 27, 2007; 01:40 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 8/27: Northern Virginia's Muslims Show Political Clout

Updated 8/27 A report from the picnic was in yesterday's Metro section. Originally posted 8/24 Showing evidence of what, according to this article from today's Metro section, is the growing political influence of Northern Virginia's Islamic community, more than 50 candidates for office are expected to attend a political picnic in Reston tomorrow, organized by a group of local mosques. Read about it in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 27, 2007; 09:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 7/26: Charity Blames Connolly, County Staff for Some of Its Many Woes

Updated 7/26 Officials with Western Fairfax Christian Ministries acknowledge they made mistakes leading to the charity's current budgetary problems -- the organization has slashed its spending and laid off three-quarters of its staff -- but say "the biggest mistake we made was in ticking off Gerry Connolly," contending that the organization's struggles were an embarrassment to government officials. The news is in today's Fairfax Extra. Originally posted 5/1 Western Fairfax Christian Ministries, a coalition of churches based in Centreville which works to prevent homelessness, may have to shutter its doors permanently unless it can find emergency funding this week. When the news was unannounced at yesterday's Board of Supervisors meeting, Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) expressed anger with county staff for failing to share the information with him in a timely fashion. County officials have said that ending homelessness in the county is one of their top priorities. Today's Metro...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | July 26, 2007; 10:06 AM ET | Email a Comment

Religious Congregations Plan For Possible Pandemic

Scores of local religious leaders met recently at the Fairfax County Government Center to beginning planning how they and their churches, synagogues, temples and mosques would be able to help the community at large were a major flu pandemic to strike the United States. Read about how they would help to manage the crisis in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 7, 2007; 11:09 AM ET | Email a Comment

Growing Jewish Community Bonded By Children

Today's Fairfax Extra cover story relates how Jewish families in Northern Virginia have been brought together for family activities centered around children's needs and interests. The families came together through Shalom Baby, a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 10, 2007; 12:56 PM ET | Email a Comment

Churches Seek Better Solution to Local Homelessness

This cover story from today's Fairfax Extra looks at the coalition of area churches who provide food and shelter to the county's homeless citizens and what they hope to do to provide more lasting solutions....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 15, 2007; 10:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Move of Korean Mega Church Concerns Centreville Res.

Some people in Centreville say they fear the traffic and environmental impacts that Korean Central Presbyterian Church's move from Vienna will bring. But some residents say they are uncomfortable with the growing immigrant population in the area. The story was in yesterday's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 12, 2007; 09:14 AM ET | Email a Comment

Breakaway Fairfax Churches Named in Lawsuit

Several churches in the county and in Fairfax City are among those named in a lawsuit by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia which is seeking to retain the property of the breakaway conservative congregations. Read the article here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 1, 2007; 11:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Episcopal Diocese Moves to Recover Breakaway Sites

From today's Metro section: The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia moved yesterday toward seizing properties from 11 congregations that voted in recent weeks to leave the U.S. church. Describing the breakaway congregations as "occupying" Episcopal property, the diocese's executive board unanimously voted to "authorize the Bishop to take such steps as may be necessary to recover or secure" the properties of the churches, which are mostly in Northern Virginia. The vote formally declares the properties, which are now being controlled by congregations that have placed themselves under the authority of the Church of Nigeria, "abandoned." Although the board's vote is procedural, lawsuits "are a strong possibility," diocesan spokesman Patrick Getlein said. Jim Pierobon, spokesman for the breakaway churches, said last night that they still want to negotiate fair prices for the properties. -- Michelle Boorstein...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 19, 2007; 09:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/18: Fairfax Churches Lead the Way in Split

Updated 12/18 Churches in Fairfax City and Falls Church were among seven Virginia Episcopal parishes that voted to break with the national church leadership over issues related to the roles of women and homosexuals. The Post's front page has the news. Updated 12/4 More on this story from the front page of today's Washington Post. Originally posted 11/17 From today's Metro section: The raw dispute between conservative Episcopal churches and top officials of the U.S. church took a serious turn this week in Virginia. Since the consecration of an openly gay New Hampshire bishop in 2003, some conservative congregations across the country have been considering breaking away from the national denomination and aligning themselves with an overseas branch of the global Anglican Church. Leaders from two prominent Virginia churches -- the Falls Church in Falls Church and Truro Church in Fairfax -- voted recently to recommend breaking away. Congregants could...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 18, 2006; 10:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

What To Do With the Lorton Crucifix ?

