Churches honor marriages, explore truth

Married couples will be honored at a celebration at St. Joseph's

Marriage is an important institution in American society. For
proof of this assertion, one need look no farther than the legal
case concerning same-sex marriage currently being heard in a San
Francisco courtroom.
Marriage is an important institution in American society. For proof of this assertion, one need look no farther than the legal case concerning same-sex marriage currently being heard in a San Francisco courtroom.

The ideal situation is for a marriage to be permanent, “’til death do us part,” in the words of a traditional rite. However, the fact is that approximately half of all first marriages end in divorce, and there is an even higher failure rate for succeeding marriages.

With this in mind, many churches attempt to support couples as they share their lives together. An example of this effort is an annual event sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose.

For the past decade, Bishop Patrick J. McGrath has held a 25 and 50+ Silver and Golden Wedding Anniversary Celebration at the historic Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, 80 S. Market St. in downtown San Jose. This year it will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 30.

More than 100 couples are expected to be in attendance at a special Mass to renew their wedding vows and receive a blessing from Bishop McGrath, who will preside over the celebration. Each couple will also receive a certificate signed by the bishop. A short reception will follow the liturgy.

Any Catholic couple celebrating a 25th, 40th or 50th (or more) anniversary this year and would like more information should call (408) 983-0128 or visit http://bit.ly/anniversary2010.

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Closer to home, Gilroy’s First Baptist Church invites local residents to a series of 14 educational sessions to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday evenings. While the program began Jan. 10, there is still ample time to participate since the last session will be April 25.

The Truth Project was created by Focus on the Family, a well-known radio and television ministry. This local course will be taught by Haran and Joy Schoming, members of the congregation who have in the past facilitated several courses for the community, including one that investigated the world’s major religions.

The Truth Project came about because of a research study showing that only nine percent of professing Christians have a biblical world view. The implication: “Today’s believers live very similarly to non believers, losing their bearing, beginning to wonder what life’s purpose is.”

The class includes a DVD-based small group curriculum taught by Dr. Del Tackett, a seminary professor and former director of technical planning for the National Security Council. Each lesson discusses “the relevance and importance of living the Christian world view in daily life.”

Issues addressed include these topics, each discussed in a separate session called a “tour”:

– “Veritology”: What is truth?

– Ethics: Says who?

– Anthropology: Who is man?

– Theology: Who is God?

– Science: Intelligent design versus Darwin’s theory of evolution

The material of this thought-provoking course explains the relevance of the Bible today at a level appropriate for high school students through senior citizens. There is no cost to participate, though there is a $1 suggested donation to cover notes and refreshments. Free childcare is provided. Since the classes are held in private homes, please call the church office at (408) 847-6000 to learn the location and reserve a space.

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