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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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Taken from Pixabay

‘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


💌 Do you want this daily summary emailed to you? Sign up for Billy Penn’s free newsletter and it will arrive in your inbox every morning.

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.

More: Why Young Sheldon Season 6 Shouldn’t Bring Paige Back

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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.

Ucan Store
Ucan Store

“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.

Recent news

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.

Lambeth seminar explores ‘models of partnership’ in the wake of COVID-19 – Episcopal News Service


Bishop Andy Doyle of Texas, left, Bishop Christopher Chessun of the Diocese of Southwark in the Church of England, and Bishop Pradeep Samantaroy of the Diocese of Amritsar in the Church of North India, right, spoke at a seminar on “partnership models” co-chaired by the Reverend Stephanie Spellers, Canon of the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, Reconciliation and the Care of Creation, on the microphone , July 30. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service – Canterbury, England] The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light entrenched global inequities and inequities, a fact that is likely to reshape and challenge the way churches engage in partnerships in the 21st century.

This reality came to the fore of Bishop Pradeep Samantaroy of the Diocese of Amritsar in the Church of North India at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when the world went into lockdown. As he began to get to know his own neighbors in his immediate community, he was reminded that “God entrusts us with the love of our neighbors”.

Extending the “love thy neighbour” feeling into partner relationships can lead to “discovering your neighbor in unexpected places,” Samantaroy said.

He was one of three Anglican and Episcopal bishops to speak about partnerships during a July 30 seminar at the Lambeth Conference on “Models of Partnership”, which explored the promise of mutual and interdependent partnerships between churches and dioceses. worldwide. The other bishops were Bishop of Texas Andy Doyle and Bishop of Southwark Christopher Chessun of the Church of England.

Lambeth Seminars focus on building relationships across the Anglican Communion, highlighting a variety of voices and providing an opportunity to learn about ministry in context while discussing issues impacting the church life and the world today. Seminars will be held on designated days throughout the conference. In addition to “Partnership Models,” topics covered on July 30 included “Thy Kingdom Come: A Life-Changing Prayer for Evangelism,” “Leading with Integrity with Those of Other Faiths,” and “Missionary Training with young people”.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the poor have become poorer and the most vulnerable and desperate have suffered disproportionately, said the Reverend Stephanie Spellers, Canon of the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, reconciliation and the care of creation. Spellers co-chaired and facilitated the “Models of Partnership” seminar alongside Archbishop Nick Drayson, Primate of the Anglican Church of South America and Bishop of Northern Argentina.

“We knew that these injustices and inequalities were part of our life together, but COVID-19 has brought to light the pain that surrounds us. Lives at stake, in plain sight,” Spellers said. Now more than ever, she added, it is important to ask, “How do we walk together, partner together, pursue together the will and the kingdom of God?

It was an important topic before, she said, and “one that feels more urgent now that we’re here together. [There is] many things that separate us: geography, economics, theology, ideology. These differences can separate us, prevent us from making common cause in the gospel. Pray they don’t.

One way to approach partnership beyond differences is through the heart, as Samantaroy explained.

“Partnership is a matter of the heart. We are human beings and have a mind and sometimes we get influenced by our thinking and forget that in our heart we feel something different. The language of the heart is huge,” he said.

If you approach partnership from the heart, “partnership has no boundaries”.

In England, the approach has always been to look after members of your immediate parish community, said Chessun, who has been Bishop of Southwark since 2011. But when he came to the community it was quite “stovepipe”.

He recommended talking well about each other and modeling that behavior in all structures and relationships. “Accepting diversity is not always easy. A good disagreement is the result of understanding [and] assuming the other person’s good faith even if they don’t presume yours.

Doyle sees partnership as an invitation to be holy and as a form of “living out the mission given to us as a form of God’s love in the world. And in no way do we aspire to holiness,” he said. “And considering all of that, that life, I believe, is lived in kinship.”

This “kinship” is partly based on the idea of ​​welcoming foreigners.

“I don’t do kinship… Kinship is given as a gift from God who is Trinity,” he said. “And the perfect love of God in the spirit pours out to all people in creation and that kind of heavy theology gives us an understanding that there are no limits to the vision of Jesus in the world. “

Calhoun Times Community Calendar | Gordon’s life



Christian Community Outreach will be hosting its annual Back to School Celebration on Saturday, July 30 at 11:30 a.m. at the Calhoun Recreation Department, 601 S. River St. The sixth annual event will provide free back to school items, food, games, clothes, shoes and other entertainment for families in the community.



In progress

Canfield Church Marks Pastor’s 50th Birthday | News, Sports, Jobs


Staff report

CANFIELD — The Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 550 N. Broad St., recently held a reception after the church service to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rev. Lang Collins’ pastoral ordination.

Bishop Laura Barbins of the Northeast Ohio ELCA Synod was present.

Collins began his church involvement with the Luther League and was confirmed at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Tampa, Florida. His first sermon was on Youth Sunday.

He attended the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago from 1967 to 1971. He served as supply pastor for his internship congregation when the pastor had to leave.

After clinical pastoral training at the University of Chicago Hospital, he began serving at St. Timothy, Tarpon Springs, Florida in November 1971. He served that missionary congregation from November 1971 to September 1980 and the helped her become self-sufficient and ready to build a second unit.

Collins was ordained to the Synod Assembly on May 28, 1972 in Jacksonville, Florida by Synod President Royall Yount.

In 1980, each LCA bishop was asked to identify two pastors to consider ministry in the inner city. As a member of the Florida Synod, Collins visited and interviewed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He served the Muhlenberg congregation from October 1980 to May 1983. Muhlenberg Parish was located in a multiethnic and multiracial part of town.

At the same time, Collins served an Italian Lutheran parish on the south side of Philadelphia. Unfortunately, crime in the Muhlenberg area led synod staff to recommend a move for Pastor Collins.

Collins served at Trinity Lutheran in Niles from June 1983 to August 1993 and helped revitalize a declining congregation. He worked closely with the First Methodist Church to help rebuild homes and businesses after the 1985 tornado. He was dean of the Eastern Conference Synod and served in all four Niles Rotary leadership positions. Club.

Collins served from September 1993 to June 2007 at Faith Lutheran Church in Massillon. The congregation supported community outreach and the unified work of the Massillon Clergy Association.

After retiring from Faith Church, Collins moved to Canfield in July 2007 and soon accepted the call as Acting Pastor at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in November 2007. After 18 months he accepted a other interim callings in various Lutheran churches in the area.

In June 2013, Collins and his wife Mary moved to Park Vista Retirement Community in Youngstown to care for Mary until her passing in 2018. Throughout those years and until recently, Collins

provided Sunday supply to small congregations and vacationing pastors.

[email protected]

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Viewpoints: Banning vape shops near church won’t stop kids from vaping


“Viewpoints” is a place on Chapelboro where locals are encouraged to share their unique perspectives on issues affecting our community. If you would like to contribute to a column on a topic that matters to you, interesting happenings around town, reflections on local life – or anything else – send a submission to [email protected]

Banning vape shops near church won’t stop kids from vaping

Elijah Gullett’s point of view

State and local governments across the United States are cracking down on small vape shops. It’s bad business for entrepreneurship, public health and individual liberty.

Juul, the leading company in the creation of nicotine-based vaping products (or e-cigarettes), has been making headlines recently. The FDA pulled Juul from the market, prohibiting him from legally selling his products. That directive was suspended by the DC District Court, so Juul can still sell its product, but its legal future remains uncertain.

While the federal government is cracking down on Juul, another battle over e-cigarettes is unfolding at the state and local levels. States and localities across the United States have begun to place limits on where “vape shops” can set up shop. North Carolina remains relatively liberal on this issue, requiring only a Licence to sell e-cigarette products, but across the country, stricter regulations are being put in place. The problems posed by these regulations should serve as a warning to NC regulators to avoid heavy handedness.

Regulations from other states and localities are often to understand ban vape shops near schools and daycares, but may also extend to bans near churches, public parks and sports fields. The stated goals of these policies are to reduce sales of vaping products to minors, but interestingly these same laws do not not apply to convenience stores and gas stations that often also sell the same vaping products. So while a local vape vendor might not be allowed to set up near a church, the gas station across the street is free to sell vape products.

Utah stands out as a particularly restrictive state. To open a vape shop in Utah, you must first obtain both an e-cigarette license from the state government and a tobacco retail license from the local health department. In addition, Retail vape shops are banned within 1,000 feet of “community centers” including schools, playgrounds, daycare centers and churches. Additionally, the density of vaping retailers is restricted and specialty tobacco stores must be at least 600 feet apart. Finally, Utah has an additional ban on vape shops within 600 feet of agricultural or residential property. As in other states, these regulations not include other retailers who may also sell e-cigarettes, thereby creating unequal conditions of competition. Beyond Utah state laws, localities are allowed to be even stricter.

These prohibitions often feel like the right thing to do. We have a justified interest in the health and safety of children and their protection from harmful substances. This feeling, however, does not tell us whether these bans will have the desired effect. Especially when the costs are potentially so high for vape shop owners and adults seeking less harmful alternatives, policymakers should set aside sentiment for facts.

Additionally, these bans often do not include other co-ed retail stores that sell vaping products, such as gas stations, grocery stores, and convenience stores. Targeting vape shop owners, without limiting sales of these products in other stores, is an arbitrary use of state power. These vape shops are often owned and operated by new small business owners, who already face licensing requirements, burdensome tax regimes, and permit requirements. They now face an even more unequal playing field with large companies like grocery stores and gas station chains to sell similar products.

Governments should not discriminate against any particular type of company based on such flimsy evidence. Electronic cigarettes should remain a viable option for those looking for a less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes. The policy should be developed based on rigorous evidence, as well as intentions to protect both minors and those struggling with nicotine addiction. These zoning laws often fail to achieve these goals, while simultaneously harming small business owners and protecting the interests of large retail chains.

Elijah Gullett is a contributor to Young Voices from Raleigh, North Carolina. He recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studied public policy and urban planning. His writings and research focus on market-based solutions to the problems of urban life. He has bylines at the Foundation for Economic Education, C3 Solutions and Exponents Magazine.

Viewpoints on Chapelboro is a recurring series of opinion columns submitted by the community. All thoughts, ideas, opinions and expressions in this series are those of the author and do not reflect the work or reporting of 97.9 The Hill and Chapelboro.com.

Latin Rite Indian Council Concludes National Synod


Council discusses a national synthesis that will serve as a roadmap for the Church in India over the next decade

The Council of Catholic Bishops of the Indian Latin Rite held its synodal consultation from July 26 to 28 in Bangalore, capital of the state of Karnataka. (Photo provided)

Posted: Jul 29, 2022 04:48 GMT

Updated: July 29, 2022 at 05:17 GMT

The Council of Indian Latin Rite Catholic Bishops concluded its national synod on July 28 to finalize its synthesis for the 2021-23 synod.

“The three-day summary of the July 26-28 Synodal Consultation was held in Paalanaa Bhavana, Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka State, with the participation of 60 delegates from across the country,” Fr. Stephen Alathara, Deputy Secretary General. of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), said in a press statement.

He indicated that the deliberation brought down the curtain on July 28 with the solemn Eucharistic celebration with Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay and other archbishops as concelebrants.

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The national synod involving 15 bishops, 12 priests, 10 religious and 27 lay leaders from different dioceses across the country presented a one-page report.

Each presentation was discussed at length and the suggestions offered by the house were taken into consideration. However, details of the project have yet to be released.

Cardinal-elect Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa and Daman, in his opening address, recalled how Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King dreamed of a better future, just as Jesus Christ continued his mission.

“To walk with the Church in her mission, we must foster communion within and without”

“Today’s Gospel speaks to us of Jesus’ dream for his disciples, for us. This dream of Jesus for his disciples has two facets: communion and mission. To walk with the Church in her mission, we must foster communion within and without,” the Prelate said.

The CCBI press release said that this national synthesis will thus effectively serve as a roadmap for the Church in India over the next decade.

“As the first national phase of the Synod for a Synodal Church draws to a close, we hope that this national synod will be an opportunity for the Latin Church in India to discern new ecclesial paths and adopt creative pastoral approaches that will help it to be a truly authentic synodal church,” the statement read.

This will result in the promotion of greater ecclesial communion, participation and mission: the three aspects of the synod 2021-23.

“It is the dream of the Holy Father Pope Francis to promote a synodal church in all its aspects in order to make it more relevant for our times,” the statement read.

The Catholic Church in India comprises the Latin Rite and two Eastern Rites – Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara.

The Latin Rite follows the Roman liturgy introduced by European missionaries in the 15th century, while the two Eastern Rites, both based in Kerala, follow the traditions of the Syrian Church and trace their origins to Saint Thomas the Apostle.

In the meantime, the theme of the Synod of Bishops is “For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission”.

The synod is a two-year process of listening and dialogue that began in Rome on October 9-10, 2021, with each diocese and church celebrating the following week on October 17.

The Synod process on synodality will end in 2023.

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Central Church of Christ loses its building and retains its community mission


PORTSMOUTH—Many commuters through Portsmouth this week may have been dismayed to see a pile of stones where the original building of the Central Church of Christ once stood. But Thayer Wallace, senior minister at the Central Church of Christ, wants the community to know that even though the original building no longer exists, the church’s mission remains stronger than ever.

Passing by the rubble as demolition crews scramble to carefully preserve the original blocks of the church‘s foundation, Wallace tells me he hopes to compassionately preserve what the building itself meant to the community.

“We’re trying to move forward, but also honor the past a bit,” Wallace explained. “There has been a lot of pessimism about the fact that we are demolishing the old building. I think in people’s minds the church building was the same as it was 30 or 40 years ago, but unfortunately the church buildings are getting old,” he added with a little sheepish laugh.

Wallace and his congregation met for most of their ministry in the church’s “new building,” which sits right next to where the demolition of the “old building” took place. The services were therefore not interrupted.

Originally, Wallace intended to repair parts of the old building to add space for the children’s classrooms. It became clear very quickly during this process that the building was not salvageable.

“It had to happen. We were definitely getting to the point where it was actively becoming a liability for us to have this building. Things were constantly falling from the ceiling – the building was collapsing,” he explained.

Wallace, who became the church’s senior minister two years ago, says that since he led the church, most of their sermons and classrooms have been held in the current building. He honors that the old building held great significance to many worshipers and residents of Portsmouth, but knows that a church extends beyond these walls.

“It’s always been part of the plan, we’re going to move forward. This building was not our future, which many people have a hard time hearing. Trying to move forward with compassion is one of the things I tried to be for two years. I was brought in to really move the church forward,” Wallace explained.

Wallace said the common goal of the Central Church of Christ congregation is to be a church that truly serves its community. He and the congregation, through community partnerships, offer sports camps, outreach and even a sock and shoe ministry for children and adults in need – a program that now needs a new one. house with the demolition of the old building.

“We adopted ‘For 5662’ [pronounced “45662,” as in Portsmouth’s zip code] as our mantra that we are going to be for this area. It’s our desire, and the truth is that Portsmouth don’t just need another building to stare at. He needs churches and communities of followers of Jesus who will invest in and care for their communities.

“It’s great that people like to walk past and look at our building, but that’s not what we’re here for,” Wallace explained. “We cannot be satisfied with this. We’re not just going to keep a museum on our site.

The interior of the current church building is adorned with canvas prints of the “old building” over the years. And while Wallace and his congregation are dedicated to growing with the needs of their community, they are always invested in preserving the history and core values ​​of the Central Church of Christ.

And if anyone who walked past the demolition was sad to see it go, Wallace invites them to join the congregation for a service so they can see all they’ve done and all that’s yet to come. .

“Our purpose is to be here for our community and to bring Jesus into the community, not just for the community to come to our space. It’s about inviting people into the community of Jesus, and that’s what being part of a church is. We invite you to be part of a community that loves Jesus and lives for him,” he said.

“This church was built by people who were clearly not afraid to advance the mission,” Wallace added. “They built [the original building], then added and added. They weren’t afraid to keep doing what they believed was best for reaching the community. Now, for us in 2022, moving forward means for us to take the next step. And we are not done.

To stream live worship services or learn more about Central Church of Christ, visit their website at: central-church.life. For anyone interested in helping the church house its shoe and sock ministry, call the church at: (740) 353-5846.

Demolition crews are working diligently to set aside the original foundation stone of Christ Central Church, which the church hopes to somehow preserve as plans are developed. for space go ahead.

Chief Minister Thayer Wallace poses with his daughter Everleigh in the sanctuary of the current Central Church of Christ building. The congregation has met for services in the building right next to the demolition site for the past two years.

Contact Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931, or by e-mail to [email protected]

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.

What not to say to a pastor | Columns


I have been in ministry for over a decade now, and have met many other pastors who serve the church of Jesus. I’m even married to one!

It may surprise you, but there are things you shouldn’t say to a pastor.

Yes, you read that right. There are things you really shouldn’t say to a pastor, a reverend, a priest, whatever you call your religious leader.

Now, I don’t feel comfortable speaking with 100% certainty for all other religious leaders everywhere, but I think it’s quite likely that other pastors will agree with me. If you’re wondering if your pastor or a pastor you know would agree, show them this article. You are likely to have a great conversation!

There may be more, but I’m going to share three things best left unsaid.

What NOT to tell a pastor:

People also read…

“I thought pastors only worked on Sundays.”

I know this might be an ice breaker or a joke, but it’s just not funny. It’s not funny, because there are people who believe in it. Behind every Sunday morning service is a pastor who has spent hours praying, reading, studying, writing, editing and, at times, practicing the message. In addition to preparing for Sunday, pastors also visit the sick and bereaved, organize and help plan the church calendar, communicate with staff and volunteers, and many other duties. It’s often hard work, and it’s often rewarding work! It is, however, more than Sunday morning. (Colossians 3:23-24)

“You work for the church” and “Some people feel…”

Well, sort of, yes. And no. The church may pay our paycheck, but ultimately the pastor’s hiring committee is the Holy Trinity. It is God who calls people to ministry. We work for God. We serve God, and in serving God, we work alongside the church to equip Jesus’ followers to live and love more like Jesus.

