NewsWatch |


Trading Altar Calls For Communion Rails, 6/18/20, “Liturgy-hungry young Christians trade altar calls for Communion rails” [Excerpts]: Every service at The Cathedral at the Gathering Place begins with an incense-filled procession of the crucifer and the Gospel, followed by the singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as the black national anthem, before the Rev. Emilio Alvarez, in full vestments, leads the congregation through the collect, Scripture readings and, after the sermon, the Eucharist.

From the ritual smoke to the sharing of the bread, the experience would strike most cradle Pentecostals as utterly foreign. “For the first 15 minutes, you’d think you were in a Roman Catholic church,” Alvarez told RNS. “But when I get up to preach, you’d swear we were Baptist.”

Alvarez’s church is one of roughly two dozen in the Union of Charismatic Orthodox Churches, a 5-year-old group of mostly black Pentecostal churches in the Northeast and Australia dedicated to recovering the classical spirituality and theology of the early church mothers and fathers.

They are also part of a broader trend in which “low” or “free” church Christians, raised on contemporary worship services with praise bands and dim lights, are seeking out “high church” traditions replete with sacramental rituals and ancient liturgy.

Rites based in ancient church history can also dissolve the differences that divide Americans in and out of church. [Author and editor Katelyn] Beaty described an Episcopal church she attended in Chicago: “Our priest emphasized essentials, and would say repeatedly that all our divisions fall away at the foot of the cross.… If the church falls neatly along the same political divisions, then is the church really that different from the world?”


Anti-Semitism At Black Lives Matter Rally, 6/19/20, “A Farrakhan Supporter Led the LA Black Lives Matter Rally That Became a Pogrom” [Excerpts]: “It’s no coincidence that the riots here escalated in Fairfax, the icon of the Jewish community. I saw the Watts and the Rodney King riots. They never touched a synagogue or house of prayer. The graffiti showed blatant antisemitism. It’s Kristallnacht all over again,” Rabbi Shimon Raichik, a Chabad Rabbi in Los Angeles, wrote. 

These scenes from what the media has falsely called peaceful protests and the Jewish community in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles has called the Shavuot Riots, after the biblical holiday during which the worst of the attacks on the community occurred, has fundamentally divided Los Angeles Jews.

Melina Abdullah, the lead organizer of Black Lives Matter in LA and a professor of Pan-African Studies at Cal State, had been very clear about her motive for bringing her hateful campaign to the area.

“We’ve been very deliberate in saying that the violence and pain and hurt that’s experienced on a daily basis by black folks at the hands of a repressive system should also be visited upon, to a degree, to those who think that they can just retreat to white affluence,” the BLM-LA co-founder ranted.



Bacteria Essential For Health, 6/8/20, “Divinely Engineered Sinus Bacteria Essential for Health” [Excerpts]: Many people are aware that our digestive tract is full of beneficial bacteria that not only help us process our food, but also support a strong immune system. Now, a new research study has just been published showing the importance of healthy bacteria in the respiratory system of our nose and upper sinuses.

Beneficial types of bacteria living in our digestive system, genital tracts, and on our skin have been proven to play an important role in human health. This new study, published in the journal Cell Reports, adds to the increasing knowledge of the complexity of the symbiotic relationship we share with beneficial microbes. In this research, it was found that people with the problem of chronic nasal and sinus inflammation had fewer lactobacilli in their upper respiratory tract compared to healthy individuals.

In an applied aspect of the study, the researchers put their newfound discovery to good use. They produced a proof-of-concept nasal spray to effectively deliver lactobacilli to the nose and upper respiratory tract.

Such complex interfacing interactions speak directly to the Creative genius of our Mighty Creator God.