Religion Unplugged

Reflections on a reporting trip to Alaska, plus all the week’s top religion news

By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged

Editor’s note: Every Friday, “Weekend Plug-in” features analysis, fact checking and top headlines from the world of faith. Subscribe now to get this newsletter delivered straight to your inbox. Got feedback or ideas? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — On my first reporting trip to Alaska several years ago, I saw a moose by the highway and stopped to take a picture.

On a quick visit to the Last Frontier this past week, the only moose I personally encountered was the one that greeted me at the airport.

A moose at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

I didn’t spot any bears either, except for the two behind glass in my hotel lobby.

Still, I enjoyed the breathtaking scenery — who doesn’t love snow-capped mountains? — and the opportunity to delve into two compelling religion stories firsthand.

My piece for on an Anchorage church with members from Ukraine, Russia and other Slavic nations was published this morning. It focuses on that Russian-speaking congregation’s work to help Ukrainians fleeing their homes.

For The Christian Chronicle, I covered the first Alaska State Lectureship in three years. COVID-19 had prompted the cancellation of the previous two annual lectureships. Members of the state’s scattered-but-interconnected Churches of Christ were elated to be back together.

My favorite interview was with a couple in their 80s who live 26 miles above the Arctic Circle. Ron and Zona Hogan use a phone translation app to communicate in Spanish with newcomers from the Dominican Republic who attend their home church.

It’s good stuff.

I hope you’ll check it out.

Read the full column.

This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.

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