We don't often do stories on religion. I suppose we are true children of the age of rationality and pursue our truth through observable fact. Or, we may have had our fill of religion growing up after being hauled off to church on Sunday, or some other day of the week, without giving much thought past the fact that this was our parents' requirement. But things look different in adulthood.
Perhaps science, to which we've entrusted our future, is not forthcoming with the answers to all our questions when we need them. Where do we go then? For many people the answer to that question is to God. Religion is a highly personal thing, and it is validated or invalidated one person at a time.
Scientific inquiry has changed a lot of things in society, religion among them. It has taken awhile, but we begin to see the changes that increased knowledge of the world has brought upon our institutions of worship. We even have a pope who is moving the Catholic Church out of the Middle Ages, inch by inch.
And in Madison we have a lesbian minister who leads one of the major churches in town. In "You Are Welcome Here," contributor Mary Ellen Bell profiles Eldonna Hazen, senior minister of First Congregational Church. A valued counselor to her congregants, Hazen has an interesting story to tell about her own sexual orientation and, with the encouragement of her wife, pursuing a religious calling.
Next Sunday is Easter, the holiest day of Christendom, which commemorates the story of Christ rising from the dead. It is taken to symbolize rebirth and going forward without the encumbrances of the past. So instead of being threatened by the knowledge that science brings, religion may yet be freed by it to pursue its true purpose: to bring to humankind peace with itself.