Often, as pastors, we do not serve Jesus perfectly. Often we do our best. This is why the phrase “some people feel…” is so problematic. We want to serve Jesus with you. Filing complaints from unknown parties is at best frustrating, at worst hurtful. We can’t reconcile or seek to better understand a problem when we don’t know who is upset or why. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing it face to face with the pastor, then it probably shouldn’t be said. It takes courage to openly and honestly engage in a conflict and seek a solution. Yet this is the way of Jesus. (Matthew 18:15-16)

“I used to go to church, but” and “I’ll be back, pastor…”

It’s always helpful to know why someone didn’t go to church, especially if you or someone you love has been sick. Your pastor wants to pray for you and support you! It’s also good to know that you’ll be out of town, especially if it’s for more than a week. I want to make it clear that these are not the cases I am talking about. What I’m talking about are prolonged or frequent absences that lead to very awkward conversations. If you feel the need to explain why you didn’t come to worship, Bible study, or any other church function, don’t expect your pastor to assure you that your leaving is OK. It isn’t, and you wouldn’t want it to be. It may be OK as long as the church hasn’t collapsed without you. It can be OK as long as God still cares about you and you will be welcomed back. It’s always true! What is wrong is that your leaving is not what is best for you or for the people who worship with you. We are created for worship, and you will worship whether you go to church on Sunday or not. It was never a question of whether you will worship, but rather what or who you will worship. Coming together with a worshiping community to be in the presence of God is important to everyone there. Don’t let the style of worship, the comfort of your bed, the struggle to get your family out or have them not come with you, or the challenge of who you worship with, be a reason not to worship. If the place you loved isn’t working for you, go somewhere else. But, go love it! It will always be easier not to come to worship, attend a Bible study, or participate in church service functions or projects. Seek God anyway! Additionally, pastors became pastors because we believe that a relationship with Jesus and spiritual development are fundamental to being whole, whole-hearted people. Worship is an essential part of it! (Hebrews 10:24-25)

You didn’t expect that, did you?

Your doubts, your fears, your uncertainties and what you don’t understand

We want to know where you are struggling in your faith or if you have no faith at all. We want to know what you are unsure of or what you don’t understand, whether it’s something you’ve read in the Bible, a part of church teaching, or operation of the church. There is no question too silly or doubt too outrageous. We may not be able to answer all questions or address all concerns; however, what we will do is listen and respond to the best of our abilities. (Philippians 2:4)

It’s really hard to pastor people you don’t know. We want to know the people with whom we serve Jesus – the good, the bad and the ugly. No one is perfect, including your pastor, so it’s okay to share both the strong and broken parts of your life. This helps us take better care of you spiritually. You can cry and share your anger and disappointment. You can share your worries, your hopes, your dreams. We want to know if you are sick or undergoing surgery. We want to know how to best support you spiritually throughout life, and that means knowing you. We especially want to know about your faith experiences and how you came to know Jesus. (Galatians 6:2)

Where do you see God at work

If God has answered your prayers, tell us! If you saw a robin on your way to work yesterday and it reminded you of your mom who passed away, let us know! God sometimes uses creation to remind us that we are loved. If you read a scripture passage that impacts your life, let us know! If you hear a song on the radio that encouraged your faith, let us know! If you heard something in the sermon that sounded like God was speaking directly to you, tell us! We desperately want to know how God is working in your life! It encourages us while increasing your awareness of the constant activity and presence of God in your life and in the lives of those around you! It is the experiences of the sacred that underlie our worship. Sharing your experiences of God is what you should tell your pastor. It reminds them why they became pastors in the first place. It reminds you and your pastor of the goodness of God. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Pastor Ted Haggard accused of inappropriate male touching

Ted Hagard
Pastor Ted Haggard. |

Some 12 years after starting in Colorado St. James Church In a provocative throwback to a 2006 sex scandal involving illegal drug use and a male prostitute, former National Association of Evangelicals president Ted Haggard has been accused of inappropriately touching at least two young men and of using illicit drugs during his new ministry.

“People are scared and worried and don’t want to be connected to him anymore,” said Reverend Kirk “Seth” Sethman, who was ordained a minister by St. James’s Church in October 2012. told the Colorado Springs Gazette.

St. James’s Church did not immediately respond to questions about the allegations when contacted by The Christian Post on Wednesday. But Sethman, a reformed drug addict who served time in prison as a young adult for burglary, insists Haggard has not been delivered from his wayward inclinations.

He told The Gazette that in the spring of 2012, just under two years after Haggard and his wife, Gayle, opened St. James’s Church, the megachurch’s former pastor asked a young a male member of the church whom he advised to buy methamphetamine from him.

Sethman said the young member, who was recovering from heroin addiction, told him about what happened. He asked another member who is a doctor to help him confront Haggard. He said when they confronted Haggard, the pastor admitted to having methamphetamine and said he planned to use it to celebrate his upcoming birthday.

The pastor of St. James’s Church then asked the two men to help him get the drugs out of his house so he wouldn’t be tempted to use them.

Sethman said when they arrived at Haggard’s house, Haggard gave him a briefcase to throw away.

“He asked us to hide the matter and said he would report to us in the future,” Sethman said. “Which never happened.”

Sethman said after leaving Haggard’s house, he opened the briefcase and found a bag containing a small amount of nearly one gram of methamphetamine that the young church member had purchased for the pastor. Also reportedly there was a “well-used” glass meth pipe, several sex toys, a DVD with two young men on the cover, and a credit card with Ted Haggard’s name on it.

Sethman, who went blind in 2015 due to a medical condition, said he didn’t call the police because he wanted to protect Haggard, the church and the young man. He said he opted to smoke the remaining meth instead and waited about a year before getting rid of the briefcase.

“I was protecting the young man, the church and Ted,” Sethman said. “My choice that I made was wrong, but I thought I was doing well.”

The report says Sethman relapsed into drug and alcohol use until 2017 when he joined St. James’s Church.

Around this time, Sethman said a young man told him that “”it was really weird that Ted kept pushing him to go quad biking in the woods with him. “”

In 2006, Haggard was forced to resign as pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs and as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after he confessed to “sexual immorality” with the escort. Men’s Denver Mike Jones. Haggard, who said he would call himself bisexual if he was not a Christian pastor, said he did not have sex with the prostitute.

“We never had sex. I bought him drugs and a massage, and he masturbated me at the end. That’s it,” he told GQ in 2011.

Haggard initially denied using methamphetamine which he allegedly bought from Jones, but later admitted to using the drug.

“Sometimes I would throw it away,” he told GQ. “Other times I would go somewhere and masturbate and use it. But that was for masturbation. And that’s one of the reasons I wasn’t really clear. I don’t don’t want to stand up publicly and say, ‘Hey, I’m a masturbation guy!’

Sethman told The Gazette that he didn’t know about Haggard’s 2006 scandal until January 2019 and after that discovery he became more concerned about the stories he had heard about how he behaved with young men.

He shared recorded testimony from two young men saying Haggard made them feel uncomfortable with touching they felt was inappropriate.

“Sometimes when he touches me it’s very predatory and very strange,” said one of the men, who was underage at the time of the alleged touching. “He’ll touch me on my pecs or my back or hug me in such a way that I slide down his hip or the side of his thigh or his butt. You can kind of say that’s weird. “

“There’s a lot of very suspicious things he does, and you’re like, ‘this doesn’t look or doesn’t look right.'”

The second young adult man said he was uncomfortable with Haggard’s behavior towards the teenager and other minors.

Sethman, who worked as a children’s ministry volunteer under Haggard at New Life Church, said in April 2020 some elders called on Haggard to step down over concerns raised by the young men.

“What prompted me to write this letter was his abuse of authority and his denial,” an unidentified elder, who called on executives to remove Haggard from his role, told The Gazette. “We were looking for accountability.”

The eldest says she knows a lot of people are touched by his charisma, but she sees him as a “silver-tongued serpent…in many ways, who finds excuses and lies.”

In April, Haggard announced that he was changing the model of his church for a series of house churches and changed the name to Storyhouse Church. He said there had been a “slow decline” in the church over the past two years.

The St. James Church building was sold for $1.95 million, The Gazette reported, citing county records.

Sethman says he’s even more concerned about the potential for abuse inside Haggard’s home.

“My prayer,” Sethman said, “is to protect children and young adults.”

Chairman of the US Bishops on International Justice and Peace Issues “A New Call for Solidarity with Africa”


WASHINGTON – The 19th Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) met for its plenary assembly in Accra, Ghana. Addressing the congregation today, Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, expressed solidarity with the Church in Africa and announced the release of A renewed call for solidarity with Africa.

“Two decades ago, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a historic document to declare our bonds of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Africa in their quest for justice and peace in the service of helping men journey of salvation. Today, with joy and hope, we renew those bonds. On behalf of the bishops of the United States, I am pleased to issue our committee’s statement, A renewed call for solidarity with Africa. This Call renewed highlights our progress in solidarity, articulates the ecclesial, economic and political hopes and challenges of today and offers strategies for future collaboration. Our committee recommits to standing with the Church in Africa, knowing that we are mutually enriched and uplifted by doing so.

Auxiliary Bishop Peter L. Smith of Portland, chair of the USCCB subcommittee on the Church in Africa, added his praise and support saying, “This Call renewed, reinvigorates the Bishops’ vision for the Sub-Committee’s Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa which directly supports the pastoral capacity of the local Church in Africa. I recommend the reading and study of this document to the faithful and to all those who wish to deepen our Christian solidarity with the Church throughout Africa.

A renewed call for solidarity with Africa, is available in English, French and Spanish, as well as a practical resource for prayer and action.


Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi

Russian churches help Ukrainian pastor


Ukraine (MNN) — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to make headlines. A heavy Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine slowed and Ukraine began to regain ground. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukrainian forces are to advance to the occupied city of Kherson.

But the fights aren’t the whole story.

Russian churches have sent help to a Ukrainian pastor in the Kherson region. The region in which he lives is currently under Russian occupation.

Eric Mock with the Association of the Slavic Gospel says, “By working with the churches we know, we are able to get funds and help for him across Russia. We call it the flip side of the battle. Thus, he can continue to meet the needs of his people. I can’t give you his name for security reasons.

occupied territory

Living in occupied territory, this pastor breaks through additional barriers while serving his people. Mock says, “He tells us he literally took hours going through the many checkpoints just to get a few bags of groceries and bring them back to his people.”

“In fact, a checkpoint told him that if he didn’t come back within two hours, they would kill him and everyone else. He lives under this kind of threat.

As the pastor walks out, people see the love of Jesus. Mock says churches across Ukraine that were empty have filled with new believers.

You can support these churches through SGA. Mock says: “We also help a lot of refugees and not only in Poland. Refugees flock to Russia and Belarus.

The header photo shows an SGA-supported church in Ukraine damaged during the Russian invasion. (Photo courtesy of SGA on Facebook)

Valley Vineyard Church looking for school supplies for the 11th annual competition | Positively Chippewa Valley


CHIPPEWA FALLS (WQOW) – A local school supply giveaway is less than three weeks away, but he needs your help gathering more supplies for the kids.

The Valley Vineyard Church in Chippewa Falls will organize its 11th backpack and school supplies next month.

Officials have already started collecting donations of pencils, pens, notebooks, folders, glue sticks and erasers, but they could still use more, as well as calculators, pencils and backpacks.

Pastor Michael Houle said when they first started doing this more than a decade ago, they handed out supplies in 150 Walmart plastic bags. And in recent years, they distribute up to 900 to 1,000 backpacks full of school items.

“We start from scratch every year with this, so it’s amazing how much our community has blessed us every year to make this happen, but we’re just grateful to be here,” Houle said. “Several years ago our building burned down and we rebuilt, and just being able to do that and bless our community is so honoring to us.”

House says this is truly a community effort and places like 4:30 AM Coffee House, Markquart Motors, WWIB radio station and 12 churches have donated over the past few years.

Backpack and school supplies are held Sunday, August 14 from 1-3 p.m. at the Valley Vineyard Church at 910 Bridgewater Ave. at Chippewa Falls.

If you would like to donate online, go to cfvalleyvineyard.org/donate. You can also drop off supplies at the church. The church encourages monetary donations more because they can get the supplies in bulk. If you have any questions, call 715-861-3523 or email [email protected]

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Tribal leaders and members react to Pope’s apology on schools


MASKWACIS, Alta. (AP) — Pope Francis’ apology on Monday for the Catholic Church’s role in Canada’s residential school system and the abuses that took place there was a stark denunciation of a policy of forced assimilation decades that sought to deprive Indigenous children of their culture and traumatized generations.

Speaking at the site of a former residential school south of Edmonton, Alberta, the pontiff said he was “deeply sorry” for the actions of many people in support of “the colonizing mentality of the powers that oppressed the Indigenous Peoples “.

He also expressed sadness at the systemic marginalization, denigration and suppression of Indigenous peoples, languages ​​and culture in schools; the “physical, verbal, psychological and spiritual abuse” suffered by children after being removed from their homes at a young age; and the resulting “indelible” family relationships.

“I wish to reaffirm it myself, with shame and without ambiguity. I humbly ask forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against indigenous peoples,” Francis said.

Here are some reactions to the pope’s words:


“It was a feat on the part of the indigenous community to convince Pope Francis to come to a First Nations community and humble himself before the survivors as he did today. It was special. And I know that meant a lot to a lot of people. And every time he said the word sorry, people started cheering,” Phil Fontaine, a survivor of residential school abuse and former leader of the Assembly of First Nations, said in an interview with The Associated Press.


“Maybe we all need time to fully absorb the gravity of this moment. … If you want to help us heal, stop telling us to get over it. … We can’t get over this. when intergenerational trauma affects every young person and every member, every family that has had a survivor of residential schools. Instead of getting over it, I’m asking you to get on with it, learn our history, learn about our culture, our people, who we are,” Chief Desmond Bull of the Louis Bull Tribe said at a press conference.


It was “validation that it really happened” for the apology to be heard by non-Indigenous people, Chief Tony Alexis of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation said, but the Pope must follow up on the action and “can’t just say sorry and walk away.”


“I’ve waited 50 years for this apology, and finally today I heard it,” Evelyn Korkmaz, a school survivor, told a news conference. Sadly, many family and community members did not live to see him due to suicide or drug addiction, she said. But “I was hoping to hear some sort of work plan” for how the church would deliver the documents and take other concrete steps.


“I have many survivors and thrivers in my community who are happy to hear that the Pope has come to apologize. Words cannot describe how important today is to the healing journey of many members of the First Nations,” Samson Cree Nation Chief Vernon Saddleback said at a press conference. “The Pope apologizing today was a day for everyone in the world to sit down and to listen.”


“It’s something that’s needed, not just for people to hear but for the church to be accountable,” said Sandi Harper of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, who attended the papal event in honor of his late mother, a former boarding school student. Still, she told AP that some Indigenous people are not ready for reconciliation: “We just have to give people time to heal. It’s going to take a long time.”


Associated Press religious coverage receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

A papal pilgrimage for healing and reconciliation | National Catholic Register


Pope Francis’ 37th apostolic journey, which will take him to Canada from July 24-30, is a “penitential pilgrimage”: the Holy Father will “meet and embrace the indigenous peoples”, and he will apologize for the role of Church in a system guilty of mortal neglect, suffering and abuse.

In doing so, the Pope could also set in motion another process of healing and reconciliation: a normalization of the Holy See’s relationship with the Government of Canada.

A key moment, preparing for the sinister papal pilgrimage to Canada, took place at the Vatican on May 29, 2017.

On this day, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, invited Pope Francis to visit the country, during which time he could offer the apologies of the Church for the harm caused to the indigenous peoples from the mid-19th century to Twentieth century.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which operated from 2008 to 2015, found that thousands of children died while attending “residential schools” and called for action on 94 points.

Of these, four targeted the Church. They were published under the heading “Church Apologies and Reconciliation”.

In it, the commission called on Pope Francis “to apologize to survivors, their families and communities for the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical and sexual abuse of First Nations children. Nations, Inuit and Métis”. in Catholic boarding schools.

The commission developed its suggestions for healing and reconciliation based on extensive reports on the legacy of the residential school system. Assessing them, including the question of responsibility for what was perpetrated in these schools, turned out to be much more complex than expected.

A government program run by Christian churches

The “Indian residential school” system was a network of residential schools created by the Canadian federal government in the 19th century. It was mainly supported by public funds and overseen by government officials

The system existed from 1833 until 1996, when the last of these schools was closed. The schools were run by several Christian denominations, including some Catholic dioceses and religious communities.

These schools did more than provide an education for First Nations, Inuit and Métis children. In reality, they served to provide a program of assimilation, carried out against a population often mistakenly perceived as an “obstacle” to the “progress” of the nation.

The Canadian Conference of Bishops explained on its website that this system had a heavy human cost: “While many former students and school staff spoke positively about their experiences at some schools, many others today today of much more painful memories and legacies, such as the prohibition of indigenous languages ​​and cultural practices, as well as cases of psychological, physical and even sexual violence. ”

The commitment of the Catholic Church

About 16 out of 70 Canadian dioceses were associated with residential schools, in addition to about 40 out of 100 religious communities in Canada.

The Canadian Conference of Bishops acknowledged in a November 1993 brief for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples that “the various types of abuse suffered in certain residential schools have led us to a deep examination of conscience in the Church”.

Since the 1990s, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and orders like the Jesuits have offered statements of apology like this on the bishops’ official website.

The response also included the establishment of a $30 million national pledge made by Canadian bishops in September 2021.

Likewise, the Holy See has increasingly accepted this chapter in the history of the Church in Canada.

Pope John Paul II went there in 1984 and 1987. On both occasions, he met indigenous peoples, exalting their culture and the renewal brought by Christianity.

Benedict XVI met with Phil Fontaine, Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Canada, at the end of the general audience on April 29, 2009.

He “recalled that from the first days of its presence in Canada, the Church, especially through its missionary personnel, has closely accompanied the indigenous peoples”. Referring to boarding schools, Benedict XVI expressed “his pain at the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the Church, and he offered his sympathy and prayerful solidarity.”

An early whistleblower and a recent warning

At the turn of the 20th century, Peter Henderson Bryce, a public health official and physician, was the first to report the unsanitary conditions in residential schools in Canada. He gathered all the information he could and then, in 1907, published his findings — that about a quarter of Aboriginal children in residential schools had died of tuberculosis.

Bryce also pointed to the broader issue of discrimination, noting that health funds for average Ottawa citizens were about three times higher than those for First Nations people.

In other words, government policies have caused the death of many indigenous children.

Following attempts by government officials to silence him, Bryce published, at his own expense, a small pamphlet on the issue, titled The story of a national crime.

Writing about “myth versus evidence,” Mark DeWolf noted in a 2018 essay — published by public policy think tank FCPP — that “cultural repression, abuse of all kinds, forced incarceration, and even deaths preventable things have happened, and a system that should have done much more to prevent these things should be justly condemned.

He concluded that the residential school system was wrong and “a profoundly misguided attempt to achieve two main goals: to provide Indigenous children with an education and training that would help them survive economically and socially in a white man’s world, and to eradicate these aspects of Aboriginal culture. that would prevent them from achieving those goals.

At the same time, pointing to low attendance and other aspects of the system, DeWolf warned against making residential schools “a scapegoat for 200 years of land grabbing, cultural invasion, deprivation, marginalization and demoralization”.

Otherwise, little would be done to stop and reverse bad policies and practices today.

This point is relevant whether one agrees with DeWolf or not: a 2019 Canadian Human Rights Court ruling found that between 2006 and 2017 the government withdrew between 40,000 and 80,000 Aboriginal children from their families and deprived them of social services. Additionally, the decision ordered Canada to pay $40,000 to each victim for discriminatory conduct. The government appealed the decision, without success.

