• Sponsor a Refugee Family for Christmas

    Want to do something really unique for Christmas? Abilene is home to many refugees who are in need of a sponsoring family for Christmas. The International Rescue Committee is hosting

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  • Christmas in Abilene 2022

    By LORETTA FULTON It’s official! The 2022 Christmas season is underway, with concert music, light displays, Living Nativity scenes, opera, a Christmas parade, and more festivities.  Following is a partial

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  • Problem People

    By JIM NICHOLS We all have these people in our lives, do we not? Problem people. There is a person down my street who has flown a gigantic TRUMP flag

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  • Candle of Peace

    By DANNY MINTON Churches vary on the lighting of the second candle of Advent, with some lighting the candle of peace and others the candle of love. I wasn’t sure

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  • Advent for a Novice

    By NANCY PATRICK I grew up in a church that did not observe religious traditions such as Advent or Lent. Although we observed Christmas and Easter, our leadership sort of

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  • Meet Rick Grant

    By LORETTA FULTON Wylie Baptist Church is celebrating its 40th year of producing the Living Christmas Tree, an annual gift to the community that involves almost everyone in the congregation. 

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  • The Candle of Hope

    By DANNY MINTON Until recently, the congregations I of which I’ve been a part have never had the Advent tradition. However, when I think about the meaning behind the practice,

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  • Now in Flesh Appearing

    By GRACE SOSA This is my last semester in my master of divinity program, and I’ll be graduating in December (yay)! The last big paper that I’m writing is about

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  • Waiters

    By JIM NICHOLS The line began to form when dawn was not even in sight. The stoplights were blinking and only a few car lights could be seen. A couple

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  • University News

    HPU Hosts 38th Annual Community Thanksgiving FeastArea residents and visitors are invited to the 38th annual Community Thanksgiving Feast at Howard Payne University, scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24,

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Christmas in Abilene 2022

By LORETTA FULTON It’s official! The 2022 Christmas season is underway, with concert music, light displays, Living Nativity scenes, opera, a Christmas parade, and more festivities.  Following is a partial list of upcoming Christmas events. To add to the list, send information to editor@spiritofabilene.com CSC CHRISTMAS STORE OPEN The annual Christmas Store at Christian Service Center will be open on

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Problem People

By JIM NICHOLS We all have these people in our lives, do we not? Problem people. There is a person down my street who has flown a gigantic TRUMP flag in his front yard for at least three years. I have exchanged pleasantries with him at the mailbox and he seems like a normal person. What is he thinking? There

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Candle of Peace

By DANNY MINTON Churches vary on the lighting of the second candle of Advent, with some lighting the candle of peace and others the candle of love. I wasn’t sure which to do since my experience with the tradition of Advent is limited, so I decided to take the “casting lots” method of determining whether to write about peace or

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Another Six-Up Story?

 THE IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury My ancient Uncle Mort–with razor-sharp memory of the long ago but dullard-like on yesterday–has a mind recently clouded with “what if’s” concerning the World Cup. This is surprising, since he doesn’t know a soccer ball from Cinderella’s ball. He barely knows that World Cup has “kicked off” in Qatar. He’s apologetic for “punning along”

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Advent for a Novice

By NANCY PATRICK I grew up in a church that did not observe religious traditions such as Advent or Lent. Although we observed Christmas and Easter, our leadership sort of skipped over other liturgical events, so when I began attending a church that followed the liturgical calendar, I had a lot to learn. The twenty-four days preceding Christmas is the

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Meet Rick Grant

By LORETTA FULTON Wylie Baptist Church is celebrating its 40th year of producing the Living Christmas Tree, an annual gift to the community that involves almost everyone in the congregation.  This year’s productions will be held Dec. 8-11 at the church, 6097 Buffalo Gap Road. Tickets are free, but required. They are available at the church office or by calling

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The Candle of Hope

By DANNY MINTON Until recently, the congregations I of which I’ve been a part have never had the Advent tradition. However, when I think about the meaning behind the practice, I realize that I have practiced its basic principles yearly and month after month. During this time of year, attention revolves around four central thoughts. Many churches will light a

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Drummers Three

By MIKE PATRICK I want to share three stories about drummers, two historical and one of fiction. When researching my family roots years ago, I discovered that my great-great grandfather is buried in Sabanno Cemetery between Cross Plains and Cisco, located in Eastland County, Texas. His name was Virgil Miller Williams (1843-1894). His father (my 3-great grandfather) Joseph Henry Williams,

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Waiters

By JIM NICHOLS The line began to form when dawn was not even in sight. The stoplights were blinking and only a few car lights could be seen. A couple of delivery trucks, loaded during the night, were just leaving the parking lot for the day’s work. The people in the line looked groggy from a poor night’s sleep. Why

