Web apps target the faithful
Want to worship God? There's an app for that

By LaReeca Rucker

With more than 100,000 phone applications to choose from, it makes sense that some created for Apple products would target the religious community.

New Albany native John Hugh Tate, a Harvard Divinity School graduate who helped found Jackson's Bellwether United Methodist Church congregation in 2007, has owned an iPhone about a year and a half.

About three months ago, he downloaded Holy Bible, an iPhone app that enables users to read the Bible when they're on the go.

"It's been helpful," he said. "You're always carrying your phone; you're not always carrying your Bible or devotionals. You can use it anytime. It has the Bible in all translations, devotions and Bible studies."

Search the iPhone's app store and you'll find a variety of religious applications, including some that enable users to send a "personal note" to God, keep track of holidays and explore a variety of faiths.

Others suggest Bible verses based on emotions, while some recommend song selections for worship services.

You can "light" an electronic version of the Sacred Heart of Jesus candle or a Menorah on your phone with some. Or download an electronic rosary and read e-versions of the Bible, Torah, Quran, Bhagavad Gita, etc.

Feeling spiritually grateful? Press the "Hallelujah Button" to hear sounds of praise.

College Drive Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Javier Diaz said he's a "techy" at heart.

"As an avid iPhone user, I use several of these apps such as 'YouVersion,' 'ESV-Bible' and 'Logos.' I am reading the entire Bible through my phone.)

All three apps Diaz mentioned are for reading the Bible. "Logos" can access 30 versions. The company launched an iPad version of the app last week. And "YouVersion" has more than 20 reading plans for daily selections. You can
search the entire Bible for a word, phrase or verse and get results in seconds.

Bill Hawks, associate pastor and education minister at Ridgeland's Highland Colony Baptist Church, uses both.

"It's great for devotional use or for just having a Bible with you at all times," he said. "I recently started using the Logos app, which allows me to sync with the digital library I use on my PC."

Pastor Tom Singleton, of Ridgeland Family Church, is also a fan of YouVersion. "It has numerous translations and reading plans," he said.

Religious apps

Other religious apps you may find interesting include:

iTalk to God - This app facilitates a personal conversation between you and God. Select one of 70 emotions that describe how you feel and let God answer through Bible verses.

Note to God - The non-denominational application allows the user to enter a personal note to God digitally. Every note is stored anonymously. Users can read the notes of others to see what people are praying about.

Hallelujah Button - Hallelujah is one of the most commonly used praise words around the world, and this e-button for the iPhone can be used to show gratitude.

Holy Rosary - With all Rosary prayers from the official Vatican Web site, you can view each in four display styles. Make it more personal by changing the color of the rosary beads. Touch the current bead, and it will highlight and enlarge for prayer, or tap the arrow to move to the next bead. Each bead is marked with a number so you can easily monitor your progress through the Rosary.

Song Suggest - Designed by worship leaders for worship leaders, the app gives you 600 worship song ideas.

Jesus Candle - Jesus Candle is a virtual votive candle for your iPhone. With a realistic flicker, it is a rendition of the iconic Sacred Heart of Jesus candle.

Hebrew Calendar - This app provides a Hebrew calendar with Jewish holidays and enables you to mark events, such as anniversaries, appointments, birthdays, holidays and meetings.

Interfaith Explorer -Read and search the world's global religions in more than 20 languages. The app includes more than 5,000 books and documents regularly updated with access to the latest translations. Religions include the Baha'i Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Sikh and Zoroastrian.

iMenorah - Take part in the ancient tradition of lighting the Menorah with this application. Light candles with the touch of a finger.

iQuran - The app offers its users the complete Quran and verse-by-verse translation and recitation.

Bhagavad Gita - This app aims to provide a quick pocket reference and memorization-aid for the verses of the Bhagavad Gita.