San Antonio

Friday Five: Religious holidays, Notre Dame fire, declining church ties, journalist grants, Chick-fil-A

Friday Five: Religious holidays, Notre Dame fire, declining church ties, journalist grants, Chick-fil-A

It's Good Friday.

And Passover begins tonight at sundown.

Enter Greg Garrison, longtime religion writer for the Birmingham News, with informative overviews of both religious holidays.

In one piece, Garrison asks, "If Jesus suffered and died, why is it called Good Friday?"

His other helpful primer explores this question: "What is Passover?"

Be sure to check out both articles.

Now let's dive into the (Good) Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: New today, GetReligion Editor Terry Mattingly has our latest post on this week’s major news.

The compelling title on tmatt’s must-read post:

Priest rushes under the flames inside Notre Dame Cathedral to save a ... STATUE of Jesus?

Over at the New York Post, former GetReligion contributor Mark Hemingway makes this case in regard to Notre Dame news coverage:

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Oh no he di-int! Major city's council shocked by prayer mentioning Jesus and the devil

Oh no he di-int! Major city's council shocked by prayer mentioning Jesus and the devil

Government-sanctioned prayers at the beginning of public meetings don't typically draw a lot of attention. Generally, journalists sleep right through them. 

As you might imagine, it takes a humdinger of a prayer to grab the attention of a major newspaper like the San Antonio Express-News.

So, give Theo Wolmarans credit for that.

Wolmarans' secret for making headlines with his prayer? Hold onto your britches: He mentioned Jesus and the devil.

Stop the presses!

A local pastor who prayed Thursday at the start of the City Council meeting declared only two types of people exist on Earth — those who work for God and those who work for the devil.
The invocation, the standard kickoff to all Thursday council meetings, typically is an inclusive prayer.
Religious leaders from various denominations and religions are invited by individual council members and the mayor. The pastors, rabbis, imams and others mostly invoke God for his wisdom. Some mention Jesus in passing.
Rarely do they offer prayer that excludes entire groups of people. But Pastor Theo Wolmarans from Christian Family Church of San Antonio seemed to do just that in his brief invocation.
“Father, we thank you for the privilege we have for being your children. We know that there are many different races and colors and creeds and languages in our world, of which you are the creator of all of these,” he said during the brief invocation. “But even so, out of all of your creation are your children because only those who accept Jesus as their lord and savior are born into your family.
“And so, when you look down upon us today, you see two kinds of people only — those who believe in you and those who don’t know you. Those who believe in you are your children, and you work through your children to bring peace and love and blessing to the earth,” he said. “And the devil works through those who don’t know you to bring confusion and strife and division, the work of the enemy, because he came to steal, to kill and to destroy.”

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