Recommit to Your New Year's Resolutions
As we ring in the new year, millions of people make resolutions to change their lives for the better, hoping to lose weight, quit smoking, spend more time with their families or make other life improvements. The Web can aid you on your journey, with advice, resources and inspiration that will help you follow through with—or recommit to—your New Year's resolutions.
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If you want to spend the upcoming year getting more in touch with your spiritual side, let the Internet be your guide. There are Web sites to help you understand the beliefs and teachings of your religion, and others to help you find a nearby place of worship. The section also has specific sites for Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Mormonism.
- Once you've visited a site that has information about a church or volunteer organization, you might want to make a phone call to get more information before you simply show up at services for the first time.
For general religion resources …
covers dozens of the world’s religions in detail, featuring information on ethics, customs, holy days, important texts, and people.
features the “House of Worship Locator
” that can locate a church in your area. Select your city, state, and denomination and discover your options. Or scroll down to the “Additional Locators” section to get information on other religions by selecting from the list of links. You'll be redirected to a site that offers similar services for other places of worship.
For Christianity …
Church On the Net
is tailored specifically to those new to Christianity. Straightforward explanations of the history, beliefs, and practices of Christianity are the base of this new site, which also features articles, community forums, blogs, and a "Lookup Jargon” jargon-buster to help you understand unfamiliar terms (find the link on the right). All articles and explanations are followed by a number of "Go Deeper" links to multimedia or other sites that let you further explore the issues and topics raised.
is a powerful reference tool that gives you access to many versions of the holy text in several languages. Use the “Quick search” tool to find a specific passage or to search for those on a certain theme. The advanced search options below the “Quick search” allow you more options, such as a quotation lookup, as well as a way to restrict your search to specific Bible versions or books. You can also add BibleGateway.com
's search tool to your own Web site.
For Catholicism …
is written by a convert to the faith and is a practical and educational guide to Catholicism for the neophyte. Although aimed at the new or verging convert, its categories, navigable through the left sidebar, provide good resources for anyone interested in the religion, whether for practical or scholarly reasons.
is a powerful resource for anyone needing clarification of details about the Catholic faith. On the top right corner of the page, you'll find links to its Catholic encyclopedia, "Summa Theologica," "The Holy Bible," the "Catholic Library," and more.
lets you search for Catholic parishes by name, city, state, zip code, pastor, and notably area code or phone number. You can also get a listing of all parishes in a particular Diocese, locating that Diocese through a list or a clickable map of the United States. Links to more informative pages for each parish are provided, including Mass schedules, contact info, and Yahoo maps showing the locations.
For Judaism …
is written from an Orthodox perspective but does a good job of educating on all aspects of Judaism. Searchable and organized by topic, all the content headings are tagged for their level of difficulty, so whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or advanced in your knowledge of Judaism, you'll find interesting and appropriate articles on this broad and comprehensive site.
Navigating the Bible II
has an excellent Torah tool that displays the original Hebrew with n'kudot (vowel marks) section by section alongside the English translation and transliteration. Clicking on the speaker symbol next to any Hebrew line plays an audio recording of the line being read aloud. This tool is also available with Russian and Spanish translations. Further explore the site for additional tools for Torah study, genealogy, the Jewish calendar, and more.
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
allows users to search for local Conservative Jewish places to worship. Click your state on the map or enter your city or zip code below it to get an extensive listing of area synagogues. Symbols next to synagogue names indicate times of prayer services and the size of the synagogue's membership.
The Union for Reform Judaism
includes a directory of Reform Jewish places of prayer by state, regional office, NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth) region, or a search criterion of your choice.
For Islam …
features an online Quran tool, a remarkable resource for anyone interested in the Quran at any level. This easily navigable and usable applet lets you jump to any point in the Quran and display the passage of your choice. Choose from a number of different translations to show alongside the original Arabic, and listen to one of five beautiful recitations. The ability to have it automatically repeat a passage recitation multiple times turns this into a valuable Quran memorization tool as well. Get to the applet by clicking on the "Launch Quran Explorer
" link, but ignore the rest of the site features, as they don't function well.
uses easy search features and Google Maps to help you find a mosque anywhere in the country (and around the world). Its mosque profiles contain information on hours, facilities (including gender barriers), and reviews by other users.
For Buddhism …
The World Buddhist Directory
is a BuddhaNet project that has gathered Buddhist centers and organizations from around the world into a single database. Begin your search by clicking on the world map, or take advantage of the more robust searchable database on the right side of the page. Specify your country then narrow your search by state or province, or by Buddhist tradition. A list of organizations with contact information is provided.
For Hinduism …
is an extensive source on the religion, covering basic and more advanced topics on Hinduism, as well as Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism. Don’t miss this very helpful page pinpointing the differences between Hinduism and Buddhism
. Included in the vast resources here are articles on Hindu theology, translations of sacred texts, and Hindu news.
The Hindu Universe
features a very large number of Hindu listings. There are educational institutions, organizations, and temples, for example. As you click on one of the categories, it will further divide up the links into more categories, making it a bit less overwhelming. Each link also contains a short description.
For Mormonism …
is an official Web site of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It provides an in-depth approach to all aspects of the religion, catering to both newcomers and longtime members of the Church. The site should answer most of your questions about Mormon beliefs and family values. For the easiest site navigation, use the category headings at the top of the homepage.
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