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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

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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

Catholic education supports workers. Why not Catholic leaders?


Every year, as Labor Day approaches, we commentators follow newspaper headlines for reports of strikes or union drives, like zoologists tracking down an endangered species. We are looking for signs that the American labor movement is ready to wake up from its decades-long slumber.

This summer, strikes and rumors of strikes surfaced across the country, particularly at the construction sites of flagship companies such as Apple, Starbucks and Amazon. Could 2022 finally be the year of work?

This is not a good time for a relaunch of work. Politicians are barely concealing their desire to push unemployment up to avoid the runaway inflation of the year. Corporate leaders agree that 2022 is not the “right time” to revamp labor compensation, rights and privileges against management prerogatives. As bankers sound the inflation alarm, a familiar sleight of hand has been performed.

Hidden in inflation figures, corporate profit margins have reached historic highs in 2022 and executive compensation has reached new levels of excess. The average CEO compensation in 2020 was 351 times higher than the salary of a typical worker. And after years of pandemic-related disruption, workers have begun to question policies that continually tilt pay and work-life balance in favor of employers. Now, acute labor shortages in industrial sectors present workers with a historic opportunity to renegotiate not only wages, but also their place in American life. Will someone be at the table to negotiate for them?

Union membership has seen a virtually uninterrupted decline since 1955. Decades of declining union power have contributed to deepening inequalities in the distribution of wealth, income, health care, and power in the United States. Today, America’s mostly at-will workforce is unaware of a time when union power meant better wages and benefits, a higher standard of living, and better safety and security. remuneration for all workers, regardless of union affiliation.


The American Church has traditionally been an ally of American labor, emerging from a time when most lay Catholics in the United States were themselves workers. Now, Catholics are just as likely to be found among the political and managerial classes that lock horns with Labor over its fair share of the American pie. If recent history is an accurate predictor, these fellow Catholics are just as likely to push back hard against labor demands, regardless of what they might find in the dusty tomes of Catholic social teaching.

This is not an inevitable result – we believe, after all, in a mystical solidarity that transcends class and culture – and groups within the church, such as the Catholic Labor Network and the National Center for the Laity , have valiantly continued to keep this church-labour alliance alive through the many lean years of the working world.

Leaders of Catholic institutions could play an effective role as examples of meaningful and productive labour-management relations.

The American bishops could do much more to urge Catholics on corporate boards to remember their roots and the demands of human dignity. In the meantime, the church at the local level could rededicate itself to its historic role alongside the nation’s working class, whether that means joining them on a picket line or systematically speaking from the pulpit the demands of human dignity. And the leaders of Catholic institutions could play an effective role as examples of meaningful and productive employer-union relations.

Latino workers, working in sectors long ignored by labor organizers, will increasingly be at the forefront of the American labor movement, just as they gain a similar leadership position in the American church. With an eye on the future of the Church and the American working class, today’s Catholic leaders would be wise to reclaim a place alongside Catholic workers at the bulwarks of economic dignity. That’s where the church belongs.


This article also appears in the September 2022 issue of US Catholic (Vol. 87, No. 9, page 42). Click here to subscribe to the magazine.

Image: Unsplash/Kentaro Toma

Masked men vandalize a church in the village of Tarn Taran and set pastor’s car on fire


Four masked men broke into a church in Tarn Taran district, Punjab, vandalized it and fled after setting the pastor’s car on fire, police said on Wednesday. Calling the incident “unforgivable”, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann ordered the Chief of State Police to have it investigated.

According to footage captured by CCTV cameras installed at the church, the intruders late Tuesday night took the caretaker hostage at gunpoint and tied his hands. They then vandalized two idols in the church, located in the village of Takkarpura near the town of Patti in the border district and as they left set fire to the pastor’s car.

Police said CCTV footage showed two of the masked men vandalizing the idols.

Members of the Christian community organized a demonstration, blocking several roads and demanding the immediate arrest of the accused. They also waved anti-government slogans.

Senior officials including Deputy Commissioner Munish Kumar, SDM Rajesh Kumar, IG PK Yadav, SSP Ranjit Singh Dhillon and DSP Satnam Singh arrived at the scene and appeased the protesters.

SSP Dhillon assured them that the culprits will be arrested soon. “It is a conspiracy of some evil elements who wanted to disturb the peace in the state. We have taken stock of the situation and are investigating the matter. We will soon catch those behind this incident,” the SSP said. .

The protesters canceled the dharna at the call of Bishop Agnelo Rufino Gracias who arrived there from Jalandhar.

Large numbers of police have been deployed to the area.

Station House Officer (Patti Sadar) Sukhbir Singh said a case had been registered under Sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 452 (intrusion into the house) of the Indian Penal Code.

Meanwhile, CM Mann said: “This is a highly condemnable incident and the strongest measures must be taken against the perpetrators of this heinous crime.”

He said he ordered the DGP to investigate the “unforgivable” incident. “It is the work of the forces hostile to the peace, prosperity and progress of the state,” he said, adding that the incident was aimed at vitiating the peaceful atmosphere of the state and to derail “community harmony and brotherhood”. Mann said the state government would not allow such an attempt to succeed and ensured strict punitive action to deter others from committing similar crimes. “The government will spare no effort to put the perpetrators of this heinous crime behind bars,” he said.

Punjab Congress Leader Amarinder Singh Raja Warring said such incidents are deliberate attempts by some malevolent elements to divide people.

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Shiromani Akali Dal Chairman Sukhbir Singh Badal also condemned the vandalism and demanded exemplary punishment for the perpetrators of this heinous crime. “In line with the teachings of Guru Sahiban, I call on everyone to exercise restraint and respect all religions,” he added.

The incident comes a day after Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) head Harjinder Singh Dhami condemned the alleged efforts of “some so-called Christian missionaries” to convert people.

They also demanded the withdrawal of an FIR against some Nihang Sikhs who were convicted for allegedly disrupting an event organized by Christian missionaries in Daduana village of Amritsar on Monday.

North Livermore Baptist Church – Lewiston Sun Journal


NORTH LIVERMORE – At the August 28 North Livermore Baptist Church service, the congregation was greeted by Pastor Bonnie Higgins at 9.30am to begin the service. The call to worship was sung by Lew and Linda Lyman and the invocation/Lord’s prayer was recited. The hymns sung were “What a Wonderful Savior”, “A Child of the King”, and “Living for Jesus”. The service ended with “Go now in peace”. Linda Lyman is the organist each week. Janet Diaz is the pianist each week. Lew Lyman conducts congregational music each week.

The Church had collected school supplies and backpacks for area schools. A blessing on backpacks filled with school supplies was made during the service.

The sermon, titled “The Will of God in My Life” and the scripture reading from Matthew 6:10. Pastor Bonnie began the service by saying that people always seemed to ask ‘what is God’s will for my life.’ She went on to say that we always ask what we are supposed to do and if we are doing what God wants us to do. To begin with, no one will do the will of God unless they are in a relationship with Jesus. The relationship must be there to hear God, His Will in our life.

What is God’s will for everyone? Jesus explained to the disciples what the Will of God was. It is the same for us, as it is for them. The Will of God is that we have a relationship with Him, that we have accepted Jesus as our personal Saviour. God’s will is that we love him and everyone, including our enemies. His Will is also that we obey Him, to spread His gospel message, to align our desires with His Word, and to willingly put God first in our lives. God’s Will and plan for our lives is to glorify God in everything we do, think and speak. We are to be in worship with him daily.

How do we know if we are in the Will of God? Pray, pray, then pray some more. Always ask God first what his will is in any decision we have to make. God gave us agency, but He wants to guide us in all our decisions. This world is ruled by Satan right now, so as Christians we need to talk to God about the direction of our lives. We must read His Word, the Bible, and pray that God will show us His Will through His Word. We must first seek God and not what the world says and does.

There is a saying that “everything happens for a reason”. Does that mean it’s in the Will of God? The answer is no. We must remember that we live in a fallen world and sometimes Christians do what they want and forget to live what God intended. We are the ones who screw up God’s plans for our lives. God has the perfect plan for our lives, but we choose not to follow his path and take the path that feels right to us. Because of this, we find ourselves in bad situations, out of the Will of God. But our God is a forgiving God and He will put us back on the right path for our lives, the path that leads to Him. Everything happens for a reason is usually said when a person is not in the Will of God and has chosen a path that is heading towards disaster and people believe the saying because they don’t want to take the blame for it. not seeking the Will of God for their life.

The Bible tells us that Jesus did the Will of God. Do you remember the garden the night before Jesus was crucified? Jesus asked his Father to take the cup away from him if it was God’s will. It was not in the Will of God because Jesus was crucified and resurrected so that we could have hope in eternity. In John 6:38 it says “For I came down from heaven, not to do my will, but the will of him who sent me”, Jesus said that his life on earth depended on the will of his Father to him. Jesus came to earth to do His Father’s Will for each of us. He didn’t come to do what He wanted to do; Jesus came to obey his Father.

In our scripture, the goal is not for God to do our will, but for us to do God’s Will, “Thy will be done”. God’s Will is for all men to have a relationship with Him through the saving blood of Jesus Christ and know the truth of His Word and spend eternity with Him.

The announcements in the bulletin were that the congregation will be collecting canned corn for the pantry in September. Bible study is Tuesday at 1 p.m. Upcoming Events: September 3 – Deacon/Trustee meetings, September 18 – Church BBQ. AA meetings are held on Friday evenings at the church.

For more information, see our website at northlivermorebaptistchurch.org. You can email the church at [email protected] Pastor Bonnie’s office hours are Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon.

Kenyan archbishop to electorate amid discord


The Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mombasa in Kenya challenged members of the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) to bridge their differences and work together to conclude the election period in the East African nation despite the disagreement between them.

“Try to work together to conclude this election. Work in harmony, produce the results”, Msgr. Martin Kivuva Musonde said on Sunday August 28, referring to the gubernatorial, parliamentary and neighborhood elections which were to be held on August 29 after being postponed in the August 9 general election.

On August 15, the IEBC President declared Vice President Dr. William Ruto the winner of the tight Presidential election with 50.49% of valid votes, against 48.85% for its main challenger, former Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga.

As Mr. Wafula Chebukati announced, four of the seven IEBC Commissioners held a separate press conference, distancing themselves from the presidential results. They said, “Due to the opaque nature of how this phase has been handled, we cannot take ownership of the results that are to be announced.”

In his address after the celebration of Holy Mass at St. Patrick’s Catholic Parish in the Archdiocese of Mombasa on August 28, Bishop Kivuva said that while Kenyans may not be aware of the cause of the discord between the IEBC commissioners, they must remember “that they have been entrusted with their responsibility by the people of Kenya”.

Rodney Arnold – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper


Rodney Arnold

Posted 6:48 p.m. on Monday, August 29, 2022

August 3, 1946 – August 28, 2022

BUDE – The funeral of Mr. Rodney Arnold, of Meadville, MS will be held Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at Bude Church of God in Bude, MS at 11 a.m. with interment to follow at Midway Cemetery in Meadville, MS. Reverend Will Lott and Reverend Tyson Windom will officiate the services, with Franklin Funeral Home making arrangements. Visitation will be held at Franklin Funeral Home on Tuesday, August 30, 2022 from 5-8 p.m. and will continue on Wednesday, August 30, 2022 at Bude Church of God from 10 a.m. until time of service at 11 a.m.

Rodney slipped from his earth bounds to rest high on this mountain last Sunday morning. He was born August 3, 1946 in Adams County, Mississippi, and died August 28, 2022 in Hammond, Louisiana.

He was a US Army combat injured Purple Heart recipient, Vietnam veteran, and worked in the oil industry before becoming disabled. He enjoyed hunting with his family, gardening and adored his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was active in the Clay Hill Church of God, where he spent some of his happiest days, lending a helping hand when needed. He always had a kind word to say with encouragement to his family and friends while always looking forward to tomorrow. You could see the love in his eyes, his hands and his actions. He will be truly missed.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Samuel Ernest Arnold and Pernie Elizabeth Freeman; ex-wife, Louis Faye Verbeck; son, Kenneth Earl Arnold; paternal grandparents, Robert “Bob” Arnold and Catherine Freeman; maternal grandparents, Archie Freeman and Jannie Grace Graves; siblings, RB, Roddis, Christine, Robert (Dorothy Mitchell), June, BJ (Edith Nell), Eddie V. (Riley Halford and Peewee Myers), Ernestine Cater, Billy Wayne.

The survivors are her children, Rodney Allen Arnold (Debra Otero), Angela Arnold and Rhonda Kay Arnold;

ex-wife, Cookie Shoumaker; children, Samuel Roddis Arnold (Emily Pritchett and Brittany Friley), Chandra (Scott Mayfield), Robbie Robinson, John Robinson; 14 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; maternal aunt, Georgia Mae Freeman Jordan; brother-in-law, James Cater; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and their families; and a host of friends.

The pallbearers are Joshua Arnold, Roman Arnold, Ridge Clanton, Clarence Lilly, Scott Mayfield and Randy Arnold.

Honorary bearers are Peewee Arnold and grandsons Kole Arnold and Conner Mayfield.

To share your condolences, please visit www.franklinfh.com.

Megachurch D-FW pastor steps down, citing inappropriate online relationship with woman


The pastor of a major Dallas-Fort Worth megachurch said he had an inappropriate online relationship with a woman and would retire from preaching and teaching.

Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in Flower Mound, told his congregation on Sunday that the relationship was not sexual or romantic. But elders at the Southern Baptist Church thought the messages shared on Instagram were “reckless and reckless” and “revealed something unhealthy in me,” Chandler said.

“We cannot be a church where anyone is above the scriptures and above the high calling in Jesus Christ,” Chandler said. “The Word of God holds me to a certain level. And I fell short.

The announcement comes at a time when certain entities of the Southern Baptist Convention are facing a federal investigation into sexual abuse, and the denomination recently released an internal report into abuse mishandling.

Chandler said a woman approached him at church several months ago and told him she was concerned about his communications with her friend. He said he didn’t think he did anything wrong initially, as his wife and the woman’s husband knew about the messages.

But Chandler said he found the confrontation “disorienting” and informed another senior pastor and an elder, who reviewed the posts and found the frequency and familiarity concerning.


In a written statement, the church said it hired an independent law firm to review Chandler’s posts on social media platforms, cellphones and emails. The report found that Chandler violated the church’s social media usage policies.

On Sunday, Baptist News wrote that the news “hit an unusual chord at a time when Southern Baptists and other churches are focused on child sexual abuse and marital infidelity.”

The village church is a large and influential Southern Baptist congregation in D-FW. In 2019, a woman sued the church for $1 million and said she was sexually assaulted by a minister and counselor when she was 11.

Church warns of record violence against indigenous peoples in Brazil


SÃO PAULO — Violence against indigenous peoples in Brazil increased in 2021, reaching its highest level since 2013, according to an agency of the episcopal conference.

The Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) said 355 cases of physical violence against indigenous peoples were reported last year, including 176 murders, 20 cases of manslaughter, 12 attempted homicides and 14 acts of sexual violence.

The number of suicides, 148, was the highest on record, according to the report.

“Violence against indigenous peoples has reached a level of extreme cruelty. It has become something commonplace. We had already denounced the increasing violence in 2020, but nothing was done by the government,” said Antonio Eduardo de Oliveira, Executive Secretary of CIMI. Node.

The main reason for this increase was the increase in incursions into indigenous territories. The CIMI report claimed that there were 305 cases of outsiders entering indigenous lands with the intention of taking control of the territory or exploiting their resources. This is the sixth consecutive year that incursions into indigenous lands have multiplied in Brazil.

The number of occurrences in 2021 was almost three times higher than in 2018, a year before conservative President Jair Bolsonaro took office. During his election campaign, he claimed that indigenous peoples had too much land in Brazil and vowed that he would not grant them “an extra square inch” of territory.

He also gave his support to illegal miners and ranchers who invaded indigenous lands. According to CIMI, all of these policies have ended up intensifying the illegal occupation of indigenous reservations.

“Support for these criminals also came in the form of bills to loosen the protection of indigenous lands and allow economic activities within them,” de Oliveira added.

Bill 191 was introduced by Bolsonaro in 2020 with the aim of opening up indigenous territories to mining companies and oil drilling. The proposal provoked several protests from indigenous groups and environmental organizations. It is still debated in Congress.

“The current president has also weakened government environmental agencies and the National Indigenous Foundation, so the number of monitoring and control operations has been drastically reduced. We are absolutely unprotected,” said Adriano Karipuna, a member of the Karipuna people from the state of Rondônia.

Adriano said his people’s territory was first invaded in 2017. The situation quickly deteriorated when Bolsonaro took power in 2019. Today, more than a third of their land is occupied by illegal breeders. Portions of the Amazon rainforest have been replaced with cattle pasture.

“We reported this situation several times to the authorities, but nothing was done,” he said.

Heavy machinery can be heard day and night. Unaccustomed to noisy environments, the Karipuna have trouble sleeping because of the equipment. They also fear that intruders will also attack their village.

“We have received threats from them several times for denouncing their activities. They say they will attack us in the river or on the road. A massive invasion or a murder can happen anytime,” he said.

The expensive machinery employed by these invaders shows that they are not small farmers or laborers, as Bolsonaro repeatedly asserted, Adriano claimed.

“They are part of powerful groups who have the money to carry out their projects,” he said.

Seeking re-election, Bolsonaro told Brazil’s main television channel, Rede Globo, on August 22 that herders’ agricultural equipment could not be destroyed by environmental agents in raids.

“It’s very cynical of him. He obviously protects these people,” said Adriano Karipuna.

On August 12, members of the indigenous group learned that the illegal occupiers of the land were planning to burn large areas in order to accelerate deforestation. On August 15, the forest fires started – and they destroyed large areas of Karipuna territory.

“This kind of orchestrated action shows us that the invaders are backed by powerful people. The current administration encourages this behavior,” said Sister Laura Manso, CIMI agent and member of the Amazon Ecclesial Conference.

Manso has worked with the Karipuna for several years and has seen how the intruders have gradually taken over a large tract of the group’s lands.

“They are under great pressure. They have received several threats. But they have nowhere to go,” she said.

The nun has received several death threats and she says she fears for her life, but that won’t stop her.

“We are part of a Church that believes in life. We know that life always goes on despite so many circumstances of death. We are hopeful for life and we have to keep fighting for it,” Manso said.

The escalation of violence has forced CIMI agents to be extra cautious in recent years. According to de Oliveira, territories that have suffered from large incursions by illegal miners, such as Yanomami land, have also seen the emergence of drug cartels from southeastern Brazil, which has made the region even more dangerous.

“They took advantage of the atmosphere of deregulation and took control of illegal mining in different areas of the Amazon. We had to withdraw our agents from these territories,” he said.

CIMI also advised caution to Indigenous activists across the country. De Oliveira claimed that the number of natives killed in 2021 could have been much higher.

“We are going through a period of violence,” he said.

Many CIMI workers fear things will get chaotic in the final months of 2022. Brazil holds its presidential election in October, pitting Bolsonaro against former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who leads all polls .

“If Lula is elected, the ground invaders could try to step up their actions before Bolsonaro leaves office on December 31. This can be a very dangerous situation for indigenous groups across the country,” de Oliveira said.

Adriano Karipuna says his people won’t see a sudden change even if Lula wins.

“We don’t know how these invaders will react to a change in political power, but we know they won’t leave our land the next day,” he said.

Manso stressed that the land dispute in Brazil is a structural problem and has always been linked to political and economic power.

“That’s why violence against Indigenous peoples is systemic. We know they will always have to fight for their territories,” she said.

Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh undergoes successful spine surgery


PITTSBURGH — Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh underwent successful spinal surgery early Aug. 22 at UPMC Mercy Hospital “to address ongoing issues with collapsing discs,” according to a diocesan statement.

“According to his surgeon, everything went as planned. There were no complications,” the statement said, adding that Bishop “has a history of back problems.” This was his “fifth back surgery,” he said.

The diocese said the procedure requires an extended recovery time, which will prevent the 72-year-old prelate “from appearing in public in the short term.”

“He will still be able to direct the affairs of the diocese from his office at the diocesan pastoral center,” he added.

“We are grateful for the many prayers of the faithful for Bishop Zubik and his surgical team,” the diocese said.

Zubik has been the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh since 2007. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to head the diocese on July 18, 2007, and he was installed at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Pittsburgh on September 28, 2007.

He was consecrated a bishop on April 6, 1997, at St. Paul’s Cathedral to serve as Auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburgh. On October 10, 2003, Saint John Paul II appointed him 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he was installed on December 12, 2003.

Zubik currently serves on a number of committees and boards, including the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; USCCB’s Catholic-Jewish Dialogue; board of directors of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington; Sister Thea Bowman Foundation Board of Trustees; board of trustees (president) of St. Vincent’s Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania; and Board of Trustees of St. Vincent College, Latrobe.

CALLED TO SERVE: Hawkins United Methodist Church pastor called to ministry early – The Vicksburg Post


CALLED TO SERVE: Hawkins United Methodist Church pastor was called to ministry early

Published at 04:00 on Sunday August 28, 2022

At a young age, Harrell Moore knew he was going to be a minister.

“The Lord called me to ministry when I was a teenager,” said the new pastor of Hawkins United Methodist Church. “I was convinced that the Lord was calling me to ministry, so I went to meet our minister and talked to him. He told me about his experience of calling. I talked to my parents and other people – friends – and finally made the decision to submit to the call of God in my life and entered the ministry.

He has served as pastor in several churches and is an elder of the Mississippi Annual Conference.

According to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church, elders are members of the United Methodist clergy who are ordained to a ministry of word, sacrament, order, and service, which which means they preach and teach the Word of God, provide pastoral care and counselling, administer the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, and order the life of the church for service in mission and ministry.

“It takes about 10 years to become an elder,” Moore said. “You go through a process – college, go to seminary; (you) are on probation for three years, then after that you are ordained an elder after being elected by the Mississippi Annual Conference. That’s a lot of things you have to do.

It was a path Moore began to serve first as a local student pastor, graduating from William Carey University in Hattiesburg and receiving a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. , Ga.

Living in Atlanta, as opposed to Mississippi, Moore said, “It was different; it exposed us to many different religious groups that I had never encountered before; not only among Protestants, but even among Hebrews, Judaics, Muslims, different nationalities and different Christians all over the world.

He said the exposure he received to different religions “helps you understand how God has intervened in the lives of people who can express that experience in different ways and emphasize different things than what we do.

“I think it makes us aware of what we believe and what sets us apart from other groups and why they emphasize a different belief about who God is rather than who we think God revealed himself to be. being in the Old and New Testaments and that was very helpful for me; very, very helpful,” Moore said.

Moore’s first assignment as a pastor was at Sanford UMC in North Hattiesburg.

“In the Methodist Church you are assigned to a church by the bishop,” he said.

“I was there for four years,” he said, adding that he had fond memories of the congregation. “I cherish these people in my heart.”

His longest ministry was in Lucedale, George County, where he served for 23 years.

“We raised our family there,” he said, adding that he and his wife were in George County during Hurricane Katrina helping with the recovery.

Moore and his wife Vicki were in Iuka, where he pastored Iuka First Methodist Church before being assigned to Hawkins. The couple have three children and twin granddaughters. They moved to Vicksburg in June and Moore began his ministry as pastor in July.

“We were thrilled to move to Hawkins and start a new ministry here,” he said. “We loved moving to Vicksburg and getting to know the wonderful people here and experiencing the great hospitality here in Vicksburg. It’s amazing the warmth, kindness and kindness. ”

Moore said he and his wife are excited about their future at Hawkins and church ministries.

Hawkins, he said, “is a very mission-oriented church that reaches out, touches the community in so many, many ways. I intend to stay as long as they allow me to stay and be part of this congregation. The selflessness of our people has been very inspiring and helpful to us in bringing about this change.

Stop political predictions, Keyamo tells pastors


Ahead of the 2023 general election, Minister of State for Labor and Employment and spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign organization Festus Keyamo (SAN) advised pastors and other clerics to draw lessons from 2015 and avoid throwing their weight behind certain candidates.

Keyamo, who spoke in an exclusive interview with our correspondents in Abuja, also advised clerics to “face up to their fundamental mandates”.

He said, “Having pastors leaning towards a particular candidate is a good thing for the country, but after their failure, they will now return to their primary mandate. It is a mistake they are making and it is important that they do so. I thought they would have learned their lessons to separate church from politics in 2015; they do not have.

“Only God alone can give and dictate to whom he gives power. God did not give them the mandate to choose who should rule over a nation. However, when you try to make this mistake, God will take over their mandate which is to win souls.

“They made a mistake, threw their number in the ring in 2015 and backed a contestant they lost, same in 2019, and now they do. I’m a Christian, I grew up preaching house to house and we were told they don’t get involved in politics. Their duty is to lead people into the kingdom of God and not into the (presidential) villa. Villa is not paradise. God allows this to happen now because after 2023 they would realize the mistakes they made and they took the church where they shouldn’t have.

When asked about his party’s Muslim-Muslim ticket and allegations of persecution of Christians in Nigeria, the lead attorney said, “There is no ongoing persecution. If they seek to protect their interests, the position of the vice-presidential candidate cannot protect their interests. The Vice President is fully subordinate to the President. If so, why are they mourning (over) the prosecutions under Buhari? Government is run on a tripod; we have the executive, the legislative and the judiciary.

“The only person who can verify and launch an impeachment action against the president is the president of the Senate. The VP cannot do this. If they think that we want to Islamize the country, a statement that is not true, they should go and find someone who will become the president of the Senate and do everything to get him out.

“They don’t make that calculation now. The best calculation is to support the APC. We are likely to produce the majority in the Senate and negotiate how someone who will protect their interests will become the President of the Senate. This is what they should be doing, not the path they are going down.

It is virtually impossible to turn Nigeria into an Islamic country. constitution They have nothing to fear. My candidate’s wife is a pastor, the chapel church will be functional,” he added.

Concerning gender confused youth in the Catholic Church


Concerning Confused Youth in the Catholic Church.

Recently, I participated in a civil discussion about gender-confused youth in the Catholic Church with a fellow Patheos blogger. I also wrote about the coming persecution in light of the Church’s refusal to budge on issues of human sexuality. In all honesty, we know that the Catholic Church cannot change its positions on human sexuality. Since this is the case, what then can the everyday Catholic faithful do when confronted with the problem of gender confusion among young people? What’s at stake? What impact does this issue have on faithful Catholic families? Can we learn anything from medical and phycological professionals who advise caution? And those who regret their transition? Can we learn anything from them? If yes, then what? It is to these questions that this article turns.

