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‘Fire on the Mountain’ Category

  1. How Religious Movements Take Off

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    October 27, 2012 by Steven Worden

    Commentary on Religion and Society by Steven Worden. His column, “Fire On The Mountain” has appeared regularly in the WC Observer since 2010 and in the West Fork Zephyr. This article was originally published in the Washington County Observer September 8, 2011. How Religious Movements Take Off  Few topics fascinate sociologists more than the explosive growth of new religious movements. For example, how did a mere 1,000 Christians in the year 40 AD mushroom into more than 6,300,000 by 300 AD?

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  2. Unlikely Friendships

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    April 4, 2012 by Steven Worden

    rhesus-and-kitten

    The images are arresting. A rhesus macaque monkey tenderly rests his head against a dove as he strokes its feathers. Another macaque monkey protectively hovers over a yellow kitten as they both thoughtfully consider the camera. A fierce Rhodesian Ridgeback dog, bred to hunt lions, softly nuzzles a pot-bellied piglet.

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  3. Grab the Quinoa, Mama, it’s Lent!

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    March 15, 2012 by Steven Worden

    Fire-On-The-Mountain

    “Remember, Oh Man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return” Millions of people around the world heard that charge as a thumb smudged an ashen cross on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday. Not exactly an admonition that sends one scurrying to the mall to buy the newest boots. But, reminders of insignificance perhaps rarely inspire a frenzy of consumerism such as that which often accompanies the Christmas season. Still, some seasonal response might be forthcoming. Remarkably, in a materialistic society, a couple of weeks ago, some churches were jam-packed to overflowing as participants sought this sooty mark on the forehead. Maybe some meddlesome biting of the conscience led to a small realization of the need for more humility in their lives. Further, and in an even more bizarre twist, some people e even decided to make some sacrifice over the next six weeks by not consuming something. Talk about counter-cultural! As that titan of corporate advertising, Google, sharpens even further its knife-edged ability to collect detailed, highly specific information for eager marketers, some folks are actually choosing to consume less, to cut back on something. That’s just crazy talk. After all, we know religion to be oppressive …

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  4. Another Christmas, Another Shift with the Kettle

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    February 8, 2012 by Steven Worden

    Fire-On-The-Mountain

    Sure, I prepare for Christmas as care- fully as the next guy: put up the tree, string up some lights around the mantle, set up the creche on the bureau with the Three Wise men w-a-a-y across the living room, ever so slowly making their way over the furniture, hopping from coffee table to end table, struggling to get to the stable upon the bureau by Christmas Eve. I also put up a string of those big ole multi-colored light bulbs up across the roof eaves, pulling a massive drain on the Ozark Co-op’s power grid. I even set up my small, lighted angel in the front yard, to stand demurely back between a couple of post oak trees. I do all the usual things. But again, nothing, no, nothing, says “The Savior Is Born!” quite like ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. I called up the “Good Ol’ Salvation Army” the last week before Christmas and asked for a shift. It wasn’t until I showed up at the Food Court Entrance at the Northwest Arkansas Mall, that I realized what I was in for. It was about 28 degrees, windy, and on the Northeast side of the Mall. …

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  5. The Walk

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    December 19, 2011 by Steven Worden

    What was there not to like? A crowd of marchers estimated at around 2,000, accompanied by dancers decked-out in dazzlingly blue, green and gold costumes, festooned with ostrich feathers; three elaborately decorated floats, a bright crisp autumn day, and nine miles of pavement. The annual Our Lady of Guadalupe pilgrimage had begun. Following a winding route, our merry band left St. Raphael Church in Springdale, headed down 71, cut over to Veterans’ Park for sandwiches, tamales, and water and traditional Aztec dancing. Then we wound our way over to Joyce, down Old Missouri Road, over to Old Wire and on to Gulley Park for another break. In the dusk, the procession eventually made its way down Township, across highway 45 and finished up in the dark at St. Joseph Church in Fayetteville.

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  6. One Building’s Orthodox Conversion

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    November 17, 2011 by Steven Worden

    church exterior

    By Steven Worden Striking reversals play a major role in Christianity:  the First Cause of all Existence takes the form of a helpless baby in a stinking stable.  The Lord of the Universe suffers a humiliating death. The poor and the meek shall be rewarded while the rich will struggle to squeeze into the kingdom of heaven.  The first shall be last and the last shall be first.  Blessed are the meek.

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  7. Focolare Movement’s ‘Culture of Giving’

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    November 3, 2011 by Steven Worden

    By Steven Worden It’s around this time of year, when a chill wind begins to scatter the leaves across the fields, that we begin to think about building a fire in the fireplace, sitting around the hearth and nursing a cup of hot apple cider with the family. That homey image lies at the heart of a fascinating social movement:  “Focolare,” which is Italian for “hearth.” Focolare takes, to our minds, the extreme position that human existence, including economics, should take place in a context similar to a companionable family gathered around the warmth of a hearth or a fireplace.

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