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Faith & Parish

Solar program to power up Stockton, Calif., diocese

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Collection baskets, fish fries and charity auctions are common ways Catholics financially support their parishes. In Stockton, Calif., they can now add solar power to the list.

On Saturday, the Stockton diocese officially launched a new project aimed at spreading solar energy in the community, while at the same time reducing electricity bills and raising funds for the local church.

At church rally, community pours out support for Michael Brown's family

Civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton told a packed church on Sunday that the Michael Brown case would mark a defining moment in civil rights history and fundamentally change the way police engage with the African-American community.

"Michael Brown is going to change this town," Sharpton said to a massive, boisterous crowd that clapped and shouted in response.

Special U.S. collection urged to help those suffering in Middle East

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The president of the U.S. bishops' conference on Tuesday asked Catholic bishops across the country to take up a special collection for humanitarian needs and pastoral support for Christians and other victims of violence in the Middle East.

Amid the ongoing crisis in what is "the cradle of Christianity," the Catholic church "mourns the terrible suffering of Christians and other innocent victims of violence in Iraq, Syria and Gaza who are struggling to survive, protect their children and live with dignity in dire conditions," said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky.

The Bibles are back: Navy lodges scuttle removal plan

The Gideon Bibles are going back in the Navy's nightstand drawers.

In June, the U.S. Navy ordered housekeepers at thousands of Navy-owned guest lodges near U.S. and international bases to remove the Bibles and any other "religious materials" from their rooms. Scriptures would remain available on request.

But public outcry, prompted last week by a social media alert from the American Family Association and protests by the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, led the brass to reverse course Friday.

Across America, silent vigils in Michael Brown's memory

In cities large and small, people across America came together to silently remember Michael Brown, a teen none knew in life but whose death sparked a wave of unrest in his Missouri hometown and raised questions about racial profiling and police militarization.

Attendees wore red ribbons to honor Brown, 18, at Thursday evening rallies from Maine to Michigan, Florida to New York, Vermont, Colorado and California.

Many shared their stories of alleged police brutality, and called for a new compact between officers and civilians.

Prayer discount no longer on the menu at North Carolina diner

A Winston-Salem, N.C., diner will no longer dish out discounts along with dinner to praying customers.

Mary's Gourmet Diner had been offering a 15 percent discount for customers seen offering grace before meals during the past four years.

The practice went under the radar until a Christian music radio station in Orlando, Fla., uploaded a photo of a receipt with the discount to Facebook on July 30. Then it went viral.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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