Religion Archives - Alaska Watchman
 

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News and Stories that affect Alaskan faith and its free expression thereof.
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Hundreds of churches in Alaska and millions around the world have suspended what most Christians cherish as one of the highest forms of communion with Christ – the Lord’s Supper. Due to concern over spreading coronavirus, churches across Alaska have halted public celebration of this millennia-old practice, which entails the use of bread and wine, and dates back to the time of Christ. Catholic and many Protestant and Evangelical churches have temporarily suspended the practice...

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Pastors, priests and religious leaders across Alaska are joining forces to provide outreach, supplies and services to Alaskans most affected by the social and medical impact of the coronavirus. Alaska Faith Leaders COVID-19 Task Force launched last week to serve as a central hub and liaison between faith groups and the Office of Governor Mike Dunleavy. “It has become necessary for all pastors and churches to come together and support the government in their efforts...

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The Alaska Governor’s Prayer Breakfast (AK-GPB)has been canceled due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus. It had been scheduled for March 28 in Anchorage. J.D. Duncan, president of AK-GPB, said the event was halted by Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz in response to health concerns. “We have decided to not reschedule for 2020,” Duncan said on the group’s website. “Check back for info on the process of refunding tickets. Thanks for all the prayer and...

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Alaska’s faith communities are a state of flux as pastors struggle with whether to keep churches open for Sunday worship and mid-week ministries. A growing number of churches are canceling religious services and providing online or televised options. Others are remaining open but on a limited basis, and with safety precautions in place. Large Evangelical churches such as Changepoint in Anchorage and Church on the Rock in Wasilla were open this past Sunday, but future...

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Catholics are now experiencing an unprecedented event in their 2,000-year history: the suspension of Mass, imposed not by government health orders or by dictators but by their own timorous bishops and pope. Interdicts had been wielded over entire kingdoms in the Middle Ages when disobedient monarchs defied church authority, closing parishes and suspending the sacraments. This is different. Catholic and non-Catholics alike have already been repeatedly shocked by the actions of the current Catholic hierarchy....

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In the wake of the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Alaska, churches across the state either closed or adapted their services this past weekend as thousands of believers struggled with how to honor God on the Sabbath while taking prudent measures in light of the spreading virus. In some cases, such as in the Catholic dioceses in Juneau and Anchorage, all public Masses and most other church activities were canceled for two weeks on...

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Catholics comprise the single largest religious group in Alaska, and parishes across the state have implemented measures to combat the potential outbreak of coronavirus. While there are still no known cases in Alaska, bishops overseeing churches in the Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau areas have issued guidelines to more than 80 communities in an effort to protect parishioners. The Anchorage and Juneau dioceses, which include more than 40 churches and mission are being asked to refrain...

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It can be difficult for pastors and local churches know where candidates for the Anchorage Assembly and Anchorage School Board stand when it comes to protecting unborn life, defending traditional marriage and parental rights and upholding religious liberty. To address this, Alaska Family Action is making its 2020 Values Voter Guide available for free to pastors in the Anchorage, Eagle River and Girdwood areas to distribute to their congregations. “For too long, those who hold...

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A group of college kids is headed to Alaska this month with the aim of stirring souls and inspiring churches to embrace the largely forgotten but rich tradition of sacred choral music. Beatus Choral Ensemble is a professional choir that includes Alaska grown singer Arianna Fouch and two other students from the University of Steubenville, Ohio. The trio formed three years ago out of a love for the traditional music and liturgy of the Catholic...

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A growing percentage of people believe it’s a good thing if church and church people steer clear from anything resembling politics. They believe that the separation of church and state dictates that people of faith should keep their beliefs to themselves. Part of this thinking comes from Greek philosophers who sought to divide the sacred from the secular. But that is not the type of government our founders had in mind when they penned the...

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