A crucifix created by the inmates of the former Lorton prison and bearing a life-size figure of Christ now sits in a warehouse and awaits restoration. But where the icon, which many agree is an item of historical, cultural and religious significance, will be placed for permanent display is undecided. Read about it in this article from yesterday's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 18, 2006; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Churches, County Offer Beds To The Homeless

This article from today's Fairfax Extra explains what the county, in cooperation with local churches, is doing this winter to offer shelter to homeless people in our community. Meanwhile in Fairfax City, officials are planning to buy an office building outside the city limits to replace its shelter on Old Lee Highway. That news is here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 7, 2006; 11:21 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/1: In Reston, Don't Ask. The Bell Doesn't Toll

Updated 12/1 The church has been denied a waiver of the county's noise restriction that would have allowed the bells to ring out once again. Read about it here. Originally posted 4/6 Leaders at Saint John Neumann church in Reston are awaiting a decision from county officials on when, if ever, they can resume ringing the church bells. The county ordered the bells silenced in December 2004 after neighbors' complaints; the bells violated the county's noise ordinance. The story is in today's Metro section....

 

By | December 1, 2006; 08:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/1: County Relents On Churches' Food Service To Homeless

Updated 12/1 Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly (D) blamed overzealous county employees for the policy to restrict church charitable food service to the homeless when he announced yesterday that county government would not interfere with the work. The news is here. Originally posted 11/29 Unless they are prepared in kitchens that meet the same tough health code requirements for restaurants, meals provided by church homeless shelters are forbidden, say county officials. A front page article from today's Washington Post is here. What's your opinion? Some community leaders say that to most homeless people, the chance for a hot, home-cooked meal would outweigh any consideration of the slight chance of contracting a food-borne illness. Should the county be getting into this? UPDATE: This afternoon the county released the following statement in response to the Washington Post's front page story. Fairfax County Response to Misinformation About Feeding the Homeless...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 29, 2006; 10:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

Local Priest/Advocate for Immigrants Wants Amnesty

Jose E. Hoyas, a popular priest who has led churches in Falls Church and Dale City, is making a name for himself as an advocate for immigrants. Today's Metro section takes a look at Hoyas and his work....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 20, 2006; 10:12 AM ET | Email a Comment

McLean Bible Church Sues County

Updated 7/18 A story in today's Metro section reports that the church is suing the county to continue the classes. Originally posted 4/18 At issue is whether the 10,000 member church allows a Maryland seminary to conduct divinity classes. Zoning laws do not permit the church to be used as a college. The Fairfax Extra has the story....

 

By | July 18, 2006; 01:06 AM ET | Email a Comment

Gay Marriage

Activists on both sides of Virginia's proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions are starting to ramp up their efforts to get their messages out to the electorate. Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | July 13, 2006; 10:56 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax: The 2006 Guide

An Introduction To The Guide Trying to make sense of Fairfax? Join our club. To help newcomers learn and old-timers discover new possibilities, here's The Guide for 2006. We know how easy it is to get confused here, because there are about a million people -- more people than seven states have -- and trying to make sense of the governing machinery can be tricky. The local governments include those of the county and two cities, the City of Fairfax and the City of Falls Church, each with its own idiosyncrasies and treasures. What you'll find in these pages is our attempt to lead you to old favorites you had not thought of for a while or to what might become favorites. There's golfing and fishing and biking and walking, just to name a few leisure pursuits. If you have students in the family, there's a place within the county...

 

By | April 28, 2006; 09:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

Herndon Catholics Get Spanish Mass

With Hispanics making up more than a quarter of the town's population, Herndon had its first Catholic Mass in Spanish yesterday at St. Joseph's. Read about it and the trends that led to it here....

 

By | April 24, 2006; 10:52 AM ET | Email a Comment

ACLU Wants to Stop DOD Funding Jamboree

Since 1981 the U.S. military  base at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia has hosted the quadrennial National Boy Scout Jamboree. Now the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the federal government, arguing that the Defense Department's support of the jamboree violates the principle of church-state separation because the Boy scouts of America requires members to profess religious beliefs. The Metro section article is here....

 

By | April 6, 2006; 11:09 AM ET | Email a Comment

Churches Help Growing Number of Homeless

With numbers on the rise, Fairfax County's homeless population has faced difficulties in getting services and shelter. A coalition of churches, mindful of deaths a couple of winters ago, banded together to help. The story is in this week's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | March 31, 2006; 12:16 PM ET | Email a Comment

Gang Task Force Wants Faith-Based Groups to Help

Leesburg Police Chief, co-chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, community and religious leaders recently it is time that faith-based groups help combat Northern Virginia's gang problem. The story is in this week's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | March 24, 2006; 03:59 PM ET | Email a Comment

Way Cleared For Altar Girls in Arlington Diocese

Northern Virginia Catholic churches now have the option of using female altar servers, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde has decided. The policy change leaves Lincoln, Neb., as the country's last Catholic diocese to prohibit girls from serving. The Metro article is here. Are Catholic readers of Focus on Fairfax pleased with decision? Loverde said that the change will allow the 21 counties in the diocese "to participate more reverently, more actively, more fully" in Mass. How do you think the decision will affect your church? What do you think about the decision?...

 

By | March 22, 2006; 01:12 PM ET | Email a Comment

 

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