First United Methodist commemorates Good Friday

A black cloth wrapped on a cross at First United Methodist Church of Talladega commemorates the day of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The black cloth will be replaced on Easter Sunday with a white cloth. The placement of a white cloth on the cross on Easter Sunday represents the purity and wholeness demonstrated through Christ’s resurrection.

The all-powerful Pew Research Center has released a new study of religion in America that, according to its website, "looks at beliefs and behaviors that cut across many religious identities, producing a new and revealing classification, or typology, of religion in America. The new typology sorts U.S. adults into seven cohesive groups based on their answers to 16 questions about their religious and spiritual beliefs and practices, the value they place on religion, and the ways they find meaning and fulfillment in life." In other words, it's not as simple as identifying merely as a Christian or a Jew or a non-believer.

If you're reading this, you likely fall into one of these categories:

--Sunday Stalwarts.

--God-and-Country Believers.

--Diversely Devout.

--Relaxed Religious.

--Spiritually Awake.

--Religion Resisters.

--Solidly Secular.

Pew writes: "While these typology groups were assembled without regard to religious affiliation, it is still revealing to analyze the religious composition of each group. Each has its distinguishing markers, but none of the typology groups is religiously uniform, and every major religious tradition is represented within multiple typology groups. Sunday Stalwarts, for example, are largely Protestant but also include Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Jews. And while most Solidly Seculars are religiously unaffiliated, their ranks also include Americans who identify as Protestants, Catholics and Jews, among others."

-- Phillip Tutor