Eby Kurian will speak to the Friendswood Prayer Breakfast which begins at 7:10 a.m. Aug. 17 at Mary Queen Catholic Church, 606 Cedarwood Drive in Friendswood.

Kurian serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation there and has served as a campus minister and a communications manager for various Catholic agencies.”

“Eby has been an inspiration to our parish,” said lay leader Carmelo Gomez for the church. “I have attended all of his new faith programs and have appreciated his efforts and fresh ideas. I pray our Friendswood prayer community will enjoy his talk.”

There’s a suggested $5 to cover the cost of breakfast.

For reservations for details, call 713-408-4785.

Texas City’s Greater Macedonia Baptist Church will host a Praise Celebration at 5 p.m. Saturday at 401 3rd. Ave. N. A number of local praise singing groups as well as youth choirs will perform.

“You will be blessed,” said Minister Jeff Maxey for Greater. “Come out and help us glorify our Lord and savior Jesus with song and dance. It’s a back-to-school praise celebration where praise teams and youth choirs will come together worshiping in the spirit of unity.”

For details, call 409-948-3993.

Update: It might feel like faith is losing out to Facebook, but there may be hope according to a new note in Christianity Today magazine.

“For the first time in at least a decade, Americans now view churches and other religious organizations more favorably than the technology companies whose services and devices denominate daily life,” the publication reported last week.

Speculation was that perceived privacy violations by large tech firms had dimmed their luster with the public more than a little bit.

In the news: Christian thinkers like Albert Mohler may be rightly concerned that Christian colleges and para-church organizations could lose their tax exemptions under a future, politically-correct administration, but in Europe, the exact opposite has been true for centuries. Rather than taxing churches, the government rewards them with tax dollars.

Six nations in Europe tax some citizens to directly support their state churches. Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Finland all have an extremely different take on ‘church and state’ when it comes to taxes and their official, national churches.

Surprisingly, the taxes are routinely accepted and approved in each country with up to 80 percent of those paying such fees — which they could escape by simply deregistering from the state church. In addition to the direct taxes on members, an additional subsidy is often provided to these churches provided from the national government.

In England, no such arrangement exists, but there is a law on the books that allows about half of all residences to be levied if the local Anglican house of worship needs repair.

The Guardian newspaper notes one specific case, reporting, “In 2008, one couple in the West Midlands was forced to pay more than £200,000 towards the upkeep of their parish church after an appeal to the House of Lords failed.”

For details, search for “Pew Research” online.

Events for Faith Focus should be submitted at least two weeks in advance. Rick Cousins can be reached at rick.cousins@galvnews.com.

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