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Life Lessons in 247 Pages

 THE IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury Spinning tops flung long ago finally stopped, they were like the season’s final flailing of turkeys soon to be main courses on Thanksgiving tables. For some journalists, however, minds continue to spin–conjuring, probing, marveling and expressing–thoughts about life, sometimes exceeding sublime or falling short of ridiculous. Such is the mind of my friend Glenn

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University News

HPU Hosts 38th Annual Community Thanksgiving FeastArea residents and visitors are invited to the 38th annual Community Thanksgiving Feast at Howard Payne University, scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event will be held at HPU’s Mabee University Center, located at 1219 Fisk Street in Brownwood. North Lake Community Church in May will

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ACU Grad Has New Children’s Book, ‘A Hill of Peace’

Books are 7″ x 7″, 32 pages, color interior, for ages 7+, price: $12 (+shipping). To order, go to https://theblacksheeppress.wordpress.com/ By LORETTA FULTON Brian Dewayne Scott is back with a new children’s book, “A Hill of Peace,” that is sure to catch the eye of parents who are looking for Christmas gift ideas.  Scott is a Nashville artist who earned

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Meet Zachary Ingle

By LORETTA FULTON Before he became one, Zachary Ingle didn’t even know that “film studies professor” was a real job. Now that he is one, Ingle gets to share his love of film and the intertwining of faith and film with his students and others fortunate to hear him speak. Ingle joined the faculty of Hardin-Simmons University in fall 2022

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Lessons in Living Together

By NANCY PATRICK Living in a global society as we do presents many relationship problems. These associations—whether personal, professional, social, or political—can be intricate, complex, and abstruse. People have always understood the human need for close relationships. We have long accepted that deployed military personnel often meet and marry their spouses in the lands where they are serving. The world

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Calendar Lament

By JIM NICHOLS If you have not been in this emotional place recently (or ever), this will not make much sense to you. Otherwise, it might. Recently the hospice organization for which I work part-time had its annual memorial service. Over the past twelve months, 140 enrolled patients had died, and this evening event was an opportunity for family and

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Just in Case

By DANNY MINTON How far would you go to show your love for your fellow man? Would you sell your house and possessions, give up your freedom for their sake, or even die for them? Most of us never face the challenge that comes from giving to the extreme for someone else. One forgotten individual who did just that was

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Enduring Bathroom Humor

 THE IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury My dear old dad, who absented his earthly life three decades ago, loved good jokes–both the hearing and the telling–with a slight leaning toward the latter. He shared them on workdays with his co-workers and at gatherings of kinfolk. At home, he knew that my mom and brother would hear them willingly and laugh

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Aldersgate Leaves UMC; Conference Forms Online Missional Church

By Loretta Fulton Aldersgate is the latest United Methodist Church congregation in Abilene to leave that denomination and join the new Global Methodist Church. With that decision by Aldersgate members, Abilene is down to two United Methodist Church congregations. Only St. Paul and St. James remain in the United Methodist Church fold as other local congregations are moving to the

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Interfaith Council Honors Native American Heritage Month

The Abilene Interfaith Council will honor National Native American Heritage Month at its November meeting. The program, “Native American Spirituality,” is free and open to the public. It will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in the Furr Welcome Center on the McMurry campus. McMurry sociology professor Jerry Hollingsworth and practitioners Shawna Hayhurst and Icie Mitchell will lead a

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Wind-Aided

By JIM NICHOLS Larry was a runner on the track team of a university in Oklahoma City. He was a distance runner with a slight build, and he reported that it was difficult to run at certain times of the year. He said he had been told that the physical location of his university was at the point of highest

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Meet Penny Biddy

By Loretta Fulton Surrounded by family, friends, and admirers, Penny Biddy took another step in her spiritual journey when she was ordained as a Disciples of Christ minister Sunday Nov. 6. Biddy and Chesna Riley are co-pastors of Brook Hollow Christian Church, which meets in a leased space in Woodhaven Shopping Center on South 14th Street. For Biddy, it was

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Mission: Thanksgiving

24th ANNUAL MISSION: THANKSGIVING ITEMS NEEDED AT ALL LOCATIONSMonetary DonationsFrozen Meat (Deer or Cow)Non-perishable FoodNew Socks and UnderwearCoatsSleeping BagsBottled Water & Soft DrinksTravel Size Personal Hygiene Items In addition to the schedule below, donations can be dropped off at any time at Love & Care Ministries offices:Love and Care Ministries (325) 670-0246233 Fannin StreetAbilene, Texas 79603http://www.lcmin.com MISSION: THANKSGIVING SCHEDULEFRIDAY, Nov. 187

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Making a Difference

By DANNY MINTON I’ll turn three-quarters of a century old in a couple of weeks. I would say seventy-five but saying three-quarters of a century makes me seem more distinguished! Over fifty of these seventy-five years revolved around “church work”: Teacher, deacon, elder, youth minister, children’s minister, education minister, pulpit minister, church administrator, high school Bible teacher, and Christian school

