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KU designates 'reflection room' for students of all faiths or no faith to pray, meditate

A corner inside the library. An empty classroom. A low-traffic stairwell. Shegufta Huma said she and other Muslim students at Kansas University have had to use those and whatever other spaces they can find for the 10- to 15-minute prayer sessions they pause for multiple times a day. That will change starting this fall. Alcove A, a small conference room in the Kansas Union, will be reserved as a non-denominational “reflection room” for Muslim and any other KU students, faculty or staff to pray or meditate while on campus. By Sara Shepherd

Lawrence religious organizations joining to 'go upstream'

The Rev. Verdell Taylor explains the difference between mercy and justice with a fable. In it, a man goes to the river every day and rescues a baby who has drifted downstream in a basket, said Taylor, of St. Luke African Methodist Episcopal Church. Taylor calls that an act of mercy. Justice would involve going up river to determine the cause and fixing the problem. By Caitlin Doornbos

Local religious leaders begin new organization focusing on local justice issues

Religious leaders in Lawrence have founded a new organization tasked with addressing local justice issues.

For Jewish KU students, local Rosh Hashana celebrations make Lawrence feel like home

KU's roughly 2,000 Jewish students, as well as as the Jewish community in Lawrence as a whole, will have plenty of opportunities to celebrate Rosh Hashana later this week. KU Chabad, KU Hillel and the Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation are all having activities to kick off the Jewish new year, which is Thursday. By Giles Bruce

Lawrence Justice Ministry to begin citywide listening process Monday

The Lawrence Justice Ministry will kick off a six-month listening process Monday that will consist of small-group meetings in people's homes, as well of canvassing of neighborhoods, to pinpoint which social-justice issues the group should work to solve. The ministry hopes to hear from at least 1,500 residents. By Giles Bruce

First-ever Torah scroll written in Lawrence to be started at Sunday ceremony

The Jewish community in Lawrence will have a special opportunity to buy a letter in a Torah scroll and see it written at a Torah-writing ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Chabad Center, 1203 W. 19th St.

Supreme Court says some businesses may refuse to offer contraceptives

The Supreme Court dealt a setback to President Obama’s health-care law Monday and ruled that Christian business owners with religious objections to certain forms of birth control may refuse to provide their employees with insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Catholic bishops hint at changes in voting guide

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted this month to begin making "minor changes" to a document meant to guide Catholic voters in U.S. elections. The changes may reflect the more moderate teachings of Pope Francis I, but bishops in Kansas are still stressing conservative ideals on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. By Peter Hancock

Lawrence resident named interim president of Overland Park seminary

The Saint Paul School of Theology named the Rev. H. Sharon Howell its interim president this week. Howell will begin serving in the role on July 1 while the Overland Park seminary continues its search for a new president.

Lawrence congregations move forward with social justice ministry

What could happen if Lawrence were a city for justice? That's what Justin Jenkins, pastor at Velocity Church, asked at a recent meeting of local religious leaders who have come together to make Lawrence what they describe as a more socially just community. The group, which had its orientation in March, includes leaders from 22 local congregations who have been gathering monthly to discuss what the tentatively titled Lawrence Justice Ministry might look like. This month, several of the clergy members will be giving "City on a Hill" sermons in which they will outline to their congregations what the scriptures say about social justice. By Giles Bruce

Jordan Leroy Hanson is the mustard man

Jordan Leroy Hanson and fellow members of KU Campus Christians hand out more than 400 hot dogs for free on most Friday nights during the school year. Hanson discusses wearing a mustard bottle costume on Friday, Nov. 4, 2011.

ReasonFest organizer Conrad Hudson

Conrad Hudson, organizer of the first ReasonFest held at KU, discusses whether God exists. The two-day event explored atheism and was sponsored by the Society of Open-Minded Atheists & Agnostics. ReasonFest wraps up tonight at a fundraiser at Wilde's Chateau, 2412 Iowa, beginning at 9 p.m. The $2 entry fee will benefit the Douglas County AIDS Project.

Nelson Krueger's Shepherd I trip: Boston

Nelson Krueger, Lawrence resident, was on the flight crew for Shepherd I, Pope John Paul II's aircraft for his first visit to the United States in 1979. The six-day trip started in Boston, where Krueger took the pope's cape and dried it using an air vent.

Nelson Krueger's Shepherd I trip: New York City

During the New York branch of the trip, Krueger and the flight crew had to deal with a bomb threat to the aircraft. Nelson Krueger, Lawrence resident, was on the flight crew for Shepherd I, Pope John Paul II's aircraft for his first visit to the United States in 1979.

Nelson Krueger's Shepherd I trip: Philadelphia

While waiting for the plane to be investigated by drug-sniffing dogs after the bomb threat, Pope John Paul II used Krueger's guitar to play "Silent Night" in the plane. Krueger, Lawrence resident, was on the flight crew for Shepherd I, Pope John Paul II's aircraft for his first visit to the United States in 1979.

Nelson Krueger's Shepherd I trip: Des Moines, Iowa

Pope John Paul II wanted to add a stop in Des Moines, Iowa, last-minute to his flight path because he wanted to visit Living History Farms. Nelson Krueger, Lawrence resident, was on the flight crew for Shepherd I, Pope John Paul II's aircraft for his first visit to the United States in 1979.

Nelson Krueger's Shepherd I trip: Chicago

Pope John Paul II's visit to Grant Park in Chicago prompted one of the largest gatherings of people in the city ever for his mass: 1.5 million people. Nelson Krueger, Lawrence resident, was on the flight crew for Shepherd I, Pope John Paul II's aircraft for his first visit to the United States in 1979.

Nelson Krueger's Shepherd I trip: Washington D.C.

On the way to Washington, Pope John Paul II sat on the jumpseat in the cockpit and signed personal items for the crew, including family Bibles. Nelson Krueger, Lawrence resident, was on the flight crew for Shepherd I, Pope John Paul II's aircraft for his first visit to the United States in 1979.

Nelson Krueger's Shepherd I trip

Nelson Krueger, Lawrence resident, was on the flight crew for Shepherd I, Pope John Paul II's aircraft for his first visit to the United States in 1979. The Pope is set to be beatified on May 1, the last step before he's able to become a saint.

Newspaper Church in a teepee

Lawrence resident Ron Helmick has a teepee on his property on East 15th, where friends gathered Sunday, Dec. 12, for some conversation and what they call Newspaper Church.