A religious look back on 2002 - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

A religious look back on 2002

December 30, 2002

Albany - As the New Year approaches, Americans face economic uncertainty, a threat of war, and scandals that have plagued businesses and even the Catholic church. But, some members of the faith community say spirituality continues to grow despite these obstacles.

Tami Coleman is the associate minister at Albany First Methodist Church. She feels the fear of war, terrorism, and economic uncertainty continues to draw people to church pews. "Church attendance remains higher than it was before September 11th. People are still looking for meaning in their life," said Coleman.

Coleman fears religious extremists, like those behind the recent human cloning, paint a bad picture of religion. "Religious extremists cause more harm than good. They scare people away from the church because the public thinks that's how all churches worship."

Coleman reflects on a California man's lawsuit to take "One nation under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance. Now, her biggest fear for the New Year is more people trying to remove God from America. "When you take God out of the Pledge or out of our country's values, you're changing the foundation of America. The consequences of removing faith would be devastating."

Overall, Coleman gives 2002 at B+ grade for spiritual growth. "The terrorist attacks have united Americans, and God would want that. But, we still have a long way to go."

She says since the beginning of time, man has faced obstacles. And, it's faith that helps people overcome these struggles. Coleman urges people to make spiritual growth a New Year's resolutions. Easy ways to start are attending church, reading the Bible, and praying in 2003.

Posted at 5:50Pm by kathryn.murchison@walb.com


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