I spent much of the week in the Smoky Mountains area of East Tennessee -- the land of Dollywood and Terry Mattingly -- covering a national church event for The Christian Chronicle.
As a result, I was away from my keyboard and the pitter-patter of religion headlines much more than usual the past few days.
What did I miss? By all means, ping me and let me know.
But first, let's dive into the Friday Five:
1. Religion story of the week: I don't know about you, but amid the constant barrage of news involving divisive politics and church sex scandals, I need to read a happy story every now and then.
Enter Tennessean religion writer Holly Meyer with a delightful piece on a Nashville church embracing Fred Rogers' message of love and kindness and planning a neighborhood block party.
2. Most popular GetReligion post: Until further notice, let's just plan on our No. 1 most-clicked post of the week being another insightful analysis by my colleague Julia Duin on media coverage -- or lack thereof -- of the scandal involving disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
The viral post this week: Duin's commentary titled "Catholic News Agency pulls off investigative coup in the 'Uncle Ted' McCarrick saga."
3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): Can you be a Republican and a Muslim in Texas? Not according to some detractors in Tarrant County, who are pushing to remove a county GOP official because of his religious affiliation.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the story, which has all the ingredients to go national, if it has not already.
4. Shameless plug: We started something new here at GetReligion this week. It's called the Monday Mix and will offer -- in a slightly different format than Friday Five -- quick highlights and insights from the world of religion news. The goal is to point readers toward essential features from late in the week and over the weekend, when the GetReligion isn't publishing several items a day.
I see our readership stats, so I know a lot of you missed the original Monday Mix installment.
Please check it out, and then be sure to catch the next edition this coming Monday.
5. Final thought: Our prayers are with pastor Larry Wilhite. May he repent soon of his church's "grievous sin of punctuation omission."
Happy Friday, everybody!
Enjoy the weekend!