To add further complexity, critics raised questions about irresponsible media reporting when the discovery of what were first described as unmarked graves on the grounds of the former Indian residence in Kamloops made the international news.

On June 24, 2021, it was first announced that 751 unmarked graves had been discovered at the site of a former school. Leaders stressed the find was for unmarked graves and not a “mass grave site”.

Nevertheless, as a result of the news, some Catholic churches in Canada have been vandalized or found burnt down.

A gesture with serious consequences – and an open question

Pope Francis decided to apologize for the role of the Catholic Church and to assume its responsibilities, without commenting on the question of the sometimes questionable media coverage, nor pursuing the question of how responsible the Church was in the larger historical context.

In short, this visit is a great act of goodwill by the Pope, which aims to heal and reconcile.

This may also apply to relations between Canada and the Holy See, as these have been strained for some time. The issue of the “residential school” system was probably one of the reasons.

Currently, Canada has not officially appointed an Ambassador to the Holy See. There is a business manager, Paul Gibard. He took the post in 2021, after a three-year vacancy. Canada’s last ambassador to the Holy See was Dennis Savoie, who served from 2014 to 2018.

This papal trip could help normalize relations somewhat, and Gibbard’s position could be elevated to that of ambassador. However, after the visit, the full reality and extent of the residential school system has yet to be fully brought to light — and not just in terms of the role of the Church.

Evangelical Church now Mission of Grace Lancaster; new pastor


LANCASTER – The Evangelical Congregational Church of Lancaster installed its new pastor on Sunday July 17.

Pastor John Hicks Mackenzie, a 33-year-old resident of Orange, was unanimously chosen to pastor what will henceforth be known as the Mission of Grace Lancaster.

The church was formerly led by Pastor Tim Andrews, who served faithfully for 13 years until his retirement in 2021.

Dr. Ron Hamilton, conference minister of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, flew in from Minnesota to participate in the installation ceremony and deliver the sermon there. Pastor David Bodanza, of Mission of Grace Church in Gardner, led the service.

Cheryl Sendrowski, a deaconess and church secretary, said: ‘It was a time of great joy, with around 80 people attending to support John and his wife, Nicole, as they embark on the new life of leadership. of this church. We have already seen how much they love us as family and in return we are enthusiastically committed to supporting their efforts, learning from John’s teachings and loving them back as part of our family here in Lancaster . We are blessed with what God is doing at MOGL.

Pastor John and his wife, Nikki, have served together in ministry since 2018. Pastor John is a graduate of Liberty University. He has held various ministerial positions over the past 12 years.

Pastor John, who was left paralyzed at the age of 17 following a car accident, said: “16 years ago, lying in the intensive care unit, God grabbed my heart and placed a burden on my life to share the gospel. Throughout my years of ministry, God has developed in me a special empathy to help those who suffer and to give hope to the hopeless. That’s what we aim to do here at Mission of Grace Lancaster.

Dave Hollingsworth, an elder in the church, said, “Today marked two very important milestones in the history of our church. Our name changed from Lancaster Evangelical Congregational Church to Grace Lancaster Mission and Pastor John Hicks Mackenzie was installed as pastor of our new church. The congregation is very excited and happy with the two changes and looks forward to seeing the great things God will do in the life of our church with our new name and new pastor.

The Grace Lancaster Mission has a Sunday service at 10:30 a.m.

North Lafayette Church cooks for, delivers food to the community


By LEIGH GUIDRY, The Advertiser

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Lafayette Parish School Board member Elroy Broussard showed up at his church’s parish hall at 6 a.m. on a recent Saturday to begin cooking 120 pounds of chicken.

Broussard and his fellow parishioners at St. Anthony Catholic Church have been meeting several times a year to prepare and distribute meals to others in their neighborhood since 1994.

“Everyone does everything from cooking to cleaning to serving,” Broussard said.

The final menu is oven-smothered chicken served over rice and homemade gravy, sugar snap peas, a bun and a slice of cake for dessert.

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Parishioners young and old help Broussard cook, prepare and serve meals as part of the “Feed My People” program, named after a Bible verse from the book of John in which Jesus tells his disciples to do exactly that: to feed his people.

“It brings together different aspects of our community,” said Fr. Richard Andrus, SVD. “There are people who have been there since the beginning and young people who help with the delivery. This gives them a great foundation to be young Catholics serving the community, not just serving the church.

Some of the young men in the youth group helped move giant pots of sauce and sweet peas from the stove to the counter in the parish hall kitchen, so the older members could put the food in containers to take away. Andrus took the plates from one assembly line to another to be topped with a bun and dessert.

Broussard has been involved from the start and he is delighted to see young people showing up to help.

“We will need people to take our place one day,” Broussard said. “We hope it will prosper a bit more.”

They prepared around 150 meals for the group of young people to deliver on foot throughout the community – to the elderly, housebound and in need.

“We try to put some seasoning in there,” Broussard said. “They are used to bland food. We try to heal them.

He grew up in the community and knows most of the people who still live there, as well as their children. He has been a member of St. Anthony for 50 years.

Nearly 30 years ago, “Feed My People” started small as Alvin DeJean’s idea for his annual act of kindness.

DeJean, 73, came to help on Saturday, grateful to see how the parish took the idea and followed through.

“I’m amazed,” DeJean said.

The program is one of many ways the church aims to serve the community with immunization events and its health ministry pantry in partnership with Second Harvest.

Some of the food is donated and much of the cost is covered by donations, Broussard said.

“It’s just a good feeling to be part of something and to work with people who want to accomplish for the greater good of the community,” Broussard said. “It’s not tiring. It is rewarding.

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

Textbook censorship is hurting careers for Florida students


Re: Florida now warns textbook publishers against ‘critical race theory’ in social studies books

The Florida Department of Education recently solicited proposals from textbook companies for social studies materials. The DOE has posted a 29-page document on its website outlining what should be included in these books and what should be omitted, including: “Critical Race Theory, Social Justice, Culturally Appropriate Teaching, Social Learning and emotional and any other unsolicited theories that may lead to indoctrination of students.

Florida has already shown that the people creating these “standards” have no idea what Critical Race Theory really is, specifically that it is an advanced course taught in faculty of Law, not high school. Now they are demonstrating that they also lack an understanding of social justice and how it is central to teaching social studies.

How do you teach social studies without discussing the civil rights movement, women’s suffrage, or current concerns about gun violence, hunger, or climate change? Is the Ministry of Education suggesting teachers ignore these issues?

Social justice is a core area of ​​social studies education and is widely recognized as an area that provides skills for future employers. If the Department of Education had done a modest search, it would have discovered that our own University of Central Florida offers a graduate certificate in “social justice in public service,” with a curriculum focused on “training in justice society, exploring topics such as human rights, income distribution and the role of markets” — useful skills in many areas.

Colleges and universities across the United States offer social justice degrees for minors, majors, and graduates. Introducing social justice topics in high school prepares students not only for college, but also for future careers. Clearly, the Florida Department of Education has no idea what it is asking textbook publishers to do, or how ill-informed standards will hinder knowledge, career readiness, and students’ professional skills.

Sally Harrison-Pepper, Ph.D., Fort Myers

About Nikolas Cruz, confessed killer of 17 promising hopefuls: Why even think about trying to execute him and give him another 20 to 30 years of media coverage during endless appeals? Lock it up, throw away the key and forget about it forever.

Jim Pinkston, Planting

It was an insurrection. It was an attempt to overthrow our government. This reality cannot be whitewashed.

Republicans declined to be part of a bipartisan inquiry. The only plausible explanation is that they did not want and do not want the truth to come out. Unfortunately, the committee of Democrats, with its sanitized clips of anti-Trump testimony, exposes itself to justified criticism of partisanship. The two Republicans on the panel are hardly impartial.

However, the facts speak for themselves. Neither the sanitized assembly nor the composition of the committee can distort this. Trump was instrumental in organizing the attack on our Capitol.

No one is above the law in America. I recognize that this is a unique situation: no former president has been prosecuted for crimes committed during his tenure. The precedent that such a prosecution would create is fraught with pitfalls. But this road, as rocky as it is, must be taken.

Trump must be held accountable for his acts of betrayal. He must be prosecuted. No one, especially a president, is above the law.

Joel Speiser, Delray Beach

Given that the Catholic bishops have lobbied to make abortion a crime of murder, it is imperative that they lobby the government with the same zeal for free maternity care, paid family leave and affordable child care. They should also provide these benefits to all employees of Catholic institutions, given that the United States has the highest infant mortality rate of any developed country.

Joe Iannone, Hollywood

Columbus Christian Academy finds new location after being forced off church property


COLUMBUS COUNTY, North Carolina (WWAY) – A Columbus County school forced out of its building after a church ended its association with it found new locations to hold classes, ahead of the start of a new school year.

Columbus Christian Academy received a letter from the Missionary Alliance church in May saying it had less than two weeks to end operations at its location on Warrior Trail. The school had been operating on site since 2013.

“It was definitely an unexpected decision, but you know when most growth comes at times in your life when things are unexpected and we just pray for good to happen, and we know it will.” , said Jennifer Noble, Columbus. Director of the Christian Academy.

The school has since found two new premises for the 2022-2023 school year, which begins in September.

« Our kindergarten up to 8 years olde will be at Smyrna Baptist Church, which is on Peacock Road in Whiteville, then our 9e up to 12e will be at 516 North Madison Street, which is the Whiteville Assembly of God Church, and that’s kind of funny, because that was where it was years ago when I was a student,” Noble said.

The church said that if a school staff member wanted to collect property from the Missionary Alliance church, they should make an appointment to do so.

“They actually chose to return some of the items to us. So we were able to get desks and lockers and a program and that kind of stuff, so that was a big help. We are very grateful for that. So we were also overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from the community. They made donations and the teachers posted wish lists, and as soon as they posted them, people received them, and it was very humbling,” Noble said.

The school currently has about 160 students and is changing the capacity limits of its classrooms in the new locations.

Sumter Pastor Joey Durham: We must realize the origin of love



The devotion on my heart today is “The Origin of Love”, and my text is 1 John 4:7-10, where we see: “Beloved, let us love one another, for the “Love is of God, and whoever loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live by him. This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and that he sent his Son to be the propitiation of our sins.” (KJV)

The word “love” appears several times in the Word of God. “Love” is a wonderful word but one whose meaning is generally misunderstood and misapplied these days. Please note that our text reveals to us the origin of love in verse 7, “for love is of God”.

Biblical love cannot be experienced personally or shown to others without a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Anyone can display some characteristics of love and yet still lack real, scriptural love. Because many people do not realize this basic fact, they mistakenly assume that one who exhibits some of the characteristics of love should, on that basis alone, be considered a Christian. The problem with this is that man exalts his own beliefs above the truth and accuracy of God’s Word. Many today choose certain verses in their attempt to justify their own notions of “love” while failing to consider all that God says about it.

For example, using the text of 1 John 4:7-21, there are those who isolate verse 7 from the rest of the text and say, “The Bible teaches that everyone who ‘loves’ is born of God and knows God,” completely ignoring verses 14-15, which make it clear that saving faith in Jesus Christ is the prerequisite for abiding in the love of God.

The manifestation of true love is the result of being saved by God’s amazing grace, not its basis. Moreover, what people call “love” today is actually false love that leaves Jesus Christ totally irrelevant and seeks its source and approval in man, not God and His Word. “Love” in modern religion has become so twisted that it serves to deceive rather than to comfort, strengthen and bless. It is only when we realize the origin and divine definition of love that we can experience its fullness and demonstrate its power to others.

Joey Durham is a pastor at the Open Bible Baptist Church at 180 Old Manning Road in Sumter. You can contact Pastor Durham at [email protected] or call the church office at (803) 481-9315.

Jesus is the head of the church | Advice columns


From the writings of Reverend Billy Graham

Vietnamese clergy play football to ‘live the spirit of synodality’


Twenty priestly football teams compete to win the first-ever National Synodal Cup

Archbishop Joseph Vu Van Thien speaks before a match between Clergy Hanoi and Hai Phong at Phong Phu Stadium on July 19. (Photo: UCA News)

Posted: Jul 21, 2022 03:28 GMT

Updated: July 21, 2022 at 05:16 GMT

Large numbers of people, including church and government leaders, were drawn to the first football games between priests at a public stadium in northern Vietnam.

On July 19, Archbishop Joseph Vu Van Thien of Hanoi, Bishop Dominic Hoang Minh Tien of Hung Hoa, priests from four dioceses and officials from Ha Nam province were among the spectators at two matches at Phong Stadium. Ph.

The first match was between Clergy Hanoi and Hai Phong and the second match was between Clergy Bac Ninh and Hung Hoa. All formed Group A, one of four groups with 20 teams competing for the first-ever National Synodal Cup hosted by the Vietnamese bishops.

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Before games, the crowd said prayers and sang hymns to pray for the players, while church leaders and provincial officials presented flowers to teams and referees to encourage them to play fairly.

It was the first time that football fans, players and guests solemnly prayed together in a public stadium in the Southeast Asian country.

During the matches, the crowd got into the mood by waving flags and shouting encouragement to the teams, while Catholic bands played drums and trumpets.

“All people walk together on a path to achieve the main goal of glorifying God”

Ta Bien Cuong, a Catholic sports commentator on national television, said, “Today God is with us at the stadium.

Cuong said Pope Francis called on the athletes of the 2022 Mediterranean Games in the Algerian city of Oran to make sport a direct experience of unity and brotherhood.

He said it was wonderful that the local church is organizing a national football championship to turn to a synodal church.

Bishop Thien said that the Vietnam Catholic Bishops‘ Conference launched the synodal cup to partly live out the spirit of synodality in faith, pastoral ministries and charity. All people walk together on a path to achieve the main goal of glorifying God and bringing happiness to people.

The Deputy General Secretary of the Bishops Group said football has spread to all places, races, languages ​​and cultures in the world, uniting all peoples as one to build peace.

“Our special players are priests who will do their best to play fair, show their fondness for the game and the spirit of synodality,” he said.

Clergy Hai Phong team scored a goal against Hanoi thanks to Father John Baptist Bui Van Thai while Bac Ninh team beat Hung Hoa 3-1.

The four teams are set to face off at the stadium on August 3-9. The top two teams will qualify for the quarter-finals.

The tournament, which runs from July to October, aims to improve the mental and physical health of local clergy and foster priestly brotherhood among the country’s 27 dioceses. It will also host the 15th National Congress of Bishops of Vietnam in October and show synodality ahead of the 2023 assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

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Zao MKE Church Leaders Advocate for Radical Inclusion in the Church | WUWM 89.7 FM


As Pride Month draws to a close, Zao MKE Church continues to offer resources for people with LGBTQ+ identities. The church also hosts various social events to build community around the faith, such as family dinners, karaoke nights, and even beach outings.

The church is radically inclusive and led by queer and transgender pastors Jonah and Cameron Overton. In addition to organizing events, they lead their congregation in weekly worship and provide pastoral care.

While Zao MKE Church is now housed in a historic church building on the east side of Milwaukee, the parish began in Reverend Jonah’s living room. They wanted to continue building their faith outside of mainstream Christian leadership that typically rejects those with marginalized identities.

“I grew up in church, not feeling particularly comfortable as a queer and trans person. And now my job is to build a church for and with queer and trans people and other people who have been marginalized by the church,” Jonah said.

Cameron emphasizes the church’s core tenets: being rooted in Jesus, justice-centered, and radically inclusive. He explains that he believes that Jesus went to the margins of society to help those who were oppressed by the systems and structures in place. This call for justice and inclusiveness often takes the form of building community.

“We want to do the hard work of justice and liberation so that all can celebrate and dance and eat and drink and be joyful. But also, why wait until we win?” Jonah said. “Let’s do these things now and create this community that we all yearn for as we fight for a world where more people can have access to it.”

Zao organizes many social events for its parishioners and recently they engaged in a transgender clothing swap. The Clothing Swap was for those looking for gender-affirming clothing for free. Partnering with Bounce Milwaukee, Forge, Diverse and Resilient and the MKE LGBT Center, the swap brought in more clothes than people could even take home.

“We had this abundant excess that happened, and so when it happened, I saw the desire in the community for something like that. So from the bigger exchange, we decided to open a boutique where hopefully it will be a space that will almost look like a store,” Cameron said.

Although the shop is not currently operational, Zao has made appointments with some members of the community. They believe that clothes shape how we see ourselves and ourselves, and no one should be denied that because of price.

“When we come together as a community and give what we have and take what we need, everyone has everything they need. So I say this, even when we talk about giving or asking people to contribute financially, we say we believe we have enough because we have each other. And so I believe that’s actually true for the whole world,” Jonah said.

Ivana Trump’s life will be celebrated at a funeral mass in New York


NEW YORK — Ivana Trump, an icon of 1980s style, wealth and excess and a businesswoman who helped her husband build an empire that propelled him to the presidency, is to be celebrated at a funeral mass in New York on Wednesday after his death last week.

Ivana’s three children with former President Donald Trump — Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric — are expected at Wednesday afternoon’s rally at St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It was unclear whether the ex-president would join them.

Trump’s family announced Thursday that the 73-year-old woman died at her Manhattan home. Authorities said the death was an accident, with blunt force injuries to the torso as the cause.

“We all want to remember Ivana as the vibrant, outgoing person she was,” said R. Couri Hay, a longtime friend of Trump’s who planned to attend the service.

Ivana and Donald Trump met in the 1970s and were married from 1977 to 1992. By the 1980s they were a power couple, and she became well known in her own right, instantly recognizable with her blonde hair in a bun and her glamorous look.

Ivana Trump has also been involved in her husband’s business, running one of his Atlantic City casinos and choosing some of the design elements for New York’s Trump Tower.

Their very public divorce was ugly, but in recent years they’ve been friendly. Ivana Trump, an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and said they spoke regularly.

A new survey has revealed that Latino Catholics overwhelmingly support abortion rights. Here’s why.


Catholicism will always be a part of Leonor Villanueva’s life, even though she stopped regularly attending Mass when her parish began hosting anti-abortion speakers near the end of the service.

Villanueva recites Catholic prayers and honors family celebrations like baptisms and quinceañeras. And she still considers herself Catholic, even though she disagrees with Catholic teaching on abortion and homosexuality.

“I can still have my faith without listening to what the church says,” said Villanueva, 46, a Mexican-American from California’s Central Valley.

Villanueva is far from alone.

With Roe vs. Wade overturned, new data from the Washington, DC-based Public Religion Research Institute found that among Latino Catholics, 75% say abortion should be legal in most or all cases. That’s a big jump from the 51% who said so in 2010.

In contrast, a quarter of white evangelicals support legal abortion after the deer reversal. Almost all white evangelical respondents said they would like to see abortion banned after 15 weeks, and more than half said providing an abortion should be a crime.

