We donated a service provided by a third party (i.e. "not us") to a deduction-qualified church. The service has a clearly established price of $150. We didn't pay for the service, because the right to the service was given to us in compensation for the provider botching another instance of the service. Can we claim a deduction on our US federal taxes for the normal price of the service? [more inside]
I'm trying to identify a church in central Utrecht that is roughly 700 years old; is NOT especially tall or ornate; and has (or had as of the late 90s) a small inner courtyard with a simple, spare garden built around a little round pond or raised round pool. Any ideas re. which this is or where I could look for clues? I've browsed lots of google images but haven't recognized it that way.
My mom has been attending a new church whose congregants regularly fret over what they call "The Black Moon." The talk amongst the folks there (though not--as far as I know--from the pulpit itself) is that the Bible predicts a stock market crash in October of next year. What in the holy hell are they talking about? And, on a scale of one to ten, exactly how bananas are these people? [more inside]
How would a ham have been presented in a church holiday food basket in the early 1970s? [more inside]
My wife and I are relocating to Tricities, Washington, for a new job at Pacific Northwest National Lab. Our Christian faith is really important to us and we're looking for recommendations for culturally diverse, Spirit-led churches. We're coming from a smaller church, so I think we'd prefer something along the same lines, and we'd like to find opportunities to serve. Does anyone have recommendations for the area? Thanks!
I suspect this is a huge question with more than one answer, but… It has been decades since I read a book (article?) that laid out a theory of (let’s call them) epochs in civilization where the predominant force governing people’s lives were/are church, then state, then corporations. [more inside]
I'm not religious, but would like to know whether the enforcement of a tax on income by the church in some countries - normally around 1% - is consistent with the bible.
I got married last year (!). My husband and I are both queer, and both have a history of same-sex relationships before we met one another. This hasn't caused any problems in our own relationship, but it’s causing some unexpected confusion at our LGBT-friendly church. [more inside]
I am looking for a church in Chicago - one that meets a few particular requirements. [more inside]
I am part of a group that regularly gets together to cook and serve meals at a soup kitchen. Our amazing group leader of many years recently passed away very, very unexpectedly, and we have been struggling somewhat in his absence -- he always just kept everything in his head: set menus, what to buy and how much, where to get the best price on stuff, etc. Can you help us put everything back together? [more inside]
Looking for a Church/not a church [more inside]
I am applying for disability and just received mail that informed be that I would have to have a mental and physical exam. I understand that this is the usual procedure. What I am not happy about is that my "mental exam" is taking place in a mega church. [more inside]
I think my employer is doing something shady. I think it affects me. I am really upset and I don't know what to do. It's a tax question with an emotional backstory. [more inside]
I came across a news article that revealed that someone I used to be acquainted with was convicted for production and distribution of child pornography. He toured the churches of his denomination with a music group for many years. As a former member of that faith, with friends and family members still active, and someone who was not directly effected by what he did, is it my place to be the one let people people know about this? If so, what is an appropriate way to do that? [more inside]
I have a church and they have a signer for the deaf. They have asked for live closed captioning, but they do not want to have someone type it in in real-time. Is there speech recognition software good enough for live speaking, or even something that handles closed caption-style graphics? Once I get the text, I can handle it from there with some kind of video overlay. Thanks!
Is someone 'allowed' to invite themselves to the church service of an acquaintance's wedding? Technically allowed, or socially allowed? Are church services 'open'? [Snowflakey fact scenario inside.] [more inside]
While on facebook, I saw a group photo of Catholic priests in India at St. Alphonsa's Tomb and Chapel, Bharananganam, Pala. While I am aware that it is the norm for Catholic priests in India (and some other countries considered tropical) to wear white cassocks as their street dress, and indeed, a number of the priests in the photograph were wearing them, there was something that was truly puzzling to me in spite of growing up Catholic and having attended mass and otherwise had contact with the Catholic church in two Asian countries, Japan and Thailand. In the picture of these priests gathered at this saint's tomb in southern India, there were some among them who were wearing robes or cassocks in shades of peach or puce, and light goldenrod. I have never seen priests dressed this way in any country, and I want to know if there is some special meaning to this. (For those who don't know about Catholicism, there is a lot of symbolic meaning attached to what priests and other members of the Catholic hierarchy wear, and why. There is actually a webforum devoted to people discussing what then-Pope Benedict was photographed wearing on public occasions and the philosophical and political implications of same). [more inside]
Aside from the edited version that appears in Heartworn Highways and the much-better extended version that appears in the DVD extras and on the album, does any other recording of Steve Earle performing this phenomenal song exist? It seems hard to believe that a song this good would never have surfaced in another form at this point. I'll take anything, bootlegs, b-side, anything. I want this song, I need this song.