Know what’s at stake

With all the back and forth between progressive and conservative Catholics, many get bogged down in emotional arguments over gender ideology. Some even equate those who do not subscribe to affirmative care with gender-confused young people facilitating harm or even death. On the contrary, those who subscribe to a cautious approach do so to lessen the permanent damage caused by hormone therapy and surgery.. Anyone who takes the time to study and reflect on this question does so by care and concern for those concerned, not out of a desire to control or harm. If this is agreed from the outset, the possibility of better dialogue increases. Moreover, no one in the debate believes gender dysphoria a myth. The question to be answered is how to address the larger problem of confused young people, because not all confused young people are gender dysphoric. Safer gender dysphoria later.

Impacts on Faithful Catholic Families

What about faithful Catholic families? These families can’t stand the idea that their child is one way inside and another way outside. They are against hormone therapy and surgery. These parents are also supported by scientists studies, psychology and their Church. Given these facts, what happens when the state disagrees with the parents?

Do those who support positive care also support the state’s removal of a child who identifies as trans from a loving Catholic family who follows the Church‘s teaching on human sexuality? Moreover, would those who support positive care call this loveless family by following Catholic teaching?

Impact of regret on the individual

Moreover, many people regret in transition. Many still suffer from the same issues they had before their transition, but are now permanently scarred. Many are at higher risk of cancer due to hormones treatments. Others are now sterile and unable to experience sexual pleasure due to the surgery. What advice do proponents of positive care give to these people? Would they say to them, “sorry, but back then we saved your life?” Would they accept this answer?

Cultural Phenomenon Vs. Legit Mental Health Crisis

Also, how do you determine if a child is truly gender dysphoric and not just confused and under the influence of social pressure?

According to the New York Post:

“In recent years the number of children with gender dysphoria in the West has skyrocketed. Exact figures are hard to come by, but between 2009 and 2019 the number of children referred for transitional treatment in the UK has increased by 1,000% among biological men and 4,400% among biological women.Meanwhile, the number of young people identifying as transgender in the United States has nearly doubled since 2017, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.(https://nypost.com/2022/06/18/detransitioned-teens-explain-why-they-regret-changing-genders/ )

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention report

How do we as a society determine what is social contagion and what is not? Wouldn’t the cautious course require a cautious approach instead of direct application of hormones and surgery? Also, when it comes to our youth, we as a society set age limits for tattoos, smoking, drinking, and voting, but that doesn’t show up on gender decisions that can have irrevocable consequences. How does that make sense?

Other Disorders: Lessons Learned

Otherwise, gender dysphoria has a correlation with other bodily disorders, particularly bulimia and bodily integrity identity disorder. How would someone who supports affirmative care advise people with bulimia Where bodily integrity identity disorder? Would they affirm bulimics in their disordered body image or would they encourage someone with BIID that they really are paralyzed or have no limbs? So would affirmative care involve paralysis surgery or the removal of unwanted limbs? The obvious answer is comprehensive psychiatric care. The answer is to help people with these disorders recognize their body truth. Only then can they embark on the path to recovery. This course of caution is the best and wisest course.

In fact, gender dysphoria – the official psychiatric term for feeling of the opposite sex – belongs to the family of similar disordered assumptions about the body, such as anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphic disorder. Its treatment should not be directed at the body as with surgery and hormones any more than anorexic patients fearing obesity are treated with liposuction. Treatment should strive to correct the false and problematic character of the assumption and to resolve the psychosocial conflicts that cause it. – Paul McHugh, MD, emeritus university professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and former chief psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

To conclude

In conclusion, caution should drive all discussions about young people with gender confusion. The challenge facing the Catholic Church is not small. As a volunteer with the local parish youth program, I know firsthand the extent of this problem. Confusion among our young people, especially about gender, is currently at an all-time high. Therefore, anyone who cares about this issue should proceed with caution. The positive management involving hormonal treatments and irreversible surgeries testifies to a lack of caution and recklessness. Our young people deserve better from us.


Please see the resources below. I am ready to check everything that is given to me to read, I hope you will do the same.

Male and female, he created them” – educatio.va. (nd). Retrieved August 24, 2022 from http://www.educatio.va/content/dam/cec/Documenti/19_0997_INGLESE.pdf

Schlott, R. (2022, June 19). “I Literally Lost Organs”: Why Detransitioned Teens Regret Changing Sex. New York Post. Retrieved August 27, 2022, from https://nypost.com/2022/06/18/detransitioned-teens-explain-why-they-regret-changing-genders/

Gender dysphoria and sex reassignment surgery. CMS.gov Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (nd). Retrieved August 27, 2022, from https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/view/ncacal-decision-memo.aspx?proposed=N&NCAId=282&bc=ACAAAAAAQAAA&

Person & Identity (a transition group)


Common sense care


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‘We started again’: Bishop’s School talks to rent out its former Jack in the Box property fall through


Plans to rent the La Jolla property that once housed a Jack in the Box fast food restaurant have stalled, prompting The Bishop’s School – which bought the Pearl Street site nearly a year ago – to start looking for a tenant again.

“We were in the process of negotiating a deal with a tenant and the deal fell through late in the process, so we started over, interviewing potential tenants,” Bishop spokeswoman Cathy Morrison said. “It’s a long process, and although we initially thought it would take around nine months, the timeline appears to be taking longer than originally anticipated.”

Bishop’s School completed the purchase of the neighboring property at 564 Pearl St. for $5.5 million on September 30, around the time Jack in the Box quietly closed. The site was to be leased on a short-term basis and later converted for student use which had yet to be determined. The hope was that a tenant would open by this summer.

“While we have long-term aspirations for student use,” there are no plans in place or timelines as to when the building will be redeveloped for its ultimate purpose, Morrison said this week.

“It could be a lot of things,” Bishop’s school principal Ron Kim said at the time of the purchase. “It was about imagining and examining our vision of how we can best learn and grow. Every time we think about the future, we have a desire to expand what we can do. We want to make sure that space constraints won’t prevent us from doing something. We want to imagine greatly.

“We are very attentive to the visibility and location of this property. We want to be a good neighbor and know that people care.

Since the site adjoins campus, location was a factor in the decision to purchase it, Kim said. “It’s a good sized pitch and we know proximity and size give us options.”

When the school is ready to convert the property for use, the plans will be submitted to community groups for review. ◆

Revival Center Church finds temporary home at former JCPenney in Cadillac


Two months after a fire destroyed a church in Cadillac, they found a new home – for now.

The Revival Center Church moves to the old JCPenney in Cadillac while they find a permanent home.

After an early Saturday morning fire in late June that completely destroyed the Revival Center church, the congregation still hasn’t missed a service. And now, two months later, they have a temporary place they can call home. Revival Center church senior pastor Will Markham says it comes at a perfect time.

“We’ve been holding services in the tent for two months, but it’s cold in northern Michigan, so we plan to move here,” Pastor Markham smiles.

They have a six month lease with a three month option thereafter. They say they don’t know what will happen after that. Church

They say they plan to rebuild the old church, but with high costs and shortages they say they will wait. Currently they are in negotiations for more permanent accommodation in the meantime.

“We talked about maybe even at one point having two different Revival Center campuses,” admits Pastor Markham. “So it could be rather than something that hurts us, it makes us grow.”

The associate pastor and the man leading the project, Pastor Scott Bender, says they have seen many people in the community step up and help. revivalcenterchurch1

“As a community, people are ready to help each other. And a lot of times you hear that people aren’t willing, but the people at Cadillac and the surrounding community have said, “look at everything we can do to help you, support you, everything we can do, we help you,” says Pastor Bender.

With their first service at the old department store just three weeks away and the congregation continuing to show their support, Pastor Markham says he was touched by their resilience.

“We said this the day of the fire: the building is gone, but the church is very much alive. And these people move together as one,” says Pastor Markham.

Their first service will be on September 18, but they need padded chairs. If you are able to help, they ask that you call the Revival Center Church at (231) 775-2662.

Black pastor arrested while watering neighbour’s flowers, video shows



Michael Jennings was watering flowers for his out-of-town neighbor in May when an officer approached him. Within minutes he was arrested, handcuffed and in the back of a police cruiser, video released by his lawyer this week shows.

“I’m supposed to be here. I am Pastor Jennings. I live across the street,” he told the officer during the May 22 exchange in his neighbor’s driveway in Childersburg, Ala.

“I watch over their house while they are away, I water their flowers,” he added.

The 20 minute video captured his subsequent arrest. An initially friendly encounter with three officers escalated when Jennings refused to show ID, accused police of racially profiling him, threatened to sue and dared them to arrest him. After the two sides got into a shouting match, officers did just that, accusing Jennings in the video of obstructing a government operation, a charge that was dismissed in June by a city judge, one of his lawyers, Harry Daniels, in A declaration.

The Childersburg Police Department did not immediately respond to a Washington Post request for comment Thursday evening. Jennings said ABC News he cooperated with the police even though he was agitated because he feared being shot.

“Being chained and having your freedom taken away is something else. It’s dehumanizing, and I thought, ‘Why would they do that?’ It’s something that gives you nightmares,” he said during the interview. Jennings, 56, was a pastor at Vision of Abundant Life Church for over 30 years.

Jennings’ account echoes events in recent years in which police have been called to black people engaged in everyday activities – grilling, swimming in a pool, viewing a home with a real estate agent, bird watching or trying to get into their own building. In one incident in 2018, a white woman in San Francisco threatened to call the police about an 8-year-old girl selling bottled water without a license. Such incidents led people to create the hashtag #LivingWhileBlack.

‘You know why the lady called the police’: Black people face 911 calls for harmless acts

The chain of events that ended with Jennings’ arrest began when one of his neighbors, not recognizing him, called 911 to report a suspicious person outside his neighbors’ house. The couple who lived there had left town.

Body camera video shows that when the first officer arrived, he greeted Jennings with a “Hi,” and Jennings responded by saying, “Hey, man, how are you?” It went from there.

The officer told Jennings that someone had called the police to report a strange man around the house who was “not supposed to be here”. Jennings identified himself as “Pastor Jennings” and said he lived across the street. When the officer asked for ID to prove this, Jennings balked, saying he had done nothing wrong.

“You want to lock me up, lock me up. I’m not showing you anything,” Jennings said. “I will continue to water these flowers. I don’t care who called you. Lock me up and see what happens.

Alabama Law allows law enforcement to require a person in a public space to identify themselves, give their address and explain their actions if the officer “reasonably suspects” that person has committed or is about to commit a crime or other public offence.

In their statement, Jennings’ attorneys said their client did not have to provide police with identification because “he was not in a public place.”

A black couple say an appraiser underestimated them. So they “whitewashed” their home and say the value has skyrocketed.

After refusing to provide identification, Jennings walked away. Officers followed him and handcuffed him before the two parties got into a shouting match. The officer who first approached Jennings then proceeded to arrest him, the video shows.

Minutes later, after Jennings was handcuffed and in the back of the cruiser, the woman who called police came out to speak to officers at their request, the video shows. She told police she knew Jennings, he lived nearby, and she wouldn’t have been surprised if her neighbors had asked her to water their flowers while they were away.

“They are friends, and they went out of town today. He may be watering their flowers. It would be totally normal,” she said, adding, “It’s probably my fault.”

Jennings’ attorneys said the body camera footage revealed evidence that paved “the way for legal action against the officers.”

“This video clearly shows that these officers decided to arrest Pastor Jennings less than five minutes after pulling over, then tried to rewrite history by claiming he had not identified himself when it was the first thing he did,” Daniels said. “It wasn’t just an unlawful arrest. It’s a kidnapping. It is irrational, irresponsible and illegal.

Jennings told ABC News he was considering filing a racial discrimination lawsuit against the department. Either way, he wants to do something that keeps someone else from going through what he’s been through.

“It’s been exhausting,” he told NBC News, “and I really hope there’s change.”

Chicago Parish School to Offer Free Classes


On August 22, 2022, the Church of Shiloh voted unanimously to make tuition free for families wishing to give their children access to a Christian education.

In the announcement, Pastor John Boston II, said their goal was to “do everything we can to give the children of Chicago the best chance we can give. Nothing does it better than Christian education.

Chicago Seventh-day Adventist Christian School is nestled in the heart of Chicago’s South End and since 1913 has served generations of students from kindergarten through 8th grade.

We asked Boston to find out more about this new initiative which has garnered positive reviews since its announcement.

– Debbie Michel Herald of Lake Union editor

Church, on the first day of school welcoming the children.” loading=”lazy”/>
Diedre Garnett, Lake District Superintendent of Education; Kathryn KylePrincipal; John Boston, pastor of Shiloh Church, on the first day of school welcoming the children.

PM:Why was it necessary to make this bold move?

JB:We could not afford to do nothing in this area. Chicago’s Southside is riddled with news violence. This Adventist school is probably one of the most viable opportunities to make a difference in this community. Many urban Adventist schools and churches are not functioning well. We believe at Shiloh that our path to healing our community is through Christian education. Currently, we have initiated discussions with local and international anti-human trafficking agencies: 16,000 young girls are trafficked into Chicago every year. That’s two every hour. It was time for us to come out and stand apart. Jesus is coming soon and we need all the tools available to reach the hearts of the people around us.

PM:Free is not really free since eventually someone will have to pay. How will it be funded?

JB:It is absolutely true. Salvation is free, but ministry costs. We have a limit on the number of children the school can handle to keep the student-teacher ratio in line with the policy. We want a quality education for all children and an enriching experience for the whole family. The historic Chicago Shiloh Church decided to step out in faith and God did not disappoint with the provision.

We are using the entire evangelism budget for the remainder of 2022 and the first half of 2023. Christian education is probably the most effective form of evangelism and discipleship we have. In addition to this, the church has historically set aside a considerable sum for the ministry of education and there are several donors who have given to this area over the years.

The latest piece comes from donors in Chicago and around the world who want to help make that kind of difference. This is a need-based scholarship. Once a family applies, we apply the necessary spiritual care to ensure that we make room for their children in every way possible. Some parents can afford to sacrifice money to place their children in this school, but we want to make sure they don’t have to choose between meals, gas, rent and tuition. We step in to get tuition where they can’t manage it. For some it means 100%, for others it means much less. Ultimately, we will not allow tuition to be a barrier for families who come to us.

PM:What does the church hope to accomplish with all of this?

JB:Exponential growth! Really, we want the floodgates of change in our community to flow through the church and the school. Jesus is coming soon and if we want to make a radical difference, we must take radical action. If I had to crystallize this, I would say that we want:

  1. All the children in our community are learning from the Lord. We will journey through School, Sabbath School, Pathfinders, Adventurers, Family Ministries, VBS and whatever else we are led to pursue.

  1. We would like to see the church experience a powerful transformation as a result of exercising this type of faith and sacrifice.

  1. The birth of an evolving and sustainable model. I believe we have been in miracle territory since that announcement and the story has yet to be told. We have no idea what will happen at the end of this story, but we do know that we intend to give it our all and watch God do something amazing.

Debbie Michel is the communications director of the Lake Union Conference and Herald of Lake Union editor.

The diocesan pastoral congress: it’s for everyone


Friday, August 26, 2022

By special at the Intermountain Catholic

“No, I will not attend the Diocesan Pastoral Congress. This is just for catechists and people who teach in the religious education program of the parish, isn’t it? »

“Not quite right,” I replied, “Let me explain.”

My friend’s question illustrates a common misunderstanding. The Diocesan Pastoral Congress offers all adults an invitation to come together for times of prayer, learning, sharing and spiritual enrichment. Our Congress welcomes adults to learn more about our beautiful faith. The theme for 2022, “Eucharist: Life, Joy and Thanksgiving,” fits perfectly with the goal of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan to expand offerings for adult faith formation. Our concentration on the Eucharist will bring to each of us a deeper awareness of “the source and the summit of the Christian life”.

Why should adults who are not catechists attend Congress? Referring to the celebration of the Eucharist, Sacrosanctum Conciliumthe Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy underlines our need for formation in the faith of adults: “The Church therefore ardently desires that the faithful of Christ, when witnessing this mystery of faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators.” (SC,48).

A quick review of our history in the Diocese of Salt Lake City reveals a Church consistently responding to the needs of God’s people in Utah. In the 1960s, Bishop Joseph L. Federal, sixth bishop of Salt Lake City, attended the opening and all sessions of the Second Vatican Council in Rome. From his experience, Bishop Federal concluded that it was necessary to bring Utah’s catechists and religious educators together for an annual meeting. He brought them together by offering prayers, educational sessions and opportunities for spiritual guidance. Bishop Federal became the founder of the first religious education congress in the Diocese of Salt Lake City. Offerings and attendance at the annual meeting increased significantly under Bishop Federal’s successors, Bishop William K. Weigand and Bishop George H. Niederauer. The growing Hispanic community has facilitated the expansion of speakers and offerings to be presented in Spanish.

By the 2000s, with the opening of Juan Diego Catholic High School and the availability of a new auditorium and classrooms, adults attending the annual convention grew to a crowd of over 600. of the Right Reverend John C. Wester, ninth Bishop of Salt Lake City, in 2007, the Congress emphasized adult religious education offerings with specialized presentations for attendees interested in the enrichment of marriage, the scriptures , Catholic social teaching, traditions of prayer, stewardship, vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, lay church ministry, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), and liturgical ministries.

In 2018, our current bishop, Bishop Oscar A. Solis, unveiled a new diocesan pastoral plan during Congress, a plan that was initiated by Bishop Wester before he left for New Mexico. One of the priorities of the Pastoral Plan includes the expansion of adult faith formation and what was once a religious education convention has become an event open to all interested laity and clergy.

In March 2020, the Covid pandemic necessitated many changes. All masses and public gatherings, including the Diocesan Pastoral Congress, have been cancelled. Many people in our communities have experienced dramatic changes in their religious routines as a result of the Covid pandemic. As in the past, the Catholic Church in Utah has made effective accommodations during difficult times. Our churches are now open and we are exploring new methods of adult faith formation.

The Diocesan Pastoral Congress was offered remotely in 2021. This year, all the faithful are invited to gather on September 17 in their parishes or missions to share live presentations and discussions on the theme “Eucharist: life, joy and thanksgiving”.

Filled with hope, we continue to build on the programs envisioned by our bishops.

The U.S. Catholic Bishops have announced a national Eucharistic revival over the next three years, and this time of study and prayer will bring refreshment and renewal. As Chief Catechist and Shepherd of our Diocese, Bishop Solis invites all adults to reflect on the Eucharist at the upcoming Congress in 2022. Hopefully, we will experience a historic and prophetic message from Vatican II. “From the liturgy therefore, and above all from the Eucharist, grace flows over us as from a fountain…” (CS, 10)

Susan Northway is director of the Salt Lake City Diocese Faith Formation Office. Contact her at [email protected]

WHAT: Pastoral Congress 2022

WHEN: Saturday 17 Sept.

WHERE: Individual parishes

Keynote speeches will be streamed live and attendees will be able to ask questions of the presenters. Contact your parish for details on time and location.

Community calendar from Thursday August 25 to Wednesday August 31 – The Crested Butte News


Gunnison Center for the Arts:
• Main gallery: “Life in the West” by Cheri Isgreen.
• Café Galerie: “Balance” Tiny Treasures Gunnison Arts Center Fundraiser.
CB Center for the Arts:
• Kinder Padon Gallery: “Forces of Nature” by Lynn Rushton Leed (until 2 September).

• 7:30 am Open AA meeting: Crack of Dawn panel discussion, Union Congregational Church, 349-5711.
• 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Weekly presentation of the Rotary Club of Crested Butte with Greg Wiggins of the Gunnison County Electric Association at the CB Center for the Arts.
• 11am Alexander String Quartet with CB Music Festival at CBMR, crestedbuttemusicfestival.org.
• 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm St. Mary’s Garage is open for purchasers and donations.
• 4:00-6:00 PM CB South Farmer’s Market at Red Mountain Park (until 9/29).
• 5-6 p.m. Oh Be Joyful/Gunnison Food Pantry Food Bank at 625 Maroon Ave. 970-349-6237. (1st and 3rd Thursday)
• 5:30 p.m. Ups and Downs with Drew Petersen at the CB Center for the Arts.
• 6:30 p.m. Open AA Meeting: 11-Step Meditation at Union Congregational Church, 349-5711.

• 10am-11:30am Walking tours of historic Elk Avenue with the Crested Butte Museum, meet in front of the museum at 4th and Elk, 970-349-1880.
• noon Closed AA Meeting: Readings from Living Sober at Union Congregational Church, 349-5711.
• 2-8 pm The Gunnison Valley League of Women Voters will have voter information and activities at IOOF Park in Gunnison.
• 6 pm Live music at Talk of the Town.
• 6:30 pm Annual Meeting of the High Country Conservation Advocates featuring Paul Andersen at the CB Center for the Arts.
• 9 pm Better Together – Live music supporting CB State of Mind at the Public House, publichousecb.com.

• 7:30 am Open AA Meeting: Big Book Study at Union Congregational Church, 349-5711.
• 8:30 am Gunnison High Tri, more info on gunnisontri.com.
• 1:00-3:00 pm Celebration of Life for Mickey Cooper at Rainbow Park BC.
• 4-6 p.m. Adventure Talk: Brianna Madia at the CB Library, 349-6535.
• 5:00 pm Subject to change Evening of comedy improvisation with the CB Mountain Theater at the Mallardi Cabaret Theater (show for all ages), cbmountaintheatre.org.
• 6 pm Live music with Rachel Van Slyke at Tully’s.
• 6:00 pm Alexander String Quartet with CB Music Festival at WCU in Gunnison, crestedbuttemusicfestival.org.
• 6:30 p.m. Open AA Meeting: Literature at Union Congregational Church, 349-5711.
• 8 pm Subject to change Improv evening with the CB Mountain Theater at the Mallardi Cabaret Theater (show 18+), cbmountaintheatre.org.

• 9 am to 2 pm Crested Butte Farmers Market on Elk Avenue.
• 9:30am-2pm Artists from CB Art Market in the parking lot at the top of Elk Avenue.
• 3 pm Live music with Rachel Van Slyke at the Eldo.
• 4-5pm Gunnison Valley Queer Women (GVQW) monthly peer support group for LGBTQ+ women in the Gunnison Valley every last Sunday of every month upstairs in the CB Chamber of Commerce Boardroom.
• 5:00 p.m. All Saints in the Mountains Episcopal Church service at UCC, 403 Maroon Ave.
• 6:00 pm Open AA meeting: Discussion on the subject at the Union Congregational Church, 349-5711.

• 1 pm A Brief History of 20th Century Music with the CB Music Festival at the CB Library, crestedbuttemusicfestival.org.
• 7:30 p.m. Open AA Meeting: Reading favorite great books at Union Congregational Church, 349-5711.

• 7:30 am Open AA Meeting: AA Mediation and Al-Anon at Union Congregational Church, 349-5711.
• noon Closed AA Meeting: Came to Believe Readings at Union Congregational Church, 349-5711.
• 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm St. Mary’s Garage is open for purchasers and donations.
• 4 to 7 p.m. Live music with Rachel Van Slyke at Izakaya Cabin.
• 8 pm Subject to change Improv evening with the CB Mountain Theater at the Mallardi Cabaret Theater (show 18+), cbmountaintheatre.org.

• 8:30 Hike with HCCA. Register at hccacb.org.
• 8:30 am Free T’ai Chi sessions at Three Ladies Park, all levels are welcome.
• 10am-11:30am Elk Avenue Walking Tours with Crested Butte Museum, meet in front of the museum at Fourth and Elk, 970-349-1880.
• noon Closed AA meeting: 12 Step & 12 Tradition Study at Union Congregational Church, 349-5711.
• Noon Yoga in the garden of the Mt. Crested Butte Wedding Garden Pavilion (Wednesday through 9/28).
• 5:30-7:00 p.m. Midweek on Main Street live music at IOOF Park in Gunnison.
• 5:30-7:00pm CB Community School Back to School Bash at CBCS.
• 8:00 pm Basketball for adults at CBCS High School gymnasium. Enter through the gates of Tommy V Field.

A new book by Pastor Ken Claytor of Alive Church reveals how churches can help bridge the racial divide


A pastor’s call to unite believers in Jesus Christ from all walks of life has published a book that reflects the mission of his ministry.

Alive Church Pastor Ken Claytor’s book titled “As It’s in Heaven” was released on August 7 and the book signing was held at the church’s location in Gainesville, located at 5805 NW 37th St., after Sunday morning worship at church.

The book provides insight into how a church that truly looks like heaven can help heal a racially divided nation.

“It’s been a lot of sacrifice and rewards,” Claytor said. “The big reward is seeing change in people’s lives. We’re used to changing lives, fighting addictions, and fixing marriages.”

Claytor was born in West Virginia and studied business at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, and later worked in real estate in the Washington DC area.

Claytor says God called him to move to Gainesville to continue his ministry he started as “Spirit of Faith” in 2005. In 2007, Claytor and his wife, Tabatha Claytor, moved to Gainesville from Washington DC.

“The only time I was in Gainesville was when I raced at the Junior Olympics,” said Ken Claytor. “I didn’t know anyone in town.”

His ministry in Gainesville started with five people in their living room and they met weekly at the Phillips Performing Arts Center located on the University of Florida campus after hosting services at Thelma Bolton Center and a building on North 15th Street -east and 23rd ave.

A few years later, God began to birth a new vision in his heart, a vision that would bring people together regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status.

“It’s a barrier that God wants us to break down,” Claytor said. “I wanted the church to look like heaven. I wanted the church to show unity regardless of race because we are united in heaven.”

In 2014, Alive Church was launched and now, every Sunday, hundreds of people are reached at its Orlando and Gainesville campuses and online.

Claytor has been married to his wife Tabatha for over 20 years and has three children – Hannah, Charity and Kenny.

Claytor said the hardest part of writing the book was being vulnerable. He said he faced racism in middle and high school and how we overcame it.

“God delivered me from that to bring people together regardless of their complexion,” Claytor said. “God has given me the grace to speak on difficult subjects. There is a boldness and a kingdom perspective that is needed. It is a perspective that needs to be heard and I want to obey God. The church should show the path in unity.”

Claytor said the book has personal experiences and provides readers with tools they can use to create racial unity in their lives that resembles the kingdom of God.

“This book lasted 10 years,” Claytor said. “I wrote this book for pastors, leaders and everyday believers. It is refreshing regardless of race and they will feel closer to Jesus. It has tools for someone to be a part of the solution.”