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Poll: Views Differ on Whether U.S. is ‘Christian Nation’

whe According to a new survey from the Pew Research Center, growing numbers of religious and political leaders are embracing the “Christian nationalist” label, and some dispute the idea that the country’s founders wanted a separation of church and state. On the other side of the debate, however, many Americans – including the leaders of many Christian churches – have pushed back against Christian

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Yale Divinity Professor Speaker for Carmichael-Walling Lectures

The Carmichael-Walling Lectures will be held Thursdsay, Nov. 10, in Room 114 of the Biblical Studies Building at Abilene Christian University. The lecture series is sponsored by the university’s Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts. The lectures are free and open to the public. Dr. Harold W. Attridge of Yale Divinity School will give the 2022 Lectures on

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Old Friends (Part 2)

By JIM NICHOLS Some of my old friends are “old” because our friendship has extended multiple years. Others are “old” because of their chronologic age. A few fit both categories. Regardless, I have found that old friends bring realities and truths to my life that are unique and important in my own growth. Sometimes confronting and sometimes uplifting, these friends

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Take a Look Inside Macedonia Baptist Church

Abilene is filled with houses of worship but most Abilenians are familiar with the inside of only a handful. A periodic feature in Spirit of Abilene will give you an “Insider’s View” of some of those places you may have driven by many times but never entered.  By LORETTA FULTON NAME: Macedonia Baptist ChurchLOCATION: 608 N. Seventh St.WEBSITE: http://www.macedoniabc-online.org/LEAD PASTOR:

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Operation Christmas Child a Global and Local Endeavor

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILDWhen: National collection week Nov. 14-21Where: Local drop-off locations are First Baptist Church, 1333 N. Third St., and Wylie United Methodist Church. 3430 Antilley Road. First Baptist Church, Sweetwater, and Church of the Nazarene, HamlinFirst Baptist drop-off hours: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14; 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15; 2-5:30 p.m.

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Sanctuary of the Heart

By DANNY MINTON Cooler weather, falling leaves, and the smell of cedar in the air remind us that the fall season has arrived. With it comes a time of holidays and family gatherings. Halloween decorations give way to red, green, and gold, reminding us that Thanksgiving and Christmas are only days away. Television stations have already begun their holiday movie

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Meet Courtney Todd

By LORETTA FULTON Pioneer Drive Baptist Church’s new ministry for families with special needs children is up and running with the selection of Courtney Todd as director. Todd previously served as the preschool minister for another Baptist church in the Abilene area. She started her new position as director of Embrace Ministry Oct. 2.  “I am very grateful to step

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The Blue Butterfly

By DANNY MINTON “The Blue Butterfly” is probably one of those movies where you keep scrolling down the menu after seeing the title. It’s not an exciting movie, with few action scenes and no violence. But it is a love story. It’s the story of a mother who wants her ten-year-old terminally ill son to be able to travel to

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With God on My Side

By DANNY MINTON Growing up, I played a lot of sandlot baseball. In the summer, every week, we’d get a group together and head to the field behind the old high school building. Sometimes we’d have a dozen or so, and other times we’d have only seven or eight. In those days, we had so few players, we’d play scrub

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Daddy’s Hands

By NANCY PATRICK For many years my husband and I did not lose any close family members to death. In my early sixties, I still had both my parents and both in-laws. The closest relatives I had lost were my grandparents. That status quo began shifting during my late fifties. My parents began having multiple health issues, including cancer for

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Christian Rally Against Hate

By LORETTA FULTON A different kind of hurricane is threatening the country, one that is just as destructive as Hurricane Ian that struck Florida, Abilene Christian University professor Jerry Taylor warns. “It is an emotional hurricane that is filled with the high velocity winds of hostility and the rising flood waters of racial violence,” said Taylor, an associate professor of

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Judge Sings a Sentence

 THE IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury When my aged Uncle Mort tells a story that is not “truth-proofed,” it merely means he heard it somewhere, and details may be accurate–or, more likely–figments of his imagination. Herewith is his most current tale. An habitual criminal–swearing to lead a new life on the straight and narrow–still owed society some “slammer time” for

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What Is a Customer?

By JIM NICHOLS Occasionally, a question is asked whose answer is difficult. This is because there seem to be multiple facets that are conflicting. The consideration features a series of, “Yes, but . . . “statements. Sometimes we try to deal with it by asking related questions. If one enters Walmart or Starbucks, one clearly is a customer. However, if

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Summit Emphsizes Community

By LORETTA FULTON Jennifer Schroeder kept hearing people say they were longing for community, so she did something about it. And she went big. Schroeder is the new director of Summit, which is celebrating its 116th year at Abilene Christian University. As director, Schroeder came up with an entirely new format with an emphasis on community since that what people

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