• The Power of a Heartfelt Thank You

    By MARIANNE WOOD I feel moved every time I recall the Amish farmer in the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia one Thanksgiving week. He sold me ten deep red leather

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  • Saying Goodbye to a Generation

    By NANCY PATRICK As a baby boomer, I’ve enjoyed this label that has always reminded me of the end of WWII. Although my generation actually includes people born between 1946

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  • The Jockeying Has Begun for 2024

    By JIM NICHOLS It seems as if the political season never ends in our country. We just had a presidential election and already the 2024 hopefuls are beginning to make

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  • Spiritual Program on Critical Race Theory

    The Carl Spain Center on Race Studies & Spiritual Action, housed at Abilene Christian University, will present a Spiritual Think Tank virtual program, “Thinking About Critical Race Theory Together,” 2-4

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  • Brook Hollow Has a New Home

    The congregation of Brook Hollow Christian Church has a new meeting place at 4606 S. 14th St. in Woodhaven Shopping Center. Services are at 10:10 a.m. Sundays. The church sold

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  • Christmas in Abilene

    The calendar is already filling up with Christmas events, from The Messiah to Christmas at The Zoo. The following list will be updated continuously. To add a Christmas-related event, email

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  • Giving Thanks Always

    By LORETTA FULTON A white board for jotting down reasons to be thankful filled quickly Wednesday morning as guests stood in the serving line at the day-before-Thanksgiving breakfast served by

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  • Local Hanukkah Observance Set

    Chanukkah or Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, will be observed the evening of Nov. 28 through the evening of Dec. 6. Locally, Dr. Marc Orner will lead a service,

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  • Winter Lightfest Set to Shine

    2021 Winter Lightfest 2250 EN 10th StSCHEDULEFriday – SundayNovember 26-28December 3-5, 10-12 & 17-19The Week of ChristmasDecember 20-23 & 26(Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas Day)HoursThe park is open 6-10 p.m. .The

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  • Unseen Thankfulness

    By DANNY MINTON “Thanksgiving Thursday” has officially been part of the American culture since around 1863. At that time, the government decided that the country would observe Thanksgiving on the

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With Will, There Was a Way

 THE IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury Oh, that the inimitable Will Rogers were alive today. The need for his disarming smile and positive spirit helped Americans survive the Great Depression. He’d go a long way today in bringing people together as mounting challenges blot out our better acts and kinder nature. Even Will might not know where to start. An introductory

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Spiritual Program on Critical Race Theory

The Carl Spain Center on Race Studies & Spiritual Action, housed at Abilene Christian University, will present a Spiritual Think Tank virtual program, “Thinking About Critical Race Theory Together,” 2-4 p.m. Dec. 4. The program is free, but register here to get a link to the online program. The Carl Spain Center website gives the following information about the program?

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Christmas in Abilene

The calendar is already filling up with Christmas events, from The Messiah to Christmas at The Zoo. The following list will be updated continuously. To add a Christmas-related event, email details to editor@spiritofabilene.com CHRISTMAS IN THE ALDERSGATE GARDEN Aldersgate United Methodist Church’s Open Door Community Garden, on the corner of S. 19th and Amarillo streets, will turn into a Christmas

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Giving Thanks Always

By LORETTA FULTON A white board for jotting down reasons to be thankful filled quickly Wednesday morning as guests stood in the serving line at the day-before-Thanksgiving breakfast served by City Light Community Ministries.  “Getting an apartment”“Being alive” “A meal here”“My City Light Family” Those were among the many blessings listed by guests and volunteers. The breakfast is a tradition at

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Winter Lightfest Set to Shine

2021 Winter Lightfest 2250 EN 10th StSCHEDULEFriday – SundayNovember 26-28December 3-5, 10-12 & 17-19The Week of ChristmasDecember 20-23 & 26(Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas Day)HoursThe park is open 6-10 p.m. .The parking lot opens at 5:30 p.m. with last entry granted at 9 p.m.Parking is FREE.PricingSkip the lines and purchase your tickets here before you arrive. Tickets are good for any

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Unseen Thankfulness

By DANNY MINTON “Thanksgiving Thursday” has officially been part of the American culture since around 1863. At that time, the government decided that the country would observe Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November. During that time, the Christmas season didn’t start until the day after Thanksgiving. In 1939 a group of merchants complained that there were times when Thanksgiving

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HPU Tradition Resumes on Thanksgiving Day

