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A former barber and longtime pastor celebrates his 100th birthday | Local News


Floyd Marasco celebrated his 100th birthday on Monday as he was serenaded with a “Happy Birthday” chorus by some of his fellow residents at Presbyterian Senior Care in Southmont, Washington.

But for the former Tylerdale barber and longtime pastor of Friendship Community Church, it was just another day.

Light the World Launch of Giving Machines in Utah


Light the World Giving Machines returned to Utah for the 2022 Christmas season. Festivities were held at University Place in Orem, Utah – one of 28 slots around the world — on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, to unveil the bright red vending machines.

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“The holiday is the perfect time for us to recognize the true gift of Jesus Christ to the world and to our lives and the gifts we offer in commemoration of his birth,” Elder said. Evan A. SchmutzGeneral Authority Seventy and member of the Utah Area Presidency, who shared a Christmas message at the Orem event.

The unique machines, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, provide the public with a fun and memorable opportunity to donate and serve local and international charities during the holidays.

“It just gives you a good feeling of being able to give to people. This is why our Savior would have us used to help one another. And that’s what we want to do,” said Orem resident Ann Helms.

“I bought a warm blanket,” said Emma Ashcraft, 15, who was with her family to buy several items from one of the machines, including a backpack and meals for those in need.

“Even if it’s just a cover, it’s something someone needs. So donating the easiest thing is diapers and/or a blanket or whatever I think is very important to someone who might need it,” added donor Christy Rogers.

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The Tuesday night rally in Utah County was hosted by local Church leaders and featured music from Latter-day Saint recording artists Truman Brothers, Utah. Local community and government leaders as well as representatives of charities were on hand to unbox the machines. Launch events were also held at City Creek earlier in the day in downtown Salt Lake City.

“These giving machines give us a great opportunity to come and light the world, to give a little, to feel a lot, and to be part of the light where we can do it together,” said Jeanette Bennett, board member of United Way administration. of Utah County.

Local food pantries and other nonprofits have noticed a recent increase in requests for help.

“This year, I can tell you that over the past three months, we’ve seen a record number of people apply,” said Brent Crane, executive director of the Food and Care Coalition of Provo. “Previously, we had our usual clientele and maybe a handful of new candidates every day. Now, several dozen new applicants apply every day, from housing to mental health support to… food.

“The Giving Machines will help us provide year-round food to families in need,” added Karen McCandless, Executive Director of Community Action Services and Food Bank in Provo.

“When you’re hungry, it’s hard to think, it’s hard to be happy, it’s hard to serve. And so, hopefully that feeds somewhere and makes them happy and loved,” Bennett said.

This year, nearly 125 local and global nonprofit organizations have joined the Church to serve millions in need. One hundred percent of the money raised is donated to non-profit organizations including African girls hope, American Red Cross, Church World Service, iDE, Lifting Hands International, International mentors, UNHCR, UNICEF, water for people and World Food Program USA. Inside each Giving Machine are items such as food, drinking water, health services, shelter, bedding, hygiene kits, job training, school supplies, beehives and beehives. cattle.

Since 2017, Giving Machines has raised US$15 million for humanitarian organizations in local communities and around the world. The machines will run to help people in need until January 1, 2023.

The Church invites people everywhere to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and follow his teaching to share our light with others. To learn more about the Light the World initiative, Giving Machines, or what you can do to light up the world this Christmas season, please visit LighttheWorld.org.

The first of the Light the World Giving Machines for the 2022 Christmas season are now operating in Flagstaff, Gilbert and Glendale, Arizona; Honolulu Hawaii; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Houston, TX; Mexico City, Mexico; and Manila, Philippines. A mobile donation machine will pass through five cities in the southeastern United States, starting with St. Augustine, Florida this week.

To find a Giving Machine near you or donate online, visit LightTheWorld.org/donate.

In Baltimore, subtle signs of a change of era for the American bishops


At the start of the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Pope Francis’ ambassador invited reflection on the state of the Church: “Where are we? asked Bishop Christophe Pierre in his address to the assembled bishops. “Where are we going?”

To the first question, the bishops seemed to respond that they consider that now is the time to focus on internal issues related to governance and unity among themselves. While the meeting touched on a range of broader cultural and political issues, their public agenda was largely dominated by internal concerns such as prayer book translations, budgets and plans for pastoral initiatives, and taking into account the candidates for sainthood.

The most watched indicator of future direction (“Where are we going?”) was the bishops’ election of Archbishop Timothy Broglio, a 70-year-old conference secretary, to a three-year term as conference president. The Ohio native is a former Vatican diplomat who has spent the past 15 years leading the US Archdiocese for military service.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the week was the choice of bishops for the post of vice president: Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, 71.

For the second election in a row, the bishops decided to elect a vice president too close to the mandatory retirement age of 75, ensuring that their choice would not be qualified to assume the seat of president in three years.

In recent decades, the conference has elected vice presidents to the presidency, with a few exceptions. One was the last election in 2019, when the bishops elected Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit, then 71, who was also ineligible to be elected president this time around.

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for military services, smiles during a press conference Nov. 15, 2022 after being elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at the general assembly autumn of the bishops in Baltimore. (SNC Photo/Bob Roller)

Several bishops have said Angelus that Archbishop Lori’s age was a factor in the vote, suggesting his vice-presidency was a deliberate move by the body to avoid committing to a single leader beyond the next three years.

“Why do we have to decide this now?” one bishop remarked privately.

A few others, like Bishop Michael Sis of San Angelo, have suggested that succession planning is the farthest thing from the minds of bishops.

“We don’t really care about that,” Bishop Sis told Angelus in an interview. “There is already enough continuity through [the conference’s] staff and committee chairs.

Whatever the collective thinking, there were other subtle indicators of an era shift for the conference.

Inside the meeting room, long rows of classroom-style tables have been replaced with round tables to encourage what the conference called “fraternal dialogues.” More of the meeting took place behind closed doors in “executive session” than in previous years, out of sight of guests and members of the media.

The changes were widely welcomed by bishops and seen as reflecting a style more in tune with the ongoing “Synod on Synodality” and Pope Francis’ push for what he calls a more “listening” Church. .

For Catholic media in attendance, this year’s meeting was the last to be covered by the bishops’ news agency Catholic News Service (CNS), which announced in May that it would cease operations in the United States at the end of of the year.

A new agency, run by Indiana-based Catholic publisher Our Sunday Visitor, will launch in January, aiming to fill a similar role. But the signs of a shrinking Catholic media market are hard to ignore. Since the CNS announcement, several bishops have said they will shut down their news publications, including Catholic New York, the largest diocesan newspaper, which delivered his latest issue the same week as the bishops’ meeting.

Archbishop of Detroit Allen H. Vigneron, outgoing vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, outgoing president, attend a November 15, 2022 session of the autumn general assembly of the episcopal conference in Baltimore. Also pictured is Fr. Michael Fuller, General Secretary. (SNC Photo/Bob Roller)

The conference’s outgoing president, Archbishop José H. Gomez, also sounded the note for change. In his last address to his brother bishops, he recalled a now famous phrase from Pope Francis: “Our time is not a time of change, but a change of age.

“Our society has evolved rapidly towards uncompromising secularism; traditional norms and values ​​are being tested like never before,” the Archbishop said.

Saying that “the trials of this age are spiritual,” Bishop Gomez called for new efforts to “open all doors to Jesus Christ, to shine his light in all areas of our culture and society. He also urged “a bold pastoral strategy to communicate the Gospel, to use all media platforms to turn hearts and minds to Christ, to call our people to be great saints.”

The new president, Archbishop Broglio, told reporters he planned to continue “the good example” of leadership set by his predecessor. He dismissed questions raised about his own record, in particular his time spent working for the former Vatican secretary of state. Cardinal Angelo Sodanoaccused of covering up the sexual abuse of the late Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ.

“Hindsight is always 20/20,” said Bishop Broglio, who suggested his office was not the only one misled by the Mexican priest. “A lot of things we learned now were definitely not known then.”

The Baltimore gathering marked the first meeting of bishops since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe vs. Wade, an outcome for which they had spent years leading American Catholics in prayer. But the U.S. midterm elections held a week earlier — in which choice advocates claimed victory over five abortion-related state ballot measures — signaled to some bishops that there are had a lot of work to do to build a cultural consensus to restrict abortions.

Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of Crookston, Minnesota, center, and other bishops pray during a November 16, 2022 session of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore. (SNC Photo/Bob Roller)

The bishops also acknowledged tensions with President Biden, the country’s first Catholic president in six decades. In remarks to the media after his election, Bishop Broglio openness expressed to meet President Joe Biden: “If he wants to meet me, I’ll be happy to meet him.”

While abortion emerged as the most important “where we are” issue discussed at the meeting, the bishops’ hopes for the future direction of the Church seemed tied to their “Eucharistic Renewal” initiative and the synod on synodality.

The prize for the revival’s final event, a three-day national Eucharistic convention in Indianapolis in the summer of 2024, has been halved from $28 million to $14 million thanks to donor support and the fundraiser, Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of Crookston, Minnesota announced. , who leads the USCCB committee leading the revival. The congress will encourage pilgrimages to Indianapolis from four sites in the United States, Bishop Cozzens said.

The bishops were also updated on the progress of the ongoing synod on synodality. After more than 30,000 listening sessions across the United States, the process is now heading into its “continental phase” of consultations, consisting of 10 Zoom meetings involving union delegates from the United States and Canada.

“While admitting that the process was not perfect, we learned a lot and can do better in the future,” said Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, who reported to the bishops on the process so far. ‘now.

In his address to the bishops, Archbishop Pierre hailed both initiatives as opportunities for evangelization. He said the new continental phase of the synod “requires discernment,” but acknowledged that “at last the Church in the United States is beginning to think and live synodally.”

Recognizing the challenges and uncertainties facing the global Church and bishops in their own dioceses, the nuncio warned them not to “lock themselves into ‘crisis thinking’ and ‘crisis talk’. ”

“If we look at history, in God’s providential design, the Church constantly lives and emerges from such experiences of anguish,” he reminded them. “Times of crisis can allow us to discern the presence of the Lord and refocus on mission and where we are going together.

Plainfield Church prepares to serve Thanksgiving at 2,000


By Chris Moon

The members of Plainfield Christian Church near Indianapolis are busy this week.

The church is sponsoring its 18th Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner, with more than 180 volunteers expecting to serve 2,000 meals.

The meal is open to all, but the church always seeks to serve those who cannot afford the expense of a large holiday dinner and those who have no one to celebrate Thanksgiving with.

“That’s our goal, to meet the needs of our community,” said Marsha Huckstepwhich hosts the annual Thanksgiving dinner for the church, which has an average attendance of about 1,300 people.

The meal is a colossal undertaking. It was started by a local chef who has since passed on his recipes and know-how to others.


Huckstep knows every step of the preparation process. In fact, she almost has a science of it. It’s more like this:

The Saturday before Thanksgiving, Huckstep prepares all the cranberry relish for the meal. She spends the day in front of a huge electric kettle. Huckstep does this job alone. . . but help is on the way.


On Sunday, families gather at the church to begin assembling the boxes that will contain the takeout and delivery meals. Volunteers also pack the silverware that is in each box. They also set up the delivery area at the church.

“You start on Sunday and progress through the project,” Huckstep said.

On Mondays, volunteers wrap buns and make cranberry relish.

A house group spends Monday evening cooking vegetables: celery, carrots and onions. They add spices. It will be used later in the week.

On Tuesday, volunteers broke 4,000 ounces of bread donated by a local bread company. Volunteers receive tray after tray of bread. Once broken, it is divided into batches which will go into the dressing.

Wednesday is a big cooking day. Five men come to church to carve turkeys – 76 large turkey roasts, weighing up to 11 pounds each.

The volunteers also prepare the sweet potatoes and the dressing, among other things. Two teams of volunteers are needed to make the dressing.


On Thanksgiving morning, work starts early: cooking green beans and sweet potatoes and preparing the rest of the dinner.

The meal is served at a local community center. Typically, around 400 people come for the sit-down meal, which is served like a restaurant.

The 2020 seated dinner has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. About 200 people came to the sit-down meal last year, and Huckstep expects more to show up this year as things return to normal.

Volunteers also deliver meals. They delivered 500 meals directly to people’s homes last year.

The church also offers a drive-thru option for those wishing to pick up their meals. It was very popular. About 1,000 people opt for it.


Huckstep said some families come year after year.

She recalled a family who came to the dinner after recently moving to the community when the husband took a new job there. But he lost that job unexpectedly, and Thanksgiving was tough.

Things were better the following year; Yet one of the children in the family remembered the church’s Thanksgiving dinner and suggested they go back. They did it.

Now this family is volunteering for the meal.

In total, about one-sixth of the Plainfield Christian Church congregation serves Thanksgiving dinner in some capacity. And this is in addition to the financial commitment of the church.

“It was the people in our church who put their money out there and said, ‘Yeah, our community needs this,'” Huckstep said. “I so appreciate that people in our church believe in this and are a help to people.”

Riley Weaver, the CCP’s minister for global and local impact, said the community Thanksgiving dinner has always been run by volunteers. The church provides logistical and financial support. But it is the volunteers who make this possible.

The event is marketed throughout the community and on social media. Leaflets are distributed to children via elementary schools. The church is also working with the local electricity company to put flyers on customers’ electricity bills.

The church begins looking for volunteers within the congregation in October. Staff members write prayers on each box of food that comes out. Volunteers do the rest.

“I think it’s amazing that we have a team of volunteers at our church saying, ‘I’m going to give up this family holiday and serve people on Thanksgiving,'” Weaver said.

Chris Moon is a pastor and writer living in Redstone, Colorado.

Catholic Bishops of Rwanda and Burundi Express Solidarity with Congolese Amid Insecurity


The DRC is experiencing violent clashes in the East, particularly in the regions of Ituri, Kasaï and Kivu, Global Conflict Tracker reported.

Dozens of armed groups are believed to be operating in the Central African nation’s eastern region despite the presence of more than 16,000 UN peacekeepers.

On November 14, the Local Ordinary of the Diocese of Wamba in the DRC announcement a peaceful march against insecurity in the eastern region of the country which will be undertaken by its episcopal see.

“Through this peaceful march, we are going to show the world that we are tired of repeated wars in the east of the country,” the Bishop said. January Kataka Luvete said in reference to the march scheduled for December 4.

He added: “It is also a way of expressing our attachment to the unity and integrity of the national territory”.

The Congolese Bishop added: “We must show that those who are to the east of the neighboring countries of the DRC, and all those who are in cahoots with the aggressors in Ituri, are accomplices in the destabilization of our country” .

On November 10, the Catholic bishops of the DRC expressed concern on insecurity in the country and called for collective action to restore peace.

In their collective statement, the members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) highlighted the cases of insecurity recorded in the country in recent times and called for collective responsibility to restore peace in the country.

“We are concerned about the deteriorating security in our country and moved by our prophetic mission to sound the alarm on the danger facing our country and the responsibility of all of us,” CENCO members said. in their message published at the end. of their Extraordinary Plenary Assembly from 7 to 9 November in Kinshasa.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist passionate about the communication of the Catholic Church. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude is a journalist for ACI Africa.

Church donates former meeting place to Community Food Basket


After more than 15 years at its current location, the Community Food Basket – Idaho Falls is moving to a new building donated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The meeting location is located at 351 W. 14th St. in Idaho Falls. The building measures 17,389 square feet, which is 13 times the size of the Community Food Basket’s current location.

“We’re excited to have more space to operate,” said Ariel Jackson, executive director of the Community Food Basket. “We are currently serving more people than we saw at the height of the pandemic in a space that is simply not large enough to accommodate food, volunteers and customers comfortably and safely.”

Jackson reported that in 2017, the Community Food Basket served 2,500 emergency boxes to families in need. In 2021, more than 13,000 first aid boxes were distributed.

The larger building will not only improve the ability to wrap and process donations, but also improve the safety of customers and volunteers.

“We are excited to have the ability to bring those who come to us for help, from queuing in the extreme weather conditions of Idaho to an indoor area that will be both hot and fresh when needed,” Jackson said.

Although the new building is welcomed with gratitude, some changes and additions need to be made. According to Jackson, they need accessibility ramps and a dock out back for unloading trucks. Removing carpets and adding solid flooring where food will be stored are also on the list of renovations.

The church building dates back to the 1950s and has not functioned as a place of worship for at least 10 years.

“We are grateful to The Food Basket for its many years of dedicated service helping food insecure individuals and families and for the opportunity to repurpose this building in such a meaningful way,” said Fernando Castro, Member. of the tenth quorum of the Church. of the Seventy, in a Church press release.

“Community Food Basket is eternally grateful to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for this much-needed gift,” Jackson said. “This space is perfect and will benefit those we serve for years and years.”

‘Let the evidence speak for itself’: Delegate calls for answers after pastor quits after sex charges dropped


CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – Virginia Beach pastor John Blanchard is stepping down from his primary pastoral duties at Rock Church International, according to a statement from the church.

The announcement came just days after 8News reported SMS between Blanchard and undercover detectives posing as a minor, as well as a report from Chesterfield police, which provided new public information about the charges against the pastor.

“We’re seeing, I guess, good progress at Rock Church,” delegate Tim Anderson of Norfolk and Virginia Beach told 8News on Thursday. “In October, [the church] reported that once the charges here are dismissed, Nolle said Pastor Blanchard here will resume full pastoral duties at the church.

About a year after his arrest in October 2021, along with more than a dozen others arrested in a sexual sting in Chesterfield County, the charges against Blanchard have been dropped. The Chesterfield County Police Department (CCPD) report noted that Commonwealth attorney Stacey Davenport cited a “lack of evidence”.

However, the majority of cases against the other people arrested during this 2021 sting are still progressing.

On Thursday, Anderson obtained Chesterfield County court records, which detailed the nature of the charges against five defendants in the sting operation. He said these individuals each pleaded guilty.

“We also know from reviewing the files of these other five that the text messages are very similar to what Pastor Blanchard did,” Anderson said. “They are not identical. I mean, these are conversations, individual conversations. But they are similar. They’re asking for “QVs” and they’re asking for things that have words similar to the ones Pastor Blanchard knew, and all of these guys ended up at the target hotel where the police did their undercover operation. »

The text messages Anderson referred to were reported by 8News last week. They showed Blanchard responding to an ad authorities said they posted on “well-known prostitution websites.”

He first asked if the prostitute was available in Richmond, to which sleuths posing as a 19-year-old replied, “I’m a baby” and suggested they meet near a mall in Chesterfield. Later in the conversation, the detectives wrote, “What did you want so I know you brought the money”, to which Blanchard replied, “Qv please.”

According to the authorities’ notes in the police report, “QV” is a brief sexual encounter.

“I’m 17 if that’s not cool, I understand,” the authorities’ text read to Blanchard.

The police report pointed out that after undercover detectives sent a text message saying he was underage, Blanchard’s response became more reserved. But authorities said the pastor continued to the meeting venue where he was arrested.

“There’s certainly no idea what a judge or jury would say about guilt or innocence because we never had that opportunity,” Anderson said. “But if 15 other people have to do this exercise, then everyone should do this exercise, and if they don’t, there must be a very good reason; not the lack of evidence, no they didn’t identify themselves as minors until he [Blanchard] was in progress. »

8News contacted the Commonwealth Prosecutor’s Office last week after obtaining the text messages and the police report. The office sent a statement to Davenport on Thursday afternoon:

The conclusion of a case by order of nolle prosequi does not have the same legal effect as a verdict of not guilty. I am unable to comment on the adequacy of public statements made by other entities regarding this matter or any other matter in which my office is involved. Cases from the Chesterfield Police Department undercover operation in October 2021, which includes this particular case, involved a Chesterfield detective posing as a 17-year-old online. The interaction between the detective and the accused in each case was different. As a result, the evidence available for use in the prosecution of each case was different and the outcome of each case was different. Some of the cases had enough evidence to support felony convictions, and some did not. As ministers of justice, prosecutors are required to individually assess the strength of the evidence provided by the police in each case. The legal standard required for an officer to obtain an arrest warrant is simply probable cause. A prosecutor must have evidence that proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to support a conviction in court, and ethically cannot press charges in a case where the evidence does not meet this standard. Although this operation did not involve any actual children, we take all such cases very seriously and are always driven by our mandate to protect the safety of our community.

Following news that the charges against Blanchard were dismissed last month, Rock Church International issued a statement praising his innocence.

“The release of the police file reveals that there is definitely something different than innocence,” Anderson said. “The idea that there’s a ‘lack of evidence’ is really hard for me to accept as a lawyer, as a state delegate, as a community-minded person. There is certainly evidence, and there was certainly evidence of probable cause.

Rock Church International sent an updated statement this week, within days of the release of the text messages and the police report:

Rock Church encourages godly lifestyles by all its members and leaders in accordance with Bible principles. The Church condemns sexual immorality of any kind and in any form by its members and leaders and, in particular, holds its leaders to a high standard of responsibility for any lifestyle choices that may negatively impact the reputation of the Church or denigrate the character of the Savior whom it claims to represent.

Rock Church is committed to honesty and integrity in dealing with accusations or accusations of sexual misconduct or immorality among its leaders and will support any investigation arising from accusations of violations of this standard among its personnel and its leaders for the purpose of finding the truth and protecting its members, church families and their children, at all times.

At the direction of our legal counsel, we cannot make any statement or comment regarding the charges against Reverend John Blanchard at this time. We are all committed to walking in integrity and truth at Rock Church International and we will continue to take steps to do so. Pastor Blanchard has voluntarily stepped down as senior pastor and from all ministry functions until the current situation is fully resolved. During this season, Bishop Anne Gimenez will act as senior pastor and share the pulpit with Pastor Robin Blanchard.

As followers of Christ, we must remember that redemption, salvation, grace, mercy, and healing are all gifts given to the children of God. Although each must face their own convictions and consequences, our mission as believers is not to condemn, but to be agents of God’s love, healing, justice and reconciliation. . (Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”) If we are to walk in eternity with Christ, our position must be one of truth, love, faith, of mercy, justice and forgiveness.

Thank you for your prayers and support. The outpouring of love was overwhelming and we appreciated everyone who reached out to cheer us on! We ask that the privacy of the Blanchard family be respected as they navigate this difficult journey together.

These U.S. Senators Thanked The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Before the U.S. Senate votes to open debate Wednesday on the Respect for Marriage Act, four senators in floor speeches acknowledged The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other groups denominational.

The bipartisan bill (Senate Bill 4556), is an amended version of the House bill that codifies same-sex marriage protections into federal law. Fearing that the original bill did not sufficiently protect believers, some senators contacted religious organizations around the country to collaborate on a workable compromise. The bill, as currently amended, is expected to pass a full Senate vote later this week.

“Achieving this type of compromise could not have happened without hard work, good faith and bipartisan negotiation,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said during his speech in the Senate. “I want to give special thanks to the following groups who worked with my colleagues and I to develop this legislation, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known as the Mormon Church, the National Association Evangelicals, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America,” and several other religious organizations.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks during a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on threats to the homeland on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.

Mariam Zuhaib, Associated Press

Senator Thom Tillis, RN.C., also said he thought the bill was a good compromise. “I am grateful for the leadership of so many involved,” Tillis said before listing the senators cosponsoring the legislation. “But I also want to thank the Church of Latter-day Saints, Seventh-day Adventists, the Council of Christian Colleges,” he said, while listing a number of other religious organizations.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, echoed what her colleagues across the aisle said during her own speech.

“I thank the religious communities who have helped us expand the political conversation and ensure that our amendment includes strong and sensible protections for religious freedom. In particular, I thank The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which provided thoughtful suggestions and contributions.

Sinema said The church’s public statement supporting the legislation aptly sums up the “holistic outcome” of the bill. She quoted the church’s statement in part which reads, “’We believe this approach is the way forward. As we work together to uphold the principles and practices of religious freedom and the rights of LGBTQ people, much can be done to heal relationships and foster greater understanding. »

Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, asked that the church statement be included in the Senate filing, along with a combined letter of support signed by a group of intra-religious leaders, including Seventh-day Adventists, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the Board of Colleges and Christian universities, and others .

The combined letter reads: “Dear senators, we are leaders of faith-based organizations representing tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of religious institutions. All of our organizations hold to a conception of marriage between a man and a woman. Many of us have privately expressed concerns about the House’s version of the Respect for Marriage Act. We are satisfied with the replacement language of religious liberty proposed by Senators Collins, Baldwin, Sinema, Portman, Tillis and Romney. It adequately protects key religious freedom concerns raised by the bill, including tax-exempt status, education funding, government grants and contracts, and eligibility for licensing, certification and accreditation. If passed, it would continue to rely on the wisdom of Congress represented by the Restoration of Religious Freedom Act of 1993 (RFRA). Attached are many statements from individual organizations.

US Bishops Advance 3 Women “Transformed by God’s Love” to Sainthood | National Catholic Registry


The USCCB supports the local advancement of causes for the beatification and canonization of Servants of God Cora Louise Evans, Michelle Duppong and Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy.

U.S. Catholic bishops voted Wednesday to advance the holiness causes of three American women: a converted Catholic mother considered a mystic, a young college missionary who was battling cancer, and a nun who cared for the poor and community Afro-American.

During their fall general assembly in Baltimore, the American bishops supported the local advancement of the causes for the beatification and canonization of the Servants of God Cora Louise Evans, Michelle Duppong and Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy.

“Today we are blessed to hear from three women, each of whom has walked unique paths,” Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Canonical Affairs, told fellow bishops. and church governance.

He added: “But each used their individual gifts to serve others – sometimes through great suffering and adversity – but who allowed themselves to be transformed by the love of God and who moved them to share joy and peace. of the Lord through the ordinary circumstances of their lives. Lives.”

Under Church law, diocesan bishops who promote a cause of holiness must consult with regional bishops before the cause can be advanced.

“We are not asked to approve the causes,” Bishop Listecki clarified. “We are invited to submit any observation related to the advancement of a cause with regard to its social, religious and even political significance.

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Church in County Ionia offering Christmas trees and decorations


WOODLAND – A church near Lake Odessa is providing Christmas trees and decorations to anyone in need this holiday season.

Zion Lutheran Church is hosting a “Free Christmas Tree Farm Shop” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25 and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26 or until all items find a new home. The church is located at 6261 Velte Road in Woodland. Refreshments will be served.

This is the second year of the event, according to a press release. The organizers want to help people in the region have a happy and blessed Christmas.

“We know budgets are tight and we want to do something for people in the community during the Christmas season,” Pastor Rebecca Ebb-Speese said. “Throughout this year, church members have collected artificial trees, lights, ornaments and lights. We have also received many generous donations from members of the community.

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Zion Lutheran Church helped the community of Lakewood provide packed lunches and small gifts. The church provides free Christmas trees, ornaments and decorations to anyone who needs them.

The event takes place during the annual Community Christmas around town.

Anyone with questions can contact event chair Martha Yoder at 517-230-9274.

“We are thrilled to share the tree gifts and other Christmas items at this special event,” Ebb-Speese said. “God has given us the most precious gift of all and it is fitting that we look for ways to share our gifts with others.”

— Contact journalist Evan Sasiela at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @SalsaEvan.

Pastor Ng’ang’a accuses Tony Kiamah of continuing ‘Mrogi’ remarks against CS Jumwa: ‘Tafuta followers’

  • Pastor Timothy Kiamah has recently caused a stir on social media after boldly claiming that new CS Aisha Jumwa practices witchcraft
  • In a viral video clip, the preacher from River of God Church referenced a video of Jumwa claiming they were summoning magicians to ensure election victory.
  • Pastor Ng’ang’a came to Jumwa’s defense by calling out Kiamah for weight hunting to gain social media followers

Flamboyant Nairobi preacher Pastor James Ng’ang’a took a swipe at fellow preacher Tony Kiamah.

Pastor Ng’ang’a accuses Tony Kiamah of continuing ‘Mrogi’ remarks against CS Jumwa: ‘Tafuta followers’
Source: UGC

Aisha Jumwa asks for an apology

Pastor Ng’ang’a was reacting to comments made by Kiamah in a viral video claiming that the Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa practice witchcraft.

In the video uploaded, the wealthy preacher slammed Kiamah saying he knows nothing about witchcraft or sorcery.

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He said:

“Nimeona amesema Aisha Jumwa sijui ni mrogi…ni mganga. You stupid pastor, you stupid. Sasa unauliza Aisha Jumwa nini? I wish ni mimi nikuje nikung’oe meno.”

Ng’ang’a told Kiamah that he didn’t need to talk about black magic because he was not ordained, adding that Kiamah had not been saved.

“Wewe hata hujaokoka. Umeanza kutafuta followers are on Facebook.”

Jumwa’s libel suit

On Friday, November 11, TUKO.co.ke reported that Civil Service Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa asked Kiamah to apologize or she sue for defamation.

In a viral video, Reverend Tony Kiamah of River of God Church called CS “mrogi” in reference to a 2017 video in which the then lawmaker bragged about knowing powerful witches.

In the 2017 video, he is heard calling on magicians to bring out powerful charms so that the repeat presidential election on October 26, 2017 does not happen.

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In a letter of request through her attorney Danstan Omari, Jumwa says she came across a video clip on Lee Makwiny’s Facebook page where Pastor Tony Kiamah of River of God Church was heard saying;

“At this time, the head of the civil service of this country ni Mrogi na alikua has interviewed professionals of this country, some of them in Parliament na wakapisha mrogi, Aisha Jumwa ni Mrogi, there is evidence.”

Omari says the Man of God made false claims about his client without any evidence to back up his claims.

“It is clear that you have made various spurious allegations regarding the character of our clients and this can only be construed as a reek of malice since it has not been followed up with any evidence,” Omari added.

In the formal notice filed through the law firm Musyoka Mogaka and CO, Jumwa says that she is a mother of two children who look up to her and that defaming her reputation in front of her children is unfair and unjustified.

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Source: TUKO.co.ke

Tim Tebow, male leadership and ‘female’, ‘weak’ church – Baptist News Global


Lately we’ve heard a lot about the “true” biblical manhood against the “feminizationfrom the local church. The church is weak because men are weak, critics say. Blame the decline in church attendance and the decline in Christian values ​​on the weakness of men.

Tim Tebow posted a video saying especially than men we are called to lead, to step in to fill a void, to be protectors. Choose to love others and act on their behalf. But men are abdicating their responsibilities, he warned.

The problem is that it makes us victims.

I don’t know about you, but I would like to fight for me, thank you very much.

Julia Goldie Day

A male senior pastor asked me every year if I needed a woman to accompany me to the retreat of the pastor who was all men except me. My answer has never changed: No. I can protect myself. I also expect you to protect everyone with me. I can even protect other men with my good and faithful choices, my ability to speak the truth, and my core value that every person is precious and created in the image of God.

A former male member of the church really wanted to talk with my husband rather than me about a problem. No, I can very well speak for myself. I can take responsibility for my own life; I believe the gospel compels me to do so.

I continue to be frustrated with these questions and comments that women hear so often in response to their leadership. The rights and leadership of women in our homes, in the church and in our country seem to be in retreat. Or maybe it’s a breaking point, and many women and men and others will reject male power grabbing. Maybe we can learn to follow Jesus, not so-called “wimps” or ideal “masculine” men.

Women held more than half the church with their skillful and often silent unpaid leadership for decades. To illustrate, many times my ministerial salary has been questioned at a business or church committee meeting. The assumption of some was that my leadership should have been unpaid or that it was a boon to the church compared to men’s salaries. I worked many unpaid hours only to hear repeatedly that I was not valued.

I’m done with the adage that I should be grateful to have a ministerial position as a woman.

While Tim Tebow and the other men I cite as examples are seemingly respectful and gentle, they continue to promote a hierarchical system that gives those at the top power over those below them. The argument is that if men follow God’s plan, then they won’t hurt people with less power.

“Anyone on the gender spectrum has the potential to abuse power if given unequal power over other humans.”

But over and over again we see these systems failing to protect those with less power. Sexual and physical abuse, murder, slavery, men are abusing this false power over us that we have given them. I could also argue that anyone on the gender spectrum has the potential to abuse power if given unequal power over other humans. The scriptures show us the dysfunction of hierarchical, patriarchal, and primogeniture systems repeatedly as people, mostly men, seize power.

“Too many Christians think that God cares more about the responsibility of men than the safety of women,” says Sheila Gregoire.

These systems only serve to separate us from each other and create toxic and dangerous environments where everyone is unable to thrive, even men. David Finch says that “the New Testament church is not concerned with whether women should be ‘over’ men or men ‘over’ women. It is a question of completely eliminating the “more”.

We should know by now that the way of Jesus abolishes any type of system — there is a new world order in the kingdom of God. God is continually working to regain what was lost in Eden, bringing us back to God’s original vision, says Carolyn Custis James in Maleström: how Jesus dismantles patriarchy and redefines manhood.

We are all called to struggle, to seek wisdom, to question and to pray about our own journeys of faith. There is no formula. Our agency and our voice are reflected in God’s own image. God gives each of us the gift of power as we co-create with God and others our lives our stories of faith.

If we work together, our power can grow as a blessing to the church. When we accept being taught by women and others with less power, we can grow and learn as we further God’s work in the world. When we do the hard work of listening, learning, and changing, then we live and breathe and have our being in our God who partners with us to help us live a life of love.

A helpful Twitter user pointed out that the universal church has feminine pronouns like the bride of Christ. She’s right, the church is her. What can this tell us?

“Complaints that the church is too weak and feminine are also correct, but not in the way we think.”

Complaints that the church is too weak and feminine are also correct, but not as we think. We are all weak. Blessed are the poor in spirit, says Jesus. If our ideals of power and influence are turned upside down in the kingdom of God, then we can enjoy being weak and God being strong.

Michael Frost offers another helpful tweet in response to criticism of the “weakly feminine” church, writing, “Biblical manhood as modeled by Jesus: be a ‘mama’s boy, stay celibate, wash people’s feet, cry at funerals, hang out with unimportant people, ride a donkey instead of a courier, be a lover not a fighter, carry a cross not a sword.

Custis James puts it like this, “His (Jesus) life is a constant rejection of the pillars of patriarchy. He does not marry or produce sons to sustain the family for another generation. He ends up homeless. He survives thanks to the financial support of women, even asking a Samaritan woman for a glass of water. He recruits followers among ordinary and even marginalized men. His teaching overturns the cultural value system by proclaiming the poor as blessed and teaching “the first shall be last”.

We are clearly called to imitate Christ. And not just men. All people on the gender spectrum who follow Jesus can bear good fruit by following the way of Jesus shown to us in the scriptures. Because we are all called and created by God.

Why would we only need men to protect us? We protect and we serve. Then and only then our love of God and love of neighbor can change the world. This is the call of the gospel.

Let’s abolish these false systems power as an act of love of self, neighbor and God.

I am not a victim. I am a person created by God — capable of so much love and life.

What kind of relationship can we create together?

Julia Goldie Day is ordained by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and lives in Memphis, Tennessee. She is a painter and proud mother of Jasper, Barak and Jillian. Learn more about her website.

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Is there a woman in this story? | Review by Laurel Cluthe

When you call the vice president “Jezebel”, you acknowledge her power | Opinion of Lokelani Wilson

Governor Obaseki calls for church involvement in politics


Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki reiterated the need for the Church to actively participate in politics to enable them to effectively contribute their quota to national development.

Obaseki gave the charge while addressing delegates of the Fifth National Eucharistic Congress held at St. Paul’s Minor Seminary, Benin City, Edo State.

The congress was organized by the Catholic Bishops‘ Conference of Nigeria under the theme “Becoming the Eucharist we celebrate: a call to live together and serve the weak”.

Catholic delegates from Onitsha, Lagos, Owerri, Abuja, Ibadan, Jos, Kaduna and the host province of Benin were all present at the congress, which took place from Friday November 11 to Sunday November 13, 2022.

Obaseki said, “The church has continued to intervene when government fails. The church goes into communities, acquires land, provides education, health care and spiritual healing to citizens.

“We need help in government and call on the Catholic Church to go beyond the homily and help us govern our country.”

The Governor noted that Nigeria was going through a difficult time and needed the prayers and collaboration of the church to overcome its challenges.

He continued, “God wants us to learn from these challenges that we face as a nation, which is why he has allowed us to get through the problems.

“I have been privileged to hold many positions in this country, in business, government and politics. What is clear is that we can solve the problems we have because God has given us everything we need as a nation to solve them.

“I believe that the Catholic Church has an enormous responsibility. In the world today, the Catholic Church is one of the most organized institutions.

He added, “We are counting on you because we all lament, complain and talk about our problems rather than training ourselves to take practical actions on a daily basis to solve the challenges we face.”

Saluting the Catholic Bishops in the state for their support of his administration, Obaseki added, “Beyond prayers, as you always pray for us, you have taken further steps to ensure our success as a government.”

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Sacred Garden at Holy Trinity designed to be shared by “everyone, anywhere, anytime”


Those who gathered at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Greenport on Sunday morning for worship enjoyed a new addition to the property which is also a gift to the Greenport Village community.

“It’s a gift for the whole community and we want everyone to benefit from it,” Reverend Roger Joslin said. He is the vicar of the church and also of the Church of the Redeemer in Mattituck.

The new addition, called “garth”, is described by the church as “a new sacred garden for everyone, anywhere, anytime” in a flyer announcing the groundbreaking ceremony which took place on Sunday.

The space is an octagonal courtyard at the front of the church from Main Street and connects to the side of the church building.

Its purpose as a sacred garden is to attract the community and those who consider themselves spiritual but not religious and make them feel included.

“Our ambition is for people all over the city to say when they’re going to meet someone, ‘Let’s meet at the Garth,’ and they’ll come here and enjoy a contemplative place to sit, a place to escape a sort of a bit of Greenport business,” Reverend Joslin said. “Part of it is a threshold in the saint…some people will find their way into the church through that threshold; many others, who are the people who call themselves spiritual but not religious…will find themselves here and find a place to be with the divine.

The garden is decorated with benches and plants with a stone fountain in the center. The fountain was first used on Sunday to baptize three children into the church, Shaine Davis Rudder-Garber, Elliot Amelia Elkin and Remy Eloise Elkin.

Preparations for Project Garth had been ongoing since the winter, according to Reverend Joslin.

“Many volunteers have worked hard and [we had] a very supportive congregation that understood the purpose, knew that what we were doing was a gift to the wider community, not just something we are doing for ourselves,” Reverend Joslin said.

An event committee organized the dedication ceremony which followed the mass. The event included food outside in the garden and inside.

Reverend Joslin thanked the financial contributors who made the project possible, including Peter Treiber, who also helped with the church’s Common Ground Community Garden. He also thanked the three-person committee that oversaw the project, surveyor Nathan Corwin, the landscape crew and more.

“There has been so much effort, hard work and generosity that has gone into creating this beautiful space,” Reverend Joslin said.

The dedication ceremony also featured music at the Garth, including songs from the combined choirs of the Holy Trinity and the Church of the Redeemer.

Colin Palmer, who sang with the choir during the mass, said the way the event brought the community together is inspiring.

“The fact that there are so many different parts of the community coming together… that’s what I find so wonderful about a community group like this; i.e. it’s not a religious organization whose purpose is “look how we’re so much better than everyone else”, it’s not about lifting you up, it’s about to be open to everyone and I think it’s such a beautiful kind of event to be able to have,” he said.

Reverend Joslin described community feedback as “tremendous”.

“It’s amazing how many people I’ve spoken to who have been encouraged by this and loving it,” he said.

Georgia prosecutors investigating Trump’s effort to nullify 2020 election lose subpoena battle with Illinois pastor



An Illinois judge has ruled that the Atlanta-area prosecutor is currently investigating the efforts of supporters of former President Donald Trump to nullify the 2020 election did not provide enough evidence to prove that an Illinois pastor had to come forward as a witness in the investigation.

Rev. Stephen Cliffgard Lee, pastor of a Lutheran church in suburban Chicago, was allegedly involved in efforts to try to pressure a Georgia election worker into falsely admitting to voter fraud in 2020, according to reports. Fulton County court documents where District Attorney Fani Willis appointed a special grand jury to consider the matter.

Kendall County, Illinois Circuit Court Judge Robert Pilmer ruled in Lee’s favor earlier this week that there was “insufficient evidence to determine that Lee was material and necessary,” according to Lee’s attorney, David Shestokas.

“There is not a shred of admissible evidence that can be used in a courtroom,” Shestokas told CNN of the certificate filed by a Fulton County Superior Court judge for Lee to appear as a witness in court. the grand jury.

“If Georgia is trying to uphold the law, I think it’s appropriate for Georgia to uphold the law. And so far, at least on the record here in Illinois, Georgia has failed to follow the law,” Shestokas said.

Pilmer’s decision gave Fulton County an additional 30 days to provide additional information or evidence to reconsider.

A spokesperson for Willis told CNN they declined to comment on Lee’s case “at this time.”

Fulton County election worker Ruby Freeman called 911 after Lee knocked on the front door of her home on Dec. 15, 2020. When a police officer confronted Lee in his car, he identified himself as a pastor who was before law enforcement and said he was “working with people trying to help Ruby,” according to police body camera footage obtained by CNN. “And also get some truth to what’s going on,” Lee told the officer. Lee has not been charged with any crime.

Freeman and his daughter, who testified before the House Select Committee investigating on January 6, 2021, were among the election workers whom Trump and his campaign had targeted with baseless claims that she was counting fake mail-in ballots in Fulton County.

Willis and his team have also lost a court challenge in September to force podcaster Jacki Pick to testify when a panel of Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judges noted that the deadline for her subpoena had passed. But court losses in Texas and Illinois were rare defeats for Fulton County prosecutors, at least among their publicly known witnesses. Judges in various states have widely ruled that foreign witnesses must appear before the grand jury.

The Georgian probe — sparked by an hour-long phone call in January 2021 from Trump to Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to “find” the votes necessary for Trump to win the Peach State – has continued to expand. It now covers presentations on unsubstantiated voter fraud allegations to state lawmakers, the fake voter schemethe efforts of unauthorized persons to access the voting machines in a Georgia county and a campaign of threats and harassment against junior election officials.

The special-purpose grand jury investigating in Atlanta returned this week after a roughly month-long hiatus for the midterm elections and two attorneys with ties to Trump said they appeared as witnesses this week and answered questions.

Trinity Church, Newport, RI, places flags at historic veterans graves


NEWPORT – The inscription on the first veteran’s grave in Trinity Church – that of Robert Gardner – tells us that he was “one of the first promoters of the Church in this place, he survived all his Brethren and had the happiness of seeing this Church Completely completed, he was a Ship’s Officer and Receiver of this port for many years, also employed in the affairs of this colony, and discharged his trust in Satisfaction. He died on May 1, 1731, the day of his birth, at the age of 69.

During Veterans Day week, Gardner and 22 other Newport veterans who died between 1731 and 2022 and served during the colonial period, during the Revolution and as recently as the Vietnam War are honored with flags of their respective historical periods displayed on their graves until Sunday, November 13.

Gardner’s inscription can once again be read, along with the inscriptions on the nearby stone of Captain James Cahoone and several other 18th and 19th century veterans, thanks to the efforts of stone conservation volunteer Jimmy Lappin, who makes amazing job cleaning the old tombstones. using wooden skewers, a toothbrush, water and lots of elbow grease.

The transformation rendered by Lappin, who says he always pays close attention when a grave he rehabilitates turns out to belong to a veteran, is nothing short of amazing. The slate and marble tombs, some of which are so covered in moss and mud that they are completely impenetrable, shine and shine in the late afternoon sun when Lappin is done with them.

“You have to realize that Newport is so connected to the military,” Lappin said. “It always has been since its inception.”

Trinity Church tour coordinator Charlotte Johnson, who was already doing ongoing research into the church’s congregational genealogy, said she decided to search for veterans specifically after a visitor suggested that the church commemorate veterans’ graves with flags.

However, she pointed out to this visitor and the Daily News that not all the flags would be American flags, since the Colonial Cemetery predates the United States of America.

“Most of the flags are British; it was an English colony! Johnson explained.

“We had to work out who was British and who had become a patriot,” she added with a laugh.

Betsy Ross flags adorn the graves of Revolutionary War veterans who fought for independence; Johnson, who traces his own lineage to the church’s founding congregation in 1726, says these pre-American veterans would likely have called themselves patriots rather than Americans at the time.

Thoughts for Veterans Day:‘Thank you for your sacrifice’

18th century British flags identify Loyalists – Gardner, who died more than forty years before the American Revolution, was of course a loyal subject to the British crown, but some of the Loyalists in the cemetery are veterans of the British side of America. Revolution, buried alongside other members of the same congregation who chose to fight for independence. Their shared place of worship and resting place testifies to the complicated social divide that the revolution caused in Newport, as in many American colonial communities.

Looking at the historical timeline, it’s possible that Gardner, who is recorded as fighting in unspecified “colonial wars”, fought for the British Crown in Queen Anne’s War, which took place from 1702 to 1713 and included a front on the Maine border fighting the French and the Wabanaki Confederacy of native tribes.

Flags of the French Royal Navy are visible on the three 1780 graves of French officers who came to fight alongside American patriots during the War of Independence, including Admiral Charles-Henri-Louis d’Arsac, Chevalier de Ternay, arrived at Newport on July 11. 1780, with a fleet of ships carrying 5,500 French army soldiers under the command of the Count of Rochambeau.

Admiral de Ternay died of typhus only five months later, on December 15, 1780, at French army headquarters in Newport, now known as Hunter House, on present-day Washington Street. The entire French army marched through the streets of Newport as part of the Admiral’s funeral.

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One of the other French tombs belongs to Major Pierre du Rousseau, Chevalier de Fayolle. Rousseau, a personal assistant to Lafayette, also died in 1780 when the tender he was driving in Newport harbor was accidentally overturned by the frigate to which it was entrusted.

While Trinity Church is now an Episcopal church and was founded as an Anglican church, the corner of the cemetery where the three French soldiers are buried was actually consecrated Catholic in 1780 in order to give the men a proper burial appropriate according to their own religious custom.

The modern Stars & Stripes flag has been placed on seven graves of Navy and Navy veterans – three of whom died between 1807 and 1845, and four more who died between 1992 and 2022 and whose cremated remains lie in columbariums in the southwest part of the cemetery.

A French Royal Navy flag marks the 1780 grave at Trinity Church of a French officer who came to fight alongside American patriots during the Revolutionary War.

The four most recently deceased veterans are Capt. Richard Long, USNR; Lieutenant Commander B. Mitchell “Tony” Simpson, USN; Captain Poyntell “Pete” Caldcleugh Staley, USN; and Capt. Charles Walter Jauss, USN. Simpson, Long and Jauss all served in the Vietnam War, and Staley served in an Iceland-based anti-submarine unit during World War II.

Jauss, who died in 2022, was Johnson’s predecessor as church tour coordinator, and is now an important figure in church history in his own right. “He’s known for his work in the church — he started our touring program, touring and learning history and everything,” Johnson explained.

Johnson and historian John Hattendorf have compiled a report on the veterans’ graves they have identified so far and continue to research the topic among many other facets of Trinity Church’s fascinating history. The flags will be on display until Sunday November 13 and the churchyard, which is directly adjacent to Queen Anne’s Square grounds, is open to the public.

A Supportive Community – The Martha’s Vineyard Times


The Martha’s Vineyard Neighborhood Convention was founded on November 13, 1894 as a “neighborhood meeting” in response to interdenominational hostilities between the island’s churches. This Island tradition of peacemaking continues 126 years later, with a mission to foster care, connection and collaboration among Islanders. The convention meets at a different location on the first Tuesday of each month between October and June. Host ministers offer a short service and program of interest, followed by drinks and dessert. Participants are encouraged to bring friends and a lunch bag.

The November 1 meeting was hosted by the Edgartown Federated Church. Reverend Sharon Eckhardt led the worship service. “On Duty on the Vineyard” was hosted by Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee.

McNamee said how proud he is of the officers and the Island community. He noted how troubled he is about the lack of housing. “Across the island, we lost six officers. We lost an officer and the schools lost a special education teacher. We have to understand this.

He said: ‘The funding attitude of the police has had an effect on our morale. We are losing officers and struggling to attract new recruits. Normally there would be a lot of applicants, but so far I have only received one. And summer traffic positions are hard to fill everywhere. Cities lend officers as needed. During July 4 of that year, he got helpers from other cities, but there were 10 fewer officers than in previous years.

McNamee heads the Martha’s Vineyard Police Chiefs Association. Cities have different policing styles, and the neighborhood convention has been a way for departments to coordinate. After the murder of George Floyd, around 70 officers on the island underwent implicit bias training, paid for by donations to the convention.

A member of the public said he had been trained as an active shooter and wondered if we should do more. McNamee replied, “You are right to be concerned. Targets #1 are workplaces and #2 are places of worship. Parishioners mentioned their appreciation of seeing the cruisers pass by during services.

The leader said rising intolerance and increasing white supremacist protests off the island are a call for heightened vigilance. He was proud of how the island responded to Venezuelan migrants and advises a department from Kingston to Plymouth on what has worked.

What makes up most emergency calls? Apart from false alarms and calls that hang up, most relate to alcohol and domestic situations. McNamee said there is a lot of alcohol abuse on the island and he wonders if exposure to partying vacationers is contributing to the high rate of alcohol abuse among our young people.

In response to a question about whether we should continue to have a jail on the island, McNamee made it clear that he doesn’t want the police departments dealing with jails and stations becoming jails. . He said we needed the sheriff’s department. The prison offers lockers and a safe place where some can sober up.

Another question was if we lose officers, will that impact policing in schools?

He replied, “You can’t train compassion, and I’ve never seen anything like what we have in our school resource officers.”

Chief McNamee concluded with a story of an experience years ago when he was an off-island resident on vacation, visiting his mother-in-law’s house in Oak Bluffs. It was an open house, a ferry reservation and three greyhounds. When his mother-in-law said she was going to call the Oak Bluffs police, he said, “I was skeptical, but the cops came and they really looked. They brought the dogs home, and yes, we made our boat. Quarries are made of hills and valleys, and without a doubt, working with this community is the pinnacle.

The next Neighborhood Convention meeting will be on December 6 and will be hosted by the United Methodist Church of Martha’s Vineyard and the Reverend Hyuk Seonwoo at Trinity Park in Oak Bluffs. It will include a performance by the Minnesingers and their manager, Abigail Chandler.

Grace appoints new pastor – The Mountain Times


By Katy Savage

Grace Congregational Church in Rutland has a new pulpit leader. Reverend Terry Hanley took over Nov. 1 in place of husband-and-wife team Tracy and John Weatherhogg, who left the church about two years ago after 15 years of service.

After having interim pastors, Grace launched a nationwide search for her next full-time leader last January. Hanley, 58, was one of four candidates interviewed for the job.

Reverend Terry Hanley

“I think Terry brings a deep-rooted, personal commitment to his parishioners in his role,” said Grace Council Leader Brian Kerns. “I see him as a servant leader of Grace Church.”

Hanley, who is also a psychiatric nurse, has unique experiences with ministry in Vermont, Massachusetts and California.

“It can definitely tap into how the human brain works,” Kerns said. “He has a lot of rich experience ministering in different ways.”

Hanley has a lifelong commitment to the church. He grew up in Rutland and Killington and attended the Federated Church of Castleton, where his father was deacon and treasurer and his mother was Sunday school superintendent. After earning a degree in psychiatry from the University of Vermont, Hanley moved to Boston and was eventually ordained in 1997. Hanely accepted a full-time pastoring position at three churches in Massachusetts, one of which was a of storefront. a Bible study. Hanley also founded the United Church of Christ in Massachusetts.

“It didn’t continue, but it was awesome,” Hanley said.

Hanely went to nursing school, following in the footsteps of his wife Bonnie, who is also a nurse.

“I always wanted to be like Bonnie when I was growing up,” Hanley joked. “I embrace all of the art and science of nursing. It is a noble profession that overlaps with ministry.

Hanley took his first nursing job in California in 2006 to be near his sister and became a part-time prison minister.

“It’s nice to have a meaningful job,” Hanley said. “Both of my callings are simply part of wanting to do something that matters and using the life I’ve been given.”

Hanely returned to Vermont in 2014. He returned to the same church he grew up in and became an associate pastor with the Federated Church of Castleton. Hanley has also spent the past five years working as a psychiatric nurse at Spring Lake Ranch – a therapeutic community residence in the Shrewsbury Hills that helps people with mental illness and addiction recover.

“I never stopped missing Vermont,” Hanley said. “It’s the end of the road. This is the last place we want to be. We feel very comfortable here.

Hanley is a familiar face at Grace Congregational. He has been a member for a few years and has been a guest pastor several times. Her mother is also a deacon at Grace. “

As their search process (for the new pastor) began, I thought it was a good idea to get involved,” Hanley said.

This is Hanley’s first role as a full-time pastor in 20 years. He preached for the first time as an official pastor on Sunday, November 7.

“He has a very calm and level approach to him,” Kerns said. “He weaves stories. It’s plentiful and enjoyable. I joked with him that he set the bar pretty high on his first official day of preaching.

Kerns said the church had spent the past two years evaluating its vision for the future and that Hanley was the perfect candidate.

“I think he’s going to get to know people on a more intimate basis and really just tap into the people who belong to the church and figure out how we want to grow,” Kerns said.

For Hanley, the role is a dream job.

“It’s a surprisingly large operation,” Hanley said. “There is a lot to think about, a lot to pray for. I feel like I won the lottery here.

Asia 2022 Congress opens in Thailand to ‘rethink church and mission’


About 600 Christian leaders from across Asia gathered in Thailand to “rethink church and mission” in mid-October.

From October 17 to 21, Christians from more than 40 countries attended the Asia Congress 2022 conducted in Bangkok under the theme “Rethinking Church and Mission: God’s Agenda for Today”.

The conference week was jointly organized by Asia Lausanne, Asia Theological Association and Asia Evangelical Alliance.

During the opening ceremony, Rev. David Ro, Asia 2022 Congress President and Lausanne Movement East Asia Regional Director, shared three reasons for the congress. “We will come together to celebrate and mark in the history of the church the work of God in Asia. We recognize the rise of the Asian church over all these years. He also mentioned the transitional shift of global Christianity from the West to the rest as God’s work is scattered in Latin America, Africa and also the Middle East. “The church is moving towards a different type of funic contextualization, which requires us to have different ways of thinking, theologizing and practicing to adapt to the new realities of global Christianity.”

The third reason was that the rapidly growing churches in Asia took the path of missions, started by the Korean church which sent 25,000 missionaries around the world and followed by other countries to reach the unreached.

At the end of his welcome address, Reverend Ro invited each nation to bring three young people who are willing to pay the price to preach the Gospel to unreached groups next year for the Asia Congress 2023 which will take place in Pattaya , in Thailand, from July 25 to 29. The congress will bring together two or three thousand young people between the ages of 18 and 30 for global mission.

During the week, more than 30 speakers contributed to five Bible displays centered on John 15:9-17, seven plenary sessions addressing key issues and 15 seminars. Every day there was also worship and prayers. In particular, a session on the partnership of Asian churches with the global church was conducted simultaneously with seven different continents or regions.

Topics covered discipleship, church-state relations in Asia today, recovery from the supernatural, persecution, the younger generation working with the older, theological education and pastoral training, technology and artificial intelligence, missionary experiences of other countries, how Christians can contribute to nation building in Asian societies and Asian culture.

Participants gathered in round tables where eight to ten people were seated each and they worshiped, prayed and discussed issues together at each table.

During the closing ceremony, David Sung Eun Choi, senior pastor of Global Mission Church, preached a sermon entitled “Three Characteristics of the Gospel” (inclusiveness, exclusivity and being proclaimed in terms of the commandments of God), encouraging listeners to share the powerful gospel with others. Then, seven representatives from different countries announced the liturgical prayer of unity in Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Bahasa Indonesian, Thai, Nepali and Japanese in turn. The participants received bread and wine together in Holy Communion.

After fatal crash, Marshalltown pastor shares message of hope


On Friday night, a car carrying four Marshalltown teenagers crashed into a utility pole, killing two pairs of siblings.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa – Around midnight on November 4, Pastor Alan Dietzenbach received the type of call most people can’t imagine – one that brought him to the Marshalltown police station late at night to comfort two families grappling with loss beyond measure.

“Having two families who both lost two children was unbelievable and unimaginable. I can’t imagine what they’re going through and what their siblings are going through,” Dietzenbach said.

On Friday evening, a car carrying four teenagers from Marshalltown hit a power poletaking the lives of two sets of siblings.

The victims were Adrian Lara, 13, and Isacc Lara, 16, as well as Linette Lopez, 15, and Yanitza Lopez, 17.

Hundreds of members of the Marshalltown community gathered on Saturday, November 5 for a vigil in memory of the victims held at St. Henry’s Catholic Church.

There were so many attendees that some even had to get up because the pews were so full – a sign of how the whole city was grappling with such a loss.

RELATED: Marshalltown Community Mourns 4 Teenagers Killed in Friday Night Crash

RELATED: Marshalltown police identify 4 personas quien han muerto in vehículo accident el viernes

“Even at services this weekend, there’s this heaviness that people are dealing with,” Dietzenbach said. “And they deal with it even though they didn’t know the families personally. It still affects them personally.”

The wake was not the only place where the memory of teenagers is honored. Friends left bouquets of flowers at the crash site on Sunday. And the memorial continued to grow on Sunday as more and more visitors came to pay their respects.

Dietzenbach told Local 5 he has been moved by all the love shown so far; he just hopes it will continue in the difficult days ahead.

“The family will need support in a month, in months, in a year, in a few years,” he said. “So I think that’s also the important thing to remember is that it’s not just a done thing. We have to continue to be that support for family and friends long into the future.”

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More Protestants want church to share their politics: survey


57% of followers under 50 want other members to vote the same way they do

protestant church
Getty Images

As voters prepare to cast their ballots in the midterm elections, a recent study indicates that most Protestants prefer to attend a church where the political views of the congregation align with their own.

According to a study published Tuesday by Lifeway Research, an organization that studies current trends in church ministries, 50% of non-Catholics surveyed in the United States prefer to attend a politically homogeneous church, while 41% disagree and 10% are uncertain.

At least 55% of participants think they attend a church that shares their political views. Less than a quarter disagreed (23%) or were unsure (22%).

Lifeway Research conducted the survey online Sept. 19-29, using a pre-recruited national panel of more than 1,000 Americans. The study’s margin of error was +/- 3.3%, with a confidence level of 95%.

“Studies have shown that voting habits and political affiliation correlate with the type of church and the degree of a person’s involvement in the church,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. , in a press release. “But when asked if worshipers want political sameness to flow back into their relationship with the church, only half of worshipers want that.”

In a 2017 Lifeway research study, 46% of participants said they would rather attend a church with people who share the same political preferences. The recent study found that 19% of Protestants strongly agree they would rather attend a church where people share their political views, up from 12% in 2017.

The recent survey also revealed that younger churchgoers were more likely than older churchgoers to prefer the church they attend to share their opinions. Fifty-seven percent of those under 50 said they wanted their congregants to vote the same way they did. By comparison, 47% of worshipers aged 50-65 and 41% of those aged 65 and over said the same.

Ethnicity and education also played a role in the importance American worshipers placed on politics. Fifty-four percent of whites said they prefer going to church with people who share their politics, compared with 53 percent of African Americans and 25 percent of Hispanics.

People with no college degree or less than a high school diploma (44%) were among the least likely to worry about going to church with people who share the same political views.

The number of attendees who cared about the politics of their congregation varied by denomination. Eighty-eight percent of Methodists and 80% of Restoration movement followers were more likely to care about the political alignments of other members.

Forty-seven percent of Baptists and Presbyterians/Reformers want to go to church with people who share a common political outlook, compared to 38% of Lutherans. Another 38% of participants who identify as non-denominational expressed a preference for churches that share their politics.

Respondents with evangelical beliefs (44%) were less likely than those who do not fully accept the four main statements of evangelical theology (54%) to care that other church members share their political views .

“If you look at culture today, you would assume that most churches have also fought over politics,” McConnell said.

“Although it seems like more congregants are noticing the political views of other attendees, only 28% of pastors agree (14% strongly) that their church has experienced significant conflict in the past year,” a- he continued, citing a 2021 Lifeway Research study of more than 1,500 evangelical and black Protestant pastors.

“Those who want political continuity may simply want respite from political strife in the church, and others may want to move forward together in political action,” McConnell said.

Earlier this month, Rasmussen Reports released a nationwide survey of 1,155 American adults. It revealed that 42% of those polled said they thought the United States would be better off if more people attended religious services regularly, with responses varying depending on participants’ political views.

Thirty-six percent of Democrats and 65% of Republicans said the country would benefit from more people attending church services regularly. Thirty percent of people unaffiliated with either party said the same. Another 13% said more Americans using services more often would make the country worse, while 15% said they weren’t sure.

The survey was conducted online and by telephone from September 20 to 21, with a margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points with a confidence level of 95%.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be contacted at: [email protected]

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AMERICA/BOLIVIA – Bishops and laity: “The government must assume its responsibilities and respond urgently to the demands of the population”


AMERICA/BOLIVIA – Bishops and laity: “The government must assume its responsibilities and respond urgently to the demands of the population”

La Paz (Agenzia Fides) – The Secretary General of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference, Monsignor Giovani Arana, yesterday, in the name of the Permanent Episcopal Council, made an urgent appeal to the government to “assume its responsibilities and seek solutions to the conflicts that the Bolivian people restoring peace, democratic coexistence and providing an urgent response to the demands of the people”.
In the statement entitled “We are Bolivians”, “let us therefore seek what contributes to peace and strengthens us in the faith” (Rm 14,19), the bishops recall “the alarming escalation of violence that is taking place in the country , where human lives are put in danger by clashes between Bolivian brothers that arouse resentment and hatred”. They then recall the words of Pope Francis in the encyclical “Fratelli Tutti”, “love builds bridges”, and reaffirm that the current violence in the country can have fatal and irreversible consequences.
Since Bolivia is a state of law”, the statement recalls, “it is the duty of the government to protect the human rights of all Bolivian citizens and to provide solutions to social problems, respecting the dignity of every Bolivian” and it is also the duty of the authorities to always seek the common good. “The right way to resolve the conflicts that afflict everyone is through dialogue, without double intentions, devoid of particular interests”, repeat the bishops, and in the case of the census, “using objective criteria of impartial technicians”.
To the parties in conflict, they repeat: “An urgent and unconditional dialogue is necessary so that the problems which generate these conflicts, which we unfortunately see spreading dangerously throughout the country, can be resolved effectively, quickly and with fraternal respect”.
The Santa Cruz region, considered the economic engine of the whole country, has been on an indefinite strike for 13 days, asking the government to carry out the population census in 2023 instead of 2024. The census was to take place this year, but the government announced its postponement to 2024 due to the problems caused by the pandemic. According to the Civic Committee of Santa Cruz, this postponement is causing economic damage to the region and to political representation in the
next elections (see Fides 28/10/2022). The strike triggered a series of clashes, sometimes violent, between supporters and opponents, which spread to other cities in Bolivia. Bolivian civic committees warned yesterday that they would organize a national strike starting next Monday, November 7, if the government of Luis Arce does not bring forward the population census to 2023.
The effects of the protesters’ strike and the roadblocks are now being felt, especially with the shortage of fuel and food. The Bolivian government has temporarily banned the export of six basic food products due to a “risk of shortage”. Víctor Hugo Valda Antelo, Episcopal Delegate for Health of the Archdiocese of Santa Cruz and General Director of the Catholic Hospital, informed that the continuity of care in Catholic hospitals is highly threatened due to the lack of fuel, which prevents the transporting patients and hindering medical and nursing staff, who make every effort to provide regular care to the sick. He also appealed to the authorities and in particular to the people who prevent the fuel from reaching the pumps: “In the name of the God of life, allow the supply of fuel and the passage of the roadblocks in priority and immediately to the ambulances and hospital transport, as they are essential to continue saving lives”.
The Bolivian Council of the Laity has published a manifesto denouncing and protesting against the abuses committed in the country, mainly in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. He therefore urges the leaders “to change their attitude, remembering that they were elected to serve the entire Bolivian people, to guarantee prosperity, peace and harmony to all the inhabitants”.
According to information gathered by Agenzia Fides, the President of Bolivia, Luis Arce, yesterday posted a message on social networks in which he declared that the dialogue to resolve the dispute over the census is still open and announced the creation of a technical committee to set the final date. The government also said it agreed with the recommendations of the Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) to avoid further violence and start dialogue as soon as possible in order to reach an agreed date for the census. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 4/11/2022)

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Birmingham’s First Presbyterian Church Turns 150


Birmingham’s First Presbyterian Church Turns 150


Birmingham’s First Presbyterian Church Turns 150

Birmingham’s First Presbyterian Church turns 150. The church, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, has been at the center of Birmingham’s history for a century and a half, and they plan to continue that legacy. The First Presbyterian Church has served many people in Birmingham, Alabama since 1872. It was the first church building in the heart of the city. For years the church has been very involved in the community. In 1963, pastors played a role in the response to the civil rights movement, which helped them open their doors to people of color. They were also able to open a shelter for people right here in our community. Terry Hamilton-Poore has served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church since 2019. She says that over the past 150 years many lives have been touched. We’ve been through some very tough times, so the best thing we can do is just stay true and have hope and a place where people can find stability in something that’s been going on all this time,” Hamilton-Poore said. Poore hopes they can continue to be a church that partners with other organizations to make a difference in their community. They have a full weekend of private celebration starting today with a barbecue and a band in their backyard. They will also show videos of some of the work going on in the church and community.

The First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham celebrates its 150th anniversary.

The church, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, has been at the center of Birmingham’s history for a century and a half, and they plan to continue that legacy.

The First Presbyterian Church has served many people in Birmingham, Alabama since 1872. It was the first church building in the heart of the city.

For years the church has been very involved in the community. In 1963, pastors played a role in the response to the civil rights movement, which helped them open their doors to people of color. They were also able to open a shelter for people right here in our community.

Terry Hamilton-Poore has served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church since 2019. She says that over the past 150 years many lives have been touched.

“We’ve been through some really tough times, so the best thing we can do is just stay true and have hope and a place where people can find stability in something that’s been going on all this time,” Hamilton said. – Poore.

Poore hopes they can continue to be a church that partners with other organizations to make a difference in their community.

They have a full weekend of private celebration starting today with a barbecue and a band in their backyard. They will also show videos of some of the work going on in the church and community.

‘Be fully present’: Beloved pastor GR’s sons remember his late father


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Sunday before the Renaissance Church of God in Christ hosted the funeral of Patrick Lyoya, Bishop Dennis McMurray stood before the congregation and clarified his mission.

“He said, ‘The world is coming to see what is happening, but our responsibility is to serve the Lyoya family. That’s what we’re here to do,” recalls Parris McMurray, quoting his father’s words. “’So if you’re an usher, make sure you’re serving the Lyoya family, not cameras and lights. If you sing, be sure to sing for the Lyoya family.'”

Bishop Dennis McMurray’s counsel that day reflected his own core values.

The senior pastor, who died Wednesday of cancerwas about people, not promotion.

“Yes, the lights had to be on, Reverend Al Sharpton had to come in, absolutely. But the focus was on the Lyoya family,” Parris McMurray explained.

Indeed, from the start of the service, Dennis McMurray asked the crowd to show their support.

“Clapping expresses your love for someone,” Dennis McMurray said. “’Can we give love to our mother and our father? We love you,” he said, his eyes focusing significantly on Patrick Lyoya’s parents.

“Can you all shout with me, ‘Mom, Dad, we love you!'” he said.


Parris McMurray said his father made it a point to forge a personal connection with everyone he met, regardless of circumstance or position in life.

“When he introduced himself to people (at the store) just around the corner, he would never say, ‘Hello, my name is Pastor or Bishop McMurray,’ he would say, ‘Hey, what’s up, man? My name is Dennis. What’s your name ?’ “, explained Parris McMurray. “My father had a tremendous amount of caring, empathy and concern for others.”

Parris and his brother, Auston McMurray, sat down with News 8 a day after their father’s death to talk about his life and legacy.

Parris and Auston McMurray, sons of Bishop Dennis McMurray.

Dennis McMurray founded the Renaissance Church of God in Christ in 1992.

Dennis McMurray was a ‘dynamic preacher and gospel teacher,’ his biography on the church website says.

The Muskegon Heights native served as an administrative assistant to the Bishop of the Western Michigan Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ, conducted seminars and was a motivational speaker.

In October, Dennis McMurray was honored for his social activism and leadership for social change in the region with the GIANT award among giants. He has served on the Michigan Community Corrections Board, the National Board of Bethany Christian Services, Kent County Community Mental Health, and the Spectrum Health Executive Patient & Advisory Board. He has previously been honored with the GIANT Award for Religious Life and the Who’s Who Award in Black Grand Rapids by the Black Chamber of Commerce in Detroit.

He and his wife, First Lady E. Jean McMurray, recently celebrated their 36th birthday.

They met while students at Grand Valley State University and were blessed with three children, two boys: Parris and Auston, and a girl, ChaVon.

Bishop Dennis McMurray with his wife, E. Jean McMurray, and their children, Parris, Auston and ChaVon. (Courtesy of Parris McMurray)

The Renaissance Church of God in Christ has just celebrated its 30th anniversary.

“He lived his life out loud, but not from a self-gain perspective. It was from a perspective of self-sacrifice. He gave himself to literally every person he met,” Parris McMurray said.

It was about a month after Lyoya’s funeral, Dennis McMurray’s sons said they began to notice a deficit in their father’s physical strength.

Dennis McMurray, 63, was soon diagnosed with a rare cancer.

He died on Wednesday, five months after the cancer was discovered.

His sons told News 8 that funeral arrangements would be announced soon.

As committed as Dennis McMurray was to serving people inside and outside the church, his sons say he was equally dedicated to his role as husband, father and grandfather.


“He was a family man,” said his son, Auston McMurray. “It was God, family, community. He was completely present inside our house, and completely present outside our house. He had this duality of care that was unparalleled.

His sons say their father was able to give 110% in all areas of his life thanks to his level of organization and attention to detail.

“So organized. So well thought out and strategic in everything he did,” said Parris McMurray.

Bishop Dennis McMurray with his grandchildren. (Courtesy of Parris McMurray)

Dennis McMurray’s commitment to the family was exemplified on the day of Lyoya’s funeral, which coincided with a long-planned special event at his grandson’s school.

“My eldest son celebrated Grandparents Day at school that morning and (Bishop McMurray) said to everyone, ‘Give me 45 minutes.’ So he and his assistant went to my son’s school, spent 30 minutes, drank some punch, had a cookie and said “OK”. have a nice day. Paw Paw loves you,” Parris McMurray said.

In addition to his focus on family, church, and community, Dennis McMurray was a leader among urban pastors in Grand Rapids, particularly over the past three years as the community grappled with the COVID-19 quarantine, a 2020 summer riot and the April police murder of Patrick Lyoya.

“He was the driving force in keeping urban clergy connected. Late night zooms. Early morning zooms,” said Reverend Jerry Bishop of Life Quest, an urban church that describes itself as goal-oriented and performance-based ministry.


Bishop called Dennis McMurray “consummate encouragement”.

After learning of her death, Bishop said he spent 90 minutes reviewing the couple’s text exchanges.

“Over 90% of the text messages he sent me were just encouraging me. … Encouragement not to reduce my passion. Encouragement to stay connected. That was really what a lot of my pastoral colleagues needed during the three years, arguably among the darkest hours for our community. The uncertainty of COVID, the crisis and calamities during the riots, potential unrest in the days and weeks after the death of Patrick Lyoya,” said he declared.

Bishop has worked closely with him over the past few years, getting to know his mentor and friend on a deeper level.

“(Dennis McMurray) said something to me that still resonates,” Bishop recalled. “He said, ‘I’m going to get to know what makes you tick the way you do.'”

Bishop said McMurray’s death should remind people that “tomorrow is not promised.”

“I really believe in this transition season from Dennis; it should awaken many of us servants of the community to love (and) live better,” he said.


Parris and Auston McMurray told News 8 that their father encourages people to fully accept their emotions.

“What we learned from him was to experience emotions and not be afraid, not get into this idea that men don’t cry,” Parris McMurray explained. “Cry. Feel the emotion. Cry tears of joy, tears of sadness. Either way, make sure you feel your emotions fully.

The brothers passed on their mother’s response to a neighbor who, upon learning of the pastor’s death, asked how he could help.

“My mom just said, ‘Pay it forward. Pay it forward, wherever you go, wherever you walk, every place you occupy, pay it forward: that same care and that same concern. …If there’s someone you need to tell you love, tell them right away. If there is someone you need to apologize to, apologize to them right away, be fully present and leave no stone unturned,” said Parris McMurray.

— Anna Skog of News 8 contributed to this report.

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What Pelosi’s Attack Says About a Post-Truth Church


The image was of a pair of underwear with a hammer, and the caption read, “Get it now: Paul Pelosi’s Halloween costume.” After a friend sent me the link, I was almost shaking with rage. In less than an hour, Donald Trump Jr. would post the same image with a similar message, but this is the first one that made me angry because it was posted by someone claiming to be a follower of Jesus -Christ.

Keep in mind what we witnessed this week: A man with a history of conspiracy theories, including denial of the 2020 election, broke into the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , took a hammer and beat the president’s husband until he needed critical surgery.

Police report the man ran through the house yelling “Where’s Nancy?” The language is a direct echo of the cries of Jan. 6 insurgents, who swarmed the president’s office after attacking and ransacking the Capitol.

Within hours of the Pelosi attack, typical internet mobs were spreading lies and conspiracy theories about the event, some of them too vile and obviously fabricated to even mention here.

A friend asked me why I was so upset about the supposedly evangelical man who posted the “joke” about Pelosi’s attempted murder. After all, we’ve seen his troll behavior on and off social media for years. “Why are you surprised?” my friend said. “This guy has shown who he is for years. I feel sorry for him.”

But that’s the point. This isn’t an isolated incident of a sad, angry, “extremely online” guy. It reflects a upward trend among some Christians.

Take for example Charlie Kirk, who responded to Pelosi’s attack by saying“If an amazing patriot out there in San Francisco or the Bay Area really wants to be a mid-term hero, somebody should go bail him out. … Release him and ask him a few questions. That’s is the same Kirk who claims to be a born-again Christian and whose name was merged with that of Jerry Falwell Jr. in the “Falkirk Center” of the largest Christian university in the country (until Falwell left).

While all of this is going on, hordes of online commentators and conspiracy theory websites either deny the attack happened – like a Deep State “false flag” – or positively revel in the humor of everything. that. Many of them have “Christian.” Husband. Father” or a similar designation in their social media bio.

All of this would be bad enough if it just happened in the “fog of disinformation”. But even after the official affidavit from the Department of Justice was released with details of the police interview with the alleged assailant – who admits to breaking into the Pelosi house to harm the President – where are the excuses for spreading the lies? Where is the shame of reveling in what could easily have turned into murder?

Looking at some of the responses to Pelosi’s beating, Mona Charen asked, “What’s wrong with these people?” The answer, of course, is hell.

James, the brother of Jesus, tells us that “the tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (James 3:6). He goes on to tell churches that “bitter envy and selfish ambition” lead to “denying[ing] the truth,” which leads to “disorder and all bad practice” (vv. 14-16).

This imagery from the fires of hell shows how damaging lies can be and how easily they can spiral out of control. The threat of political violence looms over our country in a way perhaps not seen since the fiery days of the 1960s.

Indeed, the situation could easily become even more intense. After all, people back then didn’t have social media incentives to draw attention to character debasement, which could lead to large numbers of people reaching out to sympathize with Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray or Sirhan Sirhan.

Where does much of this violence or the threat of it come from? Lies. The idea that the election was stolen by a vast conspiracy of liberals is a lie. That chosen ones are part of a secret cabal to drink the blood of babies is a lie. That the Jews are pulling the strings of the “globalist” order is a lie. That the federal government engineered COVID-19 as a hoax is a lie. That your pastor is a “cultural Marxist” for preaching what the Bible teaches about race and justice is a lie.

Worse still, many people spread such lies to know let them be lies.

God is a God of truth, and He forbids both bearing false witness and taking human life. Jesus himself said that the devil “was a murderer from the beginning, not holding on to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his mother tongue, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

The apostle Paul, too, emphasizes the connection between lying and murder when he speaks of those under the power of sin as those whose “tongues work deceit” and whose “feet are quick to shed blood. (Rom. 3:13-15). ).

We are in a precarious and dangerous time, and even worse, we have become used to it all. In early December 2020, when a Republican election official in Georgia called for an end to lies about a stolen election, he warned, “Someone is going to get shot; someone is going to get killed. Just over a month later, police officers were beaten at the United States Capitol. People were chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” And, yes, people were shouting, “Where’s Nancy?”

Is this really the kind of society we want to live in? Is it really the United States of America that we want to bequeath to our children? And, more importantly, is it the testimony of the church that we want to display?

It will rightly be noted that the personalities spreading conspiracies or joking about this recent assassination attempt are fringe and hyperpoliticized personalities, not respected spiritual leaders. They will rightly observe that most evangelical Christians tolerate neither lies nor political violence. That’s absolutely correct. And that’s why we have to say it.

This is why we must say to those who spread lies and fuel violence: “You will not do this in our name, and you will certainly not do this in the name of Jesus Christ.

Moreover, we are ethically obligated to tell these bad actors Jesus’ warning – that the path of lies leads not only to violence against the innocent but also to the damnation of the liars themselves (Rev. 21:8 ).

We should be people of truth. And at the Judgment Seat of Christ, when every lie is exposed, don’t be the person to say, “I left my soul in San Francisco.”

Russell Moore is the editor of Christianity today.

Remembering Emmett Till and his legacy


“Thank God we’re not where we used to be, but praise the Lord we’re not where we’re supposed to be.”

Those words were spoken recently by Deacon Arthur Miller, a Catholic clergyman discussing the brutal 1955 lynching murder in Mississippi of Emmett Till, who had been his neighbor in 1950s Chicago.

Till, a black teenager who had been visiting relatives in Jim Crow-era rural Mississippi, was kidnapped, tortured and killed by two white men after he allegedly flirted with Carolyn Bryant, a white shopkeeper married to the one of the men. Bryant’s husband, Roy, and his half-brother, JW Milam, were acquitted of Till’s murder a few weeks later.

The teenager’s death and – perhaps even more – the crusade led by his bereaved but courageous mother, Mamie, to bring attention to herself, was one of the sparks that ignited the civil rights movement in the United States. United States. Till’s life and his mother’s crusade are featured in a new film, “Till,” in theaters now.

While Deacon Miller may have spoken of the life and death of his childhood neighbor over 65 years ago, he also focused on a 9ft tall statue of Till recently erected in Greenwood, Mississippi, about 10 miles from the site of the store where the fateful whistling incident supposedly happened.

“Maybe this statue is a call to people to say it’s time we stood up for what’s right,” the deacon said in response to a reporter’s question. “Because it’s not about being black, it’s about social justice and our Catholic faith and what Christ has taught us.”

If in fact Deacon Miller’s words don’t ring hollow, it would be an all too rare event in the Mississippi Delta, where in recent years not one, but several signs and markers commemorating Till and the event surrounding his murder have been vandalized, defaced, demolished and even riddled with gunfire.

At least two historical markers at the site of what was once Bryant’s grocery store have disappeared or had to be replaced, and four more that had been erected on the banks of the Tallahatchie River near where Till’s body was discarded were also removed. Each had been riddled with bullets, so the newest installed there was bulletproof steel.

Yet, in the face of what appear to be ongoing local efforts to erase Till’s memory and foster the hatred that killed him, Deacon Miller believes the new statue will be a “bastion of hope that we will never allow this kind of thing”. reproduces itself. »

He is not alone. Archbishop Shelton Fabre of Louisville, head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ Anti-Racism Committee, also said he hoped those who saw the statue would ‘remember Emmett Till’ and be inspired to “do what we can to keep fighting to overcome the evil and the sin of racism.

In March – 67 years after the horrific death of Emmett Till – President Biden signed into law a bill, named after Till, making lynching a federal crime in the United States. At the time, he called the lynching “pure terror to uphold the lie that everyone…created equal.” A month earlier, shortly after his appointment by Pope Francis, the new archbishop of Louisville said working for social justice must go hand in hand with prayer.

“Laws have an important role to play in overcoming racism,” Bishop Fabre said on the Gloria Purvis podcast in February, “but laws alone will not change the human heart.”

Psalm 97:10, puts it another way: “Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he keeps the life of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. »

Coast faith leaders gather to pray for Gulfport community


GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) – Religious leaders in the Coastal Zone gathered for a night of prayer on Tuesday, seeking a spiritual solution to crime and violence in the community.

Gulf Coast churches filled the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.

It’s all part of the Churches United for Christ. Gulfport church leaders came up with the idea of ​​meeting once a month in churches in different neighborhoods.

A day after prayers last month, a shooting involving an officer rocked southern Mississippi.

Just this week, another shootout in Gulfport left two people injured.

“Pray for our municipal leaders. Pray for our communities, especially our young people and also the churches. We come together as one, we can have more impact,” said Pastor James Bell.

Bell is the pastor of Little Rock Baptist Church. He tells WLOX that Churches United for Christ was created to reduce crime, violence and improve the community.

He hopes the prayer vigils will invite more people to worship.

“At the end of our seven months, we hope to see a difference in the crime we have here in Gulfport,” Bell said. “I think our same goal is to have peace and harmony throughout our city. We’re asking everyone to pray for us and other cities will see what we’re doing and hopefully want to do it. likewise.

Churches United for Christ will announce the location of the next meeting in the coming weeks.

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Girard church pastor posts video message after parishioner was shot and killed in Columbus



The pastor of St. Rose de Girard Church offers words of comfort to the family and friends of a ward member who was fatally shot in Columbus over the weekend.


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The pastor of St. Rose de Girard Church offers words of comfort to the family and friends of a ward member who was fatally shot in Columbus over the weekend.

Father Jordan Kelly posted a message on the church’s Facebook page following the death of Kevin Sobnosky, who would have turned 22 next week.

“There are no words for this, only our faith and prayer,” Fr. Jordan said in his video message.

According to the Columbus Police Department, Sobnosky died Sunday morning.

Columbus police say Sobnosky was with other men when the car they were in was hit by gunfire from a parking lot along North Cassady Avenue before 4 a.m. Sunday.

The injured Sobnosky was taken to hospital where he died of his injuries.

Police have identified two other victims as males, ages 18 and 19.

Detectives say no arrests have been made in the case.

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The Church of Jesus Christ building will be the new home of the Idaho Food Bank


A former meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 351 W. 14th Street in Idaho Falls was recently donated to the Idaho Falls Community Food Cart. (Jay Hildebrandt)

Estimated reading time: 3-4 minutes

IDAHO FALLS — A generous donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will provide a larger venue for a local food bank to serve customers in eastern Idaho.

A former Latter-day Saint meeting place at 351 W. 14th Street in Idaho Falls has been donated to the Idaho Falls Community Food Cart, meaning the food cart will move its distribution center to the 17,389-foot building squares.

Ariel Jackson, executive director of the food cart, tells EastIdahoNews.com the new building is more than 13 times the size of its current location at 245 N. Placer Avenue. The nonprofit plans to move into the space within the next six to nine months following a renovation project.

“The plan is to receive the keys in December after removing the steeple, signage and building art,” Jackson said. “The building doesn’t have a dock for us to drop off food, so we need a dock in the back and some shelving. We also didn’t want to uproot our families in the middle of the holidays. This moving in the snow is no fun.”

Half of the building will be used as a food bank distribution center and the other half will be used for community events, such as self-sufficiency classes and other charitable purposes.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has contributed to the food basket over the years and it is the organization’s largest donation to date.

The Idaho Falls Community Food Cart will move into its new building following a renovation project.
The Idaho Falls Community Food Cart will move into its new building following a renovation project. (Photo: Jay Hildebrandt)

It comes at a time when the number of people benefiting from the food basket continues to rise. It distributed the equivalent of 1,738,105 meals last year, serving 1,043 families each month.

“The need continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, testing our ability to safely distribute food to those who need it most,” Jackson said in a press release.

The larger building will not only improve the efficiency of food distribution, but also improve customer safety in a welcoming indoor location.

“We had to call an ambulance three times this summer because customers had to stand in the sun and now we are hitting the winter months. This gives us the opportunity to get our customers out of the weather…to wait in a warm or cool building (depending on the time of year),” Jackson says. “Our biggest goal was to get a bigger space and shelter our guests from the elements, so that’s going to be awesome. “

Food donated to the Idaho Falls Community Food Cart.
Food donated to the Idaho Falls Community Food Cart. (Photo: Ariel Jackson)

The church building dates from 1950 and has not been used as a meeting place for at least a decade. A press release from the church says it recently operated as an administrative office for full-time missionaries.

The church wanted to sell or donate it and contacted the Regional Council for Christian Ministry, the food basket’s umbrella organization, to see if they were interested in the space.

“They liked what we were doing, realizing that we were meeting the needs of the community and we just didn’t have (adequate) space,” Jackson says.

Elder Fernando R. Castro, a member of one of the church’s Quorum of Seventy overseeing members in this area, is thrilled to provide a much larger space for the food bank’s mission.

“We are grateful to The Food Basket for its many years of dedicated service helping food insecure individuals and families and for the opportunity to repurpose this building in such a meaningful way,” Castro said in a press release. .

Jackson appreciates the “remarkable gesture” of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The current food cart building on Placer Avenue is owned by the First Presbyterian Church. Jackson is grateful for his support over the years. Once the move is complete, Jackson says it will be used for other nonprofit entities.

Its warehouse located at 1895, boulevard Nord will remain in operation.

Idaho Falls Community Food Cart Volunteers
Volunteers at the Idaho Falls Community Food Cart (Photo: Ariel Jackson)

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Pope prays for those killed in Halloween event


Pope Francis is expressing sadness for the more than 150 people killed at a Halloween street party in South Korea’s capital Seoul, as the country’s Catholic bishops call for a full investigation into the causes.

October 31, 2022

Mourners pay their respects near the scene of a stampede in Seoul

By Alastair Wanklyn & Devin Watkins
At least 153 people have died and 82 others are injured after being run over and stomped on during a Halloween street party in Seoul, most of whom were young people who died of suffocation.

Speaking during the Angelus prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis turned his thoughts to the tragedy in the South Korean capital.

“Let us pray to the risen Lord for all those – mostly young people – who died tragically last night in Seoul in a sudden crush of crowds.”

“Preventable” tragedy
Video posted to social media from Saturday night’s tragedy showed people screaming within a crowd.

A few people were seen clinging to the walls, trying to get out of the crush. When some people fell, others stepped on it.

The disaster was not apparent at first. Loud music continued to play as bodies lay in the road. It happened in the Itaewon nightclub district in Seoul. The victims were mostly young people.

The local fire department chief said the victims attended a Halloween gathering.

It’s unclear why the crash happened, but eyewitnesses said there was little to no crowd control. The revelers kept arriving and pushing through the already packed streets.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol called it “a tragedy that shouldn’t have happened”. He said South Koreans would mark a week of mourning.

Bishops call to investigate
In a written statement, the Korea Catholic Bishops’ Conference said South Koreans must “break the cycle of injustice and irresponsibility that has become common practice in this society.”

“To do this, we must first be true to our respective roles,” the Bishops said. “Authorities must thoroughly examine the cause and process of this tragedy, and ensure that irresponsibility and forgetfulness do not happen again.”

The bishops added that it is important to ensure that there are “no more sacrifices” from people, especially young people.

“Human life and dignity are the most precious values, and nothing in our society can take precedence over them.”

The death toll is the worst in South Korea since the sinking of an overloaded ferry eight years ago.

In this disaster, 304 people died, including many schoolchildren. But this has led to a tightening of shipping regulations.–Vatican News

Church of Omaha fights health inequities


OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Susan Blum brought her seven-year-old granddaughter to the Pleasant Green Baptist Church health fair on Saturday.

Blum lives a few miles away and came to pick up their COVID boosters.

“It’s very accessible for us. It’s in our area, so it was the perfect spot for us today,” Blum said.

The church has three Health Ambassadors to promote healthy living. Lovey Jackson-Craddock is one of them.

“My job as a Health Ambassador is to help keep the community safe, so I thought it was very important to do the Health Fair today and do the reminders and flu shots and to bring the community together to help keep the community safe,” Jackson – Craddock said.

There were also boards with information on mental health, job opportunities and a station to check blood pressure.

Alberta Hollie and her sister go to church and came to the fair. They felt comfortable asking their questions.

“The church their doors are always open. You can always ask them questions and get help,” Hollie said. “And if you don’t understand, they sit down, talk to you and make you aware of what they have to offer.”

The 2021 Community Health Assessment in Douglas County found residents in North and South Omaha reported that transportation hindered their ability to get to doctors. That’s why free events like this at community churches break down some accessibility barriers.

“A lot of people live here in the community. They may not have the money or the gas to go far. And they can come right here in the neighborhood,” Jackson-Craddock said.

More than 50 people received their COVID booster and flu shot from the county health department.

And even though this was the church’s first health fair, they say the positive turnout encourages them to hold it again.

After the storm: Lima region pastors weigh in on faith after pandemic


LIMA – In March 2020, government officials nationwide announced a lockdown that shook the country’s foundations. Schools moved to Zoom meetings; doctor’s appointments have become telehealth; and some churches have been asked to worship outdoors.

Gathering places across the region felt the tremor. Despite all the questions, many have found hope in an unseen substance: faith.

Now, two years later, believers have been reminded of the start of the pandemic and what life is like after.

test of faith

New Life Christian Ministries, led by Pastor Damian Tibbs, said many believers have experienced a test of faith like never before. He said that for many, the pandemic has revealed where their level of faith really is. Was their faith really greater than any fear?

“Some thought they lived by faith, but fear got the better of them,” Tibbs said. “I would say that kind of exposed the true level of faith of those who follow Christ, and that’s what fear does. Fear is a test of faith. We will all experience fear because we are not immune to it, but depending on your level of faith, this is how you will react.

Pastor Janet Wend, of Cornerstone Church Lima, said her church continues to share the message of Jesus Christ. Church leaders pointed their congregation to Jesus in the midst of any fear they might face.

“He told us that in this life we ​​will have tribulations, but rest assured, I have overcome the world,” Wend said. “We were constantly pointing people to Jesus and their faith in him. If you keep your eyes on Him, you will remain at peace.

The transition

When lockdowns were in effect, many switched to online church. According to Father Matt Keller, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church in Glandorf, believers felt confused and hurt. Community members began to fail to come together and express their faith in God.

Churches like In Faith Ministries resumed meeting as soon as they could. Pastor Michael Lyons said they have made the necessary accommodations as they begin to meet again.

“The Bible says faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God,” Lyons said. “What we hear is what we tend to believe. We kept hearing how dangerous and deadly COVID was. That’s what people started to believe. My job was to let people know what God was saying.

faith over fear

A few local churches continued to meet during the pandemic and after, to be a safe place for those seeking answers.

Anástasis Church, led by Tyler and Hannah Perry, opened its doors eight months after closing. On November 1, 2020, the Perrys opened their doors to anyone wishing to worship.

Tyler shared that his congregation has grown and found hope in his faith throughout the pandemic. Community members felt thrilled to come together again after months of isolation. The pandemic has raised the fears of many buried or unrecognized people. The Perrys preached the message of peace and hope in Jesus Christ.

Anástasis Church took precautions but did not close the doors to those in need of belonging. Perry said the pandemic has created a lot of questions in many people’s hearts often wondering what’s next or how things will go. He has found that many have found healing, peace and hope after embracing a relationship with Jesus.

“I saw people who already knew God lean on Him even more,” Perry said. “Then I saw new people coming to faith in God. For people who already had faith, it got even stronger and people who didn’t have faith started exploring it. So many fear reigned during the pandemic.For Christians, faith is still the only option.

new believers

After a real storm in life, people start to assess where they are. After the pandemic, some believers experienced new depths in relying more on their faith, and some decided to believe again.

“One of the things that we found really cool is that the majority of our church grew not only from Christians who were looking for space, but also from people who were trying to figure out who God is,” Perry said. “We saw a lot of new converts to Christianity or people who grew up in church and didn’t really have a place.”

Mary Deringer of Wapak Church said just before the pandemic their senior pastor shared a message titled “This changes everything”.

“If we really put our faith in the resurrection, it really changes the trajectory of our lives,” Deringer said.

The previous message simply prepared the congregation for what was to come before they even knew it. Deringer said he noticed a significant increase in the number of believers, new and old.

To advance

Now that the churches are coming together fully again, many are beginning to live again after the storm, leaning on the one thing that has kept them above it all. Perry encouraged people to hold on to faith even in the temptation of fear.

“Having an emotion of fear isn’t bad,” Perry said. “But God didn’t design us to live in fear. He wants us to experience his peace and give up our control and give up the desire to dictate the outcome. The best way to find peace is to open our hands and say, “God, you do what you want to do in my life, whether it’s this pandemic or whether it’s our own personal battles or struggles.” My advice would be to relax, pray, and trust the One who knows what you need before you even ask.

New Life Christian Ministries hopes to continue to be a light and a shine to help those who face a trial or obstacle.

“The key is to show people he’s what we’ve been missing from the start,” Tibbs said.

Contact Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.

Six people were injured outside a Pittsburgh church during the funeral of a man killed in a shooting, officials say


PITTSBURGH — Six people were injured Friday afternoon outside a church holding the funeral of a man killed two weeks earlier in a shooting, officials said.

At 12:04 p.m., the police were alerted around five shots were fired outside Destiny of Faith Church on Brighton Road on the north side of the city. Immediately after, police were alerted to 15 more shots, Pittsburgh Police Commander Richard Ford said at a news conference.

Four of the victims have checked into a local hospital and are stable.

One person in critical condition was transported by ambulance, Ford said. The sixth victim initially left the scene but was later hospitalized in stable condition.

Ford declined to give their names or ages.

The Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety said Friday night that two “persons of interest” had been arrested. On Saturday, police identified them as Shawn Davis, 19, and a 16-year-old boy. NBC News is not naming the 16-year-old because he is underage.

Both suspects are being held at the Allegheny County Jail on multiple offenses including attempted homicide, criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault and firearms charges.

The scene outside a church where officers said “multiple shots” were fired in Pittsburgh on Friday.BNC News

A Destiny of Faith spokesperson confirmed the shooting happened outside as a funeral was taking place, but did not share further details.

The service was for John James Hornezes Jr., who was killed in another shooting, police said. He was among three people shot dead on October 15 on NBC affiliate Cedar Avenue. WPXI reported. Jacquelyn C. Mehalic, 33, and Betty J. Averytt, 59, were also killed in that shooting.

The motive for Friday’s shooting remains unclear, although Ford told reporters there appears to be “an ongoing dispute.”

He said there was “most likely” more than one shooter.

Bishops call for peace as war rages in Ukraine


As war rages in Ukraine, peace was the central theme of a just-concluded meeting of leaders of central and eastern European bishops’ conferences in Budapest. They gathered in the Hungarian capital shortly after the Hungarian Prime Minister opened a memorial center for the late Cardinal József Mindszenty.

By Stefan J. Bos

The Hungarian Catholic Episcopal Conference said its leader András Veres conveyed the message of the Second Vatican Council to a two-day regional episcopal conference in Budapest. He says: “Peace is not the simple absence of war or the simple maintenance of a balance of power between forces, nor can it be imposed on the dictates of absolute power. It is called, at justly, a work of righteousness.”

And Michael Wallace Banach, the Apostolic Nuncio to Hungary, noted that the Church is a peace-loving institution. The Vatican representative also wondered: “What does the Church do for peace? adding, “it’s a question that needs to resonate in people’s hearts.”

His appeal prompted Gintaras Grusas, the Archbishop of Vilnius, to ask everyone to “pray for peace” in neighboring Ukraine and the rest of Europe. This call to prayer was appreciated by Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, who stressed the importance of peace.

Conference participants also celebrated Mass in Budapest’s famous St. Stephen’s Basilica by Hungarian Cardinal Péter Erdő and met with Hungarian President Katalin Novák. They prayed in a country where authorities say around 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees have arrived from neighboring war-torn Ukraine. Although most pass through Hungary, thousands have also been housed here, with the support of churches.

New center commemorating Cardinal Mindszenty

The rally came after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Sunday opened a new center commemorating the late Hungarian Cardinal József Mindszenty in the Hungarian town of Zalaegerszeg.

It also came as Hungary remembered the crushed 1956 revolution against Soviet rule in which Cardinal Mindszenty played a vital role.

The Prime Minister regards Mindszenty as a symbol of uncompromising opposition to fascism during World War II and communism in Hungary. After eight years in prison for his faith and political views, Mindszenty was released in the 1956 revolution and granted political asylum at the United States Embassy in Budapest, where he lived for fifteen years. He was finally allowed to leave Hungary in 1971 and died in exile in 1975 in Vienna, Austria.

Events in and around Perry


Halloween party

2 p.m. on Friday, October 28 at the Jamaica Public Library.

The Jamaica Public Library will be hosting a Halloween party for children on Friday, October 28. The event will include a Halloween-themed story hour, costume contest, crafts, treats and take-out bags full of fun things for the kids. The costume contest will offer prizes to boys and girls in two age categories: 6 and under and 7 and over. Adult volunteers and community members are all welcome. For more information on the Halloween party, call 641-429-3362 or check out the library’s Facebook page.

Spooky walk through the city center

4-6 p.m. Friday, October 28 in downtown Perry.

Enjoy a Spooktacular Trick-or-Treat ride through downtown Perry on October 28. This event, sponsored by the Perry Chamber of Commerce, includes safe tricks or treats with local businesses and community organizations. Willis Avenue (1st to 3rd) and 2nd Street (Otley to Pattee) will be closed to vehicles during the event. Parking will be available on municipal lands (Caboose Park and near the post office) as well as on side streets. Participants should enter at intersections and keep to the right to follow the designated one-way route through the city center.

Halloween safe and healthy

5-6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 in the north parking lot of Dallas County Hospital.

Join Dallas County Hospital again this year for a drive-thru candy event. Cars will enter from Iowa and will be directed through the north parking lot and guided through the 10th Street exit. There will be three stations in total this year with a pre-assembled goodie bag waiting for each kiddo at each before exiting onto 10th Street. Please note that giveaways will take place while supplies last. Watch for updates on the Dallas County Hospital and Family Medicine Clinics Facebook page. The event is sponsored by Hy-Vee, Fareway and the Perry Public Library.

Perry Trick-or-Treating

6-8pm Friday October 28 around Perry.

Perry City Council has designated Friday, October 28 from 6-8 p.m. as Beggars’ Night. Participating households must turn on porch lights.

pumpkin festival

6-9 p.m. Friday, October 28 at Crossroads Church, Perry.

Crossroads Church is inviting Perry youth and children to a free pumpkin festival on Friday, October 28. Fun outdoor games and activities will be available to play up to three times each and candy will be awarded to each participant each time they play. Other activities include a giant slingshot and tic-tac-toe board, balloon race, corn hole, face painting, bouncy house and more. The Pumpkin Festival will be held outdoors on the Carrefour lawn and will be moved indoors in case of rain. For more information, call Pastor Rick at 515-465-5478.

National Medication Take-Back Day

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 29 at the Perry Police Department, 908 Willis Ave.

The Perry Police Department will once again participate in the DEA’s National Takeover Day on Saturday, October 29. Bring your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications that are old, unwanted, or no longer needed. The police department will dispose of them properly to keep them out of landfills, water supplies, and most importantly away from those who might misuse them. There is no need to remove labels or pills from bottles. Needles and inhalers will not be accepted. For more information about this DEA program or to locate another takeback site in your area, visit www.dea.gov/takebackday.

Chicken noodle dinner

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Saturday, October 29 at Minburn United Methodist Church.

Minburn United Methodist Church will host its annual Chicken Noodle Dinner from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 29. Dine in or take away available. A voluntary donation will be taken.

Trunk or Redfield treat

3-5 p.m. Saturday, October 29 at Redfield City Park.

The Trunk or Treat event will also feature hot chocolate, S’mores, inflatables and games. The City Sleight of Hand will follow from 5-7 p.m.

Halloween Parade

3:30 p.m. Saturday, October 29 at the Dallas Center.

The Dallas Center Seasonal Fun Committee will host the Halloween Hayday Parade at 3:30 p.m., beginning at Mound Park and ending at Heritage Park. The event also features entertainment and games and giveaways of chili and hot dogs from 4-6 p.m. City tour or treatment will follow from 6-8pm.

Trunk or treat

4-6 p.m. Saturday, October 29 at 306 West Third St., Woodward.

The sixth annual Trunk or Treat will be held on Saturday, October 29 in the parking lot of Woodward-Granger High School. The event will feature food, fun and games.

Trunk or Candy button

5:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday, October 29 at Bouton Haunted Church, 204 Luther St.

A Trunk or Treat event will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 29.

Drive-thru Donation and Animal Costume Contest

1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, October 30 at Raccoon River Pet Rescue.

Bring your donation of pet food, litter, toys or cash ($5 minimum to enter the contest) and help Raccoon River Pet Rescue stock its shelves. Bring your pets in disguise. They will be photographed and entered into a pet costume contest. Does your pet not like car rides? Take a picture of your pet in costume and send it to [email protected], bring your donation to RRPR, or send your cash donation via Venmo to @RRPR-PetRescue and your pet will be entered into the contest. Be sure to include your pet’s name, name and contact information with your photos. Submit photos by November 1. Voting will take place on Facebook from November 2-5. Animals with the most likes/loves will win prizes.

Granger Methodist Church Trunk or Treat

4:30-6:00 p.m. Sunday, October 30 at Granger Emmanuel United Methodist Church. All are welcome, so grab your trunks, grab your treats, or grab your costumes. There will be hot dogs, hot chocolate and hot apple cider available. This is a rain or shine event.

Granger Trick-or-Treating

6-8pm Sunday Oct 30 around Granger.

Beggar’s Night will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Sunday, October 30 at Granger.

Open house reception for retired librarian Jill Cook

2-4 p.m. Monday, October 31 at the Perry Public Library Community Room.

The Perry Public Library will host an open house reception for retired librarian Jill Cook from 2-4 p.m. on Monday, October 31 in the library’s Community Room. Everyone is welcome to stop by, grab some refreshments and wish Jill a happy retirement.

Trunk or Minburn Treat

5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, October 31 on Baker Street, downtown Minburn.

Minburn Public Library invites community members to decorate a trunk. Setup begins at 5 p.m. Trunk decoration is encouraged but not required. There will be a prize for the trunk that receives the most votes. This event will be added to the traditional trick-or-treating. Stop by the Minburn Fire Station during the Trunk or Treat event for hot dogs and all the trimmings, courtesy of the Minburn Area Firefighters Association.

Woodward Trick-or-Treating

6-8 p.m. Monday, October 31 around Woodward.

The Trick-or-Treat Party will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, October 31 at Woodward.

Crossroads Church Care Closet

November 4-5 at Crossroads Church, 2810 First St., Perry.

The Crossroads Church Care Closet will hold a grand opening November 4-5. The Care Closet will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the first weekend of every two months. Everything is free, including clothing for men, women, boys and girls, kitchen utensils, small appliances and more. Donations will also be accepted from 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and on days the Care Closet is open. For more information, call 515-465-5478.

Craft and Bake Sale, Soup Dinner

November 5-6 at Panther Creek Church of the Brethren, 24529 J. Ave. Adel.

Panther Creek Church of the Brethren will be hosting a craft and bake sale from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, November 5. The craft and bake sale with a soup lunch will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. , November 6. A voluntary donation will be taken. The church is located 10 miles south of Perry.

To submit events for inclusion in the roundup of events in and around Perry, email [email protected]

Deconstruction or reconstruction? Pastors discuss a reboot of evangelism.


Panelists Joel Lawrence, left to right, Malcolm Foley, Gavin Ortlund, Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, Doug Sweeney and Kristin Kobes Du Mez attend the Reconstructing Evangelicalism Conference, Monday, October 24, 2022, at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park , Ill. RNS photo by Bob Smietana

OAK PARK, Ill. (RNS) – A conference on the future of the country’s greatest religious tradition began with a bit of honesty. “Nobody knows exactly what an evangelical is,” said Joel Lawrence, executive director of the Center for Pastor Theologians, at the opening of the Reconstructing Evangelicalism conference on Monday, October 24.

The conference, which drew about 400 pastors and other church leaders to Calvary Memorial Church in suburban Chicago, was inspired by a recent trend among evangelicals and other Protestants to “deconstruct” the faith with which they have grown – examining core beliefs and often rejecting the conservative politics, sexism and racial divides for which evangelicalism has become known.

The question “What is an evangelical?” led to a lively, thoughtful, and sometimes pointed conversation during the conference’s opening panel on movement flaws and how to fix them.

Doug Sweeney, dean of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, admitted that for much of the American public, the word evangelical is synonymous with MAGA-style politics. “That wouldn’t be one of my favorite characteristics,” said Sweeney, who argued that “evangelical” should relate more to theology than politics.

Historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez, who spoke in plenary on Monday evening, defined evangelicalism as a political and consumer culture. She said she’s long wondered if the most important thing to ask is, “Who isn’t an evangelical?”

“Who decides that? ” she asked.

Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, academic dean of Esperanza College in Philadelphia, said theological scrutiny among evangelicals is often “pretty ruthless.” Evangelical Christians from Latin America or other parts of the church outside the United States, she said, are largely ignored by American evangelical pastors.

“Why don’t you know their names?” she asked pastors at the conference. “Why don’t you quote them in your sermons? »

Condé-Frazier argued that any reconstruction of evangelicalism must include a more solid understanding of human sin. While evangelicals often focus on personal sin, they tend to miss how power can be abused by sinful church leaders or movements.

“Sin turns into a monster when you have power,” she said.

Malcolm Foley, who directs the Black Church Studies program at Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas, has advocated for a militant form of evangelism, which combines evangelism with social action. “It’s the only evangelism I think is worth talking about,” he said.

At the same time, Foley was skeptical about whether the word “evangelical” could be saved or reconstructed.

“The work and energy we would invest in reclaiming this term could also be used to love our neighbors,” he said. “Instead of needing to reclaim the term, just be people of the gospel. Be people who will invest in deep spiritual, economic, and physical solidarity as a church. They can call you what they If you live a life that testifies of the kingdom of God, I don’t care what you call me.

Sweeney countered that he was not yet ready to give up evangelism. A self-described “evangelical Lutheran” and member of a group called Lutheran Congregations on Mission for Christ, Sweeney summoned an image of the interfaith movement that evangelicalism aspires to be and which he said he hopes to continue to be a part of.

Yet if evangelism is to be rebuilt, various panelists said, it must be done with humility. Some evangelicals, several panelists said, see their movement as the last hope for Christianity in the world — an idea the panelists rejected.

In an interview ahead of his speech, Du Mez said many pastors at the conference want to be true to their beliefs and lead their congregations well — but outside cultural forces make that difficult.

“It’s a tough time to be a pastor,” she said.

Du Mez’s vision of evangelicalism as a consumer culture is based on observing churches growing by giving people what they want, which has recently included scorching conservative politics and culture war rhetoric. . Leaders who attempt to address racism, sexism or other social justice issues are pushed back from within the church and from social media.

She pointed the finger at evangelicals like Beth Moore, a popular Bible teacher who has been unwelcome at the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest evangelical group, for speaking out against sexism and abuse in the largest Protestant denomination in the country.

“If you step out of line, you will be punished,” Du Mez said.

Du Mez said many pastors are good-hearted and have a clear understanding of theology. But they often lack an understanding of the larger cultural factors that affect the country and their churches.

“One of my favorite virtues is the virtue of wisdom or prudence – understanding how the world works,” she said. “So when you pursue your goals, you do so in a way that will pay off. Because if you don’t properly understand how the world works, then good luck trying to live faithfully trying to bring about positive change. .

Lawrence said the conference, which continues through Wednesday and is be broadcast online, aims to spark respectful conversations about Christianity, its challenges, and the possibility of change.

“It’s not good for any of us if we don’t have these conversations,” he said.

Houston church targeted by thieves 12 times in 6 months


“I never thought that in 100 years I would see this place look like this,” Pastor Clifford Walls said.

HOUSTON — A Houston church known for community service is struggling after being targeted by thieves and vandals multiple times in recent months.

Hunter Memorial Church of God in Christ is on the corner of Airline Drive and Neyland Street in north Houston. From the outside, it looks like the neighborhood beacon it has been for decades. However, from the inside it is clear that the church has taken a beating.

“I never thought that in 100 years I would see this place look like this,” said Pastor Clifford Walls, brother of the church’s senior pastor. “I saw a lot of things happen here that were good for the community.”

Walls says they often feed the hungry and provide clothing for the poor. At the height of COVID, although church services stopped, outreach continued.

About six months ago, as they were preparing to fully reopen, someone broke in, cut the water lines and flooded the building, according to Walls. They worked to clean up the church only to be robbed again.

Loudspeakers, instruments, copper from the two air conditioners, as well as clothing and other items were stolen. At the time, cameras and motion lights were installed, but these were also taken. Walls says the church has been burglarized at least twelve times in six months, cutting through the walls to get inside. It seems that they also slept there.

The church was also vandalized. Windows have been smashed, furniture has been cut, walls have been spray painted and even toilets and sinks have been torn from the walls.

Over six months, Walls says damages are estimated at $150,000.

“Several times we came and cleaned up, a week later they come back and trash the place. For us to experience this over and over again is just a bit heartbreaking. »

Walls says they tried to get more help from Houston and city police, but felt frustrated by the lack of response. On Tuesday, Mayor Turner and Chief Finner had a phone meeting with Ken Walls, the church’s chief pastor. The church hopes more support will come as a result.

Right now, Walls is leaning on the faith that this holy place will somehow be restored.

“I just believe in the Lord; it’s just going to make a way. He’s going to find a way for us to put it all back together,” he said.

MCC launches campaign to build the civilization of love by putting families first


Jason Adkins, executive director and general counsel for the Minnesota Catholic Conference, left for the State Capitol in St. Paul with MCC’s Ryan Hamilton, government relations associate, Maggee Hange, policy and public relations associate, and Lynn Varco, Policy and Engagement Associate. COURTESY OF KATHERINE SZEPIENIEC, CATHOLIC CONFERENCE OF MINNESOTA

Encouraging Catholics to lead the way and inspiring others to join the effort, the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the Minnesota Catholic bishops, this month embarked on a multi-year campaign to build up the family while strengthening charity and justice in society.

“We’re trying to bring people out of their silos, to connect, to encourage this work and to give it real momentum,” said Jason Adkins, MCC’s executive director and general counsel.

Two websites will be the focal points of the effort: familiesfirstproject.com and civilisationoflove.net.

The sites are independent of the conference website mncatholic.org to help attract people to the campaign who are not members of the Catholic Church, but who could embrace Church teachings and policy initiatives that help the society at large, said Ryan Hamilton, MCC’s government relations associate.

“We hope the Catholic community will lead the effort, but under no circumstances should the Catholic community be the only ones involved,” Hamilton said.

The conference will continue its annual advocacy programs with state legislators and others to help alleviate poverty, address social concerns, push for criminal justice and fight for the right to life, Hamilton said. He also wants to help eliminate the main causes of social challenges, which can often be traced to difficulties faced by families, he said.

“Now is the time to go upstream, to tackle the root causes of these problems,” he said. “And we think it’s family fragmentation and family economic insecurity and a decline in family formation.”

Policy initiatives

Policy initiatives under the Families First Project include lobbying for a state tax credit for families that would have real impact — like $1,800 per child, Hamilton said. With rising inflation, households are estimated to spend $5,200 more this year than last year on the same basket of consumer goods, he said. For a family with three children, such a tax credit would offset these rising costs, he said.

To help growing families, Minnesota could introduce a $5,000 minivan grant to families with three or more children who purchase a vehicle that seats at least six people, Hamilton said.

Individuals and families could suggest other ways to foster a society that supports the stable foundation on which societies thrive – the family – and share their ideas on the Families First website, he said.

“MCC will work with lawmakers,” Hamilton said, “but at the end of the day they are loyal citizens, people on the benches, people of goodwill, everyone who cares about the common good, especially the common good vis-à-vis the family”. which can make a big difference.

The goal is “to transform Minnesota into a state where family economic well-being has been elevated to the top priority of elected officials and to the center of public policy discussions,” Hamilton said.

The conference’s Civilization of Love website quotes Pope John Paul II: “The future is in your hearts and in your hands. God entrusts you with the task, both difficult and edifying, of working with him to build the civilization of love.

The site encourages people to share their stories of helping create a civilization of love and offers monthly challenges, like October’s: Supporting Pregnancy Resource Centers, which also bolsters the initiative. American Bishops’ pro-life Walking with Mom’s, Adkins said.

November’s challenge will be to bury the dead, a corporal work of mercy, he said.

“It may seem like an overstatement, but we must honor and respect human life, especially at the end of life, and provide a dignified and honorable burial, especially in a society where we now talk about composting human remains and alkaline hydrolysis. , and other really disturbing ways of disposing of human bodies,” Adkins said.

The December challenge will likely be to increase shelter space for the homeless, Adkins said.

“All of these things build the common good,” he said. “We find that many people are allergic to politics these days, but there is a great need to encourage people to live out their discipleship in social life. We are building a healthy society, the civilization of love, with the two hands of charity and justice.

Weaving a network of people who put family first, act in charity and justice, and advocate for the common good will strengthen efforts to create policies and laws that support those priorities, Adkins said.

“We hope that by engaging people more deeply in the social apostolate, they will begin to make connections – that it is not only charity that builds the civilization of love, but it is also the work of justice that can provide that framework,” he said. said. “And that’s politics.”

Getting to know lawmakers, voicing concerns and expressing hopes with them, is something anyone can do, Adkins said. And it could lead to political activity among worshipers, including running for public office, he said.

MCC staff are exploring the possibility of an initiative to encourage Catholics to run for office, particularly at the local level, such as city councils, county commissioners’ boards, school boards and library boards, a said Adkins. There are concerns to weigh, such as the risk of the church appearing partisan in its defense of public office, he said.

But “we’re meeting people from both sides of the aisle, who’ve worked as elected officials, who’ve served in politics, and we explore what that would be like,” he said.

The key things to do in promoting public life are to help people understand that it is an important vocation and to equip them with principles and tools to carry out their duties effectively, he said. he declares.

Each of the initiatives supports the other – families first, civilization of love and promotion of public life, Adkins said, as MCC strives to transcend partisan divides and unite people in promoting the common good.

Category: Local news

Fire in Wooldridge destroys much of the town and damages the Baptist Church


WOOLDRIDGE- A raging wildfire on Saturday, October 22 swept through this Cooper County village, nearly destroying the community and severely damaging the Baptist Church building. Wooldridge is a community of approximately 40 residents. The fire started in a nearby grain field, which was ignited by a faulty combine harvester.

Fifteen to 20 buildings were destroyed or damaged by the fire, according to the Columbia Missourian newspaper. Wooldridge Baptist Church was damaged, but officials report the fire was mostly confined to the ground. The building suffered extensive water damage to the walls and ceilings.

Firefighters were able to quickly remove the stained glass windows from the church building in order to protect them.

Pastor J. Wayne Merrill said the church was protected by firefighters. The town post office is next to the church and it was spared along with a school building. He said much of the rest of the lower part of town had burned down, except for a few buildings. The lower part of town had been badly damaged by the 1993 flood, and most commercial buildings there lay unoccupied.

There is an upper part of the city (built above the floodplain) that was largely unaffected by this fire.

Merrill said the church was spared the flames which destroyed buildings all around them, but then the ground began to smolder and had to be extinguished. This caused water damage to walls and ceilings. He thinks the general structure of the building is still intact and can be repaired. He hoped it wouldn’t be a total loss.

The church is still determining where they will meet for services next Sunday. They have options with several churches nearby, and they might meet at the home of a church member in town. Merrill said that usually about 15 people attend worship there.

According to Concord Baptist Association missions director Alan Earls, the church is a historic building. Association historian Roy Dameron reported that the church was established in 1900 and constructed the building in 1905.

Earls said: “This is a resilient church that loves the Lord. Although they are few in number, they love Jesus, and I believe they will see the light of Christ (continue to) shine in Wooldridge.

The church has property insurance, and they hope that will cover the damage. Earls added that there are volunteers in the association who can offer help in repairing the damage.

Pastor Merrill still felt a sense of grief and pain for members of the community whose homes had been burned down and who had been displaced by the fire. He believed around 15 family homes had been destroyed by the fast-moving fire. On Sunday October 23, officials said seven families were in a shelter set up in a Baptist church building in rural Booneville. Authorities said 20 to 25 buildings were burned or destroyed.

Missouri Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Director Gaylon Moss was able to visit these families Sunday morning and offer his assistance.

Street pastors celebrated after Covid delay


Old and new street pastors in Torbay and South Devon were recognised.

It has been a long time coming for them with Covid delaying the appointment of new pastors and celebrating those who have now reached their 10th birthday.

The event was organized by Torbay coordinator Gill Hayllor, assisted by Newton Abbot coordinator Dixie Kendall-Dunn.

Guest speakers included Torbay MP Kevin Foster and Torbay Council Leader Steve Darling who have previously lived Saturday evenings with Torbay pastors as observers.

There were over 14 special people who received their 10 year certificates and awards. The last commissioning dates back to 2019.

The evening ended with a special award for retired coordinator Trevor Staverley who earlier this year also received the MBE for his work with pastors and other charities.

Pastors are back on the streets, despite some local rumors that Covid killed them – a Saturday night is never over until at least one unconscious person is taken to hospital because their drink was spiked or that someone has experimented with alcohol and some kind of drug.

A spokesperson said: ‘Rough sleepers are also being helped. I was in Newton Abbot one night and met five homeless people – the most I’ve seen in one night for over a year. We then look for a hot drink for them.

She added, “Young people love pastors. In the 10 years that I have been a pastor, I have never received abuse, just love, respect and thanks for all that we do.

“They are amazed that we are volunteers and don’t get paid for what we do, and that most of us are grandparents and seek to help where we can, because one of the people vulnerable could be our grandchildren.

“If we go home helping just one person get home safely, we also go home knowing we did a good job and are happy to be there.”

Albuquerque Church Receives Special Funding to Keep ‘Historic’ Grounds


ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KRQE) – Immanuel Presbyterian Churchin the heart of Nob Hill in Albuquerque, has stood proudly since 1956. Today, the church has received funds to help preserve its grounds.

“It’s an icon in Nob Hill, it was designed by famous architect John Gaw Meem, it was built by Fred Mossman, I think it’s the only Mossman church,” said pastor Drew Henry. Thanks to a program, it will now remain iconic for many years to come.

The church recently received $200,000 through a nationwide program that supports historic places of worship. Immanuel Presbyterian is one of 16 congregations in the United States that have received this grant.

“It’s exciting to be able to preserve this place and share it, to keep the congregation active here and to really open up the space to be a vital active part of this community,” Henry said.

A few years ago the church suffered severe water damage inside and out due to a hailstorm in 2018. There are still lasting marshes inside the sanctuary but the funding will fix it and give the space the significant upgrades it needs. Once things are rooted, the church will not only be a place of worship, but will also bring the community together for music. The New Mexico Philharmonic will eventually call Immanuel Presbyterian his home base.

“There are other bands performing here and we’re building this partnership with the Philharmonic Orchestra to bring them back to Nob Hill,” Henry said. As soon as the funds are disbursed, the church hopes to begin the rebuilding process.

As Elections Approach, Catholics Called to Practice Faithful Citizenship


American Catholics have a dual heritage, said Ryan Hamilton, government relations associate for the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the state’s Catholic bishops.

Through baptism, instilled with the light of Christ, Catholics are citizens of the kingdom of heaven, Hamilton said. And as Americans, citizens of a representative democracy, everyone is called to participate in public life and contribute to the common good, he said.

ryan hamilton

“Our system requires active participation from us, the citizens,” Hamilton said. “And so faithful citizenship is the term we use to describe how Catholics are meant to live out this dual heritage and bring the richness of our faith into the public square.”

Hamilton shared his thoughts during a conversation about the Nov. 8 midterm elections for the “Practicing Catholic” radio show hosted by Patrick Conley. Hamilton referred to something Pope Francis said in 2013 about politics: that good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by giving their best, so that leaders can govern.

MCC staff use the phrase “educate, inform and transform” to describe “the ways we are called to participate or the ways to practice faithful citizenship,” Hamilton said. Catholic social teaching helps Catholics form their conscience, he said, and once formed, “we need to inform ourselves about the positions of the candidates.”

“So making an informed vote requires that we get to know these people,” he said. “We have to be in contact with our elected officials”, so the first interaction is not after the elections. “Let’s be in a relationship from now on when they’re candidates,” he said.

Voting resources available on the MCC website include candidate questionnaires, video interviews with Minnesota House and Senate candidates, information on Catholic social teaching, and an election statement from the bishops of Minnesota on Catholic social teaching and “reclaiming the word ‘justice,'” Hamilton said, including prenatal justice as “primary consideration in…. vote.

To hear tips on how to get to know the candidates and learn where to agree and disagree, and to hear the full interview, tune in to this episode of “Practicing Catholic” at 9 p.m. on October 21. . The show also repeats at 1 p.m. on October 22. and 2 p.m. on October 23, all on Relevant Radio 1:30 p.m.

To read the letter from the Catholic Bishops and find election resources, including polling places, visit mncatholic.org/electionresources.

Produced by Relevant Radio and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the latest broadcast also includes interviews with Kendra Tierney, speaker and liturgical life expert and owner of the Catholic All Year blog, which describes liturgical life; and mass class with Father Tom Margevicius, worship director for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, who discusses the rite of communion.

Llisten to the interviews after they have been broadcast on PracticingCatholicShow.com or choose a streaming platform at https://anchor.fm/practicing-catholic-show.

Key words: Elections, Loyal Citizenship, Legislators, MCC, Minnesota Catholic Conference, Voting

Category: Practicing Catholic, Uncategorized

Faith Matters: PROSPERING Shiloh Baptist Church Podcast, Giving Voices | Entertainment/Life


While leading one of Baton Rouge’s largest congregations, Reverend Fred Jeff Smith of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church takes time to chat.

An Avenue Smith has found a way to connect with members and people from all walks of life in the community through her weekly “THRIVE” podcast.

“Five years later, I’m very happy,” said Smith, Shiloh’s pastor since 2013.

Smith, 61, said for years after the church service he briefly greeted people after church. He wanted deeper interaction to get to know people.

“I saw the podcast as a way to have conversations with people in a way that I wouldn’t usually have, to have conversations that lasted more than a few seconds,” he said.

The initial target was the younger generation of the church.

“We started by trying to bring in mostly young people, young people from the church, young people that I didn’t necessarily know but young people that other young people knew and things that they were doing in the community,” he said.

Smith said he wanted to showcase their successes and accomplishments in community, education, entrepreneurship and more.

“There are a lot of extremely bright young people in this community,” he said.

The podcast gave him the opportunity to learn, said Smith, who has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from LSU and a master’s degree in theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

“I don’t learn to stay in a vacuum. I don’t adapt and you can’t grow if you stay in your little circle,” said Smith, who succeeded his father, the late Reverend Charles T. Smith in Shilo.

With youth and other Shiloh members early on, Smith began introducing fellow ministers and community members.

“There are a lot of brilliant people, white and black, who are here in the community, and I think given the opportunity, they can have a powerful impact on the direction and the trajectory that this community needs to take,” did he declare.

This meant an expansion of conversations and diversity of guests.

“At some point – I’m not sure exactly when it happened and it wasn’t intentional – it turned more to social justice issues and politicians,” he said.

Social justice and politics are important issues for Smith.

“While I love politics, I love politics from the perspective of how it can impact social justice issues,” he said. “There are people who will sit down, make decisions, and if I can get the opportunity to discuss things with them that I think are important and relevant, I think I should take that opportunity.”

Smith said justice issues should also be relevant to the church.

“It’s an interest for me because I think that’s what the church needs to be involved in,” he said. “Certainly, we must read the Bible. We must know the teaching of the Scriptures well, but we must be aware of what is happening in our world.”

Incidents such as the 2016 death of Alton Sterling by two Baton Rouge Police Department officers should not be ignored by the church, Smith said.

“I have a problem with a religion that doesn’t translate into everyday life situations,” he said. “If you can’t talk about Sterling at church, if you can’t hear your pastor’s outrage at church about what happened to Alton Sterling, then what’s the relevance of the experience worship?”

The “THRIVE” format is Smith simply seated at a table in his office/studio with a guest or guests, asking questions and engaging in dialogue. No agenda. No scenario.

“I rarely come with pre-set questions. I sit down and we talk,” Smith said. “If a question comes to mind, I ask it. Then I give them the opportunity to answer it fully and completely as they wish.”

Too often, Smith said, the media offers only sound bites.

“(The podcast) gives people the opportunity to fully illuminate what’s going on in their lives, what their aspirations are and maybe someone who’s listening or watching can be helped by it, inspired by it, or inspired by it. to make a contribution to that direction.”

“THRIVE” guests have included Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome; BRPD Chief Murphy Paul; congressional candidates Gary Chambers, Brian Belzer and Luke Mixon; former LSU basketball great Rudy Macklin; Sito Narcisse, Superintendent of the East Baton Rouge School Board; NAACP President Eugene Collins; pastor and local community activist Dale Flowers; and a host of young leaders, educators, lawyers, actors and radio/TV personalities.

Smith says he appreciates and gets something from each guest and “how it fits with my own perspective on faith.” He doesn’t see the THRIVE podcast as an “evangelism tool,” but adds, “I see the podcast and I see everything we do on social media as a tool that provides opportunity, but we manage to to bridge the gap between Scripture as history and reality.”

The “THRIVE” podcast can be found on the church’s website at https://shilohbr.com/event/shilohs-thrive-podcast or YouTube. The podcast is produced by Terrance Turner, the media and television ministry director at the church and a local entrepreneur.

Pastor Sumter Approves Mid-Service Candidates; raising questions about IRS status


SUMTER, SC (WIS) — Churches across the country are tax-exempt, but that exemption comes with rules.

A WIS viewer has contacted the station to raise concerns about an Oct. 9 service at Jehovah’s Missionary Baptist Church in Sumter.

YouTube published by the church video shows Pastor Marion Newton discussing the importance of the vote during her announcements. After 30 minutes of the video, he then references a brochure. He said:

“I asked the ushers to distribute this leaflet on behalf of Citizens for Progress, it was this organization that was very active when the school board was not where we wanted to be. These are the names of the people we support. Of course, you have the freedom to vote however you want to vote. If you live in one of these zones, these 9 zones, and we have the candidate per zone. Please take one and let us put people on the board who care about our children and not personal means, okay? »

The viewer forwarded an email to WIS containing the flyer that appeared to be from the church. It features the names of nine candidates vying for the nine open seats on the Sumter County School Board, endorsed by Citizens for Progress.

Sumter School Board Election Flyer(clear)

Attempts to contact Citizens for Progress were unsuccessful.

IRS the regulations state that churches can educate voters and encourage voting, but pastors cannot promote candidates at official meetings.

An IRS spokesperson declined to comment on the situation.

University of South Carolina political science department chair Kirk Randazzo said churches of all political persuasions have become more active in recent years.

“Churches are increasingly mobilized and engaged in politics and as someone who studies the Constitution, the notion that there is a separation of church and state is something that goes back to the founding fathers and seeing churches of whatever ideology push those boundaries, that’s kind of disappointing to me,” he said.

WIS showed the video to Randazzo.

“This is, I think, an example, albeit a very serious one, of churches across the ideological spectrum toeing the line when it comes to the separation of church and state,” he said. .

Newton told WIS he would need to speak to his attorney before commenting.

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A new member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors will focus on preventing abuse


Sr. Nyadombo added, “As a member of the Commission, I not only present myself as an individual, but I bring my experience of formation; I am also a policy writer to ensure that each country in the region has a policy at the Conference level.

“The Pope expects the Commission to know how to work with those affected; we are also asked to promote the mandate of the Church, to help make the Church a safe environment for all,” said the Zimbabwean-born member of the Servants of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (HLMC).

Sister Nyadombo, who has also been a board member of the Catholic University of Zimbabwe (CUZ) since 2014 and renowned in the Southern African country for policy development, education and child safeguarding and protection, as well as well as for his help in the implementation process of different programs. said that throughout her work with survivors of human trafficking as coordinator of the Talitha Kum Faith Network in Zimbabwe, she “discovered that in education” you have to “sow seeds when a child is still very young to grow up with a culture”. ”

“Like the potter and the clay, you shape children when they are young; and based on my experience, my passion for educating children about safe environments when they are young, we started a program, which we call the safe schools program, a holistic approach to the five different aspects of human development, so that children learn to speak,” Sr. Nyadombo said.

She continued: “We have also published a book called ‘Positive Parenting’, so that parents are also trained on how to manage children, how to use positive means to manage discipline, and so children also receive discipline. in a different way, not in harsh corporal punishment, which is quite common in Africa.

“We tell (parents that) beatings also cause even more fear in their children, and their children will not do well in school,” she told ACI Africa during the October 17 interview. .

The HLMC member whose academic background includes theology, canon law, business administration, counselling, international relations and leadership, and social communications further said, “We have also designed a manual for Church leaders know how they should lead in schools and parishes.”

“We responded to the call of the Pope three years ago when he told us to open the doors to those on the peripheries and to reach out to the periphery. We thus reach out to poor children so that they continue their education,” she added.

Sr. Nyadombo told ACI Africa that by providing education to poor children, they are tackling the problem of early marriages, especially of girls, and child trafficking.

“We seek to empower children, creating safe spaces for learning, which is what we do,” she said during the Oct. 17 interview.

Georgia Church Reaches Major Milestone, Serves 1 Millionth Person Free Groceries Since Pandemic Started – WSB-TV Channel 2


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. – The New Birth Missionary Baptist Church announced its “Mega Million Milestone” in the fight against food insecurity since the pandemic after serving its millionth person.

A church press release said that after two and a half years of providing free meals and resources to families, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church reached a milestone on October 15, when it distributed weekly food run by The King’s Table.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

DeKalb resident Priscilla Ward, 69, has become the millionth person to receive free groceries and shelf-stable items.

Ward said she didn’t realize what was happening at first when she walked through the cast line with her sister Brenda Billings in the passenger seat.

After cheers, confetti and a display of appliances, Ward realized the significance of the day.

“I feel wonderful. It was the surprise of a lifetime,” Ward said.

New Birth Senior Pastor Dr. Jamal Bryant said people can move mountains when they come together.


“The enduring truth is that growing food insecurity for families and the elderly continues to be a solemn reality as our global markets continue to sputter, rising rates of inflation challenge our checkbooks, and the looming threat of a recession constrains our economic prospects,” Bryant said. “The power of people, when we come together, can really move mountains. More than 100 partners remained committed to being the best example of humanity in times of crisis.

Ward also received a check for $1,000 after joining Dr. Bryant for a special ceremony.

“I’m just overwhelmed with the joy of the Lord,” Ward said.

Saturday’s special moment brought together 300 volunteers, community leaders, corporate sponsors and international partners.

“Thanks to the generosity of our partners, we have been able to mobilize a network of community organizations to ensure that The King’s Table’s reach is never limited to families in our immediate radius,” said Carla Stokes, pastor of New Birth’s Outreach. . “What people have seen at the King’s Table over the past few years has really been focused on our Saturday outreach, but we are working throughout the week to make sure our regional partners can mirror our outreach efforts. awareness in their respective locations and have the resources to fight hunger in their community.”

In March 2020, New Birth launched The King’s Table food pantry, initially serving 30 families each month. Less than a week after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, The King’s Table held weekly food distributions attracting thousands of cars each Saturday.

New Birth and The King’s Table have announced that they will air the documentary Road to One Million on October 17 at 7:30 p.m. live on the church’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

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Church donations, mail stolen from Ormond Beach church mailbox, pastor says


The pastor of a church in Ormond Beach said surveillance video captured two people who had recently broken into their mailbox and stolen church donations and bills, the second time the mailbox to the church letters would have been damaged for weeks.

Surveillance video shows a brown-colored van pull up to the parking lot of Providence Church and pull up in front of the mailbox. Senior Pastor Tim Mann said the van was parked outside the mailbox for 10 to 12 minutes and eventually two people – a woman and a child, he said – got out of the van. The woman manages to open the mailbox, takes what’s inside, then leaves.

Ormond Beach Police confirmed they received a report regarding the damaged mailbox and stolen donations.

Pastor Mann said donations to the church were taken, along with bills. He said it was the second time their mailbox had been damaged in weeks. The first time, which happened in September, their surveillance cameras malfunctioned, but the second time it was caught on video.


“After that, we put two heavy-duty security locks on the mailbox,” he said.

Pastor Mann said he reported the theft to the US Department of Mail Fraud and local law enforcement. He said he shared the video to hopefully identify the people in the video and to also alert the community to recent thefts.

Morgan Stanley Likes Clorox and Church & Dwight Based on Their Stance on Household Products By Investing.com


© Reuters. Morgan Stanley likes Clorox and Church & Dwight based on household products position

By Sam Boughedda

Morgan Stanley upgraded Clorox (NYSE:) and Church & Dwight (NYSE:) from underweight to equal weight in a note Monday during the downgrade Edgewell Personal Care Company (NYSE:) to underweight.

Analysts told investors in the wide-ranging Consumer Staples note that they “expect strong third-quarter EPS in beverages with modest pricing power/elasticity of demand, with an advantage confirmed by PEP’s exceptional sales growth of 16%.

Analysts also lowered Edgewell’s price target to $36 from $40 per share.

“Our CHD and CLX upgrades align with our less selective stance in household products, with: a) potential margin upside in FY23 as lower raw material costs occur with prices generally stable, b) after a pronounced underperformance in equities, valuation looks reasonable with CHD/CLX underperforming the base peers by -1,800/-1,400 bps YTD vs EPC at +2,400 bps in the LTM , and c) the US-centric combination of the two stocks provides defensive coverage in a challenging macro/FX environment,” the analysts wrote.

The Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) Analysts also noted that Church & Dwight’s stock “could get more compelling” if the company’s management sets a conservative earnings/EPS basis for 2022, which hasn’t happened with a Upper guide lower in September, or lower expectations for 2023. They added that if investors perceive a safe EPS base, they believe the stock may begin to recoup some recent losses as investors look ahead .

“We like CLX and ELF as positive trades in the quarter with strong EPS upside, which we expect to continue at LT at ELF,” the analysts confirmed. “We view EPC as negative trade on weaker than expected FY23 forecast, and EL on lower FY forecast with continued COVID pressure in China, FX pressure and larger macro impacts.”

What the Bishops of Canada have learned about Gen Z during COVID


After many conversations with young people, the bishops have compiled the results of these meetings in a new pastoral letter.

In the fall of 2020, when everything was closed due to COVID, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) held various Zoom call meetings with a total of 200 young Canadians between the ages of 12 and 25. The meetings were intended to be a time for dialogue, reflection and information gathering.

The bishops then took what they learned from those meetings and turned it into a pastoral letter to young people, releasing it last week to coincide with the feast of Blessed Carlo Acutis, an Italian who died of leukemia in 2006. at the age of 15. The letter highlights what the bishops heard in these conversations with young people across Canada.

“As the Bishops of Canada, we wish to walk with young people, not only to better understand the world through their experience, but also to encourage and support them as they grow in their own faith,” says the letter.

Here are some of the key things the bishops learned about today’s teens and young adults.

They often suffer from stress, anxiety and depression.

There are many pressures and challenges for young people today, ranging from peer pressure and family issues to concerns at school and work – all of which have a big impact on their mental health.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left them with many challenges.

COVID and all that comes with it has left young people uncertain about their lives and their future. They don’t know if they are well prepared for the future, if they will be able to get into universities and get the jobs they want, and they worry about the rising cost of living.

They welcome digital platforms and want the Church to continue to use digital spaces.

Young people the Bishops spoke to said they appreciate the live-streamed Masses, online prayer resources, and virtual events and groups that have sprung up during the pandemic and want them to continue. That said …

Their use of social media can be debilitating.

Young people told the Bishops that social media can become “all-consuming, meaningless and even hurtful, leading to feelings of isolation, loneliness and lowered self-esteem.” This can leave them feeling extremely socially isolated.

They worry about climate change and the health of the planet.

Perhaps more than any other generation, Gen Z believe that creation is a gift from God and should be protected and cherished.

They want to grow in their faith.

Some young people feel forgotten, with one person telling bishops, “It seems that after confirmation the Church forgets us until the preparation for marriage.” They want to see opportunities to grow in faith, discern their vocation and ways to help others.

They want to be heard and valued.

Young people want to be able to ask questions and have their views and concerns taken seriously. They want to be respected and to feel that they have something of value to contribute to the Church and to the world

They appreciate the testimony.

The bishops shared their personal stories of faith with the young people they spoke to and say in their letter that they were touched:

“It shows us that you value witnesses as inspiration for your faith journey,” they said. Young people are no different from people of any age: they are touched by testimonies and authentic testimonies.


The pastoral letter also highlights three great role models for young people – Blessed Carlo Acutis, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha and Blessed Mother, and ends with the bishops reminding young people of their great value.


Saint-Barnabé Church: a surprising story


Saint Barnabas in Pasadena (Photo – Brian Biery)

If you go up Fair Oaks Ave. at 35 MPH, you’ll likely miss the modest adobe-style church on the east side of the street, wedged between the Jackie Robinson Center and the newly installed climbing gym.

By Brian Biery

Unlike many churches in downtown Pasadena, St. Barnabas Church does not feature European architecture, nor an enormous sanctuary, yet it provided a vital spiritual home to the community for nearly a century.

Few people in the region are aware of the important and unique history of the church, which must be considered from a societal point of view. The diaspora known as “The Great Migration” brought millions of African Americans from the South to cities like Detroit, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, and ultimately Pasadena.

Unfortunately, however, when families reached towns they thought were more open and tolerant, they did not find welcoming arms in their new communities. Ruby McKnight-Williams, a longtime member of the Pasadena NAACP branch, is quoted in Muir HS graduate Lynn Hudson’s book, West of Jim Crow: The Fight Against California’s Color Line, as saying, “I haven’t seen no difference between Pasadena and Mississippi except they were spelled differently.

Religious institutions were places where segregation was very visible and common, especially during the early years of the 20th century. Pasadena churches were no different, as many did not allow people of color to worship from their pews. The construction of St. Barnabas Church was directly linked to the exclusionary policies of the time of All Saints Episcopal Church, located across from City Hall.

During the first decades of the 20th century, migrant families from the South, Mexico, Japan, and China lived in what is now known as Old Pasadena. The area was a thriving mix of businesses, churches, restaurants, and even a hotel that welcomed people of color. Amidst this culturally diverse neighborhood, the seeds for St. Barnabas Church were sown by several prominent and dedicated women. In 1923, Georgia Weatherton furnished her home on Del Mar St. near Fair Oaks Ave. for services, while Ellensteen Bevans and Rosebud Mims served as lay leaders for the fledgling church. All Saints Church provided a lay reader and organist to support their efforts to establish an Episcopal community.

With the official admission of St. Barnabas into the Episcopalian archdioceses in 1932, a brick-and-mortar building was needed to house the congregation. Rather than inviting members of St. Barnabas to join their church, the families of All Saints donated the land (Dobbins family) at 1062 N. Fair Oaks Ave. and provided funds (Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Fleming) to build a sanctuary. The church building, which is still in use today, was consecrated by Bishop Bertrand Stevens in June 1933.

A sign for a church

Saint Barnabas (Photo – Brian Biery)

The result was that for nearly 90 years, St. Barnabas Church has focused on community service. Originally organized to serve black residents of Pasadena, it has grown to provide assistance and resources to a wide range of community members. For example, the parish hall was built in 1972 with the hope of functioning as a community center. Currently, three groups of Alcoholics Anonymous use the church hall on weeknights as a meeting space. Additionally, a Spanish-speaking Catholic congregation uses the chapel on Sunday afternoons and a Spanish-speaking Pentecostal congregation meets at the parish hall on Friday and Sunday evenings for their services.

According to church board member Marco White, “The oldest historically black Episcopal Church in the San Gabriel Valley is still thriving! As a predominantly black, yet highly integrated and inclusive church family, our core is “love,” in the manner of St Barnabas. Everyone is welcome here! Additionally, the church donates 40% of its assets, provides dinner for the Union Station community every 3rd Friday of the month, provides college scholarships for PUSD graduates, and raises funds for financial support from emergency to community members.

The next time you drive up Fair Oaks Ave., slow down just before Hammond St. to see the spire of St. Barnabas Church proudly crowning its humble chapel. And consider stopping to visit this unique and amazing religious community, which graced our city with a generosity and compassion that belies its origins at a time when segregation was more common than inclusion.

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church
1062 North Fair Oaks
Pasadena, CA 91103
Contact and Service Information
Weekly Sunday In-Person Service @ 9am and Facebook Live Stream.

Brian Biery is a community organizer, documentary photographer and Adjunct Professor of Advocacy/Social Justice at Pacific Oaks College.

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“He told me that Black Lives Matter”


During the Georgia Senate debate on Friday night, GOP candidate Herschel Walker denied the recent allegations that he paid for an ex-girlfriend’s abortion, and he challenged “pro-choice pastor” and incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock to reconcile the state’s high black abortion rate with his support for ” Black Lives Matter”.

“He told me Black Lives Matter,” Walker said of his opponent. “There are more black babies aborted than anything, so if black lives matter, why don’t you protect those babies?”

Walker was invited to address the explosive reportpublished by the daily beast last week from an unnamed woman who claimed that Walker paid for the abortion of a child they conceived together. “It’s a lie,” he said, before turning to Warnock’s unabashed support for abortion. Walker has repeatedly stated that he is pro-life. However, last week his son christian walker took to the internet to proclaim he was ‘done with lies’, condemning his father as a hypocrite for claiming to be a ‘family man’ even though he allegedly abandoned him as a child.

When asked if he would support any abortion restrictions, Warnock ducked and doubled down on his position. slogan defending the so-called right to choose: “A patient’s room is too small a place for a woman, her doctor, and the US government.” Warnock accused the “extremist Supreme Court” of stripping women of this essential freedom overnight.

Walker countered that his rival “didn’t mention there was a baby in that room as well.” Warnock’s analogy is further flawed, Walker argued, because he advocates government intervention to subsidize abortion at the federal level. “He’s asking the government to pay for it, so he’s bringing the government back into the room,” Walker said.

“I have a deep respect for life and a deep respect for choice,” Warnock said. He is a self-proclaimed “pro-choice pastor,” a position that many Christians find contradictory. Along with Republican Senator Marco Rubio, Warnock said he was a champion of life pushing legislation to tackle maternal mortality.

Meanwhile, he accused Walker of being in favor of an outright ban on abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. “I think it’s extreme,” Warnock said. However, the former NFL football player pointed out that Georgia pro life lawwhich prohibits abortion after fetal heart rate was detected, includes such exceptions.

Moderators asked Warnock to respond to a particular comment he made recently at a campaign rally when he was talking about abortion. “Even God gave us a choice,” he told the crowd. Without specifying during Friday’s debate, he reiterated: “Obviously God has given us a range of choices.”

The subject then turned to a recent report from Free Washington Beacon that Warnock Church owned a low-income building that forced out tenants for small unpaid rents during the pandemic, when many poor people struggled to find jobs and keep their homes. Walker repeated his recent pledge to “pay” the debts of residents allegedly evicted by the Ebenezer Baptist Church. “He won’t respond about kicking people out of the church,” Walker said.

“We did not evict these tenants”, Warnock insured the audience.

“It’s written in the newspaper!” . . . Senator, you did it! It’s good to tell the truth. Do not bear false witness! Walker replied. Warnock Church also reportedly paid him a housing allowance of $7,400 a month. The church owns 99% of the property that would have evicted the residents.

The couple also answered questions about election integrity laws, specifically the law that was passed in Georgia in 2021 and was immediately tagged the new “Jim Crow” by the Democrats. Recalling the record turnout for African Americans in 2022 after the law was enacted, Warnock insisted, “There is no doubt that SB 202 makes it harder to vote. He said the law makes it difficult for voters, especially minorities, to “use drop boxes” and shortens registration times. Walker responded that “SB 202 made it easier to vote and harder to cheat”.

Walker confirmed he does not believe the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. “President Biden won and Senator Warnock won, which is why I decided to run,” he said.

More National Review

The Church of the Burning Valley


Pastor Drew Anderson believes his church has been targeted because of the work he does to help Phoenix police remove drugs and dealers from the streets.

PHOENIX — Despite the scorched floor and the smell of smoke, Pastor Drew Anderson and his wife took a break from cleaning Thursday evening to listen and pray for a believer who entered their church.

They took a moment to help someone in need, even though they were going through something themselves.

“Someone actually broke our window and threw a Molotov cocktail device and set the front of our building on fire,” Anderson said.

Early Monday morning, someone set fire to the entrance to the Legacy Christian Center. A shattered window, burnt chairs, carpet and glass were among the things damaged and destroyed.

“We feel like we’ve been targeted because a lot of the drug dealers in this area know we’re actively trying to bankrupt them,” the pastor said.

He and his wife, Pastor Kenya Anderson, began preaching in parks, helping the homeless community. In October 2018, they established their church near Central and South Avenues.

In addition to spreading the Bible’s message, they feed the homeless and coach youth football. The pastor said his goal was to keep young teens out of trouble and drugs.

It is because of the work he did to clean up his community that he believes his church was targeted.

“In the four years that we have been in South Phoenix, on several occasions we have partnered with the South Phoenix Police Department to get them information on local drug dealers in that area,” Anderson said. . “Because unfortunately we have had funerals here for the past two years for more than five young men, ages 15-19, who overdosed on fentanyl.”

Monday’s incident is the second time his church has been targeted, he said. In February 2021, someone threw a brick through his glass door.

“It seems like the first time they did it, it didn’t scare us. Now a second time they raised the level of fear, to try to scare us away, but we are here for good,” he said.

Anderson believes the damage from the fire numbered in the thousands. They put in place a GoFundMe account to help them get back on their feet and fully reopen their church.

“It’s a huge setback for us because we’re a small church, but big in our hearts,” Anderson said. “My wife and I are going to keep fighting this fentanyl and we’re going to keep fighting for these kids.”

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Lawmakers seek FBI information on pro-life arrests and indictments | National Catholic Register


Republican House and Senate lawmakers wrote to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday seeking information on the recent spate of arrests and indictments of nonviolent pro-lifers, contrasting those investigations with the FBI’s relative silence on the numerous documented arson and vandalism attacks against pro-life entities this year.

In the Oct. 12 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, more than three dozen Republican lawmakers questioned why the bureau appears to disproportionately target pro-lifers under the Freedom of Entry Act. Clinics (FACE) – which is designed to protect pro-life clinics as well as abortion clinics.

“Overzealous prosecution under the FACE Act weaponizes the power of federal law enforcement against American citizens in what should firmly be state and local affairs. Moreover, these abuses of federal power against pro-life Americans based solely on their beliefs undermine the trust of the American people in the FBI,” the lawmakers wrote.

The letter was organized by Texas Representative Chip Roy and Utah Senator Mike Lee.

The FACE law, passed in 1994, is a federal law that prohibits, among other things, the blocking of access to abortion clinics. According to the DOJ, the law is intended to protect all patients, providers, and facilities that provide reproductive health services, “including pro-life pregnancy counseling services and any other pregnancy support facilities providing care.” reproductive health”. The law also protects freedom of access to places of worship.

The FACE Act has been in the news recently due to a number of high-profile indictments of nonviolent pro-life protesters. Philadelphia pro-life leader and father of seven, Mark Houck, was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 23 after an escort from the Planned Parenthood Clinic alleged that Houck pushed him twice, causing him to fall to the ground every time. Later in September, Father Fidelis Moscinski, 52, a priest of the Franciscan Friars of Renewal, was charged under the FACE law for a non-violent demonstration in July in which he padlocked the door of a clinic in ‘abortion. And in early October, 11 people were charged under the FACE Act for their actions during a pro-life protest in March 2021.

The arrests and indictments of pro-life protesters highlight the fact that there is no evidence of FBI investigations or DOJ prosecutions related to rising violence directed at pro-life individuals and institutions. life since May 2022.

CNA has recorded nearly 100 abortion-motivated attacks on churches, pregnancy centers and other entities in the United States since the May 2 leak of a draft opinion showing that the Supreme Court of United States was about to overturn Roe v. Wade and to refer the issue of legalizing abortion to the states.

“[T]there have been no reports of FBI investigations or DOJ prosecutions “in connection with these attacks, the letter says -“[H]heinous, violent, and organized crimes across state lines that are also prosecutable under the FACE Act.

“It is clear that careful congressional scrutiny of the FBI’s use of the FACE Act is necessary to ensure that the FBI implements it as intended by Congress and, if not , to determine whether the FBI can continue to be entrusted with this authority,” the letter said. .

The letter writers concluded by requesting information from the FBI on the number of FACE Act investigations opened per year from 2019 to the present; the number of investigations involving abortion clinics, pregnancy centers and places of worship; and several questions about the criteria the office uses to decide whether or not to open a FACE Act case, the amount of resources the office devotes to investigating FACE Act cases; and whether the DOJ has issued new internal guidance regarding the FACE Act since the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

One of the signatories to the letter, New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, introduced the Protect Pregnancy Care Centers Act of 2022 in late September, which has attracted more than a dozen co-sponsors and is supported by national organizations. pro-life, including SBA Pro-Life America, the March for Life, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Bethel Presbyterian Church deacon helps feed hundreds of families each week in Philadelphia


PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — A North Philadelphia woman is stepping up to help her community in times of need, hosting weekly food drives to help neighbors put meals on the table.

Grace Marable is a deacon at Bethel Presbyterian Church at 19th and York streets. On Thursday, she expects to see a line of hungry people that usually circles the block.

“So many people don’t have adequate food for their families,” she said.

The church is in a neighborhood where more than 40% of people live below the federal poverty level.

“It’s just important to help out,” Marable said.

She says that between the pandemic and inflation, her neighbors are suffering.

“We know to prepare for at least 100 people tomorrow,” she said. “When you go to the stores to get things, the supply isn’t there or the price is so high that you have to make choices or alternatives to fill your food bag.”

That’s why for more than a decade, food has been its mission. She spends her days calling as many sources as possible, like Philabunandce, and putting together dozens of bags each week with at least three meals.

“We need bread. Tomorrow we need 100 loaves of bread,” she said.

To continue doing its rescue work, the church needs more help. He’s organizing a $250,000 fundraiser to get a new roof and repair water damage throughout the building. The goal is to bring the community inside.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve been outside every week. Rain, snow, we’ve been outside,” she said.

His vision is to make this church a warm and safe place for the community at a time when safe spaces seem few and far between.

“It’s a lot of space here,” she said. “It could be us (who need help) tomorrow, next week, next month.”

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved.

Pastor Rightly Suspended for Passing Out ‘I ❤️ Hot Youth Pastors’ Stickers


Being a pastor is hard work. You are essentially running a small business in which you are expected to navigate the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of a multiracial, multigenerational, and multisociocultural collective of people who look to you for wisdom and guidance. It’s hard.

It’s so hard, in fact, that pastors shouldn’t be looking for ways to make it harder for themselves. But that’s what Fairview Baptist Church youth pastor Cory Wall decided to do anyway by distribution a sticker that reads “I ❤️ sexy youth pastors”.

Good grief. You know, with all the scrutiny over pastors over the past few years following numerous sex abuse scandals that have plagued many denominations, you’d think youth pastors would be very careful about this sort of thing. . In a lengthy blog post, Wall said he was just trying to poke fun at something called the “I ❤️ Hot Mom” ​​culture, which raises more questions than answers.

See also

Initially, the church responded to the growing backlash via a private email, in which church leaders said Wall “understands this shouldn’t have been shared with the students,” which, well, , yes. We hope.

But in a follow-up message shared on social media, the church announced that Wall had been placed on administrative leave while a “thorough and complete” investigation took place. “We take this matter very seriously and want to be proactive as we move forward,” the post read. “Our primary goal is to always make our campus a safe place for everyone who attends.”

There’s a lot going on here. To name a few: A general church culture that often uplifts traditionally attractive people; the goofy antics of youth groups in which shock value and silliness are sometimes seen as substitutes for genuine spiritual growth; and a Christian culture that has sought to control American sexuality while neglecting its own safeguards. It looks like Fairview is trying to take this seriously, as it should. But deep introspection extends far beyond a single youth pastor or even a single church building.

Church Leaders: Moving British Embassy to Jerusalem ‘Counterproductive’


A file photo shows Israel Police vans parked outside the British Embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv. (SNC photo by Gil Cohen Magen, Reuters)

By Judith Sudilovsky

JERUSALEM – Christian patriarchs and church leaders in Jerusalem have noted “with grave concern” British Prime Minister Liz Truss’ call for her government to consider moving the British Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In an October 10 statement, church leaders called the embassy review “an additional obstacle to advancing the already moribund peace process.”

“Rather than committing precious government resources to such a counterproductive endeavor, we encourage the British Prime Minister and government to redouble diplomatic efforts to facilitate the resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” they said. they stated.

Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.

The request for a review of the embassy move was made by conservative friends of Israel, the bishops said.

The British government and most other countries have maintained their embassies in Tel Aviv, pending a final agreement on “Corpus separatum”, granting Jerusalem special status as a holy city for Christians, Muslims and the Jews. This special status aims to safeguard freedom of religion, respect for and access to holy places in Jerusalem and its sanctity as a holy city.

“The proposed move of the British Embassy to Jerusalem would seriously undermine this key principle of Corpus separatum and the political negotiations it seeks to advance,” church leaders said.

In 2018, US President Donald Trump moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; a handful of countries, including Guatemala and Honduras, have followed suit.

Volunteers gather in Englewood to help


VENICE, Fla. (WWSB) – The Baptist Church of Missouri disaster relief site is set up in front of the First Baptist Church in Venice. The site has showers and a laundry room that Suncoast residents can use. Through a partnership with the Salvation Army, the site prepares food from its kitchen bus which Salvation Army volunteers pick up and distribute to areas in need. One such area is in Englewood at the Alameda Mobile Home Park.

Volunteers have come from all over the country to help the relief site and the Salvation Army is assisting community members in need. Missouri Baptist Church volunteers are also helping residents clean up homes by cutting down trees and moving debris, as well as distributing tarps and putting tarps on roofs.

Michael Hibbard, site commander of the Missouri Baptist Church told ABC7, “We are the hands of Jesus, his feet. We see desperate people, when we walk in they have no idea how they are going to get the things they need. When we leave, there is a smile on their face”

Relief site volunteers will be in place for at least one month and, depending on the needs of the community, they may extend their stay.

The Dart – Pastor: “I love seeing things grow” – Daily Leader


The Dart – Pastor: “I like to see things grow”

Posted at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 9, 2022

A man and his son worked to pick up leaves and members from the Central Baptist Church parking lot near Meadowbrook Drive, near where The Dart landed on Thursday afternoon. Dressed in a t-shirt, blue jeans and a baseball cap, Ryan Thurman took a moment to rest in the shade and sit down on a sidewalk.

He was born in New Orleans but moved to Brookhaven when he was three years old. His family had roots in Brookhaven. Vacation Bible School is where he was born again when he made the decision to follow Jesus at the age of seven.

An alumnus of Brookhaven Academy, he went to Copiah-Lincoln Community College before going to William Carey University in Hattiesburg with his high school sweetheart Amanda Mitchell, now Thurman. She graduated in teaching and has been teaching for 20 years.

Ryan took a different path. He was led by the Lord to work in ministry and started as a youth pastor in 2003. He received his master’s degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and worked as a student pastor at First Baptist Church McComb. Then in 2007 he was called back to Brookhaven and Central Baptist Church.

“I grew up in church and I grew up in a Christian home. I actually went to that church when it was still on North Jackson Street at the time,” he said. “I felt the call of the Lord at the age of 14 to serve. I followed him. I first ran away but gave up my freshman year at Co-Lin and followed him. continued since. I did not choose the ministry, it chose me.

Her son Mitchell Ryan Thurman was helping her clean around the church on Thursday and her daughter Ashlyn is 17. Her two children are enrolled in schools in Brookhaven. Each day, his walk begins with being faithful and obedient to the Lord, to his family as a godly husband and father, and to his flock.

His role with the church is to help equip the saints for ministry, Ephesians 4:11-12. The grace of God saved him and it is the same grace that allows him to be a pastor. People may not realize that pastoral duties lie behind the church pulpit on Sunday mornings.

Thurman said he was involved in the lives of people at his church. This could be by meeting them during the week over coffee. It’s a job that has no set hours and he’s always looking for better ways to serve.

Although seminary schooling helps, a person does not need to have a degree in religion or theology to serve others. He said God works in life to train and equip.

“A minister is perfectly prepared because he is going. The best teacher is the Holy Spirit when you follow the leading of the Lord He will teach and train,” he said.

In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors and fishing. A garden at home is where he spends his time six months a year, as he enjoys growing, cooking and eating vegetables.

“I like to see things grow. I think there’s a connection between gardening and watching things grow and watching people grow and how God makes us grow,” Ryan said. He is the master gardener. When we get to heaven as he calls us home, we will continue to work but it will be work of pleasure and joy. The correlation between watching things grow and enjoying the fruits of it often reminds me of how it makes us grow.

Although he enjoys gardening and the outdoors, people are the greatest creation created in the image of God, he said. The nature and the gardens will not last but her relationship with God and her Christian family will.

“The greatest investment as a man is in my family and this congregation. He will live long after my years,” he said. “When God calls you into a church to serve, you go there to stay. and you plant roots and develop relationships. I have been here for 15 years and He has not led me to pursue another field. We have had our ups and downs as a church and moved to this campus 12 years ago. We have seen victories and he has provided us every step of the way. It is a wonderful congregation. He blessed us. I’m blessed to be the pastor here.

Looking towards Nazareth and the Domestic Church


The irony of living in a world that does not want to recognize or include God in anything is that it is precisely God himself who makes all good things possible. Without God, everything seems hopeless and hopeless. All you have to do is read or watch the news online, listen to what’s going on: the conflicts, the arguments, the so-called discussions where no one wants to listen to anyone or whatever. other than his own voice. Nobody else makes sense except “me, myself and me”.

Now, to make this more interesting, let’s include children in the picture: impressionable, innocent children for whom we as parents are responsible. It certainly makes parenting in today’s world that much more difficult. Yet while it can be difficult to navigate these often turbulent social and cultural waters, it is certainly not impossible. With God’s help and grace, though it may be difficult, it is worth every effort and every prayer. The struggle to be a good parent is real but well worth it.

A common concern

In August of this year, our family attended a family camp near Port Burwell in Ontario, Canada. There were a total of 11 families at the camp, plus a cook and his team of teenage girls, and a priest who gave us the privilege of celebrating Holy Mass every day. For a week we ate together, swam, relaxed, played, chatted, laughed, talked and listened. We listened to each other’s hopes and fears as parents trying to raise our children in a world where many don’t seem to want God in their lives.

As different and unique as each family is, we parents shared the same concern to grow in our faith and to transmit this faith – strong and true – to our children. After all, we all knew how crucial our faith is in our lives – in everything we do and who we are as children of God. Yet when we are bombarded left, right, and center with messages, ideologies, and ideas that contradict the truth and God Himself, what are we to do? Where are we going to start? To begin, let’s look at those we are called to imitate: Joseph and Mary.

The example of Nazareth

The same dynamic that existed within the Holy Family is meant to exist within our own families even now. Fathers and mothers must teach their children to live the gospel way and thus experience the salvation of Jesus, the love of the Father, and new life in the Holy Spirit. How should Christian parents do this? They must follow the example of Joseph and Mary.

(“The Christian family and the evangelization of children”, Franciscan Capuchin Father Thomas G. Weinandy, Executive Director Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices, USCCB, September 19, 2010)

Jesus was not a Christian. It probably seems like a silly thing to say, but I think it’s important to do. Jesus was a Jew – born of Jewish parents and brought up to be a good and upright man of the Jewish faith. God-made-Man was born of human parents and lived in a family home, formed by the faith of his mother and adoptive father.

I sincerely believe that their family home in Nazareth was filled with joy: peaceful but one would have heard the sound of laughter and familiar conversation as the family gathered. I believe this for the simple reason that Jesus himself was a very joyful, peaceful, and loving man who was always in connection with others around him. He was in conversations – big and small – asking, answering, listening thoughtfully, praying. There is almost nothing of his family life or his growing up years in the scriptures, but his behavior and actions reflect the kind of man he had been raised by his parents. The ordinaryness of her life belied the richness of a family life steeped in love, affection, and faith.

The mini me of the church

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no 2204We read:

The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion, and this is why it can and must be qualified as domestic church.” It is a community of faith, hope and charity; it takes on a singular importance in the Church, as the New Testament shows. (bold text by me)

Community of faith, hope and charity: the family is a veritable nursery of vocations. Within a family, a person is meant to live for the first time and be changed significantly and forever by the kind of love that doesn’t matter. This is where you take your first steps, not only physically but also spiritually. It is within a family that one begins to know his Creator and Father God.

The first teachers

As parents, we are not simply called upon to teach our children the prayers as if they were memorizing additional facts or the alphabet. We are – by virtue of our fundamental role of primary educators of our children – called to

bear witness to this responsibility first of all by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity and selfless service are the rule. The house is well suited to education in the virtues. It requires learning self-sacrifice, good judgment and self-control – the prerequisites for all true freedom. Parents must teach their children to subordinate “the material and instinctive dimensions to the interior and spiritual dimensions”. Parents have a heavy responsibility to set a good example for their children. By knowing how to recognize their own failings in their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, period 2223)

While it may seem quite overwhelming – and frankly, it makes me want to sit still for a moment or two… or five – it all has to take place within our own families, in our own homes, with those we love. Although we already love our families, our personal flaws and imperfections, weaknesses and doubts can make it difficult to stay the course and persevere as the days go by. In order to make this a reality – overcoming what is humanly “impossible” – we must look to our Father God for the strength we don’t have, the grace we don’t deserve, and the faith that can only come from him.

Practice what we preach

In a articles from 2014 on Huffpost.com, we’re told that — according to studies — the number one reason teens keep the faith as young adults is because their parents practice their own faith:

The role of parents is even more critical today as trust in institutions declines and many children with more demanding schedules spend less time in congregations, Smith noted.

Yet, he said, there are powerful “cultural scripts” that discourage parents from taking an active role in the spiritual lives of their teens.

Among these scripts:

  • After 12 years, the role of parents fades and the influence of peers, media, music and social networks take over.
  • Cultural messages that encourage parents to entrust their children to “experts”.

Eight years later, the message of this article is still as valid as it was then. Parents were then crucial in the lives of their children; they continue to be so to this day – and they always will be so as long as there are families. The last lines of the article should be seen as a call to action for believing parents:

For their part, parents must realize that a hands-off approach to religion has consequences. “Parents, for better or for worse, are actually the most influential pastors … of their children,” Smith said. “Parents establish a kind of glass ceiling of religious commitment, above which their children rarely rise.”

How essential it is to truly educate ourselves in our faith and put it into practice, not only on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, but every day. Every moment is a gift from God to us – we each owe Him. There are no holidays for living our faith. Our children need to see us pray and have a relationship with our God. It’s not enough to tell them to pray – we need to pray with them and witness how our own faith helps us to be better people.

Entrusted souls

For us as parents, there is much more at stake than the physical well-being, financial security or professional goals of our children. Each child is a soul that God has entrusted to his parents. Our ultimate goal is to lead our children into the love of our Father God who is also their own Heavenly Father.

Parents teach their children primarily by their own conduct. What a son or a daughter looks for in a father or a mother is not only a certain knowledge or more or less effective advice, but above all something more important: proof of the value and meaning of life, manifested through the life of a specific person, and confirmed in the different situations and circumstances that occur over a period of time.

If I were to give advice to parents, I would say to them, above all, let your children see that you are trying to live according to your faith. Don’t be fooled: they see everything, from an early age, and they judge everything. Let them see that God is not only on your lips, but also in your deeds; that you’re trying to be loyal and sincere, and that you really love yourself and them too.

This is how you will best contribute to making your children true Christians, men and women of integrity, capable of facing all life’s situations with an open mind, of serving their fellowmen and of helping to solve the problems of humanity, to bear witness to Christ to the society of which they will be a part.

(Saint Josemaria Escriva, “Marriage: a Christian vocation”, Number 28, Christ passes by)

The general secretary of the synod offered good news about the American church


His Eminence, Mario Cardinal Grech
General secretary
Synod of Bishops
00120 Vatican City

Your Eminence:

The “National Synthesis of the People of God in the United States of America for the Diocesan Phase of the Synod 2021-2023″, prepared by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is a very disappointing document, especially because it focuses largely on what the 1% of American Catholics who participated in these “synodal” discussions find wrong with the church – a list of grievances that, unsurprisingly, reflects both the progressive Catholic agenda in American Catholicism and certain prevailing (if wrong) impressions of our local church in Rome. But rather than amplify others’ criticisms of the “National Synthesis,” I would like to share with the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops some good news about American Catholicism: news that may well be of interest to the universal Church as it considers its future evangelical.

Catholic schools in America are a treasure that the country is beginning to recognize as such. When US public schools let students and parents down during pandemic shutdowns, Catholic elementary schools stepped in, providing on-site and online instruction that public schools were unable to mount — largely thanks to unionized teachers and interested. In contrast, Catholic teachers tend to think professionally, and that has made a huge difference. Moreover, Catholic schools in our urban areas, like the new, state-of-the-art Mother Mary Lange School in Baltimore, are the most effective anti-poverty program the American Church has ever devised—and they serve students from many countries. religious circles.

The American church is experiencing something of a golden age in Catholic university ministry. This encouraging fact of American Catholic life in the 21st century has many expressions. There are vibrant ministries on major state college campuses; the most notable of these, at Texas A&M University, has become a rich source of vocations to the priesthood and religious life while preparing many Catholic couples for marriage and family life. The Thomistic Institute, launched by the House of Dominican Studies in Washington, is bringing serious Catholic content to 83 college and university campuses this academic year; another Dominican initiative, “Aquinas 101”, has 90,000 online subscribers, and its imaginative displays of Catholic philosophy and theology have been viewed more than 5 million times on YouTube. The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), a peer-to-peer evangelism effort, now has a presence and is actively serving on 195 U.S. campuses and eight international campuses.

The Catholic seminaries were profoundly reformed. While vocations to the priesthood have been on the decline over the past decade—perhaps reflecting constant criticism from priests in Rome—American seminaries are in their best shape for decades and in all aspects of priestly formation: personal, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral.

Catholics are a core group of the vibrant American pro-life movement. Pope Francis has often spoken of the dangers of a “throwaway culture”. American Catholics are doing something to challenge this, on both ends of the spectrum of life.

Vocations to the consecrated life in the United States are increasing where religious institutes fully embrace the Gospel and live a distinctive way of life. Examples include the Province of St. Joseph of the Order of Preachers, the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, the Sisters of Life, and the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan. As in other sectors of the global church, Catholic Lite is failing to promote American vocations to religious life, while “integral Catholicism” attracts some of our best young people.

Young Catholic scholars are leading a renaissance in Catholic intellectual life. The most impressive scholarship of American Catholicism today is achieved by men and women who transcended the liberal/conservative dichotomies of the post-Vatican II period, who embraced the teaching of the Council as authoritatively interpreted by John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and who engage a disturbed culture to convert it. It’s the future that belongs to them, not the warm-hearted Lite Catholic who has returned to several pontifical universities in Rome.

Catholic parishes are more vibrant in the United States than in virtually any other developed country. These parishes have their challenges, of course, but they remain the institutional foundation of American Catholic life and are engaged in a variety of innovative pastoral programs that seek to engage the marginalized and disaffected—often aided by vibrant Catholic associations like the Knights of Columbus. , another jewel in the American Catholic crown, and by the creative catechetical materials developed by the Augustine Institute and Word on Fire.

I hope these brief notes will help complete the portrait of American Catholicism sent to you by the Episcopal Conference. They tell a story that the entire world church needs to hear.

Weigel is Distinguished Senior Scholar and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Packers or church on Sunday morning? Why not the two of them?



Packers or church on Sunday morning? Why not the two of them?

Oconomowoc Church will host a tailgate watch party between services

The Green Bay Packers are scheduled to kick off in London on Sunday morning, when many Wisconsin Packers fans would normally attend church. So Reverend Sarah Stumme, pastor of the Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Oconomowoc, came up with a new game plan. The church will host a Packers tailgate and watch party, with worship services scheduled before the game and at halftime. We love people. We love the church. We love the community and we love our Wisconsin sports teams. And everything will happen at the same time. So, I said to the staff, do you think we could turn our coffee break into a tailgate? It was a natural move for Stumme and her husband and associate pastor, John Berg, a longtime Packers fan, who expects to see lots of jerseys and lots of green and gold at church on Sunday. “Well, you know, I’m one of the fans too,” Berg said. “So I’ll be ready to go out and enjoy the game too.” Stumme says there may be another benefit for fans who choose to watch the game at church. “If someone likes to pray during a game, we have a big space for that as well. So if they’re really praying for a win, that’s the best place to be,” Stumme said.

The Green Bay Packers are scheduled to kick off in London on Sunday morning, when many Wisconsin Packers fans would normally attend church. So Reverend Sarah Stumme, pastor of the Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Oconomowoc, came up with a new game plan. The church will host a Packers tailgate and watch party, with worship services scheduled before the game and at halftime.

“When I saw the program and thought about it,” Stumme told WISN-12 News, “here are the things we love. We love people. We love church. We love community and we love our Wisconsin sports teams and everything is fine So I said to the staff, do you think we could turn our coffee hour into a tailgate?

It was a natural move for Stumme and her husband and associate pastor, John Berg, a longtime Packers fan, who expects to see lots of jerseys and lots of green and gold at church on Sunday.

“Well, you know, I’m one of the fans too,” Berg said. “So I’ll be ready to go out and enjoy the game too.”

Stumme says there may be another benefit for fans who choose to watch the game at church.

“If someone likes to pray during a game, we have a big space for that as well. So if they’re really praying for a win, that’s the best place to be,” Stumme said.

JAPA: Alberta, Canada paves new way for Nigerian pastors and religious workers to become permanent residents


albertaa province in western Canada, has created a new immigration pathway for Nigerian religious workers to gain permanent residency in Canada.

This was revealed in a press release from the Province of Alberta titled “New Immigration Pathway for Religious Workers.”

In making this change, Alberta will join other provinces in expanding its provincial immigration program to accept applications from religious leaders who meet the pastoral and spiritual needs of their communities.

What they say

The statement said: “Religious professional newcomers are now eligible to apply under the Alberta Opportunity Stream, Alberta Express Entry Stream and Rural Renewal Stream to work with religious organizations and settle permanently in the province.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said religion is crucial to his community. He said, “Religious faith is central to the lives of many Albertans. The spiritual health of our society is driven by diverse faith communities, all of which share a commitment to serving the common good, especially the most vulnerable.

The news continues after this announcement

He added that “the worship of many faith communities depends on clergy and religious workers from abroad, but so far there has been no clear path for religious workers to gain residency in Alberta. These changes will align Alberta with the policies of several other provinces and underscore the critical role religious workers play in the health of Alberta communities.

Kaycee Madu, the Minister of Labor and Immigration, reiterated the importance of religion in the provision.

He said, “Many cultural communities in Alberta rely on spiritual leadership to help them maintain their connection to their roots and prepare for future challenges. Facilitating the coming of spiritual leaders to Alberta is an important step in recognizing the needs of immigrants and helping them settle in our province.

The news continues after this announcement

What you should know

  • If they meet the requirements, Nigerian religious workers can apply for the program through the Alberta Opportunity Stream, the Rural Renewal Stream or the Alberta Express Entry Stream.
  • The Alberta Opportunity Stream is for temporary foreign employees already working in Alberta who have a full-time job offer in a suitable occupation from an Alberta company.
  • Individuals with a community-supported job offer to work in one of Alberta’s Designated Rural Towns are eligible for the Rural Renewal Stream.
  • The Alberta Express Entry Stream allows Alberta to nominate suitable candidates from the federal Express Entry system who have strong ties to Alberta or who work in an occupation that contributes to the economic development and diversification of the province.

American Episcopal priest on game show must tithe his winnings


An Episcopalian priest who won a popular US game show four nights in a row will be tithing his $78,000 winnings.

Rector of St Paul’s, Walla Walla, in Washington, DC, Reverend David Sibley, appeared without his clerical collar for the first time, but put it on for his third appearance for the show Danger!

During his four-night run, he used his Twitter feed to explain to new followers why he was tithing – giving ten percent – of his pre-tax earnings to his parish. He posted: “Quite simply, I’m doing well on Jeopardy thanks to the gifts I’ve been given to remember a lot of things and recall them quickly. It’s part of who I am and what God has made of me. So the product of this? None of this is really mine to begin with!

He said he realized early on in his run that his appearance gave him the opportunity to speak to those who had been hurt or excluded by the Church, and he expressed his support for “the life , loves and vocations of LGBTQIA+ people”. .

A “clear ministry” emerged for him during the week, he said. “Perhaps the most interesting thing to come from the apparition is to see people across the Episcopal Church engaging with my appearance – and often reaching out to offer kind words or wish me well retroactively. even, people from all corners of my life have reached out to me, and it has been lovely.

“On Twitter, I had a few moments to interact with people who had varied experiences with the Church – the good ones, the bad ones, and downright ugly ones. I tried to do my best to represent the church in a positive way. And I’ve had a few weird emails and some useless Twitter comments, but I’m taking it all in stride and haven’t responded to anyone who’s just trying to fight back.

He’s not the first priest to appear on the long-running quiz game, but his four-day winning streak has garnered the most attention. “I’ve always appreciated the opportunity to play quizzes or quizzes, but most of the time it would be in something closer to a pub quiz or quiz night “, did he declare.

“I think for most American trivia fans, Danger! is the top of the pyramid; so I’ve always been a fan and always hoped for a chance to compete.

He got the call to say he was going to be on the show during that year’s General Convention, and had to excuse himself from a conversation with his bishop to take the call.

He said: “Once I told him what was going on, I got a very enthusiastic response. Danger! is a cultural touchstone here in the United States, and so it wasn’t a hard sell.

He failed to win a question about the Rapture, which sparked some amusement on Twitter. He said: “Failing to answer that question was a classic case of overthinking; or, perhaps, not to think about it at all – since I don’t believe in the Rapture, just like most Anglicans.

He was eventually beaten by two other competitors, but could be invited back for a Tournament of Champions next year.

After her loss, a Twitter follower told her, “You’re supposed to rest on the SEVENTH day, not the Fifth. Good race!”

AMERICA/BRAZIL – A meeting place for Bishops, priests, religious and laity to trace the path of the Church in Brazil


AMERICA/BRAZIL – A meeting place for Bishops, priests, religious and laity to trace the path of the Church in Brazil

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) – From October 14 to 16, the X Assembly of “Organisms of the People of God” (ANOPD – “Assembleia dos Organismos do Povo de Deus”) will be held in Brasilia, which will bring together about 200 delegates from the different components of the Brazilian Church: National Council of Laity (CNLB), Conference of Religious (CRB), Conference of Bishops (CNBB), National Commission of Priests-CNP, National Conference of Secular Institutes (CNIS) and National Commission of Deacons (CND).
According to the note sent to Agenzia Fides, the delegates will participate in an online training meeting on October 7, led by Professor Laudelino Azevedo, consultant for the Commission for the Laity of the Episcopal Conference. Marcio José de Oliveira, secretary general of the CNLB, explained that the training aims to help participants situate themselves in the historical process of the Assemblies, which are now in their tenth edition: “The objective is to know from where it comes from, how it was born, what does this meeting space mean and the opportunity it offers to all organizations, especially as an expression of all the organizations present in Brazil”. The other objective, according to Marcio , is to include the X Assembly in the project of the Pontificate of Pope Francis: “It is part of the process of the first Ecclesial Assembly in Latin America and the Caribbean and also in the synodal movement on synodality. “.
“We want the X Assembly to be recognized by this process – says Marcio José de Oliveira -, because it is, without a doubt, the greatest synodal expression of the Church in Brazil, since it brings together the ecclesial subjects of the six organisms of communion. Therefore, it has a synodal character and, in the process of synodality, it imposes itself as a space of communion and mission, to the point that the motto of the Assembly is closely linked to the Synod”. of the Assembly is indeed “Communion and Mission: a journey for the Church in Brazil” with the biblical motto: “Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (cf. Eph 4,3) .
In their letter of invitation, the Presidents of the organizations express their wish that “this 10th National Assembly becomes a rich testimony of synodality between the different ecclesial entities and constitutes a privileged space for the exchange of experiences, thus expressing unity and communion of the Church in Brazil”.
The President of the National Council of the Laity of Brazil (CNLB), Sonia Oliveira, believes that “this will strengthen the witness of maintaining and preserving the unity that the Holy Spirit inspires in us as Church and will further strengthen this process of journey together, as Pope Francis asked us all for the Church of the third millennium”. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 5/10/2022)

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‘We love our pets’: Pastor blesses dogs at Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Nativity in Hampton


Ken and Traci Saunders’ two long-haired Chihuahuas are an important part of their family. Riley, 11, is black and white and acts like an energetic pup despite his age, while Rosco, 6, is light brown and more temperamental.

As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Nativity in Hampton, the couple wanted their pets blessed at the church they have frequently attended since moving to the Pittsburgh area in 2006 after retiring from the military .

“We are faithful members of the church and the love our pets show us, especially when I come home from work and they are so excited, that’s why we love our pets so much,” said said Ken Saunders.

On October 1, the Reverend Jennifer Soltis, the pastor of the church, blessed half a dozen dogs to celebrate the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of creation and animals. The church also collected bags of pet food, treats and litter to donate to Animal Friends of Pittsburgh’s Chow Wagon pet food bank.

While Soltis said attendance was lower than normal due to the rain, she was still glad people showed up to thank their dogs. This is the second time she has performed the blessing at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Nativity, but she has done so before at other churches she has served. At a rural church, Soltis added that she once blessed a pet goat and rabbit.

“We have it to give thanks for creation and give thanks to God for our animals, especially our pets who are very dear to us,” Soltis said. “And just to thank our pets because pets mean a lot to people.”

Soltis first led a prayer, thanking all creatures “who feed and serve us and those who befriend, enrich, entertain and protect us.” She also thanked God for pets, vets, vet techs, animal shelters and adoption organizations.

“Help us to be true friends with all animals and to know that we are all creatures of your love,” she said.

Soltis then blessed each dog individually, including Riley, Rosco, a border collie, a husky and even a photo of someone’s dog.

“We’ve been coming to church here for years, and missed the last pet blessings, so we wanted to make sure we came today,” Traci Saunders said.

Mokena’s St. John UCC unveils the contents of two time capsules


St. John’s United Church of Christ in Mokena commemorated the 100th anniversary of the construction of its building on Sunday by publicly opening a pair of time capsules that were sealed into the cornerstone of the sanctuary.

After a special service for World Communion Day in which three new members of the church were confirmed, the church hosted a reception for members to view the contents of the time capsules and enjoy prepared refreshments by volunteers using recipes compiled in cookbooks published by the church. members dating back to 1970.

“We wanted to make it a day where more people would come and celebrate all generations of church members,” said committee member and church photographer Brenda Guendling.

Planning for the event was a multi-generational effort, with committee members ranging in age from 40 to 91. Dave Kropp and Helen Warning were the oldest members, with Kropp providing family photos of the church building.

Although the church was founded in 1862, the modern building was not constructed until 1922. Early in the construction process, members of the congregation led by Pastor William Kreis assembled a time capsule and the have locked into the cornerstone of the building. The capsule was left untouched until 1987, when, to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the founding of the church, the time capsule was dug up and a second capsule was created to be buried next to it.

Although he knew the capsule was buried in the cornerstone, Centennial Planning Committee Chairman Deeks Carroll said, “We had to find the time capsule without knowing where it was.”

Starting from old files and a crack in the brick, the committee opened the wall of the tower in hopes of finding the time capsules last fall, and arrived empty-handed.

“We tried to open several places in the wall, but to no avail.” Carroll says. “People started joking and calling me Geraldo Rivera.”

The committee eventually enlisted the help of several community members who had been part of the church during the 1987 celebrations. This included committee member Pam Schonwise and her husband, Marc, who brought a metal detector to find where to dig in the masonry, and Jim Vainowski, who built the box used as the 1987 capsule.

After locating the new box with the metal detector in May, it was Vainowski who recalled that the original capsule had been buried underneath and eventually chiselled it.

“It had been covered in mortar,” Carroll explained. “It was like digging King Tut’s grave.”

Reverend Rocky Sheneman and Committee Chairman Deeks Carroll at the centennial celebration.

“We had a bit of an adventure trying to find them,” said Reverend Rocky Sheneman, the church’s pastor. “It never occurred to us to use a metal detector until one of the guys had one and brought it.”

Since the exterior of the 1987 capsule showed signs of water damage, the boxes were quickly opened and committee members Pam Schonwise and Chris Maluta set the contents out to dry. The 1922 box, which was solid copper, was completely unscathed.

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Inside the 1922 capsule were a copy of the Bible and a hymn, several faded black and white photos of congregation members, a set of US coins dating from 1894 to 1922, and a number of old bulletins and documents from Germany. Evangelical Synod.

The 1987 capsule included similar religious materials, religious education curriculum books, several old editions of the Frankfort/Mokena/New Lenox Weekly Southtown Economist, a precursor to the Daily Southtown. The box also contained a church ornament that had been made and sold as part of a fundraiser and a note returned to religious education students in Indiana after a balloon launch celebrating the 125th anniversary.

Dave Krupp and Helen Warning were key members of the Centennial Celebration Committee.

Church member and community historian Matthew Galik and his father have compiled a small book of church history, which also documents the journey to find the time capsules. They were signing copies as a fundraiser at the reception.

“I’ve been interested in community history since I was in middle school,” Galik said. “I knew the anniversary was coming up, so I gathered all my church records and compiled them into the book to tell the story of the building’s birth.”

The committee plans to hold another event or two to display the items for those who were unable to attend the unveiling. They will also continue to meet to work out plans for a third time capsule to be stored again with the others for future generations, although it’s possible the boxes will be placed somewhere inside the church building. itself, instead of the cornerstone.

“There’s not a lot of room in there and the one got water damaged,” Sheneman said. “They could be placed somewhere else this time, but we’ll make sure to make a record and memory of where they are so they’re easier to find.”

Jessie Molloy is a freelance journalist for the Daily Southtown.

Vandals cause $5,000 damage to Shafter church: SPD


SHAFTER, Calif. (KGET) – The Shafter Police Department has been called to the First Church of the Nazarene for a vandalism and burglary investigation. Upon arrival, officers said they found damage estimated at $5,000, officials said.

Police said they were called around 6.15pm on Wednesday and found damaged benches, paint on the windows, broken glass and other damage.

Keven Huckaby, senior pastor of Ridgeview Community Church, Church of the Nazarene in Bakersfield, which oversees the church in Shafter, said he received a call about the vandalism and expected to find a window broken, but that he saw something “much bigger than that”.

“It breaks my heart…this is supposed to be a safe and loving place where everyone is welcome…we cried about it, it was a very emotional journey…” Huckaby told 17 News.

Huckaby said they are getting an outpouring of love from other churches. Other churches have offered volunteers to come to the church and help clean up.

If anyone would like to come out and help clean up on Saturday at 9 a.m., they can contact Ridgeview Community Church in Bakersfield at 661-836-2256.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Lt. Stephen of the Police Department at 661-746-8500.

According to the police, this incident is currently under investigation.

22nd Birthday Celebration of Pastor William O. Hickman III


Please come join us at the relevant Christian Baptist Church on October 2, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. as we celebrate the 22nd birthday of our Pastor and First Lady, the Reverend and Mrs. William O. Hickman III.

The Reverend Rosetta Stewart, pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington will be the guest pastor and the choir of Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church will provide the music for this celebration.

Reverend Stewart was the daughter of the late Deaconess Leatha Stewart and the late Deacon Dennie Stewart. She was educated in the Covington public school system, graduating from Covington High School (Class of 1968) and the former Dabney S. Lancaster Community College (Class of 1970. After leaving Covington, Reverend Stewart graduated her bachelor’s degree in psychology (class of 1975), a master’s degree in international relations (class of 1981), and completed her doctoral studies, all from the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. Divine intervention led her to Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, DC, where she received her Master of Divinity degree (class of 2003).

Reverend Stewart was licensed to preach in 2003 and received her ordination certificate in 2004 from the Metropolitan Baptist Church (formerly of Washington, D.C.) under the pastorate of the current Senior Servant, Reverend Dr. H. Beecher Hicks , Jr.

In 2018, Reverend Stewart became the associate pastor of First Baptist Church under the pastorate of Reverend Willie Cannon. Pastor Stewart became pastor of the historic First Baptist Church in 2021.

Church Church Hittle + Antrim Celebrates Expansion of Fishermen’s Office – Hamilton County Reporter

Visit CCHA at their expanded Fishers office, located at 10765 Lantern Road, Suite 201. (Photo provided)

Church Church Hittle + Antrim (CCHA), Hamilton County’s oldest law firm, is expanding its Fishers site to serve a growing clientele. The Fishers location at 10765 Lantern Road opened in 2008.

CCHA held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon with the OneZone Chamber of Commerce.

This expansion more than doubles the footprint of the former CCHA Fishers with newly renovated client offices and meeting rooms. Many professional partners played a decisive role in the design, construction and final layout of the new space. These include the Capitol Construction Services, Inc., Peterson Architecturebathroom design, Essential architectural signs and the Binford Group of Indiana.

“We are excited to expand our offices in Fishers to better serve our clients,” said CCHA Managing Partner Alexander Pinegar. “Hamilton County continues to grow, and with it, so does CCHA. It was important for us to be able to meet the needs of our customers.

In addition to the Fishers location, CCHA has five other separate offices in Indiana, including Fort Wayne, Merrillville, Noblesville, Tipton, and Westfield. CCHA’s legal team provides services to clients in a wide variety of practices, including family law, estate planning, personal injury, education law, sports law and business services.

Learn more about cchalaw.com.

Hurricane Ian Leaves Florida Disaster, Millions Without Power – Catholic Philly


WASHINGTON (CNS) – It is too early to tell the extent of the damage in the Catholic dioceses of Venice and St. Petersburg in Florida following a direct hit on September 28 by Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful hurricanes the state has ever seen.

However, organizations such as Catholic Charities USA said they have their response teams in place to deal with the aftermath of the massive Category 4 storm that battered west and central Florida with winds of over 155 mph on September 28 and 29.

Even in a state accustomed to violent storms, Ian’s destruction managed to shock, leaving memories of his might in the form of wind- and water-battered cars left floating in the flooded streets of the city next door. uprooted trees and parts of roofs torn from buildings in the cities of Fort Myers, Tampa and Punta Gorda.

The dioceses that include these areas have closed their churches, schools and other gathering centers. The Diocese of Venice released a video of the Sisters Servants of the Virgin of Matara on September 28 as volunteers helped put up windows at St. Michael’s Church in Wauchula, in the northern part of the diocese.

There were no updates on social media or on the websites of these dioceses as of the start of September 29.

Bishop Gregory L. Parkes of St. Petersburg, which includes Tampa, and Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice had asked for prayers, knowing their diocesan territories were in the crosshairs of the storm.

Other U.S. bishops watched the hurricane and offered solidarity with the people of Florida.

“We pray for all Florida residents, especially for the lives of those affected,” Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio wrote on Twitter just before the hurricane made landfall. “May you, Lord, be their strength! We don’t control everything. »

More than 2.5 million people were left without power as the hurricane, downgraded to a tropical storm at the start of September 29, tracked north toward Georgia, North Carolina and Carolina from South. Family members have desperately posted on Twitter asking for updates on conditions in places like Venice, near where the storm made landfall and where many remain without communication.

Authorities began surveying the damage early September 29, looking for those who failed to leave before the hurricane hit, but so far no fatalities have been reported. They asked those who remained at home to stay indoors as officials carried out water rescues but still struggled to make their way amid the debris and remaining flooding and wind.

Catholic Charities USA said in a statement that its disaster response teams “have a long history of quickly mobilizing to meet the needs of those affected by catastrophic events in the United States and its territories.”

The organization encouraged donations at https://ccusa.online/Ian for efforts to help those facing the storm’s destruction.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Sept. 28 that recovery efforts need financial assistance and asked people to refrain from sending items, such as clothing, to Florida and send economic aid or volunteer work instead.

He also said he asked President Joe Biden for a major disaster declaration to have the federal government pay for recovery efforts in the state.

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Celebrates 110th Anniversary – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel


Bishop Sylvester Washington (file photo)

Members of the historic Pleasant Hill Baptist Church will observe more than 11 decades of Christian and community service during their 110e birthday service.

According to Senior Pastor Bishop Sylvester Washington, the joyous celebration will take place on Sunday, October 9, 2022, at 11:15 a.m. at the building located at 2009 West Martin Luther King Blvd., Los Angeles.

“We praise God for blessing our congregation to serve Him and South Los Angeles for over 100 years,” Bishop Washington said. “We are planning a spirit-filled worship service to show our gratitude and invite the greater Los Angeles community to join us for this occasion.”

Pleasant Hill was organized on Sunday, October 13, 1912, and the first service was held in a tent. From an initial membership of 10, the congregation has continuously grown spiritually and numerically over the years. In the 1920s, the church purchased property at 261 N. Bonnie Brae Street and built a new house worth $20,000 – a large sum at the time.

Worship and community activities were conducted at this site for the next 40 years until an earthquake severely damaged the building in 1969. At the time, Washington had only been installed as pastor for two years and faced the daunting task of keeping the congregation together while looking for a new place of worship. Eventually, a new building was constructed on the Bonnie Brae property and Pleasant Hill resumed custody services. In 1987 the building was sold and the congregation purchased the building where they still worship today.

Throughout its existence, Pleasant Hill has been known throughout the city for its work outside the church walls through activities such as food distributions, Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas toy drives. . Many people also take advantage of the church’s family counseling services and evangelism and Bible study classes.

To learn more about the anniversary celebration, call the church office at (323) 293-6448.

The Catholic Guide to Ethical Investing


This year’s stock market downturn has people wondering how to invest their money. A key question: if I try to invest ethically, am I wrong in a crisis?

Believe it or not, investing for profit can be considered a Catholic virtue. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops makes this clear in its Principles for Its Own Investing, released last November, which also serves as a guide to socially responsible investing for all of us. Church leaders “should exercise responsible financial stewardship of its economic resources,” the bishops write. “In practical tax terms, that means getting a reasonable rate of return on investments.” In other words: you can’t do anything good if you burn your money in bad investments. The purpose of investing, the bishops say, is (in the words of investment gurus and advertisements) to make our money work hard for us.

You can’t do anything good if you burn your money in bad investments.

Certainly, the desire for profit must be balanced with the common good. “Decisions about the use of capital have moral implications,” the bishops write, especially for the weak and vulnerable. They therefore call for investments “that promote community development” or “produce a truly important social good”, even when these investments “may result in a lower rate of return”.

Likewise, when Pope Francis calls business a “noble calling,” he is talking about business as a way for humans to interact in constructive and healthy ways. “Commercial abilities, which are a gift from God, must always be clearly oriented towards the development of others and the elimination of poverty, in particular through the creation of diversified work opportunities”, he writes in “Fratelli Tutti”. .

[Related: “Ten things Pope Francis and Catholic social teaching taught me about the economy.”]

In its desire for ethical investing that also offers “reasonable” returns, the church is close to the movement for ethical investing – often referred to as ESG, short for environmental, social and governance investing. In practice, that means investing in things like electric cars and renewables instead of carbon-emitting companies; employers who pay $20 an hour instead of $10; and companies that hire as many women as men for management positions. The Catholic version of the ESG also includes prohibitions on investing in pharmaceutical companies that use human embryos for research or hospital chains that offer abortions.

ESG assets are expected to reach $50 trillion by 2025, representing more than a third of the more than $140 trillion in global assets under investment.

Pope Francis: “Entrepreneurial capacities, which are a gift from God, must always be clearly oriented towards the development of others and the elimination of poverty.

But the traditional definition of ESG, focusing on the environment and the treatment of workers, might be too narrow. It is also important, write the bishops, to examine “investment funds aimed at meeting basic needs related to agriculture, access to water, adequate housing and reasonable prices, as well as primary health care and educational services”. In this sense, another way to think about ethical investing is to look for companies that provide essential services for daily life and which, by chance, survive almost all economic downturns.

A rule of thumb for prudent investing that is also ethical investing is simply to consider what people always need. “There are goods for which demand is constant regardless of the economy,” says Mario DiFiore, director of student investment funds at Fordham Business School. “We always need to do our shopping.” In contrast, the demand for vacation rentals, “Hamilton” tickets, and gas-guzzling luxury cars is elastic, meaning demand declines during a downturn.

Another way to think about ethical investing is to look for companies that provide essential services for everyday life.

The fear of losing money on bad investments also intensifies during a market downturn. “When times get tough, everyone’s focus is on the bottom line,” writes Matthew Lau in the Financial Post. “Investors want to maintain profitability; consumers demand affordability; employees are doing everything they can to keep their salaries. The problem with ESG and other types of “wake-ups,” Mr. Lau writes, is that “someone has to pay for it. When economic times are tough, fewer people have the means or the will to do so.

Mr. Lau repeats a common belief that ethical investing is less profitable, but in fact ESG funds have weathered this downturn, or at least haven’t lost as much as traditional investments. “ESG equity funds have done better this year, on average, than their non-ESG counterparts,” Bloomberg News wrote in June. And academic studies over a longer period have shown that ESG investing is solid.

As for investing in basic goods, in some cases this strategy performed even better than traditional ESG funds. In the 12 months ending September 6, the S&P 500 index fell 12.2%. The Dow Jones US Food Retailers & Wholesalers Index, however, Pink by 10.2 percent.

In other words, when the economy is hurting, it’s thinking about real life, a sense of community, and things as basic as food (not to mention clean energy and higher wages for workers ) that could save your savings.

[Related: “Good Returns: Can you follow your conscience and still beat the S&P 500?”]

Pastor Thomas S. Kramm | News, Sports, Jobs


Pastor Thomas S. Kramm, 92, of Reedsville, died at 12:02 a.m. Monday, September 26, 2022, in Valley View Haven.

He was born December 9, 1929 in Turbot Township, Northumberland County, the son of the late Donley T. and the late Susanna (Baker) Kramm. He was united in marriage to the late H. Jane (Wesner) Kramm, who passed away on February 23, 2018. He and Jane were blessed to share 66 years of marriage.

He is survived by the following children: Steven T. Kramm and his wife Karen of Lewistown; Kathy S. Crownover and her husband Mark de Belleville; Darcy A. Herto and her husband Randy of Goshen, Ind.; Mark T. Kramm and his wife Ellen of Cedar, Minnesota; Andrew K. Kramm and his wife Aimee of Wellsboro; six grandchildren, Jon Crownover, Adam Crownover, Christopher Kramm, Andrew Kramm, Justin Kramm and Gretchen Clauser; seven great-grandchildren: Eric Crownover, Jesse Crownover, Addison Crownover, Lucas Kramm, Matthew Kramm, Jonah Kramm and Abigail Kramm, plus siblings, Edna Walter, Roger Kramm and Donna Moser.

Thomas graduated from McEwensville Elementary School in 1943 and Milton High School in 1947. He received his AB degree from Bucknell University with a combined pre-theological major in philosophy, psychology and religion in 1961. During his Educated at Bucknell, he served as deputy student pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Hallowing Run, Sunbury. He furthered his education for the ministry by attending Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary for four years. At the same time, he was a resident student substitute for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Newville, Cumberland County. While serving in Newville, he was active in community affairs. He was director of the new Community Youth Centre, co-director of the Borough Playground for three years and vice-president of the Inter-Church Council.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in theology from the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1965 and was later ordained to the ministry of the Lutheran Church in America.

In July 1965, Thomas was appointed pastor of the Belleville Lutheran Pastoral Charge, which included St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Allensville. He remained in this position for 27½ years until his retirement on January 1, 1993.

In addition to his regular pastoral duties, he founded the Big Valley Area Ministry and co-founded the Big Valley Area Medical Center. He was instrumental in the creation and implementation of the Synod’s Authorized Lay Worship Leader program.

He was an avid reader and enjoyed gardening. He could shape a piece of wood into anything he wanted and found pleasure in putting his own mark of craftsmanship on his home and furnishings, ranging from a corner cupboard, a drop-leaf table and chests. dovetailed to detailed bird carvings.

A memorial service is planned for a later date to be determined. Details will be communicated later.

In lieu of flowers, if friends so desire, memoirs may be made to the donor’s chosen charity.

Arrangements are in the care of Henderson Funeral Home, Belleville. Online condolences can be offered at www.hendersonfuneralhomes.net.

Faith leaders call on city and state officials to unite in response to water crisis


JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Some Jackson pastors say it’s high time for elected leaders to put aside their political differences and fix the city’s water.

On Monday, EPA Administrator Michael Regan met with about two dozen pastors in the capital, where he asked their views on the ongoing water crisis.

The event was hosted by the New Hope Baptist Church, and Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and several city staff were in attendance.

New Hope pastor Dr. Jerry Young said Monday’s meeting was a good first step in bringing leaders together. He paraphrased basketball great Michael Jordan saying, “You can win basketball games with pure talent. But if you want to win a championship, you have to have a team… We have to have a team approach to this.

Young says he wants to hold a series of meetings with church, city and state leaders to come up with “a comprehensive plan for how we move forward, not trying to get carried away, but doing what we have to do.” been elected – take care of the people’s business.

“If people aren’t big enough to approach it from that perspective, then we’re going to have to do the next best thing, which is to identify other people to lead us, who have the capacity, so to speak. , to exercise enough humility so that we can create that kind of cooperation in this community,” he said.

Young echoed the concerns of many in the community, who called on Lumumba and Governor Tate Reeves to work together to resolve the crisis, which at its height left more than 150,000 people without clean water.

On Sept. 13, for example, the council passed a resolution urging the mayor to “cooperate fully with federal and state authorities…to bring Jackson’s water and sewer system to full and sustainable functionality.”

And a week earlier, residents of the Bel Air neighborhood had told them to “grow up, come together and find a solution” to the problem.

The crisis began on August 29, after equipment failures at the OB Curtis water treatment plant cut off water service for tens of thousands of customers. Several state agencies were deployed to help fix the problem, and water service was restored a few days later. A state-imposed boil water advisory was lifted on September 15.

During the emergency, the mayor, governor and his aides traded numerous barbs on everything, including daily updates on whether the two had “dueling press conferences.”

A day after the boil water advisory was lifted, Reeves even told an audience in Hattiesburg that it was a “great day not to be in Jackson.”

Young, who is also president of the National Baptist Convention, says Jackson’s water crisis and the back and forth between top state and city elected leaders are a symptom of a larger problem of division affecting the entire state.

“Everything is division. It’s us against them. It’s Republicans versus Democrats. It’s black against white. It’s white against black. It’s men against women,” he said. ” It is what it is. And the truth is, in the final analysis, if we don’t come together as a community to address these issues…and if we don’t find leaders who can lead us at this level, I’m afraid the results.”

Young says it’s time for the faith community to help bridge the gap. “That’s why I call together pastors, black and white, Jewish and Gentile, Protestant and Catholic,” Young said. “I believe it’s time for the church to stand up and be the church, and give moral authority to this state, to this city, to this county.”

Monday’s meeting, he said, was a good first step in achieving that goal. However, Young warns that the problem will not be solved overnight. “I think that starts us on this road,” he said. “Progress isn’t always about speed. Often it is a matter of direction.

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Biden says GOP view is tougher on abortion than the Catholic Church

Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden speaks after signing a book of condolences at Lancaster House in London on September 18, 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8. |

President Biden criticized Senator Lindsey Graham’s proposed bill that would ban abortion after 15 weeks’ gestation nationwide, saying, “My church isn’t even making that argument now.

Biden lambasted Republicans at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York last week over Graham’s bill, which was introduced in the US Senate earlier this month. It is the first pro-life legislation introduced at the federal level since the United States Supreme Court struck down the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.

The Dobbs The decision does not ban abortion nationwide, but gives state and federal lawmakers the power to set limits on abortion or raise the gestational age for abortion. Multiple states decided to ban abortion in the weeks that followed Dobbs decision, while abortion remains legal until the moment of birth in other states.

Biden said“You’ve got Lindsey Graham from South Carolina and others talking about how they’re going to, you know, make sure that deer gone forever and Dobbs becomes national law.

In response to the Dobbs decision, congressional Democrats reignited their earlier efforts to pass the so-called Women’s Health Protection Actthat would codify abortion into federal law and limit the ability of states to pass pro-life laws.

Biden claimed the bill provides “no exceptions…rape, incest, no exceptions.”

Bill provides exceptions for rape, incest and physical danger to mother’s life, The Hill Noted.

Biden then said, “I happen to be a practicing Roman Catholic, my church doesn’t even make that argument,” adding, “I’m going to veto” the bill.

Months before Biden’s speech at the DNC fundraiser, President’s Archbishop Nancy Pelosi said the Democratic leader would not be allowed to receive Communion because of her unwavering support and advocacy. of abortion.

In May, the Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone sent a letter to Pelosi, D-Calif., a practicing Catholic, advising her that she had been warned to either “reject your advocacy for abortion ‘rights'” or to “refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and to receive Holy Communion”.

The Biden presidency has intensified debate among U.S. Catholic leaders over whether Catholic public office holders who advocate for abortion should be denied communion, a practice practiced in some dioceses.

While Biden was campaigning for the presidency ahead of the 2020 presidential election, a South Carolina priest refused to serve him communion because of his abortion advocacy.

Proponents of denying Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians, both inside and outside the Church hierarchy, cite the Church’s Code of Canon Law as justification for their position. The code of canon law States that those who “obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin should not be admitted to Holy Communion”.

However, last November, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a Communion document that did not openly call for prohibiting pro-choice politicians from receiving the sacrament despite it.

At a general meeting at the time, the bishops overwhelmingly approved a USCCB Doctrine Committee document known as the The mystery of the Eucharist in the life of the Church. Eight bishops voted against the document, while 222 bishops voted for. Three abstained.

However, the document stated that lay Catholics “who exercise some form of public authority have a special responsibility to form their consciences in accordance with the faith of the Church and the moral law, and to serve the human family in defending the human life and dignity”.

He said: “As Christians, we have the responsibility to promote the life and dignity of the human person, and to love and protect the most vulnerable among us: the unborn, migrants and refugees, victims of racial injustice, the sick and the elderly.”

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Pilgrims celebrate the anniversary of the Our Mother of Africa chapel of the national shrine


WASHINGTON (CNS) — As he lays his hands on sculptures he made 25 years ago, Ed Dwight told visitors to Our Mother of Africa Chapel what inspired his art.

Dwight, along with other artists and community members, were honored at the chapel on his 25th birthday at the National Shrine Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on September 17.

The National Congress of Black Catholics hosted the celebration of the pilgrimage. The NBCC is an organization that represents approximately 3 million African American Catholics to meet their spiritual needs within the church.

The chapel was a gift to the National Shrine on behalf of Congress. It recalls the history of slavery in the United States and gives a sense of hope.

Father Robert Boxie III, center right, a Catholic chaplain at Howard University in Washington, is pictured with students at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on September 17, 2022. The group attended the pilgrimage of the 25th Anniversary of Our Mother of Africa Chapel at the Basilica, which included lunch and a tour. (CNS Photo/ Samantha Smith, The Georgia Bulletin via Catholic Standard)

Dwight shared his method of using bronze and casting faces when sculpting. The artist also spoke about how his work was influenced by his Catholic faith and his mother, who made sure he attended church and Catholic school while he was growing up in Kansas City. , Kansas.

Using imagery from the church and the people he grew up with made it easier to create sculptures for the chapel, he said.

“It was a totally natural setting for me, and it’s one of the few sculptures I’ve ever done where it felt more natural to do it,” said Dwight, now 89. He has produced approximately 130 large-scale public and commemorative art installations. , and over 18,000 gallery sculptures.

The chapel’s anniversary celebration included a visit, lunch, and mass officiated by Auxiliary Bishop of Washington Roy E. Campbell Jr., president of the NBCC.

In addition to the visiting priests, the concelebrants included Bishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, and Bishop John H. Ricard, retired bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida, who was president of the NBCC during the construction of the Chapel.

The Chapel of Our Mother of Africa is “a very sacred and holy place,” Archbishop Ricard said in his homily. “Inside this sacred space…there is a silent conversation, an ongoing sacred conversation” between the visitor and the artwork, he said.

Pilgrims from across the country attended the celebration — the first of several events scheduled ahead of the XIII NBCC Convention July 20-23 in National Harbor, Maryland.

Father Desmond Drummer, pastor of Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Atlanta, and Nathalie Borgella, a member of the Atlanta Haitian Chaplaincy at Sts. The Peter and Paul Church of Decatur, Georgia traveled to the nation’s capital for the celebration.

How Dwight allowed his life experience to influence his work impacted Borgella.

“It shows the importance of understanding our history, not just as black Catholics, but as individuals in general,” she said.

The National Shrine Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is the largest Catholic church in North America and one of the 10 largest churches in the world.

It is designated a National Shrine of Prayer and Pilgrimage by the U.S. Catholic Bishops and is home to more than 80 chapels that honor Mary and represent the peoples, cultures, and traditions of the Catholic faith.

Learning the backstory of Our Mother of Africa Chapel showed how African-American history is present at the basilica — the “spiritual home of the church in the United States,” Father Drummer said.

“This Catholic community in the United States is a worldwide Catholic community,” he told the Georgia Bulletin, the archdiocesan newspaper of Atlanta. “There is not just one story, there are many. And those stories include encounters with the Lord.

The chapel includes a bronze sculpture of Mary holding the Christ Child. Sculpted by Dwight, both were given African-American physical characteristics.

“I was not the master or the control of the image,” Dwight said of creating the piece. “All that drapery and the way she looked with her hands; all of her, everything just spat out. And I couldn’t stop him from being what he is today.

Dwight’s second work, “Sculpture in Relief”, depicts African American history from slavery to the present day. He describes it as his version of the civil rights movement.

The artist said what he learned about the civil rights movement and life experience was reflected in the sculpture.

The crucifix in the Chapel of Our Mother of Africa was created through the collaboration of Tanzanian sculptor Juvenal Kaliki, who sculpted the figure of Christ, and New York sculptor Jeffrey Brosk, who designed the cross.

The marble sculptures of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were sculpted by Giancarlo Biagi and Jill Burkee. The iron grilles along the altar are by Jean Wiart. The doors represent the acacia tree, an icon for black Catholics in the United States.

Father Robert Boxie III, the Catholic chaplain at Howard University in Washington, brought a group of students to the basilica for the anniversary celebration.

“I wanted to expose our students to that part of the church – how they can be there, how they can be celebrated in the church,” Father Boxie said. “It is part of our heritage tradition.

He hopes students will know that “the gifts they bring into their presence will be recognized and celebrated” by the church.

The CCNB held its first convention in 1889. With the exception of the coronavirus pandemic, it has held a convention every five years since 1987 to prepare a pastoral plan to meet the needs of black Catholics.

The theme for the 2023 conference is: “Writing the Vision: A Prophetic Call to Prosper”.

In preparation for next year’s convention, Father Drummer drew inspiration from the celebration of African Catholics at the basilica.

“It’s important for us to expand what we mean when we say black Catholic,” Father Drummer said. “Black Catholic life in the United States is a global reality that contains a number of stories, and our understanding of what it means to be a Black Catholic moving forward must include a pan-African vision.”

The XIII Congress will be a validation of voices and cultures, Borgella said.

Holding convention events near the national shrine, with chapels dedicated to different nations and regions, “shows that black Catholics are still an integral part of Catholic history,” she said.

Smith is an editor for the Georgia Bulletin, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

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Pope Francis tells LGBTQ+ Catholics to build a church ‘that excludes no one’


Pope Francis leaves Assisi at the end of Francis’ Economy, an international movement of young economists. (Getty)

Pope Francis is said to have encouraged a Catholic LGBTQ+ group to build a church “that excludes no one”.

According The Avvenire, The Pope met with Italian Catholic LGBTQ+ group The Tent of Jonathon at a conference on Wednesday, September 21 to discuss the organization’s plan to build a hospitable church that would welcome LGBTQ+ people.

The group, founded in 2018, works with various religious organizations to provide “welcoming and supportive sanctuaries for LGBT people and anyone who experiences discrimination.”

In an effort to convince Pope Francis, members of the organization handed him a collection of letters from parents of LGBTQ+ children who have faced “isolation and distrust within the Christian community“.

After urging religious parents to “never condemn your children” in a Jan. 26 speech, adding that parents should “not hide behind an attitude of condemnation,” the lectures seemed to win him over as he said the organization to continue the construction of the church.

Despite upholding traditional church teachings that claim homosexuality is “inherently disordered,” the pontiff has been surprisingly open about bringing LGBTQ+ members into Catholic proceedings.

In 2013 he said, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?

But there is still a long way to go for LGBTQ+ acceptance in the Vatican. During the same address, he condemned what was cryptically described as lobbying of the LGBTQ+ community.

“The problem is not having this orientation,” he said. “We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or greedy lobbies, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worst problem.

Pope Francis has also repeatedly shut down any hope of same-sex marriage in the Catholic Church, most recently in 2021 when he said he “does not have the power to change the sacraments.”

“I spoke about it clearly, didn’t I? Marriage is a sacrament. Marriage is a sacrament. The church does not have the power to change the sacraments. It is as our Lord has established.

Excommunications for LGBTQ+ positive paraphernalia are still incredibly common in local Catholic communities. In June, a college was kicked out of the Catholic fold after authorities refused to remove Pride and Black Lives Matter flags from school grounds.

In a statement, Massachusetts Bishop Robert J. McManus, who chose to excommunicate the Worcester School of the Nativity, said, “I have publicly stated in an open letter…that ‘these symbols (flags ) embody specific agendas or ideologies (that) contradict Catholic society”. and moral teaching

“I believe the ‘Gay Pride’ flag represents support for gay marriage and actively living an LGBTQ+ lifestyle.”

In response, school president Thomas McKenney said the flags “represent inclusion and respect for all” and simply state “that all are welcome at the Nativity and that this value of inclusion is rooted in Catholic teaching”.

Burlington church welcomes new pastor


BURLINGTON — The Congregational Church of Burlington, founded in 1774, recently welcomed the Reverend Daniel Cohen as its new minister.

According to Cohen, the church first hired him to preach during the Advent season, the four weeks before Christmas.

“I felt like if they liked me, they could keep me, which made me want to be careful in order to fit in with the church culture,” Cohen said. “So I decided that, for my first sermon, I would ask the church to either nod, raise your hand, or say ‘amen’ out loud when I asked them for one. I told them that it would let me know three things: 1) they heard and agreed with what I was saying, 2) they told me to keep going, and 3) they were still awake.”

The members responded to his requests.

“To my surprise and delight, when I asked for that first ‘Amen’, I got a loud response from almost everyone,” Cohen said.

One of the best things about being the pastor of 268 Spielman Highway Church, he said, is how warm and welcoming people are, especially to members of other races.

“Although the congregation is predominantly Caucasian, they have shown my wife, son and granddaughter nothing but love from the day we walked through the door. My wife is Jamaican and she says people here have been more welcoming than other churches, which were predominantly African American,” Cohen said.

Cohen said the church’s sense of humor is also a big plus.

“Although I am deadly serious about salvation, I like to crack jokes during my sermons,” he said. “It keeps people awake.”

Recently, while giving Communion, Cohen noticed that the cups were filled to the brim.

“So in case you spill any on your clothes, don’t worry, the church will cover the dry cleaning bill,” he said. “But I didn’t approve that last message with the deacons, so I might get in trouble. .

“At first when I came here I thought it was great that they all liked my sense of humor,” he said. they all had a great sense of humor as well. It’s one of the ways they show love to each other.

Cohen said her path to Christianity was not what most Christians experience.

“Essentially I took the scenic route,” he said. “In fact, I was raised as a secular Jew whose parents did not believe in God. I ended up becoming a Buddhist in college, majoring in Eastern religion at Columbia University in the 1980s.”

Then, in 1993, he had a life-changing encounter with God, he said.

“I went to a large charismatic church in West Haven, which is now called Vertical Church. I went there because I wanted to impress a woman I wanted to date. I didn’t know what God had in store for me,” he said, adding that he noticed everyone at the church was doing the same things at the same time.

“We all prayed together, sang together, read the Bible together,” he said. raised mine. But I thought everyone had their hands up. The next thing I knew was that the pastor called me to come before him to give myself to the Lord in front of a thousand people.”

He said he was affected by his experience at church.

“I only raised my hand because I had tingles all over,” he said. “Although it was, apparently, the Holy Spirit, at the time I was so skeptical that I thought they had pumped chemicals through the air vent, which made me feel like Par here.”

It started the journey that took him to Burlington, where he is now the church’s designated pastor for at least the next year, he said.

“Although none of us know exactly what God has in store for us, I hope to pastor this church for years to come,” Cohen said. “They’re so loving and welcoming. The worst thing about them is that they keep complimenting me, telling me how awesome I am. I try to tell them it’s all about Jesus and seriously mocking my humility, and dangerously close to making me think ‘it’s all about me’.”

Cohen said he made the allusion in the audiobook he released on Google Play last year, “That’s Not All About You! The Secret Joy of Practical Humility.”

Parishioners said the church is changing for the better.

“Reverend Cohen has only been here a few months, and I can already see a change in the church,” said member Jan Minor.

“Since he came here, he has added a new dimension to our worship,” said Deacon Paulette Evans. “Before, we were a quiet church. Now we like to say ‘Amen’ when he asks us.

She was referring to the three “amens” that Cohen requests from his congregation as he delivers his weekly sermon.

“I come from a church that worships in the African American tradition,” Cohen said. “It’s a very different style of worship than what they’re used to here in Burlington.”

At first, he said he was reluctant to bring too much of his African-American preaching habits to Burlington.

“At first I was afraid to ask a predominantly Caucasian Congregational Church in New England to say ‘amen’ when I asked them for one,” he said. “I had seen some of their services online and hadn’t heard a glance from the congregation. Yet I wanted to be myself. And even though I wasn’t going to preach call and response, shouting and dancing in the spirit in the pulpit like I did at Friendship Baptist Church in Hamden, I really wanted to bring some of that energy to my sermons in Burlington.”

Cohen can be reached at 203-671-8737. The Congregational Church of Burlington holds services on Sundays at 10 a.m. and a prayer service at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, followed by a Bible study at 7 p.m. All are invited to attend.

Schenectady Church turns 100 | NEWS10 ABC


A church in Schenectady is celebrating its centenary tonight.

“This church has been through a lot in these 100 years and we are so excited to celebrate 100 years here in the town of Schenectady,” said church member John Hodorowski.

The church was established in 1922 in Schenectady, now known as Liberty Church New York since 2018. Tonight they are celebrating this monumental milestone by kicking it off with an hour h’orderves, historical presentation through the years and a service. The mission of Liberty Church is simple.

“That’s what Jesus called us to do, that’s love our neighbors right and that’s what we’re doing,” says “happy” member Lydia Lilly Colon.

Three years ago, the church joined the national nonprofit organization Care Portal. Helping over 1,100 families in Schenectady.

Church members say it is an honor and a privilege to be part of the church with such longevity and a significant place in the community. Qualities not lost for the youngest faithful

“The best part of this church is that I can be part of the worship team and then I’m able to praise the Lord” Jason Otero. “I agree,” added David Pickett.

Pastor Graham-Parker has a message for the community, they are not done doing the Lord’s work.

“We love the city, we love being here, we are aware of a challenge, but we are hopeful for its future,” says Pastor Graham-Parker.

President Biden’s fundraising remarks blur Catholic teaching on abortion


Biden has made conflicting statements over the years about when he thinks life begins. During the 2012 vice presidential debate against Republican nominee Paul Ryan, he said that “life begins at conception, that is the judgment of the Church. I accept it in my personal life,” although he said he refused to “impose” that view on others.

In September 2021, after Biden reaffirmed his support for the Supreme Court’s now-overturned ruling in favor of abortion rights, Roe v. Wade, said he disagreed that human life begins at conception.

Shortly after these comments, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington challenged the president’s statement. “The Catholic Church teaches, and has taught, that life – human life – begins at conception,” he said. “So the president is not demonstrating Catholic teaching.”

After the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year, Biden made a major effort to reaffirm legal abortion protections at the federal level. On July 8, he issued an important executive order aimed at protecting access to abortion.

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the American Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee, said at the time that it is “deeply disturbing and tragic” that Biden would use presidential power “to promote and facilitate abortion in our country, seeking all possible avenues”. deprive unborn children of their most basic human and civil right, the right to life.

The pope himself was quick to address Biden’s position, in response to a reporter’s question about Biden’s position and whether Catholic politicians who support abortion should be admitted to the Holy Communion.

“Is it just to eliminate a human life?” Pope Francis said in an interview with Univision and Televisa that aired July 12.

The pope said he left the issue of Biden’s defense of abortion to the president’s “conscience”.

“Let him talk to his pastor about this inconsistency,” he said.

Crescent City Cafe serves hot breakfast and bottomless juice to New Orleans residents in need


In New Orleans, all roads lead to a restaurant. But the fact that a restaurant meal continues to be something nearly a quarter of New Orleans residents living in poverty don’t have access to is often obscured by mainstream awareness. New Orleans is one of the top food-insecure cities in the United States, a particularly stark contrast to its reputation as one of the world’s top foodie cities.

Many food banks, nonprofits, and community refrigerators provide food to food-insecure New Orleans residents (at the time of this writing, New Orleans Community Fridges operates at least 16 refrigerators). Yet these provide necessary goods and aim to achieve a basic human right, rather than an experience that most people want. Hence the inspiration behind Crescent City Cafe, a pop-up restaurant that gives food-insecure New Orleans residents the opportunity to dine with dignity in a full-service restaurant experience.

“When people come in, we don’t know their situation, but we serve them because they’re here,” says Adelle Bergman, executive director of Crescent City Cafe. “We empower people to belong, to matter, and to feel part of a community,” says Bergman.

A Saturday menu at Crescent City Cafe.
Hannah Hanegan Photography/Crescent City Cafe

The cafe, founded in 2009, serves breakfast on the first and third Saturday of every month at the Rayne Memorial Methodist Church on St. Charles Avenue. The church’s commercial kitchen and reception serve as a simulated restaurant run by volunteers, who take care of everything from preparing meals to welcoming and serving guests. It serves plates that would be expected at a favorite local breakfast spot – a recent menu included ranch grits with cheddar bacon and lemon pancakes. While the menu changes weekly, offering different sweet and savory breakfast options, one thing is constant: it’s always served on linen tables with a sweet flowerpot, silverware, bottomless juice and chocolate milk.

Volunteers don’t just fill cups or scramble eggs; they’re also here to help build community in pop-ups, connecting with guests, and fostering an inviting space. “Food insecurity is a temporary condition; it’s not part of someone’s identity,” Bergman says. “Our volunteers cycle and eat with the guests; this way we build friendships while educating volunteers that these are just people with different circumstances.

Breakfast is served at the Crescent City Cafe.
Hannah Hanegan Photography/Crescent City Cafe

The faces of food insecurity vary; it is not defined as a type of person or circumstance. The Crescent City Cafe seats up to 120 people on a Saturday morning. Guests include the elderly, students, families, homeless people, sheltered people, people who have had to choose between buying medicine or paying for food, and those who just want company. In some circumstances, guests have included neighbors who dropped in for a meal and left as donors, while other guests later found themselves in different circumstances and returned to the cafe as volunteers.

Bergman notes that food safety can affect anyone, which is part of why, after 13 years, Crescent City Cafe announced plans to expand into a pay-per-view restaurant with a permanent location. “Because we’re in a church, people assume there’s always a barrier to entry. People have to see for themselves that we are different from a soup kitchen.

A volunteer prepares pancakes and tacos for breakfast at the Crescent City Cafe.
Crescent City Cafe

The plan is to serve breakfast and lunch every day to customers, regardless of their ability to pay, in a space where non-paying customers dine alongside paying customers. The restaurant will be run by staff and volunteers, giving non-paying guests the opportunity to also serve as volunteers, which Bergman says many guests appreciate. It will join dozens of fee-paying community cafes across the United States, including Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen in New Jersey, SAME Cafe (So All May Eat) in Denver, and FARM (Feed All Regardless of Means) in North Carolina. .

Expanding to the pay-as-you-can model will require fundraising – overhead cannot be sustained by just paying customers, as it is difficult to predict what people will pay. Bergman adds, however, that ultimately she doesn’t want the restaurant to break even with paying customers because it’s expected that people can walk in and pay nothing.

For the advocates and volunteers who power the Crescent City Cafe, meals – and the community bond that comes with them – are as much a necessity as the food itself. “Even though we’ve evolved a bit over the past 13 years, that mission has remained the same,” says Bergman. “We just want to share a meal, create community and connect – again, with dignity and love. Food is really just our excuse for creating community.

The Crescent City Café serves breakfast from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. for those in need on the first and third Saturdays of each month at Rayne Memorial United Methodist Church. To learn more about volunteering or donating to Crescent City Cafe, visit https://crescentcitycafe.com.

The Crescent City Cafe claims to have served 19,000 meals to New Orleans in need in the summer of 2022.
Crescent City Cafe

“Interior Pastors”: Pope Francis writes the preface to Cardinal Bagnasco’s book


Pope Francis signs the preface to a book that has just been published by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop emeritus of Genoa and former president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

By Linda Bordoni

Pastori Dentro. Chiesa, società e persona” (“Pastors within: Church, society and person”) is the title of Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco’s book which has just been published by Pauline Books & Media in Italian.

Expressing his joy at being asked to write the preface to the book, Pope Francis says the Cardinal’s reflections stem from his considerations and reflections during his second term as president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

He expresses his satisfaction for the author’s attention to subjects such as education, the family, poverty and politics, “with the intention of bringing them back to their original principle”: the announcement of Jesus .

“Faced with the ongoing anthropological change, which concerns not only the European context, but also, more generally, the whole world”, says the Pope, the path is and remains education in the faith, to rediscover “the person”. , beginning with the mystery of Christ.

He adds that these pages are not just a tribute to history, but a guide to how bishops are called to read the signs of our times.

The bishop – the pastor – he says, must strive to look at his brothers and sisters in the Lord with an attitude of service and knowing that his life “does not belong to him because it is given to God”.

“The pastor must proclaim the Word of God and incarnate it in the church and in the personal life,” writes the Pope, noting that in this proclamation, and the path that follows, lies the true joy of the shepherds who carry “the ‘sheep smell’. , who live in the midst of their herd and are “fishers of men”.

The Pope appreciates the title of this volume which, he says, suggests that bishops are “inner pastors” and he calls on them to always fix their gaze on those who are hurt and excluded.

Cardinal Bagnasco, he continues, has succeeded in showing us that the Church is a living, breathing organism, and not just a bureaucratic organization to which some would like to reduce it.

Concluding the preface, Pope Francis praises the literary work for the help and guidance it offers to all of the Lord’s pastors, and notes that reading is recommended not only for bishops and their collaborators, but also for lay people and for Christians who feel “distant” because it helps “to stimulate reflection and to live our time”.

Man pleads not guilty to arson attack at historic South LA church – NBC Los Angeles


A 23-year-old man pleaded not guilty Wednesday in connection with an arson attack that destroyed a historic South Los Angeles church and injured three firefighters.

Carlos Francisco Diaz is charged with two counts of arson of a structure and one count of arson of a property, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The charges stem from the 9/11 fire that destroyed Victory Baptist Church, as well as a fire that broke out on September 4 on the same property.

Diaz – who was arrested on Sunday – was ordered to remain in jail in lieu of $150,000 bond.

The fire was reported at 2:22 a.m. Sept. 11 at the two-story church at 4802 S. McKinley Ave., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

“LAFD arson investigators and the House of Worship Multi-Agency Arson Task Force have opened an investigation into the cause of the fire,” according to a department statement. “Initial information immediately revealed no evidence of an intentional fire; however, its persistence later revealed security footage to help connect the dots.”

The joint investigation included personnel from the Los Angeles School Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Investigators were aided by eyewitnesses, the LAFD reported.

A historic black church in South Los Angeles was destroyed in a fire this weekend. The faithful of the church were able to recover very important objects.

About 150 firefighters were dispatched to the scene of the blaze, according to LAFD’s Nicholas Prange.

“Crews first entered to find heavy smoke inside the structure,” Prange said. “As the firefighters entered, inevitably introducing more air to the conditions inside, the fire behavior rapidly worsened. About 30 minutes after the firefighters arrived, there was a structural collapse at inside, trapping several LAFD members.”

Two Mayday calls were radioed for trapped personnel, and nearby crews quickly rescued three firefighters, officials said. One was taken to hospital in moderate condition, a second finished fighting the fire and was later hospitalized in fair condition, and a third followed alone with care after the fire, Prange said. .

After the collapse inside the building, crews retreated in defensive operations, pouring water on the flames from outside the building. The fire was extinguished within an hour and 40 minutes, Prange said.

Victory Baptist Church has been a spiritual center for the black community in Los Angeles for decades and a site of major significance for gospel music and the civil rights movement. The church was founded by Arthur Atlas Peters on Easter Sunday in 1943 and moved to the building on McKinley Avenue in 1944.

Pastor W. Edward Jenkins has sworn the church will not bend its tent.

“A church is a sanctuary, a place of worship, a place of healing and above all a place to come together for the good of the community. The fire at the historic Victory Baptist Church has deeply hurt our community,” the prosecutor said. of George Gascón district. said in a statement announcing the charges filed Sept. 15. I’m confident that Victory Baptist will continue to be a beacon of hope in South Los Angeles.”

A date is to be set for Oct. 5 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to allow the case against Diaz to go to trial.

Catholic teaching on the human person paves the way for American politics


What do we mean when we say the words “human person” in light of the person of Jesus Christ? It is Christian anthropology. (Unsplash/Dominik Leine)

The late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago formulated a “coherent ethic of life” in the 1980s. This coherent ethic did not take hold or shape the ongoing debate about abortion and the relationships of this issue. with other life issues.

Bernardin’s second successor, Cardinal Blase Cupich, called for a “coherent ethic of solidarity”, drawing attention not only to how life’s problems are interrelated, but to how our Catholic response can and should be linked to each of these issues. . This call has not been embraced by Catholic voters either, at least by enough of them to form a significantly broad bloc that cannot be ignored.

Unfortunately, the views of Catholic voters in this country have become increasingly indistinguishable from the views of other non-Catholic members of the same political party, with Catholic Democrats supporting abortion rights and Catholic Republicans opposing anti-abortion policies. more liberal immigration. Moral consistency plays little or no role in these political calculations.

Catholic voters sometimes invoke their Catholic identity to justify their political loyalty. Catholic Republicans identify their opposition to abortion as the primary reason for joining the GOP, while Catholic Democrats cite their support for policies that help the poor justify their partisan affiliation.

“The momentum of our times runs counter to integral human development. Against our divinely appointed role to care for our common home. Against the sanctity of human life. Against human solidarity.

—Cardinal Michel Czerny

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Most, however, do not allow positions on which their party differs from their church to bother them too much. Like the stains of cigarette smoke gradually graying the curtains of a smoking house, Catholic voters are now melting into the cancerous disrespect for human dignity that their own political party perpetuates.

Last weekend, Cardinal Michael Czerny, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, spoke of a different future. Delivering the Bernardin Center lecture at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, he cited both Bernardin’s and Cupich’s texts, but added a specific element that American Catholic theologians and writers tend to overlook: he linked these ethical issues in Christian anthropology.

What do we mean when we say the words “human person” in light of the person of Jesus Christ? It is Christian anthropology. In forceful terms, Czerny confronts the spirit of the age for its failure to embrace adequate anthropology. He said:

Tragically, unfairly, and contrary to life, the momentum of our times runs counter to integral human development. Against our divinely appointed role to care for our common home. Against the sanctity of human life. Against human solidarity. At their root, many of the contradictions our current era poses for integral human development are based on faulty understandings of the human person: faulty anthropology. For 130 years, Catholic social teaching has attempted to correct this erroneous anthropology.

The cardinal reviews the great social encyclicals, from Rerum Novarum in 1891 at Quadragesimo Anno in 1931, at Populorum progressio in 1967 at Solicitudo Rei Socialis in 1987, Caritas in Truth in 2009 and, finally, Fratelli Tutti in 2020.

Cardinal Michael Czerny delivers a lecture for the Bernardin Center of the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago on September 17.  (Courtesy of the Catholic Theological Union)

Cardinal Michael Czerny delivers a lecture for the Bernardin Center of the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago on September 17. (Courtesy of the Catholic Theological Union)

For those interested in a hermeneutics of continuity, here it is! In fact, there are elements of continuity and discontinuity in this tradition of papal encyclicals, in short, precisely the hermeneutics of reform that Pope Benedict XVI effectively endorsed in his famous address to the Curia in 2005.

One of the points of continuity was the realization that the foundation of the liberal order on a political philosophy of human rights and autonomy disregarded human nature; that is to say, it suffered from an inadequate anthropology and gave birth to a competitive society in which relativism will become normative. In one of the most important passages of his speech, Czerny said:

However, regardless of their degree of freedom, economic markets powerfully shape the choices and character of those who participate in their operation. In fact, market operations can create conditions of moral relativism. As I have already noted, Pope Francis raises the specter of the “culture of relativism” when, in Laudato Si’he sees in it “the same disorder that drives one person to take advantage of another, to treat others as mere objects, imposing hard labor on them or enslaving them to pay their debts”.

The ideology of the free market is itself a source of moral relativism, a constant invitation to neglect the humanity of others for the benefit of one’s own interest.

This neoliberal worldview becomes indifferent to human suffering. It “conceives of the human person as individualized and competitively driven to maximize one’s own material self-interest and to look at the world simply as a mere collection of objects to be bought and sold,” Czerny said. “Even other human beings can be objectified for their own sake or seen simply as competitors to be overcome. Seen in this form, the human being does not become a beloved creation of God, but simply another tool or resource in the market economy.

Catholic anthropology and social teaching came to embrace a strong notion of human rights, but never in the hyper-individualistic context of neoliberalism.

Czerny, to his credit, notes that the church’s charge against individualism is not crude enough to be indifferent to the value of individualism in certain circumstances. Commenting on the encyclical of Pope Paul VI Populorum progressioobserves the cardinal, “while exalting economic efficiency to the point of dominating all other values, individual autonomy was seductive as a defense against totalitarian tendencies”.

There are times and circumstances when an otherwise morally challenging attribute, such as individualism, is needed and should be valued. He just shouldn’t be allowed to run amok.

I hope that the American bishops will read the important Czerny conference before their meeting in November. Soon they will begin the process of deciding how to approach the 2024 national elections. The document they have issued for the past four cycles, “A Loyal Citizenship”, must be abandoned and a new approach must be adopted. , an approach that includes the social magisterium of Benedict XVI and Francis.

The ideology of the free market is itself a source of moral relativism, a constant invitation to neglect the humanity of others for the benefit of one’s own interest.

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This document did not prevent the conference from moving from fruitful engagement with the political realm to sordid complicity with politics, as it did when it ignored its own stated purpose of “shaping consciences” and decided that abortion was the “primary concern” of the Catholic Church in the 2020 election. It was appallingly bad theology and appallingly bad politics.

Czerny – and 130 years of papal magisterium – point to a way forward. Bishops must begin with Christian anthropology. They should say less about individual problems and more about promoting a Christian worldview that can withstand the moral relativism of the surrounding culture.

It is not enough to refine the ethical arguments: they must go further. Their next document aimed at forming the consciences of Catholics for the important act of political participation must be laser-focused on Christian anthropology and the set of attributes that anthropology entails.

As the Cardinal said: “There are several related and even synonymous terms here: sacred, transparent, social, solidarity, consistent, understood, integral. May they help us to be more mindful, to open our minds and hearts, to broaden our horizons, to move to various relevant frontiers.”

Kitchen Fun: New Era performs “Church Basement Ladies”


MUSCATINE, Iowa — Set to open its 27th show, New Era Dinner Theater is eager to present a musical close to its own roots, “Church Basement Ladies.” “I’ve been waiting to do this show for a long time because it’s a beautiful tribute to the women who have been cooking for us for 26 years,” director Bill Turner said. A comedy show chronicling the experiences of four women who volunteer in the kitchen of their rural Lutheran church in Minnesota to cook for a Lutefisk dinner, funeral, fundraiser and wedding in the mid-1960s, this show will give to everyone, Lutheran or not, a good laugh and a look at what it means to create community.

Turner began directing the church’s dinner theater shows in 1999 after their former manager left. For his first show, he selected “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and recruited his high school-aged son and his friends to fill many of his roles. Turner has never looked back and has since performed 22 shows.

For years, Turner wanted to perform “Church Basement Ladies,” and in 2020 he finally got the rights to it. Just as he was planning auditions for early spring, theaters around the world closed due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing him to wait two more years to finally put it on stage. However, he found the experience of putting it quite enjoyable, as the show’s small but talented cast proved a pleasure to work with. “We have a very good team,” he shared. “What I love about this show is a tight-knit cast that works well together.”

The cast members agreed. Reverend Susan Bantz, Vivian’s opening night understudy, found the play a delightful way to explore and laugh at the very common experiences that Lutherans and just about any worshiper would have had in the years. 1960. “I love it!” she enthuses. It’s got fantastic music, and it’s a fun show, and I’m a Lutheran pastor, and how could I not be on a show about Lutherans? »

For Bridgette Bissell, the friendships of the women in the story and the real-life actors continued to affirm her love for theater and her new home in Muscatine. “I really like the people and the camaraderie – we’re like a little family,” she observed: “It’s really great for my second community show in Muscatine. Everyone has made it a welcoming place, and I love that.

At a dinner show, people can enjoy 1960s-inspired cuisine before the show, including gelatin salad, a hot burger dish, New Era’s famous green beans, as well as rolls, drinks and a dessert. Anyone wishing to attend the October 7 or 8 performance at 6 p.m. or the October 9 performance at 4 p.m. can purchase $30 adult tickets or $20 children’s tickets until the day of the show, or by sending a check to New Era. Lutheran Church, 3455 New Era Road in Muscatine or by calling 563-299-4710 or 563-263-0881 for more information. People can also inquire about show tickets only.

A theatrical experience like no other in Muscatine County, Turner hopes to see a great turnout this fall. “It’s like the field of dreams for the theatre,” he beamed, proudly evoking rural theatre.

Benton Harbor pastor speaks for peace at Teen Summit on Gun Violence | Benton Harbor


BENTON HARBOR – The only way to end gun violence in Benton Harbor is for every resident to take ownership of the problem and work to stop it.

That’s what Pastor Taurus Montgomery told teens Monday at the Stand With Us Teen summit on gun violence at the Joel E. Smilow Teen Center in Benton Harbor.

“You have to say to yourself, ‘I want something different in my community,’ and you can do that even as a young man, as a young woman in high school — as a teenager,” he said. at the event, which was hosted by Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Southwest Michigan. “You can make a difference. … There is nothing more powerful than a young black girl and a young black boy doing something good in our community.

One way to make a difference is to speak up, he said.

Pastor Taurus Montgomery talks about his life growing up at a Teen Abuse Summit, held Monday night at the Joel E. Smilow Teen Center in Benton Harbor.

“We must have the courage to speak the truth,” said Montgomery, pastor of the Harbor of Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church in Benton Harbor. “If you see something, say something.”

Montgomery said he grew up in Mobile, Alabama, watching his father punch his mother in the face and kick her on the steps.

“I saw these things at a very young age and I thought that was how you resolved conflicts when you were dealing with someone who had a problem with you,” he said. “…Violence is a learned thing. When you see it so much, you get used to it.

He said he started carrying a gun, dealing drugs and robbing people when he was 12.


Berrien County Judge Mabel Mayfield, center, is joined by Benton Harbor Director of Public Safety Dan McGinnis and Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad at a teen summit on violence, which was held Monday night at the Joel E. Smilow Teen Center in Benton Harbor.

Like many children who grow up violent, Montgomery said he was angry all the time and had communication problems.

But while at university he said he went to all the free advice they had. He said it was because he was determined to break the cycle of violence that children learn from the adults around them.

“We have to heal our pain,” he said. “Hurting people, hurting people.”

After Montgomery’s speech, club members posed questions to the panelists, who included Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad, Benton Harbor Director of Public Safety Dan McGinnis, Retired State Trooper of Michigan, Maurice Burton, and Chief Judge Mabel Mayfield of the Berrien County Trial Court.


Young people gather at a Teen Violence Summit, held Monday night at the Joel E. Smilow Teen Center in Benton Harbor.

Mayfield said the local justice system is working to help families by making plans to build a juvenile justice family services campus.

Muhammad said the city partnered with Kinexus last summer to provide jobs for more than 100 city youths. He said he was working to develop more partnerships so that even more young people can have jobs and internships next summer.

“Youth are the most important resource and asset of the community,” he said.

Montgomery said her church is hosting a Stop the Violence tour, which began in July, where volunteers serve Benton Harbor area residents with food and play games with them. He said tours were continuing and attendees did not need to be members of his church to volunteer. For more information, visit www.harborofhopepmc.org/stoptheviolence.

Homeless man arrested on suspicion of burning down historic Los Angeles church – Press Telegram


A homeless man was in police custody on Monday September 19 for allegedly start a fire that destroyed a historic church in South Los Angeles and injured three firefighters, authorities said.

Carlos Diaz, 23, was arrested Sunday and jailed on suspicion of arson of a structure, with additional charges pending, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The fire was reported at 2:22 a.m. Sept. 11 at the two-story Victory Baptist Church, 4802 S. McKinley Ave.

“LAFD arson investigators and the House of Worship Multi-Agency Arson Task Force have opened an investigation into the cause of the fire,” an LAFD statement said. “Initial information revealed no immediate evidence of an intentional fire; however, their (investigators’) persistence later revealed security footage to help connect the dots.

The joint investigation included personnel from the Los Angeles School Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Investigators were aided by eyewitnesses.

Around 150 firefighters were dispatched to the fire on 9/11.

“Crews first entered to find heavy smoke inside the structure,” Nicholas Prange, an LAFD spokesman, said in a statement. “As firefighters entered, inevitably introducing more air to the conditions inside, the fire behavior rapidly worsened. About 30 minutes after firefighters arrived, there was a structural collapse inside, trapping several LAFD members.

Crews quickly rescued three firefighters. One was taken to hospital in moderate condition, a second finished fighting the fire and was later hospitalized in fair condition, and a third followed alone with care after the incident, Prange said. .

Victory Baptist Church has been a spiritual center for the black community in Los Angeles for decades and a site of major significance for gospel music and the civil rights movement. Mahalia Jackson was one of many acclaimed gospel singers to perform there, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the church on several occasions.

The church was founded by Arthur Atlas Peters on Easter Sunday in 1943 and moved to the building on McKinley Avenue in 1944. Pastor W. Edward Jenkins swore the church would continue.

Church in West Virginia changes name to fit with the times


Do you know what “covenant” means?

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – A Wheeling church is changing its name after leaders decided it was time to adapt to the times.

Covenant Community Church, or known only as “C3”, retains the acronym but swaps out one of its “C’s”.

Reaching 20e anniversary of being a church, Pastor Ted Dodd says the word “covenant” was used for his time, but now he feels the term is falling on deaf ears.

Dodd explained that a “covenant” is an unbreakable contract with God, but most of the younger generation don’t know that.

As a non-denominational church, Pastor Ted says fighting to bring in the next generation has been difficult. So they replace “covenant” with a word that they think is more relevant to their message.

“Christ Community Church has a lot more meaning to who we have become and how we have grown to see what is really central to people here at C3”

“I think churches today can seem very intimidating to people. Especially in the last two years, it feels like churches can be a place of division. But I think as long as we are here by focusing on the main elements of our faith, it creates an opportunity for people to come.

Ted Dodd, co-pastor at C3

He says, shockingly, that church elders welcomed the change.

Christ Community Church is already living up to its name with the fifth annual “Mudlympics” held on Saturday where children rolled in mud and ate pizza. A fellowship like this is what Pastor Ted says shows the true message of their church.

Former Samaritan’s Purse employee is now street pastor in London for the Queen’s funeral


LONDON, UK (WBTV) – A former employee of Billy Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse organization is out on the streets of London today, tending to those coping with their emotions following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Mike Freeman trained in North Carolina for disaster relief.

“I was with the Billy Graham organization, and I was doing Samaritan’s Purse and doing international relief work,” Freeman said.

This week, Freeman is in London as the coordinator of a group of street pastors. They spoke to the thousands of people who lined up to view the Queen’s coffin inside Westminster Hall.

‘We’re with street pastors and response pastors and it’s a ministry that goes out into the streets and we’re around people, mostly listening to their stories and that’s what we’re doing in London at the moment, going into the queue and listening to people. Freeman said. “Quite often for them to line up for that lying state it brings more emotions to the forefront of maybe their past losses and they want to talk about it and we’re a listening ear with compassion we have time to do it, and then we can encourage them to continue and if we have the opportunity, we can also share the faith with them.

Just before leaving on Sunday morning, Freeman and another group of street pastors stopped to pray near Westminster Abbey where the funeral will take place on Monday.

“People say you know I queued 12, 15 but I queued twice as long just for the privilege of paying homage to the Queen which is really great because it helps personally and also as a nation we respect for what was in our lifetime our greatest monarch.

My heart breaks for the congregation of Killearn United Methodist Church


Reverend Dr Kimberleigh Buchanan

Reading about the Killearn United Methodist Church’s vote to leave its denomination, my mind went back to a denominational meeting in Macon, Georgia in 1999. The church I was serving at the time in Atlanta had voted to accommodate people of all sexual orientations. In early 1999, the Georgia Baptist Convention informed us that we were not in conformity with the denomination. After several conversations with members of Congress, the decision was made to vote on our retention in Congress.

On a cool November day, about 2,000 Baptists gathered in an arena in Macon. Several of us had traveled from Atlanta to attend the meeting.

Any hope we had of a positive outcome was quickly dashed when people started debating the issue. After three people spoke out in favor of us remaining in the denomination, many others spoke out against us, irritating the crowd, stamping their feet and repeatedly calling homosexuality an “abomination.”

After:‘Heartbroken’: Inside the schism as Killearn United Methodist Church splits over gay marriage and clergy

As a straight clergyman, I was already committed to supporting people in the LGBTQ+ community. But when I looked at one of our members and saw him wince every time the word “abomination” was said, when I saw the utter devastation caused by the rejection of his beloved denomination , I knew I was called to lead congregations that welcome people, no matter who they are and no matter who they love.

Not recognizing the full humanity of others is never of God. Celebrating each person for the beloved child of God that they are is of God.

United Church, Tallahassee, Florida

In April, I became pastor of United Church in Tallahassee, a congregation that has been welcoming people from the LGBTQ+ community for more than three decades. We welcome all people in all aspects of our church life. We do this because we are committed to celebrating each person as the beloved child of God that they are, no matter who they are. It doesn’t matter who they love.

My heart breaks for the members of Killearn UMC.

Church splits cause significant pain to all involved. My prayers are with this congregation and their pastors. At the same time, I will offer a prayer of thanks for those congregations – including my own – who truly celebrate and welcome all.

Reverend Dr Kimberleigh Buchanan

Reverend Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan is pastor of the United Church of Tallahassee, an open and assertive congregation of the United Church of Christ.


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US Bishops Hold National Migration Week Amid Migrant Crisis | National Catholic Register


U.S. Bishops Invite Catholics to Participate in National Migration Week and World Migrants and Refugees Day by Meeting “Those Who Live on the Existential Peripheries.”

The week, which begins Sept. 19, provides an opportunity to reflect on the situation of migrants, refugees, victims of human trafficking and others, according to the Bishops. The seven days end on September 25, the Vatican’s World Day for Migrants and Refugees (WDMR).

The bishops’ announcement comes as Republican governors are ferrying migrants to northern states in response to the border crisis. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently took credit for ferrying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, while Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey transported thousands of people to cities like Washington, New York and Chicago.

“The Biden-Harris administration continues to ignore and deny the historic crisis on our southern border, which has endangered and overwhelmed communities in Texas for nearly two years,” Abbott said in a press release Thursday, after transporting migrants to the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris. at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, DC

On Wednesday, DeSantis communications director Taryn Fenske shared the governorship with Fox News Digital.

“States like Massachusetts, New York and California will better facilitate the care of these people they have invited to our country by encouraging illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and by supporting the policies of open borders of the Biden administration,” Fenske said. .

In Providence, Rhode Island, Bishop Thomas Tobin tweeted Friday that every human person, from babies in the womb to immigrants from Massachusetts, should be treated with dignity.

“The baby in the womb, the refugee on Cape Cod – neither should be exploited for political points,” he wrote. “Both are children of God. Both must be respected, welcomed and cared for. As a society, can’t we agree on that? »

Ahead of National Migration Week, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) called reports of state involvement in transporting migrants to Martha’s Vineyard “disconcerting.”

“Any action to transport people under false pretenses and leave them stranded without assistance, if found to be the case, disrespects their human dignity and aims,” ​​the group said in a statement to CNA. “Immigration is not just a political issue, but a fundamental human and moral issue.”

“For immigrants are not faceless numbers – but human persons,” the statement added. “They are our brothers and sisters.

The FCCB called the country’s broken immigration system the problem, rather than the immigrants.

“While reasonable people may disagree about how our country should respond, any effective response requires that we recognize that immigration is more than a ‘border security’ issue, but fundamentally about our markets. of labor and the men and women who fill the jobs that continue to make America strong,” the statement read. “Justice and prudence demand that we treat them with dignity and find a reasonable way for their contributions and presence to be recognized by law.”

As executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, Jennifer Allmon has also commented on the “politicization of the lives and dignity of migrants.”

“Our nation’s reluctance to address the flawed immigration system over the past few years rests entirely with citizens and politicians from both major political parties,” she told CNA in a statement. “This polarization has brought us to a moment of crisis; there is a legitimate concern that if each level of government fails to fulfill its respective responsibilities, the common good of communities in our cities, state and nation, and of immigrants themselves, will continue to suffer gravely.

She recognized “an urgent need for legitimate and moral reform of our immigration and asylum system”.

“The experience of our Catholic charities and outreach ministries across Texas has taught us that refugees improve the quality of life across the state with their cultures and talents and the gainful employment that keeps them to be added to poverty lists,” Allmon said. .

“Nevertheless, it is vital now that all levels of government develop responsible plans to avoid a rush of people flooding our border which could undermine the just rule of law and the ability of governmental and non-governmental efforts to assist migrants, refugees and the residents and poor natives who are already among us.

The American Catholic Church has observed National Migration Week since 1980, while WDMR began in 1914.

“There has never been a more critical time to reflect on the issue of migration, as we witness, for the first time in history, more than 100 million people forcibly displaced around the world,” said Bishop Mario Dorsonville, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington and President. of the Committee on Migration of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement.

Bishop Dorsonville then listed several groups that Catholics should keep in mind.

“I am thinking particularly of the Dreamers, our new Afghan neighbors, of Ukrainians fleeing conflict in their home country, of those on temporary protections who have taken up residence in the United States, and of undocumented agricultural workers, all of whom have a important role to play in building the future of our country – just as they have a role to play in building the Kingdom of God,” added Bishop Dorsonville.

He concluded, “May this week help us experience a renewed sense of what it means to live as brothers and sisters, traveling the same path together.”

The Windber Church of the Nazarene will gather for the first service since the fire


Windber Church of the Congregation of the Nazarene plans to officially install its new pastor this weekend and pray together in person for the first time since its church building was badly damaged by a lightning strike and fire .

Mike Long, who began his duties as lay pastor of the Nazarene congregation on July 1, is to be installed as senior pastor at 1 p.m. Sunday by the Rev. Daniel Eddings, superintendent of the Pittsburgh District Church of the Nazarene.

Scalp Level Covenant Brethren Church, 250 Hoffman Ave., offered to host the service, Long said.

Latest events:What’s happening in and around Somerset County in September?

Church and Building Update

In the weeks following the August 21 fire, Long posted Sunday video sermons on the church’s Facebook page and audio messages on Spotify, as well as contacting his congregation through phone calls and visits. when he can. He lives in Munster, Cambria County and works full time as a corrections officer.

“The story God has for us to continue is very simple: We are the church, we are not a building,” Long said in an Aug. 28 video message posted on the church’s Facebook page.

“I believe in a living God who perfects the imperfect… who raises the tiny little shoot out of the scorched ground, to prove that life and love will always prevail.”

What happened:Windber Church damaged by early morning fire

Long said ‘the fire is only a tiny part of the story’ as he praised the Windber Fire Department and other first responders for keeping the community safe during a situation dangerous.

He also noted how the congregation quickly received an overwhelming outpouring of concern and support from other churches, the Windber community and beyond.

“What’s amazing is everything that’s happened since until now,” he said. “This is the story I believe God wants us to tell.

“Neighbors and communities…I can’t list them all because they keep coming – they are the story of this event. The outpouring of support, love and prayers…every community around us has reached out to offer whatever they can.

Mike Long, senior pastor of the Windber Church of the Nazarene, writes a note from the pulpit while surveying the damage to the church's sanctuary on the afternoon of August 21.

Meanwhile, the gaping hole in the roof at the rear of the shrine remains uncovered because the damaged exterior wall is too unstable to allow anyone nearby to place tarps, Long said.

A claims adjuster examined the building and church management was told the claims process would take some time.

“He told us it was going to be a very long process (and he) asked us to be patient,” Long said.

“The word of God is almost all about patience, (so) we focus on patience and let the Lord guide us through this process.”

Sunday services at the presbytery

Work is also underway at the church rectory, located directly behind the church on Ninth Street, to prepare it to hold in-person worship services. Long said a water main burst in the house last winter, damaging the floor that needed to be replaced.

“This insurance claim was handled quickly, but we were in no rush (to make the repairs),” he said. “Now we are.”

Long said the congregation hopes to hold church services in the parsonage in about two weeks – but they also want to consider offers of hospitality from other churches.

“We look forward to seeing and meeting other churches that have reached out to us,” he said.

Native Windber:‘Teacher Innovator’ Aspen Mock uses robots and creativity to teach English Literature

Anyone wishing to send a note of encouragement to the congregation can mail it to Windber Church of the Nazarene, 501 Ninth Street, Windber, PA 15963.

“I’m going to read it to everyone,” Long said.

“God makes every second of every day new – he makes everything new. We cling to God’s ponytails and we’ll see where God leads us through it all.

Network of local churches offer prayer and support after accident kills teenagers in Sand Springs


Sand Springs pastors showed up at Friday’s Sand Springs football game to support students who are mourning the loss of their friends.

They said the community has overcome tragedy before and they are here to help them through it now.

Michael Wilson and Jordan Stowe are the leaders of the Local Church Network and are no strangers to lending a helping hand to those in need.

“I think as a believer in Jesus and a follower of Jesus, that is our number one calling and our goal is to be close to the broken hearted. The scriptures tell us that God is close to the broken hearted and we want to be like him,” Wilson said.

Both are pastors and said times of crisis are when the community needs to rely on each other the most.

“The hope is that your reminder, of a tragedy, we’ve seen great things happen,” Stowe said.

Wilson said members of the Local Church Network are immediately ready to help in the event of a tragedy. That’s what happened when he got the call about the crash that killed the Sand Springs students on Thursday.

“We don’t have a lot of information, but just be ready to serve. Clear your schedules. Be prepared for whatever you have to do with your schedules. No task is more important than what is happening in our community right now,” Wilson said.

On Friday night, they went to the back door before the game at Charles Page High School to pray and offer their support to everyone in any way they could.

“It’s a breath of fresh air to be part of a community that isn’t too quick to care about our people, care about our neighbors, love our neighbors, and be there for when they hurt. “Wilson said.

Wilson and Stowe said their doors are always open with any church in Sand Springs.

Evergreen Hills Church welcomes new pastor


For new Church of the Hills pastor Richard Aylor, Evergreen is the perfect place.

The East Coast native felt the call to move west to the Rocky Mountains and find a congregation that actively wants to reach out to the community.

For Church of the Hills, Aylor is the perfect pastor for the congregation.

“We were hoping for a new pastor who was warm, welcoming, kind to the existing congregation and attractive to newcomers,” said Christi Todd, a Presbyterian church elder who served on the pastor selection committee. “He has already exceeded our expectations.”

Aylor joined the church on Buffalo Park Road near Highway 73 in June after church officials considered a group of about 30 candidates for the position of pastor. He replaces Susan Boucher, who left Church of the Hills last year to return to the East Coast for her husband’s job.

“What drew us in was Aylor’s extreme warmth and ability to listen,” Todd said. “We felt there was a spiritual maturity there that was impressive. He put everyone at ease. »

Aylor said one of the goals was to provide better ways to reach the community. He hopes to try Theology Pub where people could gather over drinks to discuss faith or a hiking ministry to combine faith with one of his favorite pastimes, hiking.

He also hopes to create better access to worship services, especially as technologies developed during the pandemic have provided other avenues of connection.

He also believes in reaching out to young people in the community.

“We have to support them,” he said. “The church can be an answer – a way to help young people in the community by being a support system.”

In addition to hiking, he enjoys snowshoeing and has joined Evergreen Chorale.

He hopes to bring more creativity to worship, hoping to tap into other worship services.

Todd said the congregation wants to be welcoming — meeting people where they are and providing spiritual support and guidance. Aylor, she added, has a heart not just for the congregation but for community evangelism.

Aylor explained that the congregation wants Church of the Hills to be a beacon of hope.

“We want to share God’s love and light in the midst of everything that is happening in the world,” he said.

The Archdiocese of Chicago will observe National Migration Week, September 19-25, 2022 – Press Releases


Parishes in the Archdiocese and other U.S. dioceses will host celebrations.

Chicago, (September 15, 2022) – In observance of National Migration Week, September 19-25, 2022, parishes and the Immigration Department of the Archdiocese of Chicago will host events throughout the week to celebrate Chicagoland’s diverse Catholic community. In solidarity with the Vatican, this year’s theme is “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees”. National Migration Week culminates Sunday, September 25 with a 5:15 p.m. Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State St., Chicago. Auxiliary Bishop Robert Casey, Vicar General of the Archdiocese, will preside over the Mass which will begin with a procession of nations representing 25 countries and will feature readings and prayers in languages ​​including English, Spanish, Polish, Malayalam (a language spoken in India), Italian, Luganda (language spoken in central Uganda), Vietnamese, Tagalog, Swahili and Bahasa (language spoken in Indonesia). Mass will be streamed live and a link will be available on our website the week of September 19.

“As Christians, we are called to welcome the stranger, the refugee, the marginalized and the displaced, for they are children of God,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago. “As our sacred text says, ‘When a stranger resides among you in your country, do not mistreat him. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native. Love them as yourselves, for you were strangers in Egypt. (Leviticus 19:33-34). Each migrant has a name, a face and a story and, as they arrive in our Archdiocese, let us continue to welcome them with peace and fraternity.

In his message for the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2022, Pope Francis said, “God’s plan is essentially inclusive and prioritizes those who live in the existential peripheries. Among them are many migrants and refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking. The Kingdom of God must be built with them, because without them it would not be the Kingdom that God wants. The inclusion of the most vulnerable is the necessary condition for full citizenship in the Kingdom of God.

The Holy Father adds that no one should be excluded and that “the arrival of Catholic migrants and refugees can energize the ecclesial life of the communities that welcome them. Often they bring an enthusiasm that can revitalize our communities and enliven our celebrations. Sharing different expressions of faith and devotion offers us a privileged opportunity to live more fully the catholicity of the People of God.

For nearly half a century, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week as an opportunity for the Church to reflect on the circumstances faced by migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children and survivors of human trafficking.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops encourages Catholic communities to come together as a universal Church to welcome immigrants and refugees in local parishes, dioceses, and larger communities to reflect on the circumstances faced by migrants and to pray and act on the circumstances faced by migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, victims and survivors of human trafficking and to be in solidarity with them.

The National Pastoral Migratoria of the Archdiocese of Chicago has coordinated a global effort with other US dioceses that have Pastoral Migratoria to raise awareness for National Migratoria Week. Those in charge of pastoral Migratoria in these dioceses which include New York, Baltimore, Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., and Stockton, Calif., coordinate events in their area. Masses for National Migration Week will also be held in the Archdioceses of Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

More information on events in the Archdiocese of Chicago and other dioceses observing National Migration Week, as well as resources for hosting an event in your parish, can be found here: https://pvm.archchicago .org/human-dignity-solidarity/ ministry-of-immigration/national-migration-week

Church Turns 65 – The Iola Register


MORAN — It’s important to love people where they are in life and allow God to make whatever changes are necessary to help them grow, according to Pastor Mathew Kalmeta of Midpoint Baptist Church in Moran.

The church celebrates its 65th anniversary with special services at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning, followed by a meal and celebration. Kalmeta and his wife, Amy, are compiling a special video about the church and its history to share with the congregation.

The history of the church is about loving people and offering hope as they search for answers, Pastor Kalmeta said. And just as people grow and change, so does the church itself.

IN AUGUST 1957, the Reverend Monroe Landers pitched a tent on a vacant lot on Main Street in Moran and began holding revival services with Brother Fred Holmes, pastor of a Baptist church in Edna, according to an article in the register of 2007, when the church celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Moran Baptist Church received its charter on September 15, 1957.

Landers and Holmes soon rented a building on Main Street, with Landers as pastor, and later moved to 308 N. Spruce St.

The founding members were William Hayden, Dorothy Hayden, Hettie Hayden, Nattie Hayden, Laura Freeman, Levi Freeman, Landers, Margaret Kilmek, Inez Siefker, Irene Siefker, AW Siefer, Hilda Siefker and Bessie Head.

Landers only served as pastor for about a year, followed by a series of others with relatively short terms before Robert Means took over in 1967. He remained with the church for 18 years, taking his retired in 1985.

Pastor Michael Miller also served for a time, taking over in 1994. He served as pastor during the 50th anniversary celebration in 2007.

Kalmeta came to the church in February 2019, after changing its name to Midpoint and moving to a new building at 3965 US 54 in 2017.

A few years earlier, the congregation had shrunk to a minimum of about 25 people. By the time Kalmeta joined, the church had averaged about 90 members. Today, Sunday service attendance averages around 140.

Kalmeta attributes this growth to a commitment from the entire community.

“Honestly, it took a lot of sacrifice and giving,” he said.

It’s also part of what drew him to Moran.

KALMETA graduated from West Coast Baptist College in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies. He served as a youth pastor and site church pastor in a suburb of Portland, Oregon when he learned he needed a pastor at a church in a small town in Kansas.

He waited two months before submitting his resume and admits it was quite an adjustment for his family. He and Amy have four children: three daughters aged 13, 11 and 8; their son was born after they moved and is now 2 years old.

“Now I can’t imagine being anywhere else,” he said. “We are here to stay.”

Midpoint members come from a fairly wide geographic area, which is why the name has been changed.

Kalmeta thinks they are drawn to the church for a number of reasons.

“On the one hand, it offers people hope. Many come looking for answers. We can find all the answers in the scriptures,” he said.

Midpoint is also family-centric, with an emphasis on programs for the whole family.

“A community is only as strong as the families in the community,” Kalmeta said.

Midpoint offers services for children of all ages, including a Midpoint Kids service for children in kindergarten through fifth grade and a teen ministry.

“We also have members who have been here almost from the start. It’s not just one age group,” Kalmeta said.

And, ultimately, maybe members come to church just because it’s God’s will.

“Maybe God is bringing them here,” Kalmeta said.

“We’re here to make sure everyone grows in their relationship with Jesus, and to know how life-changing it can be to have that relationship.”

United Methodist Church Holds Open House in Honor of New Pastor | Community events


WATERTOWN — The Watertown United Methodist Church will hold an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 305 Main Street in honor of Rev. J. Michael Cobb, newly appointed pastor of the congregation. The event will include a tour of the church‘s historic Victorian Rectory located at 329 Main St.

Reverend Cobb brings a strong commitment to finding innovative ways for the church to serve the Watertown community in the post-pandemic environment. At a time when many people are struggling or feeling disconnected, he wants to reinvent the ways the church can help bring people together.

The church strives to live the spirit of “Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Doors” that drives the United Methodist tradition. In this spirit, the church invites the public to join us for the open house on Saturday and the weekly service on Sunday at 9:15 am.

All are invited to meet Pastor Michael and learn more about the church and its vision for the future. Refreshments will be served.

The vision of Watertown United Methodist Church is to nurture individuals and families in the Christian life and equip them for ministry and service beyond the church.

Those who want more information can visit WUMCct.orgor call 860-274-3785.

Real, published by WestBow Press, is a new book about the redevelopment of the church and the Ministry of the Interior


Available at all online retailers in hardcover, softcover and ebook.

It is a book about building up the person, you, me, those of us who know we are called to a kingdom life. Real, is a book about the redevelopment of the ministry from the inside out.

Book launch!

Earl Buchan, pastor and church planter, shares his encouragement for anyone who looks around and thinks “there must be more to it.” It all begins with a fearless search of our hearts to rekindle the ministry from the inside out.

He turns to the Bible and over twenty years of church experience to share his own successes and failures in sharing wisdom, warnings and reminders of why we are meant to be in Christ. Earl shares that it all starts with us, live a life of openness and it will change the atmosphere in our churches and in our homes.

As you read, you will get answers to questions such as:

What can you really expect when you enter the ministry?

Why is it so important to be authentic in all circumstances?

What are the costs of living one’s will, one’s way?

How can we push ourselves so that people see more of Jesus and less of us?

This trip is not for the faint of heart, or those who are full of themselves. The author has been both, and he shares how the Lord reseeded his own heart to reveal the beauty of a called life.

About the Author

Earl Buchan is the senior pastor of a Calvary chapel called Radiant Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

A church planter and adventurer, he has spent his life in various forms of ministry. The calling he pursued led him to sidewalk evangelism, missions, soup kitchens, discipleship, teaching, and leading his church. He is husband, father, grandfather and brother to many.


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Pray that Nigerian political leaders ‘will be subject to the will of God’: Bishop


He challenged Nigerians to contribute to progress in their respective communities following the example of the Centurion, saying, “Let us be dedicated to contributing to the development and unity of our social and church community.”

The 58-year-old Nigerian bishop who has led the diocese since his episcopal ordination in June 2014 lamented that “division, faction and discrimination still exist in the Church, society and families today. “.

“Our selflessness in serving others with our privileged positions is an indication of our faith in God, that He who healed the servants of the Centurion will bless us more,” Bishop Odetoyinbo said September 12.

By giving to others and to the community, the Nigerian Catholic Bishop continued, “we express our belief that it is the Lord who exalts, bestows, blesses and has placed us in our privileged positions in the Church, society and families”.

He said that God’s gifts such as “talents, treasure, life, high societal and ecclesial positions, are all gifts that we can use for others.”

“Like the Centurion, our Christian vocation is to break down all the barriers that separate people; preach, pray and work for unity. Let us seek and strengthen unity in our church community,” the Nigerian Bishop explained in his homily during the RCCS 2022 Second Plenary Assembly which began on September 9.

In his opening address at the official opening of the RCCS Plenary Assembly on September 11 with Mass, RCCS President Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorjispoke of the insecurity in Africa’s most populous nation, saying, “We are going through what could be considered the darkest chapter in our history as a nation.”

Bishop Ugorji highlighted other challenges facing Nigeria. He said: “Extreme poverty, skyrocketing unemployment, skyrocketing inflation, collapsing economy with ever-increasing debt burden and worsening insecurity have combined to complicate the plight of the average Nigerian, who seems doomed to a life of intolerable hardship and undeserved misery.

The Local Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Owerri in Nigeria has pleaded for “good governance that aims for the common good” as “the best way to guarantee security” in the West African country.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with great zeal and interest in communication related to the Catholic Church. He holds a BA in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has extensive experience in the media production industry. He is currently working as a journalist for ACI Africa.

Central Queensland grazing trucks from Duaringa United Church building to cattle property for restoration


Grazier Claire Mactaggart has always admired the architecture of historic bush buildings.

So, after a violent storm tore a 110-year-old church from its stumps in the small town of Duaringa in central Queensland, she was determined to save another historic church from a similar fate.

“It was getting a bit deteriorating, so I approached the church…and asked them what their plans were,” Ms Mactaggart said.

The United Church agreed to sell the historic structure, which was built in 1907 and hadn’t had a church service in years.

The repurposing of old churches into smaller communities is a growing trend, according to the United Church of the Synod of Queensland in Australia.

Claire Mactaggart hopes the people of Duaringa will visit the church once renovated.(ABC Capricorn: Katrina Beavan)

For Ms. Mactaggart, it’s about preserving the special memories that have been created in the building.

“I’ve had a few people say to me before, ‘I’ve been to three weddings and funerals there’…I love the stories,” she said.

“I’m really aware that there is a long history with this place. We have to take care of it, respect it and allow people to see it.”

After buying the structure, she then trucked it to her farm in Duaringa, 45 kilometers away on a narrow stretch of dirt road.

She spent months working to carefully restore it, retaining as much of the original period features as possible.

“I love that it’s a really honest and fairly simple little building, but it’s got a nice shape and proportions,” Ms Mactaggart said.

“From what we understand, it was largely bush carpenters who worked there.

“It’s an honor for the people who came before us.”

Side view of a church on the back of a truck crossing a narrow bridge.
The relocation of the church included a narrow and steep passage over the Mackenzie River.(Provided: Claire Mactaggart)

A breathtaking journey

The church, which is held upright by internal metal rods, was transported on a truck through a steep, narrow passage over the Mackenzie River.

A man in a blue uniform and cap sitting on the steps in front of an old little church.
Builder Cameron McDouall says the building is in relatively good condition considering its age.(ABC Capricorn: Katrina Beavan)

“I liken it to a mother-to-be, and it’s due day,” Ms Mactaggart said.

“I really felt a little emotional about it, hoping it would get here in one piece.”

Its builder, Cameron McDouall, said the condition of the structure was “as good as possible” for its age, despite some termite damage.

“It’s all wood, whereas new construction will either have light fibro siding…or brick, when it’s just original wood carpentry work,” McDouall said.

Ms Mactaggart says she bought the building to set up as a stand-alone home on her property so visitors or her children, when they grow up, can stay in a separate house.

She also planned to organize community workshops in the future.

An old weathered wooden building with a sloping roof, situated on a raised platform with steps leading up to it, under a blue sky.
Claire Mactaggart says the 115-year-old building began life as a Methodist Church, and later became Uniting Church.(ABC Capricorn: Katrina Beavan)

“This building means so much to so many people in Duaringa,” Ms Mactaggart said.

“I just hope they will feel comfortable coming and visiting it and seeing what we’ve done there,”

Find a new purpose

The Reverend Andrew Gunton, Moderator of the United Church of Queensland Synod in Australia, said many of their old buildings in small towns were staying in the church and finding new purposes.

“United Church buildings across Queensland are part of regional history – places of family and community that go back generations,” he said.

Mr Gunton said they were trying innovative ways to serve the community and keep the church buildings widely used.

He gave the example of Childers Uniting Church in the Bundaberg area, whose congregation is dwindling.

Mr. Gunton said he realized that one of the biggest challenges in this community was meeting the needs of young people.

“They called Youth With A Mission [YWAM]), which is a global movement that focuses its efforts on young people,” he said.

“Months later, YWAM’s work is helping the community and bringing new life to Childers Uniting Church.”

A composite of two photos, the left one showing a red roof, peeling cream paint, the right one a gray roof, white paint, a ladder beside it.
The church has been carefully restored, with many original features retained.(Provided: Claire Mactaggart)

Preserving country churches

According to census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a growing number of Australians identify as having “no religion”.

In 2021, 39.9% of Australians identified as having no religious affiliation, but more than 50 years ago, in 1971, only 6.7% ticked ‘no religion’.

Horses frolicking past an old church in a grassy field.
Claire Mactaggart says she wanted the church to “have its own presence” on the property, and not be “hidden”. (Provided: Claire Mactaggart)

Ms Mactaggart said she was interested in the renovation project to preserve a piece of Australia’s history.

“It’s such a shame to lose these old buildings in town. There’s a little church like this in most regional towns that is used or not,” she said.

“I like to see preserved things and to be able to see what the character is, what the history of a town is.”

Teenage girls battle ogling pastor in Shotgun Players’ ‘Man of God’

Lauren Andrei Garcia, Sharon Shao, Alexandra Lee and Joyce Domanico-Huh in Shotgun Players man of god. Credit: Benjamin Krantz

While on a church mission in Bangkok, four Korean American teenage girls from Southern California find a hidden camera in their hotel bathroom. They realize that the camera, labeled “Property of Seoul New Christian Church“, must have been installed by their own pastor and chaperone. man of godwho now plays at the Ashby Stage, talks about what happens next.

man of godShotgun Players, Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave., until October 2

This fascinating premise, inspired by a real incident, could lead a playwright in many wrong directions. But award-winning playwright and screenwriter Anna Ouyang Moench (Apple TV’s Breakup) effectively connects the story with nuanced humor and pathos. And she faithfully recreates the attitudes, thoughts and speech patterns of adolescent girls.

During the 90 minutes of entertainment without intermission, we get to know the four students. Each embodies a different type of personality. There is the rebellious, contrary Mimi (Lauren Andrei Garcia), innocent and naive Samantha (Alexandra Lee), intelligent, studious Jeans (Joyce Domanico-Huh), and the religious and devoted Kyung-Hwa (Sharon Shao), with a heartbreaking story. Each actress excels in her role and brings sparkle to the production. Sharon Shao, with the most multifaceted role, has the best opportunity to shine, and she does.

Amid the girls trying to figure out what to do with the pastor, we hear of some clever and funny comments about what troubles teens: school, sex, Instagram, self-esteem, parents, and God. The girls are in middle age where Samantha takes her beloved stuffed animal, but Mimi curses a blue streak and makes jokes about the sexual behavior of tourists in Thailand. “It’s the place where the weird German sex fiends come to have fun with little boys dressed as little girls,” she says. Under the intelligent direction of Michelle Talgarow, the teenagers talk to each other, shout and move on stage with realism and enthusiasm.

But what about the pastor? We’re rewarded with fantastical scenes of each character’s dream revenge against their attacker. Young Samantha fights the pastor (Chuck Lacson) with a samurai sword. The sword is huge compared to the miniature knife she had earlier suggested the girls use to kill their pastor. They take out his kidneys and sell them, Jen, the budding medical student, fantasizes.

Lauren Andrei Garcia, Joyce Domanico-Huh, Alexandra Lee and Sharon Shao. Credit: Benjamin Krantz

But when the pastor finally appears at the end of the play, things are different. The girls’ bravado vanishes in the sad recognition of their weak position. This dramatic, dialogue-free scene appears to take about 10 minutes to complete as the girls and audience silently assess the truth of their helplessness. It’s a dark and realistic ending, but we know these girls learned a lesson. They will not be submitted in the future.

man of god runs 90 minutes without intermission at Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, through October 2. Proof of vaccination and masks are required to attend in-person performances. General admission ticket prices are $23 to $46. Tickets for ages 25 and under: $7 with discount code MADTIX. Community tickets for those in financial difficulty: $15 with discount code COMMUNITY. Shotgun also has live performances on September 15 and 22, as well as video-on-demand (with closed captioning) from October 5-16. There is a special haptic tour and performance for blind and visually impaired customers on September 18. Reservations are encouraged. More information can be found at the Shotgun Players website.

The Queen’s death touched us on a deep level


The Queen’s death has touched us all deeply. I have not met anyone in whom this did not cause a deep sense of loss. Monarchists and republicans, believers and non-believers, rich and poor, large and small, are all strongly affected. Whether people have met the Queen or not, they still feel – perhaps to their surprise – as touched as if someone very close to them had died. So many people were unexpectedly moved to tears.

Why is it? The Queen was on the throne before I was born, and for the vast majority of the lives of everyone living today. She was a constant in our lives and represented, in Jungian terms, something very significant, akin to what he called an archetype. She was deeply rooted in our psyche: most of us will have dreamed of having tea with her, even if we didn’t have the opportunity.

She was a powerful symbol of steadfastness and security amid the changes and chances of this life. His passing is a stark reminder that nothing in this life is constant or sure. His death therefore connects us on a deep level, bringing back to us our own mortality and resonating painfully with the loss of those we have loved.

The Church and the nation were taken by surprise by the enormous outpouring of grief that followed the death of Princess Diana. I think it had to do with the fact that this life cannot contain the hope that is placed in it. That a young, beautiful, wealthy, and glamorous princess could be shot in her prime demonstrated this powerfully. So it is with the hopes of permanence and security in this life which, usually unconsciously, we place in the Queen.

This is an opportunity for the Church. When asked about the purpose of the Church, I always answer that it is to prepare people for their death. The Queen’s death demonstrated the inevitability of death – much like the pandemic – to a world that tries to ignore it. What we have to offer as Christians in the face of this harsh reality is hope — a hope that extends beyond this life and into all eternity; hope in a God whose love is stronger than death.

How do we communicate this hope? Above all, it seems to me that we are called to accompany people in their mourning, their perplexity and their anguish. We can do this, in part, by leaving our churches open to prayer and reflection. Our churches have stood square as symbols of Christian hope for a very long time – in many cases for centuries. We need to reconnect people with the hope of our ancestors.

We can also connect with people’s sense of loss of loved ones. Many people respond on Twitter to the image of Paddington leading the Queen to Heaven. Some might call this “under Christian”, but it demonstrates a reasonable desire to reunite with loved ones.

We know next to nothing of the nature of the afterlife, any more than we knew in the womb what life would be like in the outside world, but we know that God’s love will hold us and us together forever. those we love. One of the best funeral sermons I have ever heard uses the gathering together of 12 baskets of fragments after the feeding of the 5000 (Matthew 14.20) to demonstrate that in God’s economy nothing will be wasted.

Scientist-turned-theologian John Polkinghorne used to observe that it was a perfectly reasonable hope that the patterns of our loves would be held in God. So the image of Paddington leading the queen to heaven is not out of place. It articulates a spark of faith which, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, can be kindled into the fullness of faith in the resurrection, which Polkinghorne also felt was a perfectly consistent belief.

I FINAL with a quote from my late wife Denise’s book, published posthumously, A tour of the bones (Books, January 2, 2015): “Resurrection is a hope that I believe Western society has largely lost. It is at the very least a hope of which we know little, and therefore of which we hardly dare to speak with conviction. . .

“To a lot of people it’s the resurrection mechanic that seems incredible, but strangely enough it’s not the ‘how’ question that bothers me. All of human history is littered with things that were once considered impossible. We know so much about matter and energy, but there is also a lot we still don’t know and our knowledge is constantly changing. Five hundred years ago, no one imagined light bulbs, space travel or genetic engineering. A decade or two ago, saying we’re made of stardust would have sounded like a fairy tale, and now it sounds like particle physics. I don’t therefore have no difficulty in imagining the possibility of a bodily resurrection.

Dr John Inge is the Bishop of Worcester.

Fire destroys historic Victory Baptist Church in South Los Angeles


As Los Angeles Fire Department arson investigators searched the charred and smoldering remains of Victory Baptist Church on Sunday, the spiritual community in South Los Angeles slowly came to terms with the loss of this historic landmark.

“The building is destroyed, but the church still lives,” said Pastor W. Edward Jenkins, as heavy equipment began tearing down the fire-damaged walls. “The church is not dead. The church is doing well. The building is in ruins, but we will rebuild.

The church, founded in the 1940s and located west of famed Central Avenue – the heart of Black Los Angeles nearly 75 years ago – was a destination for gospel singers, civil rights activists and worshipers looking for a familiar home in the midst of a rapidly changing and gentrifying city.

“It’s a terrible loss,” said historian Tyree Boyd-Pates, who helped organize an exhibit at the California African American Museum on gospel music in Los Angeles that included Victory Baptist Church. “It’s hard to process, given the church’s role in Los Angeles, especially for African Americans who moved here during the Great Migration of the 1940s.”

The fire started at 2:22 a.m. Sunday, said Nicholas Prange, a fire department spokesman, and quickly became a major emergency, requiring the response of at least 16 businesses.

Two firefighters were injured in a fight that lasted two hours, Prange said. They were inside the church when one of them became trapped by a collapsing ceiling and walls. A distress call was made and the firefighter was rescued and taken to hospital with moderate injuries. The other firefighter sought treatment for minor injuries after the incident ended.

After the fire was extinguished, arson investigators and members of the House of Worship Task Force – a multi-agency effort that seeks to identify and capture individuals who target churches in Los Angeles, began their investigating the possibility that the fire was started intentionally.

In front of the ruins of the church, Donald Hambrick was in tears. The 76-year-old lawyer described how after arriving in Los Angeles with his family from Louisiana in 1958, Victory Baptist Church was an inspiration.

“I learned to be Black, to be proud, to know the importance of education here,” he said. “I learned to dream.”

“A piece of history burned down today,” said Pat Smith, a worshiper who arrived at the scene shortly after the fire started. “It was part of our lives.”

Jenkins’ son Jahi said a few items were recovered: pulpit chairs, portraits of former pastors, church documents and the church sign in front.

Over the decades, Victory Baptist Church has provided a valuable stage for the spiritual and political developments of South Los Angeles. With two choirs and the Wrecking Crew Male Chorus, music has always been at the heart of its message.

Sounds of elevation and salvation filled the church, whether on Sunday mornings or during choir rehearsals on Wednesdays and Saturdays. As with many black congregations in the city, services at Victory Baptist Church were occasions for celebration. Women often arrived with elegant hats and matching gloves and men in suits.

Last Sunday, before Jenkins took the pulpit for the weekly Victory Hour, a video posted on the church’s website showed the Reverend Randy Allison at the piano and Jahi on drums, set a beat for the opening hymn sung by William Yancey.

Now let’s talk a bit with Jesus,

Let’s tell Him all of our sorrows

He will hear our every cry

He will respond as time goes on….

Founded by Arthur Atlas Peters in a local storefront on Easter Sunday in 1943 by 14 community members, the church moved into its current building a year later. In the 1950s, his Sunday evening services were broadcast on Channel 11 during prime time. The congregation quickly grew to 3,000 people.

The church, along with St. Paul Baptist, Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist, Opportunity Baptist, and Grace Memorial Church of God in Christ, has long provided community through music in the city’s black neighborhoods.

Several musicians have made Victory Baptist Church their destination, including soprano Dorothy Maynor, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, and singer and actress Ethel Waters. Renowned trumpeter Louis Burke, whose 18-piece orchestra played throughout the city, was honored at Victory Baptist Church upon his death.

“Victory is a humble giant in our own backyard,” Boyd-Pates said. “He pioneered not only gospel music, but also social activism in Los Angeles.”

Victory Baptist Church played an important role in voter registration drives and civil rights fundraisers, and was a destination for members of Congress, state legislators, council members, and activists. community.

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. preached at the church in 1959 and again in 1964. He returned a year later after the assassination of Malcolm X, months before the Watts Riots.

Former city mayor Tom Bradley stood before the church congregation in 1991 to honor the life of Gilbert Lindsay, Los Angeles’ first black alderman.

A forum of mayoral candidates, sponsored by the South-Central Political Action Committee, was held at the church in 1993. In 2001, mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa ascended the pulpit at the church to speak to the congregation.

Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price was at the scene on Sunday and Holly Mitchell, who is campaigning for the 2nd District on the LA County Board of Supervisors, called Jenkins with her support.

The church has faced adversity before. In 1975, Pastor Peters, who was known in Los Angeles as “The Good Shepherd” and who opened the state’s first black church-owned nursery and preschool, was murdered in his home by intruders. .

But Victory Baptist Church endured, growing under the leadership of its new pastors even as the neighborhood’s demographics shifted from predominantly black to Hispanic.

“The victory was a beacon for the community,” Jenkins said, describing the church’s outreach ministries for food and clothing. “The community depends on us.”

“This church has held up a lot,” Boyd-Pates said. “This is an institution that wholeheartedly believes in witty themes. She remained prepared for the changes and winds of life, and their faith carried them through those storms.

“Whatever happens next,” he said, “I imagine the church will survive and persist for decades to come.”

History can aid understanding of current racial unrest, researchers say


WASHINGTON, DC – When Georgetown University and the Jesuits began trying to redeem themselves for selling 272 slaves to a Louisiana plantation in the 1830s, leaders at the Catholic institution of higher learning went to- beyond their apologies and their offers of restitution.

Georgetown officials started the Georgetown Slavery Archive in 2016 and put it online for people to access because they felt it was important to help people understand the past as a way to secure the future.

“Anything you think society should do today to address the legacy of slavery and other forms of racism must be grounded in a sincere understanding of history,” Adam said. Rothman, Georgetown history professor and senior curator of slavery. archive.

“People need to know what happened,” Rothman told Catholic News Service. “If you don’t know what happened, and if you don’t know it in detail, I don’t think you can even imagine possibilities for reconciliation or redress today.”

The harmful effects of racism on American society and how racism is embedded in American government systems and churches has been a concern of Pope Francis and many American bishops.

This is a difficult subject for many Americans to talk about or even acknowledge and in the current American political climate there has been a push back from educational programs that teach the horrors of slavery, the continued enforced servitude among men and women of color after the Civil War and into the 20th century and persistent societal racism.

Some Republican politicians have expressed concern that this approach to history in schools will convince white people that they are inherently racist and that they should feel guilty for the benefits of their race.

Several US states have pushed for laws or other measures to restrict how race and racism can be taught in schools, a move that worries teachers’ unions and educators that such limits will minimize the role that Past injustices still have on society today.

Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory of Washington — the only black cardinal in the United States — told CNS he doesn’t believe American society will ever be able to resolve its racial struggles if schools limit how they present the story.

Rothman pointed out that mid-twentieth-century textbooks did not adequately address the gruesome details of slavery, acknowledged that states that seceded from the union during the Civil War cited the institution of slavery as a reason to do so, or educated about continued oppression and racial violence throughout the 20th century.

Joseph Geeter, a black parishioner at St. Barbara Catholic Church in Philadelphia, doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence that there’s controversy over how America’s racial history is taught in the classroom after the murder of George Floyd in 2020 by a white Minnesota police officer, an event that sparked racial justice protests across the country.

Geeter said he still experiences the effects of bigotry in the workplace, church and society and agrees the story can help skeptics of existing systemic racism see beyond a narrative that romanticized darker chapters of the past.

Dealing with the integral version of the past is essential to moving toward racial healing and equality, said Joe Ferrara, vice president of Georgetown University and chief of staff to the president of the university.

When Georgetown joined a coalition of colleges called Universities Studying Slavery in 2015, it was a small group of mostly Virginia schools, but had grown to 80 higher education institutions by 2022, Ferrara said. .

“More people are trying to engage with this story,” he said, “and that’s a good thing.”

Stained Glass Jesus Remains as Church is Turned into Apartments | Religion



COLUMBIA, SC—Columbia’s former Rosewood Baptist Church may never look like a church.

This fall, when residents move into new, modern apartments inside the half-century-old sanctuary, they will set up their dining tables under 40-foot arched windows once filled with colorful stained glass. Their decoration will be flanked by the dark oak panels of the old church; some will have the white painted cinder block walls of former Sunday School classrooms. Someone’s living room will sit roughly in the footprint of the old baptismal pool.

And a unique apartment will feature a stained glass mosaic more than 20 feet high depicting Jesus Christ with outstretched arms and hands. (An on-site construction worker cheekily referred to the apartment as “the Jesus Suite.”)

Above all this will still dominate the unavoidable bell tower.

“During design, one of the first things we talked about was the steeple,” said Frank Cason, whose development group Columbia is undertaking the transformation of the church, along with architects Garvin Design Group and Boyer Construction, on the corner of Sloan Street and Rosewood. Conduct. “I was… leaning towards, should we take this off?” And our architect said, it will always be a church. It’s still going to read like a church. Why would you take it off? That’s not going to make it less of a church.

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So they kept the steeple.

The apartments, dubbed 5th and Sloan, present themselves as a carefully thought-out mix of old and new; even the name of the complex under construction is an ode to the historic name of Rosewood Drive, 5th Avenue.

The apartments also represent, perhaps for the first time in Colombia, the transformation of a traditional church sanctuary into something other than a church. It’s a transition that’s happened in other places — the current Church and Union restaurant in downtown Charleston, for example, not to mention apartments, gyms, beer halls, skate parks, and a wide range of other new uses for churches, usually in locations farther from the Bible Belt. But it’s still a new concept in an area traditionally known for a proliferation of churches on every corner, figuratively (and sometimes literally).

In many ways, the transformation of the church into apartments represents a bridge between the past and the future of this place in Columbia. And it’s still a nod to a church community that hasn’t disappeared but moved further down the Rosewood Corridor into a smaller space as the congregation has dwindled in recent years.

Cason jumped at the chance to undertake the transformation project almost as soon as the church building hit the market in 2019, believing the structure could be saved and reused. Some people in the community thought it should be turned into a brewery, while others couldn’t believe Cason would even consider touching the sanctuary, the developer said.

Since work began on the site last October, it has been almost daily to decide what details can and should be preserved as construction progresses, Cason said.

“The big challenge is … it’s a new use of the structure, while maintaining the fact that there was a church, and we don’t want to hide that, and we don’t want to lose that,” said Case. “That’s part of the charm.”

Columbia as a city places a high value on historic preservation. And while the Rosewood Church building itself has no historic designation, the structure and the congregation that once occupied it have “significance” to the surrounding community, Cason said.

“It can be cheaper to tear things down and start from scratch,” the developer acknowledged. “There is a place to demolish, and there is a place to keep. Just because a building is old doesn’t mean it should be kept, and just because it would be easier to demolish doesn’t mean it should be that way. … This is how we want historic properties to be, where you can mix them with new; you can add them.

The 49 apartments on 5th and Sloan are scheduled to open to residents in October. A mix of one- and two-bedroom units, some two-story, will be spread across the old sanctuary, classroom building, and a newly constructed building between them. The complex will include a fitness center, resident lounge and outdoor courtyard, and several apartments will have outdoor balconies. Rents will range from $1,425 to $2,400.

Downtown church catches fire early Friday, pastor says roof just replaced after Hurricane Ida


On Friday, the pastor and first lady of the Rue Austerlitz Baptist Church were devastated following an early morning fire at their church. Shortly after getting a new roof after being damaged by Hurricane Ida. Reverend Sherman Washington, pastor of Austerlitz Street Baptist Church, said: “My heart hurts. It’s part of my heart and my soul, but we’ll bounce back.” The Washingtons were moved that Sunday’s services would have to be canceled. “It happened so fast. I really can’t believe how quickly the church caught fire. Smoke and everything was coming from everywhere,” First Lady Cynthia Washington said. Cynthia said they were trying to turn on the lights when they noticed billows of smoke coming out of the shrine and then a huge ball of fire coming out of a pipe. “Smoke was coming out of the wall. He said ‘Cynthia, get out.’ And we both ran away,” she said. The couple said, thankfully, no lives were lost. Unfortunately, the fire occurs about two weeks after getting a new roof. One year after Hurricane Ida caused damage. “We just put a $100,000 roof on the building, not even two weeks ago. Now we’re facing another problem. But we’ll be fine,” Sherman said. He said the church has been in existence for 168 years and in his family for at least 70 years. So for him, it’s not about whether they’ll bounce back or not. ” It could have been worse. God is good. We’re just grateful for what he left us…And we’ll build from here,” Sherman said of an area of ​​the church that was undamaged by the fire. Stay with WDSU for updates.

On Friday, the pastor and first lady of the Rue Austerlitz Baptist Church were devastated following an early morning fire at their church.

Shortly after getting a new roof after being damaged by Hurricane Ida.

Reverend Sherman Washington, pastor of Austerlitz Street Baptist Church, said: “My heart hurts. It’s part of my heart and my soul, but we’re going to bounce back.”

The Washingtons were emotional that services this Sunday would have to be canceled.

“It happened so fast. I really can’t believe how quickly the church caught fire. Smoke and everything was coming from everywhere,” First Lady Cynthia Washington said.

Cynthia said they were trying to turn on the lights when they noticed billows of smoke coming out of the shrine and then a huge ball of fire coming out of a pipe.

“Smoke was coming out of the wall. He said ‘Cynthia, get out.’ And we both ran away,” she said.

The couple said, thankfully, no lives were lost. Unfortunately, the fire occurs about two weeks after getting a new roof. One year after Hurricane Ida caused damage.

“We just put a $100,000 roof on the building, not even two weeks ago. Now we’re facing another problem. But we’ll be fine,” Sherman said.

He said the church has been in existence for 168 years and in his family for at least 70 years. It is therefore not for him to know if they will rebound or not.

“It could have been worse. God is good. We’re just grateful for what he left us…And we’ll build from here,” Sherman said.

The Washingtons said that if Sunday services are canceled due to building damage, when the power is in, they said they will hold a service inside an area of ​​the church that does not was not damaged by the fire.

Stay with WDSU for updates.

Former Mormon mayor and bishop charged with child sex abuse


SALT LAKE CITY — A former Utah city mayor and bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been arrested for sexually abusing at least three children decades ago.

Carl Matthew Johnson, 77, was arrested Wednesday and taken to the Davis County Jail in northern Utah on suspicion of seven counts of child sexual abuse, according to a probable cause statement.

Investigators say Johnson admitted to abusing three victims in 1985, 1993 and 1996 and estimated there were a total of six victims as young as 2 years old, according to the document. He told investigators he had struggled to “control his sexual urges” for most of his life.

Some of the alleged abuses occurred during the same years he was mayor of West Bountiful, a town just outside of Salt Lake City that he led from 1990 to 1997.

The investigation is still ongoing, but so far Johnson is only charged with three victims. Johnson had not yet been charged as of Thursday afternoon and it was unclear if he had an attorney.

Johnson was in a “position of trust” over each victim, but investigators don’t explain what that was in the probable cause document. Stephanie Dinsmore, a spokeswoman for the Davis County Sheriff’s Office, also declined to explain.

The victims told investigators they were told not to tell anyone, and Johnson used his position to suppress the disclosures, according to the probable cause statement.

Dinsmore initially declined on Thursday to provide information about when Johnson served as bishop of a faith congregation widely known as the Mormon Church, saying in a text that the agency would not comment on “the affiliation from Johnson with Faith.

She later revealed that he was a bishop from 1974 to 1979. Bishops are lay clergymen who oversee local congregations for a few years at a time in a rotating role reserved only for men of faith widely known as of Mormon Church.

Sam Penrod, spokesperson for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in a statement that the allegations were “serious and deeply disturbing” and reiterated the church’s position that faith does not condone any type of abuse.

“Those who engage in abusive behavior are legitimately subject to legal action and also risk losing their church membership,” Penrod said.

The faith has come under scrutiny following an Associated Press investigation that found flaws in how it handles reporting sexual abuse allegations made to bishops. The church defended the system and alleged that the AP misinterpreted its reporting system.

The AP reported Thursday that a Utah lawmaker was the person who advised a bishop of a church in Arizona not to report an admission of child sex abuse to authorities, a move that helped abuses to continue for years, according to court filings.

Call for church-based monetary mentors


Most of us have had personal experience dealing with financial difficulties. Right now, many people are worried about the rising cost of living due to worrying predictions that interest rates will continue to rise. When so much of what happens is beyond our control, it can be a scary prospect.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) calls on the church community to consider becoming financial mentors to meet the growing demand. For over 20 years, Christians Against Poverty has partnered with the local church to transform the lives of Australians.

The need for financial mentors

Rosie Kendall is the CEO of Christians Against Poverty. She joined us on 20twenty to explain why she thinks churches need thousands of financial mentors to meet growing demand. With the cost of living rising and families struggling to make ends meet, financial mentors are needed more than ever.

“Grocery shopping, fuel, mortgage payments and rents are going up,” Rosie says. “There is a lot of pressure on everyone. How can we proactively talk about this cost of living issue and its impact on people? So many of us are struggling financially right now.

CAP is based in Newcastle, but is a national organization that partners with churches across Australia. They are positioned to equip churches with active tools and solutions to help Christians walk alongside those in financial difficulty.

Partnership with churches

“We exist for the church,” Rosie says. “We want to be effective in sharing the good news with the community. More and more people are asking for help. But ultimately, at the moment, there are not enough church partnerships and trained financial mentors to meet this need.

Currently, one in four Australians is at risk of financial hardship, and one in ten is already living in acute financial distress. This is the crisis point, and people don’t know where to go for help. In all financial sectors, the needs far exceed the resources available to provide assistance.

“We have a loving and compassionate church, well placed nationally and to help those in financial difficulty,” Rosie says. “Therefore, we want to partner with more churches and train financial mentors to help those who are currently facing financial difficulties on their own.”

The importance of community

One of the most critical factors for people facing financial hardship is having a community around them. They need a safety net of people who will invite them to dinner and share the burden that the financial crisis brings. Often we can help bring transformation and hope simply by being a friend.

“We may also experience temporary financial difficulties,” explains Rosie. “It might feel like you don’t know how to pay that bill tomorrow. But in reality, we realize that we have not been paid and we are able to regularize the situation. But acute financial distress is that prolonged feeling of hopelessness about our financial situation.

The reality of financial distress could be a housing situation where we know our mortgage payment is due and we cannot afford it. Or if we allow ourselves, we won’t be able to put food on the table. We are going to be forced to make impossible choices between these things.

Equipping the Church

“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” Rosie says. ‘That’s why CAP is passionate about strengthening and equipping the church to be ready for whatever comes next. One of the interesting things when we talk about our own faith is that sometimes as Christians we can be afraid for our own financial situation.

“We know that God invites us not to worry. But as Christians, we are called to live a life of compassion, community and restoration with one another.

This article was inspired by Rosie Kendall.

Read on for more Christian organizations doing great work in the community!

Listen to Rosie’s full interview on 20twenty below, or for more resources visit our vision store.

North Carolina Baptists mourn unexpected death of pastor described as ‘the epitome of a faithful servant’ • Bible Recorder

Facebook picture
David Richardson was the senior pastor of Peace Baptist Church in Kittrell, North Carolina, and he also served as chairman of the Granville County School Board.

NC Baptists mourn the sudden and unexpected death of a beloved pastor who was active in ministry and community life through a variety of leadership roles.

David Richardson, pastor of Peace’s Chapel Baptist Church in Kittrell, North Carolina, died suddenly on September 6 after suffering a pulmonary embolism following an extended hospital stay due to an infection. He was 41 years old.

“My David went to be with Jesus last night and got the ultimate healing we prayed for,” Richardson’s wife, Becky, wrote in a Sept. 7 Facebook post. “He was able to spend a few hours at home last night before this happened and I was able to be with him before he lost consciousness. He had a pulmonary embolism. He passed away peacefully and I am grateful that he was able to come home even if it was only for a few hours.

A pulmonary embolism is a sudden blockage of an artery in the lung. They are often caused by blood clots that travel through the blood to the lungs.

Richardson had served as pastor of Peace’s Chapel Baptist Church since September 2020. Additionally, he was the current chair of the Granville County Schools Board of Education. Richardson was first elected to the school board in 2016 and then re-elected last spring.

Richardson has also served in various leadership positions with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. He currently served as chairman of the state convention meetings committee, which plans the annual NC Baptist meeting each year.

In July, Richardson and the committee announced that “On a Mission Together” would be the theme for this year’s annual meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 7-8 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

NC Baptist Executive Director-Treasurer Todd Unzicker describes Richardson as a humble servant of the Lord.

“David served his local church and fellow North Carolina Baptists with infectious humility and joy,” Unzicker said. “His presence will be missed by so many, but we are not crying without hope. David loved to point others to his Savior, Jesus, and so this is exactly where we will seek comfort during difficult days. Your NC Baptist staff pray for the Richardson family, Peace’s Chapel Baptist Church and all who mourn with them.

Richardson also served two terms as a state convention board member. He first served from 2006 to 2010 and then again from 2016 to 2019. Richardson has also served on the state convention’s executive committee and business services committee.

“He was the epitome of a faithful servant,” said John Butler, director of operations for the state convention. “No matter what you ask him to do, he says, ‘OK.’ He had a heart to serve.

Angela Kilby said Richardson was the first person she met after being elected council secretary in 2019.

“I remember his kind, gentle spirit and servant’s heart,” Kilby said. “During his service as a member of the board of directors and executive committee, he exemplified the heart of God for people and modeled a Christian spirit for others.”

Prior to becoming a pastor at Peace’s Chapel Baptist Church, Richardson served as associate pastor and church administrator at First Baptist Church in Creedmoor, North Carolina for more than 11 years from March 2008 to June 2019. He served as also twice served as Acting Pastor of First Baptist Creedmoor. .

“He was the best supporter a pastor could have,” said James Shellywho served as senior pastor of First Baptist Creedmoor from 2013 to 2018.

Shelley praised Richardson’s administrative skills and credited him with helping to expand First Baptist Creedmor’s preschool ministry to more than 130 children.

“David was an excellent administrator, planner and resource person,” said Shelley. “But even more than that was his heart for missions, evangelism and special projects. He studied the scriptures and loved to dig deep and learn. He was blessed with his wife, Becky, who shared the ideals of his kingdom. Pastors are blessed when they have a companion like Becky.

David Hermann first met Richardson when they were both involved in youth ministry in 2007. Herman, who is now senior pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Creedmoor, North Carolina, said it was the start of a “deep friendship” that lasted 15 years. .

“David was a friend of pastors,” Herman said. “He was my greatest confidant. We talked about life and ministry almost every day. He was a dear friend and fellow pastor who served in the trenches.

Herman said Richardson has worked together on a variety of missions and ministry efforts through their local Baptist fellowship. Herman said Richardson was a “big fan” of encouraging others to serve in various leadership roles in ministry at the local, regional and state levels.

In addition to his other leadership roles, Richardson was currently treasurer of the Flat River Baptist Association at the time of his death. Over the years, he has served on the finance committee and executive committee of the association, as well as director of discipleship training, vice moderator and moderator of the association.

“David was the glue that held the Flat River Baptist Association together when we were without a DOM (director of missions) for several years,” said Gus Gillespiewho became Flat River’s Associative Mission Strategist (AMS) in September 2019. “He had institutional knowledge and a willingness to work to do the work that helped us through this season.”

Prior to becoming Flat River’s AMS, Gillespie worked with Richardson in the local school system. Gillespie retired as associate superintendent of Granville County Schools in 2017, about a year after Richardson was first elected to the school board.

Gillespie said Richardson was highly respected in the community as a pastor and school board member.

“Although he was well known, he was also modest and humble when praised,” Gillespie said.

As news of Richardson’s death spread, tributes from pastors and other ministry leaders also grew on social media.

NC Baptist President Michael Parduepastor of First Baptist Church Icard in Connelly Springs, North Carolina, called Richardson “a faithful pastor and friend.”

“David Richardson will be greatly missed,” Pardue said in a statement to the Bible Recorder. “He was a caring pastor, a thoughtful congress leader and a humble public servant in his community. I appreciated the constant encouragement he gave me over the past two years as we served North Carolina Baptists together. He had become a true friend.

Pardue and Unzicker were among several North Carolina Baptist leaders who preached at a revival conference Richardson hosted at Peace’s Chapel Baptist Church last spring. The revival also included Seth BrownNC Baptist Director of Convention Relations, and Jordan Willardpastor of First Baptist Church in Weddington, North Carolina

“It pains me to talk about David in the past tense,” Willard wrote in a Facebook post. “But I will always remember David as a kind, gentle, and loving disciple of Christ, a devoted husband, a strong leader in church and community, and a faithful preacher of the gospel.

“The world needs more David Richardson, but heaven is richer now that he is home.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE – This story will be updated with information about Richardson’s memorial service. Chad Austin is editor of the Biblical recorder.)

Burnt Church Bluegrass Festival featuring talented musicians September 10 – The Courier


The Burnt Church Bluegrass Festival will feature 10 bands including Crosswind Bluegrass.

The annual Burnt Church Bluegrass Festival will take place on Saturday, September 10.
The festival at 110 School Drive is the largest fundraiser for the Burnt Church Community Center. The party starts at noon.
“We invite everyone to get out into the beautiful countryside setting to enjoy bluegrass music, great food, fun and friendly people,” said Jane Jerrolds, treasurer of the Burnt Church Community Center.
From noon to 1 p.m. there will be an open mic for artists wishing to present their music.
“We can’t wait for people to come on stage and show us their talent,” Jerrolds invited.
Ten bands are scheduled to perform at 1 p.m.
They include Good Time Grass, Southern Sound, Hatchie Bottom Boys, Lisa Lambert Band, Good Time Grass, Rudy Moore & Bluegrass Pals, Wayne Jerrolds & Savannah Grass, Holt Family, Scottie Baugus and Boone Creek Bluegrass, Courthouse Pickers and Crosswind Bluegrass.
Foods such as burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, beans, cornbread, and an assortment of desserts are available throughout the day.
Jerrolds encourages festival-goers to bring their lawn chairs and plan to stick around and have a good time.
“Come early and stay late for the family celebration,” Jerrolds said.
She added: “We appreciate all of our sponsors and visitors. A special thank you to our volunteers and supporters who help keep the community center open.
Volunteers are also needed to help out at the festival.
A small entrance fee is charged for ages 12 and up. For more information, call 731-458-7888 or 731-925-3683.
Donations can also be mailed to: Burnt Church Community Center, 110 School Dr., Savannah, TN, 38372.

As new UK Prime Minister takes office, Catholic bishops offer prayers and help


The centralized system of social protection and public services could benefit from the active participation of individuals and civil society, the cardinal said, citing the Catholic social principle of subsidiarity.

Cardinal Nichols urged all Catholics to “donate all the time and financial resources they can to charitable efforts that support those affected by the current crisis.” He praised the long tradition of Catholic schools in supporting children whose families are in difficulty.

“The work of our local parishes and Catholic charities is based on the firm belief in the inherent dignity of every person,” he said. “No one should be set aside or ‘reduced’. I am convinced that throughout this crisis, the Catholic community will do everything in its power to act on this conviction and promote this principle.

“I hope that our parish communities will always be open to those who are suffering from difficulties and who are particularly in need of companionship and spiritual support at this time,” the Cardinal continued. “They can help us understand the humility we need to have before God.”

“The spiritual needs of the poor and their special gifts must never be forgotten,” he added.

(Story continues below)

Nichols asked for prayers for all who are suffering from the cost of living crisis. He invokes Saint Thomas More, patron saint of politicians and public life, and Saint Bernadette, patroness of the poor.

“I pray that all members of our society will work together to find ways, both short and long term, to alleviate this crisis that threatens the well-being of so many people,” he said.

During his term, Truss also had to deal with the Ukrainian crisis after the invasion of Russia. Relations between Northern Ireland and the European Union are also expected to pose challenges, as the UK’s exit from the European Union continues to pose economic and political challenges.

Kevin J. Jones is a senior writer for Catholic News Agency. He was the recipient of an Egan Journalism Fellowship from Catholic Relief Services in 2014.

How I slept with a girl after the deliverance session to exorcise her spirit of death – Pastor


I told her that I wanted to marry her so that the spell on her family wouldn’t come on her. I also told him that I would help sponsor his education. She said there was no problem. I knew that if I didn’t tell her that, she wouldn’t agree to sleep with me.

This was the confession of a 48-year-old pastor, Michael Abiodun Rabiu, who was arrested by detectives from the Ogun State Police Command not only for desecrating a 12-year-old girl (names withheld ), but also for impregnating her.

State Police image maker SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, who confirmed the arrest, had said that Pastor Michael, as he is affectionately known, with a church in Oluwo, Owode Egba, in the area of local government of Obafemi Owode, had the girl as a member of the choir of her church before her number.

Nigerian Tribune has learned that the mother of the victim joined the church following a spiritual problem which led to the death of the daughters she had before the defiled daughter.

The PPRO said police were told the mother had taken the suspect’s daughter to the suspect’s church for spiritual deliverance to prevent her from suffering the same fate as her late sister.

“On the fateful day, the pastor, a father of three, asked the victim’s mother to send him a special prayer, but upon reaching it, the pastor took her to a room in the church and had with her a carnal relationship that culminated in pregnancy,” SP Oyeyemi said.

The report is said to have prompted the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Owode Egba Division, CSP Olasunkanmi Popoola, to send his detectives to the scene where the pastor was promptly arrested.

When questioned, Pastor Michael, who confessed to the crime, blamed it on the devil, admitting that the girl had not known any man before having sex with the JSS 2 student.

The victim’s mother said she found out about the pregnancy very late as her daughter hadn’t started her period before, making it difficult to find out until she was seven months pregnant.

State Police Commissioner Lanre Bankole had ordered the transfer of the suspect to the state Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation and prosecution after his conclusion.

Nigerian Tribune interviewed the suspect. Below are excerpts:

“I am from Ikorodu, Lagos State but have been in Owode Egba, Ogun State for 13 years. I am married and have three children – two from my first wife and one from my new wife. I am a deliverance pastor and the founder of the church for which I am responsible. I started deliverance ministry about 13 years ago, but I was called about 25 years ago.

why i was arrested

“In the line of daughters, there is a god called ‘tánràn’. He is a serpent god. The god had already taken children born before her, so that’s what brought her and her mother to me for deliverance.

“I had noticed that the spell was meant to manifest in the girl’s life, as death issues were always discussed with her.

“When she was brought to me, I advised her mother to take care of her quickly spiritually so that she wouldn’t lose her too. I asked the girl to come for deliverance for seven weeks, and she started coming every Wednesday after school closed.

“About a week before the end of the deliverance sessions, when we finished the daily prayers, I don’t know how the devil came to make me have sex with her.

“I told her that I wanted to marry her so that the spell on her family wouldn’t come on her. I also told him that I would help sponsor his studies. She said there was no problem. I knew that if I didn’t tell her, she wouldn’t sleep with me.

“She’s a young girl and I found out she was a virgin so I couldn’t penetrate her easily, I got stuck on the way but I ejaculated inside her. She left afterwards and continued in as a member of the church choir.

“I discovered a change in her about six months later. I didn’t give her any medicine to take but I was so scared to tell her mum. At that time her mum noticed her swollen belly and thought that it was the spell that was at work inside her, it was because those of her deceased siblings used to swell before they died.

“This prompted her mum to take her for an ultrasound where it was discovered that she was seven months pregnant. Her mum brought the issue to me and I confessed to her that I was responsible for the pregnancy. J started caring for her until she naturally gave birth to a baby boy (name withheld).

“At that time, many people had known each other in the city. I also told my wife and she accepted it as a cross that she must bear. She didn’t argue with me.

Expressing his regret, the pastor said he had thought about killing himself since the incident happened because it was a shameful act on his part, but he was advised against it.

“I almost became paralyzed in the arms and legs. I thought about the age of the girl and I made fun of God’s name and I was so ashamed,” he said.

Reason why I separated from my first wife

“She was very stubborn and tough. She was so angry that she was trying to break things on my head. And I’m the easy-going type who doesn’t like trouble. I also didn’t want to die prematurely. That’s why I filed for separation when we couldn’t resolve our differences. She remarried and I also decided to take another wife two years ago. She is 25 and has a nine month old baby for me.

He also said that one of his pastors took over the church of about 150 congregations in his absence.

Ironically, the girl’s mother, who spoke to the Nigerian Tribune, said she was not ready to have a case with the pastor as he has been treating her daughter well since the pregnancy became known.

“I have been going to the pastor’s church for 12 years. And he likes me and my family. He supported me in times of tribulation. I know what happened is the work of the devil. I lost two children to strange deaths, as they swelled up and died within a month of the illness.

“I dreamed of my daughter and told the pastor about it. He also came to tell me about the vision he had of my daughter. He said she would need to come for prayers and delivery.

“About seven months after the prayers, I noticed that she looked swollen like it happened to her late sisters. I was afraid the same thing had happened to my daughter, so I took her to the hospital. That’s where I was told she was pregnant.

“I asked her about the person who got her pregnant and she said it was the pastor. I went to meet him and he admitted it was him.

“Since he didn’t deny ownership, all I was thinking about was supporting my daughter throughout so she could give birth safely.

“Since the pregnancy was detected by the CT scan, the pastor has done everything necessary to get my daughter to the antenatal clinic and prepare for her delivery. He bought everything needed and took care of her financially.

“Since she gave birth too, he has been taking care of her and the baby. And he has also changed her school and paid her school fees to where she is now.

“I accepted what happened as fate. I’m not ready to make a case with him. It wasn’t me who reported him to the police, nor was it my daughter.

Pleading for the pastor to be forgiven and acquitted, the girl’s mother said: ‘There is no one to help me take care of my daughter and her baby except the pastor, which he does very well. .

“I am 47 years old, I am a widow and without parents. I sell bread and I don’t earn 500 naira in a day. How to survive without it? Currently, there is no one to sponsor my child’s education. There is no one to help me. »

She also said her daughter was 14, not 12 as is believed, revealing she was born on July 22, 2008.

The girl, in an interview with the Nigerian Tribune, said she did not tell anyone that the pastor forced her to have sex.

“He told my mother that I had to come to church for the deliverance prayer. We had been going through the sessions for weeks when one day, after prayer, he asked me to go to the living room, take off my dress and lie down.

“It was when he slept with me. He begged me not to scream in pain when he noticed I was a virgin. I didn’t know I was pregnant because I hadn’t had my period before sex,” she explained.

She also pleaded for her son’s father to be released and allowed to care for her and her baby.


“Why Church Safety is So Important”


SIBLEY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Sibley The man is facing terrorism charges and a local church is reviewing its security plans after a disturbing incident during Sunday services.

It happened towards the end of the sermon during the morning service at Sibley Missionary Baptist Church, according to Jared McIver, a church member and off-duty Minden police officer. What stands out immediately, McIver says, is that the man entered the front door and slowly walked down the aisle to a front row seat.

“That’s very strange in itself, because most of the latecomers sit at the back of the building so as not to disturb the rest of the program,” McIver recounted in a Facebook post early Sunday afternoon. “The pastor was preaching and the service was almost over. The man looked straight ahead, then down, then began to fumble nervously with his hands. No one had ever seen this man and it soon became apparent that the people in the Congregation were nervous.

This behavior alone might have been nothing more than a man “under conviction”. But what happened next prompted McIver to share it as an example of why having a safety plan is so important for every church.

McIver, a member of Sibley MBC for 35 years, said several men who were allowed to hide inside the church began “signalling each other to start positioning ourselves strategically, quietly and methodically so as not to attract attention to man.”

“When the invitation was given, the man went to the main altar and began to pray and raise his hands in the air. Again, no judgment here, as it is common to seeing people worshiping God, praying and raising their hands. After the invitation was given, the man began to pray out loud. The things he was saying were in a very mad and aggravated screaming voice. Growling with his words as if he was angry. The church service was now over and the man is still kneeling. Everyone quickly begins to exit the building nervously and the men of the church are listening and watching what is going on. This man angrily starts saying things like, “We have to kill all these so-called Christians, kill them all and crush them.”

That’s when McIver called the sheriff’s office, who responded within minutes. Deputies slipped into the sanctuary and took the man into custody after seeing and hearing his behavior for themselves.

McIver says the way the man responded to deputies who asked him why he said what he said was just as disturbing as his violent pleas.

“He said, ‘Well, it’s not illegal to pray out loud,'” McIver recalled, noting that the man didn’t seem to care whether it was right or wrong to call at the death of others.

Deputies arrested the 47-year-old on terrorism charges and incarcerated him at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center. Bail has not been set.

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker says the church did the right thing by calling law enforcement.

“We want to keep our citizens safe,” Parker said. “If anything seems abnormal, you can call us. Let’s react and see if it’s legit.

“There are several different (and if) scenarios that could have happened,” McIver said in his Facebook post. “It has certainly increased our awareness and will lead us to strengthen our security measures for the future.”

McIver, who is also running to become Minden’s next police chief, told KTAL NBC 6 News he was sharing the story to raise awareness.

“I believe all churches need security in place today. Churches can be seen as an easy target for some criminals who want to hurt people and themselves. Just having that security gives peace of mind to the congregation, gives peace of mind to the pastor, and people want to come here and worship peacefully.

Catholic labor leaders urge church to practice what it preaches


After receiving an invitation from the US Bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, the Catholic Labor Network held five synodal listening sessions this spring with our members and friends. And if there was one theme that stood out at every meeting, it was this: The church has a beautiful social teaching on work and work issues. But too often, when the church is the employer, that teaching is not followed—and when it is not, the church’s testimony is compromised.

It’s not nothing. If you add up all the people employed in Catholic churches, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, social service agencies, the media and other businesses, we estimate that over one million American workers are employed by the Catholic Church. And when we don’t follow church teaching with our own employees, people notice. This is not beautiful.

A listening session brought together Catholic trade unionists; another brought together priests who had collaborated closely with the labor movement. Others included many lay social ministry leaders, some volunteers, and others employed by church institutions. All were familiar to some degree with Catholic social teaching on labor justice. And eventually, each group came to this point: How does the church treat its own employees?

Certain elements of Catholic social teaching are perfectly clear. The right of workers to organize and form trade unions has been part of Church teaching since Pope Leo XIII issued his encyclical Rerum Novarum in 1891. Leo also insisted that every worker had the right to a living wage – and Pope John Paul II in Laborem Exercens clarified that it was a salary capable of supporting a family. These principles are fundamental and no amount of mumbling about “prudential judgement” can make them go away.

If anyone wonders if these principles apply to those who work for the church, the American bishops spoke to them explicitly in their pastoral letter of 1986 Economic justice for all:

At the parish and diocesan level, through its agencies and institutions, the Church employs many people; he has investments; it has vast properties for worship and mission. All the moral principles that govern the just operation of any economic enterprise apply to the Church and its agencies and institutions; indeed, the Church should be exemplary…We Bishops are committed to the principle that those who serve the Church – laity, clergy and religious – should be provided with adequate livelihoods and social benefits provided by responsible employers in our country…. All church institutions must also fully recognize the rights of employees to organize and bargain collectively with the institution through the association or organization of their choice. (347, 351, 353)

So teaching. What is the practice?

Let’s look at the schools. Most teachers in our K-12 public schools have union representation. If “all institutions of the Church are to fully recognize the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively,” we should expect the same to apply to our Catholic schools, right? ? Yet it is the opposite, in fact. the case. Unions in Catholic schools are rare.

There is a simple explanation for this. Most states have laws protecting the rights of public school teachers to unionize and bargain collectively, and teachers generally exercise this right. But as church institutions protected by the First Amendment, Catholic schools are exempt from civil laws that would protect their teachers’ right to organize. The rights of Catholic school teachers’ unions depend entirely on whether school administrators choose to uphold Catholic social teaching on the subject – and most of them do not.

There is nothing particularly special about the school administrators. Unlike teachers in Catholic schools, employees of Catholic hospitals and nursing homes do have the right to organize under the national labor relations law – but management regularly hires anti-union consultants to fight workers who try to form unions. The dominant ethos in American business holds that preventing your employees from organizing into unions is just good management, and those who run Catholic institutions have aligned themselves with our secular culture instead of offering an alternative. based on Gospel values ​​and Catholic social teaching.

So much for the right to organize. What about living wage?

Many participants in our listening sessions were employed in a church ministry. If the testimony of these witnesses is representative, we are not doing very well either. No one enters the ministry expecting to earn a salary comparable to that of a for-profit business, but few employed at the parish level reported earning even a salary to support the family. More typically, they explained that their vocation was a luxury they could only pursue because a spouse with a more lucrative career covered household expenses.

Participants in our listening sessions clearly loved the gospel and loved the church. But they were troubled by his failure to practice the beautiful social teaching set forth in his encyclicals and letters. This had been anticipated by the bishops in Economic justice for allquoting the 1971 synod of bishops: “If the Church is bound to witness to justice, she recognizes that whoever dares to speak of justice to people must first be just in their eyes. the modes of action and goods and lifestyle found within the Church itself.”

Or as one participant in the listening session put it: “We deliberately ignore our own teaching because it is easier or more convenient. It’s frustrating because this hypocrisy is what drives people away from the Church.

Former CFC members gather outside Potsdam church to protest alleged cover-up of sex crimes and systemic abuse | outlook of faith


POTSDAM — Nearly 15 former members of the Christian Fellowship Center rallied outside the CFC in Potsdam on Sunday to protest alleged systemic abuses within the church and to advocate for the passage of the CARE Act, which would make clergy mandated to report child abuse or abuse.

“We are gathered here to support the CARE Act, and the purpose of this bill is to add clergy to the list of mandated journalists,” said Abigail Nye, former CFC member and founder of CFCtoo, which aims to educate the wider community. about abuse and help anyone who wants to leave the church.

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Another Ogun pastor arrested for desecrating 14-year-old worshiper


Men from the Ogun State Police Command arrested a 38-year-old General Overseer of Beloved Chapel, Agbado in the Ifo Local Government Area of ​​the state, Pastor Israel Adebayo, for allegedly desecrating a 14-year-old member of his church (name withheld).

State Police Public Relations Officer SP Abimbola Oyeyemi revealed this in a statement on Sunday.

Oyeyemi said the pastor whose church is located at No. 9 Iyaniwura Street near Owonikoko Street, Agbado area of ​​the state was arrested following a complaint lodged at the headquarters of the state. division of Agbado by the mother of the victim.

This follows the arrest of another pastor a few days ago in the state of a similar allegation.

Oyeyemi said the victim’s mother reported that the incident happened while she was traveling for treatment for a certain illness.

The PPRO added that the mother said her daughter, who happened to be a member of the church choir, went to church and the pastor lured her to his room and forcefully had a relationship. carnal with her.

He said: “Upon the report, the Divisional Police Officer from Agbado Division sent his detectives to the scene, where the pastor was promptly arrested.

“During the interrogation, the pastor who admitted having defiled the victim pleaded for forgiveness.

“According to him, his family and that of the victim are so close, but he did not know how and why such a thing happened to him.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect was allegedly arrested a long time ago, but the victim’s mother thwarted the move because she did not want to offend her pastor.

“But when the victim has been continuously bleeding from her private part since the incident in October 2021. She had no choice but to allow the police to intervene.

“The victim, who claimed the pastor was the first person to sleep with her, is currently recovering in hospital.”

The PPRO, however, said Police Commissioner Lanre Bankole ordered the case transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation and possible prosecution.

He said the commissioner had also warned parents to stop covering up anyone who assaulted their daughters indecently, regardless of their proximity to those people, because they could also face aggravated felony charges.

Church Community Connection: Flee Those Who Exploit You, Turn to God | Features


Let me introduce you to a couple you may have heard of during your Sunday school days. The couple were once the king and queen of Israel. Their names were Ahab and Jezebel.

Most likely you have heard of Jezebel. You wouldn’t have wanted to put yourself on the wrong side. She was tall and responsible even though her husband, Ahab, was the king of Israel. Jezebel means cheeky, cheeky, or morally unrestrained without cohabitation. His business card read, “Whether it’s right or wrong, I get what I want.”

Here is an incident that happened years ago. King Ahab, prone to childish tantrums and covetousness, saw a vineyard he wanted for a vegetable garden near his palace. Ahab’s problem was that the vineyard belonged to a citizen named Naboth. So Ahab offered to buy the vineyard. But Naboth replied, “God forbid I give you the inheritance of my ancestors. »

Ahab went home angry, sulking, refusing to eat. Jezebel asked Ahab why he was in a bad mood. Ahab told him what had happened. Jezebel replied, “Is this how you act as king of Israel? Get up and eat! Comfort. I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

And take the vine, Jezebel did. Jezebel hired two “villains” to lie and testify that Naboth had cursed God and the king. So the mercenaries took Naboth out of the city and stoned him to death. Notice the pattern; lies, false witnesses, mob and confiscation of property. I guess whatever “Lola wants, Lola gets” – for a while.

There is a fundamental difference between weakness and wickedness. Ahab had carnal weaknesses motivated by ego. Jezebel was mean.

Ahab had trouble with his head. Jezebel had heart trouble. Ahab was ignorant and spoiled. Jezebel was intentional and evil. Note that Ahabs and Jezebels are a type, not a gender. This example is not a male-female issue. There were loads of Jezebel kings in Israel’s past. In this case, Ahab’s weakness was Jezebel’s passport to controlling a nation. Jezebel types look for weak people like Ahab to influence and control. You can’t be a puppeteer if you don’t have a puppet.

In a sense, each reinforced the other. Ahab’s self-absorption, spoiled childish ways, and laziness created space for Jezebel’s pride and ambition. The wickedness in her dominated Israel through Ahab’s weakness. Ahab gave his authority or right to rule to Jezebel, and Jezebel gladly took it.

Together they ruled Israel for years. God is patient even with weak kings and wicked queens for a while. God gave them, as he gives us, every opportunity to change and to change for the better. But just because God is patient doesn’t mean God condones intentional dysfunctional behavior forever.

At the appointed time, God sent a prophet named Elijah to make the king and queen realize that their actions had consequences. Why did God prophetically warn them? Because the king and queen’s problems were hurting themselves, their people, and the nation. This is called love in action.

King Ahab got angry (again) that God’s message through Elijah keeps him from getting what he wants all the time. Jezebel flew into a rage (again). How dare Elijah or God limit the ambitions of Ahab and Jezebel? You don’t challenge the actions and attitudes of people like Jezebel without creating ramifications of rage. Jezebel types don’t take revenge. They take revenge. Puppeteers and non-cohabiting people don’t like someone upsetting their puppet.

Sometimes we think someone is mean when they have a weakness. We see it in the piece called “Wicked”. Conversely, we assume someone is weak when they are cruel. Don’t judge too quickly. Learn to discern. Watch their example. Look at who is attracted to them and who is repelled by them. Are they doing it primarily for your good or their desire?

The problem with any nation, society or community is that it takes an Ahab to create a Jezebel. The character of the king or queen permeates the kingdom. Israel pined and wept for a time because of Ahab’s head and Jezebel’s heart. But people like Ahab and Jezebel usually don’t end well. These two “experts” eventually became old bursts…shooting stars that were bright for a while, then quickly burned out.

Let me quote a Bible verse about Jezebel that will surprise you. It is Jesus who speaks of Jezebel. “And I gave her time to change direction, but she has no intention of changing direction…” Revelation 2:19.

It’s love.

Consider this, leaders and people are not punished for their mistakes. Leaders and people are punished for their mistakes.

I’m not tough or harsh here. On the contrary, this article is an exhortation and an encouragement. I’m just trying to make us aware of real life. We all have weaknesses, but some have just a few more weaknesses than others. It could be dangerous, whoever we are. Why? Because the more weaknesses we have, the more desirable we are to weak or even evil people who need more vulnerable people to further their agenda.

Do not flee from God to the author of weakness or wickedness. Instead, run to God, the provider of well-being. Transform your weakness or your wickedness into well-being. Be empowered for life in abundance.

God loves you, and He has approved this message.

John Paul I had a special message for Catholics in the United States


Shortly after becoming pope, John Paul I addressed a group of American bishops and urged them to respect the dignity of marriage and the family.

During his 33-day pontificate, John Paul I conducted an active schedule, receiving visitors and delivering speeches to various groups. This included a group of American bishops on their visit to Rome.

He addressed a very direct speech to these bishops, emphasizing the dignity of marriage and of the family.

Never get tired of proclaim the family as a community of love: conjugal love unites the couple and generates new life; it reflects divine love, is communicated and, in the words of “Gaudium et Spes”, is in reality a participation in the covenant of love of Christ and his Church. We have all received the great grace of being born into such a community of love; it will be easy for us to maintain its value.

John Paul I emphasized the importance of proclaiming the indissolubility of marriage, combating the culture of divorce that was beginning to take shape in the United States.

In particular, the indissolubility of Christian marriage is important; although this is a difficult part of our message, we must proclaim it faithfully as part of the word of God, part of the mystery of faith. At the same time, we are close to our people in their problems and difficulties. They should always know that we love them.

In addition, he encouraged parents to be the primary educators of their children, especially in matters of faith.

And then you have to encourage parents in their role as educators of their children – the first and best catechists. What a great task and what a challenge they have: to teach children the love of God, to make it real for them.

John Paul I firmly believed that the Holy Families could in turn influence the world: “By the testimony of love of their lives, families can bring the gospel of Christ to others.”

Although he did not have a long pontificate, John Paul I used his time well and did what he could to support the family.


Injured Nigerian Pastors Need Help – Bisi Adewale


Pastor Bisi Adewale said that many Nigerian pastors are hurting and need to create personal time to heal from all the disappointment, stress and other challenges in ministry.

The cleric said so on Thursday, alongside his wife Yomi, when speaking to reporters at a three-day international ministers’ family conference scheduled for September 15-17 at RCCG Maranatha Parish Gbagada. .

The conference is labeled “Great Family, Great Church.”

Pastor Adewale, who is also the founder of FAMILY BOOSTER MINISTRY, a non-denominational home affairs ministry, said the conference was born out of a desire to deepen the lives of pastors and church leaders.

He shared stories of how he and his wife recently met pastors who confessed to not enjoying their marriages despite providing solutions to other people’s marriages.

Pastor Adewale said:

“Pastors are special people, they are the ones most Christians call first whenever they need help, they are consulted for almost everything, they have to act as marriage counselors, financial advisers, psychologists , Trauma Healing Experts, Guarantors, Lawyers, Accountants, Health Experts, Fathers, Pillars, etc.

“They are consulted for almost all problems by everyone. Often decried on social networks and stabbed in the back by their own, they are seriously needed every day by the same people who harm them.

“They stand by people when they get married, stand by them if they can’t get pregnant, assist them if they’re pregnant, call them at 1 a.m. when they’re in labor, collect funds in case of complications requiring surgeries, name the baby, nurture the baby spiritually until youthful age, marry the young, care for them if the marriage turns into trouble or hits the rock , bury the elderly who die, support bereaved families. Despite all of this, they are still vastly undervalued, underappreciated, unappreciated, unacknowledged, abused, slandered, hated, and underpaid.

“The pains of pastors are many, many the subject of bitter gossip in the Church, but they should not be angry but keep smiling while they suffer.

“We have to ask ourselves, ‘Where do pastors go when they need help? WHO speaks to them when they are down? Who will help them if they have a marital challenge?

“Most pastors are lonely, sick and poor, but work 24/7, some without holidays or rest time. More than 70% of ministers say they don’t have a close friend or someone to talk to when they need it.

“Our findings at FBM have revealed that many pastors, church leaders and ministers go through many challenges which they find difficult to discuss with anyone. For some of them it is their marriages and battles emotional, for others they are deep health issues and some need new knowledge to carry out their ministry.

“We are also finding that the majority of pastors’ wives are unhappy with the state of affairs at home. While many children of pastors turn against their parents and many young people turn their backs on the Church.

“As such, it has become necessary to assist and stir up conversations about Pastor’s HEALTH, MARRIAGE, FINANCES AND FAMILY LIFE, in order to help strengthen these men and women who care the needs of others in building our society, that’s why FBM has brought together experts who can dissect the issues that affect pastors and their families.

File photo of Pastor Bisi and Yomi Adewale

Yomi Adewale, for his part, confirmed that Tony Akinyemi, Albert Aina and Mike and Gloria Bamiloye were among the conference speakers.

She noted that the conference was a mission from God for her and her husband, Pastor Bisi Adewale, to ensure pastors and their wives have a fulfilling ministry and a fun marriage.

According to Yomi, some of the contents of the conference include the following listed below;

– How to win and retain young people in the Church
— Ministry: Building stronger churches as a couple in ministry
— Emotion: inner healing for injured pastors and their wives
— Marriage: How to Maintain Strong Marriages in Ministry
— How to Build a Better Marriage in Your Church
— 54 pillars of marriage success
— What Every Couple in Ministry Should Never Do
– Marriage and ministry finding a balance and much more.

For more information on the conference, the public is invited to contact [email protected]08056457013 or 08068312004.

Crescent Hill Baptist Church in Louisville names gay man as co-pastor


Jordan Conley, the new co-pastor of history Crescent Hill Baptist Churchhas a unique connection to the house of worship where he now serves – it’s where he and husband Patrick Allison were married in 2016.

Conley began preaching when he was an 8-year-old boy in eastern Kentucky. Now 29, the Knott County native was called last month to serve at the church in Louisville where he was ordained earlier this year, marking the first time the Crescent Hill facility has been led by a gay pastor. He will be a familiar sight on stage alongside his co-pastor Andrea Woolley.

“Let them say, ‘We’ve seen you as a member of the church, we’ve seen you as a youth minister, and we trust you to be with us on our next spiritual journey,'” is the honor of my life,” Conley told The Courier Journal. “And that’s a burden I don’t take lightly.”

In Louisville:September 2022 calendar of events: 60+ things to do in town this week

The church has hosted services at its current location – 2800 Frankfort Ave., in the heart of Louisville’s Crescent Hill neighborhood – since 1926, when its original building was demolished to make way for a location for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. .

The church severed ties with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary more than 20 years ago, however, because the Southern Baptist Convention did not accept the idea of ​​women serving as pastors, Conley said. Instead, Crescent Hill Baptist Church and several others around Louisville aligned with the American Baptist Convention.

The church has evolved since then, Conley said, noting that 97% of people who attend Crescent Hill Baptist Church were in favor of him becoming a co-pastor.

“I’m not worried about anyone leaving our church as a result of the call to me as co-pastor,” Conley said. “I actually think people will come to our church, because they’ve heard of a church where there’s not just a gay man serving as a co-pastor, but my co-pastor Andrea Woolley is a woman. And that says something, I think, about our church.”

Either way, Conley said he didn’t have time to pay attention to those who didn’t approve of his calling. Lately, he said, he has been spending his time driving vans full of supplies gathered by church people to help those affected by the devastating floods. that swept through eastern Kentucky this summer.

Jordan Conley was recently named co-pastor of Crescent Hill Baptist Church.  He is also married and gay.  Growing up in Knott County, eastern Kentucky, he knew at age eight that he wanted to be a pastor.

He’s not naïve, however — he’s well aware of how the church promoting a member of the LGBTQ community to help run the show might be viewed by some members of the Baptist community.

Conley’s new post has garnered a lot of reactions, and while the church supports it, not all of it has been positive. For example, Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (the graduate school of the Southern Baptist Convention) criticized the move when it was announced, telling Twitter followers “if you ever wondered why the conservative resurgence at the SBC (Southern Baptist Baptist Convention) was needed, that’s it,” in a social media post on August 15.

“People are going to say whatever they’re going to say about me,” Conley told the Courier Journal. “You know, social media has made it very easy to voice an opinion and get a platform for that opinion. The only thing I can do is indulge in the appeal that the Spirit of God has placed upon my life, serving this church.”

Woolley and Conley are on the same page, her co-pastor told the Courier Journal.

Negative comments are inevitable but “don’t really bother her,” Woolley said. She felt her own criticisms. A mother of two, Woolley said she has not received direct vitriol as a female pastor, but there is “a certain kind of nuance” from people who have been brought up to believe that women could not be pastors.

“It’s kind of disheartening to know that there are people who are against openness and inclusion, Woolley said. “But they don’t stop what we’re going to do.”

For subscribers:Why a Baptist Pastor Feels Blessed to Be Next to Shively’s Famous Strip Club

Woolley, who has co-pastored the church since 2011, said she was “excited” to have Conley serving alongside her. He has experience, she said, having filled in for her at the church when she went on maternity leave in April and took over the role of co-pastor when the former co-pastor of Woolley, Jason Crosby, left on July 10.

Conley has come a long way to get to where he is today.

He began his undergraduate studies to become a pastor at Boyce College — the undergraduate institution of the Southern Baptist Convention — in 2010. At the time, he said, he was told not to go at Crescent Hill Baptist Church because women were preaching and there were homosexuals who served as deacons. He hadn’t come out as gay at school in Louisville yet, and he said what he was taught about the LGBTQ community affected his mental state.

“I was scared to death,” Conley said. “That was my biggest fear while I was there was someone finding out I was gay. I would be expelled from school. I knew I would never have a career in ministry. .”

Pastor Jordan Conley holds his personal bible.  The married, gay native of Knott County, Kentucky knew at the age of eight that he wanted to be a pastor.

Conley came out as gay in 2014, after leaving Boyce College without completing his studies. He then completed his undergraduate studies years later at Campbellsville University while working as a funeral director.

In his eyes, he said, the church has a long history of aligning against minority groups like blacks, Native Americans and members of the LGBTQ community. Ancient scriptures, he said, have long been misused and hurtful.

But one positive came out of his teachings at the time, he said – they led him to Crescent Hill Baptist Church.

The negativity he faced on his journey to becoming a pastor and the mistreatment of the LGBTQ community by some followers, he said, will not stop him from creating the impact he was called to have. .

“After being beaten and beaten with their Reformed Calvinist theology for … three and a half years, almost four years, I was finally able to come to a place that loved me, loved my husband, Patrick, and accepted us there where we were on our journey back then and I affirmed myself and my husband Patrick, and where we are on our journey today,” Conley said.

Related opinion piece:Should women be pastors? It’s a test facing Southern Baptists, and Al Mohler fails

Related:Kentucky’s reigning teacher of the year says LGBTQ discrimination caused him to quit his job

Contact Ana Rocío Álvarez Bríñez at [email protected]; follow her on Twitter at @SoyAnaAlvarez