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Creede Hinshaw

Stories by Creede

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Life includes sorting out the good and bad stuff

Faith column

Reports from eastern Oregon indicate that a farmer there found a strain of genetically modified wheat growing in his field this season, a puzzling discovery since Monsanto, which had tested that strain of wheat for 12 years, never put it on the market. Nobody can figure out how the wheat got there.

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Clock-watching detracts from church service

Faith Column

When does a service of worship last too long? What a subjective question!

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All nations have a need for healing

Faith column

A few years ago on a trip to the United Kingdom I noticed that few Union Jack flags flew from houses or businesses. A British friend explained that most Brits do not have that same sense of national pride we display here.

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Café groups broach topic of death

Faith column

The New York Times this week described a small group phenomenon involving discussion of the often avoided topic of death.

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‘Moving Day’ comes to Methodists

Faith Column

Earlier this week many United Methodist congregations in south Georgia received new pastors on what they call “Moving Day,” prompting me to muse about the ways congregations receive new pastors.

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Music can lighten up dark times

Religion Columnist

The New York Times printed a fascinating report from William Grimes on May 27, “Something Happened on the Way to Bountiful: Everyone Sang Along.”

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Ministers deal with desk work, too

Religion Columnist

A photography student phoned the church a couple of weeks ago, asking the secretary if she could schedule an appointment with me.

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Traveling lighter no easy task

Religion Columnist

A few weeks ago I promised some more thoughts on the religious problem behind too much stuff.

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Praying women attacked ay Western Wall

Religion Columnist

The Western Wall, one of the most sacred and prominent sites for Jewish and Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem, was the locale for anger, rock tossing and controversy last week when several hundred Jewish women exercised their legal right to pray at that prominent locale.

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Pope Francis to redirect the church

Religion column

Almost two months ago Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected by his fellow cardinals to serve as the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

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Offering up a prayer for Sunday ‘no-shows’

Religion column

Last week country and western artist George Jones died. He was a hard-living kind of a fellow, according to the reports, carousing so hard and heavy that he was often too sick or bleary-eyed to appear at his concerts.

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Boy Scouts facing their toughest decision

Religion column

Earlier this week I had the privilege of conversing with a Boy Scout executive who is a friend and fellow Rotarian. As an Eagle Scout and Explorer who received my God and Country Award, I have a deep, lifelong appreciation for Scouting.

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A prayer offered for Boston

Religion Column

Yesterday an interfaith worship service was held in Boston to begin the process of healing across our nation in the aftermath of the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon.

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Managing stuff takes too much time

Religion column

It is disconcerting to contemplate the amount of stuff that middle class Americans own. Whereas the average size of an American home in 1960 was 983 square feet, that average home had mushroomed something like 250 percent in 2011 to 2,480 square feet, even while the average number of people living in the home shrank. My own family history closely mirrors this trend. My parents raised four children; the six of us lived in a three-bedroom, one-bath house with incredibly small closets. I could not imagine now living in such a home. It couldn’t contain all our stuff.

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Easter Sunday was one to savor

Religion column

Those who return to church this Sunday will note that their places of worship aren’t full like last Sunday. They will notice less crowded parking lots, nursery and pews and mournfully ask, “Where is everybody? Why can’t we be as full as we were last week?”

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Tarry in other places first at Easter time

Religion column

Before we rush to Easter — and with good cause the Christian world anticipates that glorious day with its splendor, pomp and elation — let us tarry in other places with Jesus.

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North Korean Christians’ stories need to be heard

Features Column

Headlines continue to announce the paranoid, bellicose behavior of the isolated and impoverished nation of North Korea, truly one of the pariah nations in our world. This rogue nation, erratic and unpredictable, now apparently has nuclear weapons of at least a primitive nature with which they threaten to incinerate the United States.

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Catholicism is among us all, this week

How can one dwell on anything other than issues of Catholicism this week? The cardinals of the church gathered in Rome at the Sistine Chapel to elect a new pope and this Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day commemorating one of the great saints of the church.

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Thriving is more than surviving

Religion column

I’m suffering through the third day of a miserable head cold with the consequent aches, stuffy head, puffy eyes and runny nose. I catch this stuff rarely, but when I do I am convinced I may not survive.

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Hospital prayer can be challenging

Religion column

Most pastors are able to pray through almost anything. Offering public prayer in a variety of settings toughens one’s resolve to stay the course when invoking the divine. Every pastor has prayed through buzzing wasps, crying babies, ringing phones, crashing thunder, wailing trains, sonic booms, insistent sirens and bored parishioners.

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Disagreement among the Curia, no problem

The newspaper headline regarding the desired skill set for the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church intoned, “Charisma, Management Skills Sought in New Pope”. I’m sorry, but this headline and the article itself was less than groundbreaking.

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Churches find creative ways to keep traditions

Religion column

Earlier this week, the 40-day season of Lent began with Ash Wednesday when worshipers gathered in churches to receive from priest or pastor a smudge of ashes on the forehead signifying godly sorrow, repentance and one’s mortality.

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Pew poll results raise concerns for churches

Religion column

There is much intriguing data in a comprehensive religion survey released last summer by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

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Middle East still dangerous for Christians

Religion column

Find this story and other news, sports and features items at www.albanyherald.com.

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Believing in Christ more difficult for some

Faith Column

A couple of weeks ago I watched Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit at an IMAX cinema with Dolby sound and 3-D glasses. It was a pretty powerful movie if you like non-stop action where good wins out. As you might know, The Hobbit was written by J. R. R. Tolkien, author of the trilogy Lord of the Rings, too.

