The wooden box, not quite big enough to hold a pair of shoes, sits on the reception desk, just inside the Sherwood, Oregon, YMCA. Once a day, Roger Button empties the box, finds a quiet place to sit and prays over the slips of paper he finds inside. He prays for someone’s son struggling with drug addiction; for a friend who needs a job; for more blue, figure-8 rubber exercise bands.
President Obama chided conservative religious and political leaders at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, condemning an antigay bill in Uganda and challenging them not to question his faith or his citizenship.
Evangelist Billy Graham, 91, was cited by 21 percent of Protestant pastors as among the most influential figures in their lives in a survey taken of 1,000 pastors in November by LifeWay Research. Graham was named three times more often than the runner-up in the telephone survey, author-pastor-radio personality Charles Swindoll.
For Travis Hutchinson, the life of a pastor in a small-town Georgia church is about preaching the gospel, ministering to the needy and, increasingly, figuring out how to handle an ever-growing list of risks.