Pastors Jimmy and Sheri Still joined Alive Church five years ago on Easter Sunday.

They come from Kentucky where they went to a Pentecostal church, and they said

Claytor’s book reflects the man and the vision he preaches about racial unity every Sunday.

“He talks about it and he shows it every Sunday,” Jimmy Still said. “It does the will of God. Every pastor in America needs this book. Leaders are readers.”

Patrick Namiotka, a youth leader at Alive Church, said Claytor’s commitment and dedication to bringing people together, regardless of race, is a testament to his leadership as a pastor to carry out the mission. of unity and love of Jesus.

“Healing the racial divide has been in his heart ever since I met him,” Namiotka said. “Some churches do not want change. We know that Sunday is the most segregated day. [Claytor] has been brilliant with his intentions to break this cycle. One day he preached to the congregation to invite different races into their homes. It’s his real heart.”

Labor Davis said he had attended Alive Church for 11 years.

During this time, he saw the evolution of Claytor’s ministry and his vision unfold.

“It’s the most needed message in the church culture of this generation,” Davis said. “This book and this message explains the why and the how. That’s why the church is so diverse. It’s amazing to see him still standing in faith and having his character intact in the face of challenges. Watching him preach the message is powerful.”

Pastors Melanie and Neil Guistwite are the first couple Claytor married in a wedding ceremony, and were also there with Claytor when his ministry was established.

“We love the word that pastors Ken and Tabatha teach,” Melanie Guistwite said. “It’s non-denominational and straight out of the Bible. The Bible comes alive with its teachings.”

She said Claytor was chosen to bring the vision of Heaven on Earth to life.

“I believe he is the right person through whom God speaks,” Melanie Guistwite said. “He never renounces the mission that God has entrusted to him.”

She said the book is a great tool for creating racial unity in the world as God intended.

“The book is a labor of love and it really builds a world that feels like heaven,” Guistwite said. “If we really want to be like Jesus, we have to start with churches. I work for God and what an honor it is to be on this journey with pastors.”

To order Pastor Claytor’s book, “As It’s in Heaven,” visit www.kenclaytor.com.



Milo Center Methodist

Branchport Methodist

We keep hearing people tell us how much they look forward to our next chicken barbecue. This makes us very happy! We are blessed to have so many community members contributing their talents to make this a success. Thank you all!

So here’s the info to mark on your calendars: Saturday, September 3, from 4:30 p.m. while supplies last, is our annual Labor Day Weekend Chicken BBQ. The cost is $12 for adults, $6 for children under 10, and $6 for just half a chicken. Besides the chicken, we will have potatoes, coleslaw, beans, rolls and cookies. We would love for you to join us!

We had another annual event on Sunday, August 14 – a joint worship service with all area Methodist churches at Indian Pines Park. We enjoyed perfect weather, beautiful music and inspiring messages and prayers. The offering went to Habitat for Humanity to help them help others.

We continue to pray for all who suffer in this world, be it war, famine, pain, grief or disease. We invite you to join us on Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m.

First Presbyterian

Many members of our congregation and community may not know which accomplished pianist FPC is blessed to have as their resident organist, along with Mr. Chris Han. Pastor Paul suggested a column about Chris and the invitation and grant Chris received for a summer program at one of the most prestigious summer music festivals in the world. He was selected to attend the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, at the Château de Fontainebleau, not far from Paris. The castle was previously the summer residence and hunting ground for seven centuries of the French monarchy. Famous architects, sculptors and painters have resided here over the centuries and eventually schools of art were established. The illustrious French Conservatoire became involved in the United States during World War I, when the resident director of the Conservatoire, Francis Casadesus, was asked by General Pershing to help improve the performance of American military bands. After World War I, and with the help of a large grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, in 1921 the American Conservatory was established in the Louis XV wing of Fontainebleau. This school has hosted some of the best, brightest and most promising music students from around the world, for example; Aaron Copeland, Quincy Jones and Robert Levin. Here, these young performers continue their education, hone their skills and hone their techniques. Music students from the United States are selected to attend master classes with world-renowned composers, conductors and music teachers. They perform in front of a small audience in the Louis XV wing and in the outdoor pavilions and surrounding gardens.

One of the concert halls in which Chris Han performed in Fontainebleau, one of the castle's 1,500 halls.  Now there is a place to spend a summer vacation!

As a doctoral student at the Eastman School of Music, Chris was awarded the Robert Casadesus Fellowship. The scholarship bears the name of Mr. Casadesus, former director general of the Conservatory for 20 years and former pianist of Ravel. Only one scholarship is awarded each year to an outstanding pianist from the Eastman School. Chris said the program was intense, although he said, “in a good way”. He spent his first month in a contemporary music theory class, required to complete his doctorate. The second month was the “fun” month. He has met and collaborated with students from various famous music schools such as; Colburn, Curtis, Harvard and Julliard. He took lessons from several distinguished faculty members. Two faculties to note; Robert Levin, who is best known for completing many of Mozart’s unfinished works, including Mozart’s Requiem in D minor. Also Jay Gottlieb, who worked with Casadesus in Fontainebleau, is a laureate of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation and has performed as a soloist with many symphony orchestras around the world. Chris enjoyed his lesson with Jay the most. Asked about sightseeing in Paris, Chris replied “there was no time!”

While Chris has been on other summer music programs in the US, Europe, Israel and Asia, this was by far his favorite. Apparently they were also impressed with him. Students are usually only allowed to attend once, but he has been personally invited by the program president to return.

Penn Yan First Baptist

On the last Sunday of August, we will welcome back Reverend Mark Slomski to share his message with us. On the first Sunday in September, there will be a combined service in Yates County Court with First Baptist, St. Mark’s Episcopal, First Presbyterian and Penn Yan Methodist attending. Bring your lawn chair. Keep in mind that in the event of inclement weather, the service will be moved inside First Baptist Church. If you wish to mark on your calendars, the pulpit provision for September will be as follows: September 11, Rev. Don Lawrence; September 18, Dale Wakley; September 25, Dale Wakley.

We would like to thank The Chronicle-Express for being a voice and a platform for all the churches in our region.

Bluff Point Methodist

Last Sunday, Methodist churches in Yates County all came together for a combined service. The messages and the weather were all perfect for worshiping together. The offer was to benefit our local Habitat for Humanity, which has done so much to help others in our community.

On August 26, we will have our last outdoor ice cream party together. Remember how much fun it was this summer seeing our friends and enjoying a summer treat together? August 31 will be our back-to-school party. Now is the time to think about school after a hot and sunny summer!

As we are now at the end of summer, let's not forget to look and admire the little things that make our region and our works so special!

Sincere condolences to the family of Dr. John Condemi. Dr. Condemi had a summer residence on the Bluff. He and his late wife Carol often worshiped with us in the past when they were at their lakeside home.

It is sad to think that in mid-September these newspaper columns and our local newspaper will be no more, after 198 years of continuous operation. So many enjoyed the weekly Church briefs and news, as well as the local sports, schedules, headlines, and historical articles that The Chronicle-Express carried. It was a good race, it just doesn’t seem long enough. Maybe somehow another format or another mechanism will be put in place so that we can take advantage of the characteristics of a small town weekly local newspaper. Thanks to John Christensen and former staff, including Gwen Chamberlain, for all of your hard work on our local scene, for all of your writing and photography! We appreciate that we have been able to bring news and events from our church to the community.

Why is Daniel’s law not a law? Federal justice needs protection


Following the FBI’s execution of a lawful search warrant at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate to recover documents allegedly taken during his exit from the White House, threats against public servants have reached unprecedented levels. The Florida magistrate who approved the warrant has received multiple death threats and numerous anti-Semitic slurs, while his home address has been published on several right-wing websites.

On August 12, an outdoor Shabbat service at his synagogue was canceled for security reasons. In Ohio, a man wearing a body armor attempted to break into FBI headquarters in Cincinnati before being killed in a shootout with police. Several posts by the attacker on Donald Trump’s Truth Social website urged the so-called “patriots” to come to Florida and kill all federal agents.

Congress has proven it can act quickly to keep federal judges safe. Six days after a man was arrested for attempted murder outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh (armed with a Glock 17 with two magazines and ammunition, a tactical knife, spray pepper spray, hammer, screwdriver, crowbar, zip ties, and duct tape), Congress overwhelmingly approved increased security for Supreme Court justices and members of their family.

Today, the need to protect all federal judges is acute. The US Marshall’s Service reports that in 2014, 768 “inappropriate communications” were made to judges and court employees. Last year, that figure rose to 4,511. This summer, a retired Wisconsin judge was murdered by a defendant he had previously sentenced to six years in prison for burglary. The suspect carried a list of others he intended to kill, including Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). US Second Circuit Judge Richard J. Sullivan, chairman of the Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Safety, said: “Judges should not have to fear retaliation for doing their job.

The danger posed to federal judges was made painfully clear with the 2020 murder of 20-year-old Daniel Anderl. Anderl, the only son of Federal District Judge Esther Salas, was shot in the heart by a man at the judge’s front door posing as a Fed Ex driver.

The killer, a self-proclaimed ‘anti-feminist lawyer’, had a years-long case before Judge Salas protesting the government’s ban on requiring women to sign up for conscription. Salas’ husband Mark was also seriously injured in the attack. The suspect then committed suicide, but authorities found a list of other potential targets he intended to kill. When Judge Salas was nominated by Barack Obama in 2010 to become the first Hispanic to serve on the Federal District Court, she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee with her family proudly seated behind her. Judge Salas told the committee that her smiling son, Daniel, was “really thrilled” with his appointment.

For two years, Judge Salas has been an ardent defender of Daniel Anderl’s Law on judicial security and the protection of personal information. Popularly known as Daniel’s Law, the legislation would remove federal judges’ personal information, including home addresses and names of family members, from public access.

The legislation has been endorsed by the American Bar Association and the National Association of Attorneys General. He enjoys strong bipartisan support in Congress. By a vote of 21 to zero, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the measure and sent it to the Senate. Anderl’s home state senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey urged his immediate review.

But once that motion was introduced, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul opposed, arguing that the legislation should be changed to include members of Congress. The senses. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced legislation protecting the privacy of members of Congress, and their proposal is being considered by the Judiciary Committee. Despite Booker’s argument that Daniel’s law is “ready, now”, Paul continued to oppose and the bill was shelved. Booker called the inaction “cruel”, while a disappointed Judge Salas watched the dismal proceedings from the Senate gallery.

Daniel Anderl was a rising junior at the Catholic University of America where I currently work. Anderl’s death was deeply felt across campus. Gerald Sharpe, a university student at the time, said Anderl “had a big heart, a positive attitude and a memorable smile”. During his funeral, a message was delivered on behalf of Pope Francis offering his condolences and calling for “an end to senseless violence and to work for justice, healing and peace”.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health quashing Roe v. Wade, Cardinal Wilton Gregory called on all citizens to ensure that “all of life’s problems are adequately addressed.” The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also urged all elected officials to “enact laws and policies that promote and protect the most vulnerable among us.”

Daniel’s law presents a unique opportunity for church leaders to fulfill these commitments. But the Catholic Church has been strangely quiet. Neither Cardinal William Gregory, nor the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, nor the Catholic University have issued any statements supporting Daniel’s law. Other lay Catholic leaders have been equally silent.

A plaque honoring Daniel Anderl displayed outside the Catholic University law school says he “offered his life as an act of love”. Catholics should call for the immediate passage of Daniel’s Law when Congress resumes in September.

Cory Booker says passing it would be an “act of mercy”. The Daniel Anderl law on judicial security and the protection of privacy is ready to be passed by Congress. Daniel Anderl’s parents have waited long enough.

John Kenneth White is a professor of politics at the Catholic University of America.

Church Receives City Blessing for ‘Safe Parking’ Program | New


Palo Alto’s First Congregational Church got the go-ahead Monday to launch a “secure parking” program for homeless people after the city council rejected an appeal from church neighbors.

The council voted 5-2, with Vice Mayor Lydia Kou and council member Greg Tanaka dissenting, to reaffirm the Department of Planning and Community Environment’s decision to approve the program. This decision was appealed by a group of neighbours, some of whom attended the meeting and argued that the program would pose a safety hazard to the area around the church.

“I don’t think it’s safe for our kids to bring in people who haven’t been properly vetted,” said Randy Stolenberg, who lives near the church.

But most of the nearly 20 residents who addressed the council urged members to approve the scheme without further delay. Many pushed back against callers’ suggestions that homeless people are more prone to crime than other residents.

“Housing is a human right and while this effort will not provide real housing, because we can still do better on this, it is a start and the bare minimum of what we can do to protect and ensure the right to dignity for everyone in our community,” said Anna Toledano, a city resident who is working on a doctorate at Stanford University. it is an evil or a danger. In fact, vehicle occupants are at significant risk of becoming victims of crime themselves.”

With the council’s blessing, First Congregational Church will be able to roll out the program in a small parking lot that faces Embarcadero Road. Participants will be allowed to park there between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. and will receive case management from Move Mountain View, a nonprofit that runs similar programs in Mountain View and two other Palo Alto courses.

Todor Ganev, who lives near the church and appealed, pushed back against some speakers’ characterization that he and other critics of the program are “NIMBYs” who don’t care about the homeless. Ganev, who lives on Embarcadero, argued in the appeal that parking spaces should be moved to the main church grounds along Louis Road.

“We want to work together,” Ganev said on Monday. “We want to make sure we have a reasonable compromise and an acceptable solution. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and our concerns were all but ignored.”

Church officials had told The Weekly they felt the backyard was more suitable because it provides a quieter, more secluded space for program participants. The church also plans to install a portable bathroom next to the parking spaces.

The Rev. Eileen Altman, the church’s associate pastor, said the church held many meetings with neighbors and made many compromises before submitting its application. She urged the board to keep the appeal on its “consent schedule,” a list of items that are approved by a single vote and with minimal discussion.

“We are convinced, along with city staff, that where we landed is the best place to house safe parking and we encourage you to approve it as part of your consent program tonight,” said Altman said.

Ganev and other opponents have asked the board to withdraw the consent appeal and schedule a full public hearing on the church’s request. But because this action requires three voices, Kou and Tanaka lost one voice to keep the call alive.

“For something that has so much passion, so much interest, there should have been more discussion about it,” Tanaka said, explaining his vote.

Kou, co-author of the memo that led to the establishment of secure parking programs, said she was disappointed with the acrimony the program generated and lamented that the city did not could propose a regulatory framework for the program of the church. that would have satisfied all parties.

“There are a lot of nasty things that were said tonight and it’s a shame it’s so divisive and putting one (neighbor) against the other when we’re all trying to do the right thing,” said Kou.

Alabama boy among victims sexually exploited by young New Jersey pastor in online ruse, prosecutors say


An Alabama boy is among more than a dozen victims of a sexual exploitation scheme perpetrated by a young New Jersey pastor who posed as a teenage girl online and used blackmail to bring victims to perform sexual acts for him, prosecutors said.

Sean Higgins, a 31-year-old pastor in Palmyra, NJ, was indicted by a grand jury on 75 counts, including endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated sexual assault, touching criminal sexual offences, cyber-harassment and obscenity against a minor, Burlington, NJ County District Attorney LaChia L. Bradshaw said in a statement.

Higgins allegedly carried out the scheme in 2020, when he was youth pastor and music leader at Harbor Baptist Church in New Jersey and a teacher at Harbor Baptist Academy, a private K-12 school in that establishment.

To date, 13 victims have been identified.

The youth pastor allegedly posed as a teenage girl named Julie Miller on Snapchat and Instagram and befriended the underage victims. He then persuaded victims to send him nude photos of themselves while Higgins sent victims photos of a teenage girl.

Higgins would then send the victims a screenshot of their social media friend lists and threaten to send the nude photos to their friends unless the victims did as he demanded, Bradshaw alleged.

In most of the cases investigated by authorities, the youth pastor would have his victims go into a bathroom in their home and have them perform a sexual act on themselves while Higgins recorded the act.

The investigation began after a youngster from Pennsylvania contacted Snapchat and reported that he had sent nude photos of himself to someone he thought was an unknown woman but turned out to be Higgins.

An underage boy in Alabama also reported Higgins’ behavior to authorities, Bradshaw said.

Higgins has been imprisoned since 2020 in New Jersey after being taken into custody at his home.

Several electronic devices were seized during search warrants executed at Higgins’ home and church.

‘I’m always looking over my shoulder’: the anxiety of Russians in Estonia | Estonia


Father Grigory Borisov offers a prayer for Ukraine each day in a special liturgy at Lasnamäe Church, a towering, whitewashed Russian Orthodox place of worship in the center of the Estonian capital’s most populous suburb, Tallinn, where the majority are Russian speakers.

The Church of the Icon of the Mother of God was built in 2013 with the help of funds from a Moscow-based NGO. While in March the Estonian Orthodox Church joined other churches in the Baltic country in condemning the bombing of civilians in Ukraine, the head of the church in Moscow, Patriarch Kirill, was accused of having provided theological cover for Vladimir Putin’s war.

Borisov, 32, who went to theological college in St Petersburg, is on a thin line. He says he is not allowed to talk about politics and war. But the priest admits there is widespread anxiety in his congregation in this economically deprived part of town. “The mental health situation is bad – Covid, the war, the economic situation, petrol prices. These things make people sad and worried.

Borisov says he treats everyone who comes to church the same, whether they are Estonian, Ukrainian or Russian. “There is no Greek [n]or Jew,” he says, quoting a passage from the King James Bible that goes on to state that “all [are] one in Jesus Christ”.

People shop last week at the Balti Jaama market in Tallinn. Photography: Hendrik Osula/The Guardian

Outside the church in Lasnamäe, located east of Tallinn, among high-rise buildings as far as the eye can see, such flattery stands in stark contrast to what is an increasingly anxious Russian community, caricatured by some as a “fifth column” and among in turn there is a high degree of distrust of the state.

Estonia was a Soviet republic from 1944 to 1991, and around 322,000 of its population of 1.3 million identify as ethnic Russians, 90,000 of whom have Russian citizenship. Many ethnic Russians turn to Russian television for their news, and a high degree of segregation remains.

Meanwhile, the Estonian government, led by Kaja Kallas, has taken a surprisingly strong stance on the need to turn the screws on Russia by tightening economic sanctions imposed by the West on its economy, banning travel visas for nationals of the country and destroying the Soviet Union. imagery, such as monuments commemorating the Second World War.

The man is posing with a cup of coffee in his hand
Taniel Vaaderpass in his cafe in Tallinn’s Old Town. Photography: Hendrik Osula/The Guardian

It is a dynamic that risks creating dangerous misunderstandings in which opposition to Putin’s Russia could be interpreted as the disapproval of all Russians.

Karsten Brüggemann, a professor of Estonian history at the University of Tallinn, said the financial aid offered to Ukrainian refugees was also seen as a threat by some members of the Russian community.

“Because they see how much money the state gives to Ukrainian refugees and they have nothing,” he says. “[For] some of the Russians who are in a socio-economically poor situation, it’s really quite irritating, to say the least.

Hanging her laundry on the terrace of her ground-floor flat in the shade of Lasnamäe church, a 39-year-old mother of a three- and five-year-old, who declined to be named, stated she was born in Tallinn but identified as Russian. “I better be careful what I say because they’re going to kick me out,” she said.

“Everything was fine before the war. I worked for two Estonian companies and it was good but now we are considered dangerous. What are they going to do to us next? I am not in favor of EU sanctions. They don’t hurt Russia but they hurt us here. I’m a personal trainer and can’t afford to drive to work. I only take the car with the children. I can’t afford to fill it. The government should take care of its own people and not the Ukrainians who threaten us, who are protesting with blood on themselves in front of the Russian Embassy. I always look over my shoulder.

The woman had heard false allegations that the Estonian government had stopped free meals for children in Russian-language schools. “I don’t know if it’s true, but it could be true,” she insisted.

A potential flashpoint between the Estonian government and the ethnic Russian community was the decision last week to remove a Soviet-era T-34 tank from its pedestal in the eastern town of Narva, where 95.7% of Narva’s population is native Russian speaking and 87.7% are ethnic Russians.

High rise apartments and some cars
Lasnamäe district in Tallinn. Photography: Hendrik Osula/The Guardian

The decision was taken as part of a larger plan to move between 200 and 400 public monuments to museums on the grounds that Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine had “opened up wounds in our society that these monuments of the communist era remind us”.

There had been concerns about the Troubles. The removal of a statue known as the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn in April 2007 sparked two nights of rioting in the capital’s Old Town, in which a Russian protester was killed.

This time, locals instead gathered peacefully to lay flowers where the float sat. Polls have suggested that ethnic Russians’ adherence to the Kremlin line has been far from certain since the war. A recent survey found that about a third of those who identify as Russians in Estonia agree with moving Soviet monuments from public places to museums.

Katri Raik, a former government minister who has been mayor of Narva since 2020, said there was genuine fear in the Russian community that the government should be sensitive to government.

“Now what happens next is very important,” she told Estonia’s biggest daily, Postimees. “These red monuments are [no longer] the. Is that all now? Or what the Estonian state has in mind in the direction of Narva. We need to restore trust between the country of Estonia and Narva.

Raik added: “We have to get rid of the fear of the people of Narva, which many people expressed yesterday in various meetings. They are afraid of being expelled from Estonia. We will certainly not send the people of Narva away”.

Speaking on Estonia’s Independence Day on Saturday, the country’s president, Alar Karis, spoke of the ill will aroused by the tank’s withdrawal. “We have to recognize that some people in our country have a different historical understanding,” he said. “Many of our compatriots do not yet speak Estonian fluently, but in addition to the language, or largely because they do not speak it, they have also not learned an ideologically unbiased history of Estonia , Europe and the world.”

He, however, called for understanding and sensitivity at a time when nuance was easily lost. “We are 1.3 million,” he said. “We have power and strength. But only if we move forward paying attention to each other, not forcing our own truth.

No Catholic has ‘business’ deciding someone is unworthy to receive Communion, Bishop says


The Bishop of Elphin said neither he, as bishop, nor any member of the Catholic faithful had “an interest in classifying a group of people as unworthy” to receive Communion.

In his homily at Knock on Sunday, Bishop Kevin Doran said he would “seriously question” the “cancellation” of an invitation to communion.

“When the Eucharist is seen as a prize, there seem to be winners and losers; there are some who quite comfortably view themselves as worthy, while judging others as unworthy,” he acknowledged.

His stance appears to be at odds with a number of US bishops who have targeted pro-choice Catholic politicians like President Joe Biden and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In May, Ms Pelosi was banned from receiving communion in her diocese of San Francisco by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

However, a month later, she received communion at a papal mass while in Rome to meet Pope Francis.

The Pontiff said he never refused the Eucharist to anyone.

In Knocking at a Mass to Mark the Anniversary of the Marian Apparition of August 21, 1879, Dr. Doran acknowledged that synodal discussions in the Church had made it clear that “many Catholics, for various reasons, feel ill at comfortable or importunate at the Eucharist”.

He said it was not just a problem for these people but “a problem for all of us”.

Nevertheless, the outspoken bishop said there are times when a person “cannot honestly accept the invitation to come to Holy Communion, because he has done something serious with full knowledge of cause and with his full consent”.

But he added even then the invitation is not rescinded. No one, he said, “should receive the body and blood of the Lord unworthily. But no one should stay away unnecessarily”.

“In the final analysis, it is the responsibility of every woman or man to follow their well-formed conscience in deciding whether or not to come to Holy Communion.”

Speaking about the Catholic Church‘s synodal process and efforts to hear a diversity of viewpoints, Dr. Doran said the Church is not just what happens around the altar.

Acknowledging that the reality of the church in Ireland “is that people are drifting away and the rest of us take it for granted, or worse yet, don’t even notice it”, he prayed that the church becomes a place where “everyone is really welcome”, supported and no one feels excluded.

The door of the chained and padlocked church in the “vandalism” of the night


Romanian Orthodox parishioners woke up on Sunday to find their church door locked with chains and a padlock, in what they consider an act of “vandalism”.

The “vandals” repeatedly wrapped a chain around the iron knobs of the front door of St Roque’s Church, Valletta, and locked the chain with a padlock.

“They did this to prevent us from entering our church,” said the president of the Romanian Orthodox community, Father George-Alexandru Popescu. Malta weather hours after discovery.

“I first thought that someone from our parish or St Paul’s parish might have decided to lock the door like that. So I contacted them. But no one we know did, so it must be another act of vandalism.”

The police are investigating.

The incident follows another act of vandalism on the same church last November, when vandals dumped oil and petrol on the forecourt. This incident also happened on a Sunday night.

At the time, Popescu said Malta weather the incident was isolated and he had no idea who might be behind it, as the community has good relations with society and lives in harmony with other religions.

Police had looked at nearby CCTV cameras, but the case was still unsolved and no suspects were identified.

Popescu, who was appointed president of the Christians together in Malta foundation last March, says that to this day it still has no reason to suspect anyone, but plans to install CCTV cameras in the coming weeks.

“There was a first message and a second. Who knows what the third message will be and when it will arrive? We are worried,” he said.

The Church of St Roque is one of the Roman Catholic churches in Valletta and falls under the parish of St Paul, but the curia granted it to the Romanian Orthodox community for 25 years, allowing modifications to make it suitable for community rites and rituals.

It is estimated that 2,500 EU nationals are part of this community in Malta.

The chain and padlock, discovered around 8:30 a.m., were removed from the door with a crowbar by a parishioner later Sunday.

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Two pastors work together to help parents prepare for the first day of school


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) — As parents prepare for the start of the school year, the cost of supplies has increased.

According to the National Retail Association, people will spend $37 billion on supplies, or about $864 per family.

“We didn’t know how we were going to do it,” said Shannon Mercer, a Cedar Rapids grandmother of 5. “We don’t have a car right now, and my daughter is a single mom who’s been sick and missed work.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices have risen 8.5% over the past year. Part of this increase includes necessary school supplies.

“This year has been difficult,” she said. “It’s been tough since the pandemic.”

It was a need that Pastor Dedric Roundtree of Beacon of Light and Pastor Roger Grandia of Westminster took up with the first “Back to School Jubilee”.

“I expect all food to go and all supplies to be picked up,” Roundtree said. “We want to make sure they all have everything they need for back to school.”

“We have seen a huge increase in food requirements,” Grandia said. “We don’t want them to choose between school and food.”

The two said the people who lived in the Wellington Heights neighborhood where they practice preaching the word of God did not make up a large part of either congregation, but said their mission was to uplift everyone around them.