Howard Payne UniversityOffice of University Marketing and Communications Area residents and visitors are invited to the 37th annual Community Thanksgiving Feast at Howard Payne University, scheduled for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 25. The event, which is free to the public, will be held at HPU’s Mabee University Center, 1219 Fisk Street. The traditional Thanksgiving meal will consist of

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‘Christian Compassion’ Explores History of Charitable Service

Monty Lynn, a business professor at Abilene Christian University, with experience in social work and international development, shares historical accounts of Christian service in his new book, “Christian Compassion: A Charitable History,” published by Wipf & Stock. Lynn discovered in his own work that learning about the service of early Christians gave him insight and encouragement. “I often found historical

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Third Baseman on the Mound

THE IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury A dozen years before “Sir” was added to his name, Winston Churchill motivated Britons with his unforgettable “never give in” speech. It lifted spirits for freedom as World War II raged and frequently is quoted even now, 70 years later. His message was to “never give in, never give in, never, never, never–in nothing great

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Mission: Thanksgiving

23rd ANNUAL MISSION: THANKSGIVING ITEMS NEEDEDMonetary DonationsFrozen Meat (Deer or Cow)Non-perishable FoodNew Socks and UnderwearCoatsSleeping BagsBottled Water & Soft DrinksTravel Size Personal Hygiene ItemsSCHEDULETHURSDAY, Nov. 187 a.m.-5 p.m.Love and Care Ministries(325) 670-0246233 Fannin StreetAbilene, Texas 79603http://www.lcmin.comFRIDAY, Nov. 197 a.m.-7 p.m.Arrow Ford4001 South First StreetMORE INFORMATION: Contact Mark Hewitt, executive director of Love & Care Ministries, 325-670-0246NINTH ANNUAL MERKEL EVENTWhen: 7 a.m.-7

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From Jay Moore: Community Christmas Tree

Jay Moore’s newest book, “Abilene Daily: Snapshots of Home,” contains one or more vignettes from Abilene’s history for each day of the year. Periodically, stories with some connection–however loose–to Abilene’s religious life will be featured in Spirit of Abilene. The book can be purchased at Texas Star Trading Co., 174 Cypress St. www.texasstartrading.com or call 325-672-9696. Books are $27.50. Following is an excerpt

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You Can’t Make Me!

By NANCY PATRICK America prides itself on freedom. I can do whatever I want, and no one can tell me what to do! I’ve heard that more than ever since the world entered the COVID pandemic. This critical time in history has provided my first experience with a worldwide issue that has occurred simultaneously around the globe. As I watched

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Educators and Scientists Are Our Friends, Not Our Enemies

By JIM NICHOLS Perhaps because my adult career has included both teaching and science, I am discouraged with our current American cultural climate. Somehow, we have concluded that two of the most positive human endeavors are now untrustworthy. The media are full of conflict voices questioning the basic skills and intentions of people who, historically, have been held with esteem.

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Sellers: The Church is Losing Its Way

The following opinion piece by Dr. Robert Sellers originally was posted on the Baptist News Global website. It is reprinted here with permission. Sellers is professor of theology and missions emeritus at Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary. Statistics for 2021 from across multiple Christian denominations reveal a decrease in church membership and active participation, according to the parachurch organization Exponential and the Pew

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Yes, Virginia, Operation Christmas Child is Here

By LORETTA FULTON OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILDWhen: National collection week Nov. 15-22Where: Local drop-off locations are First Baptist Church, 1333 N. Third St., and Wylie United Methodist Church. 3430 Antilley Road. First Baptist drop-off hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16; 1-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17; 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday,

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Removing the Stigma

Macedonia Baptist Church, 608 N. Seventh St., will host an initiative called Community Conversation at 7 p.m. Nov. 20. to address mental health issues. “Removing the Stigma” is a community service that provides greater awareness of mental health in general and depression specifically. The public is invited to the free event. Several mental health care professionals will share important information

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Friends in High Places

THE IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury There will be those who insist that I have received my just desserts. However, I choose to believe that I have been favored by unbelievably good fortune despite a fall from my church platform. Thankfully, heartbeats and breathing were restored countless times. This occurred during the October 24 Sunday morning traditional service at Burleson First

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Book Accompanies Opening of New Hendrick Home Main Building