Let’s not dwell on the darkness, let us remember the joyfulness

Most of us crave the daylight, finding ourselves challenged during these long winter nights. In December and January one hardly arrives home before darkness sets in.

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Let’s attack things worth attacking

Faith column

In the shadow of the fiscal cliff, Senate Majority Leader Democrat Harry Reid and Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl are cooperating to introduce a law to expand online gambling and create an Office of Online Poker Oversight.

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Let’s hope the light shines for Congress

One hears the phrase “fiscal cliff” so often these days that I now find myself looking for guard rails on every street and avenue, even though here in Savannah there’s no such thing as a cliff within a good day’s drive.

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For every failure, thousands do right

Religion column

The recent revelation of adultery by retired four-star General David Petraeus is tragic. Confessing to the betrayal of his wife of 40 years General Petraeus submitted his resignation as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He not only tarnished his family, career and reputation, but he could potentially — because of his sensitive role — have placed our nation in a vulnerable position.

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Religion not evident in this year’s debates

Religion column

Hubris has been in abundant supply at both presidential debates and one suspects that the honking sounds at next week’s third debate will be both candidates tooting their own horn. If this election is as close as polls indicate, the first candidate displaying any sincere evidence of humility might gain the advantage with that dwindling group of undecided voters.

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Methodism celebrates 200 years in Savannah

Religion column

Although Methodism have been established in Georgia for at least 225 years, its continuing presence in Savannah, where I serve the church, is 200 years old this year.

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Mosques are a part of our nation's religious fabrics

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, opened in August 2012 after enduring two years of controversy, perhaps bringing to a close the vandalism and violence that has roiled both the structure itself and people of this middle Tennessee city of 100,000 citizens.

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Doing what’s right is a challenge

I’m not sure whether to file this column under the sports page or the faith and values section, but there’s an intersection here, as there so often is, between sports and religion. I’m referring to the “replacement referees” now being employed by the owners of the National Football League (NFL).

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Guns not welcome in houses of worship

This week’s column is offered as a public service to readers who intend to pack your pistol to next week’s worship service at the mosque, synagogue or church.

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Political process needs prayerful support

The Republicans have had their week in Tampa, Fla., and the Democrats will have theirs next week in Charlotte, N.C., a back-to-back prospect prompting all but the most hardened political junkies to pray that the deity might send hurricane winds to cancel both political pep rallies.

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Christians’ position in Syria gets more tenuous

How does a Christian relate to his or her culture in the Muslim world? I’ve been thinking about this after reading a recent Wall Street Journal article (Saturday, Aug. 11-12) about the struggles of the Christian faithful in Syria.

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Church must resist temptation of power

What would you do if a group of punk musicians rushed to the altar area or claimed the pulpit in your church and began singing protest songs in the middle of a Sunday morning worship service?

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Time a challenge for visiting ministers

Being a pastor means one is never caught up with pastoral care. At least in the United Methodist Church, people place a fairly high priority on pastoral visitation, and Methodists can sometimes be heard yearning for a pastor who knocks on doors more frequently.

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Albany’s Beckum is a possible for bishop

A nation-wide leadership search is taking place in the United Methodist Church this week in three locations where church delegates are electing eleven new bishops.

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Churches should look at fresh ideas

The Rev. LeeAnne Watkins, rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, Minn., wrote a thought provoking article describing how the church continues to invest in activities that no longer produce results. (“This Just Isn’t Working,” Christian Century, June 13, 2012, p 10-11).

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Religious diversity in U.S. dazzling

Here are some things I’ve been thinking about the relationship between church and state:

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Thanks, Isaac Watts, for your inspiring hymns

Have you ever sung the words of a hymn while simultaneously thinking about something else?

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Baptists make historical decision

This week in New Orleans, La., delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention made history by electing the Rev. Fred Lute as the first African-American pastor in their long history to serve as their president. Luter, the charismatic pastor of a New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward mega-church, ran unopposed.

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Transparency needed in churches, too

I recently reflected on the importance the church practicing the highest standards of honesty and transparency by citing public allegations of influence peddling in the Vatican.

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Keyboard burns a career

The headline in the Wall Street Journal caught my attention: “Facebook and Twitter Postings Cost CFO His Job.” Rachel Emma Silverman reported (May 15, 2012, B-1) that 63-year-old Gene Morphis was fired because he showed no restraint on Facebook and Twitter.

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Churches should always practice what they preach

The most valuable possession the church has, something so invaluable it could never be insured, is the trust of its church members and the larger society.

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Change was real for Charles Colson

When Charles Colson died in April, age 80, it was the first time in 34 years that he did not spend Easter Sunday preaching to prisoners.

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Amish appeal case of safety vs. freedom

Back in March, 10 Amish men traveled to Frankfort, Ky., to plead their case before the Kentucky Supreme Court, hoping to persuade the justices to exempt them from the regulation to put an orange safety triangle on the back of their horse drawn buggies.

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Clergy must dress for the occasion

Pastors struggling with proper attire.

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Georgia casino is a bad gamble

Notice to all middle-aged, middle-class women looking for a little excitement! North Georgia real estate developer Greg O’Leary is riding to your rescue with a proposal to expand Georgia gambling. Mr. O’Leary, according to reports, has been working on a proposal for eight years to build a casino along the interstate in Norcross.