“It was one of our ‘musts’,” Roundtree said. “We are supposed to watch over our community for those who are less fortunate.

To help! My toddler keeps making noise in church


As we sat down to mass last week, I couldn’t help but cringe. My toddler was so excited to notice everyone sitting behind us that she started to greet us and call “Hi! Hi!” across the pews.

Getting little kids to mass is tough at the best of times, but especially so when they’re at that difficult age between a baby and a toddler. Some people refer to one-year-olds as “tabies” because they are a cross between a baby and a toddler. They’re too small to listen to you, but big enough to run, scream and do mischief.

And it’s really difficult to take a “taby” to mass. The little babies at least keep quiet. But a one-year-old desperately tries to climb and jump all over the pew and run down the aisle, and has absolutely no idea about the need to be quiet in church.

I’ve been having a hard time getting my taby to church lately, and I thought maybe some of you might understand.

This might seem like a really silly problem to have; after all, it only lasts a year or two, right? But this short developmental phase really adds up when you have lots of kids! And my toddlers have all been very talkative, eager to sing at mass and greet everyone in sight.

So what if your baby babbles non-stop during mass? Here is what helps me.

1Accept that they act as God created them

God created toddlers to be loud and active. It’s okay if your toddler is his sweet, active little self at church. I sometimes bring quiet toys for my toddler, but most of the time I just let her stand on my lap or hold the bench behind me and let her do her thing.

Singing, dancing, and vocalizing with music are all appropriate developmental milestones for this age group, so it only makes sense for your baby to do these things at mass.

It’s another matter if your baby is crying; I take my children out if they cry or scream. But most of the time, I’m trying to get rid of my feeling that my baby needs to be perfectly quiet every moment of mass, and let her babble on her own. That’s how God made her right now, and frankly, we wouldn’t get a minute of mass if I took her out every time she peeked.

Recently, an elderly woman sitting behind me got up and moved to another bench after several minutes; clearly, my baby’s babbling and attempts to climb onto the bench were a distraction for her. I was a little hurt at first, but then I realized she had found a good solution. She has as much right not to sit behind a distracting baby as my baby has the right to be at mass. So remember that people can always walk away if your toddler is really distracting..

Most of the time, though, people seem to really enjoy hearing my baby at mass. I can’t tell you how many times someone came up to me afterwards and said something like, “It was so sweet to hear your baby sing during mass! or “I love to hear a baby in the church!”

Many of the churches in my urban neighborhood are totally baby-free; the pews are full of old people, and most of the time my baby is the only baby in the whole church. While it’s a sad state of affairs for the church here in Chicago, the silver lining is that most people are thrilled to hear my baby babble during mass.

2They’re not as loud as you think

I will never forget a funny incident from my childhood. My siblings and I were rowdy at Mass, and my parents whispered that we should behave like children from another family, who were seated several pews away. After the mass, the parents of the other family came and revealed that they had told their children to act like my siblings and me, because from where they were sitting, they could not see or hear none of our shenanigans!

What I learned from this incident is that most people in the church are seated too far away to even notice if your child is loud. Several times I apologized after mass because my children were noisy, and the other person said, “Oh, I didn’t hear anything!”

So just focus on keeping things as calm as possible and don’t worry about what people think of your baby’s chatter. Honestly, if people notice your baby, it should be to thank God for the gift of their lives and for attending mass.

3Most people are so happy to see and hear your baby

I know I’ve said it before, but it’s really true. Several priests told me that they liked to hear my babies “participate” in the mass in their own way, and I try to keep that in the forefront of my mind when I’m embarrassed by their chatter.

I think of the saying: “If the Church does not weep, it is dying. My baby may be the only one in the whole church making noise, but thank goodness she’s here!

You know I mentioned that time a woman walked away from us at mass? Yes, I was embarrassed. But after mass, a man came and told me firmly: “Thank you for bringing your children to church. It’s so good that they’re here.

That really sums it up best. Yes, it is good that they are there. Thank goodness for babies babbling in church. May our churches never be empty of them, as long as there are churches and babies in them.


Nicaraguan police arrest bishop and other priests in raid


By GABRIELA SELLER, Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Nicaraguan police raided the residence of a Roman Catholic bishop who is openly critical of President Daniel Ortega’s government on Friday, apparently detaining the senior cleric and several other priests who had been locked inside for two weeks after the police put a cordon.

The pre-dawn raid came after Nicaraguan authorities accused Matagalpa Bishop Rolando Álvarez of ‘organizing violent groups’ and inciting them ‘to commit acts of hatred against the population’ .

The government of President Daniel Ortega has consistently opposed dissenting voices. Dozens of political opposition leaders were arrested last year, including seven potential candidates to challenge him for the presidency. They were sentenced to his year’s prison in speedy trials closed to the public.

The congress, dominated by Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front, ordered the closure of more than 1,000 non-governmental organizations, including the charity of Mother Teresa.

Political cartoons about world leaders

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Early Friday, the Diocese of Matagalpa posted on social media: “#SOS #Urgente. At this moment, the national police entered the episcopal presbytery of our diocese of Matagalpa.

In a video message, Pablo Cuevas, a lawyer for the nongovernmental Standing Committee on Human Rights, condemned Álvarez’s detention but said it was not unexpected.

“What was obviously going to happen happened, the arbitrary and abusive arrest of Monsignor Álvarez,” Cuevas said.

Edwin Román, a Nicaraguan priest exiled in the United States said via Twitter: “MY GOD! How scandalous they took Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, together with the priests who were with him.

Police said on August 5 that the investigation will also target a number of people who will not be allowed to leave their homes during the investigation.

Álvarez has been a key religious voice in discussions over Nicaragua’s future since 2018, when a wave of protests against Ortega’s government led to a sweeping crackdown on opponents.

“We hope there will be a series of electoral reforms, structural changes in electoral authority – free, fair and transparent elections, unconditional international observation,” Álvarez said a month after the protests broke out. “Indeed the democratization of the country.

At the time, a priest from the diocese of Alvarez was injured in the arm by shrapnel as he tried to separate protesters and police in Matagalpa.

He has maintained such calls for democracy for the past four years, infuriating Ortega and Murillo.

Friday’s arrests follow weeks of heightened tensions between the church and the government.

Ortega has had a complicated relationship with Nicaragua’s predominant religion and its rulers for more than four decades. The former Marxist guerrilla infuriated the Vatican in the 1980s but gradually forged an alliance with the church as he tried to win back the presidency in 2007 after a long spell without power. Now he again seems to see political advantage in direct confrontation.

Ortega initially invited the church to negotiate talks with protesters in 2018, but has since taken a more aggressive stance.

A few days before last year’s presidential elections which he won for a fourth consecutive term with his staunchest opponents imprisoned, he accused the bishops of having written in 2018 a political proposal on behalf of “terrorists, in the service Yankees”. … These bishops are also terrorists.”

In March, Nicaragua expelled the papal nuncio, the Vatican’s top diplomat in Nicaragua.

The government had previously shut down eight radio stations and a television channel in Matagalpa province, north of Managua. Seven of the radio stations were run by the church.

The Aug. 5 announcement that Álvarez was under investigation came just hours after First Lady and Vice President Rosario Murillo slammed “sins against spirituality” and “exposing hatred.” in an apparent reference to Álvarez.

The Archdiocese of Managua had previously expressed support for Álvarez. The Latin American Catholic Bishops‘ Conference denounced what it called a “siege” of priests and bishops, the expulsion of members of religious communities and the “constant harassment” aimed at the Nicaraguan people and the church.

The Vatican remained silent on the Álvarez investigation for nearly two weeks, drawing criticism from some Latin American human rights activists and intellectuals.

That silence was broken last Friday when Monsignor Juan Antonio Cruz, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the Organization of American States, expressed concern over the situation and asked both sides to “seek ways to To hear”.

The Vatican again had no comment on Friday and did not immediately report the news on its internal media portal. While remaining silent, apparently in the hope of not stirring up tensions, the Vatican has in recent days published regular expressions of solidarity from Latin American bishops on its Vatican News site.

The president of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Huge street protests across Nicaragua in 2018 called for Ortega to stand down. Ortega argued that the protests were a coup attempt carried out with foreign backing and church backing.

AP writer Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Overnight vandalism damages Camby Church and Mobile Pantry Bus


CAMBY, Ind. – Lydia Watson and her family were just at the Neighborhood Bible Church Wednesday for Bible study.

“Last night we were here for an hour and we just prayed,” Watson said.

Watson, who leads the church alongside her husband, said all was well when they left the church on Camby Road that night. However, a phone call Thursday morning would bring them right back.

“Around 9 a.m. my husband received a call that the police were on the scene and someone had vandalized the property,” she said.

When the Watsons arrived, they found the windows and doors of their church shattered and shattered, along with stones inside on the floor.

A few steps away, in the back parking lot, was the church bus. The bus, which was a donation, housed the church’s mobile pantry, which was due to launch in a few months.

“We’re undertaking a project called Neighborhood Go Grocery,” Watson said. “We had been working on this bus to travel through food deserts and food swamps to increase access to food in the city.”

However, plans for the project are temporarily on hold as nighttime vandalism has also reached the bus, causing extensive damage to the windshield and windows.

“They damaged the side windows, damaged doors, it does a lot of damage and it really sets us back, a lot,” she said. “In fact, we had just shown our bus to the funders, who wanted us to submit a proposal. I’m going to be a little terrified to let them know it’s been vandalized so there are other costs we didn’t anticipate.

Although her family has lived in the Camby area for six years, Watson said she recently opened the church in January. To experience such damage, she said, feels like an assault on the community and its overall mission, especially among the few black-led churches in the region.

“There was a spirit of hatred, violence and crime against all that is good, and so I believe that’s where this act came from,” she said. “It was an act against the community. It was violence against love, and it was violence against family.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police is investigating the incident, but has no further information to share with FOX59.

As police work to uncover who is behind the vandalism, neighbors are hoping to help, including one who showed nighttime surveillance video from his Ring camera to FOX59.

The video, which is just over a minute long, shows two people looking through his trailer, which is across from the rear parking lot of the church. At the end of the video, the same two people are seen holding an object directly in front of the church bus.

As the police investigate, the Watsons do their best to focus on the future. With the church windows boarded up, they want people to know that their morale is far from low.

“We have every means to come back here on Sunday and do what we’ve been doing since January,” she said. “We’re going to pray, we’re going to sing, we’re going to smile, we’re going to kiss.”

the church accept donations to assist with repairs and recovery efforts.

Father John L. O’Connor; long-serving parish priest of Brighton


Father John L. O’Connor, who served as pastor of Brighton’s Our Lady of Lourdes parish for 26 years and was a priest of the Diocese of Rochester for almost 60 years, died August 18, 2022, due at complications of a recent to fall in his residence. He has been 85 years Old.

Father O’Connor grew up in Greece Our mother of sorrows Parish. He attended Nazareth Hall, then St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s Seminaries, all in Rochester. He was ordained on June 1, 1963 by Bishop James E. Kearney at Sacred Heart CathedralI.

Father O’Connor served as assistant pastor at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Elmira Heights (1963-1965), Saint Michel in Newark (1965-70), Saint Pius Tenth in Chile (1970-75) and Holy Trinity in Webster (1975-80). His only pastorate was at Our Lady of Lourdes, where he served for more than a quarter of a century before attaining senior status in 2006. Later he regularly attended Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic community while residing in Keuka Park.

In addition to being a parish priest, Father O’Connor was a U.S. Army Reserve chaplain from 1965 to 1990 and a retired lieutenant colonel. He also organized clergy conferences on behalf of the Diocese of Rochester for over a decade.

Dad richard Brickmaker, a Senior diocesan priest, said he knew Dad O’Connor of their childhood days at Our Mother of sorrows and this their friendship grown up more the years.

“He has been still a very good student and a very good speaker. He had a good Talent for preaching homilies and then ahead, “ Dad Brickmaker said, to add this Dad O’Connor had a regularly friendly behaviour and too carried out many calm acts of generosity.

Check back for updates.

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President of the Ukrainian Seminary: 400 Baptist churches disappeared…… | News and reports


About 400 Ukrainian Baptist congregations have been lost in Russia’s war on Ukraine, said Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary (UBTS) president Yaroslav Pyzh, which works to restore pastoral leadership in affected towns.

As volunteers from six We Care relief centers across Ukraine help internally displaced people winterize their homes, replacing roofs, windows and doors, Pyzh said the real challenge for UBTS is to rebuild pastoral leadership in places where pastoralists have been displaced.

“Since the start of the war, six months already, we have lost about 400 Baptist churches. And so the real building is rebuilding leadership capacity, because if you rebuild buildings and you don’t have pastors to lead churches, I don’t think that’s going to do any good,” Pyzh, graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, said Baptist Press Last week. “So the real challenge is not so much to rebuild the walls, windows and doors.”

“The real challenge is similar to Nehemiah’s challenge,” he said, referring to the biblical story of Nehemiah. “It’s not just about rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. It’s about rebuilding the nation of Israel, worshiping God. … It’s the same here in Ukraine.

Many pastors have been displaced from war-torn areas, Pyzh said, leaving no one to bring divine hope amid fear and despair. About 2,300 Baptist congregations existed across Ukraine before the war began in February, according to the All-Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Christian Baptist Churches.

“Our main challenge in the future, when the war is over, is to bridge the leadership gap that we have lost,” Pyzh said. “And unfortunately, the longer the war lasts, the greater the gap will be. The church is not buildings. It’s people leaving this place and moving to the United States, and with people moving to Germany, or people moving somewhere else. And with these people, the pastors also left.

While the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that a third of Ukrainians have been displaced from their homes, many pastors have remained and churches have largely met wartime needs, Pyzh said.

“The biggest thing the community has in these times of destruction and bombardment is fear; it’s desperation,” Pyzh said. “And the only ones who can relieve and bring hope to the desperate are pastors, churches, Christians.”

Pyzh estimates that up to 150 graduates and students from UBTS are working in the We Care Centers which he says will bring spiritual light and salt to war-torn communities while helping to structurally rebuild communities and provide the necessary supplies. UBTS trains volunteers to serve as counselors to internally displaced residents and those who remained.

Donations from Southern Baptists help fund support for We Care centers, but Pyzh said donations have dropped significantly as the war continues. The care centers have grown out of local church ministry outreach activities established in conjunction with local governments and are housed in buildings that governments provide free of charge.

“We stepped in and tried to help them be more effective in what they do and share some of the resources we received from Southern Baptists. So we use those resources that we got from Southern Baptists,” Pyzh said. “Instead of the seminary dealing directly with humanitarian aid (as in the first months of the war), we work with these health centers and help them.

“The basic idea of ​​care centers is to provide a platform for churches to cooperate with each other to serve the community. This is the basic idea. It’s not just about meeting the needs of war, but actually creating something that can stay in the community for a long time.

UBTS, which provided free education to students during the war, plans to work with a dozen health centers by the end of the year, Pyzh said. With an inflation rate of nearly 30% in Ukraine, UBTS has suspended tuition fees and is focusing on raising funds to support its educational efforts.

Pyzh, who is the founding pastor of Journey Church in Lviv, encourages Southern Baptists to continue to pray for a miracle of peace and victory, to pray specifically for the rebuilding of church leadership, to continue to contribute to humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine and to consider establishing scholarships to support UBTS students during the war.

“Send Relief helps us with donations that we use at We Care centers,” Pyzh said. “But overall donations are down significantly, not like we did two or three months ago. People are just tired of the war, but I see a huge drop in donations.

In one of his last UBTS Videos, Pyzh expressed continued hope. “The same God who was faithful in the past will be faithful in the future. So in the midst of all the struggle we are going through right now, we are waiting with great hope, knowing that God is with us through you,” he said on the video. “Thank you for your help.”

Synod reports from around the world raise clericalism, women as issues


More than a year ago, Pope Francis announced the Synod on Synodality, an initiative aimed at taking the pulse of the Catholic Church. American Catholics have mostly remained silent on this effort, but in several countries, including Australia, France, England and Wales, and Germany, things are moving full steam ahead.

Two major problems have repeatedly arisen: clericalism and the place of women in the Church.

If you haven’t heard much about the effort, which wraps up its first phase this summer, you’re not alone. In May 2021, six months before the synod opened in October 2021, the Vatican asked the bishops of the world to appoint synod coordinators in their dioceses, who were to organize a program of public meetings for Catholics, ex-Catholics and non-Catholics to talk about the church.

Some have. Some did not. Yet, in one way or another, most American dioceses, 95%, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, have written reports, although relatively few are published. Participating dioceses merged parish reports into diocesan reports, which were combined into regional reports. From the regional reports, as well as reports from some 110 independent Catholic organizations, the USCCB will create a 10-page report, expected in Rome.

Some diocesan reports, such as those from Buffalo, Louisville, Salt Lake City and Trenton, point to clericalism and the lack of women in leadership as problematic. Louisville, Trenton and Salt Lake City noted calls for female deacons. The Buffalo Report found that the scandal of abuse (and) disrespect for women, as manifested in an all-male clergy, has led to declining church attendance and membership.

Even San Francisco, led by conservative Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, has admitted clericalism, and the pink report from Washington, DC notes a basic fact: people don’t trust bishops.

The synod is a global event, and early reports from episcopal conferences outside the United States tell the same story: clericalism is a blight on the church, and women are neither respected nor included in leadership.

Australia recently survived a turbulent meeting of the Plenary Council, in which the country’s bishops rejected a statement testifying to the equal dignity of women and men, apparently because it included a demand for reinstatement of women. in the ordained diaconate. After nearly a quarter of council members protested, refusing to sit down after a tea break, emergency meetings softened the statement to say the bishops would accept Rome’s decision on women deacons.

France reported deep dissatisfaction with the place of women in the Church and the need to recognize their suffering and their expectations.

England and Wales recognized that women were a silent majority, unacknowledged, excluded from leadership and ministry.

Germany has gone so far on these and other issues that it has received a published reminder from the Vatican: While they could discern, Rome would decide.

Once all the national reports arrive in Rome, the plan is to create an overarching document for another round of discussion next year, in preparation for the October 2023 synodal meeting of some 300 representatives in Rome.

Historically, synods are synods of bishops, but so far at least one woman, Xaverian Sister Nathalie Becquart, one of the two (second) undersecretaries of the Rome synod office, will have a vote. . The list of synod members, observers and experts should appear by the end of the year.

No one knows if anything will come of all these efforts, but strong words in several languages ​​call upon haughty clerics who, convinced that they control access to heaven, ruin the church and drive out the members, especially the women and girls. On the whole, people agree with François. These clerics do not. It is not certain that clericalism can block the calls for reform emanating from the synod.

How can this be?

For starters, the so-called organic solution touted by conservative Catholics is taking hold. As partisan priests and bishops of the Second Vatican Council and Francis grow old or die in place, they are replaced by a group of bishops ordained priests during the reign of Pope John Paul II, who in turn appoint conservative pastors ordained under the reign. of Pope Benedict XVI. François, as strong and alert as he is today, is not getting any younger.

Positive views of the situation say that the voice of the Holy Spirit is being heard through the people, and that God will stabilize Peter’s boat. But meanwhile, the Catholic Church as a force for good continues to lose influence inside and outside its walls, largely because of the way too many of its clerics treat people. women.

Church Fellowship Celebrates 10 Years of The Isaiah Project — Merced County Times


“The Isaiah Project” just celebrated its 10th anniversary at Calvary’s Assembly of God, located at 1021 R St in Merced.

The after-school program organizes a back-to-school campaign for their children every year, and this year was no different as young people from the program and the church all received new shoes – just in time for their return. at school.

“It’s amazing how God has given so many favors to this program,” said Elenor Romero, youth outreach director for the program. “We’ve had a lot of people bless Project Isaiah, and you can tell God has his hand in that ministry.

The “Isaiah Project” was created in honor of Isaiah Romero, a youth from southern La Merced who tragically died at the age of 15 due to gun violence. In 2012, Isaiah was caught in the middle of a fight between two gangs when he left his grandmother’s house to go to a party a few blocks away. His memory lives on through the efforts of Calvary’s Assembly of God parishioners and under the leadership of Elenor Romero, Isaiah’s grandmother.

“In honor and in memory of Isaiah, the children who attend the evangelism come from all over the region,” she explained. “Our main objective is to save the lives of young people and lead them to Christ. The Isaiah Project is truly awesome and we are grateful for everyone who has contributed to this ministry. Warming up with these children what it’s all about and I tell them, it’s so simple and yet it’s so strong. I tell them to listen to their parents, stay in school, be good, and not be like Isaiah. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In 2012, The Isaiah Project began its back-to-school giveaway by distributing backpacks to community members.

“I had 250 people online,” Romero said. “They would come from this area or anywhere else in the community. Over time, it decreased. Covid really changed the schedule and I was so confused because I couldn’t have the kids here to study the Bible and give them something to eat.

Inspired by the drive-thru food distributions that many schools carried out during the height of the first pandemic, Romero decided to drop off food and materials to young people at Project Isaiah. Now that the restrictions have been lifted, the after-school program is in full swing, open to Merced youth ages 5-17 on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month from 4-5:30 p.m.

“It’s an excellent project and it allows children to get off the streets,” explained Pastor Juan du Calvaire. “It gives them a safe place to be in this neighborhood without worrying about damage or the influence of drugs, gangs or alcohol on them. We are here to try to impact these children in the best possible way.

For more information about the Isaiah Project, please contact Elenor at (209) 777-2889.

Dayton-area pastor misses key deadline to run for Ohio governor, won’t be on Nov. 8 ballots: Capitol Letter


Rumbles from the rotunda

Case dismissed: The Ohio Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit by a Dayton-area pastor challenging state officials’ decision to reject his bid for governor in the November election. According to Andrew Tobias, Niel Petersen had filed a lawsuit on August 1, which, among other things, challenged Ohio’s 5,000 signature threshold for independent gubernatorial candidates, versus the 1,000 signature requirement. signatures for the candidates of the major parties. But Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, a Republican, said in a written order Monday that Petersen missed a Friday deadline the court set for her to sum up her case in writing. Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, determined last month that Petersen had lost 555 signatures against the 5,000 signature deadline.

An apple for the teacher: According to a new poll by Baldwin Wallace University and the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio, a children’s advocacy group, the vast majority of parents and caregivers of Ohio K-12 students trust their teachers. However, Laura Hancock reports that state lawmakers are sponsoring several bills that would exert more control over the classroom. The survey also shows parents support social and emotional learning, which involves teaching skills to get along with people different from you, setting and achieving positive goals, and showing empathy for others. , as well as Ohio’s Whole Child Framework, Ohio State Board of Education Strategic Plan that goes beyond traditional learning to support social-emotional learning, safety, health care mental health and even school lunch nutrition.

Cash 4 cops: Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that he is increasing the amount of grants for law enforcement to fight violent crime from $42 million to a total of $100 million. As Jeremy Pelzer reports, the grant money — almost all of which comes from federal coronavirus aid passed by Democrats — comes as DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted try to campaign for their support for the law enforcement as they stand for re-election this year.

Firm hand: U.S. District Judge John Adams chose Cincinnati-based law firms Markovits, Stock & Demarco and Abraham, Fruchter & Twersky to represent FirstEnergy shareholders in lawsuits over the company’s stock value lost through the project Bill 6 laden with scandals. Adam Ferrise writes that Adams pulled previous attorneys, believing they were trying to escape his scrutiny and get to the bottom of how bribes were paid.

Who takes care of the children? Cuyahoga County and state officials say they are unable to stop children in custody from leaving the Jane Edna Hunter Social Services Center in Cleveland, where it was revealed two months ago that many children have gone out into prostitution or trafficked other children, or participated in other harmful behavior. Officials say they are prevented by state law from keeping children inside the building. But when Kaitlin Durban asked state and county officials what the law requires to prevent this, no one answered her questions.

Stick to their guns: The Ohio Education Association says most school districts in Ohio are opting out of allowing teachers and staff to be armed with just 24 hours of training, under a new law. Kaylee Remington found that it includes districts in northeastern Ohio from Medina to Cleveland Heights-University Heights.

Back: President Joe Biden will attend Intel’s groundbreaking ceremony in Columbus as part of a “Building a Better America” ​​tour to tout the Democratic legislative agenda and show how Democrats “beat down special interests and deliver what is best for the American people,” according to a White House document released Monday. The document did not provide a date for Biden’s visit, although Biden said last week the groundbreaking would take place in early fall. A Dewine spokesperson said Monday that the governor’s office hopes to announce a date “within the next few weeks.”

Searching for answers: House Judiciary Committee Republicans led by Jim Jordan of Champaign County sent letters monday to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray seeking all of their documents and communications from last week’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence. The letters also instructed them to “keep all relevant documents in your possession, custody or control.” “We will be content with your full cooperation with our investigation,” the letters read.

In the air: U.S. Representative Mike Turner of Dayton, the top Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, joined several of his GOP colleagues in a letter Monday urging Wray on whether his use of an FBI plane to visit his vacation home in Saranac Lake, NY, taxpayers’ money was abused. The group has requested all documents and communications relating to their travel on government aircraft, a full statement of the cost of their personal travel on government aircraft for taxpayers, and all communications relating to any reimbursement that he carried for travel.

Drill: In an article for the Columbus Dispatch, Peter Gill profiles Munira Abdullahi and Ismail Mohamed, two Columbus Democrats who are set to be the first and second Somali-born state legislators. Abdullahi, 26, is a lock to win in November after winning his primary in a heavily Democratic district, while Ismail Mohamed, 29, is neck and neck with another candidate in another heavily Democratic district.

Vacationland gets a grant: Road improvements are coming to one of the state’s most popular vacation spots. The grant will also pay for an extension of the Sandusky Bay Pathway, a multi-use trail along Lake Erie that will eventually connect downtown Sandusky to Huron.

Full disclosure

Five things we learned from the July 3, 2022 financial disclosure of David Dovos, a Republican candidate for Ohio’s 10th House District:

1. He is the President of Next Level Prep LLC, an ACT and SAT tutoring company.

2. In addition to his work with Next Level Prep, he was also paid to provide ACT prep services to Tipp-Monroe Community Services.

3. He is president of the West High School Alumni Association as well as the Hilltop Historical Society.

4. He revealed that he does not own any real estate. Legislative candidates are not required to disclose their personal address.

5. He does not hold any professional license.


John Bridgeland, former chief of staff to Senator Rob Portman, announced in an editorial in the Cincinnati Enquirer over the weekend he launched “Republicans for Tim Ryan” supporting the Democratic congressman’s candidacy for the US Senate.

The Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, the gun control group, has endorsed Democrat Nan Whaley for governor.


Chynna Brady, Ohio House Payroll and Benefits Officer

Straight from the source

“I don’t remember being involved in this issue. I just don’t remember.

-Governor. Mike DeWine on Monday, saying he doesn’t recall whether he advocated for FirstEnergy’s nuclear plant subsidies in House Bill 6 to extend for many years beyond the seven offered by the US legislature Ohio, according to the dispatch. Newly leaked text messages show Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted wanted them to continue for a decade.

Capitol Letter is a daily briefing providing succinct and timely information to those who care deeply about decisions made by state government. If you are not already a subscriber, you can register here to receive Capitol Letter free of charge in your e-mail box every day of the week.

Evergreen residents sign petitions to silence the church bell


MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Hundreds of residents of the Vollintine-Evergreen Historic District are calling a nearby church bell a nuisance.

Andi Bailey said the recorded ringing of bells at St. Theresa The Little Flower Catholic Church on Jackson Avenue is too loud and almost unbearable.

“It’s loud enough at normal levels that I can’t watch my TV because I can’t hear it because of the bells,” Bailey said.

Some residents agree that the sound coming from the church is overwhelming.

After feeling their voices weren’t being heard by the church, Bailey said more than 400 community members had signed petitions to silence the bells that started up again late last year.

She said the bells rang at various intervals from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., sometimes lasting several minutes.

“At least 25 times a day, so people who work from home or people who have babies or people who work at night and sleep during the day. It’s disturbing,” Bailey said.

The WREG contacted St. Therese and we were directed to the Catholic Diocese of Memphis and sent to this statement from January.

It says in part: “Our ringing of bells is a proclamation of our faith and the exercise of our religious observance and duty.”

“It’s their right to ring the bells, no one disputes that,” Bailey said. “It’s not about religion. We just want it to be nicer in our backyards.

St. Theresa’s said it reduced frequency and volume after complaints from disgruntled neighbors.

Ringing in the community since 1951, they have now launched a petition for freedom of religious expression as neighbors weigh in on the chimes.

A church lawyer told us he would get back to us tomorrow with an answer. At this stage, it is not clear whether a compromise will be found in the community or in court.

When you assume… – The Pillar


Monday, August 15 is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

You’d assume you’re an expert on the subject, but here are a few things you might need to know – for example, isn’t today a holy day of obligation?

(Parts of this explainer – but not all – have already been published by The Pillar! We ♻️! )

Assumption of the Virgin in the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. Annibale Carracci, 1601. Credit: Jose Luiz/wikimedia. CC BY SA 4.0
  • Yes. The Assumption is generally a holy day obligation.

  • No. If you’re reading this in the United States on August 15, 2022, you don’t have to go to mass today.

Why not?

Canon law gives national episcopal conferences the power to remove certain days of obligation, or to postpone them to Sunday.

In 1991, the American Episcopal Conference determined that:

“Each time January 1, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, Solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, Solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or a Monday, the precept to attend the mass is abrogated. .”

If you’re counting the dots at home, the next time August 15 falls on a Monday comes in 2033, then 2039. Assumption will fall on a Sunday in 2027.

The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God will fall on a Sunday next year, and on a Monday in 2024.

The solemnity of All Saints will fall on a Sunday in 2026 and on a Monday in 2027.

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In 1950, Pope Pius XII dogmatically and infallibly defined the doctrine of the Assumption. The pope put it this way:

The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into celestial glory.

While all who are saved in Christ will experience the resurrection of their bodies, the Church teaches that because Mary was conceived without original sin, “she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body. “.

Interestingly, the Church does not definitively teach whether Mary died before her Assumption.

Theologians generally taught that Mary died and her body and soul were then taken up to heaven, where she is crowned queen of heaven and earth. In the East, theologians generally spoke of Mary’s “dormition” – a kind of fall into peaceful sleep and death, which preceded her Assumption.

But when Pope Pius XII defined the dogmatic understanding of the Church of the Assumption, he took no position on whether the Blessed Virgin Mary had actually died before being taken to heaven.

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Christians of the second and third centuries – just a few hundred years after Christ – believed that Mary had been taken up into heaven at the end of her life. A text from this period, called the Transitus Mariae, even gives a poetic (and non-canonical) account of the Assumption:

The apostles… laid down his precious and holy body in Gethsemane in a new tomb. And behold, a sweet-smelling perfume proceeded from the holy sepulcher of Our Lady the mother of God; and for three days the voices of invisible angels were heard glorifying Christ our God, who was born of her. And when the third day was over, the voices were no longer heard; and from that moment all knew that his flawless and precious body had been transferred to heaven.

There were other traditions in the early Church about Mary – some said she died a martyr, while others that she suffered a normal death and burial.

But in the fifth and sixth centuries a number of books on the Assumption began to emerge, drawing on earlier communities and traditions, particularly in the East.

The Assumption began to be celebrated annually as a liturgical feast in the East in the 5th or 6th century, and in the 8th century in the West. It was a commonly accepted doctrine in the Middle Ages, even by some Protestant reformers, including Martin Luther.

Pius XII declared the dogma of the Assumption as Europe recovered – spiritually, economically, socially and politically – from the ravages of World War II. In the aftermath of the war, and as Europe itself began to change in ways previously unimaginable, the pope had encouraged a resurgent wave of Marian devotion and increased study by theologians of the theology of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In Munificentissimus Deus, the pope was clear about his reasons:

We can hope that those who meditate on the glorious example that Mary offers us will be increasingly convinced of the value of a human life entirely devoted to accomplishing the will of the heavenly Father and to doing good to others. Thus, while the illusory teachings of materialism and the corruption of morals arising therefrom threaten to extinguish the light of virtue and to ruin the lives of men by stirring up discord among them, in this magnificent way all may see plainly how point goal our bodies and souls are destined. Finally, we hope that belief in the bodily Assumption of Mary into heaven will strengthen our belief in our own resurrection and make it more effective.

And in a 1946 encyclicalthe pope made a resounding call for a dogmatic definition of the Assumption of Mary:

…numerous petitions (those received from 1849 to 1940 have been collected in two volumes which, together with appropriate commentaries, have recently been printed), from cardinals, patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, priests, religious of both sexes, associations, universities and countless private individuals have reached the Holy See, all pleading that the bodily Assumption into heaven of the Blessed Virgin be defined and proclaimed as a dogma of faith. And certainly no one is unaware that this was ardently requested by nearly two hundred fathers at the Vatican Council.

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There are traditional processions and festivals in countries around the world to celebrate the Assumption of Mary. And because August 15 is for many Catholics towards the end of summer, many traditions involve spending the day at the beach or by a lake – in some cultures a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is taken to the beach while the sea is blessed.

In Poland, the Assumption is traditionally celebrated with a herb festival, and herbs are blessed in churches, as the herb harvest peaks in mid-August.

For some Catholic countries, the Assumption falls right in the middle of the traditional August closing – so the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated with a sort of long holiday.

The Assumption is certainly a good day to recite the glorious mysteries of the rosary and spend time — perhaps by the water — with family.

For some people, however, the Assumption is also the start of a period of fasting – St. Michael’s Lent – a custom started 800 years ago by St. Francis.

Francis observed a period of fasting from the Assumption until the feast of Saint Michael on September 29, in honor of Saint Michael the Archangel, and as a kind of spiritual discipline. It was during this period of fasting that Saint Francis received the stigmata in 1224.

As St. Michael’s Lent waned in popularity in the 19th and 20th centuries, some Catholics began to retain it again.

The Assumption would be a customary day to get engaged in some parts of France, as newly engaged couples would ask for Mary’s intercession together. Guys, we’re just saying…

Spring Church: An Outdoor Space for Art and Community – Announcements


Spring Church: an outdoor space for art and community

Opening: October 8

The Church of Spring

620 Spring Avenue North

St. Louis, Missouri 63108
United States

Opening, October 8

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, Missouri has opened Spring Church, a new outdoor public space for artists’ projects and community gatherings, located in the ruins of a nearby church. The neo-Gothic style building had been destroyed by fire in 2001, leaving only its architectural shell still standing. Over the past twenty years, the remaining structure has become a beloved community landmark and the site of impromptu gatherings and other events.

Improvements to the church began in 2020 with the aim of stabilizing the structure while retaining its architectural character. The design was undertaken by St. Louis-based Kiku Obata & Company and McNealey Engineering, Inc.

The church, which has no roof, remains open to the sky, maintaining a feature that has helped make the building an iconic site in the neighborhood. Updates include accessible trails, masonry repairs, and new electrical and lighting infrastructure, among other improvements. In addition to the church, the initiative also encompasses an adjacent lot which has undergone improvements and will remain a publicly accessible green space. Designed by Studio Land Arts, of Granite City, Illinois, this space features seating and plants, incorporating architectural elements from an older building that were unearthed during construction.

The Church of Spring opened earlier this month with an installation by multidisciplinary artist and activist Jordan Weber. Entitled All our releases, the installation featured a three-tiered sculpture that was used as a centerpiece for programs and events, activating the space for community learning, reflection and healing. In April 2023, Weber will expand All our releases as part of Counterpublic, a St. Louis-wide arts triennial. The project will be curated by Diya Vij, Associate Curator at Creative Time.

Pulitzer’s transformation of the Church of the Spring follows that of Park-Like, a sustainably designed green space located across from the museum. Like Park-Like, Church of the Spring will be open daily, free of charge, from sunrise to sunset. Pulitzer Executive Director Cara Starke notes, “The Pulitzer is deeply committed to contributing to our neighborhood, expanding the Foundation visitor experience to include not only the museum at its heart, but also Park-Like and now Spring Church. We look forward to welcoming our neighbors and visitors, whether to spend time in the space at their leisure or to experience public art in the unique architecture of Spring Church.

The opening celebration on October 8 includes a performance with the InUnison Choir of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and guided tours. Other partnerships and projects will be announced this fall.

First SLC Presbyterian’s first female pastor is ‘a thunderclap’ for the congregation


The first sermon by the first female pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City touched on a topic that deeply concerns women around the world, but is often glossed over from the pulpit: sexual assault.

On August 7, Reverend Jamie White stood before her new congregants in the historic red sandstone church of South Temple, near the Catholic Magdalen Cathedral, and described a life-changing attack at the hands of her high school boyfriend who resulted in a pregnancy.

She felt lost and alone with few options, White told an elated audience, until a friend dropped off a kind letter of support and some money.

“He presented himself,” she said in her sermon, just as the friend of the apostle Paul did in Philippians, and just as the members of the congregation are commanded by the scriptures to do for each other.

Having a female pastor for the first time has already highlighted new differences from the past 150 years of sermons.

(James Roh | Special for The Tribune) Pastor Jamie White, left, meets 1-year-old Emmett White after preaching his first Sunday sermon at First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City on Sunday, August 7, 2022. White is the first wife of the church pastor and will be officially installed on August 28.

White’s approach was typical of the young pastor, who deftly pieced together New Testament passages and Greek puns with modern experiences and contemporary interpretations.

True, White spoke from notes and was well organized, but her approach was relaxed and conversational, rather than rehearsed or stilted.

And it was the extraordinary skills that made White stand out among more than 50 candidates who sought the job of the new minister of the first Presbyterian, after the church’s longtime minister, the Reverend Michael Imperiale, took over. his retirement in 2019.

“We watched them all preach online,” said Beverlee Simpson, co-chair of the church’s search committee. “The first time we zoomed in with her was like a thunderclap. We all knew she would be a great fit for First Presbyterian’s needs. She has a great understanding of what God’s people need, and she has a lot of ideas and energy to serve the community.

White, Simpson said, “fitted all the slots we were looking for.”

So how did the California native, who was raised in a Pentecostal church and recently studied ancient languages ​​and scriptures at Princeton Theological Seminary, end up leading a prominent church in Beehive State? ?

Like many people, White’s spiritual journey has had many twists, turns, and detours — but, she thinks, they’ve all led her to this place.

To Utah, then away and back

(James Roh | Special for The Tribune) The First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City on Sunday, August 7, 2022. Pastor Jamie White is the church’s first female pastor and will be officially installed August 28.

After graduating from high school in central California, White moved to Utah to live with a relative, while having her child. It was there that she met her future husband, Dave White, while she was dating capital churcha Faith Assembly of God near downtown Salt Lake City, and together they raised their three children.

However, the ministry still called him, White said in an interview.

She earned her undergraduate degree in Pastoral Leadership and Biblical Studies from Vanguard University in Southern California. Later she attended Fuller Theological Seminary and eventually Princeton, where she earned a Master of Divinity and was named an Apollos Distinguished Scholar. She has received numerous awards, including the Presbyterian Leadership Award, Promise for Ministry Award, and Robert K. Kelley Memorial Award in Ministry.

“Jamie is one of the best ministers I have ever taught,” his theology professor, the Reverend Kenda Creasy Dean, wrote in a recommendation. “She is a born leader, an incredibly astute listener and as wise as she is intelligent. Her mature grace and deeply genuine collegiality not only make her an immeasurable gift to all who know her, but also an absolutely incredible pastor.

The professor concluded, “I sincerely wish Jamie was my pastor.”

(James Roh | Special for The Tribune) Pastor Jamie White preaches during his first Sunday sermon at First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City on Sunday, August 7, 2022. White is the church’s first female pastor and will be officially installed on August 1, 2022. 28

Before going to Ivy League school, White served as youth and family minister at Mount Olympus Presbyterian Church at Millcreek, where she became almost an associate pastor – designing and directing ministry programs, planning and leading worship, preaching and teaching, training lay leaders and supervising other staff, and providing pastoral care to the congregation.

White wasn’t sure, however, that she would be a good match for what’s called a “high church,” or one that’s fairly traditional in its approach to liturgy, scripture, and ritual. After all, The first Presbyterian was organized in 1873 and the building was erected in 1903. It’s a lot of history and tradition to draw on.

“I’m pretty informal as a person,” she said. “But I read their mission study, where they have been and where they are now, and the needs of the city, and they set their goals and priorities with an eye to the future to meet the needs of the actual city in which they are placed.”

She found it “incredibly refreshing and hopeful,” White said. “I thought, ‘If they’re serious, then I’m a really good fit for them. “”

But she had to decide if they really wanted to, because, she said, “it’s not the same community as it was 20 years ago.”

Vision for the future

Like so many older congregations, First Presbyterian has seen many people leave, especially younger members who occasionally come but do not stay.

It now has around 450 members, but weekly summer attendance is more like 200 (with a few more still watching remotely on Zoom).

“How to create a space where young people want to be here and feel useful and needed?” White asked the search committee. “We had some fun conversations about what that might look like.”

Such changes require adaptations and take time, White said, but she and congregation leaders are “eager and ready” to begin.

Music has always been a strength of the church, which includes a large pipe organ added in 1911 and seven stained glass windows, but in recent years leaders have tried to add more contemporary music, including guitars and drums , she said. “I don’t want to lose the traditions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up a bit and have a more informal feel to worship.”

(James Roh | Special for The Tribune) Pastor Jamie White, left, meets with church member Taffy Kosierowski before White’s first Sunday sermon at First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City on Sunday, August 7, 2022. White is the church’s first female pastor and will be officially installed on August 28.

And she wants to talk more concretely about today’s challenges for families and individuals.

“I don’t think people aren’t interested in God or spirituality,” White said, “but they walk into a church and ask what does this have to do with my life?”

Reverend Steve Aeschbacher, who served as acting pastor of the Gothic Church, is “very excited about Pastor Jamie’s ministry and the future of the First Presbyterian”.

She combines “the intelligence, charisma, heart of a pastor and a deep, contagious love for Jesus,” Aeschbacher said. “She has a clear vision for the future and at the same time is happy to listen and learn from others. Her long history in the valley and in ministry means she can get started right away. I can’t think of a better way to start our second 150 years than with our first wife as senior installed pastor.

On top of that, White knows “how to navigate the religious community in Utah,” Simpson said. “We all come together, cooperate, appreciate and love each other.”

Some of the pastor candidates suggested that they would come to Utah, headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to reach out to these believers or convert them.

White is not like that, she said. “She doesn’t feel called to change anyone.”

Additionally, White can attract new members, appealing to a wide range of believers.

“She’s that voice and that face that says church isn’t just for your grandparents,” Simpson said. “It’s up to everyone to come in and meet Jesus here.”

With more young people leaving organized religion, she said, White is “our hope.”

(James Roh | Special for The Tribune) Pastor Jamie White preaches during his first Sunday sermon at First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City on Sunday, August 7, 2022. White is the church’s first female pastor and will be officially installed on August 1, 2022. 28

Cornerstone Church carries on its founder’s legacy of charity and compassion – Salisbury Post


Cornerstone Church carries on its founder’s legacy of charity and compassion

Posted at 12:05 a.m. on Sunday, August 14, 2022

SALISBURY — Thirty-one years ago, a young Bill Godair was convinced he had been called to start a church — but not just any church.

Its aim was to go beyond traditional religions and churches, to go beyond racism and differences, and to fight against poverty and need. The Cornerstone Church ministry was born.

He and his wife, Pastor Tina Godair, have worked tirelessly over the years to not only be a church that welcomes everyone, but a church that teaches the youngest from the start that each of us is responsible for life. ‘other.

“Caring for each other is something we should do regardless,” Tina Godair said. “My husband and I not only tried to incorporate this practice into our church, but we tried to live our lives this way.”

Bill Godair died in December 2021 at the age of 63 after declining health, but before his death he had started a church which included both an events center and a childcare business. And he had earned a reputation for immense generosity, both within the church and in the community at large.

So, several weeks ago, the church family got together and handed out thousands of dollars in gift cards — for food, school supplies, gas, and more. – to people in need. They also distributed bicycles, backpacks, school supplies and lots of hugs.

“We want to continue Bishop Bill Godair’s legacy of giving back to the community and to those less fortunate,” a statement from the church said. “With hundreds in attendance, we donated thousands of dollars in the form of gas cards, grocery cards, bicycles, book bags and school supplies – just under $10,000.” The effort was led by pastors Tina Godair and Brandon and Tara Spiker.

“It will always be important to stand up to meet the needs of the community,” said Tina Godair. “I know Pastor Bill Godair would be thrilled to see his efforts continue.”

Parousia prayer – Times News Online


Published on August 13, 2022 at 09:00

As the Diocese of Allentown recently completed its “Year of Real Presence” (yearofrealpresence.org), Catholic Bishops across the United States began a three-year Eucharistic Revival (eucharisticrevival.org), encouraging deeper understanding and living of Jesus greatest gift of Himself, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, under the appearances of bread and wine.

Parish renewal in Eucharistic adoration was one of the objectives of the year of real presence. SS. Peter and Paul continue to display the Blessed Sacrament for adoration, expressed in both communal and personal prayer. Would more people sign up for a dedicated 30 or 60 minute time slot, or stop by for the shorter visit.

Many of us don’t mind joining in group prayer and will say formal prayers alone, especially if it means we don’t have to “invent anything” ourselves! But all prayers on paper, even those that come from Sacred Scripture, have the ideal complement in the “controverted and humbled heart” that the Lord “will not reject” (Psalm 51:17), the heart that engages him in our own words or lack of words.

In his short but substantial book “How to Pray,” theologian David Torkington discusses eight prayer patterns, or prayer phrases, using the English transliteration of the Greek word “parousia” (par-oo-SEE-uh), which denotes the arrival or presence of a king. Parousia means: Profession, Adoration, Reconciliation, Offering, Union, Silence, Intercession and Action.

Should we model our prayer exactly on these expressions, in order of appearance? Not necessarily, but I find them all, in order, appropriate. We know and declare who God is and who we are in relation to God. As beggars before him, we express preventive praise and gratitude. Aware of all barriers to fellowship, we ask God’s mercy to melt all hearts and join all hands, that together we may be one with God as a pleasing sacrifice.

The lack of words can make us uncomfortable. I know this from attending meetings where people are encouraged to share “as the Spirit moves”. But I don’t like to rush what may be for most of us the one and most significant moment of calm we have in a day. It clarifies and purifies our hearts and helps us realize what is our greatest treasure. When that treasure doesn’t line up with God’s love, He still receives us, and quietly loves us anyway.

We ask what we need or want, and when we zoom out, we admit our ignorance of what is best for us, or “how to pray right” (Romans 8:26). To quote GK Chesterton, “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly”. Our abandonment of prayer should inspire us to do differently, the next good thing God sees fit through our dark eyes. Trial times are for trying.

Torkington’s mnemonic inspires me to spell the Latin word cras (“tomorrow”) with the Church‘s whole approach to the Eucharistic Body of Christ: we celebrate it, we receive it, we worship it and we share it. Faithfulness to these practices prepares our hearts today for a future worth seeking out, where we will eat and drink at the table with Jesus in His Kingdom (Luke 22:30).

As Thousands Gather For ReAwaken Event, Pastors Across City Speak Out Against Christian Nationalism


Christian nationalism is a threat to freedom and the American way of life, a group of pastors told a small gathering in a parking lot behind Batavia’s First Baptist Church this morning, while across town about 3,000 people gathered at Cornerstone Church for ReAwaken America. Round.

Among the speakers was the Reverend Nathan Empsall, Episcopal minister and director of Faithful America, an online organization where Empsall puts his faith into action for social justice and love.

“Christian nationalism is defined by scholars and scholars as a cultural framework and political ideology, a political worldview, not a religion,” Empsall said. “Christian nationalism is the fusion of American national identity with religious identity, making it one and the same, saying you’re not a real real American unless you’re a Christian conservative. The hallmark phrase of Christian nationalism is that America is a Christian nation. That is not true, of course. We are a pluralistic nation.

Empsall said Christian nationalism is a threat to freedom in America.

“The goal of Christian nationalism is not to follow Jesus,” Empsall said. “The goal of Christian nationalism is to seize power, political power, at all costs, no matter who you have to hurt along the way. No matter how many rights you have to take away from other groups, no matter how number of elections you can must try to overthrow despite the will of the voters.This is typical of authoritarian movements in this respect.

He linked many speakers at the Tour event to the Jan. 6 insurrection, when Donald Trump supporters stormed the capital in an attempt to overturn the results of the presidential election.

He suggested that while the ReAwaken America Tour may not be explicitly violent, it does build the framework for future political violence.

“When we talk about the threat of violence, we’re not saying ReAwaken America is a bar and in the end there will be a drunken fight in the parking lot,” he said. “You may not see violence today. What worries us is that another January 6 will happen, but maybe not in the nation’s capital, maybe in all cities or capitals of local states when the elections will not go the Christian nationalist way next time.

“When you raise the stakes to the max and demonize your opponents in the name of God, you don’t have to tell people to commit acts of violence,” he added. “They connect the dots.”

That said, he said, he is ready to embrace Mike Flynn and Roger Stone, two Trump allies and former advisers speaking at the Tour event, as brothers in Christ.

“Now listen, if Mike Flynn and Roger Stone and the pastors who are with them today tell me they’re Christians, I believe them,” Empsall said. “I don’t know their relationship with God. I don’t know their heart. I don’t doubt them. But I know their actions and their words are not Christian actions. They are not Christian words.

“So this morning,” he added, “as we hear all the lies from Qanon 2.0 about public health and about democracy – we ask them to know the truth because the truth will set you free. We say to Clay Clark and Mike Flynn “Brothers, do not bear false witness. Come home like the prodigal son.” We follow the Prince of Peace. We love our neighbors. We don’t call them Team Satan because they don’t share our politics or because they share a different approach to our faith or faith itself.


Reverend Roula Alkhouri, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Batavia, moderated the event.

“Our hearts are broken,” she said. “Because of the damage that this tour, this ReAwaken America tour, has already done in our country, using the cover of religion to sow division and hatred. I have personally experienced this kind of hatred since I started talking and saying we should ‘I don’t have that here, that kind of language and that kind of hate-inciting event. I got a lot of hate for that.



Wichita Falls Area Church Events for August 13


The deadline for submitting articles for church memoirs to be published in our print edition is 2 p.m. Wednesday. To have an article listed, email Claire Kowalick at [email protected] Please limit announcements to special events, meetings or guests. Limited space does not allow for regular weekly event listings to be displayed. We’re sorry, but church briefs cannot be taken over the phone.

Wichita Falls First Baptist Church: Christian musician Steven Curtis Chapman will perform at the First Baptist Church of Wichita Falls, downtown campus, at 6 p.m. on August 28. The concert will take place at the worship center. Tickets are available online at https://fbcwf.org/concert/.

We invite you to join us at any of our services. The downtown campus, 1200 9th Street, will host their mixed worship with choir, worship team and orchestra on Sundays at 8:15 a.m. Contemporary worship is offered at 9:45 and 11 a.m. West Campus, 4317 Barnett Road, offers contemporary services. at 9:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. every Sunday. Sheppard’s Church, 2101 Puckett, will offer contemporary services at 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. Life groups are available for all ages every Sunday. Sunday morning services are broadcast live on CFNT, cable channel 10 or live on 20.1 or 24.1 each Sunday at 8:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. The services are also streamed on our website as well as on our Facebook page.

First Christian Church3701 Taft Blvd, 940-692-2282, www.firstchristianwf.com: PLEASE COME WORSHIP WITH US THIS WEEK! COME CELEBRATE CHRIST WITH THE FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH! Bring your family and friends! SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP: 8:40 a.m. (Chapel) and 10:45 a.m. (Sanctuary) or view the service on our website or YouTube anytime! August 14-September 11: “TEACH US TO PRAY – The Lord’s Prayer.” WEDNESDAY EVENING WORSHIP: 5:30 p.m. Brown Bag Fellowship, 6:00 p.m. “The Neighborhood” Worship Service. “SACRED PATHWAYS” Please plan to gather with us – WE WELCOME EVERYONE! OPEN COMMUNION: The Lord’s Supper or Communion is offered at every service to all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. PLEASE CHECK OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS REGARDING WORSHIP AND FAMILY ACTIVITIES. www.firstchristianwf.com

First Presbyterian Church, 3601 Taft Blvd. : At 10:30 a.m. this Sunday, August 14, the Reverend Michael Hansen, Senior Pastor of the Church, will preach. His sermon this Sunday is titled “Welcome One Another: A Series on Community” and is based on Romans 15:1-7. “Launch & Lunch” will take place after worship on Sunday, August 14 in Fellowship Hall. The event will highlight ways you can “get started” in greater involvement in the Church. Information will be available on Sunday School and ministry opportunities for all ages. Burgers, hot dogs, beans, fries as well as cobbler and ice cream will be served. The cost is $6.00 per person or $20.00 for a family of 4 or more. A student ministry internship will be held August 19 at 5:00 p.m. to August 20 at 10:30 a.m. RSVP with Rev. Michael Morris. TLC will be hosting a “Meet the Teacher” for the upcoming year on August 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the Learning Center. Anyone in need of prayer or pastoral care is encouraged to contact the Church office.

First United Methodist Church of Iowa Park, 201 E. Bank: Come worship with us at 9 a.m. on Sundays. Social distancing and security measures are respected. At this time, we still do not have any Fellowship or Sunday School events.

Wichita Falls First United Methodist Church909 10th Street: Worship Sundays at 10:30 a.m. at 909 10th Street or live on TV-KJBO and online at www.FUMCWF.org/LIVE.

Floral Heights United Methodist Church – 2214 10e rue: Sunday August 14 – 9th Sunday after Pentecost, 9:00 a.m. – Sunday School, 10:10 a.m. – Worship with blessing of backpacks! in the Sanctuary and Facebook Live, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Back to School Splash @ Fain Pool. Tuesday, August 16, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Community breakfasts. Wednesday, August 17, 9:00 a.m. – Bible Study, 5:15 p.m. – Little Blessings Choir, 6:00 p.m. – Choir Rehearsal. Thursday, August 18, 6:30 a.m. – Men’s Bible Study, 9:30 a.m. – Women’s Bible Study, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Community lunches. Friday, August 19, 9 a.m. – Trip to OKC Art Museum and lunch.

Mount Pleasant Baptist Church: Sunday school from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Morning worship will begin at 10 a.m. All members are asked to use the Harding Street entrance and wear a face mask. If you cannot attend the service, deacons will be available on the Bailey Street side of the church 30 minutes after the service if you wish to contribute tithes, offer and receive the Lord’s Supper. Sunday afternoon on Facebook, Pastor Castle will have echoes from the pulpit and a prayer. You can also use the Givelify app. If you have any questions, you can email [email protected]

New Presbyterian Hope: Worship services in our new building at 1701 Enterprise. Our worship service will begin at 10 a.m. Our services will continue to be available on our FB page for those who have joined locally and across the country in the past two years.

New Jerusalem Baptist Church, 1420 Borton Lane: New Jerusalem offers meals for the locked down, food distribution through the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank’s mobile pantry, clothing and health checkups on the fourth Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon. Please contact Rev. Angus Thompson, pastor of the church, at 940-766-4022 with any questions. For more information on vaccinations, contact Mary Ann Merriex at 940-322-5728.

St. Benedict Orthodox Church3808 Seymour Road: Discover our services, courses and events on our website: www.SaintBenedictOrthodox.com. Contact our priest: [email protected]

Trinity Presbyterian Church, 4403 Phillips: Trinity Presbyterian Church holds in-person worship services at 11 a.m. Sundays at 4403 Phillips. Social distancing remains in practice.

Trinity United Methodist Church: 5800 SW Pkwy. (across from Memorial Stadium): Worship With Us Sunday morning August 7: All Ages Sunday School at 9:00 a.m., Morning Worship at 10:00 a.m. streamed live on FB facebook.com/trinitywf/. Pastor Jacob Fields preaches from the Bible study “Wesleyan Roots: What Makes United Methodism Distinct” – “More than a memory – Meeting God at the table.” “Wesleyan Roots” Monday evening Bible study, 7-8 p.m. each week, led by Pastor Fields. Come as a family, join us for Messy Church, a family ministry, each 2sd, and 4e Sunday of the month 4:00-6:00 p.m. Lots of family fun, games, food, Bible teaching and ministry for all ages. The next session is August 14, “Noah’s ark.” The Trinity UMC pantry is available on the 3rd Monday of each month from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Next drive-thru August 15. Please bring ID and proof of residency. Call 940-692-9995 for more information.

Wichita Falls Metropolitan Community Church, 1401 Travis (at 14th Street): As always, all are welcome. Visit us on Sundays: 10:15 a.m. for study, 11 a.m. for worship services. . . just late enough to sleep! Relaxed comfort to an embraced finer dress; zone without negative judgment. WE HIDE MASKS, CHECK THE TEMPERATURE, SANITIZE IN/OUT, SOCIAL DISTANCE AND TAKE CARE OF OUR NEIGHBOURS’ HEALTH. Ours is a safe and nurturing environment. We are also LGBTQ+ affirming. Children and young people welcome and included in the service. Daycare available. Networking and lunch connections following (Dutch draft). 1401 Travis St. 940-322-4100, [email protected], register online at https://bit.ly/WFMCCWorship.

Jana Riess: How Latter-day Saints deal with sexual abuse: Too little, too late


Like many people, I was disgusted to read the Associated Press investigative report on how two Arizona bishops of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints failed to report a horrific case of father sexual abuse. In this decision, they were guided by a “hotline” for lay bishops set up to answer questions about sexual abuse cases.

According to the article, the hotline asked the first bishop who called to “do nothing” and avoid reporting to the police the father’s ongoing rape of his daughter. As a result, the abuse continued for another seven years, with the father, Paul Douglas Adams, continuing to rape the eldest daughter and post videos online. When another girl was born into the family, Adams began sexually abusing her when she was only 6 weeks old and also uploaded these videos to the internet.

Other than ultimately excommunicating Adams from the church, the bishops appear to have done nothing to ensure the safety of his daughters.

And since Arizona doesn’t require clergy to report child sexual abuse to the police, what they did may have been perfectly legal. It’s not enough.

I want to clarify some things. First, this column is not an attack on bishops. They do superhuman jobs as volunteers. There aren’t many benefits to being a bishop, and there are countless minefields. I’ve seen unfair online discussions that portray these men as power-crazed egomaniacs who would constantly twirl their mustaches if only they were allowed to have facial hair.

It’s ridiculous. Most Latter-day Saint bishops strive to do the right thing. The fact that the institutional church often pushes them to failure is not their fault.

The second point is that I have seen no credible evidence that the incidence of sexual abuse is higher in Latter-day Saint communities than anywhere else. I’ve certainly seen allegations to that effect – here’s one from, surprise, surprise, a personal injury law firm – but no supporting data.

In fact, there has been very little academic research on sexual abuse in Latter-day Saint communities, apart from an interesting Dialogue article from the 1990s and some large, small-scale qualitative studies exploring the experience of trauma victims but do not offer reliable estimates of the extent of the problem.

What we can say with confidence is that when sexual abuse has occurred in the LDS Church, it has too often been mishandled, further compounding a traumatic experience for victims. Many of the same factors that allowed abuse to flourish undetected in other religions are also present in Mormonism, including:

• A closed and non-transparent leadership system run almost exclusively by men.

• A widespread cultural mandate to show only the best parts of our community and hide the flaws from outsiders.

• A “culture of purity” that silences victims of sexual violence.

• Hierarchical leadership in which some men are expected to have special religious authority over others – especially women and children – and should not be criticized.

• A sense of superiority over other communities, such that many believers believe “it could never happen here”.

How did I make this list?

Reading the news again and again about how it happened in religions not so different from mine.

You can read here how Southern Baptists tried for years to deny the problem of sexual abuse and attack whistleblowers, only to see that approach explode dramatically when the evidence became impossible to ignore.

Or read here how the Roman Catholic Church tried for years to deny the problem of sexual abuse and attack whistleblowers, only to see this approach explode dramatically when the evidence became impossible to ignore.

Or, since we’re on a roll, read here or here or here how evangelical Christian mega-churches have tried for years to deny… you get the idea.

Latter-day Saints have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of other groups. But will we? Judging by the church’s response to the PA story so far, I have to say that we probably won’t.

In a testy and defensive statement last week, the church claimed the AP “seriously misinterpreted” the “nature and purpose of the church’s hotline”. However, he did not specify where the story got it wrong, other than that the helpline exists to ensure “all legal reporting requirements are met”. (How is this supposed to convince us that the church is doing the right thing for the victims?)

It also brags about the “numerous safeguards the church has in place” and says any member supervising children or young people must undergo training every few years on “how to monitor, report and deal with abuse”.

In an ideal world, that would be true. But in the world we actually inhabit – where we are an almost entirely volunteer work force at the church – the claim simply does not stand up to scrutiny. Online training, as it stands, was put in place because of lawsuits. He explains church policies (such as asking another adult to be in the room when working with children and young people) and periodically quizzes members to make sure they understand. At 20-30 minutes, it’s too brief and general, although the actual examples are helpful.

Although the church’s website now states that all Primary children’s workers are expected to complete the training within one month of their calling, rollout of this requirement has not been universal. I have served in Primary for seven years without ever being asked to take this training, and I continue to fill in as Primary teacher when needed, all without this magical training that the church touts as “one of many safeguards” against abuse. But since it is available to members on the church website, I went through it myself.

To learn more about how the church handles reports of abuse, I interviewed a therapist this week who worked for its family services division for many years and counseled people at inside and outside the church on sexual abuse, domestic violence and mental health issues.

The therapist, who asked to remain anonymous, has generally had a “good experience” helping bishops and stake presidents. By paying to make therapists available to counsel bishops, he pointed out, the LDS Church is “quite progressive” compared to other religious groups. He did not work directly on the helpline team, but because of his work he was aware of the changes it was going through over time.

In previous years, he said, calls from bishops were often answered by a therapist; if necessary, the therapist can call on one of the lawyers on the support team. Over the past two years, however, lawyers have started to answer all calls and it is still unclear how often therapists are involved.

Additionally, bishops who mentioned the abuse to therapists on advice calls who did not go to the helpline were quickly redirected there, and therefore to the legal team.

“I would say it was about four years into my work for the church when it became a very clear instruction that if the bishop starts revealing details of abuse to us, we were to stop the conversation immediately and Tell the bishop to call the Abuse Helpline.”

He speculated that this change occurred because therapists are mandated reporters in all U.S. states, while bishops in some states (including Arizona) are protected by penitent clergy privilege and are not necessarily commissioned journalists.

The change was frustrating for him, he said, as therapists are trained to protect victims, including making urgent and mandatory reports to child welfare agencies, advising bishops on how to helping victims and sharing the resources available to them and their families.

“Imagine the difference if the helpline were to focus on helping victims more consistently instead of just ‘you don’t have to report anything,'” he said. “It would potentially save lives and prevent ongoing abuse.”

By routing all abuse calls to the helpline’s legal team, the church has protected its own interests and reduced its liability – in fact, the therapist pointed out that the helpline is part of a division of the church bureaucracy called “risk management”. “Unfortunately, this focus on church self-protection has actually increased the risk to victims.

If I had to guess what will happen next, it’s that the church will continue to repeatedly and vehemently publicly deny that any of its representatives have ever done anything wrong, and that they will never fail to address the systemic issues listed above that enable abuse and its subsequent concealment. We will have learned little from the examples of Catholics, Southern Baptists and mega-churches.

Because it couldn’t happen here, of course. Just move.

(The views expressed in this opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)

Reviews | The Mormon Church must do more to protect children from sexual abuse

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If the record of clergy sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church has taught any lesson, it is that institutions and individuals have a moral duty, and should have one, to inform law enforcement. order of child victimization reports. Somehow this lesson seems to have been lost in some cases on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as the Mormon Church or LDS.

In a disturbing Associated Press expose, a Mormon bishop in Arizona, alarmed that a church member confessed to raping his own young daughter, contacted the church’s 24-hour hotline and 7 days a week. The bishop told federal investigators that the advice he received from church attorneys was that he “could do absolutely nothing” and that he was prohibited by state law from reporting the police abuse.

This advice was false and its consequences indescribable. The girl’s abuse, which her father admitted to having started when she was 5, continued for another seven years. He also started abusing a second daughter when she was not even 2 months old – and posted videos of her crimes online. He eventually committed suicide after being arrested by federal agents, who received no help from the church.

The AP investigation, based in part on sealed records, found that the LDS hotline, established more than 25 years ago amid fears that churches face growing liability risks due to heavy jury awards, can be and has been used, with unknown frequency, as a black box in which reports of sexual abuse have been hidden. A protocol distributed by the church to some hotline staff advised them to encourage victims or perpetrators to report abuse to authorities, but “never” to offer such advice to church officials who may to call. Only church attorneys could issue such instructions, according to protocol. And while a church attorney told the AP that “hundreds of reports” of abuse had been forwarded by church officials or attorneys to authorities in Arizona, it’s unclear. how many calls to the hotline reporting abuse have been not referred to the police or child protection authorities.

In its response, the church insisted it viewed the abuses as inexcusable, encouraged reporting them to civil authorities, and attacked what it called the “oversimplified and incomplete” characterization of the church’s procedures. church by the AP – without providing details. He also said abusers face discipline within the Mormon Church. Yet an affidavit from a senior church official, obtained by the AP, stressed that the church’s disciplinary proceedings are subject to “the greatest possible confidentiality” so as not to compromise the “will of confess and repent” of the aggressors.

In nearly 30 states, clergy are required to report plausible cases of child abuse to police or state social workers. But the Arizona law, like others, also provides a loophole, similar to solicitor-client privilege, that allows clergy to withhold information gleaned from spiritual confessions if deemed “reasonable and necessary” according to the doctrine of the Church. This gaping – and unwarranted – exception would have been used to justify covering up the girl’s rape by her father in Arizona.

Rather than duck and cover, the Church would be wise to seek procedural reforms, not sinning on the side of institutional self-preservation, but rather prioritizing the protection of the most vulnerable members of its community: children.

Where the police blocked block parties; Help the former workers of the Prevention Point; Can local pastors curb the violence? | Morning overview


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Philadelphia police have denied more than 200 block party permits this year due to “criminal activity”. We mapped the denials; most fall in underserved communities.

  • The definition of “criminal activity” is subjective, and the PPD will not say exactly how it is determined. But once a block is designated as a “problem”, it can be difficult to shake it off.

Residents who have been turned away after years of permits are frustrated and upset, reports Lizzy McLellan Ravitch. One said: “Block parties make us feel safer.”

Lizzy McLellan Ravitch/Billy Penn

Last spring, Billy Penn and The Inquirer reported on allegations of unsafe working conditions at Prevention Point in Kensington.

  • Self-help organizations have launched a new GoFundMe to help departed employees recover from sexual assault, harassment, transphobia and unsafe conditions they say they experienced at work.

The crowdfunding effort has a goal of $15,000. If successful, the employees told Michaela Winberg they plan to use the money for mental health treatment.

Prevention Point on the left at the intersection of Kensington Avenue and Monmouth Street
Kimberly Paynter / WHY

$ = paying

The short-lived Center City Diner left behind a cool canopy
Mark Henninger / Imagic Digital

We publish this report each week in partnership with the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting at Community College of Philadelphia.

By the Numbers in Philadelphia

  • 57: Registered gunshot victims Last week so far, up from 34 the previous week. [@PCGVR via City Controller]
  • 1,442: Shooting victims This yearup 2% from last year [PCGVR]
  • 337: Year to date murders4% ahead of last year’s pace and up 71% from five years ago [Philly Police]

Mayor Kenney and other officials are meeting with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Regional Director Ala Stanford — famous as the founder of Philly’s Black Doctors Consortium — to discuss solutions to address gun violence as a public health crisis. A brief briefing follows the in camera meeting (11:30 a.m.).

🎰 BP Quizzo lands at South Philly Sports Complex live Sports and social bar, where co-hosts Danya and Sakeenah will quiz you on trivia about all things Philadelphia. Prizes include gift cards and beach chairs, all free with RSVP. (6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 17)🎭 “The BOX” – a traveling play about the aftermath of mass incarceration – lands at Eastern State Penitentiary. The tickets are degressive from $20 to $50. (7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday August 13-14)

🦐 First look at the Swedish Historical Museum Summer Crayfish Party, because RSVPs are due before August 12 for dinner, which is $55 per person for all you can eat – meatballs included. (6:30 p.m. Friday August 19)

Japan’s PM to appoint new cabinet, shifting some over church ties – Metro US


TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to reshuffle his cabinet on Wednesday in a move seen as an attempt to steer his administration away from controversial ties. at the Unification Church after the assassination of former leader Shinzo Abe.

The Cabinet renewal will be the second in just 10 months since Kishida took office. He told reporters on Tuesday that a “strict review” of candidates’ church ties would be a “prerequisite” in the new composition of Cabinet officials and Liberal Democratic Party leaders.

Kishida said he had asked his ministers and other senior officials to clarify their connection to the Unification Church “so that we can do political and administrative work that the people can trust.”

Abe was shot and killed while delivering a campaign speech on July 8, two days before a parliamentary election. According to police and media, the arrested man had targeted Abe for alleged ties to the Unification Church, which the man hated because his mother’s massive financial donations to the church had bankrupted his family.

Recent media surveys showed that Kishida’s cabinet approval ratings have fallen to their lowest levels since he took office in October. A survey released by state broadcaster NHK on Monday showed support plunged to 46% from 59%.

Most of those interviewed said they felt the politicians had not sufficiently explained their ties to the Unification Church. Kishida’s plan to hold a state funeral for Abe also divided public opinion due to Abe’s arch-conservative stances on national security and war history.

Kishida’s cabinet renewal, which was expected in September ahead of the fall parliamentary session, has apparently been accelerated as public support has waned amid questions about ties to the church.

The new composition will be officially announced later on Wednesday after a massive resignation of current ministers. Kishida said the main objective of the planned cabinet reshuffle was to “break through one of the biggest post-war crises” such as the coronavirus pandemic, inflation and heightened tensions around Taiwan and the Russia’s war against Ukraine.

July’s election victory was expected to secure long-term stable leadership under Kishida with no further elections scheduled until 2025, but Abe’s absence and the impact of his shocking death have heightened uncertainty.

Seven ministers who acknowledged ties to the church would be fired. These include Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, Abe’s younger brother who admitted church worshipers were volunteers during his previous election campaigns, and Public Security Commission Chairman Satoshi. Ninoyu, who attended an event organized by a church-related organization.

Kishi will be replaced by former defense minister Yasukazu Hamada, and Taro Kono, who was the former vaccine czar and defense minister, will return to the Cabinet as digital minister, Kyodo News and others reported. media.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno and Economy Minister Daishiro Yamagiwa would remain in the new cabinet.

Economy and Commerce Minister Koici Hagiuda, who has reported church ties, will be moved to head the party’s policy research committee and replaced by former economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura.

The new line-up suggested that Kishida carefully maintained a balance of power between the party’s wings to solidify unity amid growing speculation of a power struggle within Abe’s faction and its impact.

But the majority of Cabinet members are men over 60, with only two women, despite criticism that Japanese politics is too dominated by older men.

The two women ministers are Sanae Takaichi, an ultra-conservative who was close to Abe and who is retained as economic security minister, and Keiko Nagaoka, once appointed education minister to replace Shinsuke Suematsu, who admitted his ties to the Unification Church.

Laura Menides remembers her commitment to honoring the poetic community of Worcester


For years, Worcester writers have gathered around the Hope Cemetery grave of poet Elizabeth Bishop on the anniversary of her death in October to read her work and honor her legacy. Now that tradition will include a tribute to its founder, Laura Jehn Menides, who spent decades working to bring Worcester’s poetic community together.

Menides, who died July 22 at age 85, wrote her own poetry, served as president of the Worcester County Poetry Association and taught the work of other poets as an English professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Menides’ daughter, Georgia Menides, said that despite a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, her mother still spent as much time as she could around other local poets, from old friends to young newcomers.

“She could leave the nursing home in a wheelchair before [the COVID-19 pandemic] and do whatever she wanted, and the last thing she did before the first lockdown was go to a poetry reading at Barnes & Noble,” Georgia said.

Georgia, who is now a filmmaker, also recalled her mother’s commitment to giving all Worcester poets a chance to share their writing, especially in the town’s cafes, where Menides often hosted poetry readings in the 1980s and 1990s.

“Part of the reason why Bill MacMillan and Tony Brown and the founders of the slam poetry scene [were able to come together] was that my mom and these older poets were already doing poetry readings,” Georgia said. “She was part of the whole beginning. That’s cool, and that’s why a lot of young slam poets know who she is.

Worcester Review editor emeritus Rodger Martin said that over the years he and Menides have bonded through local literature, and the two have maintained that bond even after Menides’ disease took him away. barred from returning to the WCPA Board of Directors.

“The loss for us was the early onset of his Parkinson’s disease, as it robbed the city of many more years of activism,” Martin said. “Up to that time she had always been a driving force and agitator in the poetic scene.”

From left, poets Dan Lewis, Carl Johnson Laura Menides and Michael Hood read poems at Elizabeth Bishop's grave in Hope Cemetery in 2008.

Menides moved to Worcester to teach in WPI’s English department and eventually became department head, inviting poets from near and far to read their work aloud.

In the 1990s, Menides developed a deep appreciation for Bishop, who was born in Worcester in 1911 and lived in the town as a child. Menides organized a conference on Bishop’s life and work at WPI in 1997, and later compiled a book of essays written by several of the writers who attended the conference, entitled “”In Worcester, Massachusetts”: Essays on Elizabeth Bishop.”

The WCPA continued Menides’ work in connecting Bishop’s legacy to today’s Worcester. Susan Elizabeth Sweeney, an English teacher at the College of the Holy Cross, used the groundwork laid by Menides to launch her own local history project through Mapping Worcester Through Poetry.

As part of Mapping Worcester Through Poetry, the WCPA currently offers an audio-guided tour on its website that takes listeners on a 20-minute drive or 85-minute walk along Main Street, explaining Bishop’s history with various buildings and sights along the way.

Menides was also passionate about securing greater local recognition for other Worcester-area poets who rose to fame elsewhere, such as Frank O’Hara, who grew up in Grafton and became a fixture on the scene. literature of the 1950s in New York.

According to Sweeney, Menides worked with WPI students to install plaques at O’Hara’s childhood home in Grafton and at Bishop’s grandparents’ home in Webster Square, as well as Charles’ childhood home. Olson near Newton Square.

“One of his main goals was to try to get Worcester to recognize that we have great names in poetry who should be known and respected for their contributions to the national poetry scene,” Martin said.

According to the WCPA website, the association is currently developing audio tours featuring places in Worcester and Grafton that played a significant role in the lives of O’Hara, Olson and poets Mary Fell, Stanley Kunitz, Chris Gilbert and Etheridge Knight.

Sweeney said this year’s Bishop’s Memorial Reading will take place on Oct. 4 and will include a tribute to Menides, as well as readings of poems by Menides.

“His scholarship, teaching and community service to several nationally acclaimed Worcester poets helped inspire my project,” Sweeney said. “I’m literally following in his footsteps.”

Historic Church Lost in Riverside Fire Begins Reconstruction Process


CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) – It’s been nearly two years since the Riverside Fire ripped through the town of Dodge, just south of Estacada, and now the heart of the community, its church, is beginning to rebuild.

The Dodge Community Church was one of hundreds of buildings destroyed in the fire. Dodge community member Kathy Boden also lost one of her homes on her property. She is rebuilding what she lost, including her church.

“It was a real struggle for everyone, emotionally, financially, but losing the church – it was a shock,” Boden said.

Boden explained that rebuilding Dodge Community Church is about rebuilding a place where the community can come together and create memories.

“People will be able to hold events here, like the things they had before,” Boden said. “There were people who had weddings here. There was a funeral here. It was a place where people came. »

The new church will be located almost exactly where the old church was when it was built in 1947. The groundbreaking took place on Sunday and the Dodge community returned to celebrate and worship. Tony Skoien is a deacon of Dodge Community Church. He said it was great to see his neighbors come for the groundbreaking.

“We are thrilled to see what the Lord has in mind for us here,” Skoien said.

Skoien said the church’s insurance will cover about $266,000 of the cost of reconstruction and $150,000 is covered by donations. Many of these donations come from other churches in the Pacific Northwest.

“It was really encouraging to see that because that’s when the church shines and comes on its own,” Skoien said.

But he said the congregation still needs to raise about another $300,000 to cover the rest. Regardless of the amount of work that remains to be done, there is hope that doors will open for the Christmas service.

“Even though we lost our building, the building is not the church,” Skoien said. “The people are the church, the building is where we meet.”

“It’s all in God’s hands,” Boden said. “It’s God’s timing and he’s the one who’s going to make it happen.”

Bishop Jeff Conway, pastor of St. Patrick’s RC Church, dies at 74


STATEN ISLAND, NY – Bishop Jeff Conway, the 17th pastor of St. Patrick’s RC Church, died suddenly in Florida while on vacation. He was 74 years old.

A resident of Staten Island since September 1977, when he was appointed assistant at St. Patrick’s Parish, Msgr. Conway ministered as a priest at the church in Richmond until 1987.

A two-year assignment as administrator of Sacred Heart Parish in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan would follow, before Msgr. Conway returned to the borough as pastor of St. Paul’s RC Church in New Brighton for four and a half years.

In 1993, he became pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea RC Church in Huguenot, where he served for 21 years. While at the parish, he built a pre-K, sports complex, and a new church – the largest Catholic church on Staten Island.

With the recommendation of the late Cardinal John J. O’Connor, in 1995 he received the title of Monsignor.

Active in recovery work, Msgr. Conway helped those struggling with drug and alcohol abuse get sober. Over the years, he has led Bible book studies, recovery Bible studies, nights of quiet, and healing masses for those in recovery.

He was instrumental in starting a sober clubhouse at the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin at Mount Loretto in 1997 and has sponsored many in recovery.

He has also led 12-step retreats on Staten Island and nearby communities.

A recovering alcoholic, Bishop Conway has accomplished what those in recovery yearn for – to pass on the gift given to them, to reach out to those in the community struggling with addiction, and to remain a strong link in the chain of sobriety. .

Funeral arrangements are being finalized and will be posted as they become available on Advance/SILive.com.

Local nonprofits making a difference in Falls Church


In Northern Virginia this summer, two local nonprofits, Food Justice DMV and Nurturing Families, are doing their part to help school staff and immigrant families.

Nurturing Families helps low-income families in the area by offering seasonal programs, including a Last Chance Holiday Shop. (Courtesy of Sherry Noud)

Denise Woods is the founding director of Food Justice DMV and said she founded the organization after accompanying people to their US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) registrations.

Two people she was accompanying explained that they were running out of food for themselves and their families due to spending money to get to the tapings for fear of being deported. Woods said that was when she and her team decided to turn their hotline into a food distribution organization for more than 200 families.

In a “massive act of solidarity”, the organization was split between radio stations and Facebook and Woods said within days that the number of asylum seekers had increased. Currently, the organization supports 7,000 asylum-seeking families in the region.

Food Justice DMV tries to accomplish “a lot of things,” Woods says, by reducing food insecurity and supporting people who have no other access to government resources, the organization’s primary focus. Many families supported by the organization are undocumented and have fled their country to save their children and themselves.

Woods said she believes Food Justice DMV is the “only organization that actually supports this multi-jurisdictional organization dedicated solely or primarily to undocumented people.”

Woods said the organization is being greeted with a “sea of ​​gratitude” by those who benefit, with many members fearing “when the next plate of food will come for their children.” Some of the challenges Food Justice DMV has faced are nearly running out of money “eight times over” and having to cut back on “the most basic foods,” such as tortillas, for people of Latin descent, due to the ‘inflation. With 250 volunteers, Woods said “every penny goes to families,” with $991,000 raised over the past two years.

“We receive overwhelming gratitude and love for what we do,” Woods said. “It’s incredible to experience and it’s an honor to be in the fight with them.”

Nurturing Families is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that offers seasonal programs including back-to-school support, winter coat distribution, and a holiday shop. Currently, the organization is raising money to buy supplies for students at Woodson Elementary School near Falls Church, which also includes a Facebook page that ensures teachers and staff have the supplies they need when the time comes. school resumes.

Sherry Noud is the executive director and founder of Nurturing Families and started the organization after realizing the need for a program to help distribute free new car seats. “As a mother herself,” Noud felt she needed to create a local organization that was “ready to be a liaison between the health department and families.”

Nurturing Families’ mission is to support low-income families so they can nurture their children to “reach their full potential” and “protect them from harm.”

While the organization was distributing car seats, it was able to provide car seats to over 1,000 children in the community, while teaching parents how to use them correctly. During the pandemic, Noud said the organization was able to collect thousands of diapers and books for a baby’s needs and a book drive during the pandemic.

For the next three to five years, Noud said the organization’s goal is to “increase the services” that Nurturing Families has to offer. To do this, the program should identify sources of funding that would allow it to “sustain support for communities”.

Collection of diapers for mothers in need


Comedian Jo Koy talks about the role of the church in his life and his new film “Easter Sunday”


“Easter Sunday” has a PG-13 rating, released on August 5.

Joe Valencia’s mother and aunt fight, but the drama reaches a new level when the two women show up to church wearing the same long brown dress – and at Easter, to top it all off.

Comedian Jo Koy’s directorial debut “Easter Sunday” follows Joe (Koy), who returns home for Easter to his loving, but somewhat erratic family. Over the course of the film, they bicker, eat, drink, laugh, and unravel the drama of the house.

The film takes viewers through the Filipino experience. Expect to salivate watching family dinner scenes with sumptuous spreads. Meanwhile, the church and family homes, which serve as the film’s backdrop, encompass a sense of community. Since the film is loosely based on Koy’s life, his family and Easter became an important part of the storyline.

Why Easter?

“It was the biggest holiday we all shared as a family. It was bigger than Christmas, it was bigger than Thanksgiving,” Koy told Deseret News in an interview.

All the parents came, and there was church, food, entertainment, fights and everything else, Koy said.

“There was no obligation to buy presents for everyone. It’s just Easter, you just bring a jar of food,” he joked. “‘Oh, by the way, let’s go to church because they got free donuts today. There are other Filipinos who will be there too. So let’s go see them.’

“That was the whole point of starting ‘Easter Sunday’. It’s the best way to talk about family and culture. ‘identify,’” Koy added.

The church means a lot to Jo Koy’s family

But that’s not the only reason this story is important to the comedian. Her mother, an immigrant woman in America, struggled to find a sense of belonging.

This search was much more difficult at that time, when there was neither Facebook nor Instagram. Her mother had to go out and find her people. She went to church every Sunday and eventually started approaching people who looked like her, hoping they were also Filipino.

Church gave Koy’s mother “a chance for my mother to be seen,” he said. “When you go to church, no matter your ethnicity, we all believe in Jesus. So today, we all get along.

Church attendance provided many get-togethers and potlucks, where Koy was able to meet other Filipinos and make friends. This is the role faith played in his family and community.

Jo Koy hopes you identify with ‘Easter Sunday’

After talking about his stage culture for so long in his stand-up comedy routines, Koy is happy to finally see the story come to life on the big screen.

“Instead of always having the same response to my routine, which is ‘Oh, that’s too specific. Not everyone will understand,’ he said, ‘to now be able to broadcast and show the world that you will get it and feel good about it.

He hopes viewers will see their own family in the film’s characters, “opening the door to a lot more other ethnicities that aren’t really being heard.”

Young Sheldon’s Pastor Rob Highlights His Biggest Big Bang Theory Change


The role of Pastor Rob in Young Sheldon shows how much the tone of The Big Bang Theory spin-off differs from the style of the previous hit sitcom.

Whereas The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon share a lot of similarities, the main difference between the two shows can be exemplified by the character of Pastor Rob. Young Sheldon has moved away from its first inspiration. Even though the sitcom spin-off started life as an origin story for The Big Bang Theoryis Sheldon Cooper, Young Sheldon has since explored the Cooper family’s complex dysfunctional relationship more and more in recent seasons.

While some big Young Sheldon episodes are still centered around Sheldon’s goofy misadventures, many of which The Big Bang Theory The spin-off releases are much more dramatic than the episodes of its predecessor. The clearest indication of this change comes in the form of Young Sheldonis supporting star Pastor Rob. Where this well-meaning young pastor would probably have been a unique joke character on The Big Bang Theoryin Young Sheldonhe could end up being a major factor in the breakdown of Mary and George’s marriage.


Related: Isabel May’s Career Evolution to Young Sheldon and 1883

Young SheldonThe creators of ‘s admitted that the plot about Mary potentially having an affair with Pastor Rob was a “a bit of dramaand a story they liked to revisit because of its dramatic potential. Mary’s obsession with the church makes Young SheldonThe storylines of sometimes darken thanks to the frustration and anger that his religious fervor incites in his family, as evidenced by Mary’s reaction to the announcement of Georgie impregnating his girlfriend with more concern for opinions. of their neighbor on her than for that of her son. coming. Like this character flaw, Mary’s potential affair with Pastor Rob is another part of the story that, while it has its fun moments (like Mary’s over-the-top dream about the young pastor), is usually played for. the drama by Young Sheldonthe creators.

Young Sheldon is more dramatic than the Big Bang Theory

Young sheldon season 6 mary george pastor rob

Between Georgie getting Mandy pregnant, both Sheldon’s parents considering affairs, and Meemaw’s tumultuous love life and gambling problem, it’s fair to say that Young Sheldon features a lot more drama than its predecessor. Whereas The Big Bang TheorySheldon is very similar to his younger incarnation in Young Sheldon, the milieu in which the older character resides is very different. where the adventures of The Big Bang TheoryThe Group of Friends was typically a low-stakes sitcom silliness, with the show featuring one or two emotionally charged stories per season, nearly every episode of Young Sheldon features a dramatic revelation about one of the Coopers or a tense conflict between family members.

This change is perfectly summed up in the character of Pastor Rob, who wouldn’t have had much to do in The Big Bang Theory. He could have argued with Sheldon about religion and been quickly shut down, but Young SheldonDWQD’s Pastor Rob is so sweet and good-natured that the more comedic sitcom wouldn’t have had much use for such a conflict-averse character. In contrast, Young SheldonA love of more serious stories and emotionally impactful plots means the sitcom spin-off has managed to cast even such an innocuous figure as Pastor Rob as the unwitting instigator of a tense love triangle. Young SheldonThe knack for finding drama in the suburbs stands in stark contrast to The Big Bang Theoryas evidenced by the role of Pastor Rob in the spin-off.

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About the Author

Mormons are oppressed and mocked on television. We are not alone.


Under the banner of heaven. “Keep soft.” “Murder Among Mormons.” “LuLaRich.” “More Mormons.”

The five series above are 2021 or 2022 series that aired on TV. All five cast Mormonism in an unflattering light in some ways — “Banner” being the worst of the lot by casting Mormonism as a religion that “breeds violent men.” As the only partially fictionalized series in this docuseries, “Banner” takes huge liberties with 19th-century Latter-day Saint history.

The other entries are more nuanced, but all highlight darker aspects of the Mormon faith and its culture.

In ‘Keep Sweet’, it’s the terror of polygamy in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a breakaway sect that gained notoriety for the forced marriage of teenage girls during Warren’s reign. Jeffs, the band’s prophet.

In “Murder Among the Mormons,” it’s the 1985 bombings orchestrated by forger Mark Hofmann. As this documentary shows, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were among those deceived by Hofmann’s deceptions.

In “LuLaRich,” active Latter-day Saints are the perpetrators of lies and fraud, as the couple who founded the leggings company LuLaRoe are shown gleefully scamming their employees and customers even as they let him quote passages from the Book of Mormon, the book of faith. fundamental writing, at corporate events.

Same “More Mormons“, arguably the most emotionally sensitive of the bunch, still conveys the underlying message that it’s nigh on impossible for anyone to be loving, LGBTQ-affirming and true to themselves while still being a member of the church.

The past two years have been difficult for Latter-day Saints on television.

A reporter recently asked me if we live in another “mormon timereferring to the national review that focused on Mormonism during Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential race. It’s possible. It seems like every decade or so the general public remembers that Mormons exist, and then they don’t like us very much. Before 2012, it was the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City that shone the spotlight on us – sometimes in a flattering light, but often in a negative light.

For me, the question is: is the current wave happening to us more than to other denominations? Are Latter-day Saints targeted by religious persecution, as some members claim? These people are deeply sensitive (and hurt) to unflattering portrayals of our religion on the small screen, and they cry foul.

I can understand the sentiment, but put the recent wave of attention in some context. In particular, let’s put it in the context of two trends that are happening simultaneously in America.

First, there’s just been an explosion of television content over the last five years or so. It’s not just that there are more docuseries about Mormonism; is that there are more docu-series, period.

In fact, this whole genre is exploding. It used to be that a documentary filmmaker would work for years to create a roughly two-hour film that would get limited theatrical distribution—often, in small urban art houses rather than megaplexes. Now the same filmmakers have the ability to reach much larger audiences on streaming platforms – and have more hours of content. A docu-series can last four, six or even eight hours.

The public reacted. IndieWire reports that by 2021, documentaries and docuseries had grown to account for 16% of all Netflix original content. On HBO, it was 18%; on Disney+ and Amazon Prime, it was a quarter.

The second trend is the rise of non-religion and ex-religion in the United States. According to Pew, in 2007 only 16% of Americans said they had no religion. By 2021, it had nearly doubled to 29%.

The fastest growing religious segment in America is made up of those who profess no religion.

In the context of these two trends, it is important to realize that it is not just Mormonism that is being criticized. Catholicism is seeing the worst of its dirty laundry aired in public: the sexual abuse crisis that the church has covered up for years. Thousands of children have been molested by priests, and they tell their stories in docuseries such as “Procession(Netflix, 2021), as well as dramatizations such as 2015’s “Spotlight,” which won the Best Picture Oscar.

Evangelicals haven’t been doing well lately either. While “Jesus Camp” (2006) is perhaps the defining documentary of the entire genre, more recent additions have included “Family,” a 2019 Netflix production that examines the outsized and shadowy role some evangelical Protestants have played in conservative politics.

And let’s not forget”Tammy Faye’s eyes,” a 2021 dramatization of the rise and fall of TV’s much-mocked and cosmetically enhanced televangelist.

Orthodox Judaism has also had its turn: In addition to the 2017 feature “Disobedience,” a host of series have depicted the strains of life in closed and deeply conservative Hasidic communities. “One of Us” and “My Unorthodox Life,” both from Netflix in 2021, follow former members as they try to make their way in the world after leaving their faith. These were perhaps informed by the huge success of Netflix’s 2020 hit “Unorthodox,” based on Deborah Feldman’s 2012 memoir of the same name.

As a viewer, I was disturbed by the jugular additions Netflix made to Feldman’s story. In the series, the main character, Esty, flees to Europe and is pursued there by an armed Hasidic thug who is determined to put her online. It’s a ridiculous, gratuitous subplot that isn’t anywhere in Feldman’s book.

“It’s scary to give someone your story for the screen because you can’t control it” she told the New York Times. You can repeat it.

If Mormons are persecuted on television, then they are in good company. Religion in general comes under scrutiny, especially its more conservative expressions. Given the trend lines of people leaving religion in large numbers, we can expect this to continue. I’m aware of at least two new docu-series on Mormonism, and I’m sure more will follow.

It’s safe to guess that future portrayals of our faith might be even less flattering. Consider AP’s recent investigative reporting on how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long covered up child sexual abuse and encouraged bishops not to report it to police.

It is hard to remember all the good the church does in the world, which is considerable, when faced with the reality of how many times it has done wrong.

Don’t ignore spike in anti-Catholic hate crimes in Canada, says watchdog


In November 2021, the league noted a “surge” in attacks on churches following initial reports from May 2021 of possible unmarked graves on the property of former residential schools for Indigenous Canadians, which were run by Catholic and Protestant entities under the supervision of the federal government. government.

Preliminary claims about the graves are based on analysis of ground penetrating radar results and have yet to be confirmed by exhumation and other analysis. It is also possible that the graves were from community cemeteries and include the remains of non-students and non-indigenous people from the area, including boarding school staff and their families.

Sarah Beaulieu, the anthropologist who conducted the first radar tests near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, in July 2021 called the 215 radar signatures “probable burials” and “targets of interest.” The use of ground detection radar at the Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan reportedly found 751 graves.

News reports incorrectly described possible graves as “mass graves” and often failed to mention that the finds had not been confirmed. The reports appeared to have inspired church burnings and other acts of vandalism.

“There is no indication that these attacks were carried out by indigenous peoples and indigenous leaders were quick to condemn these acts of violence,” the Catholic Civil Rights League said in November. “Indeed, there were churches burned on indigenous lands and those serving indigenous Catholic communities.”

For decades, Catholic leaders, Indigenous Canadians and others have sought to address the legacy of the historical involvement of Catholic organizations and institutions in residential schools, which sought to forcibly assimilate Indigenous Canadians.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report on residential schools in 2015 said the system was part of a policy of “cultural genocide.”

Some schools date from the 1870s. Attendance was generally compulsory and children were often taken away from their families. The federal government provided poor oversight and few resources, while the schools themselves provided substandard education and neglectful housing and care for their boarding students.

An estimated 4,100 to 6,000 students have died from disease, injury, neglect or abuse over the decades. Tuberculosis was a major cause of death, as was the flu. Children died disproportionately from disease compared to non-Indigenous Canadians.

Pope Francis apologized for abuses in residential schools during his visit to Canada last month.

Catholic leaders in other countries have expressed concern over an increase in crimes against churches.

(Story continues below)

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has counted at least 157 criminal incidents at Catholic churches in 37 states and the District of Columbia since May 2020. These include arson, beheading of statues, vandalism with anti-Catholic language and the defacing of tombstones. Several of the incidents of vandalism in the United States referenced the residential school controversy in Canada.

In February 2022, French authorities said provisional figures indicated that more than 800 anti-Christian incidents had been reported in the country in the previous year. The French Interior Ministry recorded 996 anti-Christian acts in 2019, an average of 2.7 per day.

In France, vandalism and attacks on Christian churches often seem to lack any organized coordination or shared ideological motives. Many perpetrators appear to be disillusioned young people, people with psychological disorders or the homeless. Religious sites also suffer from the abandonment and lack of maintenance on the part of the public authorities, owners of French religious buildings under a law of 1905.

Nonetheless, there have been several high-profile terrorist incidents, including the 2016 murder of Father Jacques Hamel while celebrating mass in a Normandy church. His attackers were men aligned with the Islamic State.

Church of Scientology Unites Diverse Community for 7th Annual International Friendship Day Celebration


Tennessee, USA, August 4, 2022, ZEXPRWIRE, The Church of Scientology of Nashville held its seventh annual open house this past weekend, with attendance from the diverse population that makes up the growing city.

The International Day of Friendship was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011 with the belief that “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities”.

“We love bringing together a diverse group of people and demonstrating the power of friendship,” says Reverend Brian Fesler, pastor of the Church of Scientology. “Most of life’s problems stem from our fundamental misunderstanding of each other – a misunderstanding of intentions – getting along with each other starts with getting to know each other.”

The Church of Scientology is partnering in this effort with The Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee, which offers a community improvement program based on the book The way to happiness by L. Ron Hubbard. The initiative is based on the fact that the survival of an individual depends on the survival of others and that without the survival of others, neither joy nor happiness is attainable. Several precepts in the book encourage dialogue and friendship, including “Respect the religious beliefs of others”, “Be trustworthy” and “Try to treat others as you would like them to treat you”.

This year, the theme for International Friendship Day was “Sharing the Human Spirit through Friendship,” and the Nashville event embodied that with dialogue between those of many different faith traditions, Baptists and Catholics to Scientologists, Jews and Latter Day Saints.

“People need to come together and be friends,” says Reverend Enoch Fuzz, pastor of Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church. Fuzz and Fesler have worked together on this annual event for over eight years.

For more information about the Church of Scientology, its programs, or upcoming events, visit scientology-ccnashville.org.

Stolen Brooklyn pastor wants priests to have gun licenses


Bishop Lamor Miller Whitehead, the flashy pastor who had $1 million worth of jewelry stolen during a recent sermon, has asked clergy for special clearance to bear arms. “The devil didn’t want me back in this pulpit,” he said this week. “God said, ‘You can’t take his life. You can touch his material things. But you can’t touch his soul.'” He added, “I’m a miracle — I’m not supposed to be here today. Everybody wants to talk about what the tabloids are talking about and forget about the miracle.” Read on to find out more about the Rolls Royce-driving pastor and why he wants to pass a new gun law.


On Friday, Miller Whitehead, who served time in state prison for identity theft and robbery, argued for the special dispensation. “They need to quickly pass a law that pastors in places of worship — any church personnel — should be able to get firearms permits,” he said. “If teachers can have it, we should be able to have it.”

“It doesn’t matter if we have a record, it should be exempt,” he said. “So we should be able to bear arms as the Constitution says.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul

At the press conference, Miller Whitehead asked President Biden and New York Governor Kathy Hochul to approve his request. “I call on all elected officials who have the power to protect places of worship,” he said. “We need protection. We need you to sympathize with us. We don’t have the luxury of guns. All we ask is to help protect us. Pass a law allowing us to carry our guns, because this gun violence has reached a new level.”

Hochul recently tightened gun restrictions in New York City, in response to recent nationwide mass shootings and a rise in local crime.

New York Mayor Eric Adams speaks during a maternal health news conference outside Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn on January 16, 2022 in New York City.

During a recent press conference, New York Mayor Eric Adams was asked about Bishop Lamor Miller Whitehead’s call for clergy to be armed in New York. “Do you think it’s a good idea for clergy to have a special dispensation when it comes to gun licenses?” asked a reporter.

“No,” Adams said.

Pastor Lamor M Whitehead

Lamor Miller Whitehead is the Bishop of Leaders of Tomorrow International Churches in Canarsie, Brooklyn. The former Brooklyn borough presidential candidate in 2020 was described as “flashy”, driving a Rolls-Royce and wearing flashy jewelry. He made headlines last week when gunmen robbed him of jewelry worth $1million during a live-streamed church service.

Whitehead was charged with stealing $90,000 in life savings from one of his parishioners, and a New Jersey state court entered a $335,000 judgment against him for failing to paid the developers for his $1.6 million home. Whitehead also owes Manhattan Supreme Court more than $260,000 in 2009. judgement on an unpaid personal loan for the purchase of a house.

Pastor Lamor Miller Whitehead

Whitehead has ties to Adams and has attended several public events with him. “No one in this city should be the victim of armed robbery, let alone our religious leaders and congregants who worship in a house of God,” Adams said. Told the New York Daily New Monday about Whitehead’s theft during church services. “The NYPD is investigating this crime and will work tirelessly to bring the criminals involved to justice.”

The church takes the service outside | News, Sports, Jobs


ABOVE: Jen Kahler (with guitar), accompanied by her praise band, leads a group of worshipers in song during a Wednesday community service hosted by Grace Lutheran Church in the bandstand at Sylvania Park in Fairmont . This community worship in the park will continue at 6 p.m. every Wednesday until September 7.

FAIRMONT — Members of Grace Lutheran Church took advantage of the beautiful summer months — and Fairmont’s parks — to hold an outdoor Wednesday evening service at Sylvania Park Bandshell in Fairmont.

Congregation member Patti Matthews said: “As a church, we worship on Wednesdays year-round. We do it in the park during the summer.

She said they actually started holding outdoor Wednesday night services last year.

“We had a change of pastors and we are going to have another change of pastors. We have a new pastor coming in September,” Matthews explained.

However, she said they have a strong worship team working to reach out to the community more, hence the idea of ​​the worship on the water.

Worship on the Water is a service held from the Let’s Go Fishing pontoon on Lake Sisseton. For this, people can witness on the water from their boats or kayaks or participate from the shores of Ward Park.

Matthews said the reason they were trying something new was because something new had to be done.

“Churches need to rethink what they do,” she says.

She said things had also changed since Covid and people weren’t really coming in in droves. Regarding attendance at outdoor park services, Mathews said attendance generally fluctuates in the summer with busy schedules, and while attendance is not what they hoped for, even if a person has , they agree with that.

Matthews said they would like to collaborate with other churches in the future. She said Doug Peterson of the East Chain Evangelical Free Church, which has held church services on the lawn for the past few summers, came over and wished them luck.

“You know we do the same thing for the same reasons. It’s about getting the word out to the community,” said Matthews.

The services are very heavy on the music, which is performed live by a number of talented members of the congregation. Jen Kahler, a member of the worship team, said there were between four and seven people performing.

“We have drums, keyboard, singer, guitar. This is what our group usually consists of. said Kahler.

She said a message and prayers were also part of the service although music was a focal point.

“It’s much more informal. It’s pretty relaxed and you can’t beat the lake as a backdrop,” Kahler laughs.

It’s more casual than a typical service in the hopes that it will reach those who may have left the church or are looking for something different. However, longtime members of the congregation have also attended, as it also offers them something different.

“One of the hopes of doing the service at the park is to make it a worship service that is not limited to the walls of the church. The hope is that having the service at the park will remove some barriers and make it more comfortable for anyone to show up,” said Kahler.

She and Matthews emphasized that everyone is welcome to attend the service.

“We want people to be loved and the name of Jesus to come out. If you are just strolling around the lake, come join us. If you want a breath of fresh air, come get lifted. said Matthews.

Outdoor services will continue from 6 p.m. until August. This Sunday, August 7, worship on the water will take place at 11 a.m. In case of rain, it will be August 14.

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HUNTINGTON, Ind., August 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Our Sunday Visitor, Inc. (OSV) has named Gretchen R. Crowe editor-in-chief of OSV News, the new Catholic news agency launching January 1, 2023to fill the vacuum created by the closing of the Catholic News Service of the American bishops.

“I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to pioneer OSV News as we build on the long legacy of exemplary Catholic journalism provided by Catholic News Service,” Crowe said. “As I begin to assemble a dedicated team of Catholic professionals committed to quality journalism, I look forward to working with them to share information, spread the gospel and promote the common good.

“The creation of OSV News further expands the vision of OSV founder, Archbishop John Francis Noll, who sought to serve Catholics in the early to mid-twentieth century by informing them of the day’s events through a lens Catholic, while training them. At OSV News, this mission will continue as we strive to report news accurately and comprehensively, within the bounds of justice and charity, in the service of truth,” said Crowe.

“From the moment we considered creating OSV News”, Editor OSV Scott P. Richert said, “Gretchen Crowe was the obvious choice to lead this new effort. In her two decades of work in the Catholic press, Gretchen has proven that no one has a bigger heart for Catholic news, or a better understanding of the vital role Catholic media must play in bringing truth to a world who desperately needs this. As one of the leaders of OSV’s content team, Gretchen also understands the changing landscape of all Catholic publishing and knows what Catholic media needs to do to engage new generations of readers, listeners and viewers. »

Crowe began her tenure at OSV in 2013, when she was appointed by the former editor Greg Erlandson as editor of Our Sunday Visitor, the OSV’s flagship publication founded in 1912 by Archbishop Noll. Crowe led the newspaper’s efforts to respond to an ever-changing media landscape by placing more emphasis on daily content on the web and responding to news as it happened. She led the strategy and market research efforts that led to a redesign of the newspaper in 2018 and its website in 2019. She helped lead efforts to transition Our Sunday Visitor to its current state as as content-driven publishing, enabling agile production of content across multiple channels.

During her nearly 10 years at the OSV, Crowe’s position expanded with a promotion to editorial director for periodicals. Under his guidance and direction, OSV launched four new publications: the deacon magazine (a companion publication to OSV’s nearly century-old magazine, The priest), OSV Children magazine, SimplyCatholic.com and RadiantMagazine.com. She also oversees TeachingCatholicKids.com. In addition to periodical growth, Crowe serves on OSV’s Editorial Board and Book Acquisition teams, and she assists with content creation for OSV’s Parish Solutions division.

Crowe currently sits on the board of directors of the Catholic Media Association, where she is chair of the education committee. Since 2013, she has been the national media representative on the CNS Liaison Committee of the Catholic Media Association. She also leads OSV’s efforts in producing “Heart of the Revival,” the weekly newsletter for the U.S. Bishops’ National Eucharistic Revival.

In addition to his work at the national level, Crowe has experience in diocesan newspapers. From 2004 to 2013, Crowe worked for the Diocese of from Arlington “Arlington Catholic Herald”, under the mentorship of veterans of the Catholic press Michel F. Flach and Ann M. Augherton. As such, his work has been regularly used by Catholic News Service.

Crowe has received numerous accolades for his writing, editing and photography from the Catholic Media Association. She is the author of two books, “Why the Rosary, Why now?” (OSV, 2017) and “Praying the Rosary with Saint John Paul II” (OSV, 2019). Her third book, “Legacy of Mercy: A True Story of Murder and a Mother’s Forgiveness,” will be released this fall by OSV Books.

Crowe is an alumnus of the inaugural class of “The Church Up Close” program offered to members of the international media by the Pontifical University of The Holy Cross’ School of Church Communications in Rome. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Crowe is married to writer and editor Michael R. Heinlein, and the couple have three children. Crowe and her husband are currently in formation for the Association of Pauline Cooperators, under the direction of the Daughters of St. Paul.