A new book by Loretta Fulton accompanies the opening of a new main building at Hendrick Home for Children, South 27th Street and Treadaway Boulevard. Grand opening ceremonies have been postponed due to COVID concerns, but the book is available at Texas Star Trading Company, 174 Cypress St. Titled “Hendrick Home for Children: Still Building on a Firm Foundation,” the

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Living in Liminality

By NANCY PATRICK Sunday, October 10, 2021, Dr. Bob Ellis filled the pulpit at First Baptist Church, Abilene. He treated our congregation to an excellent sermon while our search committee seeks a new senior pastor after our long-time pastor, Dr. Phil Christopher, retired. Dr. Ellis, a true intellectual, has the talent of imparting difficult concepts to average people. He chose

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In the Blink of an Eye

THE IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury We spend hours at homecomings, reminiscing about bygone days. There were mutterings of how time flies at Howard Payne University’s annual gathering on October 1. The class of 1971, headed by Darrell Miles, wanted to honor HPU athletes, including basketball stars Russell Berry and Ray Hildebrand. (Paula Berry accompanied her husband Russell.) These were mostly 70-somethings.

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Evangelical Groups Applaud Biden’s Climate Initiative

Two environmental organizations applauded President Biden’s Build Back Better Framework, which includes a historic $555 billion investment to take on the climate crisis and would set the U.S. on track to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030.  The Framework was announced Thursday, Oct. 28. Both the Young Evangelicals for Climate Action and The Evangelical Environmental Network praised Biden’t initiative.

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Ghosts, Goblins, and Saints

By LORETTA FULTON Fall festivals, religious services, and a Cypress Street takeover are among the many offerings this week as Abilenians prepare to celebrate Halloween, All Saints and All Souls days, and Dia de los Muertos. (Click here to read separate article, including dates of observances, about “El Dia.”) To add an event, send details to editor@spiritofabilene.com Pioneer Drive Baptist

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Choices

By DANNY MINTON Winter and her close friend decided to take a trip to New York City to meet another friend and have an office picnic in her Twin Tower office. Before the trip, Winter’s mother called and said she planned to come for a visit. Winter tried to persuade her to change the plans, but her mother felt it

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Sticks and Stones

THE IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury Alexander William Kinglake is a name snuggled deeply inside of all-knowing Google. He was a 19th century lawyer who gave up his legal practice to become an author, best known for a single proverb: “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” It is believed that Kinglake’s intent was to help

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Pew Center: Americans Trust Clergy on COVID Vaccine Advice

By ANNA SCHILLER Pew Research Center As houses of worship continue to reopen, most U.S. adults who regularly attend religious services voice confidence in their clergy to provide guidance on the coronavirus vaccines – and far more say they have heard their pastor, priest, rabbi or imam encourage people to get vaccinated than have heard their clergy raise doubts about

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McMurry Honors Dr. Robert Monk

By LORETTA FULTON Letters from former students, colleagues, and friends poured in a year ago when McMurry University planned to honor professor emeritus of religion Dr. Robert C. Monk. But COVID-19–the grinch that stole 2020–dashed that plan and the ceremony was postponed until Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Monk has had a year to savor those letters, and on Friday he

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All in a Night’s Work?

THE IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury During almost two decades of writing weekly accounts of humorous and/or unlikely occurrences, I’ve never come across anything quite so bizarre as the subject of this week’s epistle. It is a legal case in progress, as the wheels of justice necessarily turn slowly. Otherwise, the folks at Alta Mesa Church of Christ in Fort Worth

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Then I Wondered

By DANNY MINTON I walked into the backyard one evening, sat in the rocker, and gazed into the clear night sky. I thought about the grandeur of all the heavenly bodies that God placed within our sight. Then I wondered, “How many others over the centuries had gazed at the same array and felt the awe of something greater than

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From Jay Moore: A Churchless Sunday

Jay Moore’s newest book, “Abilene Daily: Snapshots of Home,” contains one or more vignettes from Abilene’s history for each day of the year. Periodically, stories with some connection–however loose–to Abilene’s religious life will be featured in Spirit of Abilene. The book can be purchased at Texas Star Trading Co., 174 Cypress St. www.texasstartrading.com or call 325-672-9696. Books are $27.50. Following is an

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A Quiet Hero

THE IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury J. Ron Hardin, from most angles, might appear to be the kind of guy others would enjoy competing against. They might figure him to be a “push-over” in recreational or business endeavors, and they’d be wrong. He’d probably get so far ahead of ‘em that he’d soon be out of sight to the naked

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