Laurinda Joenks

Religion reporter
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Recent Stories

During High Holidays, Jews make amends, return to God

Subscriber onlyLike water, teshuvah is both destructive and creative. It dissolves the person you were, but simultaneously provides the moisture you need to grow anew. It erodes the hard edges of your willfulness, but also refreshens your spirit. It can turn the tallest barriers of moral blindness into rubble, while it also gently nourishes the hidden seeds of hope buried deep in your soul. Teshuvah, like water, has the power both to wash away past sin and to shower you with the blessing of a new future, if only you trust it and allow yourself to be carried along in its current. Continue reading...

Does bigger always mean better?

Does big always mean better?

Subscriber onlyI'm inviting Northwest Arkansas readers into a thought experiment. Most of us know our region is changing. It's changing because it's growing and diversifying. If you live in our region, you experience both the joys and challenges of such growth. On the one hand, we have access to more community resources than ever before, and we enjoy a lot of economic and cultural vitality that attends such growth. On the other hand, commutes are longer, and we are all affected by the growing pains of development. Continue reading...

Favorite verses of community philanthropist shared

Favorite verses of community philanthropist shared

Subscriber only"Pat Walker loved God and was a child of God who loved the community," said Rick Grace, pastor of SpringCreek Fellowship in Springdale. Walker was a longtime member of SpringCreek, previously First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Springdale. Continue reading...

Mount Zion Free Will Baptist celebrates anniversary

Mount Zion Free Will Baptist turning 150

Subscriber only"It's home," said Willie Ann Puryear of Mount Zion Free Will Baptist Church near Hindsville. "It's folks we know." Continue reading...

Girl Scout brings traditions of Marshall Islands to Shiloh Museum

Subscriber onlyIt's official. The culture of the Marshall Islanders who have moved to Springdale is now a recorded part of the city's history, thanks to a 14-year-old Girl Scout. Continue reading...

'Let Us Pray'

Museum exhibit highlights Rogers’ earliest churches

Subscriber only"As pioneer settlers moved into Northwest Arkansas in the 1830s and 1840s, they brought with them their religious beliefs" reads a sign that begins the exhibit "Let Us Pray" at the Rogers Historical Museum. Continue reading...

Sacred work: Celebrate spiritual aspects of life everyday

Celebrate spiritual aspects of job every day

Subscriber onlyLabor Day is coming in a week, and I wanted to take this opportunity to explore the concept of "sacred work." Labor Day was originally created to celebrate the labor movement, as well as to honor the accomplishments and contributions made to our country by workers in the labor unions. More recently, Labor Day -- like so many holidays -- has been commercialized with Labor Day sales, barbeques and beer. Somehow, the notion of work and its contribution to society has been lost. Continue reading...

Army chaplain turns journal entries into book of devotions

Army chaplain’s journal becomes book of devotions

Subscriber onlyThe United States Military is engaged in a great and noble task in Afghanistan and Iraq. Sadly, as of yet, it has not progressed as many had hoped it would. The best intentions have resulted in many deaths and not the progress or restoration of justice that was expected. Continue reading...

On the list: Berryville town square named to historic register

Subscriber onlyBruce Plumlee remembers time he spent on the Berryville square as a teenager. Fifteen or 20 teens would hang out there most of the night -- until 4 or 5 a.m., he recalled. Continue reading...

Cheese monger

Local cheese maker shares characterisitics of cheese

Subscriber onlyJessica Keahey really likes cheese. Continue reading...

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