I have decided to try out a weekly "Writing on Religion" column format. Over the more than seven years I have been religion editor at the Banner, I have occasionally written columns for this space. These were not to compete with the Speaking of Religion columns from local clergy that frequently run here but to express things I wanted to highlight or get off my chest.

Now, I feel called to try out writing weekly roundup column featuring items both near and far. This first effort will include two categories I hope to continue: Quote of the Week and Religion Factoid. There may well be more categories added going forward.

Well, here goes....

Northshire interfaith food program touted: Thanks to Kathleen Moore, who informed me through Twitter that a local interfaith summer lunch program has been included on the Huffington Post’s list of 100 examples of how religion can still of force for good in the world. Here is the write up:

"Feeding kids, one lunch bag at a time

"The Arlington Sandgate Sunderland Summer Lunch Program is the joint endeavor of several schools and churches in Vermont which provides a bag of fixings for a week’s worth of lunches to students in the area. The bags are distributed through the Federated Church of East Arlington and St. James’ Episcopal Church and are available to children in the community every week.


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You can read more about this program on this page in the Federated Church of East Arlington’s item in the "Religion News in Brief" section.

Religion Factoid: The number of religiously unaffiliated people in China, about 700 million, is more than twice the total population of the United States. (Source: The Global Religious Landscape, 2012, the Pew Religion & Public Life Project.)

Quote of the Week: "The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all." Karl Rahner, German theologian, (1904-1984).

Mark E. Rondeau is the Banner’s County News Editor and Religion Editor. He can be reached at mrondeau@benningtonbanner.com. Twitter: @banner_religion