The survey found that Catholic, Black Protestant, non-Christian and unaffiliated Americans are more supportive of abortion rights than white evangelicals. Latino Catholics (13%) were among the religious groups least likely to say they turn to religious leaders for advice on abortion. That’s compared to the 38% of white evangelicals who do. The survey also found that 32% of Latino Catholics said their religious faith dictated their views on abortion, compared to 73% of white evangelical Protestants.

The survey of 2,038 Americans, which used Ipsos’ online panel, was conducted June 24-26 and was fielded just after the announcement of the Dobbs decision which annuls deer. It included 241 Latinos, 104 of whom identified as Catholic. The goal was to get an immediate response from the public.

PRRI executive director Melissa Deckman said Latino Catholics are very much aligned with other religious people of color in their support for abortion rights.

For Deckman, it should be noted that Latino Catholics have become even more supportive of abortion rights than white Catholics. Of white Catholic survey participants, 62% said they oppose Supreme Court overturning deer. That’s compared to 72% of Latino Catholics who said the same.

“We know that age is a big differentiator when it comes to attitudes toward abortion for Americans in general, but I definitely think it helps build support for abortion among Latinos,” Deckman said.

“We now have a situation where abortion is no longer a constitutional right, and access to abortion care is becoming more limited in many areas,” Deckman added. “I think it’s led young people to become more supportive of abortion rights in general.”

In Kansas state, Alejandro Rangel-Lopez — a 21-year-old Mexican-born Catholic — helps lead the New Frontiers youth effort to encourage Latinos to vote against an amendment that would remove the right to abortion of the state constitution. The group held Western-themed “Bans Off Our Boots” rallies in support of abortion rights and encouraged people to register to vote in the Aug. 2 primary. Rangel-Lopez said he also convinced his father to vote against the amendment.

Rangel-Lopez, who identifies as gay and has the Virgin of Guadalupe tattooed on his thigh, was raised Catholic by his “very” religious and spiritual parents. They often attended mass when he was younger, but also frequently practiced popular Catholicism, using a mixture of charcoal and copal to cleanse their home of bad energy.

He has since embraced popular Catholic traditions rather than being an active church member, but said he always finds guidance in Roman Catholic doctrine.

“I learned the importance of being a humble servant to those around you and using whatever tools God has given you to raise the voice of your neighbors in need,” he said.

For Jennifer Hughes, a professor at the University of California, Riverside who focuses on the history of Latin American and Latin American religions, the new data helps highlight just how much Latin American Catholics are a “group increasingly important political demographic”.

The survey results, Hughes said, “challenge these stereotypes about who Latinos and Latino Catholics are.”

Hughes notes that Catholics “struggle with this complicated, sometimes very contradictory tradition, and figure out what makes sense to them.”

Just because some Catholics have a strong devotional practice of the Rosary, altars, the Virgin of Guadalupe, or other religious images, “it doesn’t mean your politics are conservative.”

Lucero, a Mexican-American Catholic in her 20s from Minnesota, attends Mass weekly and also attends worship alone. She prays the Rosary and listens to the “Bible in a Year” podcast with Fr. Mike Schmitz. She also supports access to abortion and birth control. Lucero did not want his full name released for privacy reasons.

She finds it ironic that the Catholic clergy – who cannot marry or have sex – dictate church policy on sex, pregnancy and marriage. She wants to see abortion rates drop, but says policies that support families work better than bans.

“I want to see more of us live taking care of people who were born, not just those who weren’t born,” Lucero said.

Laura Fernandez, 27, thinks of her Colombian Catholic mother “who used to shiver at the thought of having an abortion” but “calmed down” over the years.

Fernandez, from Cleveland, Ohio, tells her mother anonymous stories of people she knows who have had abortions and whose “lives have changed for the better.” While her mother “doesn’t like the idea of ​​abortion”, she feels lucky to have a “mum who listens to me and is critical of herself”.

Fernandez said it was perplexing for his mother to see a church friend supporting Donald Trump solely for his stance against abortion. “My mom didn’t get it because of everything Trump was, and I think that planted a seed in her,” Fernandez said.

For Fernandez, Latinos “hated Trump so much” that he “kind of caused a change.”

“I feel like people thought if the right was pushing this issue (of abortion) so hard, then they didn’t want to be associated with it,” she said.

Samuel Hernandez, 32, of Rockland County in New York, agrees. Hernandez, who is Mexican-American and “concerned about social justice with regard to my Catholic faith,” supports access to abortion and is passionate about immigrant rights.

A former Catholic Charities employee, Hernandez, who is married with two children, said it was frustrating to receive emails from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Archdiocese of New York discussing “the evils of abortion” and emphasizing “their own feelings about trying to reverse deer.”

“There’s too much emphasis on abortion over other social justice issues…such as poverty and food insecurity and things that might also help alleviate the stress of pregnancy, the unwanted pregnancies,” said Hernandez, a native of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. .

Rosey Abuabara, 57, of San Antonio, Texas, grew up Catholic and said her mother tried to have an abortion while she was pregnant with her. Abuabara, the youngest of five siblings, said her mother feared the family would not be able to support another child. She said her mother unsuccessfully tried to terminate her early pregnancy through plants and herbs to induce an abortion.

Abuabara, who is of Mexican descent, said she supported abortion because she “saw with her own eyes how poor we were”.

“I would see my mother not having dinner at night,” Abuabara said. “The worst thing you can do is watch your kids starve or your kids sick and not be able to get health care.”

Abuabara identified himself as an agnostic. Lately, she has found herself turning to Catholicism to deal with recent tragedies in her home country: the mass shooting in Uvalde that killed 19 students and two teachers and the deaths of 53 migrants who were found in a stuffy tractor-trailer in southwest San Antonio.

She said she didn’t leave the church or the creed entirely.

“Sometimes I just need to turn to God to find some peace and strength,” she said.

[RNS National Reporter Bob Smietana contributed to this report.]

The Church of the Apostles’ Helper Bees Hosts a Series of Free Concerts


From Thursday the event will take place in the gardens of the Church of the Apostles on Glasgow Street

Already booming, the Gardens of the Church of the Apostles are hosting a new event this summer.

The Helper Bee Church of the Apostles has announced a free four-week concert series in the church gardens at 86 Glasgow St. N. Each performance will take place on Thursday evenings from 6-7:30 p.m.

Beginning July 21, the Apostles Helper Bee Church welcomes four musicians and musical duos to perform; Brenda Lewis and Gayle Ackroyd, CJ Cooper, David Sait and Jill Francis and Lexi Pham. The concert series ends on August 11.

Concert organizer Kate Nixon said the concert will be free and wheelchair accessible. No pre-registration is required.

“All you need is a lawn chair or a blanket to make yourself comfortable,” Nixon said in a statement. “Everyone is welcome.”

“The church currently has food trucks on Thursday evenings and many people use the gardens to eat and relax. We thought the concerts would be a welcome addition for these people and for the neighborhood,” said John Dennis, coordinator of Helper Bees, in the press release.

Nixon adds that the church sees itself as part of the local community and neighbors do not have to attend services to be part of the church community.

“The church offers many different programs, including a breakfast club for GCVI, Living Better With Less, and they cook meals twice a week for your friends in downtown Guelph.”

Harris County’s COVID Heroes Honored in New Landmark Exhibit


Volunteers from the Pastor's Pantry of the First United Methodist <a class=Church stand in front of the new garden exhibit at the Chipley Historical Center honoring the heroes of Pine Mountain, Georgia who battled food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.” title=”Volunteers from the Pastor’s Pantry of the First United Methodist Church stand in front of the new garden exhibit at the Chipley Historical Center honoring the heroes of Pine Mountain, Georgia who battled food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.” loading=”lazy”/>

Volunteers from the Pastor’s Pantry of the First United Methodist Church stand in front of the new garden exhibit at the Chipley Historical Center honoring the heroes of Pine Mountain, Georgia who battled food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Historic Chipley Center at Pine Mountain opened a new outdoor garden exhibit honoring COVID-19 heroes on Sunday, June 26.

The center received a $19,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities which funded this project along with others, spokeswoman Rachel Crumbley said.

The exhibit currently honors two groups of heroes, Bethany Baptist Church of Pine Mountain and the Pastor’s Pantry of the First United Methodist Church, who have worked to reduce food insecurity in the community during the pandemic.

COVID Heroes pose in front of the exhibition.jpg
Covid Heroes stand in front of the new garden exhibit at the Chipley Historical Center honoring the heroes of Pine Mountain, Georgia who battled food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic. Brittany McGee [email protected]

Other COVID-19 heroes in the Pine Mountain area will be selected this fall, Vice President Cindy Bowden told the Ledger-Enquirer, and will change three times a year honoring different types of heroes.

The next group will include firefighters, paramedics and police officers, she said, and the center is currently asking for nominations for the third group of COVID-19 heroes.

“I think it’s our job as a history museum in this area to make sure you not only remember people like Horace King in the 1800s,” she said. “But you remember there are people now who are heroes. Get people moving and shaking making sure the community stays together.

Deliver meals after church closure due to COVID

Several members of Bethany Baptist Church worked together to prepare and deliver meals to homes when many older members of the church did not have access to food.

Josephine and Curtis Bray.jpg
Josephine and Curtis Bray of Bethany Baptist Church stand in front of the new Chipley Historic Center Garden Exhibit honoring the heroes of Pine Mountain, Georgia who battled food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic. Brittany McGee [email protected]

Josephine Bray is the church treasurer and her husband Curtis Bray is chairman of the deacon board. Both were worried about members of their community when the pandemic started and the church closed for about six to eight months, Curtis said.

“We had people getting sick right here in our neighborhood,” he said.

When two families who lived near the Brays caught COVID-19, the couple worked with other church members to deliver meals to the families. The group left meals on the porches because they couldn’t enter the house, Josephine said.

The organization continued to deliver food to people who couldn’t get to the grocery store or were experiencing financial hardship for about two months at the start of the pandemic. Some of the people who received food wept because they were grateful for what the church was doing, Curtis said.

Members of Bethany Baptist Church of Pine Mountain 1.jpg
Members of Bethany Baptist Church of Pine Mountain stand in front of the new garden exhibit in Historic Downtown Chipley honoring the heroes of Pine Mountain, Georgia who battled food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic. Brittany McGee [email protected]

“We want to keep (this organization) together because we don’t know if it’s ever going to happen again,” he said. “But there are always people who need help. So if this translates from one emergency to another, we always want to help.

“A small, very small place”

In 2019, a tornado swept through South Pine Mountain, leaving some residents in need and the small pantry at First United Methodist Church completely out of food. The parish priest of the church asked Lorraine Berry to be the director of pastor’s pantryand she agreed to build the pantry.

“Then we found out we could shop at the Feeding the Valley food bank,” Berry said. “And that was a godsend.”

The Pastor’s Pantry operates with approximately four volunteers and is open every Monday. If people cannot come on Monday, the food pantry will leave bags of food for the church administrative assistant to distribute.

“When COVID came out, we felt like we still had to do one because people needed food more than ever,” Berry said.

Pastor's Pantry - First United Methodist Church 3.jpg
Volunteers from the Pastor’s Pantry of the First United Methodist Church stand in front of the new garden exhibit at the Chipley Historical Center honoring the heroes of Pine Mountain, Georgia who battled food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic. Brittany McGee [email protected]

The pantry took care to create social distancing and wear masks. Rather than allowing people into the pantry, they made customers wait in the lobby and brought them bags full of groceries.

Helping to ensure those confined to their homes have access to healthy food is one of Berry’s priorities. During the pandemic, she started helping bring food to four homebound people each month and knows another woman who started coming to the pantry once a month to pick up food for a homebound friend. home who would tell him what he needed over the phone.

“She’s packing her suitcases,” she said. “And I think that makes her special as well. She took half her day to do this for them.

Being honored by the exhibit for the pantry’s work throughout the pandemic is important because it reflects the work the pastor’s pantry is doing, Berry said. She hopes the exhibit will raise awareness of the pantry so that more people can enjoy the resource.

“We’re just a tiny little place here,” Berry said. “(We are) one piece feeding people, and we could feed many more.”

Brittany McGee is a member of the Report for America body that covers local COVID-19 recovery. She is originally from Arkansas and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This story is financially supported by Report for America/GroundTruth Project and the Local News and Information Fund of the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley. The Ledger-Enquirer retains full editorial control of the work.

Oklahoma-based ministry seeks permanent housing in Jacksonville


CLAY COUNTY, Florida. – We met again with Restoration Ministries church members this week at Fleming Island at US 17 and County Road 220. The church has been spotted intermittently for years at major intersections in our area to raise funds for its ministry.

This is an I-Team survey that News4JAX has been tracking since 2018.

The church told News4JAX that it plans to increase its begging in the area and said it is its ministry to help people get rid of drugs and alcohol.

Restoration Ministries had members scattered all over a Fleming Island intersection handing out flyers and asking for donations, so we asked where the money was going.

“Well, we struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction. I was once on crack, and by the power of Jesus Christ he set me free. We are part of the restoration. The restoration is a non-profit organization, ”said Kelsey Malone.

This is not the first time this church has been affiliated with a ministry registered as 501c3 with the IRS in Oklahoma called Saved By Grace Restoration Ministries.

A d

RELATED: I-TEAM: Oklahoma-based ministry begs illegally

Members who had gone out to collect money from cars, an unusual fundraising mechanism for a church, told us that they recovered from their addictions through this ministry.

“We’re out of Oklahoma City. We are setting up a ministry here in Jacksonville. What we’re going to do is get people off the streets — the drug addicts, the alcoholics, the homeless. This is our target. And where does the money go? The money is to keep our doors open,” Cheyenne Lee said.

When News4JAX last reported on this church, they were at the same crossroads in Caly County, at the time in violation of anti-begging ordinances. But since then, the laws have changed following a Supreme Court ruling that considers begging to be protected by the First Amendment.

A d

We spoke to Pastor Shelby DaCasta who says he is trying to bring their church permanently to Jacksonville.

DaCasta says fundraising at the corner of intersections is not unusual for his church.

“The reason is that the Bible tells us to go on the highways and side roads. Get out and preach the gospel. That’s literally what we do, go on the highways and side roads. We do “Do our best to get people to repent. Distribute our literature. If they know anyone who deals with alcoholism, prostitution, gang violence, people getting out of prison,” a DeCasta said.

DeCasta also said the church is currently trying to find a building in Jacksonville to house its ministry.

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX – All Rights Reserved.

Off-campus residents and community react to change in direction of new center


The Paulist Fathers, who served at the Newman Center for 66 years, will be leaving at the end of July due to the new leadership of the Diocese of Columbus. Photo courtesy of Madisyn Callahan.

Mary Ward, who has been congregating at Ohio State’s Saint Thomas More Newman Center for 59 years, loved the connections she was able to make with the students who attended the church.

However, with the recent leadership changes within the Newman Center for a “student-centered view”, Ward and other church members say they are overlooked. Ward said the vision for the new diocese will alienate and prevent non-students from participating within the church.

“In this era of ‘cancellation culture,’ it has canceled the resident community, and that includes younger people before they go to college,” Ward said. “There won’t be programs for them like there have been in the past.”

Madisyn Callahan, an Ohio State elder who has volunteered with the Newman Center in the past, said the majority of people who attend the church are Ohio State elders. They are an important part of the Newman Center, she said.

“Just because there’s an older, non-student population doesn’t mean it’s not student-focused,” Callahan said. “In fact, community members are there to support the students.

Even with a more student-centric view, Julia Dreiling, a third-year data analytics student who attends the Newman Center, said those changes, particularly the removal of the Paulista Fathers, have passed. an independent order of priests based in New York that has run the Newman Center for 66 yearsprevents students from getting involved.

“[The Paulist Fathers] are just wonderful people in every sense of the word, and for the bishop to throw them away like that without conversations with the community and the Paulists themselves shows extreme disregard for the character of others,” Dreiling said.

Ward said the Newman Center has always been student-focused, but the involvement of community members ensures that programs and volunteer work continue even after students graduate and leave Columbus. With this change, many members will go to different churches, she said.

“I don’t know if there will still be anyone coming from the resident community, but the majority certainly won’t,” Ward said.

The Newman Center could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.

Sandy Murray, who has attended the Newman Center for 59 years, said she disagreed with the withdrawal of the Paulista Fathers. The Paulist Fathers will hold their final Mass on July 31 after they were unable to compromise with Fernandes’ new contract.

Callahan said the Paulist Fathers were a big part of what made the Newman Center so welcoming to students.

“The important part of Paulistas, I think, is that they take the time to get to know each of the students or community members who walk through their door,” Callahan said. “I think it is important to allow the Paulist Fathers to be there for those who revolve around their careisms, when we could have called on the help of the diocese if they really needed it. They didn’t have to take over like they did.

Not only does Murray think Fernandes isn’t listening to the community, she also thinks he isn’t listening. Teachings of Pope Francis That is.

“I have been a Catholic cradle, a faithful Catholic, all my life; none of this seems to be what Pope Francis is saying,” Murray said. “He wants a listening church.”

In response to those in favor of the change, Callahan said it was due to their lack of understanding of what the Newman Center does.

“A big part of their belief is that the Paulist Fathers don’t teach the teachings of the Catholic faith because they are open to certain communities,” Callahan said. “That’s not the case; they never taught against the Catholic faith.

Murray said she was worried because Fernandes seems to be bringing in people who follow her conservative views.

“One of the reasons they gave for this change was to want to bring in other bands that weren’t currently represented at the Newman Center,” Murray said. “I know some of them. They are extremely conservative and present a narrow view of what Catholicism is.

Callahan said that while she disagrees with these changes, she still hopes the leadership transition will end well and the Newman Center will continue to serve the Ohio State community.

“I really want to see this work completed. I would never wish failure on these priests,” Callahan said. “I know they have good intentions, but I just don’t see it going the way they expect.”

Pastor’s Chronicle: Walking in Compassion | Columnists


The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;

therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.

Jhe passage above follows a long period of Jesus traveling through the towns and villages of Israel ministering, teaching and healing. This is the command Jesus gave his disciples after experiencing all the needs and sufferings of the world while ministering. In the verse before this command it says: “When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had pity on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). The whole passage has weighed on me since I read it last week.

Jesus was here and saw firsthand what was happening. Yet that says nothing about judging people. He does not quote any scathing sermon he gave to call people back to God. He simply states that he had compassion for them because they were “…harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd”. Harassed and helpless…sheep without a shepherd, these things seem oddly familiar in our present day. Over 2000 years after Jesus physically walked the earth, there is still so much need and pain in the world. Jesus’ response to these things was to have compassion. It is not the answer our world generally has for those who are lost and need help. Typically, we analyze their life choices and judge where they should have done better. God help me if anyone ever decides to analyze the stupid things I’ve done in life and judge me for the wrong choices I’ve made. Fortunately, Jesus had compassion and sent people into my life to help me make the most of what God had given me. Some of them were competent and trained. Others were just the strength and guidance I needed at the right time. I have led a blessed life. Jesus’ compassion and appeal to the lives of others saved that life.

Our passage above is not addressed to us as we might think. Although I believe it is a good thing to pray for God to send workers to help in the harvest, I believe more fully that we are the workers for whom the disciples prayed. It is our job to bring this compassion to the harassed and helpless, to help them find their Shepherd, Jesus Christ. It is hard work to be a worker for God. Yet, blessed as we are, it’s a wonderful way to show our gratitude for what God has given us. By taking a courageous and moral inventory of our own choices, then counting the blessings we have received from God, it is easier to find compassion for the choices of others and to walk gently with them where they are then. that we help them find the shepherd to follow. .

Maryland Churches youth group stuck amid protests in Panama



A leader of a youth group from two churches in Maryland said Friday that about two dozen people had been stranded at an oceanfront resort in Panama for a week amid political turmoil and protests that shut down the main roads of the country.

Lisa Shepard of Jessup said 17 tweens and teens along with several younger and older adult chaperones came to Las Lajas, on the southwest coast near the Costa Rican border, on July 7 to volunteer to build a school in the nearby mountains.

When the group from New Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church in Fulton and Frederick Seventh-day Adventist Church first arrived, they hit a few roadblocks which delayed their journey a few hours, Shepard sent a text message to a friend, but “at the time we were unaware of the seriousness of the situation.”

Panamanians angry at inflation continue to protest

Over the past week, thousands of Panamanians have marched in the capital and in cities across the country to show their anger over soaring fuel prices, the Associated Press reported. Indigenous groups in the region where religious groups are blocked are among the poorest in the country, and they joined protesting teachers and workers from Panama’s powerful construction industry as unrest grew later. Protesters blocked the Pan-American Highway, the AP said, and some buses trying to pass the roadblocks were damaged by protesters.

According to the AP, no injuries were reported, but Shepard said the driver who was supposed to take the youngster to volunteer each day was stuck on the side of the road by the blockade for a week and others said some on the road were held up at gunpoint.

“We are perfect targets. It’s not prudent. We have all these kids,” said Shepard, who works for a children’s hospital. Her 17-year-old daughter was with her.

Faced with a lawsuit, the Catholic bishops authorize a lesbian to foster a child

Mission groups have been traveling to the area to work with Indigenous groups for nearly a decade, Shepard said, though the coronavirus pandemic has halted travel for the past two years.

A notice dated Thursday on the US State Department website warns against demonstrations in Panama and recommends visitors “to exercise caution near any large gatherings or demonstrations and to remain aware of the situation”.

“Unfortunately, protests and roadblocks are a part of life in Panama,” the warning states. “There may be demonstrations to protest internal Panamanian issues or, more rarely, demonstrations of anti-American sentiment. While most protests are non-violent, the Panamanian National Police have used tear gas and/or riot control munitions in response to protests, particularly when roads are blocked or assaults are used against police.

Shepard said there were no such warnings before the group headed for Panama.

She said they contacted the State Department and several Maryland officials last week. The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday evening.

Presbyterian Church vote declaring Israel an apartheid state upsets Jewish groups

The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Maryland regional office did not immediately respond to a message Friday.

Shepard said one of the group’s leaders had just left when the group arrived in the provincial capital of David to get phone cards and were prevented by protesters from leaving that town. This chief has two teenagers with him, she says.

Power was out for a while on Friday, Shepard said, but the resort’s owners “used their underground network” to secure food for the youth group. She said they were trying to keep the teenagers’ spirits up and not worry them.

“We do all sorts of things, like trying to get them to play cards, to get in the water. We keep telling them everything will be fine,” she said. “They are anxious and suspicious.”

The 40th St. John’s Church Festival is back and in person on Saturday | New


OLEAN — After two years of masks, social distancing and drive-thru only food service, the 40th annual St. John’s Church Festival returns Saturday as an in-person celebration of community culture and food.

The event takes place from noon to 10 p.m. outside the church at 931 N. Union St.

Dominic Rogers, a member of the event committee, said preparations for the return of the event after a two-year hiatus began in February. He said the committee meets every month to make sure everything comes together.

“The whole community has been wonderfully supportive, as have all of the vendors we use, so all is well,” he said Wednesday. “The volunteers seem excited and I hope the community will participate in a great community event and community day.”

The festival is traditionally held over one day, so for the first full festival since 2019, the committee hopes to continue this tradition with a familiar event from previous years.

“We’re trying to bring it back to what it was,” Rogers said. “It’s 40th year, which is pretty significant, but just back, we didn’t want to overwhelm the committee or our volunteers, so we stuck to what we knew.”

This year’s menu features many festival favorites from previous years, including pizza, meatball sandwiches, sausage sandwiches, fagioli, risotto, broccoli and ziti, cannolis and meals for children. Water, soft drinks, beer and wine are available to drink.

The popular pétanque tournament is back after taking place every year since the festival’s inception until 2019. Rogers said teams can contact Paul Pezzimenti to pre-register or register at the start of the festival before the start of the tournament between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Families are welcome at the festival with a number of YMCA children’s activities between 1 and 5 p.m. Rogers said a highlight will be the bouncy houses.

An outdoor mass will be celebrated at 4:30 p.m. at Boardman Park, a few blocks south of St. John’s on North Union Street.

Live music will again include the Larry Lewicki Band kicking off the festivities from noon to 2 p.m. Trigger Happy will perform later in the day from 3-6 p.m. Closing of the festivities Saturday evening will be Sticktights from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The raffle is also back, once again with $20,000 in cash prizes and a top prize of $10,000, Rogers said. Other prizes include a second place of $2,000, three gifts of $1,000 and the remaining $5,000 awarded in lesser amounts. And of course, the pull tabs, a perennial favorite, will be available. Tickets are $100 each.

Plus, more than two dozen basket raffles will also be rewarded with prizes ranging from lottery tickets and local gift certificates to Cutco knives and more for the whole family. Tickets are $5 each.

Cash raffle and basket raffle tickets can be purchased on the St. John’s website, sjteolean.org.

As the first festival since 2019, Rogers said the committee had no specific expectations for attendance numbers or funds raised – just hoping to see the community stop.

“It raises money for the church, but it’s not the main goal,” he said. “The main goal is to bring the community together and celebrate some good food, hopefully good weather, and have some camaraderie and experience what St. John’s is all about.”

For more information about the event or the raffle, visit sjteolean.org or call the church at 372-5313.

A street pastor speaks out after damning the findings of the Telford CSE report

Reverend Keith Osmund-Smith

The Reverend Keith Osmund-Smith, senior co-ordinator of Telford Street Pastors, was also West Mercia Police Chaplain until last year.

In 2016, he raised concerns that force was not addressing reports of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the city.

Police responded by launching an investigation into his allegations and he was placed on sabbatical.

He was eventually reinstated after it was decided that his role as a street pastor did not conflict with his position as a police chaplain.

The Reverend Osmund-Smith welcomed the findings of the Crowther report, which was released this week, and said education would be key in a number of areas to ensure children are safe from abusers.

He said police and council officials needed to look into why victims were being charged with crimes, instead of being helped.

“I think it’s a great report,” he said. “I think if the 47 recommendations are fully implemented by all those who are required to do so, we may have the opportunity to move forward.

“I think we have to come to grips with the ongoing cultural responses from the police and to some extent council authorities for what happened between 2012 and 2018. There was a deep-rooted cultural response that still blamed an enormous amount of criminal activity. the victims of these crimes.”

Reverend Osmund-Smith added: “I really believe the only answer to that is education, education, education. And that means educating the police from the start. That’s included in the recommendations. Educating the police teachers, social workers, educate council workers and aware that the protection of our young people comes first.

“So there needs to be money available for the teams dealing with this to be reinforced with properly trained people, so that everyone has the opportunity to understand that CSE is not something to blame. from the victims.”

The Reverend Osmund-Smith said street pastors had become aware of continuing grooming issues, focused on young girls, through ‘under 18’ events held in Telford.

He said they had regularly seen older men trying to pick up girls from cars and raised those concerns as part of a review report prepared by Telford & Wrekin Council in 2016.

This was one of the reports that put Telford CSE in the spotlight several years after Operation Chalice.

Reverend Osmund-Smith said: “Street pastors were on the streets every time there was an under 18 event and week after week we saw adult night economy men rolling around in their cars.

He added: “There have been occasions when we have taken girls out of cars because we knew they would be in trouble if they stayed in those cars.

“But there was still no support.”

3 arrested on 115 counts each after hate symbols left at New York church and synagogue


Three people have been arrested on more than 100 counts each, accused of distributing pamphlets bearing hate symbols at a synagogue, black church and other locations in Hornell, New York, police said.

Aubrey Dragonetti, 31, Dylan Henry, 30, and Ryan Mulhollen, 27, have each been charged with 115 counts of aggravated harassment, the Hornell Police Department said in a statement. Monday press release.

Hornell is a small town in southern New York, with a population of 8,300, according to the latest US Census figures.

On July 9 and 10, police investigated pamphlets and stickers containing swastikas and racial slurs left at places of worship and on public and private property in the city, officials said.

A flyer bearing the words “Aryan National Army” was found at Rehoboth Deliverance Ministries, which has a predominantly black congregation. The same type of literature was found in front of the Temple Beth-El synagogue, The evening standreported Hornell’s diary.

The Aryan Nations “are one of the country’s best-known enclaves of anti-Semitism and white nationalism,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.

A warrant, in conjunction with the New York State Police, was executed in the 130 block of River Street, police said, leading to the arrest of the trio.

“During the search, evidence was found that described Felony Aggravated Harassment 1, a Class E felony,” the police department said in the statement.

The prosecution, under New York law, is defined as “with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person”, because of “race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity or expression, religion”. The charge description also includes depictions of swastikas and nooses as symbols of intimidation.

NBC News has contacted the police department for further comment on the arrests.

The suspects appeared in Steuben County Centralized Impeachment Court on Monday, The Evening Tribune reported. Information about attorneys for the three was not immediately available.

Dragonetti and Mulhollen were imprisoned in Steuben County Jail and later released. Henry remains in custody, according to prison records.

Hornell Mayor John J. Buckley said he was “absolutely shocked and appalled by the actions and behavior of these three individuals.”

“The town of Hornell is a very tight-knit, welcoming and accepting community and there is absolutely no place for this type of hate or any other here,” he said. “These are three misguided individuals who have hatred in their hearts. That’s something that doesn’t reflect Hornell.”

U.S. Supreme Court denies California bishops’ motion to strike down child victim law


The US Supreme Court leaves the door open for victims of clergy sex abuse to file claims in California. On June 21, the High Court rejected an attempt by Catholic bishops and archbishops to strike down a California law allowing people to sue for childhood sexual abuse, regardless of when it first appeared.

At issue was California’s Child Victims Act, also known as Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218), which opened a three-year “rollback” window, from 2020 to 2022. for claims of sexual abuse previously barred by the statute of limitations. brought against an abuser and the institution that employed them, regardless of when the abuse took place.

Nine bishops, including Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, filed a petition April 15 asking the Supreme Court to reconsider a case challenging the constitutionality of the Children’s Act victims of the state. In their petition, the bishops cited the “ruinous” cost of defending the claims. They also argued that a prior year in 2003, which resulted in massive settlements, was supposed to be the final word on the sex abuse scandal.

The victims were relieved that their chance of accountability had not been taken away from them. The Catholic Church has openly scorned the Child Victims Act and three-year look-back window since its passage, but with the Supreme Court’s rejection of the challenge, victims of clergy abuse can continue to seek justice. By leaving the three-year look-back window in place, more victims can pursue civil lawsuits. The cost of abuse – through lost wages, addiction, health consequences – is passed on to those who caused it.

Equally important, the notoriously secretive Catholic Church will need to continue to expose its practices, open abuse registries, and potentially identify hidden predators within its ranks who may still be capable of abusing children.

As experienced clergy abuse attorneys, Saunders & Walker have helped many survivors find closure, settlements and compensation for their injuries. Our team of knowledgeable and compassionate legal professionals are available to help you get started on the path to a more complete recovery.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of clergy abuse in Los Angeles or anywhere in California, no matter how long, please contact us today. Even if you have been told in the past that it is too late to make a claim, the situation may have changed recently. Saunders & Walker PA is ready to help you move forward with appropriate legal action, so call today for a consultation at 1-800-748-7115.

Have you been sexually abused by a member of the clergy?

The church of Sebewaing will host the evening cruise


Son’s Life Missionary Church hopes its Circle Cruise Night Friday party will be a great time to get to know other community and church members.

Beginning at 6 p.m., attendees will be allowed to drive their cars and see friends, family, and other members of the church and community.

“It’s a good thing to bring together a large part of the community,” said church administrative assistant Jodi Smith.

A well-known event in Sebewaing, the circular cruise dates back to the 80s. It was first called “Idiot Circle”, but the name was changed due to the controversy surrounding it. It was first held at the annual Sugar Festival in June, but was changed when Son’s Life Missionary Church took over. This is the second consecutive year that he has been welcomed by the local church.

“At the time, it was popular among high school kids,” Smith said. “They would start at the fire station and go through the cruise circle, where some of them were even doing burnouts.”

The case will start in the parking lot of the church, because then the cruisers can go through the fire station and back. It will be a great opportunity to see other people’s cars, including some of the old classic vehicles.

“We wanted a summer event, so we thought that was the best thing to do,” Smith said.

Local businesses, including Cornerstone Venture and the local cafe, will stay open later than usual to offer cruise passengers a few more options to choose from for buying ice cream and other goodies. The church will also provide free hot dogs and lemonade.

“We’re talking with a few other businesses to see if they’ll stay open later,” Smith said. “But we are happy to have Cornerstone and others on board.”

If you wish to attend, the church asks participants to confirm their presence via their Facebook page, so that they know how much food they will have to prepare.

“Even if you’re not a member here at the church, come and enjoy it,” Smith said. “It will be a great time and a great reunion for everyone to enjoy.”

The pastor made me do it!


Tory leadership hopeful Sajid Javid has revealed he quit the Cabinet after a sermon by an evangelical pastor stung his conscience.

The former health secretary’s resignation sparked an avalanche of ministers leaving Boris Johnson’s government, forcing the prime minister out of office.

His resignation came after listening to a sermon by Reverend Les Isaac on integrity and accountability.

The sermon was delivered at a parliamentary prayer breakfast with other MPs, including Prime Minister Johnson.

“I was listening to him talk about the importance of integrity in public life and, focusing on just that, I made my decision. I went straight back to my office and wrote the letter of resignation and went to see the prime minister later that day,’ Javid told the BBC Sunday broadcast.

He said the sermon made him realize that it was his duty to defend himself and the country and that the government was no longer aligned with his morals and values.

Sets off

Sajid Javid wasn’t the only person whose life was influenced by Reverend Les Isaac since he founded the street pastor initiative in 2003.

Street Pastors are a collective of volunteers who work for safer streets across the UK by “caring, listening and helping” vulnerable communities.

The collective is active in over 240 cities across Britain and has trained over 12,000 street and prayer pastors providing physical and emotional support in times of crisis.

Javid announced his resignation on Twitter minutes before former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced his resignation. The couple claimed that they had not coordinated their actions.

A total of 59 ministers resigned, forcing the prime minister to leave.

Many resignations were triggered because Johnson appointed Chris Pincher as Deputy Chief Whip, when he was aware of the sexual harassment allegations and his former misconduct.

Johnson has now stepped down as Tory leader and prime minister once a successor is announced on September 5.

Javid is now considering replacing Johnson. He claimed to be a suitable candidate as he had the necessary experience and a new Conservative economic plan to get Britain back on track.

He pledged to push for long-term tax reform and downplay the cost of living crisis in what he described as Britain’s “most immediate challenge”.

By Sarah Danquah

Associate Priest – Episcopal News Service

About Us: Based in Beverly Hills since 1925, All Saints Episcopal Church is a creative, transcendent, and spirit-filled church. We reach hungry, inclusive and servant-hearted people who faithfully seek meaning, community and connection with God. We are grounded in a sacred rhythm of worship, music, fellowship, and service to those in need, both in our parish and in the larger Los Angeles community. Our staff is growing and we are building new ministries, programs and support systems as we emerge from Covid during a complex transition period.

Summary of work: We are looking for an associate priest to work and live among us as a spirited, joyful and enthusiastic minister. We welcome applicants who are grounded in a Christ-centered faith, able to engage with all ages, appreciate and support all of our liturgical expressions, and who have excellent personal and professional boundaries. You will be a beloved member of a strong community of faith, and we invite you to walk with us on our journey of maturing Christian faith and life. The associate priest will have general clergy functions: liturgical, pastoral, teaching and administrative. It’s an exciting time of renewal as we start small groups, increase learning opportunities and improve our operations. The Associate Priest will have the opportunity to provide leadership in these areas during this time of gathering, reconnection and renewal.

We are looking for an associate priest who:

  • Preaches with a clear gospel message, grounded in scholarly textual, theological, and creative sources
  • Likes to teach and dialogue with us on how to deepen our Christian faith
  • Responds sensitively to pastoral needs: visiting, calling and communicating with parishioners as needed
  • Who understands the purpose and function of small groups within the church, and has some experience in growing small group ministries
  • Manages time wisely, has attention to detail, is autonomous, and clear on the progress of the project and the needs
  • Maintains confidentiality of sensitive information
  • Enjoy being with us, who can help us build trust and community through fellowship
  • Has a positive and cheerful approach to the Christian life and is ready to tackle difficult questions
  • Works collaboratively, communicates frequently and clearly

Archbishop Emeritus of Tamale laid to rest

Archbishop’s social burial

Archbishop Emeritus of Tamale, Monsignor Gregory Ebo Kpiebaya, one of the oldest Catholic Church leaders in the country, was laid to rest after a requiem mass in Tamale.
The solemn ceremony, intertwined with song amidst dancing, brought together Catholics inside and outside the country, including Henryk Jagodzinski, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana (Pope’s Ambassador), the Reverend Charles Gabriel Palmer- Buckle, the Archbishop of Cape Coast, the Reverend Richard Kuuia Baawobr, Bishop of Wa and Cardinal-elect, among other bishops, priests and members of the public.
Among the dignitaries, who graced the event, were Mr. Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader of Parliament, Prof. Jane Nana Opoku-Agyemang, 2020 running mate of the Democratic National Congress, and Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, and some chiefs.
Archbishop Emeritus Kpiebaya, who died on May 31 this year, was born in 1933 in Nanvilli, Kaleo Parish in the Upper West Region.
He was ordained a priest in the Wa Catholic Church in September 1962, and his first appointment after his ordination was to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Daffiama, where he worked as a vicar.
After nearly 20 years of Episcopal ministry in Wa, Bishop Kpiebaya was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale in March 1994 and was installed in November 1994, a position he held until his canonical resignation in February 2009.
As bishop and archbishop he carried out his duties with courage, unwavering faith, untiring zeal and dedication, and in addition to his episcopal pastoral work and his diocesan administration, he exercised various functions in the universal, regional and national.
Bishop Philip Naameh, Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale led the sermon during the Requiem Mass in Tamale.
Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Archbishop Emeritus of Kumasi, senior member of the Ghana Catholic Bishops‘ Conference (GCBC), performed the rites of recommendation over the body of the late Archbishop Emeritus Kpiebaya before he was buried at Our Lady of Annunciation Cathedral (OLA), Tamale.
Bishop Paul Bemile, Bishop Emeritus of Wa Diocese, in a homily praised Archbishop Emeritus Kpiebaya, extolling his virtues and contributions to the church.
Archbishop Bemile said the number of national and regional awards Archbishop Emeritus Kpiebaya has received in recognition of his contribution to peace and development is a great legacy he left behind.
He said the Catholic Church will continue to cherish him as a unique member who has made many contributions to the growth of the Church in the country.
He said, “We should be encouraged by what he has done and thank God for the gift of his long life, which has been a blessing to the church.”
Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu of Konongo-Mampong Diocese who read a tribute on behalf of the GCBC recounted the roles of Archbishop Emeritus Kpiebaya as a member of the GCBC, saying the GCBC had lost a strong servant and one of its trusted leaders. .
He said Archbishop Emeritus Kpiebaya will be remembered for his contributions to the GCBC and the church as a whole.
The Northern Regional Minister, in a remark, said it was time to reflect on the contributions of the late Archbishop Emeritus Kpiebaya, whose life was an example of humility and love for humanity.
He praised his contributions to peace and development, especially in the northern part of the country.
Prof Nana Opoku-Agyemang, who represented former President John Mahama, said the late Archbishop Emeritus Kpiebaya served diligently and remained focused, adding, “He was a unifier. He also turned into opportunities what could have been challenges, and left us with all these examples.

