News: : The U.S. Is Retreating from Religion   source: Scientific American  

The number of changes taking place in our culture and society are expansive and extraordinary. They’re not all good; they’re not all bad, either. But denying they’re happening would be a mistake. One change that’s certain to reshape our communities and our culture — the shift away from a citizenship who identify their religion as a primary personal influence. This article from Scientific American points to trends that are […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : Winging it on a prayer: churches are trying new ways to attract young followers   source: Dickinson Press  

There’s a lot in flux right now in our country — our economy, our political spectrum, the technology that shapes our daily lives — all of it is changing. And so are our churches; those that are growing are finding new ways to connect with parishioners.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : Twin Cities Jewish community shaken by rising anti-Semitism   source: Star Tribune  

It’s too early in the data gathering to call it a dramatic increase in behavior, but anecdotal evidence from those on the receiving end of it suggests the rise in anti-semitic behavior is something we should be paying attention to. Here’s the quote from a Minnetonka-based that that brings home the concern. Our experience as a community in this country has never been that we have had to worry […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

ELCA and Western North Dakota Synod Weigh in on #NoDAPL Protest

News: : ELCA and Western North Dakota Synod Weigh in on #NoDAPL Protest

At its core, most simple level, the #NoDAPL protest is about a pipeline. But one of the reasons it has garnered so much support — especially nationally — is because the situation is viewed as an opportunity to right past wrongs, or at least an opportunity to learn from those past wrongs and do better today. And that same idea was formally adopted this past summer by the Evangelical Lutheran […]

How Technology Helped Martin Luther Change Christianity

News: : How Technology Helped Martin Luther Change Christianity   source: NPR  

Five hundred years ago — more or less — Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of a church in Germany and born from that act was the Protestant church. It’s doubtful Luther had a grand revolutionary scheme in mind when he committed his act of heresy, but a collision of timing and technology allowed his idea to flourish.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary, News: : Lists of accused ND priests still under wraps   source: InForum  

We’ve watched over the past 10 plus years as abuses and cover ups have come to light. It’s a disturbing part of the Catholic churches recent past, and the story is not yet full told. This story from the Fargo Forum takes on the delicate subject.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary, News: : Descendants of ND’s early Muslim settlers put immigration, refugee debates into perspective   source: InForum  

Little known fact: the first mosque in America was built in Ross, ND — 80 miles west of Minot. A few decedents of those early Muslim settlers are still in the area, and the Fargo Forum’s Archie Ingersoll tracked them for an interview.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary: : Sam Harris: On Islam, Religion, Geopolitics & Media   source: Sam Harris Blog  

Sam Harris is an author, neuroscientist, and philosopher. His worldview is well-informed and he communicates it clearly. As the rhetoric in presidential debate escalates, grab a cup of coffee or tea and read this interview he gave to for a more considered point of view.  

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary: : Finding God In Western North Dakota   source: Say Anything  

For one longtime North Dakotan, the landscape of Medora and the badlands is a place of inspiration and introspection. And an annual return to the source is an opportunity to share fellowship with others who have found something worthwhile in our landscape and history.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

California Man Finds Judaism on the Back Roads of North Dakota

News: : California Man Finds Judaism on the Back Roads of North Dakota   source:  

Minot’s Jewish community is not thriving the same way it once was, but it is still here. And a chance encounter between a California man and Minot’s Dr. Dennis Lutz — our local steward of Minot’s Jewish history — turned into a nice article from Image: Dr. Dennis Lutz shows where remnants of the synagogue are stored in a railroad museum storeroom. Photo by Roy Cammarillo, courtesy of […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky