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Schwenkfelders pastor, Rev. Weiss, subject of May 11 speech


PENNSBURG PA — Learn about the life and insights of the Reverend George Weiss, the first pastor to lead the Schwenkfelders in the colonies, at a May 11 (2022; Wednesday) lecture offered both in person and virtually at Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center, 105 Seminary St. The event is free and open to the public.

Besides being a dedicated pastor, Weiss also took the time to write a catechism for children. It has over a thousand questions and includes over 270 questions related to the Eucharist. Guest speaker, Reverend Dr. Drake William of Central Schwenkfelder Church, will share Weiss’s catechism, specifically his teaching on the person of Jesus Christ. He will note any changes in Caspar Schwenckfeld’s perspective.

Prior registration is required. For more information or to register, call the center at 215-679-3103, or email them at [email protected]

The Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center intends to engage visitors in exploring the themes of tolerance, migration and heritage in their lives, highlighting the stories of Pennsylvania Germans from the Perkiomen region, especially those of the Schwenkfelders, a Protestant reform group.

Photo by La Poste

Some impacted by looting in destroyed neighborhoods


WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Homeowners are now trying to repair the damage caused by the Andover tornado, but they are now worried about looting.

Some areas are struggling with looters, and a Home Owners Association (HOA) president says he and his neighbors have had enough. Gary Dickerson says the past two days have been emotional.

Dickerson says, “All those people came to help today because I was sitting on the steps. It’s difficult.”

Not only was Dickerson’s home badly damaged by the storm, but thieves broke into his home late Saturday night and took some of what was left.

“Even though there is no roof, we thought people wouldn’t come in, but they did. The sliding glass door is destroyed, so they just walked in and ransacked everything. They took a guitar which disappoints me as it was a birthday present from a friend,” Dickerson said.

He now has to worry about storing what he left behind in a safe place. Epic Church helped those affected by the storm, including Dickerson.

Jamie Barrett, an Epic Church volunteer, says, “We try to put things they can salvage, appliances and furniture, into the storage units we have set aside for them.

Andover Police say there have been reports of looting in the damaged area, including the YMCA.

The president of HOA in the Dickerson neighborhood also told us that looting is a concern and will do whatever it takes to stop it. Volunteers say storage is one of the biggest needs due to looting and the approaching storm.

“The pastor at the church was kind enough to give us a place to store our things as all storage facilities are closed at the moment. I can’t get a u-haul. They come with a truck, trailer and manpower to help us put these things away, so the looters don’t pick them up, destroy them, mark them or whatever they do,” said Dickerson.

He says he appreciates all the help from the community and hopes others don’t have to deal with what he has.

Epic Church has posted a donation link for this area. If you would like to make a donation, Click here.

Copyright 2022 KWCH. All rights reserved.

Ukrainian Pentecostal Church Holds Second Bake Sale for Ukraine

Proceeds will go to Ukrainian refugees and relief for the ongoing war

JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Jessamine County community is coming together to support those affected by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Pentecostal Church held its second bake sale on Saturday, with all proceeds going to war relief and refugees in Ukraine.

The bake sale queue passed through the door of the church for homemade traditional Ukrainian breads, pastries, cakes and cookies. Organizers say more than 100 women volunteered their time to help cook the food being sold, and people could use Venmo, CashApp or cash to donate. A lunch which also supported efforts in Ukraine was served.

Organizers say the event took the church several days to set up, and the whole church participated, saying it helps maintain the congregation’s bond with the person in conflict, especially for those in conflict. children.

“The majority of our people, I would say 99% or even 100% of the people in our church have relatives in Ukraine, even colleagues. But the grandchildren did not go to Ukraine. But by participating in something, they feel like they are contributing to it and maybe even getting to know it a little more,” said organizer Zoriana Selepina.

The church asks for continued prayer for the ongoing conflict.

Central Baptist Church welcomes new senior pastor

Pastor Tom Wagoner (front) retired from the Central Baptist Church on April 24, 2022. Pastor Cameron Cloud (back) will begin his ministry as senior pastor on Sunday, May 1, 2022. Contributor photo

DUNN — In 2016, Pastor Tom Wagoner, who pastored the Central Baptist Church for more than 37 years, began to feel God’s call to begin a process of transitioning into retirement as senior pastor and to begin a full-time evangelistic ministry. Eager to follow a biblical process, through much prayer and scriptural confirmation, the congregation and church leaders felt the peace of God that Pastor Cameron Cloud was the man to lead Central.

The church voted in November 2018 to expand the call for Pastor Cameron to start as co-pastor, with the intention of becoming lead pastor. In 2019, Pastor Cameron and his family moved to Dunn.

For the past 3 years, Pastor Tom and Pastor Cameron have worked side by side to lead the people of CBC, sharing preaching and visioning responsibilities. The congregation wholeheartedly accepted and followed the transition process.

On Sunday, April 24, Pastor Tom officially retired as Senior Pastor. He preached on “The Mantle” from 2 Kings 2, symbolically removing his suit jacket and demonstrating to the congregation that it would be unsuitable for Pastor Cameron. Instead, Pastor Tom gave Pastor Cameron a new jacket, in his size.

“Please don’t make the mistake of trying to make him me. He’s so beyond where I’ve ever been. God has prepared him for this next season,” said Pastor Tom.

(Left to right): Dylan, Lynn, Cameron and Will Cloud. Photo added

Cameron was born in Bainbridge, Georgia, where he was rescued as a child. He began preaching as a teenager and serving with his father in ministry, traveling with his family in full-time evangelism. He has known Pastor Tom and the people of Central for many years, visiting them occasionally. He served in pastoral ministry for more than 20 years in rural Virginia, before following God’s call to join the staff at Central. Cameron has also served as an instructor at several Bible colleges and seminaries. He is married to Lynn and they have two children: Will (24) and Dylan (18).

On Sunday, May 1, deacons and leaders will gather to pray over Pastor Cameron during the service as he begins his ministry as senior pastor.

“The Central Baptist Church has a wonderful history of biblical preaching, spiritual worship and loving fellowship. This DNA will not change as we move forward, and I am excited about the growing ministry and mission opportunities God has for us. We believe our best days are still ahead of us,” says Pastor Cameron.

Central Baptist Church has a wonderful team of pastors who will continue to serve the church and community: Darren Hughes as worship and administrative pastor; James Neal as Education Pastor; Jeremy Autry as a children’s pastor; and Chuck Meade as a student pastor. Pastor Tom remains on staff as “Pastor At Large”, representing CBC in evangelism across the country, with a focus on revival.

Central Baptist Church is located four miles south of Dunn on Highway 421 at 6050 Plain View Highway, (I-95 Exit 73). For more information, call 910-892-7914 or visit cbcdunn.com.

Lawyer Deirdre McQuade, 53, helped spread the bishops’ pro-life message


HYATTSVILLE, Md. — Longtime pro-life advocate Deirdre McQuade, who for more than a decade shared the views of U.S. bishops and Catholic Church teaching on the sanctity of life, died on April 21 after a battle with metastatic breast cancer. She was 53 years old.

From 2005 to 2018, while serving as associate director of pro-life communications at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, McQuade was interviewed by various media outlets and spoke at numerous events, offering insights. on palliative care, abortion and alternatives to physician-assisted suicide. .

Friends remembered McQuade as someone whose strong faith helped her firmly uphold the value of human dignity in her work.

“She was very serious about her faith and incorporated faith into life,” said author and theologian Dawn Eden Goldstein, who met McQuade in 2007 and befriended her over the years.

Goldstein recalled McQuade as an advocate for a consistent life ethic in her professional and personal life and said her values ​​were reflected when she chose Sister Thea Bowman, a sainthood candidate who was the first African member. -American of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. , like his boss.

Longtime friend Colin O’Brien described McQuade’s rich sense of warmth, friendship and hospitality, which led her to “really be there for others”.

“You were sitting there and talking with her and you felt like you were the only person in the room,” O’Brien said. “Deirdre’s best friend was the person in front of her when she was with them.”

McQuade was born on September 24, 1968 to PJ and Genevieve McQuade. Her parents, now members of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Fredericksburg, Va., recalled their daughter’s deep faith that guided her life and led her to have a positive outlook on life.

Genevieve McQuade said her daughter’s faith ‘started to blossom’ in college when the family lived in Morris Plains, New Jersey, and she led morning prayer groups for her fellow students and also got involved in youth ministry among peers.

“Deirdre has lived her life in the Spirit. She waited for a wave to come with the power of the Spirit, then jumped on the wave like a surfer. She would go with the flow. Many of his accomplishments seem effortless. She dove with both feet. She was really immersed in the spiritual end of life,” PJ McQuade said.

This wave led her to work with women in crisis at the Women’s Care Center of Indiana after completing in 1998 a master’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in theology, both from the University of Notre Dame. She completed her undergraduate studies at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania in 1990.

For nearly five years at the women’s center, McQuade has worked with hundreds of women, providing pregnancy testing, counseling and support services. She has also taught healthy relationship skills to hundreds of teens as well as homeless women.

In 1999, her experience brought her to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, where she became director of pastoral research and evangelism and the ecumenical office.

In 2003, she became national program director for Feminists for Life, overseeing a student outreach program, before working in short-term positions with an organization that worked with Christian professionals, then as a program analyst. at the National Institutes of Health Office of Research. on women’s health.

McQuade began working at the USCCB in 2005, when she was assigned to manage pro-life communications. This position allowed her to establish a reputation as a credible spokesperson and a well-respected speaker in parishes and in advocacy programs.

She left the episcopal conference in 2018 to pursue her love of photography and start her own business, Brightness of Water Productions, based in Hyattsville, a suburb of Washington.

McQuade was diagnosed with cancer in 2019.

Survivors include his parents and a sister, Pamela Shannon.

A funeral mass will be celebrated on May 3 at St. Jerome’s Church in Hyattsville.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with their medical bills. Donations can be made at /www.gofundme.com/f/support-deirdre-mcquade.

Kevin Schweers, content editor for the Arlington Catholic Herald, a newspaper for the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, contributed to this story.

Impact of COVID-19 on Online Payday Loans Market Share, Size, Trends and Growth from 2022 to 2031 – themobility.club


A recent report on the world Online payday loans market published by Market Reports provides a global overview and assessment of opportunities at the moment. The study provides an in-depth examination of key market trends. To forecast the growth of Online Payday Loans with the utmost accuracy, analysts consider both historical and current growth parameters.

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For the forecast period, the study includes a review of the year-on-year growth pattern along with current and potential market volume forecasts (units). The study assesses the effect of the novel COVID-19 pandemic on online payday loans, as well as relevant insights into how industry players are responding to the new situation.

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Former parishioners pay emotional final visit to New Brunswick Church set to be torn down


Mary McCarron enters the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette church in Dieppe for the first time in years.

She is immediately struck by its size, so different from what she remembered.

She had thought it was “so big,” she said, but it wasn’t.

“It’s so small.”

McCarron moved to Lakeburn, across from the old Moncton airport, when she was just one year old, and the church quickly became the center of her world.

“The church became not just a place to go to mass, but it was where you went to Brownies, where you went to Cheerleaders, where you went to Girl Guides. Where wedding showers, catechisms – we had catechisms with the priest so everything was held here and all our sacraments were done here,” she said. “Everyone knew each other.”

Mary McCarron had her first communion at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Church and says it was the heart of the community. (Maya Chebl/Radio-Canada)

Notre-Dame-de-Lorette opened in 1946 and closed over 70 years later in October 2018 due to steadily declining attendance.

It has now been sold and will soon be demolished to make way for an apartment building, and on Wednesday former parishioners were invited to the church on Champlain Street for a final look.

For many, the visit brought back memories and emotions.

McCarron, who married in the church 40 years ago, wanted to come see what had once been the heart of the community.

Although she moved to another parish after her marriage, the church is filled with happy memories. McCarron has a few old black and white photos on her phone, showing her Brownie pack and a photo from her First Communion.

She takes one last look around the empty church and thinks what it will be like when she’s gone.

“It will be different because I see a few homes in the community are gone. It’s a different feeling, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to be here,” she said.

Former parishioners take a last look around the church in Dieppe before demolition.

People paid a final visit to the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette church, which closed in 2018 and will now be demolished to make way for apartments. 2:23

John-Guy Saulnier was baptized and had his first communion in the church.

The memories continued to weave throughout her life for years afterward.

“I remember going to school maybe first or second grade and coming here for mass at 4 p.m., and it just went on from there,” he says.

Saulnier’s parents celebrated their 50th birthday in the basement of the church.

He moved to another parish when the church closed, but wanted to stop one last time.

“It’s amazing. It’s definitely not what it used to be anymore,” he says.

His brother Vincent Saulnier shakes his head.

“I hate to see him go, but that’s how it goes I guess,” he says.

The last religious service took place in Notre-Dame-de-Lorette in October 2018. (Radio-Canada News)

For Jean Richard, the last visit is a moving experience.

His memories go back to 1973, and the church was a special place for him and his family.

Richard sang in the choir and was a soloist.

“It was a tight-knit community and everyone knew each other,” he says. “It was a very comfortable place to come and worship.”

Brothers John-Guy and Vincent Saulnier came to take a last look at the now empty church. (Kate Letterick/CBC News)

Richard cries looking around.

“I had to come and say my last…it’s like a kind of last respect,” he said. “I had to come and see.”

Richard stands in front of what was once the altar of the church and offers another prayer.

Then he leaves the church, for the very last time.

“Young Sheldon” Recap: Season 5, Episode 20 – Mary and Pastor Rob


Not too long ago, Mary had a sacrilegious fantasy about youth pastor Rob. And on Thursday Young Sheldongenius boy’s mother turned to mustachioed holy man for consolation — not once, but twice.

George Sr. had advised his wife not to fear what her congregation might think of Georgie having a child out of wedlock. But with tension between the bride and groom at an all-time high — as you’ll recall, last week’s family dinner culminated in a candid discussion of the Coopers’ turbulent union — Mary wasn’t exactly receptive. Later, she confided in Rob, who gave the exact same advice as her husband. Only his advice was accompanied by a filtered cigarette.

Later, when George found out his wife had consulted Rob, he wasn’t the least bit surprised. “Of course,” he scoffed, before pointing out that Mary talks to Rob a lot these days. And once he realized that Rob’s advice was the same as his, Sr. got snippy. “Next time, I’ll put God in there so you’ll be careful,” he said, putting it all together for someone who’s had something of an emotional affair himself.

Shortly after, Mary’s worst nightmare came true. News of Mandy’s pregnancy had spread before her weekly Bible study. No one showed up, and the first thing she thought to do was call Rob.

“Do you have time to talk?” she asked.

“For you? Always,” he replied.

By the end of Thursday’s episode, the entire Cooper clan was aware of Georgie and Mandy’s plight. George had gone to talk to Wayne, Mary to Rob, and Sheldon and Missy to Professor Linkletter and a classmate, respectively. Georgie was rightly pissed when he found out everyone had opened their traps – he was already having a hard enough time convincing Mandy to return her calls, and she hadn’t yet told her parents she was pregnant – and Missy took it upon herself to apologize. She also assured her brother that he would make a great dad.

What did you think of Young Sheldon Season 5, episode 20: “Uncle Sheldon and a hormonal firecracker”? Sound off in the comments.

Recap of episode 1 of the mini-series “Under the banner of the sky”


Based on Jon Krakauer’s 2003 book, Under the banner of heaven is the true story of a double murder in Utah in 1984, perpetrated by one of the many fundamentalist splinter groups of Mormonism, which is juxtaposed with the early days of frontier justice of the LDS Church. For your humble receiver, a deceased Mormon born and raised in Provo, Utah, this miniseries is sure to be an extended “TRIGGERED” meme, so let’s get to it, huh, brothers and sisters?

Right off the bat, the show hits you with the True detective-mid-ambient, opening with an ominous montage of the greater Salt Lake area (including a prominent shot of the LDS Temple in Provo, my old stomping grounds). We focus on Andrew Garfield’s Detective Jeb Pyre, a loyal Latter-day Saint and all-American family man who is sadly unprepared for the double murder he’s about to be called upon.

Dressed in a suit that’s equally suited to church and detective work, Pyre ends his nightly prayer with his wife, daughters and ailing mother with a poignant plea before heading to the crime scene: ” Heavenly Father, may we be instruments in your hands, and to help fix what we find broken, but what he finds is irreparable: the bodies of Brenda Lafferty (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and her 15-month-old daughter , Erica, with her throat slit and blood horribly pooling on their kitchen floor.Pyre emerges from the house to find Brenda’s husband, Allen Lafferty (Billy Howle), standing in the street covered in blood, and there it is. our mystery begins – real David Lynch-type shit, unfathomable darkness veiled behind a white picket fence and so on.

After Allen arrives, there is a bit of a hubbub at the police station. Anyone who knows he is a Lafferty is appalled, seeing how the Laffertys are a prominent Mormon family in the valley (“highly valued”). There is a version of a large, much-loved, multi-generational Mormon family in every neighborhood in Utah (“neighborhood” is the Mormon word for a local congregation), often holding some of the church’s “prestige” positions and managing a family business together. Large, entangled, “supporting” families remain an elite social currency in Mormon (e.g., wealthy, public families like the Romneys, Coveys, etc.). Either way, Allen claims that about a year ago “peculiar men” with beards were taken away with his family and they could still be in danger. Pyre’s partner Bill Taba (Gil Birmingham) — non-Mormon resident, Native American detective, and fish out of water, with the added burden of occasional community-wide racism to contend with — seems convinced, on the face of it, that Allen killed his wife. Pyre is less secure, competing with his own prejudices and familiarity with the Lafferty family. But they switch positions when it is revealed that Allen has fallen from the faith (Pyre catches him without the Mormon temple clothes as he changes out of his bloody clothes). Pyre becomes petulant, equating what he perceives as a loss of faith with a loss of morality (something I wish I could say I had never done as a Latter-day Saint), bursts into the room interrogation and begins quoting the LDS scriptures to Allen and throwing handcuffs on him. It’s the weirdest version of good-cop-bad-cop you’ve ever seen. “You have turned your back on our Heavenly Father,” Pyre said. “I’m confident forensics will have proven your guilt by tomorrow morning.”

But Allen Lafferty knelt with his wife in the temple and brought her to church with her family. “You think of them as signs of innocence,” Allen reminds him, “but they’re not.”

From there, we return to Brenda’s idyllic life before Allen in Idaho with her family, led by a bishop father who keeps the faith while supporting his daughters in all pursuits of their lives. Her family and moderately progressive approach to gender roles is by the way much more representative of your average modern LDS family, providing a much-needed contrast to the Laffertys, who we are introduced to when Brenda is brought to meet them for the first time. .

Immediately, the vibrations are unleashed. Like, we just saw this sweet girl tell her concerned parents that she’s going to Salt Lake City, a “big city with values,” to study broadcast journalism at BYU, and she’s going to be on television. Now she’s in Utah to meet her boyfriend’s LDS family, who work with creepy brothers and a crazy dad who’s stepped straight out of the 18th century to stand at the head of this Rockwellian nightmare of a table. to dine. Raw deal, man.

But I will say this: Brenda certainly gets the ground very quickly among the Lafferty clan. And even though, as Allen reports, everyone in her family was looking for fault with Brenda, she comes out the other side, seemingly undeterred from making a place for herself in the family. She also watches as her older brother Ron (Sam Worthington) is left behind in favor of his younger brother Dan (Wyatt Russell) to take over the family chiropractic business and household while her parents go on a mission for a couple of people. elderly for the church. Excellent casting with these two, by the way. The second Worthington and Russell came on screen, I thought to myself, Hey, I know these actors, and, Eesh, I know those guys, know what I mean? You see, Ron is on his own way, at least financially; he’s got his own fraudulent construction company and everything. “As much as they had their eyes on her…she had their eyes on us,” Allen says.

Back in the “present”, Pyre asks Allen if he misses going to church. Yes, he says, but what he misses most are the days when he believed God was love. It was love, after all, that moved Joseph Smith to create his one true church. “With their love,” Allen said, “God would share hidden truths.” It is the church that he misses, and what replaces it is a faith that breeds dangerous men, as he will say later.

On the investigative front, Detective Taba drives to Allen’s brother Robin’s address, finding an abandoned house and a bonfire of documents burning in the backyard. This piques their suspicion on Allen, who still swears bearded men have infiltrated and corrupted his family and every second they spend focused on him is a second another man of God is inspired to shed more blood. That night, they receive a call from a hotel manager with eyes on a suspicious man with a beard, matching the APB description he heard on his police scanner. It turns out to be Robin Lafferty, the next key witness in this unfolding mystery. “What if evil finds its way here?” Pyre wonders. “What if tonight was just the first edge of a bone that was finally emerging from our own desert soil?”

• Damn, the TV made my ass look like an ex-Mormon. the pachino meme. Just when I thought I had distanced myself from (and accepted) my old religion, television decided to have its own mini “Mormon moment.” I just finished recap Deputy Tokyoa show where my favorite character happened to be a Mormon elder, and I happened to catch up on Pamela Adlon’s final season better things, where the great Angela Kinsey starred as a deceased Mormon from Utah with a son named Brigham (LOL). And now FX is spinning Under the banner of heaven. So when the opportunity arose to recap this show, I wasn’t about to question it; weather is a flat circle and all that. It’s better to take these things as they come, lean in and answer the call, and see what nuggets of revelation come to the surface.

• I haven’t read the book, but from what I understand of Krakauer’s dual-narrative approach, the idea was to connect these modern murders to a tradition of violence, border justice and repression of the patriarchy that continues to spread from Mormonism. point of origin in countless ways. In recapping this show, it could be very easy for me to get lost in the weeds, pointing out every little difference or inaccuracy I might see in every dialogue, shot, costume design, etc. But setting aside the fact that, from what I’ve seen so far, this show is pretty darn accurate in its depiction of the larger Mormon world, I’m much more interested in tracking the underlying truths. about Mormonism (and America, for that matter) emerging from the series at face value. In other words, we’re not watching a documentary here.

• Garfield immediately emerges as the perfect fit for a character like this, exuding a comforting movie star familiarity to audiences while embodying the earnestness, poised innocence and genuine sense of duty that define Mormon man modern. His previous experience playing a man of faith plagued by overwhelming doubt in Martin Scorsese Silence is sure to come in handy in this joint.

• A note on the real detective comparison: this really only goes superficially, whether you see it as a sales pitch or a criticism. In terms of composition, there is definitely a generic brand real detective the style passes, but I don’t think it’s that hard to be an HBO show or anything. Sure, there’s the small town, generational black cult stuff, but it’s also a true crime story, not a lyrical genre story, so its concerns are necessarily different.

Diocese Begins Planning for Eucharistic Revival


Friday, April 29, 2022

By Marie Mischel

Intermountain Catholic

SALT LAKE CITY – On June 19, the feast of Corpus Christi, the “three-year popular revival of devotion and belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist” called by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will begin . The bishops “believe that God wants to see a movement of Catholics across the United States healed, converted, formed and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist – and sent on a mission ‘for the life of the world,’” says the National Eucharistic Revival Website.

The effort will be highlighted by a National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis in July 2024, when approximately 100,000 Catholics are expected to “gather in Indianapolis for a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to the ‘source and pinnacle’ of our Catholic faith,” states the website, referring to the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church‘s description of the Eucharistic Sacrifice as “the source and summit of all Christian life.” (Lumen gentium 11)

The first year of this Eucharistic revival is devoted to events at the diocesan level. The second year will be dedicated to the parish level, and the months from July 17, 2024 to Pentecost 2025 will be “the year of going out on mission”.

In the Diocese of Salt Lake City, Bishop Oscar A. Solis will preside over a liturgy of effort on June 19, the feast of Corpus Christi.

The Eucharist “is what we already do; this is what we are – the Church as Eucharist in the JPII sense,” acknowledged Father Christopher Gray, parish priest of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Park City, which is spearheading the revival. diocesan eucharist. “But it’s also an opportunity to focus on that and be united as a local Church…to love the Eucharist.”

Focusing on the Eucharist will give Catholics the chance to understand how “the faithful can allow faith to change us,” the father said. Gray said. “At the end of the day, our faith is meaningful insofar as we allow Christ to conform us, and one of the ways this happens in a very important, primary, and sacramental way is the Eucharist, received with great frequency – weekly, for example – and a life which must be increasingly consistent with it.

Or, as the Third Eucharistic Prayer says, “until Christ is formed in you,” Fr. Gray added.

The prayer references Galatians 4:19, “Until Christ be formed in you”, which is translated in the prayer as “may become one body, one spirit in Christ”.

Among the diocesan initiatives will be four-minute liturgical reflections on the Eucharist prepared by the Diocesan Office of Worship and read during weekend masses. These reflections, which will begin in the fall, will also be published in the pages of this journal and posted on the diocesan website.

Similar to the national effort, the diocesan effort will culminate in a diocesan-wide celebration on July 9, 2023 at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy. All Catholics in the diocese are encouraged to attend this gathering in person, but it will also be streamed live. Transportation to the event will be provided by the churches of the diocese.

The objective of the rally will be a mass. However, the one-day event will include devotions such as music provided by various groups from across the diocese and speakers brought in for the event.

After the rally, local parishes will be encouraged to deepen their Eucharistic life with services such as Eucharistic adoration or nights of prayer, or charitable acts that can be done for Eucharistic revival.

“Insofar as we are a Eucharistic people – and this is a universal thing – there are different ways of manifesting it,” the father said. Gray said. “In my understanding of the Eucharist, material charity is absolutely important; it is inseparable.

The emphasis on the Eucharist can help Catholics rediscover and revive their faith, not only in the parish but also in the diocese, at home, in their hearts, “as the bishop mentioned to many times coming out of the pandemic,” the father said. Gray said.

Anything is Possible When Faith Academy Performs ‘Cinderella’ at Faith Family Church | Reserved for subscribers


Annabelle Thurman, 15, of Faith Academy, performs as Cinderella during a dress rehearsal for “G2K Cinderella” Tuesday inside Faith Family Church.

In The musical “Cinderella” by Rogers and Hammerstein there is one dominant theme – anything is possible.

At Faith Academy, Christy Sutherland conducts G2K”Cinderella featuring 62 young actors singing and dancing proves it.

Sutherland, the school’s director of fine arts, along with choreographer and assistant director Pheobe Clark, brought together elementary through high school students to create the magical, musical world of “Cinderella” on the sanctuary stage. Principal of Faith Family Church. The acronym G2K stands for “Getting to Know”. The public performance is at 7 p.m. Friday.

Christy Sutherland presents the musical

Clark said she hopes everyone comes to see the show because the students are very talented and supporting young talent is an important part of living in a community.

“It’s really fun to play Cinderella,” said Annabelle Thurman. “I think she’s kind of like my opposite, because she’s supposed to be very graceful and light on her feet. And I’m very clumsy — I’m not very elegant. And she’s very good at cleaning and keeping things together. And I’m not that organized or anything.

Annabelle said her biggest challenge was “having to work on how I walk. And certainly the way I speak – making my voice higher and softer.

General repetition

Annabelle Thurman, right, as Cinderella, and Nicholas Whyman, as the prince, sing their roles together during a dress rehearsal for “G2K Cinderella” on Tuesday inside Faith Family Church.

Nicholas Whyman plays the role of the prince. “I’m just excited for the show. Because when it was my freshman year, we planned to do it, then COVID. And so, “Cinderella” was cancelled. And we were going to have it last year, but there were still COVID restrictions. So we waited a little longer. In fact, I was supposed to be the herald in my freshman year. And now, as a junior, I’m the Prince.

Nicholas said he related to his character’s reluctance to attend the ball, explaining that the prince was only at the ball because his mother wanted him to get married. “He’s kind of pushed. And so sometimes I feel that way, in my own personal life. He added, however, that a push can lead to good things — like finding the love of your life like Cinderella.

Sutherland said the set design for the musical is a combination of a digital set and a traditional hand-painted set. They use seven LED panels and two large screens on the right and left. “We have an incredibly talented audio and visual team. I mean, our sound guy who’s in charge, he literally ran the sound at a Super Bowl event. He’s just the best. Our AV guy, he’s from Disney.

Choreographer Clark has been a part of Faith Family Church and the school “all my life”. She attended Faith Academy for most of her childhood and graduated from Faith Academy High School.

General repetition

Assistant director and choreographer Phoebe Clark-Duffley moves around the cast during a dress rehearsal for “G2K Cinderella” Tuesday inside Faith Family Church.

I have always loved the theatre. “Cinderella” is Clark’s second production with the school, as she previously worked as a choreographer for “Alice in Wonderland.” This time, she is also an assistant director and has expanded responsibilities.

Clark comes from a family of dancers. Her grandmother was at the New York Ballet Academy and her mother, who was creative director at Faith Family Church for many years before retiring, danced with Busby Danccenter. “It has always been an ingrained gift from God with my family. And I’m very lucky to have inherited that as well,” she said.

When asked about her first theater role, Clark laughed and said, “I don’t necessarily remember it, but my mom always likes to remind me that I played Baby Jesus when I was really little.”

She discovered a passion for acting when she was in eighth grade. She said the school was doing a musical, “Camp Rock.” “And my friend wanted to try. And I really didn’t want to. Explaining that she was in the “nothing is cool” phase of middle school. Her friend really wanted to try and didn’t want to do it alone. “I was like, ‘OK, okay. I’ll try with you. And I ended up taking the lead.

She said working with Sutherland has been a valuable experience. “I absolutely love him. We get along so well.” The collaboration and the chance to really explore how to stage a scene or help a performer has been very exciting. “It’s been a lot of fun to see how far my gifts can go.”

Annabelle said “Cinderella” has a beautiful musical score. “It’s very floaty, lots of piano, very classic, very ballroom and very pretty,” adding the music “makes you feel so elegant” as you dance and move on stage.

In the role of Cinderella, costumes are very important. Annabelle says she particularly enjoyed “trying on all these costumes. The ball gowns have been amazing. I mean, I’ve never had so much personal attention in my entire life. … He’s been so much fun.”

Nicholas said one of the benefits of working on a stage production is that “it definitely teaches you responsibility and helps you with your communication skills”.

“I started going to Faith Academy when I was in pre-K. My first play was in sophomore Willy Wonka. Nicholas said he was Chief Oompa Loompa. Later in sixth grade, he joined the student ministry worship team at Faith Family Church, playing the piano.He has been playing the piano since the age of 6. He also began singing regularly as a member of this team.

“The song I sing in this room is pretty high for my vocal range.” Sutherland worked with him and they slightly modified a melody.

He said that when “Cinderella comes in, it’s like a complete trance. Everyone is frozen.

The ballroom dancing scenes are definitely something new for most of the students, including Nicholas who laughed and explained that when Cinderella is wearing a ballgown, the main rule is don’t step on the dress!

Annabelle described her school and church community as “one of the most caring and loving groups of people I have met in my entire life. I think it would be such a great opportunity for people to not just come see a good show, but come meet godly people who are really going to invite you into their lives. She said maybe people would look around and think, “Wow, that’s a really nice place.”

West Virginia pastor promotes safe space for transgender community | UVM News


Sherry Phillips became a lesbian 25 years ago. After opening up about her identity, she said her former church limited her ability to teach, sing and participate in activities she loved.

“I was welcome where I was raised, in my church, but I was told I couldn’t do anything in the church,” Phillips said.

Although she was urged to continue attending services, she said she didn’t really feel accepted.

“If someone says, ‘We welcome you, but we don’t affirm you,’ that’s like saying, ‘We’ll tolerate you, but we can’t celebrate you,'” she said. declared. “And to think that you’re just tolerated, for whatever reason, and they can’t celebrate who you are is just awful.”

Phillips is now the senior pastor of New Covenant Church in Princeton, West Virginia, which was founded in 2015.

Phillips was one of dozens of pastors who enrolled their congregations in the WVU LGBTQ+ Center’s Trans Safe Zone training.

The training aims to help organizations understand how to create an open and tolerant environment for people of diverse gender identities.

“I feel like the training was very educational,” Phillips said in an interview. “I feel like every house of faith really should bring their congregation along so we can all learn and make our churches a safer place for the trans community.”

Phillips pointed out that the training helped create a space where allies can ask questions and transgender people can talk about their experiences.

“I never meant to hurt any of my trans friends and dig too deep into asking too much information from them and offending them,” Phillips said. “So that gave us some freedom to ask questions.”

Phillips was invited to the training by Angel Smothers, clinical associate professor at the WVU School of Nursing. Smothers worked with the LGBTQ+ Center to deliver the classes.

“We know that West Virginia has one of the highest populations of transgender youth in the country,” Smothers said in an interview. “We also know that the rate of suicide and suicide attempts within the transgender community, especially among young people, is very high.”

Smothers said she saw an opportunity to educate religious groups in an effort to change this trend.

“My work as a faith-based community nurse has really paved the way for education within churches,” she said.

The course is a presentation format with question and answer sessions within it. Each session is intended for leaders and/or members of a specific church at a time.

The LGBTQ+ Center offers Trans Safe Zone classes as well as general LGBTQ+ Safe Zone training for a variety of groups, including any interested faculty, staff, students, or community members.

Classes are not exclusive to religious groups. To date, only one religious organization has completed the Trans Safe Zone training.

LGBTQ+ and Trans Safety Zone training is open to businesses, faculty, and other organizations.

Phillips said the training helped create a safe space for trans people they might not find elsewhere.

“It just gives you a better understanding… putting yourself in a trans person’s shoes and just beginning to understand some of the things they’ve struggled with and why they feel the way they feel and how they see themselves,” a- she declared.

Charleston church shooting survivor calls on SC senators to pass hate crimes bill – WSOC TV


CHARLOTTE — Polly Sheppard was among five people who survived the 2015 Charleston church shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina. Nine others were killed.

Nearly seven years after the shooting, Sheppard will join the civil rights organization, the National Action Network, at the South Carolina State House on Wednesday in a bid to urge state senators to pass a bill on hate crimes bearing the name of the late Reverend Clementa Pinckney.


Pinckney, also a former senator, was the pastor of Emanuel AME at the time of the shooting, and among the nine people killed by acknowledged white supremacist Dylann Roof.

If passed, anyone convicted under the Clementa C. Pinckney Hate Crimes Act would face additional punishment, including an additional fine not to exceed $10,000 and additional jail time of up to $10,000. at five years old.

“To be there, lying under the table with this gun to your head could only be hate,” Sheppard said.

“So I wonder why South Carolina has to be the last, almost the last to have a hate crimes law? Because we didn’t have it. We had to go to the feds to get (Dylann Roof) charged with a hate crime. It does not mean anything.”

South Carolina is one of two US states, including Wyoming, that does not have a hate crimes law.

The Hate Crimes Act passed the House but currently sits in the Senate.

“When (the shooting) happened, members of that same Senate stood up and said wonderful things about Clementa Pinckney, the flag was lowered, and the hate crimes bill was introduced shortly after. “, added the Reverend Nelson B. Rivers III, of the National Action Network. “Now, these years later, nothing has happened.”

“I really can’t understand them opposing a law, but they can pass a law to kill someone in a firing squad. They can bring that to the ground, but they can’t bring hate crimes law to the ground,” Sheppard added. “What’s the matter? This is what to do.”

Channel 9 attempted to contact Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey for comment but did not receive a response late Tuesday afternoon.

Massey has previously told reporters that given the way the bill is currently written, it does nothing to protect anyone.

He added that federal hate crimes laws were sufficient to prosecute Dylann Roof.

Significant salary increases

(Watch video below: Judge approves $88 million settlement for families of 9 people killed in Charleston church massacre)

Church in Asia Pins Hopes on Papal Visit to Kazakhstan



The Pope visits a region where ethno-religious conflicts are frequent and where Christians are a minority

Protesters attend a rally in Almaty on February 13 in memory of the victims of the unrest. At least 240 people died when police opened fire on anti-government rallies in Kazakhstan earlier this year. (Photo: AFP)

Posted: April 26, 2022 10:30 GMT

Updated: April 26, 2022 10:33 GMT

Pope Francis is due to visit Kazakhstan, a Central Asian state near the epicenter of ethno-religious conflict where bloody anti-government unrest earlier this year left 240 people dead.

According to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s office, Kazakhstan is set to host the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in September with Pope Francis as the star guest.

President of the Episcopal Conference of Kazakhstan, Bishop Jose Luis Mumbiela, said the Church was “grateful” to the President of Kazakhstan for inviting Pope Francis 20 years after the visit of Pope Saint John Paul II.

The papal visit will be a “breath of hope and strength”, said Fr Guido Trezzani, director of Caritas Kazakhstan in the predominantly Muslim nation of 15 million.

While Muslims make up 70% of the population, Christians, mostly Orthodox, make up around 30%. However, Catholics are a tiny minority of just 2% of the population.

The papal visit to the country of some 300,000 Catholics is seen as a major boost for the Church in Kazakhstan. The country has a huge landmass of around 3 million square kilometers, making it the ninth largest nation in the world.

The bishops are expected to discuss ways to derive maximum benefit from the papal visit, which they believe could strengthen the Asian Church as a whole.

But its Catholic hierarchy is relatively new. In 2019, the Vatican established a diocese and three apostolic administrations in Kazakhstan with a clergy consisting of 50 priests serving in 27 Latin Rite and Greek Catholic Rite parishes. Almost all of them are missionaries.

The Vatican last year approved the creation of a regional conference of Catholic bishops in Central Asia. It aimed to forge stronger unity among Catholics in the countries of a region that includes Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.

Previously, the Catholic Bishops‘ Conference of Kazakhstan was a member of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, while the bishops of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan were associate members.

Islam dominates in these five Central Asian countries with a total population estimated at 72 million.

The new Conference of Catholic Bishops of Central Asia has scheduled its first meeting for the last week of April in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan.

The bishops are expected to discuss ways to derive maximum benefit from the papal visit, which they believe could strengthen the Asian Church as a whole. After all, just like in other parts of Asia, minority Christians face restrictions in their activities.

Pope Francis has confirmed his willingness to participate in the two-day VII Congress in Nur-Sultan on September 14, according to the pontifical news agency FIDES.

The Congress follows the model of the “Day of Prayer for Peace” in the world convened in Assisi by Pope Saint John Paul II on January 24, 2002.

Held in Nur-Sultan every three years, this year’s theme is “The Role of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in the Socio-Spiritual Development of Humanity after the Pandemic”.

Ukraine’s ongoing crisis could spill over to Kazakhstan as the country fears it could be next in Russia’s crosshairs

The First Congress of World and National Traditional Religions was held in Kazakhstan in Astana (now Nur-Sultan) on September 23, 2003, attended by delegates from 17 religious and faith-based organizations and institutions. Pope Saint John Paul II visited the Turkish country in September 2001.

In Kazakhstan, the pope is expected to strengthen cooperation between Kazakhstan and the Vatican in promoting interreligious dialogue.

In December last year, Kazakhstan finally abolished the death penalty, the Vatican’s favorite theme. The death penalty was in effect for the first 13 years of independent Kazakhstan’s history. The last death sentence came in 2003 when 12 prisoners were shot. Since 1990, a total of 536 death sentences have been carried out in Kazakhstan.

Ukraine’s ongoing crisis could spill over to Kazakhstan as the country fears it could be next in Russia’s crosshairs. In the Russian imperial imagination, the northeastern regions of Kazakhstan are Russian and were given to oil-rich Kazakhstan in a brotherly gesture.

Given their closely intertwined economies, the most important task is to protect Kazakhstan’s economy from the side effects of US sanctions imposed on Russia. The fluctuation in the value of the Russian ruble has a direct effect on the Kazakh tenge.

More than 75% of Kazakhstan’s oil exports pass through the Russian port of Novorossiysk via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium.

Then there is the eternal threat of communist ideology. An authoritarian China is another immediate neighbor of Kazakhstan and shares a border of around 1,700 kilometers. China and Russia have regional and global agendas.

Although China’s ambitions are tied to geopolitical developments in the South China Sea, East China Sea and Indo-Pacific region, many of its priorities overlap with those of Russia, which has criticized the Church of Ukraine before beginning its invasion on February 24.

Kazakhstan shares a border with Afghanistan to the south. The emergence of the Taliban in Kabul has placed the region under enormous Islamic terror pressure. It also borders Iran, which faces US sanctions for its nuclear program.

President Tokayev turned to Russia for military aid in January when his opponents hijacked protests against rising fuel prices to trash government buildings

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has put pressure on neighboring Kazakhstan, which two months ago welcomed troops from the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). President Tokayev turned to Russia for military help in January when his opponents hijacked protests against rising fuel prices to trash government buildings.

The more than 2,000 Russian soldiers remained in Kazakhstan for two weeks before being redeployed and many of them are now in Ukraine.

Kazakhstan plays neutral and abstained from voting for the UN General Assembly resolution condemning the Russian invasion.

After much dithering, Timur Suleimenov, the deputy head of the presidential office, said that Kazakhstan does not recognize Crimea as part of Russia or the independence of Donbass.

The protests in the Central Asian country began on January 2 after a sharp rise in gasoline prices. The unrest, which started in the city of Zhanaozen, spread to other urban areas, including Almaty, the country’s largest city.

President Tokayev declared a nationwide state of emergency and summoned troops from the CSTO, an alliance comprising Russia and allied states.

Anti-government rallies turned sour after protesters began destroying government buildings and police began firing, killing 240 people.

President Tokayev agreed to constitutional reforms to limit the powers of his office along with a strong parliament. He also proposed a reform to make it easier for political parties to register with the government by reducing the number of people required to form a party from 20,000 to 5,000.

The pope comes to an Asian region where ethno-religious conflicts are the order of the day and where Christians suffer step-mother treatment because of their minority status.

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Donation from Bethany Baptist Church will help Gaston County


I don’t remember many details about what people said to me during that fourth week of April 1980 when my father passed away. But I will always cherish a comment from my mother acknowledging the honorable legacy my father left for my sister and me.

Our father was unique. “Stuff” didn’t really matter to him. A car was just a way to get from point A to point B. His house was a home, not some kind of status symbol. For dad, people were the most important. Full stop.

Just a few years before his death at the tender age of 36, our family got in the car and drove off to the mountains of North Carolina. We drove on winding roads until we found our designated gravel road, then we drove, albeit more carefully, until the gravel turned to dirt and finally ended at the edge of the forest.

With the confidence of a man on a mission, Dad pushed his family out of the car, tapped his white cane he was learning to use following his recent loss of sight, and led us into the wooded area. Eventually, after a short hike, we arrived at a small house, no more than a cabin, where we were greeted by a family whose situation epitomized the poverty that exists deep within Appalachia.

Turns out Dad had hooked up via citizen band radio, which was popular in the late 1970s, with a man and his family who lived pretty much off the grid. Dad wanted to shake hands with his new friend. Nothing was going to stop him – not dead-end dirt roads, not rocky terrain, not even his blind eyes.

As we walked towards the dilapidated house, my sister and I felt rich in comparison. Even though we lived in a 600 square foot mobile home ourselves with minimal luxuries; we realized we had more than this dear family ever imagined. None of this mattered to Dad. He was here to see his new friend.

This is the legacy of dignity that our father left us. Dad’s hardcore interactions like the one we shared on this day trip instilled a legacy in his children that stays. No matter who the person is, what they have or don’t have, Dad believed that every person had dignity. We will always be grateful for Dad’s lasting legacy in our lives.

Recently. I had the privilege of interacting with a small group of people for whom, like dad, the legacy is paramount. Like many churches, Bethany Baptist Church has struggled to grow in recent years. Even though just six years ago the church had three separate ministries sharing its campus, holding more than 500 worship services and serving more than 11,000 meals to the needy each year at its south campus in Gastonia, things had exchange.

An aging congregation, changes in the community and other factors prompted Bethany to do what Dad had to do more than once in his life. They had to face difficult decisions. The few remaining members of Bethany realized that their legacy would be far more important than just memories of the way things were.

Every church has memories. Every church can reflect on the “good old days”. Unfortunately, many are looking back rather than forward, at the risk of jeopardizing their legacy on the altar of the past.

Bethany didn’t ignore the harsh reality that their season had been sweet, but their season was over. After six decades, the time had come. Instead of giving up and walking away, Bethany chose the legacy.

They reached out to Gateway Gaston, which has collaborative relationships with hundreds of places of worship and nonprofit organizations. This partnership has given them the opportunity to direct the proceeds of their real estate sales to valid organizations that serve our community for the greater good.

Yes, Bethany’s decision to face reality and preserve her legacy means her building was sold, but it also means her legacy lives on in the lives of a predominantly Latin congregation who were thrilled to buy and to reuse the property.

This means that another local ministry will benefit from Bethany’s financial donation and can continue to meet the needs of our city’s most economically marginalized citizens. This means that another nearby church will receive a monetary donation so they now have the opportunity to focus on growth and not just survival.

Likewise, the legacy means people living with addictions will receive scholarships to help them heal, and a sixth local ministry will be able to repair or even replace vehicles that are essential to their good work across the county.

Perhaps most exciting is the $130,000 seed fund Bethany has provided to ensure that our community stops talking about just serving the homeless and finally establishes a sustainable daytime shelter for those who don’t have no place to find relief from street life.

Yes, Bethany’s legacy will live on in other churches who decide to follow their leadership in facing the reality of their declining circumstances, and choose an enduring legacy for the common good of our community and the Kingdom of God.

R. Dwayne Burks is the director of Gateway Gaston and a resident of Gastonia.

Pastor and Rabbi team up to bring community together with Duckpin Bowling – CBS Baltimore


BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s not what you’d expect to see in the basement of a century-old church: a modernized Duckpin bowling alley with the latest in bowling technology.

Duckpin bowling has a long history here in Baltimore. With a smaller ball and smaller pins, this type of bowling is still great fun.

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After its closure in the 1960s, the bowling alley within the church now has a new lease of life, thanks to Pastor Dr. Terris King of Liberty Grace Church of God and Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg of Congregation Beth Tfiloh.

They worked together to secure funds to renovate floors and install equipment. The renovation of the Liberty Grace Church of God bowling alley in the small Ashburton neighborhood of West Baltimore took nearly three years.

It’s just one of many projects the men have undertaken together, as they work to educate their communities about their shared history. It’s a story that this bowling alley is part of.

“That’s what history tells us,” said Pastor King. “Ashburton was one of the first communities in the country where white people didn’t run when the African Americans came, that bowling alley and that church and that community in Ashburton was really the center of the Jews leading, working with the Afro -Americans in the Baltimore Civil Rights Movement.

“It was once home to the Jewish community, but the younger generation of the Jewish community doesn’t even know it exists,” Rabbi Wohlberg added.

As our community continues to deal with civil rights issues to this day, the pair seek to inspire future generations to continue working together by showing them that they have more in common than they realize.

“Our schools are now building good relationships,” Wohlberg said. “Otherwise our children and her children would never know each other. They would only know each other in black and white. Not as human, not as real.

Although the partnership was a positive experience, it produced some intense moments, opening our eyes to overlooked biases.

Wohlberg described such a moment.

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“One day Terris brought her choir to sing in my congregation. I saw people in tears and when I talked to them afterwards, I said, ‘Why are you in tears?’ And they said, ‘Rabbi, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but up until this point, if you mentioned black teenagers, I’m thinking of a criminal. I don’t think of a beautiful child who goes to church to sing the praises of God. It’s as basic as that.

Now, as the walls crumble, a brighter, intertwined future emerges. Pastor King is now featured on the Beth Tfiloh Centenary timeline as a symbol of the coming together of the two communities.

“It’s part of our history,” Wohlberg said. “But it’s not just part of our history, it’s also part of our future.”

Back at Liberty Grace, they too are planning an exhibit to show their story. It will be painted above a track they chose to leave unfinished.

“We left it in its original state because we want to tell the story,” King said. “To tell the story, you have to see how it was conceived.”

It’s a story that adds to Liberty Grace’s growing list of community resources. A place that already provided food, education and health services now has a space dedicated to family fun.

“It may seem controversial to join Mitchell, but I’m following God’s example and doing the right thing for my people in this congregation and beyond these doors in this community, so I’m humbled. And I believe the best is yet to come,” King said.

It’s unexpected bowling and unexpected friendship that shows what’s possible if we take a little time to get to know each other and maybe play a few games together.

“I don’t know if the Jewish community in Pikesville is going to come back here so they can use the bowling alley,” Wohlberg said. “It moves people’s minds and hearts. It’s not about moving their homes. It’s seeing each other as real and getting to know each other and everything we’ve done together.

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Latino Borderlands Church welcomes Ukrainian refugees

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The wide white canopy of the Promise Church parking lot in Chula Vista, California is designed to receive and dispatch a steady stream of people fleeing war and destruction and migrating to the United States. The name of the church denotes a deep history and a hopeful future.

Pastor Mario Alas remembers the day decades ago when his mother returned from Mexico City to San Salvador, documents in hand, to extricate him from El Salvador’s deadly civil war. A few weeks earlier, he and a companion had been caught in the middle of a firefight. A bullet ended his friend’s life. Now, the documents her mother obtained promised her a scholarship to study law at the famous National Autonomous University of Mexico. These were enough, along with new passports, to ensure exit for his family and entry into Mexico, and then migration to the United States. Alas and his wife, Anna, met and married in Colorado, then were granted refugee status in Canada. Soon they began to work in the resettlement of refugees while being pastors. Since 1990, the couple have been involved in the ministry of the Apostolic Assembly, the denomination to which the Church of Promise belongs.

Today, decades-old memories resurface. In response to a call from the Light of the World Church, a neighboring Slavic Pentecostal church, Alas’ congregation – made up mostly of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans – opened their doors and their hearts to a flood of Ukrainian refugees crossing into California from Tijuana. Just 15 minutes from the border, the church is home to a respite center which offers facilities to help refugees rest, gather their thoughts and prepare for the road ahead.

At a time when the idea of ​​right-wing Pentecostals and charismatics is clearly visible in public opinion and when political strategists are playing games for the Latino evangelical vote, it could be tempting for this congregation to have transmitted this project. But the congregation’s response is consistent with a deep history of hospitality. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, apostolic congregations have modeled solidarity and accompaniment towards those in residence.

Today’s alliance between Ukrainian and Hispanic Pentecostals echoes the church’s beginnings in the 1906 Azusa Street Revival.

Its leaders have asserted that the biblical proof of the new Pentecostal revival lies precisely in the descending demographics of the revival, including African Americans, Native Americans and Mexicans. Historians regard Los Angeles as the birthplace of global Pentecostalism. Spreading the movement from Los Angeles, migrants carried the revival to the agricultural valleys of California, the mining towns of New Mexico, the border regions and the cities of north-central Mexico.

When migration channels have been narrowed or diverted by xenophobia, Pentecostal churches have adapted their tactics but not their mission. For example, American elites and others chose Mexicans as scapegoats for the Great Depression and expelled one-third of the Mexican population of the United States in the 1930s. The believers caught up in the Great Repatriation and sent to Mexico worked to consolidate the weak Protestant presence in their communities of origin, while remaining closely linked to their co-religionists north of the border.

Then, when the U.S. and Mexican governments established the Bracero guest worker program in 1942 to fill the huge agricultural labor deficit created by World War II, the apostolic churches along the border served as trampolines. and hostels for the circulating workforce. Soon the Bracero labor camps were supplying nearby congregations with lonely bodies and souls for fellowship and conversion. The Bracero program has proven to be abusive and porous, often by design, and has allowed the same workers to drift into precarious undocumented status.

When the federal government pretended to “suppress” with harsh enforcement measures such as “Operation Wetback(1954), the congregations ensured the security and anonymity of the administration’s raids. Immigration authorities have largely avoided entering churches. In this anxious time, denominational president Benjamin Cantú reassured the undocumented in his flock: “This is not an immigration office. It is the house of God and the gate of heaven! The statement of Jacob, the famous Hebrew patriarch and refugee of antiquity, certainly resonated in the hearts of persecuted pilgrims.

The church also converted the Christian practice of letters of recommendation, which it issued for believers in transit. This allowed people to transfer their membership between congregations and ensured a warm welcome in new church communities when society as a whole might not have been so welcoming. The letters also softened the blow when members were deported to Mexico, providing people with an easy introduction to the apostolic churches in Mexico.

The church continued to serve the migrants without questioning their paper status. These acts helped create spaces of hospitality and integration for thousands of Central Americans, like Alas, who fled civil wars and US-induced conflicts in the region in the 1980s. The sanctuary movement among the mainline Protestant churches of this period (and its current revival) received considerable scholarly and journalistic attention, the history of Pentecostal Latina/o hospitality remains relatively unknown or unappreciated, though it continues to stir the bowels of compassion.

Both the Church of Promise and the Church of World Light are part of the Oneness Pentecostal movement, which is considered heterodox by most. This shared sectarian identity has allowed for unexpected connections across ethnic and linguistic borders. The movement grew in the Los Angeles area in 1913 and resulted in a branch of Pentecostalism that rejected a Trinitarian notion of divinity. This theological distinction attracted apologists and believers who spanned several ethnic and racial constituencies and people of different national origins. It is important to note that the Oneness churches were the last stand of the wider Pentecostal movement (until the 1930s) against the encroaching shadows of Jim Crow.

The ties that unite radiate throughout the region. The Church Slavonic sublet the facilities of an Apostolic Church in Poway where Helas pastored before his call to the Church of Promise. When the Slavic Church needed facilities near the border and in a more hospitable area, they knew they could trust their brothers and sisters in the faith. The welcome from neighbors and church friends reflects the deep reservoir of goodwill they have dug into the community.

The sight of vans unloading and picking up migrants at a Latina border church is not common. The practice of transporting travelers in the past has often been clandestine, given the historic ministry of apostolics among the undocumented and scapegoating during times such as the Great Repatriation and Operation Wetback. But the expanded legal avenues offered to Ukrainians allowed for renewed and expanded solidarity, this time above ground but consistent with the Church’s historic practice of receiving and loving the stranger.

The saints of the Church of Promise hold to this biblical tradition and believe that by entertaining strangers some may entertain unwitting angels. With increased attention to Latino evangelical electoral potential, the Church of the Promise story represents an opportunity to pressure political leaders of both parties to humanize and welcome Central Americans and other seeking populations. of help and to remind fellow believers that the yearning for a restored Greater America, evident in many political rallies, carries too much weight for the pilgrim route.

Bishops to voters: seek advice from Mother Mary


MANILA Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula. Picture file

MANILA Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula and other bishops have called on the faithful to seek the guidance of Mother Mary in choosing candidates for the May elections.

In a pastoral letter signed by Advincula, the Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila asked voters to pray the Rosary with their families and communities from April 30 until May 9, election day.

“Let us ask our Blessed Mother again. And ask her to help us vote for those who are in the heart of Jesus Christ,” the Prelates said.

They also asked the public to pray that the Electoral Commission (Comelec) fulfills its duties in organizing honest and peaceful polls.

“Let us also pray that Comelec will uphold its important duty to respect and uphold the voice of the people it expresses through its votes. It can also be steadfast and true to its mandate,” they said.

The Cardinal and the Bishops encouraged the electorate to “safeguard our freedom and dignity through a fair vote. Let us vote for those who will promote the common good of the people, especially on the margins of society.” “If we are pious and patriotic, we must also choose candidates who are pious and patriotic,” they said.

Advincula is at the Vatican where he had a “private audience” with Pope Francis last Thursday.

Prof. Gregory Ramon Gaston, Rector of the Pontificio Colegio Filipino in Rome, Advincula also met with the Archbishop of Reims Re-elected Msgr. Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, President of the Catholic Episcopal Conference of France.

The Archbishop paid a courtesy visit to Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, member of the Dean of the College of Cardinals. Re was the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops when Advincula was installed Bishop of the Diocese of San Carlos in Negros Occidental in 2001 by Pope John Paul II.

Advincula also met with Philippine Ambassador Myla Grace Macahilig and Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik, Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, of which Advincula is a member.

“We are honored to welcome our distinguished alumnus, Cardinal Advincula, during these days of encounters and pilgrimage. He was appointed Cardinal last year, as the Collegio celebrated its 60th anniversary of life and service to the ‘Church, especially at home in the Philippines,” Gaston said in a statement.

Meet Carly Hart, new Director of T4C


To meet: Carly Hart of Newcomerstown

Occupation: New Executive Director of T4C (Tuscarawas Council for Church & Community).

Education: BA Criminal Justice/Sociology from the University of Akron.

T4C services: Share-A-Christmas, emergency help, healthy choices, reminder programs for young people.

About T4C: T4C was founded in 1966 by the Ohio Council of Churches and The Ohio State University. The purpose of T4C is to meet the legitimate needs of the people of Tuscarawas County. T4C continues to be a non-profit, non-denominational agency.

Carly, please tell us a bit about where you grew up, your family and what you like to do in your free time.

“I grew up in Canton, Ohio. I have a small immediate family which includes my mother Debbie, my sister Jill and my brother Mitchell. I also have a large extended family that I love to be with and feel so lucky that we reside close enough to each other to spend time, get together for vacations, and support each other.

“I currently reside in Newcomerstown with my husband Sam and our three children, Bo (14), Reide (11) and Jack (6). We moved here as a family in 2015 to provide our children with an amazing small town education, which we have been incredibly happy with and wouldn’t change for the world!We live on a small farm and enjoy raising cattle and other small farm animal projects, such as pigs and chickens. Our children attend the Newcomerstown Exempt Village School District and are very active in sports and 4 H. My husband and I coach youth sports programs in our community and are a cattle family of exhibition very involved in Ohio.

“In my free time, I enjoy cooking, gardening and spending time with my family. Volunteering has always been important to me, so I try to contribute and give back to the community when I can. I am thrilled that my new position gives me the opportunity to fulfill my heart for service!”

What jobs have you held in the past?

“Well, I like to call my younger years at work well rounded. My first job was at an ice cream stand, collecting ice cream and waiting tables…quite the dream job for a 16 year old. From there, I tried my luck as a saleswoman, receptionist, babysitter, servant, cleaner and a few other activities. While attending the University of Akron to get my BA in Criminal Justice/Sociology, I started my career in Stark County Family Court in 2004 as an intern and then was hired full-time after graduating as a parole officer. From there, I served as the Youth Court Coordinator for almost 10 years. Both positions focused on diversion, creative punishment, and supporting youth and their families through difficult times.

“In 2014, I was offered a position at Stark High School as a family advocate, which within a year turned into an administrator position. I quickly learned that my work experience with young people and their families in the justice system provided me with the right credentials I was able to create a model based on support in an educational setting, focusing on the needs of the “whole” of the student at school, at home and in the community.

Why did you apply for your new career as Executive Director of the Tuscarawas Council for Church and Community?

“I applied for this position because I feel a natural attraction to community outreach and support services. I knew I wanted to become a team member for the Tuscarawas Council for Church and Community because it has proven to be a grassroots agency for community support, faith, and awareness in Tuscarawas County! I was chosen for the job and started my new career on March 28. Please visit our website at https://t4conline.net or call 330-343-6012 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to learn more about Our services. We also have a Facebook page – T4C Tuscarawas County Council for Church & Community.

What do you love about Newcomerstown and the community?

“My family and I love Newcomerstown, and we have NO plans to change life here in the community! One of the reasons we moved to Newcomerstown was to give our children the opportunities that a small town provides. , like a more cohesive community and a family school district. We are incredibly pleased with what Newcomerstown has given our family so far. Since moving here, something that always makes me smile about Newcomerstown, it is the supportive, considerate and faith-filled residents who would drop anything they did to help a neighbor in need.The community has proven to come together in times of need, supporting each other as “family small-town,” while continually supporting and supporting our schools, agencies, and small businesses.

Daily! Newcomerstown is SMALL but MIGHTY!”

What would you like to highlight for us?

“One of my goals for the summer is to CONNECT!! I plan to provide community outreach opportunities and education on available support services that T4C and Tuscarawas County have to offer. If you see me, Stop by and say hello!I look forward to meeting members of the community and would love to hear your thoughts on the needs of your family, neighborhoods, schools, church families and more!

“I want to especially thank my husband Sam for being so supportive and allowing me to follow my heart in accepting this new position. I appreciate your love and support!”

Pastor retires after half a century of building beloved Rockland community


SPRING VALLEY — After half a century of leading First Baptist Church, Reverend Weldon McWilliams Jr. is ready to retire. But not before his church and community honor him on Sunday.

“Through First Baptist many county leaders have been trained, and he has trained many religious leaders in this county,” mentioned Vivian Street, chair of the church board.

The guest preacher at the Reverend Weldon McWilliams Jr. Pastoral Birthday Service will be his son, Reverend Weldon McWilliams IV, Senior Pastor of Christ Temple Baptist Church in Paterson, New Jersey. Young McWilliams had once served as First Baptist youth minister and associate minister.

A Sunday night gala honoring McWilliams is already sold out.

McWilliams Jr. led a church with a deep history – in 1902 the church began on land purchased for $50. In 1964, the sanctuary on what was then Hoyt Street opened to the growing flock. McWilliams took over the chair in 1972.

McWilliams’ tenure is full of expansion — church membership at one point reached 800 — and community connection. The small street on which the church is located – formerly Hoyt – was renamed Rev. Dr. Weldon McWilliams Jr. Way in November 2021.

The street name change reflected how McWilliams had shaped the church, the village of Spring Valley, and Rockland County.

Under his leadership, the church helped develop the Ministers’ Alliance, which is a collaboration between several houses of worship in the county.

“We were the first church to do this interdenominational stuff,” said Street, whose community work includes serving as past president and current second vice president of the Spring Valley NAACP and vice president of the council. of directors of the Finkelstein Memorial Library in Spring Valley.

McWilliams hosted the first Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial service in the county. First Baptist continues to hold a service in King’s honor on the Sunday before the Federal holiday. Former Nyack NAACP president Frances Pratt said that, inspired by McWilliams’ idea, she established a holiday service at Nyack’s Pilgrim Baptist Church, which attracts hundreds of people of different faiths.

Frances Pratt, president of the Nyack branch of the NAACP, appears in a 2012 file photo.

“Let me tell you what this man did, he put Rockland County – black, white, all ethnicities – on the map,” Pratt said.

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“We would be remiss if we didn’t sing Reverend McWilliams’ praises,” Pratt said. “He made Rockland County a beloved community, based on the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King.”

Street recalled how McWilliams supported “out-of-the-box” efforts like poll-watching training and voter registration. When COVID shutdowns hit in March 2020, McWilliams would make sure to be in sanctuary every Sunday for live streaming services.

“We started this immediately,” Street said. Connected devotees. “Thank God for the support of our community who have continued to support our church financially during these terrible times.”

A legacy of helping those in need

First Baptist has a long history of helping those in need, running giving campaigns for the less fortunate, disaster relief efforts around the world, bereavement workshops, and SAT prep classes. McWilliams has established a Christian Education and Cultural Enrichment Center that has additional space for such activities.

Reverend Dr Weldon McWilliams in 2002.

His work on behalf of the community earned McWilliams Jr. Rockland the 2017 Buffalo Soldier Award, given annually to an outstanding black veteran. McWilliams served in the US Army from 1960 to 1962, stationed in Germany.

In December 2001, McWilliams was one of the first recipients of the Rockland County NAACP Image Award.

Pratt said McWilliams’ legacy and lessons should be honored. “If you build relationships, create coalitions and do positive things, positive things will happen.”

Street said amid the accolades, McWilliams has always been there for every devotee “through good and bad.”

“I can’t even imagine how many people he buried, he’s married,” Street said, “how many people he baptized their babies.”

If you are going to

A service: 11 a.m. Sunday, April 24 at First Baptist Church, 6 Rev. Dr. Weldon McWilliams Jr. Way, Spring Valley. Masks are mandatory.

Nancy Cutler writes at People & Policy. Click here for his latest stories. Follow her on Twitter at @nancyrockland.

Live Russian-Ukrainian War Updates: Zelensky Says US Secretary of State Will Visit Kyiv


CHISINAU, Moldova — Before war broke out next door, Moldovans had big plans for their country.

But the Russian invasion of Ukraine has placed Moldova, a former Soviet republic and one of the poorest countries in Europe, in an extremely vulnerable situation, threatening its economic development, straining its society with waves of refugees and evoking existential fears of a new Russian occupation.

The jitters of war also add another chapter to Moldova’s long and increasingly desperate efforts to extricate itself from the clutches of Moscow. In pursuit of this, he recently applied to join the European Union, but the prospect of being admitted anytime soon is remote.

“We are a fragile country in a fragile region,” said Maia Sandu, President of Moldova, in an interview.

Moldovan fears rose again on Friday, when a Russian general said his country’s army now plans to seize the entire southern coast of Ukraine. This would establish a land bridge between Russia in the east and Transnistria, a heavily armed breakaway region east of Moldova – bordering Ukraine – controlled by Russia.

Credit…Cristian Movila for The New York Times

Whether Russia has the means to gobble up such a large swathe of Ukrainian territory is debatable, especially given the huge losses suffered by its army in the Battle of kyiv. But whether it’s real or just an effort to stir up trouble in the region, Moldovans take the general’s threat seriously.

The Moldovan government has long been concerned about Transnistria, a thin strip of territory controlled by at least 12,000 Russian separatists and soldiers. Since the war broke out, the Moldovan and Ukrainian militaries have faced the added concern of whether the Transnistrians would rush into battle and begin attacking Ukraine from the west. So far this has not happened.

Nestled between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is tiny – with less than three million people – and for centuries has been torn between bigger powers: first the Ottomans and Russia, and now Europe. and Russia. The theme, clearly, is Russia, and Russia does not want to let go.

Credit…Cristian Movila for The New York Times

Moscow exercises control over nearly 100% of Moldova’s energy supply. And the Kremlin is constantly trying to excite the many Russian speakers in Moldova who are sensitive to its propaganda, especially in Transnistria.

This seemed to have happened on Friday, when, according to Russian media, Major General Rustam Minnekayev said: “Russian control over southern Ukraine is another route to Transnistria, where there is has cases of Russian speakers. people are oppressed.

The Moldovan government immediately summoned the Russian ambassador to complain about the general’s statement, saying it was “not only unacceptable but also unfounded” and led to “increased tension”.

For Ms Sandu, 49, the country’s first female president, it was another hurdle on a dangerous path she has been trying to navigate since the crisis began.

Moldova has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and banned Moldovans from sticking pro-Russian symbols on their cars. At the same time, the country has not fully adhered to European Union sanctions against Russia for fear of being cut off from Russian gas.

Credit…Cristian Movila for The New York Times

“No one said it would be easy,” Ms Sandu, 49, said from her office on Stefan cel Mare, the capital’s grand boulevard, Chisinau, past a patchwork of towering stylish office buildings Soviet. “But nobody said it was going to be that hard.”

The war has been hard not only for her but for almost everyone here. Before hostilities began, Adrian Trofim, whose family owns a 19th-century wine estate and country resort, thought he was finally getting a break after two years of struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. He was adding a wing to the hotel, setting up a spa focused on wine-based treatments, and preparing to produce sparkling wine.

But now its operations have fallen into jeopardy. Brandy worth a quarter of a million dollars that it needs to ship to Belarus has been stuck in its warehouses. His regular Ukrainian customers have no way of paying him, which is still costing him several hundred thousand dollars. And he can’t ship his chardonnays to China, one of his newest markets, because the port of Odessa, Ukraine, which he uses for his exports, closed as soon as the first bombs fell in February.

Credit…Cristian Movila for The New York Times

“I don’t know what to do,” said Mr. Trofim, who may soon have to lay off nearly half of his staff. “Everything is frozen until we figure out how to live with this situation.”

It might take some time. When the war started in Ukraine, residents of Chisinau said they were woken up by the sound of explosions not so far away. Then Ukrainian refugees began to pour in – more than 400,000 arrived, Moldovan officials said – straining a country’s public services. whose average annual income is less than $6,000.

Commodity prices then spiked as supply chains were disrupted. And business owners have had to persuade their employees, terrified that war might enter Moldova, not to flee the country, following the hundreds of thousands of Moldovans who have moved abroad over the past of the last decade.

Credit…Laetitia Vancon for the New York Times

“We were already considered high risk,” said Carmina Vicol, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Moldova. “We had just started convincing investors to give us a try. Now everyone has backed off.

It’s not all bad news. Some Ukrainian companies are planning to settle in Moldova, in search of a safer environment. And with the arrival of all the foreign dignitaries (and press crews), its international profile has improved, leading the government last month to rebrand Moldova as “a small country with a big heart”.

Many Russians discovered this big heart a long time ago. In Soviet times, retired officers flocked to Moldova, drawn by the scenery, good food and sunshine. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the country was ruled by pro-Russian elites, who maintained close ties with Moscow, especially in energy matters.

Moldova gets all of its gas from companies controlled by Russia. And even though Moldovan leaders have talked about weaning the country off Russian gas and getting energy from other countries like Azerbaijan, Turkey and Romania, none of those, for now, could get closer to what Russia provides.

Credit…Cristian Movila for The New York Times

And so Russia continues to use its grip on gas prices to push Moldova. Russia has hinted, for example, that it would lower prices if Moldova agreed to make concessions on Transnistria, which Moldova refused.

The twin problems of Moldova, energy and Transnistria, are linked. In Soviet times, the largest power plant in Moldova and its two largest gas pumping stations were built in Transnistria.

“If you look at the map, it doesn’t make sense,” said Victor Parlicov, an energy analyst and former government official. “It was built that way in case Moldova tries to go its own way.”

Transnistria has its own flag, with a Soviet-style hammer and sickle, and a separate identity from the rest of Moldova. Its roots date back to the 1920s, when the Soviet Union carved out a small republic for itself in the same region, before incorporating parts of it into the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic during World War II. Mr Parlicov said this fit a pattern of Soviet authorities reshaping the borders of the republics in relation to historical realities, which created the potential for conflict.

The situation in Transnistria mirrors that of Ukraine’s Donbass region, where Russian-backed separatists rebelled after the 2014 anti-Russian rebellion, triggering a series of events that led to war. Transnistria also complicates Moldova’s aspirations to join the European Union.

Credit…Laetitia Vancon for the New York Times

“We would be happy to be part of the EU,” said Serghei Diaconu, deputy interior minister. But, he added, half-jokingly, Transnistria was “a big pain” that could discourage the EU from accepting Moldova.

Joining NATO would be an even bigger order. Neutrality is enshrined in Moldova’s constitution, a holdover from the early 1990s, when it tried to stand its ground without upsetting Russia. Today, Moldova’s leaders question the wisdom of this approach.

“If you ask me if neutrality is going to keep us safe, I don’t know,” said Ms. Sandu, the president. “It hasn’t helped over the past three decades to convince Russia to withdraw its troops from the country.”

The geopolitical tightrope the country is forced to walk on, in the eyes of many Moldovans, means that its future is intertwined with that of Russia. Mr. Trofim, the winemaker, for his part, said almost half of his business depends on Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Looking out over the vast, manicured cellar gardens, empty except for a few visitors, he said he was appalled at what Russia had done in Ukraine, but could not condemn anyone forever.

“I can’t say that I will never do business with Russia,” Mr. Trofim said. “It’s a question of the well-being of my business.”

Credit…Cristian Movila for The New York Times

Vicki Thorn dies; founded the post-abortion healing ministry Project Rachel


MILWAUKEE – Archbishop of Milwaukee Jerome E. Listecki said the life and work of Rachel Project founder Vicki Thorn, who died unexpectedly on April 20, is “living testimony to an unwavering defense and unconditional life at all stages, and at the mercy of God’s love.”

Thorn was 72 years old. The Catholic Herald, the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Journal, reported that she died of a massive heart attack. Funeral arrangements were pending.

As the founder of the post-abortion healing ministry Project Rachel, she single-handedly created a post-abortion healing ministry at a time when none existed. She maintained an office at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for 37 years.

During this time, his ministry expanded across the United States and around the world. Now overseen by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Project Rachel is a diocesan network of specially trained confessor priests, mental health professionals, spiritual directors, and others who provide confidential post-abortion care and continuous.

In an April 20 statement, Bishop Listecki said he and the staff at the pastoral center offered “our deepest condolences” to Thorn’s husband of 50 years, William, and the couple’s six children.

William Thorn is Emeritus Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies/Catholic Media Institute at Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University at Jesuit-run Marquette University.

“Our hearts break as we mourn Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel post-abortion healing ministry, and recipient of the 2021 @NotreDame Evangelium Vitae Medal. May she rest in peace,” the Nicola Center tweeted. for Ethics and Culture from the University of Notre Dame.

Thorn, who was also executive director of the National Office of Abortion Reconciliation and Healing, received the Evangelium Vitae Medal at a mass and banquet in April 2021.

COVID-19 delayed the presentation by a year; she was due to receive the honor in April 2020, but in March of that year the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic.

The annual honor is always announced on Respect Life Sunday, the first Sunday in October, and usually presented the following spring. The award consists of a specially commissioned medal and a $10,000 prize.

Thorn, a certified trauma counselor and spiritual director, started The Rachel Project in 1984 while working in the Respect Life office of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The first training workshop for a small group of participants took place on September 19, 1984.

In a 2021 YouTube video produced by the Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture when Thorn received the Evangelium Vitae Medal, she described the reaction she often received after being featured as a speaker.

“All of a sudden (a) woman will come up to me and she’ll say, ‘Can I give you a hug?’ And she’ll just wrap her arms around me and hug me real tight,” she said. “She’ll whisper in my ear, ‘Thank you.’ And I know the story: she had an abortion and the Rachel project restored her.

She grew up in a very devout Catholic family in Rome, Minnesota. When she was in the first year at Notre-Dame de Lourdes school, she learned something that changed her life: a very close classmate had had an abortion between her second and first year. year, arranged by this classmate’s mother.

“It was a very, very painful experience for her and she was an emotional mess,” Thorn recalled. “All I could do was love her and be with her. But it was a life changing experience – that the abortion was not a non-event. It left huge imprints in someone’s life and left tremendous pain.

“I kept thinking what could we do?” How could we help him? And then I understood that we could offer advice to people who were having an abortion,” she said. This led her to start the Rachel Project for women and men who have lost children through abortion. “There were so many people who knew someone who was injured that it spread like wildfire.”

Mary Hallan FioRito, Cardinal Francis George Fellow at the Nicola Center, described Thorn “as the heart of the pro-life movement.”

“She is someone who is able to see Christ in every person she meets,” she said. “She’s really developed a whole new way not only for the Catholic Church, but also for other denominations around the world, to look at the issue of abortion, to see how you meet a woman where she needs to. be able to help him. … And that’s what it’s all about.

Thorn “saw the need to bring together the spiritual component of healing with the psychological component,” Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, then chairman of the bishops’ pro-life committee, said in the video.

“It helped the church see more clearly that women are the second victims of abortion. She had this call, this unique call to help the church do this essential part better – to communicate the mercy of God,” he said.

Thorn is the author of “Progetto Rachele, il volto della compassione” (“Project Rachel, the face of compassion”), published in 2009 by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana. She has written numerous articles and spoken internationally about the Rachel Project and the effects of the consequences of abortion on women, men and family members and the post-abortion healing process.

Together with her husband, she was inducted in 2008 into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. In 2009, she received the People of Life Award from the USCCB for her pro-life service to the Catholic Church, and in 2017 Pope Francis reappointed her as a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for the life. She was first appointed to the academy in 2011.

Thorn had a psychology degree from the University of Minnesota. She was an American Academy of Bereavement-trained grief facilitator and a Resolve Through Sharing-certified perinatal loss facilitator.

She earned her trauma counseling certification at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and was a longtime member of the Prenatal and Perinatal Health and Psychology Association.

Additionally, she has written and spoken about the sociological changes in society since 1960 and the “spiritual and psychological wounds” carried by Generation X and Generation Y as a result of these changes. She has also written about the role of stress in making abortion decisions and about ways to help women with pregnancies in crisis.

Lately, she had given presentations to groups of high school students, college students, and groups of adults on her recent research on the topic of “the biology of the theology of the body.”

Thorn was a member of St. Catherine Parish in Milwaukee. Besides her husband and children, she is survived by 19 grandchildren.

“We, as Christians, as Catholics, are called, I think, to be evangelists but also … to be involved in really caring for people,” Thorn said in the Nicola Center video. “God’s mercy is greater than anything we can do and for us to be able to promote God’s mercy to people who are really, really emotionally hurt is so important.

“But it’s this importance of recognizing that God is there for everyone and that there is nothing greater that we can do that is greater than God’s grace and mercy.”

Knights of Columbus Helps Church Get New Feature – Macomb Daily


“Larry Land” and its community garden at St. Louis Catholic Church will soon have a Stations of the Cross, thanks in part to Knights of Columbus Council 11658 St. Hubert-St. Round table of Louis.

The council was incorporated with St. Hubert’s Catholic Church in Harrison Township, but now serves both St. Hubert’s Catholic Church and St. Louis’ Catholic Church in Clinton Township.

The beloved deceased pastor of St. Louis Church, Reverend Larry Pettke, was memorialized with dedication by Larry Land, on the church grounds at 24415 Crocker Boulevard. About two acres of land adjacent to the church grounds became available to St. Louis shortly before the priest died in 2019 at the age of 75.

A fall 2020 celebration of him began with an outdoor mass followed by a picnic. There was a dedication to “Father Larry” – who often said, “just call me Larry” – on a 320-pound stone given with a plaque for him.

Linda Knopp, music director of St. Louis Church, is on the Larry Land committee.

“He worked so hard to acquire this land,” she said. “Everyone loved him so much we suggested he be called Larry Land with a sign that said ‘All Welcome.’ That was his philosophy.”

Knopp, a master gardener, led volunteers in planting several gardens with memorial benches and special areas, including a butterfly garden with milkweed for monarch caterpillars, and fennel, dill and parsley for swallowtail caterpillars.

She bought just the right tree for the priest.

“Larry loved the color red, so we had an Autumn Blaze Maple that turns bright red in the fall. He was a big Red Wings fan, too,” Knopp said.

At the dedication, the priest’s parents put dirt around the tree and Reverend Bill Siebert, who was a good friend of “Father Larry”, blessed the dirt. The rock and the tree are at the center of the gardens.

“We had 26 people donate memorial trees,” Knopp said. “We now have lilacs, redbuds and dogwoods and they have engraved plaques showing who they are dedicated to and who donated them.”

Birds frequent the birdbaths and 50 good sized rocks line the perennial garden.

“Last spring, we planted things like tomatoes, peppers, and green beans, and donated those community garden produce to the St. Vincent dePaul Food Pantry right here in St. Louis,” he said. she stated.

Pantry customers can even get meat and also request gas vouchers to get to important appointments, thanks to Pantry check-in.

Larry Land will have a paved road on one side and an integrated walkway leading to a 20-foot cross made by a local craftsman, in preparation for the new Stations of the Cross. Other benches will be added.

“People are constantly there praying or just having lunch,” Knopp said. “Neighbors love it. Anyone can use it. We were going to plant arborvitae but the neighbors asked us not to because they love seeing it and they didn’t want anything blocking their view. C is like a park.”

The next step to improving Larry Land is a Knights of Columbus plan for a prayer walk known as Stations of the Cross.

Stations of the Cross, or Way of the Cross, is a series of 14 icons that depict the Passion of Christ from the time he was condemned by Pontius Pilate to the time he was buried. Icons in such an area can take the form of paintings, sculptures or statues.

Erni Boulos is the public relations director for Council 11658.

“Basically it’s a walk through a maze that has all 14 stations available for prayer,” Boulos said.

“They will be spaced out and there will be seats for people to stop and think. It’s so they can get a little closer to God and bring peace to their own world. It’s a place to be out in the open and allow your faith to come true.

He said plans were being drawn up for the approximately 100 meters of walking space, flowers, lighting and a final design.

“We are Catholic – we formalize everything – but its use is open to everyone’s personal interpretation,” he said. “It’s a collective effort to create this peaceful environment for the community. Fundraising for the stations will be an effort between St. Hubert, St. Louis and the Knights of Columbus.

The parish holds a yard sale that benefits Larry Land. Orders are due by 5 p.m. on May 2; and delivery is May 14. Flowers, herbs and vegetable plants are available at Hessel’s Greenhouse. An empty order is at:

Knights of Columbus Council 11658 St. Hubert-St. Louis Roundtable was a partner in Daniel Kowalke’s Eagle Scout project of placing dog posting stations along the trail along Metro Parkway. (PHOTO SUBMITTED BY ERNI BOULOS)

Knights of Columbus St. Hubert Council 11658 is holding its 26th annual Cy Minnella golf outing on July 9 at Cracklewood Golf Club, 18215 24 Mile Road, Macomb. Prepayment of $100 is recommended for the four-person, 18-hole Scramble format. Registration is at 12:30 p.m. and shotgun start is at 2 p.m. See advice11658.com or call Erni Boulos at 586-747-5565.

This is a fundraiser for Macomb Foster Care Closet. More than 400,000 children are in foster care in the United States and more than 13,000 in Michigan alone. Almost all of these children enter the foster care system with no extra clothes, let alone toys or a favorite blanket.

“What we do as an organization is look for needs to be met and we focus on families,” Boulos said. “Due to the nature of the foster care program, children may end up where they don’t have extra clothing or physical possessions. This puts a lot of pressure on the children to be moved to an unfamiliar environment. The Macomb Foster Care Closet gives foster parents the opportunity to pick up personal hygiene items, clothing, equipment and even toys.

The Knights’ current mission is rooted in the original reason the organization was founded, to care for the families of men who fought and died in wars, “fighting for Christianity,” Boulos said.

“We still have those needs. The children are not technically orphans, but their needs are similar,” he said. “I used to think of the Knights of Columbus as a men’s club, but it’s so much more than I ever imagined. We love doing this stuff for people, including kids with special needs. Most people are familiar with our Tootsie Roll Drive.

The council supports Wertz Warriors, which raises funds for the Michigan Special Olympics.

“We had a family who had their house burnt down and we helped provide support and money. It is the same mission all over the world for our more than two million men in 17,000 councils. We all do the same things,” Boulos said.

When a church worker’s husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the council rallied around his family with various types of support.

Other Knights of Columbus programs are called: Helping Hands, Coats for Kids, Global Wheelchair, Catholic Essay Contest, Disaster Preparedness, Soccer Challenge, and Leave No Neighbor Behind. They support Habitat for Humanity and organize a basketball free throw championship.

Council of the Knights of Columbus 11658 St. Hubert-St. Louis Roundtable hosts a free throw contest at St. Thecla’s Church in Clinton Township, in their gymnasium each January. Winners can move on to state-level contests. (PHOTO SUBMITTED BY ERNI BOULOS)

“For the Ukraine issue, we just gave a few million to the Knights in Poland and Ukraine to support the people there and help the refugees,” he said. “When I talk to a guy from the Knights, I say if you want to be a better man, a better husband and father, if you want to understand yourself better, this is a good place to go. Start by sharing yourself. We teach each other things and show our love for others and our families. We show our solidarity with the priests.

He said there are council members who never show up for meetings, but they participate in projects like Friday fish fries or other events.

Boulos is proud of the international awards the council has received for its work.

“We have accomplished a huge mission for the Knights,” he said. “We do things that matter.”

The American Legion Holds the Blessing of Bicycles

American Legion Riders of American Legion Post 4 is holding its second annual Blessing of the Bikes, from noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 24 at the post at 401 N. Groesbeck Ave., Mount Clemens. It is open to the public to bring their motorcycles to be blessed by the pastor of the Lutheran Church of Ascension, Daniel Simons. There are vendors, raffles, and food to buy. For more information, call 586-201-5597 or 586-567-8964.

Send news from service clubs and veterans organizations to Linda May at [email protected] or call the landline 586-791-8116.

Barrow Co pastor back in pulpit after tough battle with COVID – WGAU


A church in Barrow County received special treatment on Easter Sunday. After four months of battling COVID, her beloved pastor was back in the pulpit.

By all accounts, Zach Adams, 38, is a walking miracle. The doctors and nurses who treated him did not expect him to live, much less return to the work he was called to do: preach.

“I am the pastor of Calvary 316 back from a four month vacation,” he began the sermon. “It was an interesting race.”

After being diagnosed with COVID just after Christmas, Adams was taken by ambulance to a local emergency room in Monroe on January 4, barely able to breathe. He credits paramedics with understanding the seriousness of the situation.

“I can say with 100% certainty that if not for their swift actions, I would have died. These gentlemen saved my life,” he told WSB’s Sandra Parrish.

A few days later, Adams would be transferred to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta where he was put on a ventilator and a coma was induced.

“COVID destroyed me – from my incredibly damaged lungs to… complete kidney failure. Again, I was on the brink of death,” he says.

Her father, also a pastor, asked the doctors what it took to restore hope to the family. She was told her son needed to wake up. And he did it on February 3.

“The doctor immediately tried to temper my family’s expectations. He told my father that even if he lived he would never preach again. He will find it difficult to hold a prolonged conversation. He even said my family should expect me to be on a ventilator for the rest of my life,” says Adams.

But defying those odds, the tracheostomy tube in his neck would eventually be removed and Adams was released from hospital on March 12, breathing on his own. And on Easter Sunday, seated in a chair, he preached to his congregation for the first time since December 19.

“I’m not here outside of a miracle,” he told church members. “So if you need proof of the miraculous power of Jesus Christ, I’m sitting here.”

Adams is still unable to use his arms which fell apart while he was in a coma. That too should heal. When asked why he was allowed to go through this, he replied, “Why not?”.

“I may never know ‘why’ until I get to heaven. But it’s not for me to know why. It’s for me to know that God has a purpose in my life because I’m alive. And if you are alive, there is a purpose,” he says.

For now, Adams will continue to preach and be grateful that his wife has a husband, his children have a father, and he can continue to share God’s word.

“It was inspiring to see how the Lord used a very difficult thing that my family and I went through, to encourage other people and their trials,” he said.

FirstEnergy hopes to run power lines through St. Angela of Merici Parish property in Youngstown


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — We’ve heard a lot about FirstEnergy’s plans to run new power lines from downtown Youngstown to the East Side. Most of the criticism is because the lines would run behind the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater. Eventually, the lines would also pass through the parish of Sainte-Angèle de Merici, and the priest was not happy about it.

St. Angela Merici Parish dominated the East Side of Youngstown for 111 years. But now FirstEnergy wants to erect a utility pole and run power lines through the property.

“They just say in this area, here,” Pastor Kevin Peters said.

Pr. Peters showed us the place – on church property – where the pole would go. The lines would start from Wilson Avenue, go up Gladstone Street and cross Lincoln Park.

“The more conversations we had with people in town and in the neighborhood, it seemed like a bad idea,” the father said. Peters said.

“Lincoln Park is one of the gems of our city,” said Diana Hancharenko, who leads the church’s young adult ministry.

The ministry has been working to clean up Lincoln Park, which is next to the church.

“We pulled hundreds of tires from the ravine here,” Hancharenko said.

The power line proposed by FirstEnergy would cross Lincoln Park, likely requiring the clearcutting of old oak trees.

“Bringing anything that’s going to destroy any of the trees or any of the landscaping that we have right now, I think that would really decimate these beautiful spaces that we have,” Hancharenko said.

Pr. Peters has already declined FirstEnergy’s $5,700 offer for an easement on the St. Angela of Merici land.

“Money doesn’t even become a problem for us. I mean, $5,700 is a pittance,” the father said. Peters said.

He also fears that neighborhood landlords will be taken advantage of if they are offered $5,000.

“There are people here who don’t have money to pay their utility bills and when you present them with an offer to buy an easement, it’s hard for them to refuse,” the father said. Peters said.

Pr. Peters seemed convinced that FirstEnergy would not put power lines here.

“The diocese told us they would support our play 100%. Whatever we have decided at the parish level, they will support it. We do not grant servitude. We are not going to accept it,” the father said. Peters said.

Prof. Peters says the church plans to build greenhouses to grow fresh food for locals along the same path where the power lines would run. He says if the power lines end as planned, the greenhouse plans would have to be scrapped.

Families affected by dangerous payday loans – FOX13 News Memphis


MEMPHIS, Tenn. – FOX13 Investigates focuses on what some have said is the dangerous and tricky nature of payday loans.

They are used by people who need money quickly, but many find themselves unable to pay them back. They can lead to a cycle of indebtedness that, according to one report, primarily affects blacks and browns in Memphis.

A man who was too embarrassed to be publicly identified shared his story with FOX Investigates.

“You have a person reaching out and they’re trying to help you up, but then they put their foot on your shoulder trying to hold you down,” he said. “In this scenario, you will never get out.”

He and his wife said they were stuck in a cycle of financial debt that started with heartbreak and a need for money.

“We had three deaths in the family and we needed time off. And when we left, we were late. So, we thought we had to get it so we could catch up,” he said. He said he and his wife took 15 days off.

He said that was when he saw a TV advert for Advance Financial in Millington.

It’s one of more than 100 so-called high-cost lenders in Memphis and surrounding areas, providing borrowers with quick cash loans at sky-high interest rates of 280 or 460 percent. , amounts permitted by Tennessee state law.

The loan money is recovered by drawing from the borrower’s bank account for regular withdrawals whenever there is money in it, no matter how much money and no matter what other bills he has. requires.

“They didn’t even tell us about the interest rate. They didn’t tell us how much we were going to have to pay back. They didn’t tell us when they were going to start,” he said.

The $1,100 spent on paying off the loan each month was more than his rent.

A new report from the Memphis-based Black Clergy Collaborative and Hope Credit Union, a black-owned bank, sheds light on what the authors call “debt traps.”

The report points out that the loans are, in its view, “marketed as a quick financial solution”, but “instead create a cycle of long-term debt”.

“Just because an individual is poor doesn’t mean you have to exploit that individual,” said Reverend Darrell Harrington, the group’s economic chairman and senior pastor of New Sardis Baptist Church in Memphis.

The study says there are 114 high-cost lenders in Memphis, double the number of McDonald’s and Starbucks combined.

Of the 114 storefronts listed, 65% belong to nine companies located in other states; 51 of them are owned by just two companies.

“Millions of dollars are flowing out of the pockets of those who are more vulnerable than if they weren’t plowed back into the community,” said Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope Credit Union, which offers loans with up to 18% interest. . designed to help borrowers rebuild their credit.

“Unless they provide services at a responsible and not 400% affordable rate…they shouldn’t be allowed to operate,” Bynum said.

Visit the Hope Credit Union website here

Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts on breaking news in your neighborhood.


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Unraveling the mystery of the relics – Catholic World Report

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan kisses a reliquary containing a relic of Blessed Carlo Acutis after receiving it from Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino, Italy, during mass at Holy Church Rita de Cascia in the South Bronx, NY, April 7, 2022. Cardinal Dolan accepted the reliquary on behalf of the U.S. Episcopal Committee for Evangelism and Catechesis. The committee is spearheading a three-year Eucharistic revival for the American church, and Catholics will have the opportunity to venerate the relic as part of the revival. (CNS Photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

There have been reports in the news lately of relics arriving on American soil.

  • On April 3, a relic of Blessed Carlos Acutis, the first millennium to be beatified, arrived in New York. The relic is a fragment of the pericardium of Acutis, the tissue that surrounds and protects the heart, and was transported from Italy by Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi. He has since been venerated in several dioceses and will remain in the United States throughout the American Bishops’ Multi-Year National Eucharistic Revival, for which Blessed Carlos has been appointed intercessor. Acutis, a young computer geek who had a deep devotion to the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, created a website that documented Eucharistic miracles around the world. He died of leukemia in 2006 at the age of fifteen, and he was beatified by Pope Francis on October 10, 2020.
  • Also of interest to the Catholic world, for the first time relics of Saint Bernadette de Soubiroux, including a rib, arrived in the United States from France. Bernadette was only fourteen in 1858, when Our Lady appeared to her eighteen times in the grotto of Massabielle, near Lourdes. Between April 7 and August 4 of this year, the relics will be venerated in more than 30 churches across the United States, all dedicated to either Saint Bernadette or Our Lady of Lourdes.

For Catholics, it is easy to grant legitimacy to relics and welcome the opportunity to pray near the earthly remains of a saint. For Protestants and non-believers, however, the idea of ​​praying with a body part of a deceased saint can be a stumbling block. On social media and in person, I’ve seen the backlash from non-believers recently. An explanation is in order!

What exactly is a relic?

There are three different types of relics:

  • First Class Relics are elements directly associated with events in the life of Christ (the manger, the cross, etc.), or the physical remains of a saint (a bone, a hair, a skull, a limb, etc.)
  • A Second Class Relic is an item that was worn by a saint (like a shirt or glove), or that the saint owned or used frequently (like a crucifix or a book).
  • A Third Class Relic is an item that is touched to a first or second class relic. Most third-class relics are small pieces of cloth.

Relics from the life of Christ include, most famously, the Shroud of Turin but also the Sudarium of Oviedo, the cloth that was laid over Jesus’ head in the tomb. This cloth is referenced in John 20:6-7, which describes the strips left after Jesus’ resurrection:

And so Simon Peter came also, following him, and entered into the sepulchre; and he saw the linen strips laying there, and the washcloth that had been on his head, not lying with the linen strips, but rolled up in a separate place.

Pieces of the True Cross are among the most prized first-class relics. Many churches claimed to have a piece of it, so many that John Calvin once noticed there were enough pieces of the True Cross to build a ship. However, Calvin’s claim was refuted in an 1870 study which found that all known pieces of the cross, if put together, would weigh less than 1.7 kg – far less than the cross would have weighed. .

Is praying with a relic just a Catholic superstition?

Many Protestants oppose the idea of ​​venerating the relics of saints. “Isn’t that just a little superstition?” they ask. Actually no.

First, let’s clarify what a relic is do not: The Church does not attribute any “magical power” to relics. There is nothing in the relic itself – be it a bone of the apostle Peter, a piece of clothing or the water from Lourdes – that has any healing capacity. Only God can heal. However, Catholics believe that relics can be of help, that God can work through a relic to heal the sick or perform a miracle. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit can affect the physical body, and God can perform miracles through the bodies of deceased saints.

A second important point is that Catholics in no way “venerate” relics.

Saint Jerome wrote: “We do not adore, we do not adore, lest we prostrate ourselves before the creature rather than before the creator, but we venerate the relics of the martyrs the better to adore him whose martyrs they are. are.”

So why does the Church encourage its members to pray before relics?

Because in this, as in all things, the Church follows the Scriptures. From the Old Testament, it was demonstrated that the relics of the deceased possessed a power that certainly comes from God.

One of the first verses that shows the effectiveness of relics is found in the Old Testament book of the Second Kings (2 Kings 13:20-21). The prophet Elisha was dead and his body had been buried. In the spring of the year, an invading band of Moabites were burying a man of their tribe when they came across the tomb of Elisha. The Moabites threw the deceased into the tomb, on the bones of Elisha; and as soon as he touched the bones, the man was revived and stood on his feet.

In another example from the New Testament (Matthew 9:20-22), the bleeding woman was healed by simply touching the hem of Christ’s garment.

Also in the New Testament, Acts 19:11-12 tells the story of Paul’s handkerchiefs, which were imbued by God with healing power:

And God worked extraordinary miracles through the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were taken from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and evil spirits came out of them.

Interestingly, the late and famous evangelical preacher Billy Graham adopted Paul’s custom – sending his followers “prayer handkerchiefs” that he had prayed over.

So if you reject the idea of ​​using relics in Christian prayer, then you should also reject all of these examples from Scripture. In fact, you should be wondering why in the world Mary Magdalene and the women would ever seek to anoint the Body of Christ after his death by crucifixion. Yet you would be wrong to simply dismiss out of hand the possibility of God’s abundant grace flowing from the relics of his beloved saints.

Finally, can relics be bought or sold?

A quick check of E-bay reveals several relics, real or supposed, that are offered for sale, sometimes for hundreds of dollars. The Catholic Church, however, strictly prohibits the sale of relics. The Code of Canon Law states:

§1190 §1 – “It is absolutely forbidden to sell sacred relics.”

§1190 §2 – “Relics of great importance and other relics honored with great veneration by the people cannot be validly alienated in any way or permanently transferred without the authorization of the Apostolic See.”

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The Church of the Good Shepherd celebrates one year | Sioux Center News


SIOUX CENTER—A week ago on Sunday, children waved palm branches as they walked past rows of people seated in chairs set up in the cafeteria at Kinsey Elementary School.

They formed a single file in front of the Good Shepherd congregation, continuing to wave their palm branches and shout “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Most High” to the jubilation of the congregation.

Palm Sunday marked a week after the first anniversary of the Sioux Center’s new church, Good Shepherd, led by Reverend Travis Else of the Sioux Center.

In the spring of 2021, a number of Sioux Center families came together with a desire to start something new. Nearly 150 people attended the informal meeting led by Pastor Else, Mark Hulshof and other steering committee members. Shortly after, the first Good Shepherd church service was held.

Channon Visscher of Sioux Center sings during the first service of Good Shepherd Church at Sioux Center on April 18, 2021. The newest church in the community celebrated its first anniversary on Easter Sunday, April 17.

According to its website, “After a year of pandemic-related disruption, denominational upheaval, and what we thought was Holy Spirit-fueled discontent, the Church of the Good Shepherd was born. Our hope was to create an intentional community of simple, Christ-centered, Holy Spirit-led, historically grounded Christian worship, mission and service, committed to representing the kingdom of God and blessing our wider community.

“The first time we met was like sending out invitations to a party not knowing who was going to show up,” said Hulshof, who is also the vice principal of Sioux Center High School and the school district’s athletic director. He and his wife, Jill, a teacher at Sioux Center Middle School, attend with their two sons Ty and Reed. Jill is an elder on the church board.

Looking for a church building, Hulshof said, “We didn’t know where to worship, we just knew we had a group of people who were looking for something different.

The steering committee settled on Kinsey Elementary, where the church still worships. The 10 ha Sunday service is held in the cafeteria and the classrooms are used for Sunday school after the service.

The first church service was held using folding chairs, and although the chairs have faced four different walls over the past year, the folding chairs and structure of the Good Shepherd have remained the same.

Church of the Good Shepherd 3

Aaron Baart, a board member of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Sioux Center, offers communion to members of the congregation during the Palm Sunday service, April 10.

The Church of the Good Shepherd is liturgical. Each member of the congregation actively participates with a 16-page pamphlet that includes the structure of the day’s church service: call and response readings, prayers, music, scripture, and the Apostles’ Creed. The church body also comes to the table every Sunday to participate in communion.

Before Communion began on April 10, the congregation pronounced the Apostles’ Creed in unison. After a prayer, they recited the Our Father in unison. Then they sang “Sanctus,” preparing to feast at the Lord’s Table.

Pastor Else broke a loaf of bread and recited the words of Jesus at the Last Supper:

“On the night he was betrayed our Lord Jesus Christ took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body given for you.

Else picked up a cup and poured her juice into another cup.

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood: do it every time you drink it in remembrance of me,” Else said.

Afterwards, the elders and deacons came forward to prepare and administer the elements. They stood in four groups of two, one council member holding a plate of small portions of bread and the other holding a cup of grape juice. The worship team played and sang “Jesus, Strong and Kind” as the congregation, in their time, walked up to a group of two council members, grabbed a piece of bread and dipped it in the juice before eating it.

“This is the body of God, broken for you. His blood shed for you,” council members said to each attendee as attendees took part in the Lord’s Supper.

The service ended with the doxology and a blessing.

“We’re all participating,” said Sioux Center resident John Baas. The Good Shepherd church member is also Vice President of Advancement at Dordt University. “The more we do these things over and over, the more we internalize them, so that we can go through the same liturgies throughout our week.”

Baas occasionally runs the Sunday school for adults, Right Paths. When he’s not leading, he always attends and enjoys the discussion.

High school and middle school Sunday schools meet in the gymnasium and library, respectively. The younger children attend Sunday School, Kingdom Families, with their parents.

Nancy Franken of the Sioux Center recently started a night of prayer where Good Shepherd members pray together while the church board meets. Baas attended the night of prayer and led the week after Palm Sunday.

Recently, Good Shepherd formed a ministry team to research the possibility of hosting an Afghan refugee family. Samaritan’s Purse approved the Good Shepherd to resettle a family, and the church entered a waiting phase. They are open to the resettlement of an Afghan or Ukrainian family. During the waiting process, the ministry team works to find different outreach opportunities at Sioux Center.

“We can’t wait to go to church,” Baas said. “And when church is over, we’re more glad we went than we looked forward to going.”

Church of the Good Shepherd 4

The Good Shepherd Church of Sioux Center meets in the cafeteria at Kinsey Elementary School. The church celebrated its first anniversary on Easter Sunday, April 17.

The church maintained 150-200 weekly attendees but expanded into other areas.

“Tonight we have a group of people praying at Nancy’s house, we have a church council going on… At this meeting we have a young woman making a profession of faith. And a high school student meets a youth worker to make his profession of faith,” Hulshof said. “It’s exciting to see our little dream come to fruition, just a normal night at Sioux Center.”

Zac VanderLey from Seattle, WA is a senior high school major at Dordt University at Sioux Center. After graduating in May, he will teach high school English at Seattle Christian School next year. He attended Good Shepherd Church in his senior year in Dordt.

After nearly half a century, Mormon Washington Temple reopens to public


KENSINGTON, United States (AFP) — Like something out of a science fiction novel, with its six golden spiers and pristine white walls rising above the surrounding trees, the Mormon Temple in Washington DC has been intriguing for decades people denied access.

Their curiosity will soon be satisfied, however, since for the first time in almost half a century, the temple will open its doors to the general public this month.

The building, one of the most mysterious in the U.S. capital, is usually only open to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for whom family, chastity, and missionary work are central values.

People feel like what we’re doing inside is a secret, but as you saw today, it’s just sacred. It’s very sacred to us,” he told AFP Kevin Duncan, senior Church official.

At a media open house on Monday, the temple welcomed nonmembers for the first time since its 1974 dedication.

Visitors had to put on white slippers to see the plush, luxurious interior with its immaculate thick carpets and golden surfaces.

A wall shows depictions of the apostles inside the Visitor Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kensington, Maryland, near Washington, DC on a rare open house, April 18, 2022. (Eva Hambach/AFP)

The last time the public was allowed to cross the threshold, 750,000 people, according to the Church, had thronged the site in Kensington, Maryland, a few miles outside Washington proper. Among them was then First Lady Betty Ford.

The temple closed in 2018 for renovations and was due to reopen in 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the schedule.

Baptisms for the dead

Future visitors should book free tickets to enter the site from late April to early June.

Inside they can experience the rituals of the Church, where as soon as members enter what they consider to be one of Earth’s holiest places, they shed their street clothes to dress in white.

“It’s a reset. A symbol of equality, of purity,” said David Bednar, one of the Church’s 12 Apostles, who came from Utah for the occasion.

The curious can also visit the baptistery, where a small basin is mounted on the backs of 12 life-size white marble bulls representing the 12 tribes of Israel.

In the Mormon faith, baptism by immersion inside the temple is reserved for the dead.

A statue of Jesus Christ is seen inside the Visitor Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kensington, Maryland, near Washington, DC on a rare open house , April 18, 2022. (Eva Hambach/AFP)

The church allows its flock to be baptized in the name of their ancestors, and it is then up to the souls of the departed – if they exist, and the church firmly believes that they do – whether or not to accept the “gift”. “.

Ordinary baptisms take place in other buildings.

Among other spaces in the sprawling temple is the “Sealing Hall,” where marriages are performed (or “sealed”) around a white marble altar covered in beige velvet.

Unions are exclusively between a man and a woman and are deemed to last not just for a lifetime but until death, because “the family is essential to the plan of the Father,” Bednar said.

Family ties between parents and children can also be “sealed” for eternity during a ceremony in these same halls.

The Church says it expects to welcome several hundred thousand visitors during its open house period.

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German Bishop Responds to Open Letter Criticizing Synodal Way, Says No Danger of Schism


WASHINGTON (CNS) — The head of the German bishops’ conference responded to an open letter from more than 70 bishops from four continents and expressed surprise at some of their words — and their silences.

Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German Bishops’ Conference, thanked the bishops for their April 11 letter and said he was glad the bishops are taking the process of the German synod path seriously. But he assured them that “the Synodal Way in no way undermines the authority of the Church, including that of Pope Francis, as you write.”

In a letter dated April 14 and posted on the website of the German Bishops’ Conference, the Bishop of Limburg reminded Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver and other signatories of letters from North America, to Africa, Italy and Australia that the decision to embark on the synodal meeting The path was to confront the systemic causes of the abuse and its concealment. He said it was “our attempt to renew a credible proclamation of the Good News.”

“This occasion and this context are particularly important to us, but, unfortunately, this is not mentioned at all in your letter. I would, however, be very surprised if you and the signatories of the open letter do not see the importance of the need to address the issue of abuse as a church and draw implications for the church and its structures.

Bishop Bätzing said it was important to speak openly about power and the abuse of power in the Church.

“Disguising yourself as an understatement, like you try to do in your letter, doesn’t really help.”

“Disguising yourself as an understatement, as you try to do in your letter, doesn’t really help,” the bishop said. “Unfortunately, such abuses of power – also on the part of the episcopal authorities – are not only a thing of the past, but also occur in the present and lead to massive violations of the rights and personal integrity of the faithful and The participation of the faithful in decision-making at all levels of ecclesiastical action (this is what we mean when we speak of the separation of powers) will in no way harm the authority of the office. hierarchical, it will give him a newly founded acceptance among the people of God, I am sure.”

The open letter to the Germans was signed by 49 bishops from the United States, four from Canada, 19 Africans, one Italian and one Australian, Cardinal George Pell. Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, South African Cardinal Wilfred Napier and American Cardinal Raymond L. Burke were among the signatories. The letter noted that “events in one nation inevitably impact church life elsewhere.”

He raised seven criticisms, including “not listening to the Holy Spirit and the Gospel”, relying more on “contemporary sociological and political analysis, including gender, ideologies” than on Scripture and Tradition. , and being too focused on “power” and “autonomy.”

“The Synodal Path process, at almost every stage, is the work of experts and committees,” the letter says, calling the process “bureaucratic heavy, obsessively critical and introverted.”

“In its effect, the Synodal Way displays more submission and obedience to the world and ideologies than to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour,” he said.

The synodal path includes forums in which issues are discussed and assemblies in which the people in the forums report and proposals are discussed and voted on. Certain texts must not only receive the approval of more than two-thirds of all the delegates, clerics and laity, but must also receive the approval of more than two-thirds of the bishops.

Bishop Bätzing said the whole synodal process was organized around Mass and prayer. He noted that because of the process, it “sometimes requires focused work on texts and resolutions, integrated into discussions, publications and media formats.”

The Synodal Way is not oriented towards ephemeral sociological theories or secular ideologies, but towards the central sources of knowledge of the faith.

He referred the signatories of the letter to the guidance text on the Synodal Path website.

“The Synodal Way, as described in detail in the Orientation Text, is not oriented towards ephemeral sociological theories or secular ideologies, but towards the central sources of knowledge of the faith: Scripture and Tradition. , the magisterium and theology, as well as the sense of faith of believers and the signs of the Gospel interpreted in the light of the Gospel.This fundamental orientation, in careful theological reflection, determines the deliberations of the Synodal Way”.

For this reason, he said that no one can think that the Catholic Church in Germany is in danger of becoming schismatic.

Concerns about the synodal path creating divisions and responding to the pressures of the times are some of the main issues cited by Nordic and Polish bishops, who have publicly expressed their concerns.

But on several occasions, Bishop Bätzing said the German Church was doing exactly what Pope Francis asked the country’s Catholics in 2019, which was to embark on a “spiritual journey asking for the guidance of the Holy -Mind”.

The German bishops are well aware of the concerns of other conferences about the direction their synodal path is taking. Bishop Bätzing admitted that there are widely divergent opinions on issues such as blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples or the ordination of women as deacons or priests.

The German Catholic news agency KNA reported that he had pledged that the bishops would submit all synodal reform decisions that can only be implemented at the level of the universal Church to the global synodal process launched by Pope Francis in preparation for the 2023 synod of bishops on synodality. Bishop Bätzing reiterated in his April 14 letter that certain proposed changes must be submitted to the universal Church.

– – –

Greg Erlandson contributed to this story.

Get Instant Same Day Payday Loans Online in California –


California is a great place to live thanks to its warm climate and endless beaches. Each city in the state has its particular vibes. At the same time, some people find the cost of living quite expensive here. No wonder so many people struggle to cover bills like mortgage, rent, and utilities.

Online payday loans same day deposit in California can be a great solution to make ends meet. In fact, they may be a reasonable option for resolving issues according to state law.

If you are interested in any type of cash advance, you should read the information below. This will help you make the right decision.

What is a payday loan?

A payday loan is a short term loan which aims to help you cover your sudden expenses until you receive your next paycheck. The best thing about it is access to quick cash. It can be easily deposited directly into your bank account after approval.

An average payday loan ranges from $100 to $500, although some lenders may have different limits. This is something you should check with the selected lender before submitting a loan application to them.

What are payday lenders in California?

All same day instant payday loans online in California are provided by direct lenders. These private financial institutions offer short-term loans that must be covered with interest and fees in a short period of time. This can be very beneficial as it helps people avoid certain problems.

Some lending companies are accused of selling their customers’ personal data. And this is not a joke. They give scam calls and send scam emails to irritate their customers. In the case of payday loans, this can never be a real problem. In California, direct lenders do not let third parties get involved in the whole process. Thus, all data remains between the direct lenders and their customers. Above all, it is always kept safe.

Using Online Payday Loans in California

Direct lenders aren’t the only perks granted by the moment bad credit loans guaranteed approval. These short term loans are incredibly convenient as you don’t have to go anywhere to get the cash. It can all be done from the comfort of your home. All you have to do is visit the lender’s website, fill out an online form, get approved, and wait for the money to arrive in your bank account.

You don’t need to spend hours trying to find a loan. Plus, there is a smart guide that will help you apply for payday loans in California.

You must also have a clear understanding of this type of loan service. As soon as your form is completed, you will have to wait several minutes for a response. In addition, you must sign your loan agreement. The requested cash amount will be sent to your bank account within one business day.

California fast payday loans are to be availed with no credit check and no paperwork. Many people who cannot receive cash advances from other direct lenders usually have poor credit histories. Online payday loans happen to be a great loan service because no one cares about your financial past. Direct lenders review the employment status of borrowers to ensure applicants are able to afford a loan. Bad credit loans can still be fully covered on the due date.

How to apply for a payday loan online in California?

A few requirements for payday loans should be considered before submitting an application. apply for a loan from direct lenders. Here are the most common:

  • Social security number or identity card;
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What is the value of online payday loans in California?

For every $100 borrowed, you will need to repay approximately $18. Let’s say that if you borrow the amount of $100, you will have to repay the amount of $118. The same day instant payday loan online in California has an annual percentage rate (APR) of 450% and more.

The APR deals with the total value of your covered loan as an annual rate. Check if the actual loan APR could be higher or lower. In most cases, it is estimated based on the actual amount you want to borrow and the repayment game you are committing to.

‘Flower The Cross’ tradition at Wetumpka Baptist Church is a community favorite – Elmore-Autauga News




Editor’s Note: Dr. Troglen is a former Wetumpka Baptist pastor.

WETUMPKA — Twenty years ago at Easter, a new pastor brought to Wetumpka First Baptist Church a new Easter tradition — Flower the Cross. It became a tradition of First Baptist Wetumpka and has continued uninterrupted for the past 20 years. Today Pastor Clint Landry.

Flower the Cross has become a highlight for the entire Wetumpka community. The idea is very simple: erect a simple and rough wooden cross representing the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Dark reflection on the days preceding Easter.

On Easter Sunday the congregation is asked to bring cut flowers to church with them and they are placed on the cross until it is covered. The cross then becomes a symbol of Easter and the resurrection. A dead and simple cross suddenly comes alive with beauty and life on Easter morning. It has become a big problem at FBC Wetumpka and church members, along with their families, have their pictures taken in front of the cross. You could say it has become a new tradition at the church.

Families from other local churches often come to the First Baptist Cross to have their picture taken as well. What a joyful way to celebrate the harsh reality of the cross with the beauty of the resurrection.

We wish all our readers a blessed and joyful Easter.

The city opens the invocations to all


HEART OF ALENE — Pastor Aaron Richner of The Cause Church opened the April 5 city council meeting with a prayer.

“Lord Jesus, we love you so much. We love you because you first loved us,” he said. “We love your big name.”

Richner went on to say that the beginning of wisdom was found in the fear of the Lord and prayed that “we would walk in that fear of the Lord, that awe, that reverence, and that worship.”

He concluded by praying for the city and “everyone this council influences”.

“God, I pray for your blessing, your strengthening and your protection and yes, your wisdom on every member of this governing body. And I pray, God, that they’ll even know you personally, that you’ll continue to fill them with your Holy Spirit, to lead them and guide them.

An invocation, dating at least from 1970, opened the meetings of the municipal council.

And for nearly two decades, the pastors who lead these invocations have been members of the local ministerial association, which manages the invocation calendar.

That’s about to change.

The city recently created an online registration where a person can sign up to lead the invocation.

The May 3 meeting will be led by John Pulsipher with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is not a member of the Kootenai County Ministerial Association.

Coeur d’Alene Mayor Jim Hammond said several council members asked about opening the invocation to churches and pastors who are not part of the Ministerial Association, a Christian organization.

He agreed to try it.

“We give them the opportunity to move forward,” he said.

Hammond said there were no complaints from religious leaders that they could not lead the invocation. He said he had just agreed to be open to all faiths.

“We see if it works,” he said.

The rest of the summoning slots have already been used up until the end of the year. All were taken away by Christian church pastors soon after the city opened.

Paul Van Noy is president of the Ministerial Association which has about 50 members. He has programmed pastors for the invocation for nearly 20 years and worries about the change and its potential impact on the city.

“My greatest concern is that the invocation is indeed an invitation to the Lord for his presence, leadership and guidance in our community,” he said. “It is an invitation and a request from the Lord to impart wisdom and guidance to our council members.”

Van Noy said he was asked to program occultists and cult leaders and refused.

“Who we invoke becomes very important to me,” Van Noy said. “If a person invokes another god, a different spirit, that’s a problem.”

Van Noy said he opposed “the summoning of a spirit in our community and on our council members who might be an unclean spirit, a false Jesus.”

Council members Dan English, Christie Wood and Dan Gookin support opening the invocations to all religions.

Wood said she appreciates the ministry association’s prayers and blessings over the years, but said the change was positive “because by design it is inclusive and will allow more churches to participate. “.

She said she looks forward to many different religions sharing their message through prayer.

“The upside is that our citizens will see their pastors and religions represented, and feel the inclusion that a government entity must provide,” Wood wrote.

English shared similar comments.

“My sense is that the intent is to provide the opportunity to give the opening blessing or prayer to a wider range of churches which would likely include other denominations,” he wrote.

English said many churches are not members of the evangelical association.

“It may have been more representative of our local church community in the past, but I don’t think it is today,” he wrote. “I don’t see any downside to the change other than some might wonder why have an opening prayer at all for a secular event.”

Gookin agreed.

“I think we need to hear more from different types of pastors and religions in the region,” he said.

He said it would be great if the city followed Congress’ lead and had different denominations lead the invocation.

Gookin said he asked former mayors to open up the invocation to other faiths, but preferred to let the Ministerial Association deal with it.

“I commend the mayor for making this change,” he said.

The only problem Gookin saw was if someone claiming to be a preacher signed up for the invocation and then “starts spouting something out which can be a little surprising”.

Pastor Ron Hunter said he has been involved in planning invocations in the past.

“I inherited it when I got here,” Hunter said. “The city council did not want to be responsible for making religious decisions.”

While some might see the summoning as a ritual, Hunter said it was much more.

“Those of us who believe in God don’t see it that way,” he said. “Invoking someone’s name is a great thing.”

The invocation is not a time to preach or do gospel work, Hunter said, but to bless city leaders and ask God for wisdom.

Hunter said opening up the summoning to all religions could result in a witch casting a spell over the town during the summoning.

“Does this help us?” He asked.

Renata McLeod, director of municipal services and city clerk of Coeur d’Alene, said invocations are mentioned in meeting minutes dating back to at least 1970.

The city sent letters in late March to churches within the city limits inviting pastors to register on the city’s website to lead an invocation.

The letter stated that the intention of the invocation “is to provide a blessing to the meeting and its leaders within 1-3 minutes at the start of the meeting.”

The city does not review or require the submission of invocations prior to the meeting, but does provide guidelines:

  • The invocations may contain sectarian language – in other words, the prayer may be specific to a religion, faith, person, etc.
  • An invocation must not seek to proselytize (convert) anyone.
  • An invocation must not denigrate other religions.
  • An invocation should not threaten those who hold different beliefs with hell, damnation or other punishment.
  • An invocation must not be politically biased.
  • Invocations should be solemn and respectful.

Van Noy said he was disappointed, but not surprised, by the city’s decision to open invocations to all religions.

“Our city officials apparently don’t believe that invocation does indeed seek the leadership and presence of the Lord — or they wouldn’t ask for a more inclusive approach,” he said. “A more inclusive approach can invoke the presence of the so-called deity they pray to or otherwise communicate with.

“The ramification and consequences could have devastating results in our community,” Van Noy said.

Scott County man arrested after causing 20,000 damage to church


Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – Scott County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Josh Barbee responded to a call from Winfield Baptist Church and Cemetery on Tuesday, April 12.

Upon arriving at the scene, the tombstones in the cemetery were knocked down and the stained glass windows in the church were smashed. The church was able to access footage from their cameras covering the grounds.

Trevor M. Tucker, 30, of Winfield was identified on camera trying to enter the church and using a rock to smash the windows. Deputy Daniel Garrett and Sergeant Chris Russell located and placed Tucker under arrest for vandalism over $20,000.

Scott County Sheriff Ronnie Phillips said he was pleased with his team’s response and follow-up.

“This incident sickens every good citizen of Scott County,” Phillips said. “The desecration of sacred church property is something none of us can understand.”

How the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church spread around the world – Catholic World Report

Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, Eparchial Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London, England. / Mazur/cbcew.org.uk.

Rome Newsroom, April 15, 2022 / 06:00 (CNA).

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) came to the world’s attention after Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine in February. But many Western Catholics know little about the turbulent history of the largest of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with Rome.

The year 1946 was a turning point for Ukrainian Greek Catholics. From March 8 to 10 of that year, a gathering known as the “Lviv pseudo-synod” took place. Under intense pressure from the Soviet authorities, the synod declared the UGCC to be under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Ukrainian Greek Catholics faced a stark choice: merge with the Moscow Patriarchate or face persecution. Almost all UGCC members have chosen persecution and many have left Ukraine.

The UGCC remained true to its identity between 1946 and 1981, the year Pope John Paul II promoted the first meeting of Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishops in Rome since the beginning of the Diaspora.

Spreading around the world, the UGCC has preserved the Ukrainian language and traditions, preserving the memory of its history.

So when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1989, it was ready to reestablish itself in its homeland. It has since become a key point of reference for Ukrainians around the world.

The consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family in London, March 25, 2022. Mazur/cbcew.org.uk.
The consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family in London, March 25, 2022. Mazur/cbcew.org.uk.

Communities from Australia to Argentina

Along with the other 22 Eastern Catholic Churches, the UGCC is sui iuris, or autonomous, but in full communion with the pope. It is headed by a major archbishop and has a synodal structure.

The historical roots of the UGCC are closely tied to Eastern Orthodoxy. It regards the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople as the mother Church and formally joined Rome in the Union of Brest in 1595. Today it has dozens of eparchies spread across four continents.

In addition to its Ukrainian territory, it now has archeparchies in Canada, the United States and Brazil, as well as an eparchy in Argentina and another in Australia, which are suffragans of the Latin Rite archdioceses of the city in which they are established. .

There is also an administration in Poland and eparchies in France and Britain, as well as one that includes Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and a recently established exarchate in Italy.

The Church takes the pastoral care of its members around the world seriously: in 2020, a Bishop was appointed to work full-time with the UGCC Migration Ministry office.

Bishop Andrey Sheptytsky.
Bishop Andrey Sheptytsky.

A visionary leader

All this is the legacy of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky. He led the UGCC from 1901 to 1944, through two wars, the Communist revolution and Soviet repression.

When Sheptytsky began his tenure, the UGCC had only three eparchies in western Ukraine under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Sheptytsky was the first to take pastoral trips to visit the faithful in all parts of the globe, doing everything necessary to send priests and bishops to care for them.

He visited Russia in 1907 and 1912, as well as Belarus. He creates an apostolic vicariate in Bosnia. In 1907 he was appointed bishop of the Greek Catholic Church in the United States, and in 1912 he was called to care for the Ukrainian community in Canada.

Sheptytsky used popular language and made himself understood. It also granted scholarships to young Ukrainian artists so that they could be trained in the best European institutions.

Between the two world wars, Sheptytsky worked to develop the UGCC. On his initiative, the Greek-Catholic Theological Academy in Lviv was founded in the late 1920s.

During the Second World War, Sheptytsky raises the problem of the union of all Ukrainian Christians around the patriarchate of kyiv and in continuity with Rome. Accordingly, he called the first meeting of Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishops in Rome in 1929.

It is no coincidence that Ukrainian Greek Catholics dream of the canonization of Metropolitan Sheptytsky. His beatification process began and his heroic virtues were recognized in 2015.

His beatification would be a symbolic gesture of recognition for a Church that suffered in silence during the war and then emerged from the catacombs.

When she appeared, she initially faced a lot of hostility and struggled to get her churches back, which were confiscated under the Stalinist regime.

The consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family in London, March 25, 2022. Mazur/cbcew.org.uk.
The consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family in London, March 25, 2022. Mazur/cbcew.org.uk.

A remarkable catechism

If today the UGCC is global, it is also partly thanks to the publication of “Christ – Our Easter”, a catechism specifically created for Ukrainian Greek Catholics. The catechism was innovative because it did not simply adapt the texts of Latin Rite catechisms – a practice which, according to UGCC Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, created “doctrinal Latinization”.

“Christ – Our Passover” is an original catechism in which the primacy of Peter is confessed in an oriental way, according to, in the words of Shevchuk, “the Byzantine vision of the catholicity of the Church as a communion of local Churches, guaranteed and promoted by the Successor of Peter as a visible bulwark and supreme servant of the universal communion of the Church of Christ.

In 2019, the bishops of the UGCC decided to survey the faithful around the world to understand what binds them to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The vast majority said they identify with Eastern spirituality and the tradition of the Kyiv Church.

This observation prompted Shevchuk to say: “It is no longer the nation and the language that are the foundation of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, but the experience of the incarnation of the word of God in the flesh and history of the community of our Church.”

Major Archbishop Svyatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.  Aid to the Church in Need.
Major Archbishop Svyatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Aid to the Church in Need.

Create a common front in Ukraine

Although it is now a worldwide church sui iuris, the UGCC maintains a distinct national structure. In recent years, even during the “Revolution of Dignity” in 2014, he tried to strengthen the identity and spirit of the Ukrainian nation.

The UGCC did not focus on minority rights – as one would expect in a predominantly Eastern Orthodox country. On the contrary, he stressed the importance of strengthening Ukraine as a just and multi-ethnic state. He worked closely with the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO), with the aim of creating a common front to help people beyond their religious affiliation.

The UGCC is based in a country that has seen the worst of 20th century European trauma and has been in constant conflict with Russia since 2014. But some precedents may bode well for its future. And here again, we must return to John Paul II.

Greek <a class=Catholic priests in traditional bright cassocks outside a church in Lviv, Ukraine, in 2018. Shutterstock” width=”3072″ height=”1968″/>
Greek Catholic priests in traditional bright cassocks outside a church in Lviv, Ukraine, in 2018. Shutterstock

A model of reconciliation

The Polish Pope promoted the first meeting of representatives of the Polish episcopate and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which was held in Rome in 1987.

This was the last of the great reconciliations after World War II. First, there was the reconciliation between French and Germans. Then between Germans and Poles, promoted by Cardinal Bolesław Kominek. And finally, between the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Polish Church.

Two episodes led to the need for reconciliation. The first was the ethnic cleansing of Poles by Ukrainian nationalists in Volyn (also known as Volhynia) in 1943. The nationalists were supported by the local population. Russians, Jews, Armenians, Czechs and other minorities were also victims of the massacre.

The second was Operation Vistula: the 1947 deportation of more than 200,000 Ukrainians residing within Poland’s new southeastern borders. The official objective of the operation, carried out by the Polish communist government with the help of the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, was the suppression of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). The massacre of Polish civilians in the southeastern territories was attributed to the UPA.

The 1987 meeting in Rome focused on these episodes. Representatives of the UGCC were present, although the Church was in diaspora after the Lviv pseudo-synod, as it was considered the most vivid representation of Ukrainian sensibilities and history.

It may be the fate of the UGCC to embark on a path of reconciliation when the war is over. But he will have to do so as a bridge between East and West, perhaps seeking contact with the Moscow Patriarchate and overcoming the divisions that led to the Orthodox schism and the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. .

Like all sui iuris Churches, the UGCC remains a profoundly national Church. However, its totality is so universal that it has parishes abroad where first-generation Ukrainian immigrants are no longer the majority, which can be an essential asset on the road to peace. This is the challenge it will face in the future.

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Easter brings fresh start to struggling Teaneck Lutheran Church


St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was once one of the largest Lutheran congregations in New Jersey. For decades, throngs of worshipers filled the pews of its sprawling church complex in Teaneck every Sunday.

But over the years, the century-old congregation began to dwindle. By 2019, membership numbers that had once numbered in the hundreds had fallen to just over 100. St. Paul’s colossal brick house on Church Street, with its stained glass windows and elegant spire, was rapidly decaying.

“People stopped going to church and we had nobody in our Sunday school anymore,” recalls Elizabeth Lowe, president of the church board. “The old building had a leaky roof and we didn’t have the capital to fix it. We decided to move on.”

Three years ago, the congregation sold the old church to a nonprofit, and St. Paul was homeless.

It’s a familiar story of decline at a time when older parishioners are dying and a younger, less religious generation is not stepping in to replace them. Months of COVID-related closures have left some churches closed for good.

Yet as Christians gather to celebrate Christ’s resurrection at Easter, St. Paul’s struggling flock hope to write their own story of renewal. For the first time in three years this Sunday, parishioners will mark the feast in a real church – a new home on Slocum Avenue in Ridgefield. Services will be led by an inclusive pastor who strives to breathe new life into the community.

“This church has had quite an interesting journey,” said Reverend Patt Kauffman, a latecomer to ministry whose career has taken its own turns.

“There were people saying, ‘St. Paul is going to close.’ But people here said “Not so fast. We’re not done yet. The holy spirit still empowers us to get the job done,” said Kauffman, who speaks with a warmth and vigor that belies his 70 years.

Reverend Patt Kauffman greets parishioners at St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

“Celebrating the Resurrection”

The reconstituted church is still under construction. In recent weeks, only a few dozen people have shown up for Sunday masses. But the congregation has worked hard to spread the word, and Kauffman hopes many will show up this weekend “to see our new space. [and] celebrate the resurrection that is St. Paul’s Church and be the community we were called to be.

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Monica Zeigler of Hackensack, who joined the church 10 years ago, described the church as a “warm community” that “never passes judgment”.

She sees a rejuvenation in the new red brick and white wood church in Ridgefield, with its crimson door. New faces have appeared at services in recent weeks, she noted enthusiastically.

St. Paul members Monica Zeigler, left, and Janice Tavares gather outside the church after services March 20, 2022. Zeigler, of Hackensack, described the church as a "warm community" It is "never judgement."

“More people are interested,” she said. “Our outreach is better than before. We are on our way back to a new adventure.”

The sale of the building left the congregation with a small, traveling herd. The church moved from one temporary home to another for a year. Then, in 2020, COVID almost delivered the deathblow.

To comply with pandemic restrictions, the remaining subscribers organized services online or in parking lots. Fewer than 10 people showed up on some Sundays.

Now visitors stop to visit the new church.

Recovery strategy

St. Paul hosts Friday night dinners and special events such as Blessings for Animals, where a professional photographer took pictures of pets with their human companions. There’s Jazz in the Spirit, which combines worship and musical performance.

The church also opened its doors to a Korean church, the Morning Star Fellowship, which also operates out of the Slocum building. The two congregations meet occasionally for programming.

“The two pastors are walking around Ridgefield together saying they are pastors in the same church. It’s mind-blowing,” Lowe said. “We hope some of the younger ones will join us.”

Recently, the church opened a food pantry and a meals-on-wheels program. For Lent, St. Paul raised funds for Ukrainian refugees and Americans rebuilding after tornadoes.

Kauffman hopes anyone who takes a look will see all that St. Paul has to offer and choose to stay.

Members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, including Robert Jacoby, Monica Zeigler, Barbara Bernstengel, Sharla DeLawter and Reverend Patt Kauffman chat after services.

“What is unique about us is our acceptance and affirmation of all people. We are diverse. The church is gay, straight, black and brown. Thirty percent of us are LGBTQ. We welcome all the world,” said the pastor, who is African American. “We don’t just host, we actually affirm. We have people of all abilities in leadership roles.”

The church has always been inclusive, she says, but in recent years it has become more diverse, with a range of skin tones filling the benches.

In an effort to make everyone comfortable, Kauffman tries to keep services short, around an hour, and she invites people to use whatever restrooms they deem appropriate based on their gender identification. Congregants can even bring dogs – as long as they don’t bite, the pastor said.

When a local LGBTQ group was looking for a venue for their annual drag ball, Kauffman opened the church doors and showed up to the party with a big smile. “Everyone wore a costume. It was a lot of fun!” she says.

His message: ‘radical love’

On a recent Sunday, Kauffman preached at three small services spaced throughout the day. Dressed in a white office dress and a purple stole, she delivered a message of “radical love” and forgiveness from the top of the pulpit. The Almighty, she says, “loves us extravagantly, recklessly and abundantly”.

Reverend Kauffman, a latecomer to ministry whose career took its own turns, joined the church in late 2018.

The new pastor grew up Patt Beckles in a non-religious family in Brooklyn who she said didn’t go to church. At 14, she was curious about spirituality and started visiting a Lutheran church with a friend who was “amazed that I wanted to attend”, she said with a laugh. She immediately felt at ease and was struck by the warmth of the pastor who welcomed her without judgement.

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She never imagined becoming a pastor, instead assuming that she would marry one. After marrying a Jewish man, “it dawned on me that maybe I am the one who is destined for the ministry.”

In her mid-40s, while living in Orange County, New York, and working as a church choir director, she decided to enroll in seminary.

She is a graduate of the Union Theological Seminary, from Columbia University in New York in 2002 and served in congregations in Rockland, Westchester and Orange counties. Most recently, she served as a hospital chaplain in Port Jervis, New York, and filled various churches when local pastors were absent.

In late 2018, she served as supply pastor at St. Paul and was “impressed by their enthusiasm, warmth, and outreach. I wanted to be a part of it.”

Apparently, the feeling was mutual. Church leaders asked her if she would make the partnership permanent.

Today, Kauffman is thrilled with her career and her church – despite his recent struggles.

“People thought we were dead,” she said. “But we will rise from the ashes and do more.”

Deena Yellin covers religion for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to his work covering how the spiritual intersects with our daily lives, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @deenayellin

Texas inmate who sought help from pastor gets execution date


HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas death row inmate who got a reprieve when his demand that his pastor pray aloud and touch him as he received his lethal injection has sparked a legal debate over a new court date. execution.

A South Texas judge on Tuesday signed an order setting John Henry Ramirez’s execution for October 5.

Ramirez, 37, was due to be executed on September 8, 2021, but the U.S. Supreme Court blocked its execution and agreed to take his case to address the role of spiritual advisors in the death chamber.

Last month, the court said States must take into account the wishes of death row inmates who want their religious leaders to pray and touch them during their executions.

Seth Kretzer, Ramirez’s attorney, said Wednesday that a federal court in Houston is still considering a civil rights petition he filed on Ramirez’s behalf and that he does not believe an execution could have happened. place until it was resolved.

“Until it is assured that (Pastor Ramirez) will be permitted to touch and pray pursuant to Chief Justice Roberts’ warrant, my law firm will litigate Mr. Ramirez’s case to the gates of hell, or go all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, whichever comes first,” Kretzer said.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said he would not officially update the agency’s rules regarding spiritual advisors in the death chamber following the Supreme Court ruling. The agency said such detainee requests would be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be granted unless they pose a substantial security risk or are “outrageous”.

Lawyers for two Texas death row inmates slated for execution next – Carl Buntion April 21 and Melissa Lucio on April 27 – expressed concern that requests from their clients to allow spiritual advisors to pray aloud and touch them were not fully approved.

Other states and the federal government have recently carried out executions where audible prayer and some physical contact were permitted in the execution chamber.

Last year, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections agreed to develop a policy for ministers to be inside the death chamber during executions, beginning with the December execution of Bigler Stouffer. Reverend Howard Potts read the scriptures and laid hands on Stouffer during his lethal injection and said the inmate “was totally at peace”. A minister was also allowed into Oklahoma’s death chamber during the January execution of Donald Grant.

The Supreme Court’s decision in March came after the Texas prison system overturned a two-year ban on spiritual advisors in the death chamber in April 2021, but said they could not speak to or touch the inmate.

Ramirez is on death row for killing a Corpus Christi convenience store employee during a 2004 robbery. Ramirez stabbed the man, Pablo Castro, 29 times and stole $1.25 from him.

Hometown History: St. Paul’s Church


AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF)- Spring is here and Easter, one of the biggest Christian holidays of the year, is on Sunday. In this month’s Hometown story, Kim Vickers walks through the oldest church in Augusta.

The church is older than the United States. St. Paul’s Church was founded in 1749, more than 25 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Churches.

Close your eyes and imagine what Augusta must have looked like back then. A very small town. Lots of towering trees. A great flowing river. And a little church on the corner of what was then known as Fort Augusta.

“I think what stands out in the history of St. Paul’s is the long devotion from generation to generation,” said Reverend Eric Biddy, the new rector of St. Paul’s Church.

St. Paul’s Church has a fascinating history. It has survived a lot, including several wars and the great fire of Augusta in 1916.

There were 5 buildings since its debut. The colonial church was the first.

Courtesy of St. Paul’s Church.

Historian Erick Montgomery explained that when Augusta was founded in 1735, the settlers held their own prayer services. Eventually they decided they needed a real church.

“But they started bringing in women and having children and they thought there must be a more civilizing influence in nature and wool…it was the wild, wild west,” Montgomery laughed.

Two years after the settlers asked for a priest, Father Jonathan Copp arrived. When he arrived in Augusta, he brought a gift from the Church of England. Marble baptismal font which is still on display in the church today. Montgomery said Copp was not a fan of the colony and left 5 years after arriving.

“Jonathan Copp hated Augusta with a passion, for he was not accustomed to the wild and woolly regions. He thought he was going to be killed at any moment, either by the Indians or the settlers, one or the other. .

The colonial church was destroyed by refugee vandals in 1762. A new building was constructed in 1764, but was destroyed during the American Revolution in 1781. In 1789 a third church was built and was used until 1819.

“When that building was moved to Broad Street and turned into a store. And they built the brick church that we call the 1820 church on the site,” Montgomery said.

The brick building stood until March 1916, when it was destroyed by the Great Augusta Fire. A story about fire is that the bell rings until the fire consumes it.

“The sexton was ringing the bell on the rope, pulling the rope, hoping people would come to help and try to save the church,” Montgomery said. “And eventually the rope burned and the bell stopped, and then shortly after that the steeple came down. It came down in the church and it was all over.”

Before the church building caught fire, they held a service to pray that the fire would not reach them. When it became apparent that this would be the case, they began removing important items.

courtesy of St. Paul’s Church.

Father Biddy claims that the quick thinking of people in the church is why they have some of the artifacts they have today.

“There are stories of members and the priest rushing into the burning church to save holy things. To release as many things as possible,” he said.

The church grounds are home to Augusta’s oldest cemetery with graves dating to the 1730s. Augusta.

The American Civil War again brought war to Augusta. When Georgia seceded from the Union in 1861, Bishop Leonidas Polk called for a meeting of all the Episcopal dioceses in the Confederacy. In 1862, the first General Council of the Episcopal Church of the Confederate States met at St. Paul’s Church.

After the war, St. Paul’s joined the Episcopal Church in the United States. Bishop Polk was buried under the current altar after his death in 1864. His remains were moved to New Orleans in 1945.

Many famous people are buried in St. Paul’s, including Colonel Ambrose Gordon, grandfather of Juliet Gordon Lowe, who founded the Girl Scouts. The remains of Colonel William Few, one of Georgia’s signatories to the Constitution, rest in St. Paul’s.

Perhaps most interesting, the remains of a man named Robert Forsyth.

“The one to my left is Robert Forsyth who was a federal marshal. And he was the first Federal Marshal to be killed in the line of duty in the United States,” Montgomery said.

Historical marker at St. Paul’s Church.

An urban legend is also associated with one of the graves in the cemetery.

“The myth about it is that there was an Indian chief buried on his horse, sitting on his horse under that stone. School kids loved coming to see that,” Montgomery laughed.

Kim Vickers: “Do you have any idea how this rumor started?”

Montgomery: “Nothing to say. You know, I have to dispel a lot of rumors in Augusta’s history that I don’t know how they started. But I don’t know this one. It sounded like a good story and someone made it up to entertain their kids probably.

The grave actually belongs to Joseph Ashton, a mason, fire master and innkeeper. The marker which is now mostly brick, was once covered in stucco with Masonic symbols, but most are now gone.

Tombstone of Joseph Ashton at St. Paul’s Church.
Tombstone in St. Paul’s Church.

Judge Ashley Wright grew up in this church. She says she has very fond memories of her childhood there.

“We used to take coins out and put them on the train tracks when we were done at the end of time. And we would climb the levy and slide down to the river and get dirty and get in trouble,” Wright smiles.

There’s been some conflict in the church recently over some of its Confederate history, but Wright said there’s one thing that helps them get over it.

“People here are all trying to live by the will and word of God and none of us are perfect. And that we may have made mistakes in the past, but we are here to try to do better every day.

Courtesy of St. Paul’s Church

Kim Vickers had a very important question for Montgomery and Wright.

Kim: “Are there any ghosts?”
Montgomery: “You know, I do historic preservation and I’ve been to millions…well, not millions, but thousands of historic buildings and I never see ghosts. I don’t know, some people say they see ghosts.

Kim “Do you have ghosts?”
Wright: “I wish we did. I don’t know of any. But I would love for us to do it. I think it would be very interesting and I think it would hopefully be a good spirit.

With all this history, you would think there would be ghost stories.

Wright said St. Paul’s Church is Augusta’s church. The doors are open during the day most days for those seeking a place of reflection and prayer. The courts are also always open to these people.

Wright said everyone is also welcome to attend church services. You can find the church schedule HERE.

CLICK HERE for information on Holy Week and the Easter service.

There is so much more to learn about St. Paul’s Church and for those interested, a full timeline and walking tour is available on the Church website.

Hey, Augustus! It’s just part of your hometown’s history.

Hometown History airs the second Thursday of each month.

Photojournalist: Reggie McKie.

Learn about the history of your hometown.

Online Payday Loans Market Investment Analysis – Blackswan Real Estate


Market Reports offers a latest report published on “Global Online payday loans Market 2022-2030”. Additionally, the Global Online Payday Loans report includes market size and forecast, annual growth analysis, and market dynamics, including growth drivers, restraining factors, opportunities, and market dynamics. trends covering the overall perspective of the market.

A detailed analysis of the market position of Online payday loansmarket competitiveness, enterprise stock advantages and disadvantages, industry growth patterns in the studied market, attributes of regional industrial layout and economic policies, industry news and strategies have been included.

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Based on region, global online payday loans are segmented into:

    • North America (USA and Canada)
    • Europe (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Russia and Rest of Europe)
    • Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and Rest of Asia Pacific)
    • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and Rest of Latin America)
    • Middle East and Africa (GCC, North Africa, South Africa and Rest of Middle East and Africa)

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List of main players:

Different players operate in the market. The report provides a competitive analysis of major players along with their market share and contribution to the market studied. Some key players in the global online payday loans market are

Wonga, Cash America International, Payday Advance, DFC Global Corp, Instant Cash Loans, MEM Consumer Finance, 2345 Network

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Penance during Lent: what can we give up?


FILE PHOTO: Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church in Bantayan Town on Bantayan Island in northern Cebu is a favorite destination for pilgrims and tourists during Holy Week. —DALE G. ISRAEL

MANILA, Philippines — Doing penance, described by Filipino Jesuits as an “act of mortification,” is a crucial part of Lent for many Catholics.

Penance, the Jesuits said, “is all human pain observed or experienced as a sign remembered and wished to share in the sufferings which our Lord, Jesus Christ, passed through for the forgiveness of our sins and our salvation.” .

The two canonical forms of penance during Lent are fasting and abstinence, which Catholics are expected to practice – along with prayers – as a chance to prepare for Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.

READ: Lent: The Filipino way

“We seek the Lord in prayer by reading Holy Scripture; we serve by giving alms and we practice self-control by fasting,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said.

Fasting and abstinence

Fasting, as defined by the Catholic News Agency (CNA), is “the act of doing with less”. Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

“The law of fasting prescribes that only one full meal per day is taken. Two lighter meals are permitted to maintain strength as needed. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and fruit juices, are permitted,” the Filipino Jesuits said.


GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan

Abstinence refers to the act of “going without”. The practice is commonly observed on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and every Friday during the 40 days of Lent.

“The abstinence law prohibits the eating of meat, but eggs, dairy products and meat condiments can be consumed. Fish and all cold-blooded animals can be eaten, eg frogs, clams, turtles, etc. said the Filipino Jesuits.

“The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year and above. We are not bound to the fourteenth birthday, but we start abstaining at midnight at the end of the birthday.

Available during Lent

GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan

Certain people are exempt from these practices, including the elderly, pregnant or breastfeeding women, those under 14, the very ill, the materially poor and homeless, and workers who have to work more than nine hours a day. . .

READ: FAQ: Fasting and abstinence during Lent

But for those who practice fasting and abstinence as a form of penance, are there other things to give up for Lent that might also express a person’s self-mortification?

What else to give up for Lent

In addition to cutting meals and moving away from certain foods, Catholics who practice penance in the form of abstinence may also give up other things for Lent.

Rules of fasting

GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan

In his message for Lent this year, Pope Francis reminded the people: “Let us not tire of eradicating evil from our lives. May the bodily fast to which Lent calls us strengthen our spirit for the fight against sin.

“Let us not tire of asking for forgiveness in the sacrament of penance and reconciliation, knowing that God does not tire of forgiving,” Pope Francis said.

“Let us not weary of fighting against lust, that weakness which incites selfishness and all evils, and throughout history finds various ways of enticing men and women into sin”, a- he added.

One such temptation, according to the pope, is addiction to digital media, which he says “impoverishes human relationships.”

Pope Francis has emphasized resisting such temptations and cultivating a more integral form of human communication made up of “authentic encounters” face to face and in person.

Pope Francis - Message of Lent

GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan

According to the British online newspaper The Independent, some of the most common Lenten things dropped by Twitter users, based on responses (serious and non-serious) tracked by the openbible.info website, include:

  • Chocolate
  • Social networks
  • Alcohol
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • school
  • Meat
  • Candy
  • Coffee
  • Soft drinks

“Certain vices like alcohol, swearing and sugary drinks almost always make the list – which is compiled annually – but trends and current events influence people’s choices,” said The article. Independent.

However, he noted that the algorithm used by the website does not pick up tone, “so not all suggestions are entirely serious.”

Meanwhile, some environmentally conscious groups have recommended practicing self-control this Lent so as to have a positive impact on the environment.

Here are some examples of environmentally friendly practices for Lent:

  • Ditch foods wrapped in plastic (like junk food).
  • Reduce energy consumption by turning off lights and unplugging appliances when not in use, running air conditioning or heating only when needed, or reading a book instead of watching television.
  • Give up animal products.
  • Avoid unnecessary purchases or frivolous expenses.

Seek, don’t avoid

As the world continues to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19, as well as Vladimir Putin’s barbaric assault on the sovereign nation of Ukraine, the Catholic group Caritas has reminded that the people are called to actively unite with the “abundant goodness” of God.

“As Pope Francis reminds us in his message for Lent 2022, we are called to ‘sow seeds of goodness for the good of others, to take concrete daily actions in favor of our brothers and sisters'”, said Caritas said in a statement.

“It means actively choosing to make visible and hear the voices of those people who are on the margins. It means actively seeking out and reaching out to those whom society has excluded and making room for them,” he added.

“It means sowing seeds of hope even in the darkest times. It means putting into practice our call to love without exception.

Rather than simply giving up something for Lent, Caritas asked the public to instead consider ‘taking something up’ and committing to taking simple steps each day to draw closer to God.

“Lent is a favorable time to seek out – not to avoid – those in need; reaching out – not ignoring – to those who need a listening ear and a good word; visit – not abandon – those who are alone,” Pope Francis said in his Lenten message.

“Let us put into practice our call to do good to all and take the time to love the poor and the needy, those who are abandoned and rejected, those who are discriminated and marginalized,” the Pope said.


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Aldergate Methodist Church set to make way for Wooddale Avenue flats | St. Louis Park


Aldersgate Methodist Church, a longtime institution in St. Louis Park, is about to make way for an apartment building.

The church at 3801 Wooddale Ave. has existed since its dedication in 1951, but declining attendance prompted the church to relocate.

“Aldersgate Methodist Church is downsizing and sharing space with another local church,” says a report from town staff. “Aldersgate wants to leave behind a legacy of affordable housing for the St. Louis Park community.”

Both churches plan to vacate the space in the coming months, the report adds.

The 3+ acre site would develop into a residential property with 114 affordable units over three or four floors.

The Wooddale Avenue Apartments project drew strong opposition from some neighbors and support from other speakers at an April 4 St. Louis Park City Council public hearing. Despite the mixed opinions, the council voted 6-0 to approve several changes to allow for the development, including a complete plan change, release of a roadway easement, approval of a flat for the building of apartments and the change in zoning from a two-family residential to a project-unit development, a city designation that allows for greater flexibility in design.

St. Louis Park’s senior planner, Laura Chamberlain, said of a neighborhood meeting in March, “Commentators in general were opposed to the high-density land use at this specific site while others were concerned not only about the impacts of development, but also about the cumulative effect of recent and future developments in the Elmwood neighborhood.Commentators were particularly concerned about the increased vehicular traffic on local streets.

They particularly objected to driveway access to the site which had been proposed on Cambridge Avenue, she said. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the scheme on the condition that access to the driveway leading to Cambridge Avenue to the south of the site be removed.

Several speakers at the council meeting indicated that they appreciated the removal of access to Cambridge Avenue, but continued to oppose the project.

Blake Chaffee, who lives on Cambridge Avenue, said he was grateful to the planning commission for recommending the removal of south access – a recommendation approved by council.

“There are a lot of young families, young kids in the neighborhood, and I think traffic would have been a problem for us,” Chaffee said.

“I think it would have been dangerous for the kids riding and playing there.”

He continued to oppose the plan – but not because of the apartments containing affordable housing, he said.

“I believe the proposed density is just not reasonable in a residential neighborhood,” Chaffee said.

Bryan Miller, another Cambridge Avenue resident, described his concern about his 6-year-old daughter’s ability to play in the neighborhood.

“It’s so upsetting for all of us,” he said, describing the situation as emotional for him. “I love St. Louis Park, but I don’t want cars exploding up and down.”

He suggested the space could be used for a park instead.

“There are all sorts of things that can be done, but I feel like money drives it all,” Miller said.

Ken Savik, a Cambridge Avenue resident, said the project reinforces residents’ sense that they are “sandwiched” by a new development.

“How long do I even want to live in the neighborhood?” Savik asked.

Wendy Kaufmann, another Cambridge Avenue resident, said the development would change the neighborhood forever. She said she had nothing against affordable housing and supported multifamily housing in general, but she said, “The balance is shifting so dramatically.”

However, Frederick Avenue resident Ken Isham-Schopf spoke out in favor of the project, saying the world is changing.

“We need high-density buildings to meet the challenge of climate change – and all of our neighborhoods and communities face this challenge,” he said.

Barb Patterson, a resident of Wooddale Avenue, also spoke out in favor of the project, saying she was particularly pleased that it included many three-bedroom units for families. She expressed disappointment, however, that only five of the units were reserved for residents representing up to 30% of the area’s median income. Most of the rest are reserved for households earning up to twice as much, with five more restricted to families earning half the region’s median income.

“Hopefully we’re on track to continue to provide some of these very affordable units,” Patterson said of the city’s overall housing goals.

Cambridge Avenue resident Dale Tatarek reiterated that opponents are not concerned about the affordability of the project, but rather the density, traffic and potential for overflow parking, especially with the increase in other apartment buildings near the future light rail.

Council member Lynette Dumalag asked a representative from the developer, Real Estate Equities, whether downsizing and scale of the development would be economically feasible. Alex Bisanz, the company’s development partner, said planners have already reduced the plan from 125 units to 114.

“It was really the all-time low we could hit,” Bisanz said, citing increases in construction costs and interest rate hikes.

As for parking, he said the planned 205 spaces exceed the city’s needs.

Planning Director Sean Walther added that there is currently no shortage of on-street parking and the city has not reduced on-site parking needs despite the proximity of light rail. If parking issues develop, the city may consider restrictions.

A traffic study indicated that the worst-case scenario would be that the development would generate 125 additional journeys per day, he noted.

“It’s not out of step with a residential neighborhood,” he said of the expected traffic counts. “It was not excessive”

Councilor Margaret Rog echoed Isham-Schopf’s call for higher density housing in supporting council approvals.

“We are a fully built community, and so when a church comes forward and says they are interested in changing what is happening on their property to make room for affordable housing, I believe it is our duty. and our responsibility as a city and as a community to accept this offer and look for ways to develop the kind of housing we need in the community,” Rog said. “We also need workforce housing in this community, and that’s really what it’s all about.

Dumalag said the larger units would help the school district’s enrollment and spoke out in favor of affordable housing, noting that his family could not live in St. Louis Park when moving to Minnesota from the Philippines because no affordable unit was available to them.

Council member Larry Kraft said money was not the driving force behind his decision-making, but he said: ‘There is nothing more fundamental to success in society than having a place safe, healthy and affordable place to live. And it’s about doing our part to meet that need of our residents and the people who work in our community and the businesses that employ them.

He said he sympathized with residents of the neighborhood who are facing change amid a buildup near the light rail line.

“I understand that you feel a lot of it and I see that more could very well happen,” Kraft said. “I think we can do it in a smart way.”

Council member Tim Brausen addressed the suggestion of making the land a park, noting that the city does not own it.

“The church owns the land,” he said. “The church chose to dedicate it for this purpose because they are selling it. They have asked for our permission, and we are prepared to grant it.

He added: ‘Please support your new neighbours. They want to live here too, and they also want to be good citizens of the community.

The city plans to support the project beyond approvals. The developer is seeking $940,000 in tax increment funding, which returns property tax money to the developer for a period, and an additional $850,000 from the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Copyright © 2021 by Sun Newspapers/APG Media of East Central Minnesota. Digital distribution of this content without prior written permission is a violation of federal law and may be subject to legal action.

Wife of disgraced Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz takes on the lies


The Australian wife of disgraced former Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz has slammed people who spread ‘relentless lies’ about her family.

The Australian wife of disgraced former Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz has lashed out at the ‘relentless lies’ spread about her family following leaked internal church documents.

Former celebrity pastor Carl Lentz was sensationally fired from his position as pastor of Hillsong NYC in 2020 after it was revealed he had been involved in an affair with designer Ranin Karim.

After his dismissal, Hillsong hired attorneys from a New York law firm, Zukerman Gore Brandeis & Crossman, to investigate what was wrong with Hillsong NYC and the church‘s US network.

The organization had filed a report with the church in 2021 which until this week had remained confidential.

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The couple are now threatening legal action against The Christian Postwho released leaked information about the investigation.

Normally prolific on social media, Carl Lentz hasn’t posted anything on his Instagram since announcing he was leaving the church. Since then, further misconduct allegations have been made against Mr. Lentz and Hillsong Global Pastor Brian Houston has resigned.

Mr Lentz’s Australian wife, and mother of his three children, has spoken out after the Hillsong East Coast inquiry leaked.

“My family has been silent throughout this ordeal as our priority has been healing our family,” she wrote on Instagram.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot to say! When the time is right, we have a lot to say about what happened as well as the lies, accusations and hypocritical scapegoating that have unfortunately been so prevalent.

“Until then, we are very grateful for the continued support of so many people. Your kindness has meant the world to us. We look forward to a brighter day!

In addition to their social media post, the couple released a statement to Religious News Service.

“Laura and Carl Lentz are aggressively pursuing legal action over these defamatory claims rooted in lies and misinformation,” a legal representative said.

In February 2021, Hillsong said the investigation was complete and found “significant ways” that the New York church “failed to reflect Hillsong’s global culture”.

At the time, church leaders said they would undertake several structural changes at Hillsong East Coast to address the concerns revealed by the report.

In light of the tumultuous times for Hillsong, there have been calls for transparency and accountability from Hillsong’s Global Board of Directors.

An online petition that has attracted more than 10,000 signatures calls for the church to consult former members and survivors as part of an independent review.

US pastor Terry Crist, who recently announced he was disaffiliating his network of churches from Hillsong, said he had encouraged the council to release the results of the NYC investigation, but it was ignored.

He is now asking for an investigation into the council.

Tools for Schools: Church Point High School


KATC and Jim Olivier’s family of companies are in on the action again with this week’s tools for schools giving to classes in need.

Anna Olivier says we deliver books to Church Point High School.

“I requested several copies of ‘A Lesson Before Dying’ for my three honors English students,” Rachel Turley tells us. “And I asked for the book as a supplement to the work we’re working on in class and because it was the author from Louisiana, I felt it would be something really special for them.”

Turley says getting these books helps students get even more out of the classroom.

“I was so excited when I found out that we were picking up the books for the students. We want to put as many as we can so they can study throughout the school year,” she says. “So when I found out we were getting an extra book, I was really excited about it.”

Literature helps students discover life and communities, she says.

“The book means an extra unit that they can study as part of their English III class, and it allows us to delve into the kinds of topics that I think are relevant for today, things that deal with relationships, things that deal with And those are things that are so important for children to be able to learn in today’s society,” Turley says. “So to give us the opportunity to do that , I think Tools for Schools is great.

“I was so thrilled that there is now a partnership for schools, giving students all the opportunities we can give them. And so I’m really excited about programs like this, which have helped us. I would like to thank The Jim Olivier Family of Companies and KATC for the tools for schools. Thank you very much.”

We should judge Republicans by their actions, not by what they say.


This should make you wonder why a group of people would vote against their own interests. Example: The population of Texas has increased according to the last census to the point where Texas has gained two additional seats in Congress. This population growth was mainly due to the minority population of the state. You would think that as the controlling party of the state, Republicans would reward minorities with at least one district with minority representation. This does not happen; in effect, they took existing minority districts and reduced them. You can’t trust what Republicans say; you must judge them by their actions.

Richard Calwell

Stop execution

Pax Christi Texas, a voice of Catholic social teaching, opposes the death penalty and believes in the sanctity of all human life. In support of the teachings of Pope Francis and the past three Popes, we stand with the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops, 90 Texas House representatives, and 130 Baptist, Evangelical, and Catholic leaders against the execution of Melissa Lucio.

Melissa is to be put to death on April 27, despite significant evidence of her innocence. Those with the power to do so must stop this execution before the State of Texas does an irreversible injustice.

We call on all Texans to join us in the effort to save Melissa:


Arthur Dawes, Pax Christi Texas Board Member

alongside Ukraine

Today I had a chat with a lady who insisted that the war in Ukraine is not Vladimir Putin’s fault! “But if Trump were still president…”

I was stunned. She said, and I quote, “Putin didn’t start this war. How can you rationally discuss any topic with someone who believes in propaganda that denies Russian responsibility for the war in Ukraine?

I am with Ukraine!

Guillaume Schiller

Members of Veritas Church respond to deadly shooting in downtown Cedar Rapids


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Veritas Church is a few doors down from Taboo, the scene of a fatal shooting in downtown Cedar Rapids early Sunday morning.

“It was really kind of heartbreaking to hear about this,” church member Leah Kortenkamp said.

Veritas Church members said the mass shooting was a topic of discussion among them.

Some console themselves in their faith….

“My thoughts are more with the families of those who have been killed or injured in this matter. I am assured that God is in control and so, we are good and just praying that people see in this their need for Jesus,” said said church member Bart Woods.

Others still understand the seriousness of the situation.

“It definitely brings us awareness. You think like… especially in a church setting. It’s a very safe place and you take it for granted. You come every week. You don’t expect much from it, but something so close. And it could even happen right in front. Even inside something like that. It really puts anything can happen into perspective,” said church member Brady Pfeifer.

“It worries me. Because, like I said, I would like to make sure that everyone here is safe. That we will always be open. I want this community to know that we can help everyone and be safe for them,” Kortenkamp said.

Treatment as a church family and sending support to the community.

“We were just talking about it and really feeling for our community right now and how it breaks our hearts and we just want to keep everyone involved in this in our thoughts and prayers,” Kortenkamp said.

Copyright 2022 KCRG. All rights reserved.

As a young pastor, he experienced the meaning of “soul” [Senior Life column] | Whole

As a young pastor, he experienced the meaning of “soul” [Senior Life column] |  Whole

In my early twenties, I was called to serve three small churches in the southeast corner of Virginia. It was a very rural area where the main crop was tobacco, and African Americans were the main farm laborers who worked for the farm owners, sharing every ounce of labor they had. It was the early 1960s, and the order of the day was segregation. In many cases, blacks and whites were extremely poor, and health care and education followed.

Given my youth and my lack of experience, I was completely surprised when a young black man came knocking on my door and asked me to accompany him to his grandfather’s where, he says, the old man was dying. I got in his car and he drove down the paved road to an intersection where he turned onto a dirt road which we stayed on for the rest of the trip. His grandfather’s house was located in the middle of a field adjacent to an old tobacco barn, which looked like it was about to collapse. As we drove to the porch of the house, I could see a group of men smoking cigarettes in the front yard. As we got out of the car, the young man told the group gathered out front that he had “fetched” the preacher and everyone should come in.

As I entered the house, I could see a small table with four chairs covered with an old oilcloth tablecloth and bowls filled with every food imaginable. The young man ushered me into a small bedroom and introduced me to his older sister, Linda-May, who was standing by the bed and holding her grandfather’s hand. She thanked me for coming and asked if I wanted to say a prayer for her grandfather. Her brother immediately said, “Shut up now; the preacher will pray! I suddenly felt nervous and didn’t know what to say. The first words that came out of my mouth sort of stumbled as I mumbled, “Dear God, give me the words of comfort here so this family can feel your presence and praise your blessing for the life of this dear man .” And then it seemed like my tongue got stuck and I couldn’t say “Amen.” There was a long moment of silence, and Linda-May finally said, “Amen! I felt very bad, like I had let this family down, yet the sister and brother turned to me and thanked me profusely for my prayer. Then someone in the crowd started singing “Amazing Grace”, and everyone joined in the singing until the last verse of the anthem, and silence fell over the room.

No one said a word until Linda-May quietly whispered, “Grandpa’s gone,” and the crowd wailed in silence.

Without warning, her brother ran to the only window in the room and opened it, and the group groaned their approval. I was stunned by what was happening and had no idea what was going on. Something inside me told me I had to know why he was opening the window, but the best I could do was relate it to the warmth of the room and the need for more ventilation; yet my explanation seemed insufficient to reliably answer my question.

It wasn’t until I got home that I had the courage to ask the young man why he had opened the window. His response made me feel stupid, and certainly inadequate as a preacher who should know these things. The young man replied, “My God, preacher, I guess you white people don’t know that when a person dies his soul comes out of his body and immediately goes to heaven to be with God.”

I was ashamed and wondered what he must think of me. He paid me the compliment of having the privilege of evoking the presence of God with his grandfather, and yet I was unaware of his action in freeing his grandfather’s soul to be with God. I apologized to him for my misunderstanding and he responded by saying, “Hey preacher, you are new here, too new to understand our ways. You will soon get to know us, and I am so happy that this is our first meeting.

Our dialogue ended around the time he pulled up in my driveway. When I went to bed that night, I felt a deep sense of gratitude. I knew that I had found a new friend and had perhaps earned the trust of many members of the black community.

The previous story happened in real time about 60 years ago, but my memory of what happened is as fresh to me today as it was then. It was the kind of experience that “sticks to you”, and over the years I’ve thought about it time and time again. The main thing I wondered over and over again was why after studying theology academically for a period of five years and earning two higher degrees, I had rarely heard the word “soul” or any formal concept regarding its purpose or reality .

It seems so strange to me that for hundreds of years the Christian community perpetuated the idea that human beings possessed a body that contained a fundamental part of themselves called “soul”, which was defined as a part essential to their spiritual nature. Yet I have heard so little of it in all my professional training.

It was this experience that prompted me to think more deeply about the idea of ​​’soul’ and ultimately to formulate my own belief about ‘soul’. I will share these ideas with you in my next article.

If you have any questions or comments, I welcome them at [email protected]

Robert Olson is a pastoral counselor and family therapist specializing in geriatric issues.

Church raises funds to replace stolen equipment from trailer


SANGER, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A church in the valley is asking for community help after thousands of dollars worth of equipment was stolen last week.

“We had our practice at church and needed to get some gear out of our trailer. We noticed the trailer was missing,” said Pastor Gilbert Carrisalez of Tabernacle Church in Sanger.

The pastor said it happened on Thursday, March 31.

“For us, that’s a priority because we’re looking at over $30,000 worth of gear.”

The pastor said they asked around the neighborhood and got surveillance video. He said a gray SUV was parked on church property when the theft happened last week.

Carrisalez said he was able to retrieve the trailer the next day, but it was empty.

“Our appeal however is for those who took the equipment if they found it in their hearts to return it to us and I will not lay any charges.”

In the meantime, the Church of the Tabernacle is working to raise funds for new equipment. They are having a Sunday taco sale at 3 p.m. at the church, located at 1810 Swan Avenue, Sanger. To order in advance, call: 559-593-2748

They also accept donations in person or in line.

“And then just put an extra note that it’s for sound equipment. What will happen is that if they give us all their information, they can get a tax deduction at the end of the year.

For now, the pastor has one last message to those who stole the material:

“I’ve been in your shoes, I’ve made bad decisions in my life, and I know what it’s like, but I also know what it’s like to have pity, and so what bothers me was given, I want to render for you.”

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Bishops offer to mediate Peru crisis after PM praises Hitler


ROME – As the political crisis in Peru worsens by the minute, following praise for Adolf Hitler by the Prime Minister, the local Catholic Church says it is ready to mediate between the government of President Pedro Castillo and the demonstrators demanding his head.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Aníbal Torres paid tribute to the late Nazi leader during a speech at a cabinet session in the central region of Junín, Peru, where protests have erupted for nearly a week in response to rising fuel and fertilizer costs. Torres praised Hitler for making Germany a “leading economic power in the world”.

Speaking of the need to invest in infrastructure, especially highways, Torres also mentioned Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini: “Italy, Germany were like us, but on one occasion Adolf Hitler traveled to northern Italy and Mussolini showed him a highway built from Milan to Brescia. Hitler saw that, he went to his country and filled it with highways, airports. He made Germany the leading economic power in the world.

No mention was made of the dictators’ war crimes and crimes against humanity, nor of the genocide of six million Jews.

Torres’ comments were another drop in an overflowing bucket that has led hundreds of thousands of Peruvians to take to the streets since the start of the month. Castillo, a left-leaning pro-Communist former rural teacher who was elected last year, has been criticized for a host of reasons virtually since taking office but has managed to dodge two impeachment attempts so far.

At the center of protests that began last week are truckers and farmers, unhappy with rising oil prices and inflation in the country, but an ever-changing presidential cabinet, with ministries changing heads every the three weeks due to allegations of corruption, has been the wood maintaining the fire.

To name just a few of the many scandals: Agriculture Minister de Castillo was implicated but not convicted in two homicides; its education minister was accused of plagiarizing his doctoral dissertation, and its health minister was recently impeached, among other charges, for peddling flavored water as an anti-aging treatment.

Amid this institutional crisis, the Archbishop of Arequipa, Javier del Río Alba, pledged the prayers of the local Church for a solution to the crisis facing the country and said the bishops are always ready to mediate if the parties in conflict so request.

“The Church is always ready to collaborate, but to mediate it is necessary that both parties in conflict agree and request the mediation of the Church, always for the good of Peru,” the Archbishop said. during a press conference.

“We are all hurt by the situation we are experiencing in Peru,” he added.

Del Rio also called for sobriety on the part of the government when addressing the rioters, saying that “the state must also be very careful in how it responds to these situations. You can’t say, as one minister said, “there are only four dead”. No. A death cries out to Heaven.

He also referred to the four deaths caused by protests and looting in the Andean city of Huancayo in recent days, where transport worker leaders, on strike in several parts of the country, rejected the mediation of Cardinal Pedro Barreto, Archbishop of Huancayo, and demanded the presence of Castillo.

The Peruvian Archbishop recalled “the protests against President (Manuel) Merino” in 2020 which led to his resignation, “when there were two deaths and there was a big scandal. Now with four deaths , the media do not react in the same way. Violence always breeds violence”.

When asked if Castillo should resign from the presidency, the Archbishop of Arequipa said that “we have to be realistic and it is not easy for a person, a citizen who, with great effort, becomes President, to step down. I understand that this does not come from the heart.

However, he observes, “what is within his reach is to summon good collaborators, people with experience. We have brilliant technicians of international level, people who do not necessarily respond to a game, who can be summoned.

The Peruvian Prelate recalled that “as the President himself has said, it is clear that he is not ready to be President. This reality touches our hearts, and we must collaborate with him” with “very good professionals who can be called upon”.

Finally, Del Río expressed his hope that “the Lord will tear down the wall in our hearts and Peru will come out united during this Holy Week”.

Follow Inés San Martín on Twitter: @inesanma

South Dallas Church, Repeat Victim of Crime – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth


Records show crimes against stolen property are up 22% so far this year and a South Dallas church is an example of the problem.

Pastor Todd Atkins said the Salem Institutional Baptist Church has been hit by crime several times over the past year.

“We got a bus robbed. We had the front door kicked in. They broke into the sanctuary,” Atkins said.

Twice in the past few months, the pastor said copper from air conditioning equipment had been stolen from a cage behind the church.

After the last time several months ago, surveillance cameras and lighting were adjusted and early Wednesday morning church cameras recorded the latest theft of copper pipes from start to finish.

“We need the help of the community to identify this individual to ensure that not only is our church not vandalized, but the community, homes and businesses are not vandalized,” Atkins said.

On the recording, the thief walks towards the building, cuts the cage and crawls inside. He separates the copper pipes, slides them out of the enclosure, and then is seen driving off in the middle of the night with the equipment on top of his car.

Atkins said each air conditioning equipment theft causes about $10,000 in damage, and in total across all crimes, he said they suffered about $70,000 in loss or damage to the church.

“It’s meant to be a beacon in the hope community to say that transformation is possible, but in the middle of the night having this, man, makes our job that much harder,” Atkins said.

Atkins’ father is Dallas City Council member Tennell Atkins, who is also a member of the city council’s public safety committee that reviews police budget and policy.

“We need to get more neighborhood policing,” Councilor Atkins said.

That video, which clearly shows the theft in progress, should be enough for community-linked officers to catch the person, Councilor Atkins said.

“You go to the neighborhood, they know who the guy is. And so if we have boots on the ground and NPO, we can prevent some of this crime,” the councilman said.

Pastor Atkins said he won’t let the crime stop the church’s mission, but he hopes the video will help stop the culprit from striking again.

A Dallas Police Department spokesperson said officers are aware of the latest incident and will contact the pastor to retrieve the video.

Dallas crime figures as of April 6 showed that overall crime was down 6%, property crimes were down 3.5% and crimes against people were down 9%.

But categories of individuals that are up include murder up 10%, vehicle theft up 30%, theft of motor vehicle parts (including catalytic converters) up 15% and stolen property offenses up 22%.

Former Hillsong Kyiv pastors say Brian Houston forced them out


Former pastors of Hillsong churches in Kyiv and Moscow accuse former Hillsong Global pastor Brian Houston of taking over the churches, expelling the couple and threatening them to keep quiet.

Zhenya and Vera Kasevich broke their silence by an explosive report published on Wednesday by Australian media ABC. They spoke with The Roys Report (TRR) yesterday about their work at Hillsong Kyiv and Hillsong Moscow and how Hillsong’s global management decided to kick them out.

“All Australia wanted from us (was) control and responsibility without giving us support and taking responsibility,” Zhenya Kasevich said. RTR by email.

They say Hillsong leaders tried to force them to change church governance to give world leaders more control in local churches. They resisted and were expelled, they say.

The Kaseviches also say they were coerced into signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) preventing them from saying anything derogatory towards Hillsong and prohibiting them from setting foot in churches in Kyiv and Moscow.

Donate $30 or more to The Roys Report this month and you’ll receive a copy of “Safe Churches: Responding to Abuse in the Faith Community.” To donate, click here.

Hillsong did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story. Houston also did not respond when RTR reach. Hillsong management said a recent documentary that includes an interview with the Kaseviches does not paint an accurate picture of the church.

Lee Furney, defender of end the use of NDAs in churches, said the scandals surrounding Hillsong show the “desire, danger and deprivation regarding our response to money, sex and power” in evangelicalism.

Building in Kyiv

The Kyiv Christian Life Center, as it was known then, began when a missionary from Australia’s megachurch helped plant it in 1992 in Kyiv, Ukraine. It was right after Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

Vera and Zhenya Kasevich (courtesy photo)

The Kaseviches have been appointed senior pastors in 1997. When the Australian church adopted the name Hillsong a few years later, so did the church in kyiv. However, Vera Kasevich said RTR the church remained autonomous and was governed by the vote of the congregation.

The couple planted a church in Moscow in 2007 and also named it Hillsong Moscow because of the “relational and spiritual” connection to the Australian church. It was also independently governed, Vera Kasevich said.

Within a few years, the church in kyiv was attracting thousands of people to its multiple weekly services and bringing in substantial donations.

In the mid-2000s, Vera Kasevich said, Hillsong Kyiv was one of the largest churches in Ukraine, with $4 million in assets and nearly $1 million in offerings each year.

Then in 2008, Houston became interested in bringing Hillsong Kyiv and Hillsong Moscow into the fold. He wanted churches to change their constitutions so Hillsong’s global leadership would have control of churches and appoint pastors, the Kaseviches said.

From 2012 to 2014, church leaders in Australia and the church in Kyiv negotiated, mostly over email because of language differences, according to the Kaseviches.

“My husband asked Pastor Brian, why do we have to change our constitution, our bylaws? And why do we have to give all the power to Australia? Vera Kasevich recalled while on the phone with RTR yesterday. Houston responded that under the proposed new constitution, he would be the one to appoint or remove pastoral staff, she recalled.

Her husband replied, “If my church doesn’t want me, I don’t want to pastor the church.” I do not need protection from you, ”said Vera Kasevich.

Vera Kasevich leads worship at Hillsong Kyiv (clip from 2008)

Meanwhile, the Kaseviches were leading the churches of kyiv through growing unrest. In late 2013 and early 2014, Moscow-backed Ukrainian officials cracked down on massive protests. Ukrainian forces finally opened fire in February 2014 and killed dozens of protesters in Kyiv.

War seemed inevitable, said Vera Kasevich. But the kyiv church heard nothing from Hillsong world leaders for months.

“My husband was kind of wondering,” she said, “Why do we need the church in Australia that says, ‘You are our church,’ but they act like if they didn’t care at all?”

At Hillsong view sunday this February, Zhenya Kasevich decided not to show Houston Presentation of the global vision at the church in Kyiv. The annual presentation sets the theme for the work of the world church each year.

“That video was completely disconnected,” Vera Kasevich said. “And it was irrelevant to the reality we were facing in Ukraine.”

The decision angered Houston, the Kaseviches said.

hillsong kyiv kasevich brian houston
In a 2012 social post, Hillsong Church celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hillsong Kyiv. (Screenshot)

The following Tuesday, Zhenya Kasevich called a meeting of church members and asked them to vote if they wanted to keep in touch with Hillsong. He said RTR he urged members to formally affiliate with Hillsong because of its greater resources and influence, but that if they did, he would leave as pastor.

“It wasn’t just about church governance,” Vera Kasevich said. “We saw things that weren’t in our belief system. It was not ethical and it did not suit us.

This included things they had heard about Carl Lentz’s immoral actions, she said, as well as other questionable behavior. They say in a new Discovery+ documentary they tried to warn Houston about Lentz.

They also told Australian news outlet ABC that Hillsong world leaders worked with pastors in Kyiv to plan a conference and then charged the local church thousands of dollars for airfare and other expenses.

“So we were saying that we cannot accept this way of building a church,” Vera Kasevich said.

Church members voted overwhelmingly to drop Hillsong from the name and keep the Kaseviches as pastors. Zhenya Kasevich briefed Houston that night. Within hours, the Kaseviches had lost access to servers, databases and email accounts controlled by Hillsong.

Church members also received an email from Houston saying he was “shocked and disappointed by the events of the past three days” and claiming that the Kaseviches had “made it clear that they no longer wish to be part of Hillsong Church.

“Sunday was Vision Sunday,” Vera Kasevich said. “Tuesday evening, they voted. And Wednesday morning, the church was hijacked.

Leave Ukraine Behind

Fighting with Russia erupted weeks later, on February 20. The Kaseviches said that instead of dividing their wartime church, they walked away, leaving Houston to paint a negative picture of their departure.

But for more than a month afterwards, Hillsong executives also sued the Kaseviches “to threaten us and silence us,” Zhenya Kasevich said. RTR in an email.

They pressured the couple to sign an NDA confirming their resignation. Additionally, the deal involved a donation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets and cash; a joint statement regarding their resignation; and a ban on the couple attending church in Kyiv or Moscow in the future.

In return, Hillsong planned to help the couple and their two children obtain visas to the United States and would contribute up to $10,000 towards visa costs.

The Kaseviches refused to sign, they said, and provided a copy of the document for RTR.

Non-Disclosure Agreement Proposed by Hillsong Church (Sydney) – March 2014

kasevich hillsong kyiv NDA

Vera Kasevich said RTR she believes “100% of people who were on staff” at Hillsong were required to sign an NDA.

Furney, a leader in the #NDAfree movement drawing attention to NDAs and other similar gagging deals in the evangelical world, said the Hillsong scandals “embodied the compromised witness of the evangelical church.”

“More serious, the proliferation of non-disclosure agreements surrounding the Pentecostal network means the covering up and minimizing of sin instead of more complete rebuke, repentance and reconciliation,” Furney wrote in an e -email to RTR.

“The Hillsong scandals demonstrate that NDAs are the ultimate tool to protect the powerful through concealment and intimidation,” he continued. He added that “NDAs exploit power imbalances” and thwart attempts “to expose unsuccessful acts of darkness in order to remedy them.”

NDAs “and non-disparagement agreements represent the Church’s failure to free itself from an idolatrous relationship with money, sex and power,” Furney said.

Some time after refusing to sign the NDA, the Kaseviches received an email from Houston threatening the couple’s US visa process, an email shows.

Vera Kasevich explained to RTR that they needed documents from the kyiv church to show US immigration officials what their work had been over the previous two decades.

She added that she finally received the necessary documents after threatening to return to Hillsong Kyiv and ask for them publicly during a worship service.

zhenya vera kasevich
In recent years, Zhenya and Vera Kasevich have planted two churches in Florida. (Courtesy picture)

Eventually, Zhenya Kasevich obtained a visa for religious work in the United States and planted two churches in Florida, where they still live today. This visa led to permanent residence in the United States, or a green card, two years ago. Then Vera Kasevich also became eligible to apply for a green card. She received it six months ago, in August 2021, she said.

Then she finally felt free to express herself. That same month, the pair sat down for their interview for the Discovery+ documentary released in March.

They also pleaded with current Hillsong executives to resolve the situation in Kyiv, an email chain shows. They eventually want to return to Ukraine to help other pastors there, they said. RTRbut they feel like they can’t because of the impression Houston gave of their departure.

“Now, when our country needs us most, we need to clear our name,” said Vera Kasevich. “People keep talking and gossiping, and it’s not helping anyone.”

But they received no response from Hillsong’s global leaders, they said.

“Which means they are not determined to change anything,” Vera Kasevich said.

Letter from Zhenya Kasevich to Hillsong Alumni and Management – March 2022


Sarah Einselen is an award-winning writer and editor based in Texas.

New Church woman pleads guilty to possession of cocaine, waives extradition to Maryland for attempted murder


By Linda Cicoira

A New Church woman, wanted in Maryland on attempted murder, arson and related charges, pleaded guilty Thursday in Accomack Circuit Court to possession of cocaine.

Wendy Dawn Taylor, 46, of Tyler Court, received a two-year suspended sentence for the June 6, 2021 drug offense. Taylor said she wanted to get that charge behind her so she could drop the extradition to Maryland to face further charges.

Taylor was on bail when she was arrested in December in Accomack County for incidents involving a Pocomoke City resident. The Maryland man called authorities after he was assaulted, shot and his home was set on fire.

When the man arrived home on Dec. 3, a blue Ford sedan with Virginia plates was parked in his driveway. He said a woman approached him asking for gasoline. As he was going to his garage to get some fuel, he saw a man coming out of his house with a television. Words were exchanged and the victim reported being assaulted and briefly losing consciousness. When he returned, he managed to escape. One of the suspects fired three shots. Then the man went inside to call the police and found his house was on fire. He was able to put out the flames before help arrived.

Fleig has also been charged with murder and other related offenses in the death of Maurice Lamont Fiddermon, 43, of Temperanceville, who was shot at Oak Hall on December 6, and murder and arson in the death of 62 years old. -old Edward Bruce Mears Jr., of New Church, December 4th.


US Churches Will Follow Canada and Confront Residential School Past


As Native Americans cautiously welcome Pope Francis’ historic apology for abuses at Catholic residential schools for Indigenous children in Canada, American churches are preparing for an unprecedented reckoning with their own legacy of operating such schools.

Faith-based schools are set to feature prominently in a report from the US Department of the Interior, led by the first-ever Native American cabinet secretary, Deb Haaland, to be released later this month. The report, prompted by the discovery last year of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential school sites in Canada, will focus on the loss of life and lingering trauma that the American system inflicted on Indigenous children from the 19th to the mid of the XXth century.

From Episcopalians to Quakers to the Catholic dioceses of Oklahoma, faith groups have launched or intensified efforts over the past year to seek out and atone for their previous roles in the boarding school system, which Indigenous children have been forced to associate – cutting them off from their families, tribes and traditions.

While the pontiff’s April 1 apology was directed at Indigenous groups across Canada, people were listening south of the border.

“An apology is the best way to start a conversation,” said Roy Callison, a Catholic deacon and member of the Cherokee Nation who helps coordinate the Oklahoma Catholic Native Schools Project, which includes listening sessions for those affected by the legacy of residential school. “That’s the first step in trying to get healing.”

During Mr. Callison’s meeting with Indigenous delegations from Canada, Pope Francis asked for forgiveness “for the role that a number of Catholics…have had in all these things that hurt you, in the abuses that you have suffered and in the lack of respect for your identity. , your culture and even your spiritual values.

Pope Francis “did something really important, and that is the importance of being outraged by this story,” said Maka Black Elk, executive director of truth and healing for Red Cloud Indian School on the reservation. Pine Ridge Indian in South Dakota.

This story “is shameful, and it’s not something we should accept,” said Mr. Black Elk, who is Oglala Lakota.

Red Cloud, affiliated with the Catholic Jesuit order, was for generations a boarding school for Lakota children. It is now a day school incorporating Lakota leadership, language and traditions. Mr. Black Elk leads a reckoning process that includes researching archives and listening to alumni stories.

Canada has been the subject of a highly publicized truth and reconciliation process in recent years. The issue attracted unprecedented attention last year after a searcher using ground-penetrating radar reported finding around 200 unmarked probable burial sites at a former school in British Columbia.

This discovery, followed by others across Canada, prompted Ms. Haaland to commission the report from her ministry.

“This story in the United States has not been approached in the same way as in Canada,” Mr. Black Elk said. The report on the interior “will be an important first step on the work that needs to be done in this country”.

Church leaders are preparing. The report “will likely bring to light some very disturbing information,” says a letter circulated last fall to members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by two colleagues who have chaired committees related to the issue. The letter urged the bishops to build relationships with local Indigenous communities and engage “in meaningful and honest dialogue about reactions to the report and the steps needed to move forward together.”

Conditions varied at boarding schools in the United States, with some being described as unsafe, unsanitary, and scenes of physical or sexual abuse. Other former students remember their school years as positive times of learning, friendship and extracurricular activities.

Indigenous groups note that even the best schools were part of a scheme to assimilate children into a predominantly white Christian society and shatter their tribal identities, customs and languages ​​– what many Indigenous groups call cultural genocide.

“The boarding school process itself is violent and damaging,” said Bryan Rindfleisch, a Native American history expert at Marquette University who helps Oklahoma Catholics research their school heritage.

There were at least 367 boarding schools in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries, according to the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, a Minneapolis-based advocacy group.

Most were government-run; many others were run by Catholic and Protestant churches.

The National Healing Coalition called Pope Francis’ comments a historic first step, but urged the Vatican to repatriate Indigenous artifacts from its museum collections and called on religious organizations to open their school archives.

In listening sessions held as part of the Oklahoma Catholic Indigenous Schools Project, many participants told positive stories of school experiences, Callison said, though the church has committed to documenting also traumatic experiences. “You’re going to hear things you don’t want to hear,” he said.

The project will also include archival research and individual interviews with those involved. At least 11 Catholic boarding schools operated in Oklahoma.

“We need to get to the truth before we can face up to anything that hurt or celebrate any success” the schools have had, Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley said.

Several religious groups — including Quakers, Methodists and some Catholic religious orders — support legislation pending in Congress that would go beyond the Interior report. It would create a truth and healing commission, modeled on Canada’s, to investigate the legacy of residential schools.

The annual meeting of Friends of New England – a regional group of congregations – last year apologized for the historic sponsorship of these schools by Quakers, acknowledging that they had been undertaken with “spiritual and cultural arrogance “.

“We are deeply sorry for our part in the vast suffering caused by this system and the ongoing effects,” the New England group said.

It’s important that Quakers accept such responsibility, said Paula Palmer, a Quaker from Colorado whose research has identified about 30 Native American boarding and day schools run by Quakers.

“Annual meetings voted to support, operate and fund” the schools, she said. “So it’s really the annual meetings that have the responsibility to respond. They are also the ones who participated in the whole project of forced assimilation of Aboriginal children.

The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States has hired an archival researcher to document the history of its own residential school.

The order is “committed to examining and sharing the truth of our history, even where it is difficult,” said the Reverend Ted Penton, secretary of the Jesuit conference’s Office of Justice and Ecology.

The Episcopal Church’s General Convention in July is expected to vote on a statement that would “acknowledge the intergenerational trauma caused by genocide, colonialism,” the operation of boarding schools, and “other systems based on white supremacy.”

The convention will also consider authorizing a “thorough and complete investigation” into the operation of these schools by the Church. The proposals came from a group nominated by faith leaders.

Such measures are strong, but local dioceses must also research their own history and stand up for Indigenous peoples, said Reverend Rachel Taber-Hamilton, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Everett, Washington. Ms. Taber-Hamilton, whose heritage includes the Shackan First Nation of Canada, is an Episcopal Church representative to the Global Anglican Indigenous Network.

“It’s not enough to say, ‘I’m sorry, and here’s some money,'” she said. “We have to do a very hard job of listening to the pain first.”

This story was reported by the Associated Press. Associated Press religious coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation US. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

Emmanuel Church plans ‘hard launch’ of new facility on Easter Sunday


Dan Thorpe, growth pastor, and other church leaders are busy preparing for the grand opening of Emmanuel Church’s new location in Grand Blanc Township. Photo by Lania Rocha

LARGE WHITE TWP. — Eglise Emmanuel invites the public to the official opening of its new branch in the canton of Grand Blanc. And what better time to celebrate this new chapter than on Easter Sunday?

Leaders at Emmanuel Church had been looking for a second location for some time before the congregation at the former Great Lakes Baptist Temple contacted them last year.

“Their pastor had retired in June, and the church has been without a pastor since then,” said Manning Brown, Emmanuel’s operations pastor.

Visitation to the Great Lakes had been slowly declining and they were approaching a point where they would have to close, Brown said.

“Our church was interested in finding another location where we could minister,” he said. “We connected with some of the GLBT deacons, and they said they were interested in doing something to revitalize the church.”

Emmanuel Flint officially took possession of the former Great Lakes Baptist Temple in November and held his first church service in Grand Blanc Township in January.

With Pastor John Scally leading services, Emmanuel averages about 100 worshipers a week at the church located at 2112 E. Maple Road.

Brown described Baptist ministry as “contemporary, high-energy service”.

“We would be considered an evangelical church with a Baptist view of the Bible as the inherent word of God,” he said. “But, within that, we also recognize that although the message does not change – that is to preach who Christ is and the necessity of salvation – that does not mean that it cannot be done in a contemporary and invigorating way.”

The Flint Church still offers a traditional service at 9:30 a.m., as well as a more contemporary service at 11:15 a.m., Brown said. Services at the Canton du Grand Blanc branch begin at 10 a.m.

Since the merger, the staff at Emmanuel Church have spent quite a bit of time renovating the old Great Lakes building.

“It needed a new roof and other updates to match Emmanuel’s style,” Brown said. “So we are actually busy in the process of working towards our difficult Easter Sunday launch. After that, we hope to have a more visible presence in the community.

“We are excited and looking forward to bringing that same energy to the (Grand Blanc) community and our new location. It is a large facility with plenty of space. We look forward to being in the community and we invite people to come visit us and hear the word of God and participate in exciting worship. »

The church currently offers a youth program and plans to add other programs and do more community outreach as time goes on.

Burying a Gangster: I’ve Never Seen Such Love, Says Pastor | News


Damion Mitchell/Integration Editor

A pastor from a difficult low-income community of St James has detailed the gangsters’ devotion to each other saying a similar approach among other residents could spark a community turnaround full of tension.

“I have never seen such love,” said Reverend Barbara Messado, pastor of Green Pond Wesleyan Holiness Church, as she recalled officiating at the funeral of one of the mobsters.


“They loved each other so much that I envied them,” she said.

Messado was among panelists examining the church‘s role in collective security on the first day of a two-day Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry summit at the Montego Bay Convention Center in St James.

She said even amid a light drizzle and the threat of heavy rain, friends of the slain mobster wanted more time with an open casket at the grave to express their “respect” to the deceased.

Since the beginning of the year, Green Pond has experienced five murders including a double homicide and several shootings.

Chief of Police Assistant Commissioner for Zone 1 Clifford Chambers said the gleaner that a conflict between members of the G-City gang is behind most of the violence.

However, he said the police were jamming the space and engaging the army which was mitigating the carnage.

In the meantime, Messado worries that crime and violence will rob the community of fathers.

She advocates for partnerships with corporations to provide an opportunity for the people of Green Pond.

“My heart breaks when I see them struggle because they really struggle,” she said, adding that many people at Green Pond have simply fallen through the cracks and desperately need a second chance. .

It is a reality that Bishop Howard Nelson also struggles with as pastor of the New Testament Church of Lilliput also in St James.

Nelson sees sports and music as a magical pair to prevent many young people from descending into a life of crime.

“My goal is not to save the whole world,” Nelson said, explaining his commitment to helping one community at a time.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Message us on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at [email protected] or [email protected]

Police investigate attack on referee after church basketball game in Georgia


Police are investigating an assault on a referee after a Georgia church basketball game was caught on camera.

In a brief statement shared with NBC News, the DeKalb County Police Department said it responded to Stronghold Christian Church in Lithonia, about 20 miles east of Atlanta. The referee told officers “he was assaulted by multiple suspects after the basketball game.”

The incident is under investigation, police said. It is not known who was playing and it does not appear that the teams were affiliated with any registered school or league, NBC affiliate WXIA reported.

Video posted on social media appears to show the end of a basketball game – a player misses a shot and the buzzer sounds.

Seconds later, five people on the pitch can be seen in the video following the referee. They are quickly joined by others, and the group begins punching the referee, who appears to be trying to defend himself.

The group of about 10 people force the referee to the ground and kick and punch him, video appears to show. The video has not been independently verified by NBC News.

Benjamin Gaither, senior pastor of Stronghold Christian Church, called the violence “unfortunate”.

“We open our doors to serve our community and our goal is to provide an atmosphere conducive to enjoyment, enrichment, etc.,” Gaither said in a statement. “While we cannot control people, we hope and pray that those who enter our facility conduct themselves in the best manner.”

How long do payday loans stay in the system?

How long do payday loans stay in the system?

Prior to requesting payday loans, take a look at your credit report. You should also examine the quality of your financial situations. Looking over your credit report in depth can help you spot any issues and change your financial behavior in order to boost credit score. credit score.

While many lenders and agencies provide loans to people who have bad credit, your credit score is a major factor in the terms of your loan and the conditions you’ll receive. Individual lenders are very likely to conduct the credit test prior to making an offer, regardless of whether the lending companies don’t require it.

Therefore, regardless of how low your credit score is right now small improvements can assist you in obtaining an improved loan offer in the near future. Check your credit report at least every three months, while you work to improve it and settle any disputes between your credit bureaus. However, the process may take up to 30 days.

Your loan should be planned

It’s time to begin preparing your loan after taking a look at your situation and attempting to improve it. The first thing to do is to determine how much amount of money you’ll need. Take into consideration your earnings, expenses and the most affordable loan amount that will enable you to get out of a tough situation.

When it comes to borrowing amounts the smaller the amount is better. Do not overspend and go for the biggest loan you can find and end with you paying a lot of cash in the end. Once you’ve reached an agreement on a reasonable loan amount, you’ll need to come up with an acceptable repayment plan that works for you.

There are many platforms that offer short-term and long-term loans So, make sure to select a payment plan that you will be able to stick to. It is easy to calculate the length or term of your loan when you know what the loan amount and how much cash you have every month to pay off your obligation.

When determining your repayment plan be aware that making the most affordable payments and paying off your debt in the shortest time possible will save you lots of dollars on APRs and other interest charges.

Compare and check the interest rates

We cannot emphasize enough the importance for comparing rates across several loan companies. Because the guaranteed approval of bad credit loans exposes you to high interest rates, comparing rates from a variety of lenders will aid you in getting the best loan.

In addition, looking up rates of interest can aid you in finding lenders who provide pre-approvals. A pre-approval letter from a bank is a deal that many people overlook. If you can find a lender who offers this, it’s an amazing bargain. Some lenders also do not perform a full examination of your credit background, which could harm you credit score.

Identify the fraudsters

There are many fraudulent companies and scammers operating in the online loan and money lending market. It is difficult for someone who is new to the market to tell from a genuine and fraud-prone lender. But, if you’re well-aware of these indicators it is possible to recognize if a loaner attempts to defraud you.

The lenders who are fraudulent do not ask about or inquire about your past payment history. Trustworthy lenders will request your payment history as they are more concerned about your payment history rather than your credit score.

Additionally, the fraudulent lender will constantly ask you if you own a prepaid debit card. Additionally, regardless of whether you want this or don’t, a scammer will keep contacting you by offering a loan. Contrarily the legitimate lenders will never insist on you accepting their offer.

Repay the loan at the due date

As the borrower, it’s your responsibility to repay the loan in the timeframe agreed upon with the lender. You’ll be able to be able to avoid charges for late payments, as well as the negative credit report by paying promptly. If you do not pay on time you could lose lots of money. At the very end of it all, you’ll need to pay interest, which can make the loan.

9 bishops speak out on public policy issues | National Catholic Register


I asked nine active Catholic bishops working in different parts of the United States to comment on issues of public policy and culture that they believe are important to the country. Here are their thoughts.


Bishop Joseph L. Coffey of the archdiocese for military services has a long experience in the pro-life movement, including praying at abortion clinics and participating in Operation Rescue. He commented:

“I remember when Roe v. Wade was returned in 1973. I was 13 years old. My father told us about it at the table. From that moment, I became a pro-lifer. In the years that followed, we made many annual trips to Washington, DC, for the annual March for Life. We want to see the United States Supreme Court overturn Roe. But we know this won’t end our pro-life efforts – we will have to continue our work at the state level. Like the majority of the bishops of [our 2019] meeting indicated, abortion is the preeminent life issue of our time.

Bishop Thomas Parocki of Springfield, Illinois agreed that abortion was a key issue. He said:

“When I talk about the right to life, I say that abortion is the defining issue of our time. Will we be a culture of life or, as Pope John Paul II said, a “culture of death?” Unfortunately, I don’t see many of our politicians talking about it. We cannot ignore the defining question of our time; this issue must be at the forefront when we choose candidates for public office.

“[Regarding Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the nation’s anti-abortion laws] … I think we’re in a stronger position than in the 1970s. Back then, a lot of people thought that was the trend and that abortion would always be with us. The Supreme Court has ruled and the case is closed. But it is far from being the case.

“Today, we see that many young people are very pro-life. But, before we can change laws, we must change hearts.

same-sex marriage”

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, played a leading role in opposing same-sex “marriage” in his state, an effort that failed. He commented:

“I was terribly disappointed when [same-sex “marriage”] happened in Rhode Island, despite the strong presence of the Catholic Church and the large number of Catholics in our general assembly. A number of Catholic legislators neglected our faith, which was heartbreaking. Shortly thereafter, the United States Supreme Court announced its [Obergefell] decision.

Same-sex marriage is yet another influence that erodes and diminishes the importance of marriage and family life. I don’t know if we can reverse it legislatively, because it’s become embedded in our culture. But we can continue to promote our understanding of marriage and family life. We may not win, but we must be faithful.

Sexual identity and gender issues

Bishop Ronald Gainer is head of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is president of the Catholic Conference of Pennsylvania. Speaking on behalf of the Conference, he said:

“Among our main concerns are the so-called equality regulations that 16 of our municipalities have adopted. These regulations mandate non-discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual identity and gender issues. Some have no religious exemptions, which is very troubling. They could force us to violate our Catholic principles in areas such as employment and adoptions. We would like to see a statewide initiative protecting religious freedom that would overturn harmful provisions of municipal law. »

Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, published a 2021 letter titled “A Catechesis on the Human Person and Gender Ideology.” He observed:

“The issue of gender ideology is sensitive and has an impact on parishes and families. I think it is important at this time to teach the truth about how God created us in love and to equip the faithful to be able to understand and explain to others what Jesus taught. …If we deny that there is a God who once created us as his beloved child, when we do not accept who we are and how God created us as male or female, we let’s reject everything that comes from it, and everything that God teaches. Error cannot bring peace or happiness to his life. Acceptance of gender ideology increases struggles and does not make things better. Do not assert what is false. Answer truthfully.

Archbishop Joseph Nauman of Kansas City, Kansas, expressed concern about HR 5, the so-called “Equality Act,” which House Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi said will be “a momentous step toward ending the final and full of discrimination against LGBTQ Americans”. The Archbishop replied:

“I fear this will force religious institutions like ours to do things that violate our conscience or prevent us from participating in government programs. This is related to gender issues and other issues as well. Unless it can be improved, I would vigorously oppose it.

Absent fathers

Bishop Timothee Freyer of the Diocese of Orange, California, saw his own father die when the bishop was just 13 years old. Consequently, he lived a teenage life without a father at home (although due to death, not abandonment) which gave him a sensitivity to children who do not have a father at home. . He remarked:

“Many children are raised in homes without their biological father. Boys, in particular, lack this pattern for learning to be good Christian men.

“Furthermore, many men are not spiritual fathers in the home. They may be good men, but they don’t lead the family to Christ, or even go to mass with the family. Studies show that a good indicator of whether or not children remain Catholic is whether or not their fathers actively practice the faith. If there is no spiritual father at home, it is easy for children to drift away from the Faith.

“The crisis of fatherlessness also has a negative effect on society as a whole. Many of those who are drug addicted, homeless or have mental health issues in our country are the products of fatherless homes. It has wreaked havoc in our country; millions of children grow up without the benevolent influence of a father.

Secularism imposed by the state

Bishop Liam Carl of the Diocese of Baker, Oregon, is concerned about state actions that impede the work of the Church. He explained:

“In Oregon, I am increasingly concerned about the bureaucratic imposition of secular morality. We asked a state bureaucracy to make a change to our public insurance that would allow 15-year-olds to have sex reassignment procedures without parental approval. The bureaucracy has made up its mind and everyone is expected to line up.

“Or, there was a bakery outside of Portland that refused to bake a gay wedding cake. The state fined them $135,000 and kicked them out of business. They are trying to force citizens to do something against their conscience.

Birth control and the sexual revolution

Bishop Joseph Strickland from Tyler, Texas, is concerned that secular views on sex and marriage are harming society. He said:

“I was 10 years old in 1968, the year Humanae Vitae came out of. It has been, on the whole, ignored and contradicted. I think much of the evil that has come to the world through the sexual revolution is due to ignoring the Church’s teaching on sexuality articulated by documents such as Humanae Vitae. In one of the paragraphs, Pope Paul VI makes a series of predictions about what will happen in the world due to the widespread use of artificial contraception [e.g., increase of marital unfaithfulness, a decline in morality, loss of respect for women, government promotion of contraception and family planning]. We have certainly seen that these predictions have come true.

The Willimantic Church has been the center of Ukrainian aid locally


By Michelle Warren, The Chronicle

April 5, 2022

In the weeks following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the pastor of St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Ivan Bilyk, was inundated with calls from people seeking help.

Find out what’s happening at Mansfield-Storrswith free real-time Patch updates.

While some donated money, medical supplies or clothes to send to Ukraine, others offered the refugees to stay in their homes for a few months.

If any Ukrainian refugees need help, Bilyk is confident that the Ukrainian community in Thread City will step in, as the church is the epicenter of local Ukraine relief efforts.

Find out what’s happening at Mansfield-Storrswith free real-time Patch updates.

He said the community support was heartwarming, noting that many supporters aren’t even parishioners.

“I sincerely thank everyone who is working hard to support Ukraine,” he said.

Russian President Vladamir Putin ordered the Russian military to invade Ukraine on February 24, a decision the brutality of which shocked the world and subjected Russia to unprecedented global isolation.

Locally, the Ukrainian community – which has its genesis after World War II, when many Ukrainians came to Willimantic to work in the textile factories – is mainly centered around the church, located on Oak Street.

These days, church services there almost always feature war speeches between congregants.

At a recent church service, Bilyk said the Ukrainian people had two choices: to fight for freedom or not to fight.

Ukraine, he said, chose to fight “because everyone knows our enemy is evil.”

Bilyk expressed his thoughts on the situation, both in Ukrainian and English, during the service.

“We would like to live in a democracy,” he said. “First of all, thank you for your prayers.”

Bilyk expressed a mix of emotions about the situation.

“I feel tired,” he said. “I feel disappointed, sad and helpless.”

The situation in Ukraine has caused millions of Ukrainians to flee to neighboring countries.

The family of Willimantic resident Olha Nechyporenko, however, does not want to leave their home. “They say they are waiting for the victory and hope it will come soon,” said Nechyporenko, who is a parishioner at the Bilyk church.

Nechyporenko, who moved to the United States from Ukraine in 2004, said his family was “struggling” with the situation in Ukraine.

She said she visited Ukraine every year until the pandemic hit and because of the pandemic she missed her mother’s funeral.

Olha Bilyk, the pastor’s wife, mentioned the recent bombing in her hometown of Lviv, where Russia launched missile strikes near an airport on March 18.

“I’m terrified,” she said. “I go to sleep watching the news.”

Olha Bilyk said she speaks almost daily with her family in Ukraine, including via Facebook.

She said it’s heartwarming to get likes from them or to see pictures they’ve posted on Facebook.

“I know they are doing well, but it’s very difficult,” said Olha Bilyk.

She said the situation is difficult for children and adults.

“I don’t know what will happen next,” said Olha Bilyk.

For her, the current crisis is reminiscent of her childhood, when Ukraine was a member of the Soviet Union.

Ukraine left the collapsing Soviet Union and became independent on August 24, 1991.

Olha Bilyk said that at the time the Soviet Union wanted to take her family away because they were Christians, noting that two of her brothers became priests.

Nechyporenko said she remembers the Cold War and now there is another war in her home country.

The Cold War began in 1947 and ended in 1991.

“We want to move forward,” Nechyporenko said, referring to the current crisis.

Meanwhile, local officials are urging people to support Ukraine and the local church in any way they can.

On his Facebook Live Thursday, Windham Mayor Thomas DeVivo encouraged community members to grow sunflowers, Ukraine’s national flower, in support of the Ukrainian people.

“I think that would be a good thing,” he said.

The church forwards donations to the Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Checks can be made payable to St Mary’s Ukrainian Church, 70 Oak St., Willimantic 06226.

Follow the Chronicle on Twitter – @thechroniclect.

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Pastor to plead sexual battery charges linked to North Jacksonville church


JACKSONVILLE, Florida — A Jacksonville pastor charged with more than 30 years of sexual abuse will face a judge Tuesday morning.

Paul Dyal, 78, pastor of the Jacksonville Body of Christ Assembly on Old Kings Road North, was arrested in March after a coordinated police raid on the church.

Dyal faces two counts of child sexual abuse. When he appeared before a judge last month, he was ordered to be held without bail. The judge then said that Dyal could be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty.

RELATED: Jacksonville church pastor arrested in raid 1 of 3 charged with capital sexual assault | Warning signs of child sexual abuse | JSO: Sexual and physical abuse of minors at North Jacksonville church began 30 years ago | Alleged victims of Jacksonville church sexual assaults meet media | ‘It’s become our normal’: 8 women say they suffered mental and physical abuse from Jacksonville church leaders | Woman says she was repeatedly abused by pastor, arrest warrant says | Lawyers hope to hear from more witnesses in church sex abuse case | Woman spoke to pastor, JSO, about alleged sexual abuse by church member over 10 years ago: warrant | ‘It should never happen’: Women who say they survived Jacksonville church abuse return to campus

A d

Police say the investigation into Dyal dates back more than 20 years and includes evidence of crimes they say took place in the early 1990s.

JSO received a report of possible sexual abuse at the church in September 2020.

As investigators made Dyal’s arrest, additional warrants were pending in Oklahoma. Jerome Teschendorf, 68, arrested in Newalla, Oklahoma, and Vernon Williamson, 85, arrested in Ardmore, Oklahoma, were both extradited to Jacksonville.

Teschendorf and Williamson are also affiliated with the Church of Dyal and also face two counts each of child molestation.

“The investigation uncovered both long-term sexual and physical abuse of minors in the church over a period of more than thirty years,” the sheriff’s office said in its press release in March.

The sheriff’s office thinks there could be more than a dozen victims.

JSO said that during the investigation, police “identified and spoke to numerous victims and witnesses.” As a result, the sheriff’s office said, police believe there are other suspects. He asked anyone who thinks they have information to share to come forward by calling JSO or submit an anonymous report to Crime Stoppers of northeast Florida.

A d

Eight women have since shared their stories with News4JAX, saying they are survivors of mental, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of people at Body of Christ Church’s Jacksonville Assembly.

News4JAX will have a team in the courtroom for the arraignment and bring you updates on what’s going on.

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax – All Rights Reserved.

Latter-day Saint assistance to Ukrainian refugees epitomizes ideal service, leaders say


Latter-day Saints who welcome Ukrainian refugees into their homes and societies across Europe are an example to the remnant of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, two church leaders said Monday. Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Members of the Church are called to serve others at broad and individual levels, Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé said.

“The Lord invites us to be aware of the larger world in which we live – something that increased global connectivity now facilitates – and, at the same time, to remain grounded and engaged within our immediate communities,” he said. he declares. “In other words, he expects us to form and strengthen associations globally and locally.”

Bishop Caussé presented this concept at the annual conference of the International Society, a global network of Latter-day Saint professionals with international interests.

Later, Latter-day Saint Charities President Sharon Eubank said the church was using exactly the two-pronged approach suggested by Bishop Caussé in its approach to the refugee crisis in Ukraine.

“As comfortable as it may seem at times, disciples of the Savior are not meant to live in a closed community,” Bishop Caussé said.

“Church culture is meant to be inclusive rather than exclusive – to look outward rather than inward,” he added. “In accordance with the oft-quoted maxim of ‘in the world but not of the world,’ we should seek to balance the living standards of the gospel with active service in our ward or branch without becoming inactive in our non-ecclesial community.”

On the one hand, church members can help globally, he said during his presentation at BYU’s Hinckley Center.

“The fact that you are a member of this international society presupposes a desire on your part to exert your influence throughout the world,” he said. “My encouragement to you would be to act on those desires ‘on a macro level’, to use the modern blessings of technology and travel to expand your efforts for good everywhere.”

“At the same time,” he added, “I would ask you not to lose sight of the reality that – as with the mortal Savior – some of the most profound and lasting impacts you can have could be on those you associate with individually at the “micro-level” – those within your families, neighborhoods, neighborhoods and local communities.

Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks with a member of the International Society after giving a presentation at the group’s annual conference at BYU’s Hinckley Center on Monday, April 4 2022.

The International Society presented its Distinguished Service Award to Sister Eubank, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.

Sister Eubank said the church and her charity are involved in both large multinational responses and “very small local pieces” as they respond to needs in and around Ukraine. Nearly 25% of Ukraine’s population has been displaced and more than 4 million people have left the country.

Food and supplies

Latter-day Saint Charities works with the Ukrainian government, the World Food Program and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to provide food. It has 30 projects underway, including providing $5 million in food, she said.

“We buy food in Europe, truck it through these border countries and put it in the pipeline that goes to the cities, and we let the Ukrainian government do the distribution, as it should,” Sister Eubank said. .

A Ukrainian consul general to the United States visited Salt Lake City just over a week ago and thanked the church for providing what his country needed most, he said. she declared.

Meanwhile, leaders of local Latter-day Saint congregations — wards and stake councils — in more than half a dozen countries are providing detailed assistance to those on the move, from vehicles and transportation to language training, household items, medicines and more.

A micro-local example occurs at train stations in Germany, where missionaries stand with signs in Ukrainian offering to help refugees get to their next destination.

As the presiding bishop of the church, Bishop Caussé oversees the day-to-day financial and temporal affairs of the church, including Latter-day Saint charities.

He identified models for the concept of global and local service both in the life, ministry, and mission of Jesus Christ and in the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ.

“One of the great paradoxical but very comforting truths of the gospel is that even though the love and mercy of the Lord are so vast that they encompass all — the full infinity of his creations — they are nevertheless infinitesimal in their scope. , touching each of his children in a surprisingly intimate and individual way, as if he or she or we – you and I – were the only person on earth.

Bishop Caussé said the Church equally shares its teachings, services and resources without borders to every corner of the world, but its teachings and ordinances also have a very personal impact on individuals in their own languages ​​and cultures. .

He mentioned the April 2020 letter from the First Presidency on the pandemic. These senior leaders said the church and its members are committed to being good citizens and neighbors and to reaching out and providing assistance to those in need.

Bishop Caussé said the injunction requires the ability to look outward.

Be good citizens

“I would like to ask how we can be good citizens and neighbors and reach out to those in need if we limit our interactions only to members of our families and neighborhoods,” he said. “As vital and fulfilling as these relationships are, we must let our lights shine beyond the doors of our homes and meeting places.”

The conference theme was “Building Communities Around the World: Latter-day Saint Efforts in Land Stewardship, Peacemaking, and Refugee Relief.”

Bishop Caussé suggested that Latter-day Saints can build their communities by caring for their natural environment, serving others, building unity and peace, and welcoming others.

He said caring for the environment is a scientific and political necessity and a sacred duty, and that every person can use the earth’s natural resources “more sparingly and respectfully”.

The conference proceedings can be viewed on the BYU Kennedy Center YouTube channel at bit.ly/IntSoc22.

First Baptist Church hosts Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. community worship service.


LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) – First Baptist Church’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. community worship service was scheduled for January. But bad weather led the church to postpone it to Sunday.

April 4, 1968, the date that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The Lexington community came together Sunday evening to honor and remember the work that MLK has done and continues to do.

Rev. McKinley Williams hosted community leaders including: Mayor Frank Friedman, President of Washington and Lee, Dr. William Dudley, Gene Zitver of the Lexington Democratic Committee, Pastor Adam Schultz and Ellen Wheeler of Project Horizon, Marquita Dunn , Vice President of the local NAACP chapter, Sarah Centurino President of local United Way, Dr. Robin Le Blanc of the Anti-Racism Effort community and Pastor Joe Cailles of Trinity United Methodist Church.

Each spoke about what MLK stood for and how its work continues today. With a global message of unity and solidarity in the Lexington community.

The First Baptist Church also hosted keynote speaker Reverend Dr. Boykin Sanders, professor of New Testament and Greek Studies at Virginia Union University.

The service was filled with musical guests, including the Maple Sugar Singers and Jerry Saddler and the Sounds of Pentecost Choir.

Copyright 2022 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

Sri Lanka is on the verge of becoming a failed state, bishops say – Eurasia Review


(UCA News) – Catholic bishops have called for unity among politicians to prevent Sri Lanka from becoming a failed state.

Bishop Winston S. Fernando, president of the Episcopal Conference of Sri Lanka, said successive governments were to varying degrees responsible for the current situation.

“The country is rapidly approaching the precipice of a failed state which will inflict irreversible wounds on the people in its wake,” the Prelate said in a statement on behalf of the Bishops.

The South Asian nation of 22 million is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948 after its foreign exchange reserves hit a record high.

The shortage of dollars has caused power shortages affecting all sectors while soaring prices of essential goods have disrupted life across the country.

The Bishops urged all Catholic institutions, parishes and private institutions as well as men and women of goodwill to organize assistance to help those seriously affected by the economic crisis.

“Leaders have an obligation to serve all citizens by putting the country first and not out of political expediency but out of principle,” Bishop Fernando said.

“What the country needs is an immediate solution to remedy the critical situation and to work on short and long term solutions to put the country on a solid foundation of sustainable development.”

Sri Lanka needs nearly $7 billion to service its external debt this year.

Thousands of people gathered on March 31 near the private residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to protest against rising prices and demand his resignation. Police fired tear gas and imposed a curfew for a few hours. Nearly 50 people were injured.

There were strict roadblocks and the police and army were deployed to prevent protesters from entering the president’s house.

The crisis has caused massive public anger, with people unable to find cooking gas, medicine, fuel and basic foodstuffs like powdered milk because the country has run out of foreign currency to pay for imported goods.

Hundreds of people chanted for Rajapaksa and the entire cabinet to resign in the face of the crisis. Videos circulating on social media showed protesters shouting “Lunatic go home”.

Without air conditioners and fans, people suffocate during 10-12 hour power outages. The government does not have the money to pay for the fuel needed by the power stations.

People with serious health problems are struggling to find medicine, and hospitals have canceled operations because they don’t have diesel to run generators during blackouts.

The government turned off street lights to save electricity. Mobile phones have been affected as emergency generators used at telephone base stations have run out of diesel.

The government’s decision to embrace organic farming last year proved disastrous. The ban on all chemical fertilizers has led to soaring prices and food shortages. Although the policy was partially reversed later, the damage had been done

Activist Nuwani De Silva said people had to queue from morning to night to buy essential items.

“How do we manage our daily work with a 12-hour power outage? People are in an aggressive mood all over the country,” she said. “Wherever government ministers are seen in the streets, the public protests against them.”

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo recently called for national transformation to deal with the crisis.

“The country is today in a hopeless situation and it is the result of a series of bad choices made not only by politicians but also by citizens who allowed themselves to be exploited by the political and cultural forces that transmitted our destiny,” the cardinal said at the Anglican Cathedral in Colombo on March 27, Ranjith said.

Quiboloy’s co-defendants plead garbage – pastor’s lawyers


DAVAO CITY—Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s U.S.-based attorney has called garbage the pastor’s co-defendant’s report that she was cooperating with the U.S. government to identify the pastor.

“I just want to clarify something. There’s a reason the US government leaked this kind of information: they’re trying to poison the well,” said attorney Michael Green, who is handling Quiboloy’s US sex trafficking charges. .

“Honestly, it’s crap. Everyone in the world should know how the United States [legal] system works. When he makes this statement that there is a conspiracy, he wants to give the impression that the accused, the pastor, is guilty,” Green said. “When I see the government release something, it makes people think about what these people have done. That’s what they [do:] divulge this stuff, make it national, like a Wild West. It’s like a game; but it’s not a fun game.

The attorney added that the U.S. government is disclosing “stuff like this as the case progresses.”

“I just feel sad for Maria de Leon. I’m sorry this is happening and it would happen,” Green said.

He added that he suspects that government prosecutors, “even her attorney, have scared her and the other dissidents to death that if they admit guilt they could be given probation.”

Green said that by entering into a plea bargain, de Leon had the opportunity to return to his family without going to jail.

“She just wants to go home,” Green said last Sunday during an online press briefing hosted by Quiboloy’s Davao City media team.

Green and Quiboloy’s Filipino attorneys in Manila and Davao City said any confession or information that de Leon, 73, may give U.S. prosecutors “binds the confession only to the confessor.”

Attorney Ferdinand Topacio said de Leon was not a member of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) of Quiboloy, but only ran a paralegal services office in the United States.

“She’s an independent entrepreneur; i.e. an office that accepts anyone, not just for marriages, visas and all the rest.

His admission against the pastor would not impact the case saying that an admission by a third party like De Leon “is an act of a third party, made by a person unrelated to the main party, that which means that it cannot affect anything in the case because the confession binds only the confessor.

“This is a universally accepted legal principle recognized not only by our system, but even by the American legal system,” Topacio added.

He said De Leon had no direct connection to Quiboloy or had any communication with him. “As an independent contractor, she has no personal knowledge of how KOJC is run; his doctrines on things like marriage.

He added that it would not be a stretch that “a senile person like her could have been pressured into a plea bargain or co-operation”.

“She doesn’t have a personal lawyer and she was given a lawyer, the equivalent of a court-appointed lawyer in the Philippines, whether she likes the lawyer or not.”

Furthermore, Topacio said, “the prosecution for sex trafficking will take place in 2023. And the universally accepted legal principle states that anyone accused is always presumed innocent. This means that the burden of proof is on the prosecution and not on the the accused.

As with the previous case of the Federal Bureau of Investigation poster soliciting information on the pastor’s whereabouts, Topacio believed the new press release was another attempt by the US government to intervene in Philippine affairs.

“I think it’s part of the tendency of the US government to interfere in elections. The timing – first with the poster, it’s totally unnecessary. Now, just a month away from the elections, when everything is silent, they are proposing a new development in this case, to pin the pastor, who is immediately linked to President Duterte,” he said.

On April 1, De Leon allegedly admitted to federal prosecutors that she was processing fraudulent documents for Quiboloy KOJC members. It was released for publication by the DOJ’s US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

“That’s why it’s April Fool’s Day,” Topacio said.

Pope Francis Names Cincinnati Priest New Catholic Bishop of Columbus


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus has a new bishop – the first person of color in this role and the first Indo-American bishop in the Catholic Church.

On Saturday morning, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had appointed the Reverend Count Fernandes, now a priest in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, as the 13th bishop of the Diocese of Columbus.

What this means for the Diocese of Columbus:Catholic Bishop Robert Brennan departs for Brooklyn

“It’s the land of opportunity,” Fernandes said. “There’s a lot of pride (to be the first Indian-American bishop).”

The Ohio native is also the first person of color to lead the Diocese of Columbus and the first Indo-American to be appointed as a Catholic bishop, Deacon Thomas Berg, diocesan chancellor, confirmed.

The fourth of five sons born to Indian immigrants in Toledo, Fernandes remembers celebrating the United States Bicentennial on July 4, 1976, holding signs with his brothers. His father, who had memorized the Constitution before taking his citizenship test, had fashioned his own version of the Liberty Bell together.

Fernandes, 49, who describes himself as “a young and happy priest,” will be ordained a bishop and installed as head of the Diocese of Columbus on May 31.

Bittersweet Farewell:The Catholic Bishop of Columbus, Robert Brennan, gives the last masses before leaving for Brooklyn

News of Father Fernandes’ appointment as bishop comes months after Pope Francis reassigned former Bishop of Columbus Robert Brennan to head the Brooklyn Diocese in September. Brennan said her final Masses locally Nov. 21 after serving in Columbus for about two and a half years.

Bishop-elect Earl Fernandes answers questions after a press conference Saturday to formally announce his appointment as the thirteenth bishop of the Diocese of Columbus.  The event was held at the Diocese's Catholic Center on East Gay Street in downtown Columbus.

Who is Bishop-elect Earl Fernandes?

Humility guides Father Fernandes.

This is the lesson his parents passed on to him, having grown up poor in a neighborhood of Toledo. And that was the moral imperative that followed his spiritual journey and his career, he said.

Before becoming a pastor at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church in Cincinnati, Fernandes attended the University of Toledo, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, before attending the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

In medical school – he comes from a family of doctors and teachers – Fernandes realized he wanted to be a priest. He holds a doctorate in moral theology from the Alphonsian Academy in Rome, Italy.

Bishop Brennan:Respect for human dignity must be at the heart of actions, moral principles

Prior to being a pastor at St. Ignatius, Fernandes served from 2016 to 2019 on the staff of the Apostolic Nunciature, the offices of the Pope’s representative to the United States, in Washington.

While living in Washington, the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., which left one dead and 35 injured, was an eye-opening experience for Fernandes.

“I see myself as a man, a human man, created in the image of God, and everyone I see as a brother and a sister,” Fernandes said. “We don’t need to use violence to achieve peace.”

Violence and hatred diminish a person’s soul, the bishop-elect said, and he practices affirmation, not diminution. He said he knows what it means to encounter prejudice firsthand.

‘You don’t let others dictate your life and bring you down,’ bishop-elect says, recalling times he’s been accused of theft, had mud thrown on him or been passed over for jobs in the Catholic Church.

That adversity shaped Fernandes’ own empathy, and he said he was thrilled to meet and work with the people of Greater Columbus and learn about the area’s diverse population.

As a first-ordained priest in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati on May 18, 2002, Fernandes served as parochial curate at Holy Angels Church and taught religion at Lehman Catholic High School, a coeducational school in Sidney, N. Shelby County from 2002 to 2004.

Bishop-elect Earl Fernandes is introduced by Monsignor Stephan Moloney during a press conference held Saturday at the Catholic Center on East Gay Street in downtown Columbus to officially announce the appointment of Reverend Fernandes by Pope Francis as the thirteenth Bishop of the Diocese of Columbus.

This experience in rural Ohio guided Fernandes’ commitment to serve as bishop for the 23 counties of the Diocese of Columbus, which includes a large majority of rural areas and farmland beyond Columbus.

“I’m not just here for the city dwellers,” he said.

Fernandes’ vision for the future of the diocese

Nicknamed “Father Speedy” by his parishioners in Cincinnati for his brisk walk and conversation, Fernandes is committed to efficiency when it comes to prioritizing the goals of the Diocese of Columbus.

He referred to Pope Francis’ desire to create a synodal church, or a church that walks together, listens and discerns.

“It’s not so much a program of social and political reform as it is of evangelism – to bring the joy of the gospel to all levels of culture and to all hearts,” Fernandes said.

Real presence, real future:A ‘trademark’ of his time as bishop, Brennan hopes the reorientation of the diocese will continue without him

One of the bishop-elect’s first tasks will be to study Real Presence, Real Future, draft parish restructuring plans in the diocese amid declining attendance and a shortage of priests across the country. ‘Catholic Church.

Fernandes sees his appointment as an opportunity to create a mission-oriented diocese, adding that the Catholic hierarchy cannot be seen simply as bureaucrats lounging in air-conditioned offices.

“We have to be spiritual entrepreneurs,” he said. “We must help everyone to live their vocation and to see Christianity not only as a set of rules, but as a way of life.”

Before Fernandes was named bishop, Bishop Stephan J. Moloney, vicar general of the Diocese of Columbus under three bishops, had served as acting leader — called a diocesan administrator — since December.

“Today’s news is a joy-filled moment for all of us here in the Diocese of Columbus,” Moloney said. “We know and are confident that Bishop-elect Fernandes will be a wonderful and deeply caring shepherd to all of us here in the Diocese of Columbus, and I know he will find the warmest of welcomes from his new diocesan family.”

The departure of former Bishop Columbus Brennan marked the first time in recent history that the diocese has appointed an administrator instead of having bishops serve until their successor is installed.

The two bishops who served the Diocese of Columbus before Brennan — Bishop Frederick Campbell and Bishop James Griffin — both retired and served until the installation of the next bishop, Deacon Berg said.

Brennan, now bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, also applauded the announcement.

“I couldn’t be happier for him and for the Church of Columbus,” Brennan said. “During my time in Ohio, I knew Bishop-elect Fernandes as a neighbor and through his service on the board of trustees of the Pontifical College Josephinum. He will bring his many talents, deep faith, and a true love for the Lord to a Church that vibrates with that same love for the Lord.”

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Gene M. Suino | News, Sports, Jobs


LAURIUM – Gene M. Suino, 93, of Laurium died March 30, 2022 at Portage Pointe in Hancock where she had resided since November 2019.

Gene was born on September 29, 1928 to Millie (Courchaine) and Emil Fontaine in Chassell. Her family moved to Tamarack City, where she grew up. She attended Dollar Bay Schools and graduated with the Class of 1948.

On August 20, 1949, she married Frank G. Suino at St Cecila’s Church in Hubbell.

They first lived in Houghton where she worked at the JJ Newberry store. Then they moved to Laurium where they lived and raised their four children. They shared 62 years of marriage. Frank predeceased her on January 19, 2012.

Gene was a stay-at-home mom until her youngest children were in high school, then went to work at FW Woolworths and later JC Penney, both in Calumet. Gene was a loving wife, mother and grandmother and had many close friends.

She was a devout Catholic who often attended daily Mass and was part of a weekly Rosary group for many years. She served her church as a member of the parish council (serving as secretary for a time), as a member of the altar society, on the funeral luncheon committee, and later as a collection counter.

Gene loved to sing and did so often. There was music in her heart and thanks to her, we grew up with music in our house. When her children were finally all in school, she sang at funeral masses as another way to serve her religious community.

In addition to her church work, she was an auxiliary member and volunteer at the Keweenaw Memorial/Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital, and a member of the Lady Elks, the Altar Society, and the Pisano Club.

She and Frank enjoyed many spring trips to Las Vegas and New Orleans for Mardi Gras together, and time spent with friends at firefighter tournaments and pisano nights.

She loved her grandchildren deeply. She liked to spoil them and sew them new pajamas and holiday dresses for the girls. Her grandchildren loved her homemade breadsticks which she was known to make from a recipe by her husband’s Italian grandmother (even though she was French).

She hosted holiday dinner parties for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at her home for most of her life and will be sadly missed by all of her family.

Gene was predeceased by her husband; Parents; brother, Theadore (Ted) Fontaine; sisters-in-law, Diane Fontaine, Marie DeMars and Cathy Hamman; his brother-in-law, Francis DeMars, and his dear cousin, (who was like a sister) Elaine Chaput.

She is survived by her children, Jeanne (Dan) Schmitt, Karen Johnson, Deb (Charlie) Dlubala and Bob (Lori) Suino; grandchildren, Scott Morrison of Orlando, Florida; Jill (Dan) Koskineimi of Laurium; Dawn (Romano) Pauli of West Bend, Wisconsin; Kristin Morrison of Metairie, Louisiana; Kelly (Clayton) Powell of Lowell; Stacy (Paul) Wilson of Otsego; Brett Johnson of Metairie; Amber Suino of Grand Rapids; and Brittany Johnson of Metairie; eight great-grandchildren, Cameron, Garrett, Cadi and Griffin Pauli, Bryson and Delaney Powell and Rhett and Ryder Wilson; a brother-in-law, Art Hamman of Athens, Tennessee, a special cousin, Bernard Chaput of Chassell, and several nieces and nephews.

Gene’s family would like to sincerely thank the staff at Winona House in Portage Pointe and the many At Home Companions assistants who helped us care for Mom as her dementia progressed. We couldn’t have done it without you, and we will be forever grateful.

A visitation service will be held for Gene Suino on Monday, April 4, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home.

A funeral mass will be held at noon on Monday, April 4, 2022 at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Calumet.

Online condolences for the family can be left at ericksoncrowley.com.

The Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home will help the family make arrangements.

Across the Pastor’s Desk: Prayer for Peace in War – Albert Lea Tribune


Through the Pastor’s Desk by Todd Walsh

I share a prayer with you in this column. It comes from Dietrich Brauer, Archbishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia. He wrote and published it after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

Todd Walsh

Dear brothers and sisters of Russia and Ukraine, peace be with you! Don’t stop praying together for peace and opposition to evil. This is commanded by Christ. And may God keep us all in this difficult time in his faithful hands! Lord, have mercy on us sinners.


Peace, as his precious alliance,

The Lord has given us to keep.

He the reconciler of all the universe,

Promised the victory of life.

But how many times have we still trampled

In the dirt his sacred gift,

And declared unfounded,

There will never be a war.

Lord have mercy on us sinners

And pour out your grace.

That hell does not devour

Your foolish children.

Grant enlightenment to blind rulers,

Put your love in their hearts.

Send the arrogant warning.

Don’t let the blood of the innocent be shed.

After all, no one will find their paradise

By strength, power and wealth.

Peoples, countries, human fraternity

Lives only on you, Lord.

Yours in the love of Christ,”

Dietrich Brauer, Archbishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Russia

Recall that Russia has approved a law essentially banning public opposition to the war against Ukraine. The above prayer and a sermon Archbishop Brauer preached after the war started caught the attention of the authorities and put him in danger. Archbishop Brauer therefore fled Russia with his wife and three children. They are safe in Germany. And he and his wife, who is also a pastor, continue their opposition to the war and from afar they also continue their ministry with their flock in Russia.

The Moscow Lutheran Cathedral shares its space with a Baptist congregation. And they organized together the sending of relief to the refugees who are in Russia. They also support efforts in Ukraine to deliver relief and help people to leave Ukraine.

The sermon that jeopardized Bishop Brauer’s safety speaks to what motivates him and the people he serves.

“It is God’s business, Christ’s business to bring the sacrifice of love, of redemption, of forgiveness, so that there will be no more senseless human sacrifices. The cross was erected at Calvary to get us out of the bloody vicious cycle. The holy God humbles himself in the guise of a servant, a criminal, an outcast and a worthless people to touch our hearts and fill them with peace so that we can regain dignity and humanity. Jesus did everything for that. And he is always on his mind with us.

God bless Dietrich Brauer and all those he serves. And may the same God bless us, inspire us, and move us all to serve that God and live that life as redeemed humanity and at peace.

Todd Walsh is Director of Spiritual Care Services at Thorne Crest Senior Living Community in Albert Lea.

Chula Vista Church Connects Ukrainian Refugees to Host Family Network – NBC 7 San Diego


A church in San Diego’s South Bay has become a hub for Ukrainian refugees admitted to the United States at the San Ysidro port of entry.

Calvary Church San Diego pastor Aaron Szloboda gathers his new flock for the next leg of their journey to the United States.

“That’s one of my favorite phrases, that’s what they say. ‘I’ve never been to America before in my life. I didn’t realize how much you loved us,” Szloboda said.

Szloboda says what started six days ago when a few refugees on the Telegram app told others they had arrived in the United States turned into a conversation between 14,000 people trying to make the same thing.

He predicts that the encampments seen near the Mexican border are just the beginning. Many refugees say they don’t want to find another shelter because they fear losing their place in the queue.

Calvary Church says these refugee camps attract smugglers who might offer to ferry people across the border for lots of money, but never follow through.

The church has volunteers from both sides helping the refugees. Even so, the average time it takes Ukrainians to get from Tijuana airport to Calvary Church is around 30 hours, according to Szloboda.

“What they get here is a meal, something to drink and time to be safe and relaxed,” he said.

After that, the church connects refugees with a network of host families, most of whom are church members.

A man named Russ, a Ukrainian who belongs to Potter’s House Church in Sacramento, will likely be their next helping hand.

“I see a lot of mothers, a lot of children from my country. Who helps these guys? said Russ.

Russ made five trips to Sacramento this week to guide refugees to families there. He’s repaying a favor he received 20 years ago when he emigrated here.

“I’m tired, but when I’m [sic] by coming here, Jesus and you have helped me,” he said.

It is a labor of love, and for Pastor Szloboda, a devotion he must not ignore.

“When we see a need and have the capacity to help, it would be a sin for us not to help,” he said.

It’s high time to act on payday loans


Sometimes the demands made on governments seem so eminently reasonable that it’s amazing they need to be repeated over and over again.

In a report released last week, ACORN, a nonprofit group that advocates for low- and middle-income Canadians, once again calls on the federal government to crack down on the exorbitant interest rates charged by high-cost lenders.

Screaming outlets offering payday loans and other similar quick-money provisions at high cost are symbols of desperation on the main streets of nearly every city.

They are the physical manifestation of an inequitable society – a divide both highlighted and deepened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As ACORN has long argued, lenders benefit the most vulnerable.

The pandemic has made matters worse for those on the fringes, he said. Many of those trying to pay their bills turn to so-called payday loans – small, short-term loans with extremely high annual interest rates.

These loans do not exceed $1,500, must be repaid within 62 days and can bear interest up to 500% in some provinces. They are regulated by provincial governments and lenders are exempt even from the 60% limit on interest.

Some respondents to an ACORN survey also took out what are known as installment loans – longer-term loans of $1,500 to $15,000 that are repaid over a longer period at annual rates of up to 60%.

The result is people falling into pitfalls they can’t escape as they struggle to pay their bills and cover the rising cost of living, ACORN said.

The poor, he said, are the industry’s target market and “lenders continue to exploit people’s vulnerabilities.”

For lenders, “the objective is not to help people but to ensure that the person who took out a loan is trapped in a vicious circle of debt”.

ACORN wants the federal government to reduce the legal limit on interest rates on installment loans to 30% from 60%.

“This should be a priority and the government should act on this, and quickly,” Donna Borden, an ACORN leader, told Torstar’s Christine Dobby.

Lenders argue that the reduction in the legal interest rate could actually hurt some borrowers by cutting off all access to financing for those with low credit ratings.

That’s why ACORN also wants the government to force traditional banks to offer more low-cost borrowing options to individuals, backed by the government itself, and cut bank fees charged from $45 to $10. when customers do not have the necessary funds to cover the transactions.

“It is not preference but a lack of choice that is the main factor driving low and middle income people to take out high cost loans,” ACORN said.

The survey notes that while the economic consequences of the pandemic continue to be felt and government supports dwindle, while “the most disadvantaged segments of the population have seen their jobs disappear or face a substantial reduction in working hours. work, senior executives, CEOs and large corporations have seen their wealth increase.

In his mandate letter to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland in December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked her, among other things, to “crack down on predatory lenders by lowering the criminal interest rate.”

Strong words. But as ACORN said last week, it’s “critical to translate that commitment into action.”

The file is clear and the need is real. The government should get on it.

The new head of the American Seminary in Rome has a difficult task ahead


ROME — On Wednesday, the Vatican announced that Monsignor Thomas Powers would take over as the new rector of the Pontifical North American College, the Rome-based seminary for young men pursuing studies at pontifical universities while studying for the priesthood. .

Powers, a graduate of the so-called NAC – which is run by the American bishops’ conference – in the class of 1997, previously served as an official of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops from 2005, assisting the formation faculty of the college as assistant spiritual director.

After spending 10 years in Rome, Powers returned to his native diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 2015, where he most recently served as vicar general, as well as pastoring St. John Parish in Darien.

He replaces outgoing father Peter Harman, a priest from Springfield, Illinois, who stepped into the role of NAC rector in 2016, and has stayed beyond the usual 5-year term because the selection of a successor has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. .

His term as the 24th rector of the CNA takes effect on July 1, 2022.

Founded in 1859 by Blessed Pope Pius IX, the NAC has welcomed more than 5,000 priests from across the United States, Canada and Australia, and currently serves more than 200 young men who are studying for the priesthood or who have been ordained. and pursue higher education in Rome.

Pope Francis visited the NAC on May 2, 2015 for a special day of prayer and reflection on the life of Saint Junipero Serra, whom he canonized in Washington, DC during his visit to the United States in September of the same year.

In a March 30 press release announcing his appointment, Powers said that “although being the next rector of the Pontifical North American College was never something I expected or sought, I very grateful to have been asked to take on this important role”.

“In accepting this appointment, I ask the Lord to grant me the grace to fulfill this role faithfully, and I entrust myself to Our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Humility,” he said.

Harman, for his part, praised his successor, calling Powers “a talented, generous, faithful and holy priest. I cannot think of a better example and Spiritual Father for men in priestly formation here at North American College.

Any appointment of a new rector to the NAC is important, and everyone brings different things to the table during their tenure at the helm, however, Powers has a unique challenge in that he takes over at a time when Pope Francis calls for a profound reform of clerical culture.

Since his election in March 2013, Pope Francis has been on a crusade to eradicate clericalism from the Church by changing the perception that priests and the Catholic church hierarchy are a distinguished and superior class who enjoy special privileges and honors in virtue of their ordination.

The perception that priests enjoy high status and the abuse of power and authority that often accompanies clericalism have often been seen as an underlying cause of global Church abuse scandals, including high-profile cases that erupted during Harman’s tenure, such as the notorious case of ex-Cardinal and ex-priest Theodore McCarrick.

Although McCarrick did not study at the NAC – which produced several top American Church leaders such as Cardinals Raymond Burke, Blase Cupich, Daniel DiNardo, Timothy Dolan and Donald Wuerl – he often stayed there during his visits to Rome later in his ecclesial career.

Powers, in his new position, is charged with executing Pope Francis’ vision of a more humble and service-oriented clergy, less obsessed with rules and doctrinal fine print and closer to and more involved in people’s lives. entrusted to him.

He also became involved following Pope Francis’ decision last year to restrict the traditional Latin Mass, which had become popular especially among younger conservative clergy in the United States.

Even though Pope Francis himself, as bishop of Rome, authorized the continuation of the celebration of the traditional Mass in Latin in certain parishes already attached to the ancient rite, these masses and their formation have been suspended in DAC.

Harman released a memorandum last August in which he explained that the NAC would no longer offer training in the Traditional Latin Mass or allow its celebration on campus on the grounds that, per Pope Francis’ decree, the authorization to celebrate the so-called “old rite” must be given by the diocesan bishop of the priests, but this authorization is “not sufficient” outside the respective dioceses of the priests.

These are just a few examples of the great changes currently taking place for initiates in the Catholic Church, and it is Powers’ job to accompany NAC seminarians and help them through these changes over the five coming years.

Before coming to Rome for his work at the Congregation for Bishops in 2005, Powers earned a degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend and was a financial consultant with Andersen Consulting in New York.

In 1991, he spent a year as a volunteer in Puerto Rico through the Notre Dame Center for Social Concerns, then entered St. John Fisher Seminary in Connecticut to pursue priestly studies. He moved to the CNA in 1993, earning a BA in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family.

He was ordained on May 24, 1997, and served in various assignments in his home diocese before being called to the Vatican in 2005.

Remarking on Powers’ appointment as rector of the NAC, the Bishop of Bridgeport, Frank Caggiano, said, “I am not at all surprised that the Board of Governors of the Pontifical North American College has chosen Monsignor Powers to fill the position. of rector”.

“In my opinion, they couldn’t have made a better choice. Although he will be terribly missed in the Diocese of Bridgeport – both as Vicar General and as Pastor – I am happy for the College,” Caggiano said.

Bishop Robert Deeley, chairman of the college’s board of governors and bishop of Portland, Maine, said Powers is “extremely well-positioned to serve as our next rector, given his extensive background in seminary training, his many pastoral skills, and his previous work in church governance and administration.

“We are very grateful to him for accepting our nomination,” he said.

Follow Elise Ann Allen on Twitter: @eliseannallen

Church World Service Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services opens office in Harrisburg


Church World Service Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services, which had a branch since the mid-1980s in Lancaster County, has now opened a new location in Harrisburg.

The nonprofit organization opened the new office at 2101 N. Front St., Building 3, Suite 301 in Harrisburg. The office served its first clients last month and opened the new office earlier this month.

“The new office in Harrisburg will provide newly arrived refugees from Afghanistan and beyond with comprehensive case management and employment services aimed at laying the foundation for long-term self-reliance and success in the States. United,” the organization said in a press release. year.

The office also offers basic needs support, case management, cultural orientation, assistance with accessing health care, as well as job readiness and job placement assistance.

“Most people are aware of the humanitarian disasters in Ukraine and Afghanistan, but we can’t lose sight of other long-term issues in other parts of the world,” said Alex Swan, Harrisburg office director for Church. World Service Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services, said in a recent press release.

Swan cites the current needs of refugees in Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Central America, among others.

Church World Service Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services will open their new Harrisburg office with an information event and screening of the documentary, Flee at Midtown Cinema, 250 Reilly St., Harrisburg from 6-8 p.m. Thursday . Flee is a documentary about an Afghan refugee’s journey to come to terms with his past.

The event is designed to educate the Harrisburg community about the work CWS-Harrisburg is doing to help refugees find their new homes in the middlestate.

“The community here is special,” Swan said. “They have already hosted several Afghan families in Harrisburg and Lancaster. We see the official launch as an opportunity to let the rest of the community know how they can tap into and help their new neighbors.

In addition to the screening, the event will feature several former refugee speakers, who will speak about their resettlement experiences in the region. The screening is free, but interested community members should register at the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/film-screening-community-appreciation-tickets-301491939507.

You can follow Daniel Urie on Twitter @DanielUrie2018 and you can like it on Facebook.

Christian pastor murdered in India after threats from Hindu nationalists


MUMBAI, India — A Christian pastor has been murdered in India days after being threatened by Hindu nationalists.

Yalam Sankar, 50, was stabbed to death on March 17 by five men who dragged him from his house in Angampalli village in Bijhapur district of central Chhattisgarh state. India.

According to local Christians, the pastor had been warned by a Hindu nationalist against preaching Christianity and had been threatened with death.

Sankar is survived by his wife, two sons and grandchildren. He was a former sarpanch, or village chief, and was known for defending Christians against Hindu nationalists.

Police say the pastor was killed by Naxals, the local Maoist militants, who suspected him of being a police informant.

“According to preliminary information, a group of suspected armed Naxals entered the house of local pastor Yalam Shankar and dragged him outside. They attacked him with sharp weapons, killing him instantly,” a police official said.

According to the police, a handwritten note was recovered in which the Maoists claimed responsibility for the murder.

However, Father Vincent Ekka, head of the tribal studies department at the Jesuit-run Indian Social Institute in New Delhi, said it is common to allege someone was a Naxal or informant of the police when a revenge killing takes place.

“Usually the Naxals make sure of the facts before they act. In the case of Pastor Yallam Shankar, it seems, he was only suspected of being a police informant. Second, the police department denies any contact or association with the pastor,” he told Crux.

“Another angle of the whole episode indicates the hatred and revenge of the fringes of anti-Christians. In the Bastar region, there is more and more violence and hatred against Christians, whether they are tribal, pastors or missionaries,” Ekka said.

“It could also be that the perpetrators are not Naxals, but that under the garb of Naxals, anti-Christian fringes may also be involved in the murder of Pastor Shankar and in doing so, they kill two birds with the same arrow. Either way, the social dynamics and peace in the community are disrupted,” he said.

Know why the Church teaches what it does about abortion


Life advocates are seen near the U.S. Supreme Court on December 1, 2021, the day judges heard oral arguments in a case involving a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks’ gestation. (SNC Photo/Tyler Orsburn)


Msgr.  Owen F. CampionIt would take the best crystal ball on the market to predict the Supreme Court’s decision in the Mississippi abortion case, yet the court rules, if it only decides to “narrowly” change its Roe vs. Wade decision nearly 50 years ago, many Americans who value the sanctity of life will be upset. If it completely reverses deermany Americans who want abortion to be available on demand will be unhappy.

“Unhappy” and “unhappy” can be an understatement.

Spirits will rise. Perhaps the only certain prediction is that the debate will continue regarding the right of unborn life to exist without being deliberately interrupted. Those who, with the teaching of the Catholic Church, regard unborn life as the life of a human being, with all the dignity and rights that go with that status, will have to explain and defend their position.

They will have to deal with very strong winds of cultural opinion, as they will have to express their beliefs in an environment where traditional morality, in many manifestations, is forgotten, ignored or criticized. Everything, everything is fine today.

Recently, a television sports news reporter interviewed a Catholic high school senior who is hailed as the best school basketball player in his state. The reporter asked the young man who would be next in his life.

The Catholic High School star didn’t say it would be college, the military or learning the family business. God knows he didn’t say he was thinking about seminary. He said that in a few days he would be 18, in June he would graduate, just like his girlfriend, then they would get a job, move into the same apartment and start their adult lives. Marriage? Who knows? Maybe one day. Maybe not. Children? May be.

He completes 12 years of Catholic education, during which he surely heard Catholic moral teaching. As the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but….”

In another newscast, the wedding of a popular entertainer, his Catholic origin was reported. His wife also has Catholic origins. Their two young sons were ring bearers. The journalist was not at all surprised.

Cohabitation is a way of life, just like easy divorce. No one questions artificial birth control, and many Catholics find the Church’s doctrine on the issue embarrassing at best, absurd at worst.

Euthanasia is approaching, there is no doubt about it.

Abortion and legal access to it have their own serious implications to consider, but, overall, the discussion of the moral property of abortion on demand is weighed down by the attitude of more increasingly widespread in America, and throughout Western civilization, that something is immoral only if and to the extent that an individual regards it as bad for himself.

Personal judgment is essential to any assessment of morality, but it is also vital to recognize the fact that each of us is limited in wisdom and prudence – a somewhat disturbing thought until associated with realizing that God, through Christ, echoed in the teachings of the Church, showed us the best way.

The bottom line is that this cultural atmosphere exaggerated individual human decision-making and consequent righteousness of action, setting aside the reality of a Supreme Being and, therefore, obviously, any revelation coming from a To be supreme.

When arguments about abortion arise, think about what abortion is. Ask yourself why Catholic teaching celebrates the sanctity of marriage and the values ​​that are integral to it, such as lifelong commitment and fidelity. Bravely and cautiously, note the sociological and psychological facts indicating that cohabitation is not necessarily as productive and fulfilling as some assume. Study the rationality behind Catholic doctrine on artificial contraception.

Remember what Pope Saint Paul VI predicted two generations ago, that by ignoring God and the revelation of God spoken by the Church, mankind would reap the storm. Intelligent man.

Msgr. Owen F. Campion is the OSV chaplain.

Is there a global vocations crisis? A look at the numbers

Six men have been ordained priests in the Archdiocese of Bombay, India, December 2020. Credit: Archdiocese of Bombay.

While ordinations to the diocesan priesthood are on the rise in some parts of the world, they are also falling rapidly in some traditionally Catholic countries.

And while a “vocations crisis” might be discussed most often in the United States, where more than a third of diocesan priests are currently retired, the global picture of diocesan priestly ordinations indicates changing trends and dynamics. in the Catholic Church.

The number of priests around the world is holding steady, but the Catholic population is growing – suggesting a need for more priests even in some of the most dynamic parts of the world.

The pillar look at the numbers.

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The big picture

Since 1970, the Vatican has compiled an annual manual of Church statistics that tracks ordinations to the diocesan priesthood.

The highest number of ordinations to the diocesan priesthood in the worldwide Church since 1970 occurred in the decade between 2000 and 2010, when the Church ordained approximately 6,800 men per year as diocesan priests.

Over the past 49 years, the regional distribution of diocesan priestly ordinations has changed dramatically. In 1970, Europe had 55% of all Church ordinations. By 2019, the absolute number of men ordained in Europe had fallen by almost 50% and Europeans made up only 23% of all ordinations, outnumbered by Africans who made up 28%.

The number of ordained diocesan priests in North America dropped by 50% between 1970 and 2000, but has leveled off since.

In Central and South America, as well as in Asia, the number of diocesan priestly ordinations increased dramatically from 1970 to 2010, but has since begun to decline.

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The Church in Europe

Within Europe in particular, there are large variations between countries.

Italy experienced a 50% drop in diocesan priestly ordinations from 1970 to 1980, some increases in the 1990s, and then a further period of decline.

Poland experienced a rapid increase in diocesan ordinations during the 1970s and 1980s, peaking around 1990 as the country was breaking free from communism.

But the number of diocesan priestly ordinations in Poland has decreased over the past 30 years. In 2019, there were 298 men ordained priests, less than half of the 741 ordained in 1990.

In 1970, France and Germany each had nearly 300 men ordained as diocesan priests.

Since then, ordinations in both countries have declined, although Germany saw an increase in ordinations during the last years of communist rule, culminating in 1989 and 1990 when the Berlin Wall came down and Germany been reunited.

In 2019, France ordained 94 new diocesan priests, while Germany ordained 55.

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The United States has experienced a different pattern of ordinations than the Catholic Church has experienced in Central and South American countries.

Diocesan priestly ordinations in the United States declined nearly 50% from 1970 to 1990, but have averaged 428 per year since then, despite some year-to-year variation.

In Mexico, the number of diocesan priestly ordinations peaked between 1995 and 2005. While the number of diocesan priests ordained each year has declined since that peak, it is still well above the 1970 level.

The annual number of diocesan priestly ordinations in Brazil increased steadily from 1970 to 2010, but has since declined and is now at the level last seen in 1995.

Although Mexico and Brazil have seen more ordained diocesan priests in recent years than in the 1970s, the number of Catholics in these countries has grown at an even faster rate, presenting a looming crisis to provide ministry to all. Catholics of these nations.

In 2019, Brazil had over 11,000 Catholics for every diocesan priest and Mexico had over 8,000.

By comparison, the United States has less than 3,000 Catholics per diocesan priest. This number will increase in the years to come, as American priestly ordinations will decline for several decades before leveling off, based on the current rate of vocations.

Asia and Africa

Asia and Africa have seen some of the most dramatic increases in priestly vocations since the 1970s.

With 1.38 billion people, India has the second largest population in the world and will likely overtake China in the next few years.

But India’s Catholic population of 22.5 million – split between the Latin Catholic Church and two others I am Catholic Churches – is less than the number of Catholics in the United States or even in Germany.

India has produced a growing number of priestly vocations for most of the past 50 years, peaking in 2010 with 553 male ordained Latin Catholic diocesan priests – more ordinations that year than the United States, which has three times more baptized Catholics.

In 2019, India and the United States both ordained 415 men to the diocesan priesthood.

The Philippines has a smaller population but is a predominantly Catholic country. Its trend in ordinations is similar to that of Mexico, increasing from 1970 to 1995 but decreasing since that peak.

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Nigeria is the star of the vocations boom in Africa. With 31.5 million Catholics in 2019 (less than half the number in the United States), Nigeria has steadily increased the number of vocations since 1970, and in 2019 just five fewer men were ordained priests than in the United States, despite differences in Catholic population.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has a population that is just over 50% Catholic, giving it more Catholics overall than Nigeria. But the number of priestly vocations in the country is less.

From 1970 to 2010, the number of priestly ordinations increased more than eight times in the DRC, to reach 216.

But the number for 2019 was somewhat lower, at 133.

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Throwing nets

Of course, this analysis focuses on diocesan priests, who consistently form the majority of priests ministering in parishes around the world.

But to examine the impact of vocations on the total number of diocesan Catholic priests, one must compare the number of ordinations to the number of deceased or laicized priests.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the net change of priests was negative, due to the large number of priests seeking to laicize in the 1970s and a dramatic decrease in the number of ordinations in Europe and North America in the years following Vatican II.

In the 1990s and 2000s, the net change in the number of priests turned positive, with the number of laicizations decreasing and the number of ordinations in Africa and Asia increasing.

But in recent years the net change in the number of priests has become neutral, due to a slowdown in diocesan priestly ordinations in the developing world and the death of ordained priests in the 1960s and early 1970s. .

But while the number of diocesan priests remains broadly stable, the number of Catholics around the world continues to grow.

Europe and North America experience a net decrease in the number of diocesan priests each year, while countries in many parts of the developing world see a positive net change each year.

Europe’s numbers are driven by countries with traditionally large Catholic populations, which have suffered from increasing secularization.

Germany is a key example of this trend: 321 German priests died in 2019 and 14 were laicized, while only 55 were ordained. For every six diocesan priests lost, only one new diocesan priest was ordained.

Italy and Poland had a relatively high number of diocesan priestly vocations even after Vatican II. But both countries have experienced a negative evolution in the number of diocesan priests in recent years; the number of priestly ordinations slowed and the post-war generation of priests began to die off.

The United States has seen net negative changes in the number of diocesan priests every year since 1970. But a steady number of ordinations over the past 30 years suggests that the number of diocesan priests in the United States may be leveling off in the years to come, if trends continue.

In countries like Brazil and India – where the number of diocesan priestly ordinations in recent years has been much higher than 50 years ago – the net change in the number of priests remains positive, but the number of ordinations has declined somewhat in recent years.

And in countries like Nigeria where the number of diocesan priestly ordinations per year is steadily increasing, the annual net change of diocesan priests continues to increase.

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The figures and graphs are interesting in themselves.

But for diocesan bishops around the world, they can serve as a barometer of the health of their dioceses – diocesan priestly vocations often indicate a healthy church culture in families and parishes. Of course, there are exceptions to this generalization.

But as bishops and ordinary Catholics ponder the future of the Church, trends in diocesan priestly ordinations are an important piece of the puzzle.

Pamplin Media Group – Estacada runs on volunteerism


Firefighters, coaches, board members and many more volunteer their time to benefit the community

Every Wednesday and Thursday evening, Jaima Pense and her husband rush to feed their children and tidy up the kitchen before heading to Estacada First Baptist Church for her volunteer work.

On Wednesday, she leads a children’s group called Awana and on Thursday, she leads an adult redemption and recovery group. She also comes in on some Sundays to work in children’s ministry.

“We do it because there’s a need in the community,” she said.

But like many volunteers, she also said she gets a lot out of her hard work for others.

“It gives you a sense of joy,” she said.

Estacada wouldn’t be Estacada without the people who do important jobs for zero pay. April is Volunteer Month, a good time to honor the many Estacada volunteers who give thousands of hours a month of their time and care to the community.

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - The Estacada Veterans Memorial is kept squeaky clean by volunteers.

Estacada volunteers are the firefighters who rush into burning buildings to save lives and property and the emergency medical technicians dispatched in the event of a medical crisis. Volunteers spend countless hours serving on the Estacada School Board, City Council, and a plethora of public boards and committees. Volunteers organize and oversee huge sports programs for Estacada’s youth. They honor the dead by keeping the Veterans Memorial spotless. They run the food bank and the Yellow House, help in the classrooms, and keep the places of worship in the community running.

The list is practically endless.

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - Jaima Pense volunteers in multiple roles at Estacada First Baptist Church.  Without volunteers, local religious communities would not be able to serve the community.

“We have tons of volunteers. Without them, the church, like the city, would not function,” said Brent Dodrill, pastor of Estacada First Baptist Church.

Dodrill, a former mayor, is himself a volunteer member of the Parks and Recreation Commission and Vice President of the Estacada Chamber of Commerce.

“Volunteers are essential and important and must be recognized,” he said.

Others agree.

“Without volunteers, we could not effectively provide emergency services to the community,” said Alan Lashbrook, assistant fire chief for the Estacada Fire Department.

The fire department is training 18 new volunteer recruits to add to its current roster of 40 volunteers. The department has only nine paid employees, which is not enough to provide 24/7 fire and EMT coverage.

Volunteering for the fire department is a huge time commitment. In-person training alone takes 150 to 160 hours, Lashbrook said, and recruits can spend twice as many hours studying for firefighting courses.

“After that, the training never stops,” he said.

Then, of course, volunteers are on duty, called in for fire and medical emergencies and many stay overnight at the station several nights a week.

Same faces

The same faces appear in many volunteer jobs at Estacada.

“Our volunteer firefighters also volunteer in many other areas. They are doers,” Lashbrook said.

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - William Johnston is a member of the Estacada School Board and President of the Estacada Youth Baseball and Softball Association and is dedicated to the youth of the community.

Another example is William Johnston, a school board member.

He has served on the school board since 2018. He spends between 10 and 20 hours a month on school board business, not only attending meetings but also getting to grips with budgeting, curriculum issues, and other complex educational topics.

Johnston works for an education company that operates public charter schools across the country, so has a natural interest and knowledge of many education issues.

If that’s not enough, he’s also president of the Estacada Youth Baseball and Softball Association, spending hundreds of hours each year recruiting volunteer coaches and staff, juggling field assignments and multiple other jobs. needed to keep 380 young players on the pitch. field.

Additionally, Johnston plays drums in his church worship band, so Thursday nights are for rehearsal and Sundays he plays during service.

Despite the joy Johnston derives from volunteering, all jobs come with some stress. In baseball, the volunteer group has two goals that sometimes conflict. They want to make sure every kid can play, but they also want to field the most competitive teams.

“We struggle with that,” he admitted.

A group of about 10 people who make up the baseball association’s core volunteers are also struggling to engage more community members. Those who want to help can see the story of the program in this issue or visit eybsa.org.

Johnston acknowledges that, like other volunteers in the city, he dedicates time to his family to volunteer with children in the community.

“Yeah, it definitely impacts family time. I go to the school board meeting instead of having dinner with my family. (Some days) I have to get up early to have (ball) tournaments and miss breakfast with the family,” he says.

The Johnston family plans their vacation around their volunteer schedule.

Despite the sacrifices, Johnston said he thrives on volunteerism.

“I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like it,” he said.

“It’s a pleasure to serve” in the baseball program, he said. “You spend time and see the joy that comes with the boys and the girls. You can see their growth over time. They learn so much.”

The church volunteer Pense feels the same way.

“There’s something magical about helping change lives,” Pense said. “It is a privilege to support all of these beautiful children and others.”

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Death of former Borgia pastor Jack Costello | Local News


Father Jack Costello, pastor of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Kirkwood and former pastor of St. Francis Borgia Parish in Washington, died early Sunday morning.

“We will all remember Father Jack’s joyful energy and this is how we all imagine him greeting St. Peter at the Pearly Gates,” St. Peter’s Catholic Church wrote on Facebook.

Costello had been battling cancer for a few years, according to a letter he wrote to the parish.

Costello had been a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church since 2005. Previously, he was pastor of St. Francis Borgia Parish.

Prof. Mike Boehm, current pastor of St. Francis Borgia Parish, arrived in Washington in 2003 when Costello was still pastor there.

Boehm said he was “a great spiritual leader”.

“He gave very good homilies on Sundays that lead people in their faith and help them grow in their faith,” Boehm said. “He was a very compassionate man. So he took good care of sick people, looked after them and their needs. When someone lost a loved one, he was compassionate and kind to them and helped them to going through the grieving process.”

Costello had a huge impact on the Catholic community in Washington and Kirkwood. As pastor of St. Francis Borgia Parish, he spearheaded efforts to expand and renovate the Jesuit Hall. In 2016, he was recognized by the National Association of Catholic Education for his contribution to Catholic education with the “Lead. To learn. Proclaim. Award,” according to Missouri records.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made. This story will be updated as more details become available.

‘There is a way out’: Ex-addict creates addiction ministry | Mississippi News


By DAVID PANNELL, Daily Journal

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — Tupelo’s Chris Payne said he knows firsthand what it’s like to feel trapped without an escape plan.

Payne, 36, was just 11 when he started using drugs.

“By the time I graduated from high school, it was weed, pills, booze and cocaine,” he said. “My drug of choice was ‘more’ – more of anything.”

Payne founded A Way Out Ministries with his wife Kayla in 2019. Fueled by his own struggles with drugs and alcohol, the Paynes are passionate about telling people locked in addiction that there is a “way out.”

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Payne said her own struggle was fueled by her search for love and acceptance.

“I grew up without a father,” he said. “I felt this emptiness inside. I felt unworthy and unloved, and wanted to do whatever it took to fit in and be loved.

Before leaving high school, Payne said he broke every promise he made to himself.

“In high school, there were three things I said I wouldn’t do: smoke crack, shoot, and steal from my family,” he said. “I ended up doing all three.”

After graduation, Payne’s addiction skyrocketed. Years of drifting in and out of rehab left a trail of broken relationships and two children. He said even becoming a father was no match for the power of addiction.

“I remember holding my one-year-old son in one hand and a crack pipe in the other,” he said. “His mother said, ‘Chris, which one is it going to be?’ In my state of mind, I chose the pipe and walked out.

Payne’s long journey to sobriety included six failed attempts at rehabilitation, multiple arrests and a suicide attempt, all over a six-year period.

“I prayed that God would let me die,” he said. “I thought I was better off dead, because I was never gonna beat this thing.”

Nine years ago, Payne began to change his life. He entered the Russellville Dream Center, a faith-based recovery program in Russellville, Alabama. It was there that he learned that faith could fill that void within himself.

“All those years, until I was 27, no one told me the answer was Jesus Christ,” he said. “I was running away from all the chaos I had created; I didn’t know that I was running to a father who was ready to welcome me.

As chaos set in, Payne said he began to put the pieces of his life back together.

“I had the responsibility and the structure I needed,” he said.

He got a cell phone, got his driver’s license, bought a car and rented an apartment.

“(I) learned to discipline myself,” he said.

For the first time in his life, Payne was thriving. When the six-month program at the Dream Center ended, he stayed for another five years, working on the center’s staff and ministering at the church he attended.

He said it was during this time that he first felt a sense of purpose and calling.

“I found a purpose and an identity,” he said. “I became the center’s men’s director and was ordained a pastor in my church. I discovered that I am someone, and it filled something in me that I had tried so long to find. It was the life I was looking for.

In response to a sense of divine urgency, Payne returned to Tupelo in 2018. He met his wife at Anchor Church, and the two began to build a life and ministry together. They now have full custody of Payne’s 11-year-old son and the two have a 6-month-old baby.

On March 4, Payne celebrated nine years of sobriety, a milestone he never imagined he would achieve.

“I didn’t think I would last nine days,” he said. “I was just a drug addict and a con artist, but God was talking to me, saying he would use the stupid things and the weak things to show others there is a way out. It gave me hope.

Payne works a “day job” with Home Healers Construction in Tupelo. But it’s the work he and Kayla do with A Way Out Ministries that gets him out of bed in the morning.

“I have a new joy and a sense of purpose,” he said. “I have such a passion for telling people there is a way out, because deep down people want something different; they don’t know anything else.

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

Catholic congressman found guilty of lying to federal investigators pledges to appeal – Catholic World Report

Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) / Office of Representative Jeff Fortenberry

Denver Newsroom, March 25, 2022 / 5:00 p.m. (CNA).

US Congressman Jeff Fortenberry said he would appeal his conviction on Thursday on three counts of lying to federal officials during their investigation into illegal donations to his campaign from a wealthy non-US citizen.

While prosecutors said the sentencing was warranted, the congressman expressed concern that the process was not fair and continues to deny wrongdoing.

“After learning of illegal contributions to his campaign, the congressman repeatedly chose to cover up violations of federal law to protect his work, reputation and close associates,” said U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison on March 24. “The lies in this case threatened the integrity of the US electoral system and were intended to prevent investigators from learning the true source of campaign funds.

The jury trial lasted about a week. Jury deliberations lasted approximately two hours.

“We always thought it would be difficult to have a fair process here,” Fortenberry told reporters March 24. “So this call starts immediately.”

“We have always had concerns about the fairness of the process,” he said, thanking his family and friends for their support.

Fortenberry is currently serving his ninth term in the United States House of Representatives and is actively campaigning for re-election. He is a Catholic and a Republican who has been outspoken on pro-life issues and the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

Fortenberry was found guilty of one count of “conspiracy to falsify and conceal material facts” and two counts of making false statements to federal investigators, the U.S. district attorney’s office said Thursday. Central California. Each count carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. Judgment is scheduled for June 28.

The case involved Fortenberry’s comments to federal investigators during two interviews in 2019 regarding their investigation into illegal campaign contributions in 2016.

Gilbert Chagoury, a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire, has made a number of illegal contributions to four federal campaigns, according to the OpenSecrets website.

As a foreign national, Chagoury is barred from contributing to US elections. However, he used American citizens as conduits for his money to reach campaigns and political groups, including Fortenberry’s campaign, as well as those of congressional candidates Lee Terry and Darrell Issa, and Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Prosecutors presented evidence that Chagoury donated $30,000 to Fortenberry’s campaign through “straw donors” at a fundraiser in Los Angeles. A co-organizer of this fundraiser began cooperating with federal authorities and notified FBI and IRS investigators of the illegal contributions.

Investigators sought to determine Fortenberry’s knowledge and involvement in these contributions. They said their investigation revealed the congressman learned of the illegal contributions after the fact, but did not file an amended report with the Federal Election Commission.

During two interviews in March 2019 and July 2019, investigators said, Fortenberry made statements that violated the law.

Prosecutors cited a secretly taped phone call between Fortenberry and the fundraiser’s co-organizer in which the co-organizer said Chagoury likely funded the contributions.

Defense attorneys argued that an overzealous prosecution was behind the case and said investigators sought to provide Fortenberry with information about the donation through the co-organizer of the fundraiser, reports the Washington Post. They said Fortenberry’s call with the relevant witness was not memorable and the congressman may have been distracted or unable to hear due to poor phone reception.

In an October YouTube video, Fortenberry denied lying to investigators. He said he let FBI investigators into his home for the 2019 interviews and spoke to them about cooperating with them.

“We thought we were trying to help,” he said in the video last year.

Kristi Johnson, deputy director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said Thursday that the sentencing “underscores the FBI’s commitment to holding elected officials accountable.”

“The verdict underscores the importance of being honest with law enforcement and demonstrates the government’s commitment to protecting the nation’s interests from foreign influence through illegal campaign contributions,” she said. declared.

House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, reacted to the verdict.

“When someone is convicted, it’s time to resign,” McCarthy said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “He had his day in court. I think if he wants to appeal, he can do so as a private citizen.

Chagoury paid a $1.8 million fine to resolve allegations that he gave about $180,000 to individuals in the United States to contribute to four political campaigns, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Washington said. California.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Chagoury was helped by Toufic Joseph Baaklini to make the illegal contributions. Like Chagoury, Baaklini also reached a stay of proceedings agreement. He paid a $90,000 fine and agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Both Fortenberry and Chagoury have ties to the Washington, DC-based group In Defense of Christians. Baaklini stepped down as chairman and chairman of the group’s board in October 2021.

In Defense of Christians said in October 2021 that “any contributions made by or through Mr. Baaklini to members of Congress or candidates were made in a personal capacity.”

In Defense of Christians was founded in 2014 and has advocated for policies to protect Christian minorities in the Middle East, such as congressional resolutions recognizing the genocide of Christians by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and supporting the emergency aid to Christian victims of the genocide. The group has also advocated for policies to support stability in Lebanon and resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

One of the group’s highlights was a gala dinner in 2014 at which more than 1,200 attendees included patriarchs and bishops from more than a dozen churches in Middle Eastern countries.

Fortenberry was recognized by the group for his work in 2015 and 2016 to help pass a congressional resolution recognizing the genocide of Iraqi Christians at the hands of the Islamic State. The congressman also served as co-chair of the virtual In Defense of Christians 2020 summit.

Chagoury was previously a major Clinton Foundation donor. His philanthropic causes include education and health care in Lebanon. In 2014, he helped organize and fund the inaugural In Defense of Christians summit in Washington, DC, according to his website.

Chagoury also served as ambassador to the Vatican for the Caribbean island nation of Saint Lucia. He has received several honors from the Vatican.

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Vintage Treasures and Antiques in Arcadia and St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Monrovia show support for Ukraine during the war

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) — Vintage Treasures and Antiques in Arcadia has been around for eight years, and throughout the pandemic, community members have helped support the store to keep it open.

Now owner Raquel McLaughlin thinks it’s only right to show support for those in the community who are affected by what’s happening in Ukraine.

McLauglin has painted furniture in the colors of the Ukrainian flag that sits outside his shop on Foothill Boulevard.

“A lot of us right now feel completely helpless and we’re just kind of torn between, ‘What are we doing for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters there?'” she said.

READ ALSO | How to help Ukraine in the face of Russian attacks

Mclaughlin said there was a big show of support with people praying and cars honking and stopping. She even created a Facebook post and prayer channel for a Ukrainian client who lives in Monrovia.

“My client from Ukraine says, ‘My parents are stuck in Odessa’, and I just asked him, ‘Do you mind? I want to take your picture and create a prayer chain for you, your wife and your parents who are stuck,’” McLaughlin said.

Monrovia has also shown its support for Ukraine.

Meanwhile, outside Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, painted chairs and a Ukrainian flag are displayed along California Avenue.

A church member painted the chairs.

“Given the events unfolding in the world, we thought it was important to lift the Ukrainian people up in prayer at this point, and also to keep this awareness in our hearts so that we hold ourselves accountable for the how we react,” said Neil Tadken, a priest at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

People even gathered to pray around the painted chairs.

For a small business owner and a church, these actions are a step towards making everyone feel welcome and loved.

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P2P Loans vs Payday Loans


The cost of living is rising and more of us will likely be looking for consumer credit solutions in the near future.

There are a number of options available to consumer borrowers, from overdraft facilities to credit cards. But for some borrowers, a personal loan may be the most appropriate choice.

Despite the departure of leading consumer lenders such as Zopa and Lending Works, there are still a number of peer-to-peer lending platforms offering personal loans to borrowers. However, P2P loans are often confused with payday loans – short-term, low-value personal loans that are designed to help people make ends meet while they wait for their next paycheck.

Read more: Sourced Capital prepares £12m loan pipeline for P2P investors

There are many differences between P2P loans and payday loans. The main difference is that P2P loans are funded by retail investors, while payday loans are usually funded directly by the payday lender.

Payday lenders tend to target low-income borrowers by offering smaller loans of £100 or less, while P2P consumer lenders offer larger loans with longer repayment terms. P2P lenders also tend to perform more rigorous credit checks than payday lenders, which means P2P loans may not be available to borrowers with bad credit histories. This means that default rates are generally lower with P2P loans and the collection process is less aggressive.

But the most significant difference is the cost of loans. P2P lending aims to provide affordable financing solutions to borrowers, so that investors funding the loans have the best chance of receiving their principal and interest. Payday lenders make most of their money from the astronomical penalties and interest rates that kick in once a loan goes into default.

Take a look at the examples below to see how much a £1,000 loan through a P2P loan would cost compared to a payday loan. We used three representative examples for each type of lender, and all figures were correct at the time of publication.

How much does it cost to take out a £1000 loan from a P2P lender?

elves market

Elfin Market offers personal financing through Elfin Purse; an online credit card funded by P2P investors.

All withdrawals from the Elfin Purse are subject to a representative APR of 5.8%. This means that a loan of £1,000 from Elfin Market would ultimately cost £58.87.

The loan jump

Leap Lending specializes in consumer loans between £500 and £15,000, which can be repaid over a two-year period with a representative APR of 15.48% (all fees included).

A £1,000 loan paid off over two years would cost £157.76.

How much does it cost to take out a £1000 loan from a payday lender?


This popular payday lender offers same day loans between £300 and £2,500 with a representative APR of 611.74%.

A loan of £1,000 repaid over three months would cost £1,530.40 in interest alone.

loan pig

Loanpig personal loans are due for repayment within two to 12 months and come with a maximum fixed APR of 292%. A £1,000 loan repaid over three months would cost £521.72 in interest payments.

QuidMarket Loans

QuidMarket offers same-day payment for short-term loans up to £1,500. The lender has capped its APR at 1,625.5%, but currently advertises a representative APR of 1,296.5% for loans repaid within three months. This means that a £1,000 loan would cost £514.58 in interest payments.

Read more: JustUs raises interest rates for investors

pastor to run for state senate | Idaho


TWIN FALLS — A Baptist pastor is running for the Idaho Senate. Paul Thompson has filed as the Constitution Party candidate for District 25, which is mostly within the city limits of Twin Falls.

Paul Thompson

He will face Republican Representative Linda Wright Hartgen in the general election in November.

Originally from Colorado, Thompson has been a pastor in Idaho since the late 1990s, when he worked in a ministry in Fairfield. In 2001 Thompson moved to Twin Falls, where he leads the Eastside Baptist Church. He was a frequent contributor to the Faith Corner column in the Times-News for about 11 years.

Thompson ran for state representative in 2020, winning 26% of the vote in a general election against incumbent Republican Representative Lance Clow.

If elected, Thompson said he would fix family issues, try to reform the foster care and adoption system, secure parental rights in education and push for property tax relief .

For the past several years, Thompson has defended his pro-life stance and asked the city council to sign an anti-abortion proclamation in 2021and again in 2020. Individual council members signed the symbolic proclamations, but largely deferred to national and state laws on the matter. Thompson had previously pursued a citywide abortion ban when he presented and order to the board in 2019. It was not adopted.

This week Governor Brad Little signed legislation effectively banning abortion after six weeks gestation, but Thompson said he doesn’t think it goes far enough and will continue to push for an outright ban. simple abortion.

“I think it’s a good step in the right direction,” he said. “I think the state has an obligation to defend life at all stages, not just certain stages of gestation.”

Thompson has also been a vocal opponent of LGBTQ+ rights.

“We have done our state a disservice by granting marriage licenses to those whom God does not ordain as male and female unions,” he said.

If elected, Thompson said he would push for Idaho to create its own definition of marriage, rather than accept the definition provided by the federal government.

“At this time, the people of Idaho haven’t had a chance to say what we think family or marriage is,” Thompson said. “We’ve been told that’s what the Supreme Court says so you have to abide by it.”

The Idaho Constitution states that “marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union which shall be valid or recognized in this State”, but the United States Supreme Court has ruled that such language is in violation of the United States Constitution.

Thompson favors school choice and would work for legislation to allow school funding to follow students into private schools or other options. He said he doesn’t believe parents who have chosen homeschooling or private schools should have to pay for public education they don’t use.

Property tax relief is another priority for Thompson, he said. Recent legislative discussions of a property tax exemption for homeowners are more akin to a tax shift than a tax cut, Thompson said, and he would like to see broader tax relief.

“This conversation obviously happens on a regular basis, but it doesn’t look like we’ll ever end a legislative session with real property tax relief,” Thompson said.

This would be his first publicly elected position, but said his experience on boards and committees for various nonprofits has given him experience in negotiating, closing and moving organizations through committee processes, and is very similar to the operation of legislative bodies.

Another qualification, Thompson said, is that he is a taxpayer, not a professional politician.

“I am a tax-paying, God-fearing, country-loving citizen, and I want the best for my people,” Thompson said.

Thompson came to national attention in 2010 when he was imprisoned in Haiti for three weeks with a religious group suspected of kidnapping and trafficking children. The group said it was trying to help orphan victims of the earthquake. They were released by authorities and returned to the United States. The church in Thompson has since established a shelter for haitian girls.

Best Payday Loans Online | Best Instant Payday Loans Online With Guaranteed Approval | Small Payday Loans Online No Credit Check


If you need a loan for bad credit to pay off your debts, high interest loans can be frustrating. So let’s take a look at all the bad credit loan companies that offer guaranteed approval online.

Main loans for bad credit:

This list will provide you with an overview of our top picks for bad credit loan providers. Next, we’ll describe the features, pros, cons, and customer experience of each of these loan providers to give you a fair idea of ​​what you can expect from them.

1. MoneyMutual : Best Payday Loans Online

2. FondsJoy : Best Instant Payday Loans Online With Guaranteed Approval

3. BadCreditLoans : Small Online Payday Loans No Credit Check

MoneyMutual is easily one of the most popular and reputable loan providers in the country. Part of its popularity is due to the fact that there is no credit check on borrowers.

The service is absolutely free where borrowers with bad credit could get in touch with genuine lenders and get loans regardless of their credit rating.

MoneyMutual is not involved in the lending or borrowing process. It is basically a platform for these two parties to lend and borrow money. It’s like Amazon or eBay but is for bad credit loans, instead of items.

MoneyMutual has been in the industry for over 10 years now and has been able to provide assistance to two million people across the United States with their financial needs.


See below the main features of MoneyMutual:

  • The platform through which potential borrowers can get in touch with potential lenders
  • Minimal credit checks are performed
  • Once funds are approved, customers must complete an online form
  • Allows loans up to $5,000 for short-term financing
  • Lenders review customer information and decide if they want to find their needs


  • Ranked #1 for bad credit loan companies.
  • Relatively simple for those with bad credit to get loans
  • The company is very reputable and experienced
  • Completing the online form only takes a few minutes
  • You can receive the money within 24 hours

The inconvenients

  • Not available in some states like New York

Client experience

Because of MoneyMutual’s excellent service, customers all agree that borrowing money is simple and communicating with online lenders has never been easier. Customers also claim that they could receive funds through this service faster than they could using other similar services.

MoneyMutual is undoubtedly the best loan without credit check with guaranteed approval online.

⇒Visit MoneyMutual official website for more information

#2. FondsJoy – Best instant payday loans online with guaranteed approval

FondsJoy is one of the fastest online loan providers in America that offers same day approval for bad credit loans.

Borrowers are approved on this platform within minutes of applying for the loan. Potential borrowers won’t find a faster company that offers fast loans with no credit check.


Here are the main features of FundsJoy:

  • A simple and efficient platform that connects lenders and borrowers in one place
  • Advanced technology on the site keeps your information secure and confidential
  • No hidden fees
  • Loan borrowers complete a quick online application to start the process


  • The fastest online lender in the industry with fast turnaround times
  • Funds are often granted with lower interest rates
  • Easy to use site with live chat
  • Large and medium size loans available

The inconvenients

  • Not a household name yet, so some consumers have never heard of the company

Client experience

FundsJoy is known for its more than satisfactory customer service and fast response rate. A company that prides itself on providing excellent customer service is just getting started. We see this business growing and gaining more market share in the coming years.

=> Visit the official FundsJoy website now!

Loans for bad credit are a top choice for those with bad credit history. This free service allows lenders to connect with borrowers and approve loans regardless of their credit score.

We repeat – borrowers can get money from lenders using this site without checking credit report.

Please note, however, that the company has no control over the lenders listed on its website. However, it gives you all the information you might need to help you determine if a particular lending partner meets your needs.


Here are the main features of loans for bad credit:

  • A platform that helps connect borrowers with lenders and provides both parties with adequate information about each other
  • The site has advanced encryption technology that protects your private information
  • The use of this service is completely free.
  • Borrowers only need to fill out an online form for lenders to decide if they want to engage with them


  • Free Service
  • Very easy for borrowers to find lenders
  • The credit requirements of the lenders on the site are very flexible
  • You can borrow amounts between $500 and $5,000
  • Allows you to evaluate and compare interest rates from different lenders

The inconvenients

  • Clients with poor credit scores receive lower loan amounts

Client experience

Borrowers seem happy with the ease with which a loan is approved using this site, as it allows for minimal credit checks. Moreover, the fact that people only take a few minutes to fill out the form on the site only contributes to the convenience of most people finding this service.

For some, BadCreditLoans is their first choice for no credit check loans with guaranteed approval online.

⇒Visit Bad Credit Loans Official Website for more information

Conclusion: Who is the number 1 loan lender for bad credit?

So which company offers the best no credit check loans with guaranteed approval online? Our first choice is Money Mutual.

In summary, getting online loans for bad credit is not difficult. Even for those who have never received financing from these sources before, the procedures for obtaining loan financing for bad credit are simple to follow.

The websites we have provided here will help you get in touch with lenders immediately and ask them to grant you the funds you need. Our recommendation for you would be to try the services of MoneyMutual for their outstanding service and customer support. Additionally, online lenders give you access to several other financial services, such as credit cards and car loans. These sites help you compare interest rates from various lenders to choose the best one for you.

Plus, all the information you need is readily available, such as loan terms and conditions. These websites are safe and secure, so you can rest assured that your personal information will remain confidential. That’s it: choose a site and borrow the money you need, regardless of your credit rating.

If you need no credit check loans with guaranteed approval, MoneyMutual is your best bet.

=> Apply for bad credit loans online now

The news and editorial team at Sound Publishing, Inc. played no role in the preparation of this post. The views and opinions expressed in this sponsored post are those of the advertiser and do not reflect those of Sound Publishing, Inc.

Sound Publishing, Inc. accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage caused by the use of any product, and we do not endorse any product displayed on our Marketplace.

St. Paul United Church of Christ youth group fasts to help Ukrainian refugees – The News Herald


St. Paul United Church of Christ’s Rock Hard in Faith youth group joined World Vision’s mission to help provide food to those in need by participating in the 30-hour famine during the last 20 years. This year’s fundraiser benefited a few groups, including the Lutheran World Federation’s efforts to help relief efforts for Ukrainian refugees.

A large number of refugees entered Poland. The Lutheran World Federation provides accommodation throughout the country and transports humanitarian aid loads to Ukraine by minibus. On the way back, buses pick up Ukrainian families fleeing the war. They distribute goods both inside Ukraine and in places hosting refugees.

The youth group held their fast on March 19 and engaged in three active learning workshops. The youngsters went on a shopping spree to benefit the Fish & Loaves food pantry in Southgate and returned cans and bottles donated to benefit Ukrainian relief efforts. They also volunteered at Trinity St. Marks United Church of Christ, where they packed lunch bags for the Detroit Police Department to distribute to Detroit’s homeless and packed food boxes for those who need it. needed.

St. Paul United Church of Christ is located in Taylor.

Members of St. Paul United Church of Christ’s Rock Hard in Faith youth group recently participated in fundraising efforts to help Ukrainian refugees. (Photo courtesy of Cheryl Schalm)

Los Angeles Catholics urged to follow Pope’s consecration of Russia and Ukraine


Parishes and schools around the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are invited to join Pope Francis as the whole world,”especially Russia and Ukraineat the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday March 25.

The Pope’s historic act, which will be performed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and at the request of Ukrainian Catholic bishops, is scheduled for 5 p.m. Rome time or 9 a.m. Pacific time during of one Lent penance service at St. Peter’s Basilica.

Friday’s timing means LA coincides with advancements after the start of the school day for most Los Angeles-area students. Bishop José H. Gomez encouraged priests across the archdiocese to seize the moment, calling for school-wide Masses and prayers and inviting the faithful to watch the pope’s consecration live. Links to the event broadcast live in Rome, as well as resources on the consecration and a video message from Archbishop Gomez, can be found at LACatholics.org/PrayForUkraine.

“My friends, we are all deeply troubled by the war in Ukraine and the unconscionable attacks on innocent men, women and children in their homes and neighborhoods,” Bishop Gomez said in a video message released Wednesday, March 23.

“In these times when our world is overwhelmed by the shadow of war, I invite you to enter into this solemn moment of prayer with the Holy Father. With him, let us ask our Blessed Mother to turn her eyes of mercy towards all her children. Let us ask him to intercede with his Son, to deliver his children from evil and to grant us peace,” he said.

In his message, the Archbishop asked the priests of the Archdiocese to celebrate special masses to pray for peace and for the peoples of Ukraine and Russia, to recite the prayer of consecration and to ring the bells of their churches at 9 a.m., a suggestion of 29 times to mark 29 days since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Pope’s consecration, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord, follows a series of individual consecrations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary following the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima in 1917.

The church of Tishomingo dedicates a prayer meeting to the families victims of a fatal accident


Community members gathered at Calvary on Wednesday evening. The pastor told News 9 that now is the time to lean on each other for strength.

The small town of Tishomingo is heartbroken.

“I have never crossed a path where so many people have been taken at once,” said Mike Eklund, the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church.

“Tishomingo is a small community that everyone knows. We are working hard to support each other as best we can,” said First Baptist Church pastor Luke Holmes.

“Luke at First Baptist Church, he called and said ‘Mike, there’s been a horrible, horrible wreckage, can you come to the ER with me,'” Eklund said.

Six high school students were hit at an intersection by a tractor-trailer as they tried to make a turn on Tuesday afternoon.

“All six passengers were killed as a result of the crash in the passenger car,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Shelby Humphrey said.

As OHP and the Traffic Homicide Unit investigate the crash, the community remains focused on healing and honoring the victims.

“It was an accident…it was no one’s fault, it could happen to any of us in the blink of an eye, we could have an accident, and it could be our life,” he said. said Eklund.

Calvary Baptist dedicated the Wednesday evening prayer meeting to the victims and their loved ones.

“We may not get answers on Earth, but he will give us complete answers when we go to heaven,” Eklund said.

“It’s definitely a great tragedy that’s hard to find words for,” Holmes said.

There will be a prayer vigil for the community on Friday evening at 7 p.m. on the high school football field.

“Our part now is to reach out to these families. They will never be the same again and we need to love them as much as possible,” Eklund said.

A Ukrainian pastor preaches to the Santa Barbara congregation


From the outside, the First Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church of Santa Barbara, just past the In-N-Out Burger on Calle Real, looks like a well-maintained visitor center in a national park. Inside, the building is also practically furnished, posters of Bible passages hanging from its bare white walls. Her pastor, Mikhail Smiyun, speaks in a languorous voice; he looks peaceful and relaxed. Perhaps he should look in this direction to reassure his congregation.

Pastor Mikhail Smiyun | 1 credit

Four weeks ago, on the morning of February 24, the service was interrupted by news that Russian forces had invaded Ukraine. Almost all the devotees had family and friends there, and the reaction was spontaneous distress.

“Many were praying, others were crying; some did both at the same time,” recalls Smiyun. The following serves were also emotionally charged. “Over the next two weeks, we held continuous services and prayed for peace. Many members of the community – Christians, Jews and others – came to join us.

Although the majority of the Ukrainian population is made up of Orthodox Christians, most Ukrainians in Santa Barbara are Baptists. “The first Ukrainians who settled here shortly after World War II were Baptists,” Smiyun explained. “Naturally, other Ukrainian Baptists followed them here in search of a community.” The Ukrainian community of Santa Barbara today numbers about 200 people, including 70 faithful faithful to the church of Smiyun. The First Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church has been providing services to Ukrainians here since 1955.

Smiyun originally lived in the town of Rivne in western Ukraine before moving to Santa Barbara in 1995. “I feared the political situation at the time,” he said. “I didn’t want to be there if the Soviet Union ever came back.” In Santa Barbara, Smiyun worked at AJAX Refrigeration & Air Conditioning for 11 years before becoming HVAC Superintendent at UCSB.

Many of his relatives still live in Ukraine and suffer from the war. One of them is his brother-in-law, whose wife and three children lived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, not far from the pro-Russian breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. As Russian troops crossed the border, her brother-in-law and his family crammed in with hundreds of other refugees on a three-day train ride west, leaving most of their possessions behind. One of Smiyun’s friends, a pastor from the Black Sea port of Mariupol, managed to flee despite most of his surroundings falling to Russian control. Smiyun doesn’t know how he got out. “He didn’t want to talk about it,” he said simply.

Kharkiv and Mariupol are fiercely contested by Russian and Ukrainian forces. “Kharkiv was pro-Russian,” Smiyun noted. “But now that Russia has invaded, that feeling is gone.”

For each service, Smiyun takes care not only to offer consolation to its listeners but also to enjoin them to think and act in a wholesome and righteous manner. “During these times, it is very difficult for people to find joy or have any hope. But in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the apostle Paul reminds us that in everything we must keep faith and give thanks to the Lord.

Other biblical passages he cited include Psalm 90, in which Moses prays for God to retain “the work of our hands for us” (i.e., protect us and that all may be well ), and 1 Thessalonians 5:15, in which Paul the Apostle says to abstain from “[paying] return wrong for wrong, but always [striving] do what is good for each other and for all others. Smiyun stresses the importance of people not opening up to hate and other negative and hostile emotions. According to Smiyun, many worshipers came to services feeling embittered because their relatives in Ukraine were living in bunkers, fearing for their lives and subsisting on rations. “I always remind them that anger and hate don’t help,” he said.

Smiyun, paraphrasing Jesus, says people should instead focus their energies on righteous living and helping others in need. “After the invasion started, we started collecting donations for Ukrainian refugees,” Smiyun said. “We get at least six, seven calls a day.”

At the time of the interview last Thursday, $25,000 had been raised by the First Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church, in addition to clothing, food and medical supplies. Other local churches have also collaborated in the donation efforts, including the two Russian Orthodox churches on Castillo Street.

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Wonga, Wage Day Advance, MEM Consumer Finance, Instant Cash Loans, DFC Global Corp, Cash America International, 2345 Network – ChattTenn Sports


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Church News | Church | transylvaniatimes.com


Brevard First United

Methodist Church

This is one of the powerful stories of grace in the Bible. We know it as the “Parable of the Prodigal Son.” I prefer to speak of the “Prodigal Father”. You see, the word “prodigal” can mean “extravagant”. The wayward son lived an extravagant life of sin, but the expectant father welcomed him home with extravagant love. Jesus told the parable not just to show what we can be like, but rather so we can see what God is like. God is always waiting and ready to welcome us with open arms. This message continues our goal of “Being with God” leading into Holy Week and Easter. Being with God always begins with prayer as we open ourselves to experience all that God wants to give us. Brevard First UMC will host Bread of Life’s annual “Empty Bowl” fundraiser on Saturday, March 26. Brevard First UMC is a welcoming congregation with a heart for missions and service. We are located on Broad Street opposite Brevard College and are now fully back in person with three worship services on Sunday mornings: 8.30am and 10.55am (traditional) in the church sanctuary, and 9am (celebration and praise) in the Hall of Friends. Additionally, you can watch the 10:55 a.m. service streamed live on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BrevardFirstUnitedMethodistChurcho.Or you can listen on WSQL Radio (104 FM and 1240 AM).


davidson River

Presbyterian Church

We invite you to join us in person for worship on this fourth Sunday of Lent. This Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., Dr. Steve Eason will preach from Scripture, Luke 15:1-3; 11-32b. Children are always welcome at worship. A crèche is available for children up to 4 years old. Masks are optional, and there will be food and fellowship after both services in the Fellowship Room. You can also join us for online worship at www.bdrpc.org. For more information, call 884-2645.

Brevard First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church Brevard is located at 94 S. Gaston St. We would like to invite you to our Sunday morning worship service at 11 a.m. On March 27, Pastor Jeff will speak on “Pull Not the Weeds” from Matthew 13:24. -30;36-43. Sunday school starts at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. Sunday evening activities begin at 5:30 p.m. with AWANA and include the student Bible study at 6 p.m. Wednesday Night Refill with FBC Kids and Student Bible Study begins at 6 p.m. First Baptist Church Brevard is also pleased to announce the launch of the HIS HOPE ministry. The FBCB is committed to providing food, cleaning supplies and personal care items to adults, children and infants in need. For assistance or more information, please call 862-HOPE (4673). We are accepting appointments for Thursday, April 7 from 2-7:30 p.m. Responding to your needs and sharing HIS HOPE.

Oak Grove Community Church

James Metcalf and Colt Creek will perform gospel music at 7 p.m. Saturday at Oak Grove Community Church, located across from Blue Ridge Community College in Brevard.

St. Patrick’s Anglican

St. Patrick’s holds services at the Hollingsworth Building, Suite 100, 147 E. Main. Registered services can also be viewed on our website: www.stpatricksbrevard.org. Reverend Nick Henderson will preach this 4th Sunday of Lent. Admission for the shared house is this Sunday. The framework for the communion hall in our new house is complete and is progressing towards the nave. St. Patrick’s Church is a traditional, biblical, episcopal mission nurtured by the grace of Christ, inspired by the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and humbled by the majesty of God the Father. If you are looking for a church home that is true to the scriptures, St. Patrick’s has you covered. We welcome all visitors, as well as canine (trained) family members, with open hearts. Come grow with us!

Episcopal St. Philip Churc

The speaker for the Lenten Reflection program this Wednesday is the Reverend Dr. Pamela Holder. The Way of the Cross begins at 4:45 p.m. in the church. Dinner is at 5:15 p.m. at Miller Hall and the program is at 6 p.m. Sunday services are at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (in person and live on Facebook) and at 5 p.m. (new time). The evening service features a rotating style of worship and music. Christian training classes for adults and children are at 9:15 a.m.

Payday Loan Services Market: Ready to Fly on High Growth Trends: Wonga, Cash America International, Wage Day Advance


Payday Loan Services Market: Intense Competition But Strong Growth and Extreme Valuation

This press release was originally issued by SBWire

New Jersey, New Jersey—(SBWIRE) – 03/22/2022 – Latest Payday Loan Services market industrial growth study 2022-2028. A detailed study accumulated to offer latest insights about acute characteristics of the Payday Loan Services market. The report contains different market forecasts related to revenue size, production, CAGR, consumption, gross margin, price, and other important factors. While emphasizing the major driving and restraining forces of this market, the report also offers a comprehensive study of the future market trends and developments. It also examines the role of major market players involved in the industry, including their company overview, financial summary, and SWOT analysis.

Key players covered in this report: Wonga, Cash America International, Wage Day Advance, DFC Global Corp, Instant Cash Loans, MEM Consumer Finance, Speedy Cash, TitleMax, LoanMart, Check `n Go, Finova Financial, TMG Loan Processing, Just Military Loans, MoneyMutual, Allied Cash Advance, Same Day Payday & LendUp Loans

Payday loans service market research guarantees you stay/remain advised higher than your competitors. With structured tables and figures examining Payday Loans Service, the research document provides you with leading product, submarkets, revenue size and forecast to 2028. Comparatively, it also ranks the emerging as well as industry leaders.

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This study also covers company profiling, product specifications and picture, sales, market share and contact information of various regional, international and local vendors of the Payday Loan Services market. The market proposition is changing frequently with increasing scientific innovation and M&A activity in the industry. Additionally, many local and regional vendors offer specific application products for various end users. New candidate traders in the market find it difficult to compete with international suppliers based on reliability, quality and modernity of technology.

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The titled segments and sub-sections of the market are illuminated below:
In-Depth Analysis of Payday Loan Services Market Segment by Types: Platform Financial Support and Off-Platform Financial Support

Detailed Analysis of Payday Loans Service Market Segment by Application: Personal, Retiree and Other

Top Key Market Players: Wonga, Cash America International, Wage Day Advance, DFC Global Corp, Instant Cash Loans, MEM Consumer Finance, Speedy Cash, TitleMax, LoanMart, Check `n Go, Finova Financial, TMG Loan Processing, Just Military Loans , MoneyMutual, Allied Cash Advance, Same Day Payday & LendUp Loans

Regional Analysis For Payday Loans Service Market:
– APAC (Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, India, and Rest of APAC; Rest of APAC is further segmented into Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, New Zealand, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka)
– Europe (Germany, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Rest of Europe; Rest of Europe is further segmented into Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland, Republic Czech, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania)
– North America (United States, Canada and Mexico)
– South America (Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Rest of South America)
– MEA (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa)

In addition, the years considered for the study are as follows:
Historic year – 2015-2021
Reference year – 2021
Forecast period** – 2022 to 2027 [** unless otherwise stated]

**Furthermore, it will also include the opportunities available in the micro markets for the stakeholders to invest, a detailed analysis of the competitive landscape and product services of key players.