As the first Catholic publisher of United States, OSV provides products and solutions to more than nine out of ten Catholic parishes and to all Catholic dioceses in the country. Founded in 1912 by Fr. Jean-Francois Noll, OSV’s team of more than 350 people continues to champion the Catholic Church through a wide range of products and services. From weekly and monthly publications to software solutions, fundraising and advisory services, educational products, business books and parish publications, OSV helps Catholics, families, parishes and dioceses to come closer of Christ and to contribute to the growth and vitality of his Church in the world. A Catholic non-profit organization, OSV has supported the needs of the Church for over a century. Learn more about www.osv.com.

Contact: Scott P. Richert
E-mail: [email protected]

SOURCE Our Sunday Visitor

Fort Wayne First Baptist Church Celebrates Bicentennial Year


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – Since 1950, Fort Wayne’s First Baptist Church has stood faithful, near the intersection of Fairfield and Pierce Avenues. But its history is long before this place. In fact, the congregation is planning a bicentennial celebration, marking 200 years of service to the city.

Nancy Noak attended church for a quarter of her life. “My husband and I have been here since 1973 so damn near fifty years!” she told us. “People at this church are openly friendly. They take you under their wing, they want you to know more about God and Christ, and they are ready to help you with whatever comes up in your life.

18-year-old Colin Haines started attending First Baptist Church when his grandparents brought him weekly. “I’ve been going here for as long as I can remember…before I can remember,” he said. But you won’t see him on the benches – he’s in charge of audio and technology while on duty and sometimes plays music up front. “We are very small, but we just have a good sense of community and unity. It’s like a family when I’m here.

Reverend Peter Janzen currently leads the church, as acting pastor. Although it has only been three months since he began helping the congregation begin the transition to finding a permanent preacher, he has filled and spoken to the church several times. “First Baptist was a place of education, of growth in their spiritual life,” he described. “There’s this feeling of camaraderie and the joy of being together.”

A monument attached to the back entrance of the First Baptist Church by the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society reads: The first assembly of any faith or creed in the Fort Wayne area, hosted by the Reverend Isaac McCoy, missionary to the Indians. The church was officially organized with eleven charter members on August 3, 1822, then was reorganized on March 4, 1837. The congregation moved to this fourth site on January 8, 1950.

Meeting at the fort, McCoy led the first congregation, which included Europeans, African Americans, and Native Americans. Two of Chief Little Turtle’s granddaughters have been baptized, along with a freed slave. But because the Reverend was a missionary, he left Fort Wayne and traveled to other states to continue his work. When the First Baptist Church was re-established in 1837, congregants had their own building to meet in, and they have continued ever since.

From a small framed structure to grand downtown buildings, the First Baptist Church has changed dramatically over the centuries. The current building at 2323 Fairfield was built 72 years ago, and an extension was added in 1967. As the congregation grew, so did their outreach. Former members have founded area churches including: South Wayne Baptist Church, Memorial Baptist Church, Liberty Hills Baptist Church, Immanuel Church, and Faith Baptist Church.

In 2009, when South Wayne Baptist Church closed, it merged with First Baptist Church, and South Wayne’s senior pastor led the two during the transition. To be more welcoming to both congregations, First Baptist Church changed its name to Fort Wayne Baptist Church. This year, the congregation revered that decision, reverting to First Baptist Church of Fort Wayne, to celebrate its bicentennial.

And like its earliest roots, the church has been intertwined with other cultures. McCoy’s earliest influences were missionaries who shared their faith with those in Burma. Today the First Baptist Church shares its building with the Burmese Christian Fellowship. Even if the congregation is small, it remains generous. Since 2019, they have also been a place where the Fort Wayne Boys and Girls club can operate some of its programming. Pastor Janzen says dozens of their members are generating hundreds of donations through Operation Christmas Child.

Still about two centuries after first meeting McCoy, Janzen realizes that no church is safe from permanently closing its doors, though he still holds out hope for the future. “Every church has a cycle of life – there’s a beginning, and that’s what we celebrate, there’s a middle, and then there’s an end,” he explained. “If you look at the New Testament, there are all kinds of churches that received letters from Paul. Only one of these churches is alive today.

“I hope this 200 year anniversary will be a clear marker of what the mission and purpose for the future is,” Janzen added. “The story has been about the mission, and it continues to be about the mission.”

“This church has stood the test of time,” Noak shared. “And with the help of a dedicated congregation, we will continue to be part of this community.”

Several special events are planned for this year, including:

  • 200th Anniversary Celebration (August 3 at 4 p.m. — 2323 Fairfield Ave.)
  • Religious service at the historic Old Fort (September 25 at 10 a.m. — 1201 Spy Run Ave.)
  • International Connection Celebration / Combined Church Service with the Burmese Christian Community (October 16 at 11:45 a.m. – 2323 Fairfield Ave.)

You can find more information about First Baptist Church of Fort Wayne, upcoming events, and its history here.

Copyright 2022 WPTA. All rights reserved.

Pastor Larry Danforth joins Sabetha First United Methodist Church


my favorite thing [as a pastor] look at lives transformed in our Lord Jesus. It’s an incredible thing to see. –Pastor Larry Danforth

For seven years, Larry Danforth pursued a professional career in criminal justice in Texas. However, during this time, Larry sensed that God had other plans, and he listened.

“I served for seven years with the Denton County Sheriff’s Department and the Tioga Police Department, both in Texas,” Larry said. “When I was working in the Denton County Jail, I read the Bible and found myself sharing and having discussions about faith with my fellow officers. I realized that maybe God was calling me police/fire chaplaincy. I decided to go to seminary, but I prayed to God saying, ‘God, if you don’t want me to do this, stop me.’

This was just the beginning of Larry following and serving God by spreading his word in various communities. Larry was ordained an elder in The United Methodist Church on May 25, 2011.

Since 2007, Larry has had the “honor and privilege” of serving Oak Haven United Methodist Church in Irving, Texas, as well as in Western Kansas in Almena, Norcatur, Clayton, Cimarron, Kalvesta, WaKeeney, Prairie Home, Norton and most recently, Scott City.

While in Scott City, the Rev. Reuben Saenz Jr., Bishop of the United Methodist Church of the Great Plains Annual Conference, appointed him to Sabetha First United Methodist Church on February 13, 2022. His appointment officially started on Friday July 1st.

Larry and his family have already moved to Sabetha and are settling there.

Pastor Larry Danforth is joined by his wife, Cathy, and children, Wesley and Lilly, on Easter 2022.

“We’re still going through boxes, but we’re settling in and enjoying the community,” Larry said. “I look forward to making disciples of our Lord Jesus and sharing the truth of his gospel with our community, both in word and deed. my favorite thing [about being a Pastor] look at lives transformed in our Lord Jesus. It’s an amazing thing to see. »

Larry and his wife, Cathy, have been married for nine years. Larry enjoys spending time with his family. He also enjoys reading books and watching movies, especially anything Star Wars related. Cathy is a registered nurse who has also served as a missionary in the United Arab Emirates and India. As the wife of a pastor, Larry said Cathy had what he believed to be the most important job.

“Cathy has what I believe is one of the most important jobs in the church,” Larry said. “She is the first one who takes care of the pastor. She is also a lay preacher who has held pulpits when pastors are away, including my own.

Larry and Cathy have two children, Wesley, 7, and Lilly, 6. Wesley loves dinosaurs, Pokemon and Minecraft. Lilly is currently in love with everything related to the movie Frozen and the TV show Bluey. Wesley and Lilly both served as sidekicks during worship services.

The family also has a dachshund named Toby. The family is also fortunate to have Cathy’s parents – Ron and Judy Coots – living in Sabetha. They reside at the Christian Apostolic House.

About Larry

Larry was born in Rockledge, Florida near Patrick Air Force Base. Her father served in the Air Force for 20 years. Consequently, Larry grew up in the Air Force at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska; Altus AFB, Okla. ; RAF Fairford, UK; and McGuire AFB, NJ

When her father retired from the Air Force, her family moved to Texas. However, most of his family is from Alabama, where he “officially calls home.”

In 1998, Larry earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. In 2008, he earned a Master of Divinity degree from Brite Divinity School, which is affiliated with Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.

Hundreds jump to raise funds for Hong Kong church


Hong Kong Diocese Seeks to Raise $1 Billion for Construction, Maintenance of Church Buildings and Cemeteries

Bishop Stephen Chow Sau-yan of Hong Kong gives a helping hand to a kindergarten girl who took part in a charity jump rope rally. (Photo: Diocese of Hong Kong)

Posted: Aug 02, 2022 04:06 GMT

Updated: Aug 02, 2022 06:01 GMT

Bishop Stephen Chow Sau-yan of Hong Kong presided over a charity jump-rope (jump-rope) event attended by hundreds of Catholics to raise funds for the construction and maintenance of buildings and cemeteries run by the Church in the city.

The Hong Kong Diocesan Fundraising Commission for Church Building and Development held the ‘725 Rope Skipping Fun Day’ charity event at St Joseph’s Anglo-Chinese School on July 25, according to the Diocesan Newspaper. Sunday Examiner reported.

Bishop Stephen Chow presided over the event along with around 200 children, parents, teachers, Caritas Hong Kong staff and other members of participating religious institutions.

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“Young people have many good qualities that we can learn from, among them courage in the face of difficulties,” the Bishop said at the event.

He also thanked the organizers, participants, sponsors and donors for their generosity and efforts.

As of July 26, the commission had raised $2.6 million and public donations are open until mid-August through the commission’s fundraising site.

Funds raised through these events are to be used by the diocese for the construction of parish buildings, additional urn niches, and the upkeep of old buildings that are the responsibility of the diocese for posterity.

Earlier, the diocese revealed via a video statement that it is to raise a total of US$1 billion for development activities.

“Let us pray for God’s guidance for this event which encourages constant exercise, unites Catholic schools, promotes the development of the Church and transmits the great love of God,” said Father Dominic Chan Chi-ming, president of the fundraising committee.

Members of the Hong Kong Rope Skipping Federation showed off their advanced skipping skills and styles, which also involved teaching some of the new styles to children.

“I feel a sense of accomplishment when I learn a new style of jumping rope,” said Au Choi-wing, a participating student.

Unlike previous years, in addition to diocesan secondary and primary schools as well as kindergartens, the event was supported by the Catholic Religious Schools Council and Caritas Hong Kong-Vocational Training and Education Service.

Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous city, was a British colony from 1843 until its handover to China in 1997. Under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Hong Kong enjoyed a higher degree of autonomy and fundamental rights such as an independent judiciary and legislature under the “one country, two systems” framework.

Once known as one of the freest cities in the world, Hong Kong has seen many of its freedoms and rights eroded since Beijing imposed a draconian national security law in 2020 to crush the pro- -democracy of 2019 in order to establish full control over the city.

Several pro-democracy supporters, including prominent Catholics, have been arrested and imprisoned under the national security law. Cardinal Joseph Zen, former bishop of Hong Kong, was arrested in May but later released following global outrage.

Catholics number about 500,000 out of Hong Kong’s approximately 7.5 million people.

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Letter: Revive the Eucharist


Letters submitted by BDN readers are vetted by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to [email protected]

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) National Eucharistic Revival runs from Sunday, June 19, 2022, through Pentecost Sunday, June 8, 2025. The 2019 Pew Poll reveals that two-thirds of Catholics do not believe in the presence real life of Christ in the Eucharist is a step in the right direction. It should be remembered that this survey was carried out before the confinements. Catholic belief in the Real Presence was in freefall for years before the mass closure of churches in 2020. Why?

May this Eucharistic awakening also be an invitation for others to consider “going home”.

Extract from the Bible: “For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world”… “And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will not be hungry; and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”… “If anyone eats this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world”…” Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day”… “He who eats this bread will live forever…” (John 6: 33, 35, 52, 54, 55, 59). “I came that they might have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

Mary Comstock

Macwahoc Plantation

The Recorder – The bells are ringing at Greenfield Church to end the ‘epidemic’ of gun violence


Published: 07/31/2022 23:53:12

Modified: 07/31/2022 23:50:02

GREENFIELD – A solemn tinkling of church bells filled a moment of silence among worshipers at the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew on Sunday morning, calling for unity and prayer amid the tragedies of gun violence underway in the country.

Since the spring, the church has started worship on the last Sunday of every month with a bell ringing at 10 a.m. public health crisis of gun violence. Along with the ringing of the bells and a minute of silence, the clergy recites aloud the number of people who have died as a result of gun violence during the month.

“According to the Gun Violence Archive, in the month of July, 1,110 lives were lost due to gun violence in the United States,” Rev. Molly Scherm directed Sunday to the pews.

Scherm recalled that the idea of ​​ringing the bells was conceptualized “after one of the major mass shootings”. She met with co-directors Ella Ingraham and Virginia Crowl to discuss a way for the church to combat the “epidemic” of gun violence.

“One of them remarked that gun violence weighs so heavily on all of us,” Scherm said. “She wished we could do more because we have to grieve.”

According to the Gun Violence Archive, as of Sunday, 25,779 gun deaths have occurred in the United States in 2022. Locally, Greenfield has seen three shootings since June 10, although no one has been killed. Aside from the recent frequency of incidents in the city, the church’s effort also “keeps the epidemic of gun violence before us and gives us the opportunity to share our grief,” Scherm said.

“To me, the serves are so beautiful,” Ingraham commented. “The cool thing about this church is that it’s a community.”

Ingraham said having a community bound together under “one body of Christ” is appropriate to unite against gun violence.

“It’s definitely a matter of faith,” she said. “The diocese is very active.

Ingraham and Scherm each acknowledged that even unified under the same faith, those who attend church services may have different feelings about how to approach the issue of gun violence. Scherm observed that worshipers are “all in different places on the road.”

“I think it’s fascinating because I think people are on a spectrum,” Ingraham said.

“We’re all in progress, and hopefully we’re still in progress,” Scherm said.

Considering the role of faith regarding the issue of gun violence, Scherm argued that “prayer changes the one who prays and connects us to the greater reality of love in the world.”

“I think it’s a place where we bring what’s close to our hearts,” she said of the church. “It’s a place where we’re reminded that what we see and live with isn’t all there is.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or [email protected]

Baptist pastor sues Sewerage & Water Board, launching campaign against ‘draconian billing system’ | Economic news


The pastor of a Baptist church in the Lower 9th Ward is suing the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board over a longstanding billing dispute in what he says is the start of a campaign to force the utility to fix its system notoriously chaotic billing.

Reverend Jack Battiste, who has pastored the New Testament Baptist Church on Tupelo Street for the past two decades, along with his wife, Schelitta, filed the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of La Louisiana to New Orleans. They allege the agency violated their due process rights and breached the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1977 while trying to resolve a water bill over $3,300 for an unoccupied property. that they own.

Battiste’s legal costs are being borne by Anthony “AP” Marullo, a local real estate developer, who sued the utility earlier this year in its own dispute over huge spikes in water bills for commercial properties that ‘he had.

A meeting of minds

Battiste and Marullo had a “link of spirit” when they met in court during Marullo’s hearing in May. The two have agreed to pursue class-action status for Battiste’s lawsuit and make it the focus of a campaign they hope will force the utility to take drastic action to address the issues, Battiste said. .

“This effort is for everyone who has been abused and misused (by the Sewerage and Water Board) throughout the New Orleans area,” Battiste said.

Marullo said they expect the first to join the class action will be Battiste church worshipers who have faced their own billing issues with the utility. They created a website — stopdat.info – which will go live the first week of August and aims to attract other complainants.

“The website will allow any resident or business owner to provide information about what has happened to them with the Sewer and Water Board,” Marullo said. “We will have paralegals collecting the data and contacting every resident or business owner with a problem. My commitment is to see this through to the end, whatever the cost.”

Rev. Jack Battiste, of the New Testament Baptist Church in the Lower 9th Ward, poses at his home in Marrero, La., Thursday, July 28, 2022. The details of Rev. Battiste’s case are similar to thousands of others. (Photo by Sophia Germer, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Lawyer)

The details of the Battiste and Marullo cases are similar to many others dating back years.

Widespread issues over water bills were at the center of a scuffle between city council members and Mayor LaToya Cantrell earlier this year, as the council sought to wrest control of utility oversight from the office of the mayor. After opposition to this effort by Cantrell, a compromise bill passed in June, this gives the council a say in a committee dealing with the billing problem.

The S&WB declined to comment on Battiste’s case. Grace Birch, a spokeswoman for the utility, said in an emailed statement that the agency had made progress but faced years of chronic underinvestment in infrastructure.

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“Resolving billing issues has been a top priority for leaders at the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans since 2018,” Birch wrote, adding that their records show the number of open disputes has fallen from more than 10,000 to 3,300. during this period. She noted that the utility is investing $60 million in smart meters across the city, but acknowledged that it will take several years for this project to be completed.

“While we continue to steadily improve our billing accuracy and dispute resolutions, we are far from satisfied,” Birch said. “We recognize that customers may feel the same.”

No meter but higher bills

Indeed, Battiste’s lawsuit details how, in March, he requested an investigation into a $3,375.18 bill received for an unoccupied house he and his wife own on Tupelo Street near the Church of New Will. The lawsuit claims the utility later removed the meter from the property, but in July told Battiste the meter was in working order. The utility also charged extra during the time there was no meter on the property.

Even though Battiste had made “good faith payments” and requested a hearing that was never granted, the S&WB then referred his account to a collection agency, the lawsuit says. Along with implications for Battiste’s credit rating, the utility’s actions also mean that the property he and his wife rely on for income is not currently habitable, according to the lawsuit.

Battiste is seeking unspecified damages and legal costs, as well as class action status for the lawsuit.


Developer Anthony Marullo poses in the parking lot of Citizens Plaza in Metairie, La., Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (Photo by Sophia Germer, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Lawyer)

Bob Ellis, Battiste and Marullo’s attorney in their cases, said the S&WB knew it had huge problems with the billing system. “My suggestion for them is this: at some point you either have to fish or cut bait. The right thing to do, in my opinion, is to take all your bills, find a number and zero all accounts. Sure, you’re going to lose money, but your billing system is draconian.”

At Marullo’s hearing in May, the court heard his credit rating had plummeted from over 700 to nearly 500 when the utility sent him for collection. This meant he was automatically placed on probation as a board member of American Bank & Trust and could not proceed with financing ongoing real estate transactions. Marullo testified that he was never heard to dispute bills from commercial properties that had doubled or, in one case, gone from around $700 to $13,000 without an explanation.

The judge in that case, Kern Reese of the New Orleans Civil District Court, had harsh words for public service when he granted Marullo’s preliminary request for the S&WB to remove his account from collections.

“Government agencies have the power to do things to citizens because they have the power of government,” Reese said. “But the government should also respect the rights of citizens and give them the opportunity to be heard. I don’t see that in this case and it’s very disconcerting,” he said.

Rest Sweeter Than Sleep: Nighttime Prayer for a Troubled Conscience


Sometimes, as I lay down to sleep, a restlessness leans over my bed. A vague uneasiness. A nagging sense of some unresolved tension. A door in the soul that swings on its hinges. The agitation of an uneasy conscience.

As I relive the day, I understand why. Hasty or skipped prayers. An opportunity for evangelism avoided. Nourished grievances. Words of self-promotion crept into the conversations. The “prayer request” which was probably gossip. Precious time wasted. Unthought and unspoken encouragement. As the old prayer book says, “I left out the things I should have done; and I did the things I shouldn’t have done.

Was this an appropriate response to your God? I wonder. Was it “walking worthily” of him? Sometimes I drift off with such unresolved, restless, self-reproaching questions, but tired enough to succumb to sleep.

But not always. A few years ago, I found unexpected help in the poem of a long-dead pastor who asked the same questions, felt the same guilt, but found in Jesus a rest much sweeter than sleep.


“Even-Song” by George Herbert (1593-1633) closes a series of three poems from his collection The temple, starting with “Mattens” and continuing with “Sinne (II)”. The titles “Mattens” and “Even-Song” refer to morning and evening prayers in the Anglican Church. And “Sinne” – well, this captures what often happens between those morning and evening prayers.

“Even-Song” is not a prayer for every night. Herbert does not assume that we end the day solely with self-reproach, sin having destroyed the resolutions of the day. But he supposes that we sometimes do – and that often even the most faithful Christians kneel beside their bed, wishing deeply that they had walked in a way more worthy of their God.

What do we say at the end of these days, when we feel the gulf between God’s goodness and our unworthy response? More than once, “Even-Song” has met me at my bedside, speaking clarity and comfort to my troubled conscience. He became a faithful friend of the night.

As night approaches

Blessed be the God of love,
Who gave us eyes, light and power today,
Both to keep busy and to play.
But much more blessed be God above,

Who gave me back my sight alone,
What he denied to himself:
Because when he sees my tears, I die:
But I have his son, and he doesn’t.

As night draws near, Herbert looks back, remembering God’s morning gifts of “eyes, light, and power this day, / Both to be busy and to play”. Our Father, “God of love” that he is, opens the reserves of his heart from the first moment of the day. As the famous Herbert in “Mattens,” “I can’t open my eyes, / But you’re ready to catch / My morning soul and my sacrifice.” “Thine is the day” (Psalm 74:16), says the psalmist. And Herbert, surrounded by the gifts of God, feels it.

For sinners like us, however, one gift rises above the rest. The God who gives us “eyes and light” for the work of the day also gives us another kind of vision, “which he refused himself: / For when he sees my wounds, I die”. Alluding to Psalm 130:3, Herbert remembers that God, in Christ, does not “mark” our iniquities, even when we do; in a sense, he does not see the sins that we see.

And why? Because “I have his son, and he has none”. God delivered his Son to the cross — and at the same time he renounced Sun which otherwise would shine on our guilt. Jesus buried our sins in darkness on Good Friday, and on Easter Sunday they were not raised with Him. Thus, in the glory of the gospel, God no longer “remembers” the sins of his people (Hebrews 8:12); he no longer sees them. They are buried, hidden, invisible, forever kept in darkness.

But they don’t always feel buried, hidden, invisible. And so, Herbert takes us back to his “troubled mind”.

troubled mind

What did I bring you home
Why your love? have I paid the debt,
What did this favor bring about?
I ran; but all I brought was fome.

Your plan, your care and your cost
Finish in bubbles, balls of wind;
From the wind to you that I believed,
But balls of wild fire to my troubled mind.

Like a good father, God welcomes us with favor morning after morning; its “regime, care, and cost” send us into the day strengthened and renewed. But too often, as we approach home at night, we reach into our pockets, wondering how we could have taken so much and brought back so little. “What did I bring you home?” Herbert asks. ” I ran ; but all I brought was fome” – or, a few lines later, “bubbles, balls of wind”. Insubstantial nothings.

Approaching God with fists full of wind may not trouble nominal minds, who care little whether they please God or not. But for those who have tasted God’s goodness and seen the cross as its prize, such a wind can become “balls of wild fire to my troubled mind.” The sun set on the regrets of the day, without having time to remedy it, leaving our souls pricked with thorns. A pillow of self-reproach. A brooding conscience.

On nights like these, some just try to sleep their guilt. Others are looking for some streamlining. Still others pray, but not in a way that puts out the fire in their minds. What does Herbert do?

Close our tired eyes

Yet you continue
And now, with weary eyes closest to the darkness,
Tell the man, It is enough:
Henceforth rest; your work is done.

So in your ebony box
You lock us up, until daylight
Put our amendment in our way,
And gives new wheels to our messy clocks.

Herbert, with wild fire burning his troubled mind, turns to God and says, “Yet you go on.” The “God of love” has more love in store, more favors to offer. He started the day giving us “eyes”, and now, as the night invades our burdened souls, he “has the most weary eyes of darkness”. And not only with sleep: God, in his mercy, closes our eyes to our sins, as he, in Christ, has already “closed” his.

“In response to our weary regrets at the end of the day, God does not give more work, but rest.”

As God closes the eyelids of the soul, commanding it not to see the confessed sins of the day, Herbert imagines him “saying to man: It is enough: / Henceforth rest; your work is done.In response to our weary regrets at the end of the day, God does not give more work, but rest. Our work, however pitiful, can be done at the end of the day because God’s perfect work of redemption is done (John 19:30; Hebrews 10:12-14). And we, by faith, “have his son.”

So God “encloses” us in “your ebony box” — surely a reference to a coffin. The biblical writers saw sleep as a picture of Christian death (John 11:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:14), and Herbert, drawing on the theme, treats the night as a daily repetition of when our ebony box will be in wood. and not at night. During this last twilight, some of the true children of God, like Christian in The pilgrim’s journey, will look back and ask, pained, “What did I bring you home / For your love?” Our troubled nights teach us how to answer this question, preparing us to lie peacefully on our last bed waiting for God to close our eyes, put us to sleep, and save us for the day of resurrection, which will “put our amendment in place.” our way” — which will raise us up without sin and wholesome, children of the eternal morning.

Until then, we live like old clocks, “messy clocks” whose hour and minute hands start the day aligned with God but often slowly wander off course. And every morning, God rewinds us, no matter how messed up yesterday, and again strengthens us to run.

Rest deeper than sleep

I reflect, which shows more love,
Day or night: it’s the gale, it’s the port;
It is the promenade, and this the arbor;
Or that the garden, this the grove.

My God, you are all love.
Not a poor minute escapes your chest,
But bring favor from above;
And in this love, more than in bed, I rest.

As God carries us from morning to evening, we move from favor to favor, from mercy to mercy, from kindness to kindness. At the end of the poem, Herbert wonders which of the two, by day or by night, “shows more love”: The wind that sends us through the waters of day, or the harbor that holds us to the shore of the night? The promenade that takes us through the work of the day, or the arbor that receives us in the rest of the night? The garden of daytime strength or the grove of nocturnal forgiveness?

“In Jesus we find rest under our rest, a pillow under our pillow.”

The question cannot be answered. In Christ, God gives us power to work for him, and he gives us forgiveness to rest in him. Both have their particular favor; The children of God appreciate them both. And so, “not a poor minute escapes your bosom, / But brings favor from above”. Not a minute of the day is devoid of God’s love, be it daytime love or nighttime love, strengthening love or forgiving love. .

Herbert concludes: “And in this love, more than in bed, I rest.” In Jesus we find a rest under our rest, a pillow under our pillow, the comfort of the soul surrounding the comfort of sleep. Such rest and comfort depend, ultimately, not on what we give to God (even if we yearn to give him much and more), but on what he has given us: “his son.” And so even the frustration and futility we feel towards the end of the day can become a mercy, plunging us into a deeper rest than sleep can give us.