First Sunday in Advent. The key virtue for Christians is simple: "Be watchful! Be alert!"
Like so many others Monday night, the congregants at West Side Missionary Baptist Church were glued to televisions as a grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case was announced.
One woman sobbed in her chair as she learned that police Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the fatal shooting.
Then, with the press conference far from over, the church's television went dark. And the congregants at the church turned instead to prayer and preaching.
Within seconds, the Rev. Starsky Wilson was at the pulpit, calling for "contrary folk."
Even though the crowd was smaller than in the past, the spirit remained powerful for the 2,000 people who came to the gathering.
Financial records for the archdiocese show a $9 million deficit in operating activities for the 2014 fiscal year and uncertainty about the costs of its sexual abuse scandal.
Faith and Justice: The meeting fits in well with Pope Francis' desire to have a conversation in the church about family in preparation for the next Synod of Bishops.
While the timing of the grand jury decision involving the Michael Brown shooting remained uncertain, Catholic schools in the Ferguson area were already prepared in case the ruling comes down with classes in session.
"We have our safety plan in place," said Addie Govero, the principal at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School.
Blessed Teresa is about two miles from the site of Brown's death and subsequent unrest. Our Lady of Guadalupe School is only slightly farther away -- about two and a half miles.
Analysis: Church leaders lament the loss in numbers in Latin America. However, many missionaries would see this as a wake-up call.
People find Jesus' sex life endlessly fascinating and plausible. Why is that? Here are five reasons.
At his installation as the ninth archbishop of Chicago on Tuesday, Archbishop Blase Cupich urged the congregation at Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral to fearlessly share their faith recognizing that God calls them "to more" and "to greater things."
Before an overflow crowd, the archbishop said he had "a bit of a panic attack" when he saw the day's Gospel reading was about Jesus walking on water and calling his disciples to follow him.
"These are matters that affect all families ... We want to focus next year not just on the neuralgic sexual issues that seem to dominate the American media."