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Cover Stories

The Rise of the ‘Virtual Church’

Church attendance still suffers the lingering effects of COVID, more congregants watch services online, and the young are absent The pews aren’t empty yet. Peoria-area religious leaders report that worship attendance has continued its pre-pandemic decline in many cases, while holding steady in others. Two local churches reported that attendance

Changes Afoot in Peoria Catholic Diocese

New Bishop Louis Tylka has launched an era of local reassessment as part of one of the most enduring institutions in the western world Roman Catholic Bishop Louis Tylka is taking the 26-county Peoria Diocese into what he hopes is a new phase of spiritual growth as it nears its
The book on Rosh Hashanah

A religion, a culture, a ‘way of life’

Central Illinois has a small but energetic Jewish population, with two synagogues and a faith that provides a roadmap for how to act The Peoria area’s small Jewish community, estimated in the hundreds, differentiates itself by being a diverse community despite its size, with observant and non-observant Jews, mixed religion
Imam Osama Alrefai at the Islamic Center of Peoria on Charter Oak Road

‘The will of Allah’

‘Whatever he tells us to do, we do it,’ says the imam at Peoria’s growing Islamic Center During a sweltering Thursday evening amid a mid-August heat wave, the Islamic Center of Peoria hummed with activity. It was Orientation Night for the upcoming year at Daarul Uloom School, the private Islamic
Jennifer Innis

Everyone Is Equal Before God

So believes the Unitarian Universalist Church, where embracing diversity,  in religious thought and everything else, is in the DNA Asked to summarize the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church, the Rev. Jennifer Innis cuts right to the chase: “We are a community of fully human people working from a foundation of love
Anthony Hopp is the vice president and chief purpose officer at Samaritan Ministries in Peoria

An alternative to health insurance

Peoria-based Samaritan Ministries is part of a rising trend of health care consumers choosing sharing ministries to pay medical bills Anthony Hopp turns a bit sheepish when recalling the first time he depended on Samaritan Ministries to cover medical claims. At the time, the Peoria-based health care sharing ministry, or

MIA in the pews

Young people don’t have the same sense of belonging as their folks, and it’s most evident at church When my parents were in their 20s, if it wasn’t a bowling league night, it was their fraternal organization meeting night. And if it wasn’t a fish fry at their church, it
Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria. Photo to the right, Greg Grindinger, adult ministry pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church, greets parishioners

Central Illinois’ ‘Megachurches’

Is bigger better? If it means connecting more people with the gospel, the answer is yes, say church leaders “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 Churches, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. They can range from the idyllic

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