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Mount Zion celebrates its 120th anniversary


BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) – Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church celebrated its 120th anniversary on Sunday.

Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Fairmont was established in 1902. The church was organized in W. D. Fortney’s home by Reverend OC Jones that year.

Through these 120 years of Mount Zion. The church has called many reverends to serve the church.

In July 2017, Reverend Dr. Mark Staples was called to serve Mount Zion and has served the church ever since.

“One thing that will not change and will never change is the word of God. The Word of God. Not a period. Not a question mark. It will never change, he said: “If it doesn’t, I change,” Staples said.

There are three things Reverend Dr. Mark Staples says that have helped the church over these years.

“We are Christ first, church second, community. Because that’s what we’re here for. They said “go be there for him,” Staples said.

The church received a plaque from Mayor Tom Mainella to honor 120 years.

“I want to congratulate you on your longevity 120 years is a long time. I’m sure it will be another 120 years, maybe another 240 years.

For the past 120 years, the church has never missed a Sunday service, even during the pandemic.

Copyright 2022 WD TV. All rights reserved.

Pastor John Gray placed in intensive care unit, wife says keep him in your prayers


Pastor John Gray at Lakewood Church. Image source: YouTube

Pastor John Gray needs the prayers and support of the community. His wife, Aventer Graytook to Instagram and posted that her husband had checked into the intensive care unit at the hospital with a ‘saddle pulmonary embolism in the pulmonary artery and more pulmonary blood clots’, she said written on his page.

A saddle PE is a large blood clot lodged in the main pulmonary artery. The blockage occurs in the leg, then travels to the lungs from large veins and other parts of the body, Healthline reports.

The pastor is in a precarious situation; Aventer said the location of the pastor’s PE saddle is life-threatening if he moves. She explains that he needs two types of surgery due to the pressure on his heart in the next 24 hours. Doctors warned her that other people died in her exact condition. Pastor Gray has to stand still and can’t even go to the bathroom. However, Aventer maintains her faith in God that he will restore her husband to health.

“OK cool! Thank you ma’am! God isn’t done! I don’t care what CT, ECHO, All or any of the tests show! Clearly God isn’t done. Clots need to bow before my God! That’s all!”

She concludes her article by acknowledging the supports of her family.

“THANK YOU TO OUR @relentlessgreenville @relentlessatlanta & our @lakewoodchurch for those who have already literally physically showed up and reached out.

Yolande Baruch

Yolanda Baruch is a freelance writer who has written for Blavity, YV-Media, The Grio, EURweb, Madamenoire and Mic. Yolanda covers faith-based films, television, culture, wellness, entrepreneurship and current affairs.

Church-Community Connection: Who is the person in your neighborhood? | Features


From time to time, most of us feel left out. We feel like misfits. Others seem so sure of themselves, so sure of themselves, “insiders” who know the tricks of the trade, old members of a club from which we are excluded. So, what do the “outsiders” do? They also form exclusive clubs.

Clubs range from informal to formal, usually based on a theme. The members think, “Here’s at least one place I can belong, and these other people are out.” Identity or value is obtained by excluding everything except “we”. The price we pay for these exclusive clubs is a shrinking of reality, a shrinking of life. Why? Our thing becomes everything, at least for us.

In his introduction to the Gospel of Luke, author Eugene Peterson discusses this trend in politics, cultures, nationalities, social clubs, economics, and religion. “But religion has a long history of doing just that, of reducing the enormous mysteries of God to the respectability of club rules, of reducing the vast human community to a membership.”

Luke is the Gospel written for “strangers”. Luke was a staunch defender of “the underdog.” Why? He was an outsider himself, the only Gentile in an all-Jewish caste of New Testament writers. It shows how Jesus included what the religious establishment would consider to be outsiders at the time: women, common workers, Samaritans of different races, the poor and even the rich.

Dr Peterson writes: “As Luke tells the story, all of us who have found ourselves on the outside staring at life with no hope of entering it (and who of us hasn’t felt it? ) now find the doors wide open. , found and welcomed by God in Jesus.

No parable in the Bible is clearer on this idea than the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus wanted his audience to connect emotionally with the characters in the parable. Jesus wanted his audience to think, “Who am I in this story?

The parable of the Good Samaritan begins with a dialogue about eternal life with Jesus and a young religious scholar. Jesus quotes the Old Testament. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The young scholar asked, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered with a parable.

A man was walking on the dangerous road from Jerusalem to Jericho. The thieves beat him and robbed him. As he lay by the side of the road, undressed and dying, a Jewish priest came up the road, saw the man, walked around him, and continued on his journey. Then another religious champion, a Levite, also came and ignored the man.

Then a Samaritan man came, saw the stolen man and had compassion on him. So the Samaritan gave him first aid, dressing and disinfecting his wounds. Then he lifted the victim on his donkey, drove him to an inn, and paid for his entire stay at the inn until he recovered.

Jesus asked the young religious scholar, “Which of these three men was the neighbor of the victim? “The Samaritan,” replied the scholar. Jesus said, “Go and do the same. The public did not expect this curve ball. The young scholar and the stunned audience received an “aha” that day. Remember, the Samaritans were the wicked of the Jewish people. They were the worst of the worst. Yet this Samaritan did what the religious establishment was created to do: love his neighbor as himself.

What the Samaritan did was tantamount to a Ku Klux Klan member saving, bandaging and paying for the recovery of an African American or vice versa. What the Samaritan did was tantamount to a radical Muslim saving an Israeli citizen or vice versa. Notice I said the reverse. Altruism works both ways. Our opinions are formed by the Bible, not by our current, unstable, fickle culture or affinity group. We are like an eye, a little white and a little black to see.

Selfishness costs nothing, but compassion is expensive. The Samaritan paid the entire bill. The Samaritan gave his time, his energy, his finances and his emotions. You see, anyone can be like a religious scholar. We can have the right answers and do nothing about it. Someone once wrote, “To love the whole world is not a chore; my only problem is my next door neighbor.

Who are we, you and me, in this parable? I hope the Good Samaritan. And please don’t try to signal virtue when you come across a need for someone. I’m sick of all the “cool” people on social media taking selfies while they’re giving $20 to some poor guy on the street corner. It’s not altruism. It is self-glorification. The Good Samaritan wanted no credit for his act of kindness. Nor is generosity. As that old song says, “Look at yourself, and you will look at others differently.”

The most significant point of this story is this. Humanity is the stolen man by the side of the road. Naked, undressed and half dead, we all need a Good Samaritan to save us. In many cases, religion bypasses us. But, unfortunately, in many cases, the same is true for politics, business, media and education.

Who is the Good Samaritan in this story? Jesus said, “I will foot the full bill for mankind,” and he did. It’s a very good neighborhood. Maybe there’s a person in our neighborhood who says, “Don’t you want to be my neighbor?”

Vatican defrocks priest who reprimanded Oakland diocese for sexual abuse


Tim Stier thought it was only a matter of time. Since 2005, he has refused parish assignments as a priest in the Diocese of Oakland for his handling of sex abuse claims and has spent more than a decade outside his cathedral on Sundays seeking accountability for the church and justice for the victims.

He had no intention of ending his voluntary exile and resuming his work as a priest. But when the Vatican finally came for his collar a few months ago, removing him from the Roman Catholic priesthood, Stier said it still felt like a knock.

“It hit me harder than I expected,” said Stier, 73, whose withdrawal was disclosed this week. “I felt sad and angry. If I had raped children, I wouldn’t have been kicked out of the club.

The Diocese of Oakland said in a statement Friday only that “we wish Mr. Stier all the best in this new chapter of his life.”

But Stier, as he has been for the past 17 years, remains ruthless in his criticism of the diocese over the scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church locally and around the world since it first came to light. times in the 1980s and 1990s through criminal prosecution. priests and trials.

The scandal gained attention after a 2002 Boston Globe exposure that led to criminal charges against five priests, won a Pulitzer Prize and was chronicled in the 2015 Oscar-winning film “Spotlight”.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 recognized the problem, calling for the protection of children and youth and zero tolerance for sexual abuse.

But critics have since accused church leaders across the country of failing to fully account for their role in facilitating the abuses. A 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report found that more than 300 priests abused more than 1,000 children in six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses. The report found that church leaders had “set aside” victims’ claims and “preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all else” by “covering up the truth”.

Donna Stone, center left, a complainant and survivor of clergy childhood sexual abuse, speaks at a press conference announcing a new lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, October 16, 2019. With Stone is Dr. Joseph C. George, an advocate for survivors, left, and Melanie Sakoda, center right, with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, and Tim Stier, right, an author and whistleblower priest. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

The report prompted similar investigations in other states, including California, where it is still ongoing. It has also led many dioceses, including Oakland and San Jose, to release or expand their lists of credibly accused clergy.

Yet critics including SNAP, the network of survivors of those abused by priests, and Stier, which is close to that group’s leaders, said the diocesan disclosures were incomplete and failed to address the role of bishops. in the perpetuation of the abuses.

In his May 31 farewell letter to some 60 priests in the Diocese of Oakland, Stier expressed his dismay that Bishop of Oakland Michael C. Barber failed to hold the bishop emeritus in retirement. John S. Cummins responsible for his role in allegedly enabling abuse by credibly accused priests. diocese appointed.

Stier’s letter, to which he says only one priest responded, said Cummins, bishop from 1977 to 2003, failed to prevent abuse by Vincent Breen, Don Broderson, James Clark, George Francis, Robert Ponciroli, Gary Tollner and Stephen Kiesle. All were eventually removed from the ministry, and Broderson, Kiesle, and Ponciroli were removed from the priesthood. Only Kiesle is still alive.

The diocese has not commented on Stier’s accusations and Cummins, 93, could not be reached.

Stier, who Cummins ordained in 1978, had served at St. Bede in Hayward under Francis, who died in 1998 and was accused of sexually abusing at least six children. The diocese paid a $3 million settlement in 2004 to one of Francis’ victims, whose father Stier knew.

Stier then served at St. John Vianney in Walnut Creek, St. Raymond in Dublin and finally for 12 years at Corpus Christi in Fremont. He was not shy about confronting the sex abuse scandal, at one point removing the name of Clark, who was accused of abuse from 1971 to 1973 and died in 1989, from the parish hall.

But Stier grew increasingly frustrated with what he saw as a church that was lowering its standards for priests to fill vacancies while refusing to reconsider policies and teachings that he says are contributing to the problem — the priestly celibacy, refusal to ordain women and opposition to homosexuality.

Tim Stier of Walnut Creek is pictured at his home in Walnut Creek, Calif., Friday, July 8, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
Tim Stier of Walnut Creek is pictured at his home in Walnut Creek, Calif., Friday, July 8, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

The straw that broke the camel’s back, Stier said, was a 2004 encounter with Dan McNevin, a former altar boy who said he had been sexually abused by Clark. He later received part of a $56.4 million settlement with 56 accusers and is now SNAP’s treasurer. After a sabbatical, Stier told Bishop Allen H. Vigneron in 2005 that he could no longer serve as pastor.

Stier now lives in a Walnut Creek retirement community, on income from a book, Social Security and his priest’s pension. Barber, he said, never responded to his protests or his letters.

Two years ago, he said he received notice from the diocese that the bishop wanted to remove him from the priesthood, in a process known as secularization. He refused to cooperate, and the diocese told him in May that the Vatican had secularized him on March 19.

SNAP said in response that “when many in Oakland were silent on this ongoing issue, Tim Stier chose not to be. In response, he was punished.

Stier said that as a “Catholic through and through” he could not bring himself to join another denomination and that his cast-off did not shake his faith.

“I believe in God, I pray daily, I read the scriptures,” Stier said.

It won’t silence him either.

“The main focus for me here is the suffering of the victims,” ​​Stier said. “They keep me going.”

The First Presbyterian Church in Bentonville opens its pantry on Saturdays


Benton County

Bella Vista Community Church, 75 E. Lancashire Blvd., offers these Bible study opportunities:

Adult Bible Community: 9 a.m. Sunday, McKay Hall.

Men’s Bible Fellowship: Wednesday at 8 a.m., meeting room.

Bible study for women: 9:30 a.m. Thursday, lower level 20 / 21 and 6 p.m. Tuesday, lower level

Community life groups: Hours and days vary.

Service is at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

Information: 855-1126, bvcc.net.

Bella Vista Lutheran Church, 1990 Forest Hills Blvd., hosts the traditional Sunday morning service at 8:30 a.m. and a mixed service at 10:45 a.m. Sunday School for children of all ages meets in the classrooms downstairs at 9:45 a.m. and the Adult Bible class meets in the Fellowship Room, also at 9:45 a.m. Pastor Hass leads “Christianity 101” in the library at 9:45 a.m.

The Lutheran Hour airs every Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on radio stations KURM-FM (100.3) and KURM-AM (790).

The Sunday Riders will meet at 2 p.m. on July 10 in the parking lot in front of the church. All two-, three- and four-wheel cyclists are invited to participate in a fun day of riding.

The Quilters will meet at 8 a.m. on July 13.

On July 22, the choir will sing the national anthem at Arvest Ball Park in Springdale.

The Shepherd’s Food Pantry is open Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon and welcomes those in need.

Information: 855-0272, bvlutheran.com.

Bentonville First Presbyterian Church, 901 NE J St., a caring and inclusive faith community, hosts a Bible study for adults at 9 a.m. Sunday in the church library. Sunday Service is at 10:15 a.m. every Sunday in person and online.

The FPC Food Pantry is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Please bring something (utility bill, etc.) that shows you are a Benton County resident and that the church is happy to serve you.

Information: 273-5450, fpcbentonville.org.

Highland Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Bella Vista, 1500 Forest Hills Blvd., hosts Sunday school at 9 a.m., followed by a communion hour at 10 a.m. and a service at 10:30 a.m. are recorded and available on the website.

The church has a position open for a part-time music director. Please send your resume to the church or call 855-2780 for more information.

Information: 855-2780, highlandchristianchurchbv.org.

Bella Vista Presbyterian Church, 1880 Forest Hills Blvd., is a warm and welcoming community of faith that seeks to reach out to offer God’s love to our neighbors near and far.

In-person service is at 10 a.m. on Sundays. A daycare is available. All services are streamed live on our website, Facebook page and YouTube.

The Busy Hands knitting and crochet group meets Fridays at 1 p.m. in the office lobby. Everyone is welcome!

Ozark Hill hikers gather at Fellowship Hall at noon on July 14.

Information: 855-2390, pcbv.org.


Washington County

Elkins First Baptist Church, 1960 N. Center St., has an in-person Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and a Sunday worship service at 10:45 a.m. A manger is provided and the worship service is also broadcast live on Facebook.

There are also worship services at 6 p.m. on Sundays; Awanas & Youth at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday; and adult Bible study at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Dr. Ryan Johnson is a pastor.

Information: 643-3140.

Springdale’s First Presbyterian Church, 100 S. Gutensohn Road, offers live, in-person Sunday morning services beginning at 10:30 a.m. Online services are available on YouTube and the church’s website . Acting pastor Rev. Dr. Ronnie Prevost leads the services. The church continues to seek an installed pastor.

Church van pickup for Sunday services is available. Call the church office if you would like a tour. Childcare is offered for children 5 and under during services.

Reverend Moises Chan is a First Presbyterian parish associate and director of Ministerio a la Vecindad, a Hispanic ministry partnership with the Arkansas Presbytery. In conjunction with Crowder College, GED Spanish classes are offered at the church on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 6-9 p.m.

If you’re going through a tough time – emotionally, spiritually, or relationally – you don’t have to suffer alone. Our Stephen Ministers are trained caregivers, ready to listen to you, nurture and encourage you, pray with and for you, and provide one-on-one Christian care to help you through whatever you face. Contact the church office or visit the church website for more information.

Children’s Sunday School classes have been suspended for the summer and will resume in the fall. The children’s church was also suspended until the fall.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) provides an online channel for contributions to help people in Ukraine who have been displaced by the Russa invasion. Go to: pcusa.org/UK22.

On Sunday, July 10, the Lifetime Discipleship Committee and the Worship Committee will meet at 11:45 a.m.

Ladies Wednesday Morning Zoom Fellowship continues to meet at 7 a.m.

Family Ranch Day will be held at the Schwerin Farm from 6-8 p.m. on July 17. Walks are available by contacting the church office.

Information: 751-2040, fpcspringdale.org.

Fayetteville First United Presbyterian Church, 695 Calvin Street, holds services on Sunday mornings. There are three options for services:

8:30 a.m. on campus outside;

11 a.m. on the sanctuary campus; and

11 a.m. live on YouTube.

Adult spiritual growth discussion groups begin at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays. Children and teen programs will reopen soon.

Information: 442-4411, fupcfay.org.

Send church news to editor Becca Martin-Brown at [email protected] Deadline is Wednesday noon for publication on Saturday.

Tyler Ethridge, young Colorado pastor turned Capitol rioter, charged with felony and misdemeanor


Tyler Ethridge, a junior pastor from Colorado, was charged on Friday with felony charges for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement. He is to be accused of six counts, including civil disturbance, obstruction of official process, disorderly conduct, etc. Investigators were first tipped off by someone who knew Ethridge from the Bible College and saw his social media posts bragging about being ‘outside Nancy Pelosi’s office,’ according to a Statement of Facts. “I will probably lose my job as a pastor after this,” the accused rioter said in a video he filmed. Ethridge allegedly lied to investigators about tearing down barricades, of which they said they later found video evidence. Outside West Plaza, Ethridge was pepper sprayed and shot with rubber bullets, but that didn’t stop him from climbing the media scaffolding and entering the Capitol building, officials said. prosecutors. In the months following the riot, Ethridge continued to post on social media, in a post telling his friends not to “be afraid of what they condemn you with.” I’m not. I am ready for whatever I will be accused of. America is always ready and ready.

Read it on United States Department of Justice

St. Roch’s Church project in Greenwich preserves what was built with ‘loving hands’


GREENWICH — Ongoing renovations to the iconic stone exterior of St. Roch’s Church, whose roots can be traced to Italian immigrant stonemasons who helped build the community of Greenwich, are expected to be completed in time for the church’s impending 100th anniversary.

“Stone buildings, if properly maintained, can last indefinitely,” Dan FitzPatrick, chairman of the parish’s financial advisory board that oversees the work, told Greenwich Times this week. “The problem is making sure there is proper maintenance. We live in a climate which can be harsh during the winters and we have storms coming in. Water can seep between the stones and crack it , so you have to maintain it.

All that rain and snow has wreaked havoc on the exterior and can create leaks inside the building. Over the years, “well-intentioned” but not necessarily effective measures have been taken to fix the problem in the short term, such as using cement instead of mortar to make repairs, FitzPatrick said.

Many of these repairs “unfortunately ended up exacerbating the problem”, so the goal of this project, which it would cost only “seven figures”, is to shore up the exterior and fix the leaks while assuring that it will be decades before further work. is necessary.

“We had to do something,” FitzPatrick said. The church hired Shelton-based engineering firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates to carry out a comprehensive survey of the building and determine the necessary fixes. These recommendations formed the basis of the privately funded project.

Work started in the summer of 2021 and is now almost complete.

“It was like going to the doctor,” FitzPatrick said. “First the doctor diagnoses and then prescribes. What we have learned from the past is that you have to understand how the building breathes and functions, as well as seeing what is important and what needs repairs.

“Without that, we would most likely have done a repair job that would not have been ideal. We wanted to get it right and give us decades of use,” he said. “We had to fix the exterior before doing anything else.”

The church, famous for its annual Saint-Roch feast, has played a vital role in the community since its official opening in 1928 after several years of construction. The church has ties to Morra de Sanctis, an Italian province east of Naples. Over the generations, many residents of this area have settled in Greenwich, which also has a sister town relationship.

According to the history of the church, Roman Catholics from Chickahominy once traveled to Byram to attend church until the diocese decided to build a church in the neighborhood. By the time the church site was purchased in 1918, the neighborhood was filled with Italian masons and stonemasons who soon became the center of the forming parish.

The foundation was built with stone from the Byram Quarry, which also provided the stone for the base of the Statue of Liberty and the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

This work was done with “loving hands,” FitzPatrick said, and it has connected the church to the community for generations.

The Chapel of St. Roch was consecrated on May 14, 1922. But with much work to do, including replacing the makeshift roof that was put in place, it was not until 1928 that the complete church was been completed.

The ongoing repair project included repointing the stonework of the church, with particular emphasis on repairing the wear and tear on the north facade; repair of the bell tower roof; fix the west and east side steps; and replacement of the pedestal of the statue of Saint-Roch.

The repairs to the bell tower have not been completed and the decorative elements still need to be redone. That work may have to wait, due to product availability, until November, he said.

“Hopefully we can ring our bell once we get it open,” FitzPatrick said. “And we couldn’t do that in the memory of the people I spoke to. It has been a long time. We hope to do so. It would be very fun to do.

[email protected]

Methodist Christian Episcopal Church Elects Second Woman and African Bishops | Richmond Free Press


The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church elected its second female bishop and received its first episcopal address from a woman at its quadrennial General Conference.

“I think when you elect the first one you have to be very careful that she doesn’t become symbolic and so I was really excited,” said Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, who was the first woman elected. in 2010 and serves as Secretary of the College of Bishops.

Rev. Denise Anders-Modest, pastor of Trinity CME Church in Memphis, Tennessee, and coordinator of the CME Commission on Women in Ministry, will serve the 2nd Episcopal District, which includes Kentucky, Ohio and central Indiana.

His predecessor was especially pleased that voting delegates chose Rev. Anders-Modeste as the second to win the election for bishop, not waiting for the last chance to add another woman to the CME episcopate. “It’s also quite commendable that people could see her qualifications and not just, ‘oh, we need a female bishop.'”

Bishop Jefferson-Snorton achieved another first this year, becoming the first woman to deliver the Episcopal Address — the message given on behalf of the bishops to the denomination — on June 25, the first official day of the gathering at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati. The meeting, attended by about 2,500 people, ended on July 1.

She was also elected as the denomination’s new ecumenical and development officer, a role that no longer requires her to also lead a district of churches. Part of her role will be to seek out resources to create and work on ministry and outreach programs at the denominational and local levels.

“I see a lot of our churches that are in communities that have such a need, but the local church itself doesn’t really have the capacity to raise funds or even manage the program,” Bishop said. Jefferson-Snorton.

Delegates, who attended in person, also elected the second African bishop in the history of the denomination, which was founded in 1870 and boasts 1.2 million American members. It has sister churches and missions in 14 African countries, Haiti and Jamaica.

Rev. Kwame L. Adjei, a member of the CME Church Judicial Council and a former associate pastor and high school chaplain in his native Ghana, will serve the 11th District, which is in East Africa.

Sheboygan Greek Orthodox Church named after miracle worker St. Spyridon


SHEBOYGAN – In the late 1800s, the founders of St. Spyridon’s Greek Orthodox Church came to the area to take advantage of opportunities on the Midwestern frontier. Many of them were single men and men who left their families behind with the intention of returning to their home countries with the money they earned.

As the community grew, its members found they needed a church. A community council, established in 1902, was established to provide governance for the Greek enclave of Sheboygan.

According to news clippings by Beth Dippel of the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center at this time, the Greek Consulate in Chicago arranged for a priest to travel from Chicago by train to perform services.

The decision was made to build a church and land was purchased by the consulate for the congregation. The consulate was listed as the first owner on the deed. In 1906, the church we see today on South 10th Street was completed and celebrated by the congregation. The steeple, however, was added 10 years later.

The first resident priest, the Reverend Nicholas Velonis, arrived in 1905 and, with the council, worked to secure the funds for the new church. The South 10th Street location was purchased because it was close enough to the Greek community and yet far enough from businesses and factories.

The 21 icons for the church arrived from Athens, Greece in 1911. These icons were restored by renowned art curator Tony Rager in the late 1990s. Rajer, who died in 2011, was born in Sheboygan and was known internationally for his conservation of murals and paintings.

FILE - A scene from the afternoon service of Good Friday at St. Spyridon's Greek Orthodox Church on Friday, April 14, 2016 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

In 1958, the church was consecrated. The consecration of a church is essentially a baptism of the church building which, by the grace of God and the Holy Spirit, transforms the building into the house of God, according to the beliefs of the Greek Orthodox Church.

The church’s namesake, Saint Spyridon, according to another news clipping, was born on the island of Cyprus and was a shepherd. Authorities at the time documented him as a miracle worker.

A public domain image of St. Spyridon, the namesake of St. Spyridon's Greek Orthodox Church in Sheboygan, Wis.

Saint Spyridon once brought a brick to the council session, turned to the heretical Arians and said, “You deny that the Three in One (referring to the Holy Trinity), but look at this brick, made up of the elements of earth, fire and water, but it is one.”

It is said that as he spoke, the brick fell into its constituent parts: the fire broke out, the water flowed, and the clay remained in his hands. In this miracle Saint Spyridon showed his belief in the Holy Trinity.

Every summer, the congregation hosts Greek Fest, which began in the backyard of the church. The annual Greek Culture event is held at Deland Park. Greek cuisine, dance and music immerse people in Greek culture.

Today the church is led by Father Leo Gavrilos and continues its mission for Sheboygan and the Greek community.

To see the larger image, click here.

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Consul General Dr. Hillel Newman and pastors discuss Christian support for Israel


It was not an uncommon scene in the life of Dr Hillel Newman, Consul General of Israel in the South West Pacific: with the help of Dr David Edery, founder of Friends of Israel, 50 pastors were invited at Newman’s Pico-Robertson home to learn why Christian support for Israel is crucial for them and for Jews.

Standing on the steps of his back porch, microphone in hand, Newman explained his work to pastors.

“Part of our mission is to reach out to different leaders and communities,” said Newman, a longtime diplomat. “The Israelis think we are here for the Israelis. The Jewish people think we are here for the Jewish community. But we are there for everyone. This is our mandate. Alluding to social media “where the attention span is sometimes 150 characters,” the Consul General reminded pastors, “We need to go deeper to explain complex issues.”

Edery, chief architect of the event, works closely with Newman. He has been associated with the Consul General for more than three decades. Edery said Newman visits churches two or three times a month.

Before succeeding Sam Grundwerg as consul general in February 2019, Newman said he was warned he would encounter strong opposition.

“But I didn’t find that at all,” he said.

For some emphatically stated reason, he refused to meet with violently anti-Semitic groups such as BDS supporters. “I don’t go around and waste my time with people who are so deceived and misled,” Newman said. “Radical BDS supporters and anti-Israel groups form a small faction. Very minor. They don’t have a strong support base. They did not spread their wings.

Newman said mainstream Jewish and Christian communities, both Democrats and Republicans, and American churches generally support Israel.

“Look at the congressional resolutions,” he said. “Those who are pro-Israel have bipartisan support.” However, he warned, “You have a radical minority group, inside and outside of Congress, which is concerning.

A number of pastors from various Christian denominations — including those from black and Hispanic churches — spoke warmly of trips to Israel. A pastor has visited the Jewish state 10 times.

Newman’s hometown diplomatic endeavors are having an effect. “My message is a message of friendship,” the consul general said. “They should know that Israel is the only place in the Middle East where Christian communities thrive. They do not flourish within the Palestinian Authority. Very often they are oppressed in the Muslim world. In Israel, they see freedom of expression, freedom of religion.

“They should know that Israel is the only place in the Middle East where Christian communities are thriving.” – Hillel Newman

Every time he speaks, Newman, born in South Africa, encourages pastors and church members to visit Israel. “When pastors go on missions to Israel, they always come back here with a favorable feeling,” he said. “It’s a way to broaden the base of support – when people see the real Israel, not the misleading information in the news.”

Other speakers at the Consul General’s home included his predecessor, Grundwerg, born in Miami, actress Noa Tishby, appointed by the outgoing government of Israel as its special envoy to fight anti-Semitism and delegitimization, and Nasimi Aghayev, consul general of Azerbaijan.

“When pastors go on missions to Israel, they always come back here with a favorable feeling.”
– Hillel Newman

In introducing Aghayev, Newman praised “my dear friend” and his homeland, which is 97% Muslim. He stressed how safe Azerbaijan is for its 30,000 Jews and spoke enthusiastically about its favorable relations with Israel.

Aghayev hailed Newman and organizer Edery, and said he had been a friend of the Jewish state throughout his 10 years in Los Angeles. Azerbaijan has enjoyed a “tremendous friendship” with Israel for 30 years, “since the beginning of our independence”, he said. He noted that Jews had lived there for 2,000 years “without any problems.” After making a long visit to Israel himself, Aghayev came back believing that “it is a really special place where all ethnicities and all religions are respected. The idea is to bring people together rather than divide them.

Tishby, a longtime Los Angeles resident who was born in Israel into a Zionist family, shared her own compelling case for the Jewish state. Tishby’s immediate relatives were heavily involved in the pre-state and founding days, and his grandmother helped start the first kibbutz.

All of the pastors Edery has recruited steadfastly support Israel. “They love the Jewish state,” he said.

Police divert rioters from Portland Catholic Church and avoid vandalism


PORTLAND, Ore. (CNS) — Police successfully chased dozens of anarchist rioters from Holy Redeemer Church in Portland in late July 1.

The Portland Activists’ online calendar had advertised a nighttime rally in nearby Peninsula Park with the intention of “abolish SCOTUS”.

Since the June 24 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and leaving states to decide abortion laws, Catholic buildings across the country have been targeted by vandals who have cited the church‘s support for unborn children.

Holy Redeemer had been vandalized with graffiti in the spring and was mentioned by name in anarchist conversations in late June. After the Peninsula Park rally, more than one fringe group bent on vandalism marched to the Holy Redeemer.

But the police were ready, as well as the media who had alerted the public earlier in the day.

Holy Cross Father Michael Belinsky, parochial vicar of Holy Redeemer Parish in Portland, Oregon, is thanked by George Galati on July 3, 2022, for successfully leading preparations to protect the parish church ahead of the July 1 riots by dozens of anarchists upset by the Catholic Church‘s support for the unborn child. (CNS Photo/Ed Langlois, Catholic sentinel)

“When the anarchists approached our block, the police announced that it was an illegal assembly and blocked them as they rushed towards the church,” council member Tom Markgraf said. parish church of Holy Redeemer, whose family have been members of Holy Redeemer for over a century.

“The police have been superb. They blocked the anarchists. The lights illuminating and exposing them made many recoil. The church building was spared,” he said.

After police determined the threat had subsided shortly after midnight and returned to patrol, private security guards hired by the parochial vicar averted three early morning attempts by small groups apparently determined to wreak havoc on the church.

In the days leading up to July 1 and the planned protest, Holy Cross Father Michael Belinsky, Parish Vicar of the Holy Redeemer, worked with Portland police, private security and the Archdiocese of Portland to manage the potential violence and threat to property and people.

Parish staff and volunteers barricaded the glass doors of the church and removed from the church anything that could be used as a weapon or was flammable. Even the tabernacle and the Blessed Sacrament have been removed for security reasons.

Two retired policemen stayed with Father Belinsky, Holy Cross Father Cameron Cortens and two seminarians in the rectory the night of July 1 for protection, even drawing up an evacuation plan in case the building was breached .

Markgraf praised Father Belinsky’s leadership.

“He was steadfast in a peaceful response, securing the building, and his attitude with the press was incredible,” Markgraf told the Catholic Sentinel, Portland’s archdiocesan newspaper.

Father Belinsky kept in touch with Holy Cross Father Pat Neary, the pastor, who was in Rome for a meeting of the General Chapter of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, Archbishop of Portland Alexander K. Sample, who was out of town, and the leaders of the pastoral center. as well as the local police.

During Mass on July 3, Father Belinsky thanked the police and the many volunteers who worked to keep the church safe, including those who prayed. The priest also made a public plea for common sense.

“As a church, we are here to serve everyone, the poor, the marginalized, the unborn and those who face discrimination because of their race or if they are gay or transgender,” said Father Belinsky, seeking to point out the absurdity of the attack on a Catholic parish church. “We are here for everyone.”

Holy Redeemer School has long served a racially diverse student body. The St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank has quietly fed those in need for nearly a century, also helping people pay rent and utility bills. There is a powerful environmental justice group emerging in Holy Redeemer.

“We just need to work together within the reasonable limits of government to make this a more cooperative and compassionate society,” Fr. Belinsky said.

In Peninsula Park on the night of July 1, when about 60 anarchists had gathered, a friend of the Holy Redeemer was present and heard of attacking the Holy Redeemer.

“I felt like I was in the movie ‘High Noon’ with Gary Cooper,” said Markgraf, who stayed in the church overnight. “Will someone come and help us?”

Leaving the park, anarchists smashed the windows of a closed cafe and headed for the church. Then the police responded with what Father Belinsky called “appropriate presence and force.”

Markgraf thinks the riots have less to do with Roe v. Wade than with young men who seize the opportunity to wreak havoc and get away with it. “It’s time to stop letting them go,” he said.

The ending was good this time, Markgraf said, but he fears more citywide attacks in the future and urged city officials to get tougher.

“The city must end its year-long passive tolerance of this terrorism,” Markgraf said. “Our community is suffering, perhaps dying. If Portland wants to stem the bleeding and regain its vitality, we must fight for it. And it is worth fighting for.

“I do not tolerate vigilantism. We don’t want to go there. We need a strong and responsive police force.

Copyright © 2022 Catholic News Service/United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The families of the diocese strengthened during the mandate of Bishop Olmsted


By Tony Gutierrez

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted’s two seminal teachings on marriage and family, “Into the Breach” and “Complete My Joy,” helped lay the groundwork for Sean and Aryn Sylvester to strengthen their National Church when the world has been quarantined during the COVID -19 pandemic.

“We had this moment where the focus was on family, and we were all trapped in our homes,” Aryn said. “He was already pushing us to strengthen the family, then the COVID arrived. It was a way for us to function in our homes in times of uncertainty.

Since they couldn’t attend mass in person, the Sylvesters had pledged to say a family rosary with their eight children. They also prioritized the family meal, another recommendation from the bishop to strengthen the family.

“It created opportunities for conversation, which created opportunities for conversion, which created opportunities for bringing to light things that needed to be brought to light,” Sean said. “A lot of healings have taken place.”

The family, who attend St. Mary’s Parish in Chandler, have also built a community with their 70-year-old neighbors, whom they described as “adoptive grandparents” to the Sylvester children. Following this invitation, the wife became a Catholic and the husband returned to the Church.

“That’s all Bishop talked about on ‘Complete My Joy’ in terms of the evangelistic component of our faith,” said Sean, who is part of the diaconate training cohort expected to be ordained this year.

In accordance with canon law, Bishop Olmsted tendered his resignation as Ordinary of the Diocese of Phoenix to Pope Francis on January 21 this year, his 75th birthday. Pope Francis formally accepted him with the June 10 appointment of Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego John P. Dolan as his successor. Bishop Dolan will be officially installed as the new Bishop of Phoenix on August 2 of this year.

Mike Phelan, who has served as diocesan director of the Office of Marriage and Respect for Life for the past 17 years, described working alongside Bishop Olmsted in his efforts to strengthen the family as a “complete joy.”

“The domestic Church has always been on our bishop’s mind, and anything that could be done to strengthen marriage, the family, Catholic identity in the family and respect for life is always on the mind. of Bishop Olmsted,” Phelan said.

During Bishop Olmsted’s episcopate, marriage preparation and enrichment programs continued to expand to ensure that couples who marry have a solid foundation. His initiatives include expanding the Office of Natural Family Planning, establishing the John Paul II Body Theology Resource Center, and creating an environment for pro-life obstetrician and gynecologist physicians and counselors. and Catholic marriage and family life therapists who could practice in accordance with the Church. education.

“Our marriage preparation process over the past 13 years has really had a big impact on young couples and encouraged a growing number of communities of young adult married couples that have sprouted in the diocese,” Phelan said. “It is fertile ground for the family.