Here's what I'm wondering. I recently discovered that an old respected friend is studying to become a Dianetics Auditor. My friend had a rough patch a few years ago and ended up feeling happier after undergoing Dianetcs Auditing. Good for her, I say. All I know of the church makes it seem like a nonsensical cult-like place that takes your money, but she's happy. [more inside]
Working out how race factors in in this particular question I'm thinking about - details inside. [more inside]
I recall reading about a beautiful church that was built in a housing development. The development went bust, so the church was sitting isolated in a field. I want to say this was in Canada? I also seem to recall that it was used in a horror film for obvious reasons. [more inside]
Please give me advice on finding a new church. [more inside]
I’ve become a person of (some) faith in the past year, and my life has been better for it. But it feels lonely not to fit into either the secular or religious communities—I'm not far enough along the spectrum one way or the other. Is there any way I can meet other people in a similar place? (Sorry, a little long and snowflake-y.) [more inside]
My family is nuts. The church I grew up in is nuts. My husband suffers from post-Southern Baptist stress disorder. Help us find a new (liberal) church home! [more inside]
My husband was married briefly and divorced over 20 years ago. Since then, his ex-wife has remarried, divorced again and recently remarried. My husband and his ex wife have had no contact since before the divorce. She has just (out of the blue) asked if my husband was baptized (he was not). She said she would need him to fill out some paperwork acknowledging that he hasn't been baptized so her new marriage is recognized in the Catholic church. Can someone explain what my husband's baptismal status has to do with her current marriage being recognized? They are divorced, there was one child born from their marriage. Could she be trying to have their marriage annulled?? [more inside]
How can we, as atheists, find a church for our children who want to attend? [more inside]
Where can I find a beautiful protestant Portland, Oregon, Christmas Eve service? [more inside]
Did the Catholic Church actively suppress literacy and education during the Middle Ages, or was it simply a byproduct of the era? [more inside]
Is it possible to get liturgy without scripture? [more inside]
Caravaggio-filter: help me find all the Caravaggios in Rome. Is there a list? [more inside]
The building I live in is host to an illegal church. Help me figure out what kind it is! [more inside]
A young woman of my acquaintance is looking for a church or possibly other religion. Preferably in or around Milwaukee, WI, but general suggestions are great too. She is looking for one that is gay-friendly, feminist, and sex-positive. What would you recommend?
What setting of the Magnificat is this? I sang it when young but cannot identify it now - help! [more inside]
What's the best CMS for a busy church with a bunch of committees full of non-technical people? Are there professional website maintenance companies that deal specifically with religious organizations? [more inside]
Why do churches and banks -- and only churches and banks -- name themselves "The First X" or "The First X of Y"? Especially when it's obvious they're not actually the first X ever built in Y? [more inside]
I am looking for advice about selling a domain name to a large church organization. [more inside]
What's a good service/setup for a church or non-profit to accept online donations? [more inside]
What does a new minister need to start their job? Stoles, robes, books? What has been helpful for you? [more inside]
Conversations with my Father-in-law have lead him to lose his faith in God. My mother-in-law is not coping well with this and blames me. What do I do? [more inside]
Why would a Catholic or Anglican choose to use a cathedral as their regular church over more geographically convenient parish churches? How would their religious and social experiences differ as a result?
Where can I find really good preaching in New York? [more inside]
What do you call a Unitarian Universalist church when you don't want to call it a church? [more inside]
Where can I find the community aspect of a church without any religion whatsoever? [more inside]
How to deal with borderline-inappropriate/socially inept parishioner at my job? [more inside]
Just moved to Houston; my girlfriend is looking for a Catholic church with liberal leanings - is that even possible? [more inside]
New York City MeFi: As a Canadian, I've watched a lot of American media. And from this media, I've become really interested in attending a (stereotypical) "American black church" service. It's stuck out to me as something really unique, something very Americana, and I would really like to be a part of it, at least once. (As for what I mean exactly by "stereotypical American black church", I'm don't quite know the precise words -- black gospel? Southern? Baptist? Additionally - if possible, I would love to witness the "whooping" style of preaching.) [more inside]
What's your nun story? [more inside]
What denomination or popular church is best fitted for my agnostic views in pasadena, ca? [more inside]
ScriptureFilter: I recall there being a passage in one of the gospels which states quite clearly and unambiguously that building and attending physical churches was not the proper way to worship. I believe it also said something about the only true church being the one we build in our hearts. I have been looking for this passage for the past few days and have been unable to find it. Did I imagine it? [more inside]
What do churches need? My late mother-in-law's birthday is coming up next month, and I want to get something for the church that she served as an organist for 30 years to commemorate her life (she passed in September 2009) [more inside]