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FāVS Religion News Roundup: Christ Church vs. Moscow, Idaho, Spokane Non-Profit Suspended & More


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FāVS Religion News Roundup: Dec. 7

In this update, you'll learn more about The Spokesman Review Christmas Bureau, a Salvation Army-Fred Meyer toy drive, the Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival and West Central Abbey's fifth birthday.

Parties canceled. Celebrations toned down. Hanukkah won’t be the same this year.

Hanukkah, a joyous Jewish holiday, which in the United States has often tried to rival Christmas in buoyancy if not glamour, will not be the same this year. With the Israeli military in the midst of a destructive showdown in its war with Hamas, few are in the mood to celebrate the holiday that begins at sundown Thursday.

FāVS Religion News Roundup: Christ Church vs. Moscow, Idaho, Spokane Non-Profit Suspended & More

Contributions from FāVS from readers like you make this news story possible. Thank you.

News Story by Tracy Simmons | FāVS News

City of Moscow Settles with Three Christ Church Members

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, three members of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, were arrested for their part in a maskless Psalm Sing. The service, organized by church leaders, was held outside, downtown and video of the arrests later went viral on social media.

Gabriel Rench and Sean and Rachel Bohnet were charged with breaking the city’s health ordinance. However, the church argued that the city violated their first and fourth amendment rights.

A magistrate judge later dismissed the city’s case against the three saying they should have never been arrested. Last week, the city of Moscow announced they settled with Rench and the Bohnets for $300,000.

This will likely not be going away, however, as Christ Church Pastor Doug Wilson told Fox News Digital that he remains in a legal battle with the city regarding his family’s involvement with COVID protests. He claims the government is targeting people of faith.

Daybreak Youth Services License Suspended

Speaking of legal battles, the Spokesman-Review reports that Thurston County Superior Court extended a temporary restraining order late last week prohibiting the non-profit Daybreak Youth Services from operating. The case comes after a Daybreak counselor had her license suspended when a Health Department investigation found she crossed professional boundaries with several clients. Daybreak plans to continue fighting the case in court.

Churches Going Green

In national news, there’s federal money available to churches and nonprofits wanting to go green. Thomas Reese of the Religion News Service writes that the money comes primarily from the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, though there are also funds from the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act.

Information on funding can be found here.

Mourning the Destruction of Jerusalem’s Temples

Finally, Jews worldwide are recognizing Tisha Be’av today (started Wednesday evening). This is a 25-hour period where Jewish people mourn the two destructions of the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Post has an explainer.

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Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of SpokaneFāVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.


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