“The Church must continue to put marriage and the family first, to speak about the Good News of marriage, because they are constantly attacked by the general culture,” he added. “And yet within the diocese there is great support to really live it, and much of that is due to his teaching and his support for intelligent pastoral efforts.”

PFN diocesan coordinator Armida Escárcega said Bishop Olmsted takes seriously his obligation to prepare his flock for the sacraments. The bishop’s understanding of documents like that of Saint Paul VI Humanae Vitae or the theology of the body of Saint John Paul II made her realize the need to convey a fuller expression of NFP, she said.

“Couples don’t have to use the NFP, but they need to know why we believe what we believe about marital relationships, about the gift of parenthood,” Escárcega said. “Bishop saw that it was very important, and he took this leap of faith, that teaching what the Church believes to be true, although it might be seen as a hindrance for couples, was actually going to transform into something good.”

She noted that since the NFP is a requirement, couples were asked to complete anonymous surveys before and after the training. The number of couples planning to use contraception after the training fell from 39% to 14%. The number of couples planning to keep sex for marriage was 42% after training, compared to 88% of couples who had ever been sexually active.

The bishop’s promotion of family life has also led to an increase in vocations, which can be seen directly in the life of Escárcega – his son Harold was ordained a priest on June 4 this year.

“Everything comes from God, but the family helps nurture that. You have to be careful. It’s got to be you who don’t leave it to chance,” she said. “You must remind your children that as baptized people we have a mission. So we say to our own children, you have to seek where God is calling you, and we have to help develop that.

The Right Reverend Paul Sullivan, rector of Nazareth House Seminary and pastor of St. Gregory Parish in Phoenix, made similar observations when he served as vocations director. He remembered the first conversation he had with Bishop Olmsted when the latter asked him to play this role.

“We agreed that ultimately it wasn’t about selling it as if it was a job. They come from families where the gospel is seen and lived,” Fr. Sullivan said. “When the Lord calls someone who has seen the gospel lived, he can follow the invitation.”

Father Sullivan is also the diocesan chaplain for men, a role he assumed after Bishop Olmsted’s enactment of “Into the Breach.”

“As we have seen the men’s conferences remain stable over all these years, we have been able to see a stable relationship with these men and their bishop, and they appreciate that their bishop has taken his own faithfulness and growth to heart. “Sad Sullivan said. “He really got into it.”

The impact of the bishop’s exhortations went beyond the diocese. “Into the Breach” and “Complete My Joy” have been republished by the Knights of Columbus and distributed as part of their “Building the Domestic Church” pamphlet series.

“Bishop Olmsted was just faithfully trying to lead his own flock, and we didn’t expect that to impact places in the world the way he did,” Fr. Sullivan said. “It’s one of those amazing things where Bishop is true to his role and serving his flock, and God used him elsewhere, and that’s just the work of God. Bishop was just faithful; that’s God who multiplied it.

Reflecting on Bishop Olmsted’s masculine spirituality as expressed in ‘Into the Breach’, Fr Sullivan said a big part of that is brotherhood.

“Bishop lived in a priestly brotherhood throughout his priesthood, and many of us priests live in some form of brotherhood, that is, we don’t do it alone,” he said. declared. “We have those who support us, and we support others, and we serve the Lord together. There are certain blessings that come from praying in community with others. We own more deeply what we share.

As part of his efforts to strengthen the family, the Bishop has also supported pro-life ministries and pregnancy resource centers that are able to walk with women and men facing unplanned pregnancies.

“What Bishop Olmsted really conveyed was that every human being matters. The mother who comes to us matters. Her unborn child matters,” said Katie Wing, executive director of First Way Pregnancy Center in Phoenix and parishioner of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale.

“One of the criticisms that people in the pro-choice movement say is, ‘All you do is worry about the baby. It’s not true. Of course, we care about the baby, but we also care about the mother and the father. Bishop Olmsted is the very embodiment of this thing.

Wing described the types of services provided by pregnancy resource centers, including counseling women and men on options such as adoption and providing resources for them after the birth of their children. This holistic approach comes from the bishop, Wing said.

“What’s really powerful to me about him is that he really loves,” she said. “He is truly a reflection of the love of Christ. It’s not just that we have a great bishop and he’s wonderful. He truly embodies the love of Christ, and it is a beautiful experience to be in his presence.

Phelan said the bishop is very supportive of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ “Walking with Moms in Need” initiative. Wing added that this support has resulted in greater unity among the pro-life movement in the diocese. Phelan says he is inspired by the bishop’s “childlike enthusiasm” for family and life.

“He never did anything on his own, it’s always about the wonders that God does. He always shared his sense of childlike faith,” Phelan said. “When good things happened, Bishop was very childish in his enthusiasm, and I was always blessed by that.”

Vigils planned after Highland Park parade mass shooting – NBC Chicago


Several vigils and prayer services were planned after six people were killed and dozens more injured when a gunman fired into the crowd at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park.

Below is a growing list of security guards and services.

As details surrounding the shoot continue to unfold, follow updates in our live blog.

Christ Church Lake Forest
12:00 p.m. Tuesday Community Prayer Service
100 N. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest

“All are welcome. Let us come together in prayer,” the church said.

Grace Trinity Church
3:00 p.m. Tuesday Community Prayer Gathering
1506 Half Day Road, Highland Park

“In light of today’s horrific events, Trinity Grace Church and Christ Church – Rev. 7:9 will be hosting a Community Prayer Gathering tomorrow, Tuesday, July 5 at 3:00 p.m. at Trinity Grace Church (1506 Half Day Rd., Highland Park IL 60035). Everyone is welcome. All congregations are welcome.”

North Shore Israel Congregation
7 p.m. Comfort & Consolation Service
1185 Sheridan Road, Glencoe

“It is with immeasurable sadness that we inform you that our beloved Jacki Sundheim was one of the murdered victims today during the Highland Park Parade,” the church wrote in a statement. “Jacki was a longtime congregation of NSCI and a cherished member of the NSCI staff team for decades. Jacki’s hard work, kindness and warmth have touched us all, from her earliest days teaching at the Gates of Learning Preschool has guided countless of us through life’s moments of joy and heartbreak as our Events and B’nei Mitzvah Coordinator – all with tireless dedication.”

St. James Highwood Parish
7:00 p.m. Tuesday Mass of Peace and Healing
134 North Ave, Highwood

“Please attend our Peace and Healing Mass tomorrow Tuesday, July 5 at 7 p.m. at the Immaculate Conception with Father Hernan, Cardinal Cupich and Bishop Grob.”

Highland Park Presbyterian Church
7 p.m. Thursday interreligious community prayer vigil
330 Laurel Ave, Highland Park

“It’s a scary time and a very scary time at this time,” Pastor Quincy wrote. “We know these things happen, but we never think they happen in communities like ours. When it happens so close to home, it can shake the very foundations of everything we know and believe.”

“I have been in touch with Reverend Suzan Hawkinson of Deerfield Presbyterian Church and starting tomorrow we will be having an interfaith community prayer vigil which will hopefully be on Thursday at 7pm.”

Phillips Retires as Pastor | Community News


Members of the Fairfield Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church (UMC) recently honored Kim Phillips who is retiring from ministering.

There was a potluck brunch and a card shower. Members celebrated Phillips’ time at the church and wished her well as she retires.

Phillips earned his Masters of Divinity from Drew Theological School in Madison, NJ.

She began her ministry in New Jersey with an appointment at two small rural churches, Elm and Winslow UMC.

She moved to the Gettysburg area in June 2010 with her husband, John. She was named in charge of Orrtanna which included Mt. Hope, Mt. Carmel, and Orrtanna UMC.

Phillips served as pastor at the Orrtanna Charge until July 2018, when she took a year off.

During this time, she helped with the end-of-life care of her stepfather, Jack Phillips. She also ministered at Gettysburg Hospital as part of the chaplain’s education program.

In June 2019, she returned to pastoral ministry with an appointment to UMC Rouzerville and UMC Wesley Chapel, where she has been ever since.

Throughout his ministry, Phillips preached for the Men’s Interfaith Luncheon group at Gettysburg Presbyterian Church. She was also chaplain to a United Cerebral Palsy (now UC2) group in Frederick, supporting both clients and staff.

As Phillips moves on, she had these words to share:

“Throughout my ministry, I have been honored to walk alongside so many, both inside and outside the church. My ministry has been varied and richly rewarding. I have looking forward to spending more time with my family and seeing what God has for me next.

Highland Park shooting: Police name ‘person of interest’ as manhunt underway for gunman after mass shooting during 4th of July parade


Filming in Highland Park, about 25 miles north of Chicago, began shortly after 10 a.m. as parade-goers enjoyed a sunny Fourth of July parade along Central Avenue.

On Monday night, Highland Park Police Lou Jogmen identified 22-year-old Robert E. Crimo III as a person of interest in connection with the shooting.

He is believed to be driving a silver 2010 Honda Fit with Illinois license plate DM80653.

Authorities did not specify why Crimo is a person of interest, but said he was armed and dangerous.

Evidence of firearms was found on the roof of a nearby business, police commander Chris O’Neill said. The shooter used a ladder attached to the building on a wall in an alley to access the roof, said Christopher Covelli, spokesman for the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force.

The weapon was a “high powered rifle” and the attack appeared to be “random” and “intentional”, Covelli said.

Authorities are working to trace the firearm to find out who bought it and its origins, according to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesperson Kim Nerheim.

The suspect was described as a white male between the ages of 18 and 20 with a small build, long dark hair and wearing a T-shirt. It was described as “armed and dangerous” and officials advised people to shelter in place.

Covelli told reporters that SWAT members and other officers evacuated people from buildings within a radius of the shooting.

Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said all five people who died at the scene were adults. One person died in a hospital, she said, but she had no more information about that victim.

The scene following a shooting in Highland Park on July 4.

Highland Park Fire Chief Joe Schrage said his department transported 23 people to hospitals and other victims were taken in police cruisers or bystanders’ personal vehicles.

A Lake County police officer walks down Central Ave in Highland Park on Monday.

A total of 26 patients were seen at Highland Park Hospital, according to Dr. Brigham Temple, medical director of NorthShore University Health System. The patients ranged in age from 8 to 85 – four or five were children, according to Temple.

He said 19 of the 25 gunshot victims were treated and released. There were gunshot wounds to the extremities as well as more central parts of the bodies, he added.

The shooting scared away hundreds of parade participants and prompted a major police response from local, state and federal agents, including the FBI. Heavily armed officers patrolled the streets of Highland Park on Monday afternoon, and others were positioned on rooftops with sniper rifles.

Zoe Pawelczak, who attended the Independence Day parade with her father, said parade goers at first thought the array of pops were fireworks for the occasion.

“And I was like something was wrong. I grabbed my dad and started running. All of a sudden everyone behind us started running,” he said. she declared. “I looked back probably 20 feet from me. I saw a girl shot and killed.”

They hid behind a dumpster for about an hour until police took them to a sporting goods store and then eventually walked them back to their car, she said. She saw a person who had been shot in the ear and had blood all over her face and another girl who had been shot in the leg, she said.

“It looked like a combat zone, and it’s disgusting. It’s really disgusting,” she said.

The incident marks at least the 308th mass shooting in the United States this year, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archives, a non-profit organization that tracks these incidents. The organization defines a mass shooting as involving four or more people, not including the shooter.

There were 11 mass shootings in the first four days of July, including three on July 4 alone, in Richmond, Virginia; Chicago and Highland Park, according to Gun Violence Archive.

The carnage punctuates an already bloody American spring and summer, including the racist attack on an 18-year-old at a New York supermarket that left 10 dead and the shooting of another 18-year-old at a school in the Texas that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

In the wake of these massacres, President Joe Biden just nine days ago signed into law the first major federal gun safety legislation in decades, marking a significant bipartisan breakthrough on one of the political issues most controversial in Washington.

Witnesses say gunfire caused a stampede

A large police presence responded to a shooting during a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

Witnesses at the scene who spoke to CNN described a peaceful parade punctured by the sudden ring of gunfire and the ensuing chaos.

Miles Zaremski said he heard what he thought was about 20 to 30 gunshots, in two consecutive bursts of gunfire, around 10:20 a.m. CT, shortly after the parade began. He told CNN he saw a number of people bleeding and on the ground and described the scene as chaotic.

Video taken by witness Hugo Aguilera shows an ambulance turning on the parade route and a police car with sirens on, as people gathered on the grassy sidewalk. Aerial video from CNN affiliate WLS shows abandoned lawn chairs along the parade route amid a heavy police presence.

Warren Fried, who attended the parade with his wife and 7-year-old twins, said he saw police and ambulance pass by him during the parade and then heard a series of gunshots. People started shouting “shooter” and “run” and he and his family fled to their car to safety.

“People were hiding, children were on the streets looking for their parents, just in shock,” he said.

U.S. Representative Brad Schneider, a Democrat who represents the area, told CNN he had just arrived in Highland Park when the shots were fired and was told to detour.

“Everyone scattered and ran. As I was walking I encountered a group of young children trying to call their parents to say they were fine,” he said. “So I stopped and offered to use my phone. There were a lot of moving cars, so I helped direct traffic a bit.”

Jeff Leon, 57, told CNN the shots sounded like ‘firecrackers in a trash can’ and it wasn’t until he saw police responding that he knew something had happened. past.

“The police started responding and I saw people falling,” Leon said. “We just took off. And, you know, we were hiding behind cars, ducking into the next car and making our way.”

Jose Alamar, an employee of a nearby gas station, said about 20 people rushed into the gas station and took shelter after the shooting began.

The suburb of Highland Park has a population of about 30,000 people and has a per capita income of about $90,000, nearly triple the U.S. average, according to US Census data.
The July 4 parade was to feature floats, marching bands, novelty bands, community entries and other special entertainment, the city says on his site. It was to begin at 10:00 a.m. CT at the intersection of Laurel and St. Johns Avenues, and was to proceed north on St. Johns Avenue, then west on Central Avenue and continue to Sunset Park, a indicated the city.
Nearby suburbs including Deerfield and Evanston, canceled their July 4 parades following the shooting. Events in other nearby communities have been canceled.

The Chicago White Sox will hold a moment of silence before their home game but have canceled their postgame fireworks display.

CNN’s Joe Sutton, Chuck Johnston, Caroll Alvarado, Dakin Andone, Victor Blackwell, Sara Weisfeldt, Melissa Alonso, Michelle Krupa, Mark Morales, Linh Tran and Claudia Dominguez contributed to this report.

Bishop, other religious communities speak out after Reston church vandalism


Bishop Michael F. Burbidge reached out to parishioners at a Reston church over the holiday weekend, following an incident of vandalism two days after the June 24 Supreme Court ruling. quashing Roe v. Wade. Several other religious communities have also expressed their support for the parish.

“I was deeply saddened and concerned when I learned of the shocking vandalism and arson that occurred on your parish campus last weekend,” Bishop Burbidge said in a statement. statement which the president read during masses at St. John Neumann’s Church over the July 4 weekend.

The vandalism consisted of a smoldering mulch fire that was found outside the church early on June 26, as well as several spray-painted graffiti messages related to the decision on the building and on the sign in front the church. Incidents of vandalism were reported in several states over the weekend after the ruling. A diocesan spokesperson said the parish was working with law enforcement to review film footage of the incident.

“As you know, the police are still investigating these acts of hate to determine who was responsible,” Bishop Burbidge’s statement read. “We know from the painted messages that the vandalism was a direct result of our unwavering support for unborn children and their mothers.”

Bishop Burbidge said in the statement that many Catholic churches and pro-life centers have been vandalized in the months and weeks surrounding the recent Supreme Court decision. He said since May 2020, more than 145 similar acts have occurred in Catholic parishes, schools and ministries across the country. “We pray for the repentance and conversion of those who committed these and similar offenses,” he said in the statement.

“We believe in the sanctity of all human life. It is fundamental to who we are as Catholics and what we believe,” he continued. “As we celebrate the 4th of July, we thank God and all those who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our independence, and we renew our commitment to safeguarding and protecting religious freedom.

“During a time like this, as Catholics, we continue to proclaim the truths of the Gospel and to provide care and support to those who need it most: unborn children, mothers, including women in crisis, their families and all vulnerable people. In addition, we must encourage our officials to ensure the protection of religious groups, as well as to protect all human life, from conception until natural death.

“In imitation of Jesus and with his grace, we are called to remain compassionate, loving and forgiving to all and to strive daily to promote civility and unity,” he said in the statement.

Father Joseph T. Brennan, pastor, commented on the vandalism in the parish bulletincalling it “alarming and disturbing to all of us”.

“Vandalism of any type is unacceptable. It is also very sad,” he said. “For a religious community or a place of worship to be targeted by groups that show violence and vulgarity is a mistake. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. »

“As a community of Catholic faith, we at St. John Neumann Parish have strongly advocated for the respect and dignity of all life, from conception to natural death. We are also a welcoming religious community known for its hospitality,” Fr. Brennan said. “I ask that we all take the path of respect, responding better than the perpetrators did to us. Pray for the dignity of all life, and also pray for civility among all citizens, especially when there is strong disagreement.

St. John Neumann parishioner Ed Grace echoed that comment, saying he was “very saddened to learn that our parish was the target of vandalism last weekend. … We are the parish where ‘All are welcome.’ We will continue to pray that the animosity in our country will eventually be resolved.

Father Brennan said the parish also received a letter from the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, which he said sent the letter to all of its members. He added that other religious communities in the region have also reached out to express their support.

“There is no place in our community – or in our country – for acts of hatred against religious groups and institutions, regardless of their political stance,” the official said. letter of the synagogue, signed by two rabbis and other leaders of the congregation.

“We can disagree on issues; nevertheless, we stand with our neighbors and friends at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, whose sacred space has been violated, and condemn those who committed this act of sinat hinam, senseless hatred,” read the letter from the synagogue.

Seminary for Pastors and Church Leaders on the Secrets of Heaven and Revelation


NEW YORK, NY, July 02, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ – New Heaven New Earth Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, will host a seminar for pastors and church workers. The event – scheduled for Monday, July 4 via Youtube – follows three successful webinars.

The latest seminar, titled “Witnessing the 66 Books of the Bible Secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven and the New Covenant, Revelation” is expected to attract pastors from around the world, many of whom have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Shincheonji Church of Jesus, in cooperation and exchange of teaching materials. The keynote speaker will be President Lee Man-hee of Shincheonji Church.

Since October 2019, Shincheonji Church has been providing weekly content for its free Bible Education Center in 24 different languages, spreading the teachings of its Introductory, Intermediate, and Revelation curriculum to the masses. The previous series of seminars, The Testimony to Revelation of the Old and New Testaments by Chapter, ended on June 27.

To date, the seminars have attracted millions of viewers on YouTube and provide a clear and simple explanation of the Bible. Speakers included the chief pastor of Shincheonji Church, President Lee Man-Hee, as well as leaders of its branch churches.

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