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Highlights of the Payday Loans Service Market Report:
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– Comprehensive assessment of all prospects and threats in the – In-depth study of industry strategies for growth of the Payday Loan Services Market-leading players.
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– Favorable drop inside the vigorous high-tech and remarkable latest market trends of the market.
– Conclusive study about the growth plot of Payday Loan Services Market for forthcoming years.

What to expect from this Payday Loan Services Market report:
1. A comprehensive summary of several regional distributions and summary product types popular in the Payday Loan Services Market.
2. You can repair your growing industry databases when you have information about cost of production, cost of products and cost of production for the next coming years.
3. In-depth burglary assessment for new businesses wishing to enter the payday loan services market.
4. How exactly do top companies and mid-level companies earn revenue in the market?
5. Perform overall development research within the Payday Loan Services market that helps you choose product launch and review growths.

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Detailed TOC of Payday Loan Services Market Research Report-

– Presentation of the payday loans service and overview of the market
– Payday Loan Services Market, By Application [Staff, Retired People & Others]
– Payday Loan Services Industry Chain Analysis
– Payday Loan Services Market, By Type [ Platform Financial Support & Non-platform Financial Support]
– Industry Manufacturing, Consumption, Export, Import by Regions
– Industry value ($) by region
– Payday Loan Services Market Status and SWOT Analysis by Regions
– Major Region of Payday Loan Services Market
i) Sales of payday loan services
ii) Payday Loan Services Revenue and Market Share
– List of main companies
– Closing

Thank you for reading this article; you can also get individual chapter wise section or region wise report version like North America, MINT, BRICS, G7, Western/Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia. In addition, we can offer you personalized research services, as HTF MI holds a repository of databases that includes public organizations and millions of private companies with expertise in various fields of industry.

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HTF Market Intelligence Consulting is uniquely positioned to empower and inspire research and advisory services to empower businesses with strategies for growth, delivering services with extraordinary depth and breadth of thought leadership, research, tools, events and experience that help decision-making.

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Craig Francis (Public Relations and Marketing Manager)
HTF Market Intelligence Consulting Private Limited
Unit #429, Parsonage Road Edison, NJ
New Jersey United States – 08837
Telephone: +1 (206) 317 1218
[email protected]

For more information on this press release, visit: http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/payday-loans-service-market-ready-to-fly-on-high-growth-trends-wonga-cash-america-international-wage-day-advance- 1355059.htm

Black Catholics Seek Racism-Free Places of Worship


When Joseph Geeter retired from the United States Marine Corps and moved to suburban Philadelphia 20 years ago, he attended mass at a few different Catholic churches with predominantly white congregations near his new home and was met with an unwelcoming welcome.

“I was not received there,” Geeter, a black Catholic, told the Catholic News Service in a February interview. “People wouldn’t even look at me and almost wouldn’t allow me to be on the bench. I could tell that I was definitely not wanted there.

He had navigated racism in just about every American institution in his life and learned to exist peacefully in society despite it.

However, that was not how he wanted to worship in the religious tradition he loved, so he contacted the Black Catholic Office of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, who directed him to St. Rose de Lima from the city, which had a predominantly black congregation. .

Church in Philadelphia on February 6, 2022.” width=”550″ height=”365″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/thecatholicspirit.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/RACE-BLACK-CATHOLICS.jpg?w=550&ssl=1 550w, https://i0.wp.com/thecatholicspirit.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/RACE-BLACK-CATHOLICS.jpg?resize=300%2C199&ssl=1 300w” sizes=”(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />

Parishioners attend mass at St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Philadelphia on February 6, 2022. CNS Photo/Chaz Muth

Geeter found a welcoming parish at St. Rose of Lima and later at St. Barbara Catholic Church in Philadelphia when the two parishes merged in 2013, without the burden of racism.

This is why many black Catholics prefer to worship in churches with predominantly black congregations.

This, however, is not always possible in other locations in the United States.

It may also be a reason why there are so few black Catholics in the United States and why they are the least likely to remain Catholic.

“The share of black Americans who were raised Catholic and who remain Catholic is lower than the corresponding shares of Hispanic and white Catholics,” according to a Pew Research Center study released March 15. “About half of black adults who were raised Catholic still identify as Catholic (54%), compared to 61% of white adults and 68% of Hispanic adults.

There are more than 72 million Catholics in the United States, according to a 2020 report by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University. Only about 3 million of them are black.

Of the 35,513 priests in the United States, 250 are black and of the 41,357 nuns in the United States, 400 are black.

When the late Auxiliary Bishop Joseph A. Francis of Newark, New Jersey—the fourth black Catholic bishop appointed to serve the American church and the primary author of the 1979 U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral on the Sin of Racism—was made asking why there were so few black Catholics in the United States, he responded with the question, “Why are there so many?” »

He pointed to the Catholic Church‘s history of being silent during the slave trade, with Catholic institutions owning and selling slaves, continuing to have separate schools, parishes and religious orders long after the laws of the civil war ending slavery and well into the 20th century.

“Very few institutions in our country have done less to combat racism than the church,” Bishop Francis said at a gathering of Catholics in Brooklyn, New York, in 1980.

As bold of a speaker as the bishop was on the subject of racism and the church’s failures on that issue, he remained a Catholic, said Father Stephen Thorne, chairman of the Commission for Racial Healing of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

“One thing that is great about black Catholics is that we know we are children of God,” Fr. Thorne told CNS. “No matter what you may say, we know it and we express it. We have the right to continue to be what God has called us to be. It’s part of our struggle, that if we want to move forward and evangelize, we have to tackle those issues that sometimes get in the way of evangelism.

Many American Catholic leaders recognize that racism continues to be a problem in the church.

The church – as an institution – started calling racism a sin decades ago.

Ridding the church of racism, however, has proven as difficult as ridding the world of it, said retired Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Illinois, one of the few American black Catholic bishops.

The first step is to acknowledge a racist past, which the U.S. bishops did in the 1979 “Brothers and Sisters to Us” pastoral and again with the 2018 “Open Wide Our Hearts” pastoral, Bishop Braxton said, “ where the church continues to express sorrow for – and commit to overcoming and getting rid of … racial prejudice and prejudice towards different groups of people, including African Americans.

All of this writing, however, won’t make a difference if you can’t convince people to acknowledge that racism even exists, something that many Americans struggle with, said Joseph A. Ferrara, vice president and chief executive officer. Office of the President of Georgetown University.

Georgetown and the Jesuits reported very publicly on a history of owning and selling slaves, considered by some to be a lesson for the rest of the Catholic Church and American society, but considered by others to be pandering to radical liberals about a racial problem they say no longer exists.

Religion is a sacred part of a person’s life and that sanctity motivates many Black Catholics to worship in predominantly Black spaces, Oblate Sister Marcia Hall said.

When Sister Marcia began exploring a vocation to religious life, she decided that the Oblate Sisters of Providence – a historically black congregation of women religious – was going to be the right fit for her.

“I felt predominantly white environments would be too toxic to live in,” she said. “I had worked for them; I had gone to school with them. I had had enough racist experiences for two lifetimes, so I saw no reason to do this to myself for religious life.

Although Geeter has said he will go to any church — regardless of the racial makeup of the congregation — to worship if he is out of town, his preference is to attend Mass with others. Catholics “who look like me. Unless I’m in a church with people who look like me, I’m just not comfortable.

According to the recent Pew study, only about 25% of black Catholics worship in predominantly black churches.

There are fewer than 800 American Catholic churches with predominantly African-American congregations, most of which are on the East Coast, making it more likely that black Catholics will attend mass in predominantly white congregations.

As mass attendance nationwide has declined in recent decades, bishops have been forced to close or merge parishes and in many cases closed churches have predominantly black congregations, the minister said. Father Thorne.

He’d like to see those kinds of closure decisions made with more consideration for the consequences for black congregations, “so it can really be a decision that will be in everyone’s best interests.” Because when those parishes closed, we lost a lot of those people. »

Key words: Black Catholics, Without Racism, Joseph Geeter, Racism

Category: Featured, US & World News

The return of Americans to the Church has reached a plateau…… | News and reports


Churches waiting for more people to return on Sunday mornings are still waiting, two years after the pandemic began.

Over the past six months, nearly every place of worship has reopened for services, and week after week others have dropped mask requirements, social distancing and other COVID-19 precautions. But the latest figures from the Pew Research Center show that once-regular worshipers aren’t much more likely to show up than they were in September.

While people have been steadily returning to church services in the first half of 2021, the trend has plateaued. Entering the third year since COVID-19, congregations and their leaders are left with the reality that those who worshiped alongside them before may not return.

About two-thirds of people who usually attend church at least once a month said they were back in the pews in March (67%), similar to September 2021 (64%).

“In 2021, many leaders clung to the idea that the next season – Easter, the new school year, Christmas, etc. — would bring attendance back to 2019 levels. For most churches, this “magical season” never materialized,” Carey Nieuwhof, a former pastor and church leadership strategist, wrote at the start of the year.

“In 2022, the constant cycle of hope and disappointment will give way to the new reality that this is your church. It will become apparent that some of the people who said they would come back later are clearly not coming back, ever.

Observant evangelical Protestants have returned to the highest rates, but their numbers are also holding steady rather than increasing: 75% were present in March and 72% the previous September.

Black Protestants remain the most cautious and less than half of regular practitioners of their tradition have returned in person. Fewer people reported going to services in March (48%) than in September (50%).

The recent numbers from Pew follow what other surveys have indicated and what pastors are seeing at their still not full shrines on Sundays. A 2021 U.S. Families Survey found the biggest drop in church attendance among black churchgoers, older adults and couples without children at home.

As CT reported last year, some Christians see lagging attendance figures as signs of a much bigger crisis for churches, where the upheaval of the pandemic has changed the way people relate. at the church.

“We need to retrain people early on on why you should bother coming together,” said Collin Hansen, who wrote Rediscovering the Church: Why the Body of Christ is Essential. “I think pastors take that for granted and are going to be surprised how many people never had that vision in the first place and never come back when the green light is given.”

Within weeks of COVID-19 taking off in the United States, it became clear that live streaming and other online service formats would not only sustain church life, but in many cases expand their reach. .

“While religious congregations as a whole may have seen a sharp drop in physical attendance during the pandemic, there is good reason to believe that virtual attendance is much higher today than it is. was before the coronavirus outbreak began in early 2020,” the Pew report said.

Black Protestant worshipers are also the most likely to continue watching services online, Pew found. They are twice as likely as people from other traditions to say their only recent church attendance has been online or on TV.

The number of Americans overall who have attended or listened to a church service exceeds those who say they are regular worshippers. While the overall reach has widened, there is a segment of Christians who belonged to a church fellowship that no longer engages at all: 12% of former regular churchgoers say they do not attend in person or don’t look online.

Pastors should consider hybrid worship models and whether to invest in increasing online engagement even if their church is open in person.

“We now live our lives in a hybrid of physical and digital, and there is no turning back,” Ian Harber wrote in a January article published by the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “Of course, we never want to give up the physical – we are physical beings created in the image of God who are called to come together in the name of Christ – but neither should we give up our people to the digital.”

Upstate pastor killed 20 years ago


GAFFNEY, SC (FOX Carolina) — A pastor killed along the road 20 years ago in Gaffney remains unsolved.

Perry Posey pastored Shady Grove Baptist for years, even helping build the nearby church. “This is the case of Perry Posey, he was a local pastor who was killed on February 6, 2002,” Lt. Jordan Cutchin said.

Cutchin has been sifting through the 20-year-old case for 2 years now. His family and wife are speaking out saying they believe their father’s case can be solved, especially since the murder weapon is in evidence.

“My dad used to take me to school every morning, and he wasn’t there to take me to school, so I thought there was something going on, but I never thought that my father had been killed,” Cherry Posey Dukes said. Dukes was only 16 when she last saw her father.

“I was 22 when it happened,” said son Kerry Posey.

“When I got to the scene, before they even said anything to me, the tape, I knew it was him,” said Perry Posey Junior.

Filing cabinets full of evidence are inside the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. Lab reports, sketches and photos all hold clues to who shot this father, pastor and mentor.

“It’s strange, usually us when we see these crimes, it’s usually not someone who’s a pastor,” Lt. Cutchin said. Investigators questioned whether the shooting resulted from road rage, as a suspect used a shotgun as the murder weapon. A soldier found at a traffic point a few miles from the scene a few days later.

“I heard rumors like everyone else, but it means nothing to me, I want the truth,” said Vergie Posey, his wife.

Investigators say Posey was found along I-85 and exit 87. His car pulled over after he was shot once around 3:45 a.m. According to records, the pastor was not found until after 7 a.m. Photos show bullet holes strewn all over his car, but only one bullet hit him.

Cherry Posey Dukes said many elements of the case did not sit well with her, including where officials found the murder weapon and her father’s car.

“It had been exposed to the weather, dew on the grass, rain, things like that would degrade fingerprints or DNA evidence,” Lt. Cutchin said of the murder weapon.

This family is skeptical, the motive is road rage and will continue to fight for answers. “I try to stay positive and pray about it…and keep them in prayer. Because if you can do something like that, you need prayer,” Cherry Posey Dukes said.

Investigators have no leads at this stage, but will continue to interview those they are directed to. The family thinks the case can be solved.

Pastor Joe Wible Jr. passed an abandoned church on 7th Street, he learned it was one of the oldest churches in Topeka.


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Pastor Joe Wible Jr. drove past an abandoned church on 7th Street he learned was one of the oldest churches in Topeka.

“We saw the church and it was pretty much in disrepair, abandoned for 20 years, so it needed a lot of work on it,” Wible Jr said.

What was once Topeka’s first African-American church is now The Rock Community Church.

Its reconstruction required a handful of dedicated men with a common goal.

“There were really four of us working on it and mainly two of us, myself and Dale Flores, we were here every day working on it, we both have heart issues and we worked four days a week and we kept going,” he said. noted.

Wible Jr. said he knew he could create something special the moment he saw the building.

“I was retired, going to Topeka Baptist Church, it’s my home church and I loved it there. Then I passed by this church because I was helping my grandson on a house he was knocking over and when I saw him I stopped and the Lord just touched my heart bringing him back to the community . That’s why it’s called community, we’re non-dominant, we don’t talk about a religion, we preach the word of God, so he put it on my heart, so we don’t reach out to all of Topeka, we’re reaching out to this community,” he explained.

The project cost about $170,000 from his retirement fund.

“If only one person is saved through this process, it was worth it.”

The church is located at 9087 SW 7th Street.

The church is now open for services, here are the times:

-Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.

-Sunday evenings at 6:00 p.m.

-Wednesday evenings at 6:00 p.m.

Copyright 2022 WIBW. All rights reserved.

Payday Loans Jamaica Nyc. The online payday loan has the following advantages


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Kingsport First Baptist Church plans ‘acts of love’ | Sunday stories


By Carmen Musick

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mark 12:31

KINGSPORT — A ministry event that has been in the works for years will finally come to fruition next month when First Baptist Church Kingsport launches Acts of Love: A Day of Community Service.

A massive exercise in being the hands and feet of Christ, Acts of Love will bring together hundreds of volunteers in a single day to benefit multiple individuals and agencies across the community.

Danny Silvey, associate pastor of young adults and families at First Baptist Church Kingsport, says the project grew out of a five-year visioning effort the congregation launched a few years ago — an effort that has been delayed. (like most things) by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Acts of Love is an outgrowth of this visionary effort, focusing specifically on Christ’s call for us to be his hands and feet, reflecting his words to ‘love our neighbors as ourselves.’ This event provides an opportunity to meet the needs of our hometown residents,” said Silvey.

Year Three: Being the Hands and Feet of Christ was scheduled for 2021. Then COVID happened.

“Our planning team decided that this spring was the time to plan this event which has been in the planning stages for months,” Silvey said.

Acts of Love: Community Service Day is now set for Saturday, April 9.

“We ask everyone who is part of our FBC church family and even those who are not part of our church family to consider volunteering for this community event,” Silvey said.

“There will be a variety of ways to help – from building and cleaning work, to preparing, serving and delivering meals, to helping with thrift store ministries and even building beds for children. children who need it. We will also need team leaders to help guide each team.

There are opportunities to work together in groups or as a family unit. And everyone is welcome. The aim is to have 200-250 volunteers sharing the love of Christ across Kingsport that Saturday.

Volunteers from First Baptist Church Kingsport will join others who volunteer to serve together at the one-day ministry event at various sites in the Kingsport area. The growing list of projects includes Food Ministries at Kitchen of Hope, Salvation Army, Second Harvest Food Bank, Gibsontown Ministries and Meals on Wheels; building and cleaning ministries benefiting Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Salvation Army Shelter, Friends in Need, Kingsport Homeless Ministry, Family Promise and more; thrift store ministries at Habitat ReStore and Mission Agape; and various social support and prayer team ministries.

The day will begin with breakfast and devotional reflection in the church communion hall. The groups will then disperse to the various project sites. You can find more information and a registration form at www.fbckpt.org/acts-of-love.

Police Arrest Three Suspects for Murder of Pastor Deeper Life in Kogi


Kogi State Police Command has arrested three suspects in connection with the murder of a Deeper Life pastor.

The punch had reported that Pastor Alimi Victor of Deeper Life Bible Church in Okehi Local Government Area had been abducted and allegedly axed to death on March 10 after the church service.

He was reportedly on his way home from church service in the Okaito area along the Kabba-Okene road in Kogi when he was abducted and hacked to death by suspected assailants.

State Police Public Relations Officer SP Williams Aya said the cleric’s body was found in a grave along the route of his church, days after he went missing.

He said the command pursued the suspects, adding that the intelligence led to the arrest of three suspects.

According to him, the three suspects are being questioned at the Criminal Investigation Department.

Aya, however, declined to reveal the identities of the suspects, saying police were still making efforts to find more people.

Copyright PUNCH.

All rights reserved. This material and any other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without the prior express written permission of PUNCH.

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Linda Vista Second Baptist Church: Reaching the Lost


Norris Jarmon

Linda Vista Second Baptist Church

  • Contact: 2706 Korink Avenue, San Diego 858-277-4008 www.lvsbc.com
  • Membership: 97 (pre-covid: 200-300)
  • Pastor: Norris Jarmon
  • Age: 64
  • Not: Pine Bluff, Alaska
  • Training: Andersonville Theological Seminary, Camilla, GA
  • Ordered years: 12

San Diego Reader: How much time do you spend preparing your sermon?

Pastor Norris Jarmon: My sermons tend to be topical. But I can’t give you the exact time it takes me to prepare a sermon. I am constantly in prayer because I only believe in saying what God has led me to say. I constantly pray for God to lead me, guide me and direct me. He always gives me something to preach on, and I work on my sermons until God says, “OK.” There have been times when I have been working all week preparing a message, and then on Sunday morning something happens where I believe God is leading me in a different way. I had this opportunity while we were doing church from home during the covid period when the church was closed and we were online. I had prepared my message on Sunday morning and there was another word that was in me. I felt a little confused but I knew that God is not the author of confusion. Maybe I should talk about something else, I was thinking. I went into prayer, of course, and got ready for the day to settle in for the service. This word was placed in me and I said, “OK, Lord, if you’re the one telling me what to do, then I need you to give me something”… I didn’t have a week to prepare myself for this sermon; it’s something that happened less than an hour after that Sunday morning. I believe it was very good service and lots of good comments from people.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PJ: Reach the lost, teach the saved, and love one another as Christ loves us. When I say “Reach the lost”, I don’t mean the lost who love us, but the lost, period. People who need to know Jesus Christ. Whether they join this church or not, it doesn’t matter; we just want to make sure they know Jesus Christ. It matters to us more than anything – that people have a relationship with Jesus Christ and come to know Him as Lord and Savior of their lives. Once you begin a relationship with Jesus Christ, He will direct you in the direction you need to go, where you find a good fit.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PJ: I like to say it like this: “Smoker or non-smoker?” You are going to be a smoker or a non-smoker, hell or heaven. But I believe everyone has the opportunity to go to heaven. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or what you’re doing; what matters is whether you have received Jesus Christ as the lord and savior of your life. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as the only begotten son of God will spend eternity in heaven with him. If you believe in him, no matter what, you will spend eternity with him in heaven. If you don’t, you go to the smoking section. But we must also remember that if you have the ability to accept Jesus Christ even in your dying breath, that matters.

Martin Lewis gives advice to families turning to payday loans as cost of living crisis rages


Skyrocketing costs and worries about paying bills have led to increased interest in payday loans, according to a new survey.

Search by savings platform UK revealed a massive 350% increase in internet searches for payday loans in the past 12 months as the country faces a cost of living crisis and families struggle to make ends meet . Household budgets are being squeezed in every way, from petrol hitting a UK record £1.55 a liter last week to soaring supermarket food prices – and that’s before the new cap on Energy prices don’t come into effect next month, when the average family will have to find almost £700 extra every year just to pay their energy bill.

Kevin Mountford, co-founder of UKwarned that Payday loans can be a dangerous path, despite the short-term relief they may seem to provide.

Read more: The energy price cap explained

“It’s easy to fall into a cycle of debt with these schemes if you continually need them to cover shortfalls. With interest rates rising, payday loans will most likely leave you struggling financially, d especially since you will owe these companies an ever-increasing amount of money,” he says.

Payday loans are short-term loans for relatively small amounts. They may be easy to access, but the interest rates are very high. They work by agreeing that the company can take its payment from your debit card on the day your next salary payment is due, although some lenders allow you to pay over a longer period – often up to six months.

For some, they offer loans of last resort which, used well, can fix unexpected holes in people’s finances, although according to Moneysavingexpert Marin Lewismany of these loans were irresponsibly given and mis-sold to those who could not afford to repay.

Dozens of lenders with bad credit have gone bankrupt, including big-name payday lenders such as Wonga and QuickQuid, leaving customers with legitimate claims with dramatically reduced payments.

Citizens Advice agrees with Martin Lewis that payday loans are almost always a bad idea and cautioned against people seeing them as a quick fix to solve today’s problem.

Martin Lewis advised people to try the following ways to raise short-term cash before applying for a payday loan:

  • A credit card offers interest-free spending, if you pay it off in full. A 0% card gives you even more time to pay without interest.
  • Check if you are eligible for 0% government budget loan up to £812
  • Ask for help from family
  • See if your local credit union will offer you a loan
  • Consider extending your overdraft – it’s usually cheaper than a payday loan

And if you’re still determined to get a payday loan, he advises the following:

  • Borrow as little as possible and budget to repay as soon as possible
  • Don’t take out one personal loan to pay off another. If you regularly get payday loans, there’s a problem
  • Always check that a lender is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Payday lenders can be bad – loan sharks are MUCH worse.

Christ Church Greenwich holds candlelight vigil for Ukraine and prepares food for refugees


GREENWICH – Christ Church Greenwich invites the community to participate in two upcoming events to show support for the people of Ukraine.

“There is no doubt that we have all been horrified by the crisis unfolding in Ukraine,” church leaders said of the deadly Russian invasion.

At 5 p.m. Sunday, the church will host a candlelight vigil for Ukraine.

The vigil will call on the power of prayer to “help us and those we pray for. It is soothing, meditative and hopeful,” the church leaders said.

Residents are struggling to understand what they can do to help families fleeing violence and destruction in Ukraine, church leaders said.

“And a lot of people have a hard time understanding how that can happen. It’s hard to watch as it unfolds,” the executives said in a press release.

“Whenever innocent people suffer around the world, we must come together and channel the resources of the world and encourage people of goodwill everywhere to do what is right,” said Reverend Marek Zabriskie, Rector of Christ Church Greenwich.

Christ Church Greenwich is an Episcopal community.

“We invite you to join us and pray in solidarity with the good people of Ukraine and with the people of Greenwich, our nation and our world. Prayer facilitates the transformation of God’s goodness in the world,” said said Zabriskie.

Christ Church will also hold an Emergency Packathon for Ukrainian Refugees at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 26, at its parish hall, 254 E. Putnam Ave.

The church is holding the Emergency Packathon – a group food-packing event – ​​to deliver more than 36,000 meal packages to Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border.

All ages are welcome to help with the volunteer effort, church leaders said. During a two-and-a-half-hour shift, teams of volunteers will assemble four complete nutritious ingredients: a carbohydrate, dehydrated vegetables, a vitamin powder and a bean protein. Volunteers weigh parcels, seal and wrap them for distribution.

It is a simple, organized and cost-effective way to feed children and families who have fled their homes for safety since the invasion and fighting began, church leaders said.

In coordination with the Ukrainian Cultural Center of New Jersey, the meals will be transported to the docks and packed into a container and loaded onto a ship bound for Gdansk, Poland.

BOC International, which has already shipped nine containers of meals to Poland, is providing the transport free of charge.

When the container arrives, the provincial administration of LVIV will take possession and distribute the meals, the statement said.

“People are watching, listening and reading about the atrocities of Russian troops invading Ukraine,” Zabriskie said. “We are witnessing shelling of civilians as they try to leave their country. People are trapped in their towns and villages, and our hearts are deeply saddened. I urge everyone to pray every day for innocent people who are in danger.

“We can also respond in a concrete way by getting supplies to refugees,” he said. “These are important gestures so that together we can help in any way possible.”

Christ Church is soliciting donations to cover the total cost of $12,600 for supplies and food for the Packathon. Donations can be made directly to the Packathon at christchurchgreenwich.org or use Text To Give 73256 and enter Ccgctgive.

For more information or to view a live stream of the vigil, visit christchurchgreenwich.org.

Pastor: What were you thinking?


A pastor with a beautiful church, great respect, challenging opportunities, and a good income does the weirdest thing. He returns home after the monthly meeting of a denominational council and hands over his expenses (plane ticket, hotel, taxi, meals) to the accountant of the church. She writes a check to pay him back. Eventually, it emerged that the faith-based agency was also reimbursing him. He billed both the church and the agency for his expenses. Pastor: what were you thinking?

For a few thousand dollars a year, the man of God was willing to risk it all. (He was fired, as he should have been.)

Pastor: What were you thinking?

A pastor with a large church and incredible potential discovers he can earn an extra $20,000 a year by taking multiple groups to the Holy Land. All his congregation sees is that their pastor continues to push these trips as a way to deepen their commitment and broaden their vision. They are not told that the travel agency pays him a commission. When members find out, most are unhappy. Nothing illegal was happening; it is an accepted business practice. The problem was the pastor’s moonlighting and using his position of influence to increase his side income, without informing his leaders.

(Note: Many retired evangelists and pastors earn a great income doing this. As someone who has benefited from it, we encourage people to take this unforgettable trip to the Holy Land.)

Because Pastor Adamant had been in his church for a long time during which they had excellent growth, he seemed entrenched and was able to make his own decisions. The problem is that he liked not to report to anyone, but simply to inform the financial leaders “of what we are going to do”. With no one to tell him “no”, he asked the accountant to use church funds to pay for some personal things for him. When the news broke, the congregation rose up and informed him in the blink of an eye that he was truly responsible – to them! After the newspapers threw a feast at the expense of the church, the pastor found himself looking for work.

Pastor: what were you thinking? He was not.

TV shows will feature videos of people doing outrageous things. Two men will decide to ride something – a sled, a bike, a boat, a chest of drawers! – on a ramp for pure fun, knowing full well that a horrible accident awaits them at the end. A man will take a chainsaw up to the roof to cut something, but without proper clothing or eye protection, and end up cutting the very thing he is standing on. The list of these follies seems endless.

Pastor: what were you thinking?

“It seemed like the right thing to do.”

“I thought it was a good idea at the time.”

A famous movie star with ten thousand reasons to live – beautiful family, fabulous career, etc. – ends up with a murderous mix of drugs in his system. What was he thinking?

A well-known judge sitting on the bench he had dreamed of throughout his career and enjoying the kind of prestige that most lawyers dream of, takes money from under the table to be lenient with a defendant. He loses everything and goes to jail. How lightly he appreciated all he had accomplished, how cheaply he sold his career, and how easily he brought humiliation to those who believed in him, invested in him, loved him.

And the servant of God…

As heartbreaking as it may seem, we have come to expect such outrageous behavior from people outside the faith. What hurts is when another believer crosses the line and commits the most reckless act of their life, a common-sense mistake that reverberates through every corner of their universe.

Ministers continue to go to jail for embezzling church money. Respected fathers will be found to have child pornography on their computers, a serious crime, or molesting their own daughters.

We heard about a preacher who convinced his church leaders to spend a small fortune buying copies of his new book, which would put it on the bestseller list. The idea is that since many people buy books from these lists assuming they are worth reading, if you can get your book on the list, bingo, you have a bestseller.

Such tactics are not illegal, just unethical. That’s what people who are fame addicts, who are unaccountable to no one, and who are willing to use the Lord’s money to promote themselves do.

This is all incredibly stupid, if you’ll forgive me the indignation.

Here is a pastor doing the best job of his life. His church is finally healthy, he preaches the best sermons ever, his staff is unified and effective, and his family life is going well. While doing guest ministry in a distant town, he flirts with a woman in the congregation, she responds, and they eventually make arrangements to meet. Flirting leads to a full fledged affair. For this madness, the minister loses his family, the church, the respect he once enjoyed and the opportunity to make a difference in thousands of lives for eternity. At what price he traded the treasure.

We think of what the prophet Nathan said to King David after such a destructive episode: “Why did you despise the Lord? (II Samuel 12:9) “By this act you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme” (12:14).

God takes personally what his servants do to dishonor his name and his people.

Esau came back from the fields and was hungry. He said to his brother Jacob, “Please give me a sip of this red stuff, for I am hungry. But Jacob said, “First, sell me your birthright.” And Esau said, “Behold, I will die. What use would the birthright be to me then? So he sold his birthright to Jacob. So Esau despised his birthright. (from Genesis 25)

Esau has been given a place in popular culture as one who makes a truly foolish bargain for the sake of a moment. “Selling your birthright for a porridge of soup” is the usual expression.

Pastor: what were you thinking? What are you thinking about today? May God give us all “the mind of Christ” (Philippians 2:5).

This What You Thought article originally appeared hereand is used with permission.

Hours after Zelensky’s speech to Congress, Biden will talk about what the US is providing to Ukraine

Pope Francis recites a prayer at the Vatican on March 13. Photo by Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Pope Francis will hold an extraordinary prayer called “consecration” for Russia and Ukraine next week, the Vatican announced Tuesday.

The prayer is unique because it is linked to a belief in a 1917 prophecy of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, in which it is claimed she said the consecration of Russia would usher in a period of world peace.

“Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated,” the prophecy reads.

The Catholic Church maintains that Mary asked for prayers for the “conversion of Russia”, in particular for the “consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart”, saying that if this is done, “Russia will be converted and there will have peace”.

This special request from the Virgin Mary is known as the Third Secret of Fatima, named after the city in Portugal where she is said to have appeared to three children in 1917.

John Paul II was devoted to the Virgin of Fatima, because he believed that she had saved him from death during a assassination attempt in St. Peter’s Square May 13, 1981, the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima.

On March 25, 1984, John Paul II consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but did not specifically mention Russia, leading some to suggest the consecration was not done properly.

Pope Francis will perform the consecration in St. Peter’s Basilica on the same date as John Paul II, March 25, according to the Vatican statement.

On the same day, Cardinal Krajewski, the papal chaplain, will perform the consecration at Fatima, the statement said.

The pope has so far refrained from calling on Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to condemn the war, and he has not publicly condemned Putin or Russia by name, despite his fervent calls for an end to the war. Other Catholic Church officials, however, have not been so reluctant.

Here is what else religious leaders have said about the war:

In Putin's worldview, a medieval narrative resurfaces

The Truth About Payday Loans: Exorbitant Annual Interest Rates


When you face an unexpected expense, a payday loan may seem like the ideal solution. Applying is quick and easy, and you can get the money you need in just a few hours. But before you take out a payday loan, be sure to read the fine print. Payday loans come with very high APRs, and if you can’t pay them back on time, you’ll end up paying even more fees and interest. So, is a personal loan really worth it?

What are payday loans and how do they work?

A payday loan is a short-term, high-interest loan that is usually due on your next payday. The idea is that you will use the money you borrow to cover unexpected expenses or to tide you over until your next paycheck arrives. Payday loans are also sometimes called cash advance loans or check loans.

Orville L. Bennett of Ipass.Net explains how they work: Let’s say you need to borrow $300 for an emergency expense. You write a post-dated check for $345 (the loan amount plus fees and interest) and date it for your next payday. The lender keeps the check and cashes it on the date you specify, usually two weeks later. If you don’t have enough money in your account to cover the check, you’ll be charged an NSF check fee.

Payday loans are usually due in full on your next payday, but some lenders will let you extend the loan if you can’t afford to pay it off all at once. Just be aware that interest rates and fees will continue to accrue until the loan is paid off.

Ipass identifies payday loans as a loan which can be a useful tool in times of financial emergency, but they should only be used as a last resort. Make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions before applying and be ready to repay the loan as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could end up paying a lot more interest and fees than you originally borrowed.

If you’re looking for an alternative to payday loans, consider online personal loans. Personal loans are a great way to consolidate debt, finance major purchases or cover unexpected expenses.

And unlike payday loans, personal loans come with fixed interest rates and payments, so you’ll always know how much you’ll have to pay each month. Plus, you can usually get a personal loan with bad credit. So if you’re struggling to qualify for a traditional bank loan, an online personal loan might be the perfect solution.

The risks associated with payday loans.

As with any type of loan, there are risks associated with payday loans. Here are some things to watch out for:

– Payday loans come with very high APRs, and if you can’t pay them back on time, you’ll end up paying even more fees and interest.

– If you can’t repay the loan on time, you could end up with costly NSF fees.

– Payday loans can hurt your credit score if you miss payments or fail to repay the loan.

– Payday lenders may try to aggressively collect debts from borrowers, which could lead to harassment and even legal action.

So before taking out a payday loan, make sure you weigh the pros and cons. If you can’t afford to repay the loan in full on your next payday, it’s probably not a good idea to borrow the money. There are other options available, so be sure to explore all of your options before deciding on a payday loan.

If you’re considering taking out a payday loan, be sure to check out our guide to the best payday loans first. We’ll help you find a lender who offers fair interest rates and reasonable repayment terms.

Payday loans aren’t for everyone, but if you need cash fast and have no other options, they can be a helpful way to get through a tough financial situation.

How to avoid high APRs when taking out a personal loan?

When looking for a payday loan, it’s important to compare interest rates and fees from different lenders. Here are a few tips :

– Compare the APRs of different lenders. Payday loans with lower APRs will cost you less interest and fees over the term of the loan.

– Avoid lenders that charge application or origination fees. These fees can add up quickly, so it’s important to find a lender that doesn’t charge them.

– Look for lenders who offer flexible repayment terms. If you can’t afford to repay the loan on your next payday, be sure to inquire about extending the repayment term. Just be aware that this will increase the overall amount of interest you pay.

– Do not accept any loan before having carefully read the terms and conditions. Payday loans can be expensive, so it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into before signing anything.

If you take these steps, you’ll have a much better chance of finding a payday loan with reasonable interest rates and fees. Remember to always research the best deal before applying for a payday loan. High APRs can quickly drain your bank account, so it’s important to find a lender that offers fair rates and reasonable repayment terms.

Alternatives to payday loans for people who need money fast.

If you need money fast and don’t want to take out a payday loan, there are other options available to you. Here are some alternatives to consider:

– Personal loans: Personal loans generally have lower interest rates than payday loans, so they can be a cheaper option in the long run. And unlike payday loans, personal loans come with fixed interest rates and monthly payments, so you’ll always know how much you’ll have to pay each month.

– Credit Cards: If you have good credit, you may qualify for a low-interest credit card. You can use your credit card to cover unexpected expenses or consolidate debt. Just make sure you make your payments on time and keep your balance under control to avoid high interest rates.

– Payday loan alternatives: There are a number of payday loan alternatives available, including installment loans, cash advance loans, and lines of credit. These options typically have lower interest rates than traditional payday loans, so they can be a cheaper option in the long run.

Before deciding on a payday loan, be sure to explore all of your options. Payday loans can be expensive, so it’s important to find the cheapest way to borrow money. Personal loans, credit cards, and payday loan alternatives are all viable options for people in need of quick cash. Just be sure to compare interest rates and fees before applying for a loan.

Thanks for reading! We hope this article has helped you understand the truth about payday loans and the high APRs associated with them. Payday loans can be expensive, so it’s important to explore all of your options before deciding on one.

Remember that personal loans, credit cards, and payday loan alternatives are all viable options for people who need cash fast. Just be sure to compare interest rates and fees before applying for a loan and research reliable and knowledgeable lenders such as Ipass.Net.

CRS Rice Bowl highlights climate adaptation to major cyclones in Bangladesh | earth beat


Floods and extreme storms are an annual threat to many people in Bangladesh.

In November 1970, an estimated 500,000 people died from Cyclone Bhola in what is considered the deadliest tropical cyclone on record.

Since then, climate change has only exacerbated extreme storms in poor countries like Bangladesh, which is considered one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of rising temperatures. But as threats have grown, Bangladesh has also become a global leader in climate resilience. As his government created a robust system of disaster preparedness, he also worked with development organizations to advance farming methods to better withstand stronger storms.

Among them is Catholic Relief Services.

Stories of how CRS is helping communities in Bangladesh adapt to the impacts of climate change are featured this week as part of its annual Rice Bowl program.

Each year during Lent, CRS Rice Bowl invites families and faith communities to offer financial support to people suffering from hunger and poverty around the world. Since its launch in 1975, the program has raised more than $250 million, benefiting more than 100 countries, while a quarter of funds raised are used to help communities in the United States.

In 2021, nearly 12,000 Catholic parishes and schools across the country have participated in the program.

One of the initiatives supported by CRS Rice Bowl is the Mutki project in Monpura, an island in southern Bangladesh on the Bay of Bengal. Its location, located in the Meghna River, puts the roughly 120,000 people who live on the mostly rural island at increased risk from storms and floods that have become more frequent as global temperatures have risen.

The Mutki project started in 2014 to help vulnerable households through disaster risk reduction in a region largely neglected by development activities. CRS partnered in the project with Cartias Bangladesh, which has been present on the island since the aftermath of Cyclone Bhola. Since its inception, the project has worked with over 4,000 households and 20,000 people in 11 villages, many of whom live in extreme poverty.

“Our goal is to provide support to the most vulnerable households to save their lives and assets from disasters,” said Kamal Mostafa, CRS Technical Advisor for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in Bangladesh.

The South Asian country, home to 160 million people, is among the 10 countries most affected by extreme weather events over the past two decades, according to the Global Climate Risk Index. Floods affect around 1 million people each year, according to the World Bank, and more than two-thirds of the country is flooded every three to five years.

The recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change adaptation report found that in 2019, more than 4 million people in Bangladesh were displaced by weather-related disasters. He predicted that rising sea levels will lead to increased water salinization, which will reduce the availability of freshwater fish along the country’s southwest coast, a problem that hits particularly hard. poor communities.

Bangladeshi government efforts have developed advanced warning systems and cyclone preparedness programs that have reduced the death toll, including training 60,000 volunteers and establishing a network of evacuation shelters. When Cyclone Aman hit in May 2020, 26 people died and more than 2.4 million others were displaced to shelters.

“Casualties and damage have been reduced, but it’s still not zero,” Mostafa told EarthBeat.

Although evacuation efforts have saved lives, crop damage remains high and these losses hit poor communities the hardest.

“Almost every year floods or cyclones hit these islands. And so they lose their crops, they lose their livestock,” Mostafa said.

Flooding makes farming difficult for many in low-lying areas, as high tides wash away crops.

“Every year during the summer we face a lot of problems, and again during the fall months we get hit by a heavy storm,” said Noornobi, a farmer featured in a CRS video about the project. Mutki.

Over the past eight years, the Mutki project team of 35 employees has worked with farmers to adapt to climate change. They taught methods of raising their garden beds to make their crops more resilient to heavy storms and flooding. They also learned agricultural techniques to grow vegetables during the rainy season.

When the Mutki project started, about 7% of households grew their own vegetables at home. Four years after the start of the project, this number has risen to 97%. Mostafa said increasing vegetable consumption not only improves nutrition, but provides a year-round source of income for families and can help families pay for better education.

“That’s how they adapted to the floods,” said Mostafa, adding that many farmers like Noorobi shared what they learned with other members of their community “so that they also have food at their table”.

In addition to improving agricultural production, the Mutki project has helped communities in Monpura to rebuild after weather disasters and apply disaster risk reduction strategies ahead of future storms. This has included raising plinths or raising houses above flood levels, securing roofs, vaccinating livestock against diseases that accompany rising waters, and rebuilding roads and important connections between markets, schools and clinics. It also helps communities advocate with their government for greater disaster response and promote local sustainable development efforts. In addition, the Bangladesh Catholic Bishops‘ Conference and Caritas Bangladesh have promoted a tree planting campaign to create a natural buffer against extreme weather conditions and help mitigate rising temperatures by absorbing heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Throughout its work, the Mutki project has emphasized working directly with local communities and empowering them to prepare themselves for future disasters.

Mostafa told EarthBeat that he hopes the message CRS Rice Bowl participants will take away from Project Mutki is that they are helping people in remote communities, who are facing increasing challenges as floods and cyclones s ‘worse, to make sure they can still provide a meal for their family. .

“The support really changes people’s lives,” he said.

Volunteer Management Software Market Research by Growth Acceleration, Performance Insights – Church Community Builder, Galaxy Digital, VolunteerHub, Volgistics, CERVIS, etc.


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New Church man pleads guilty to assault and battery


By Linda Cicoira

A New Church man, who was charged with two counts of maliciously wounding, pleaded guilty in Accomack Circuit Court to battery on Thursday.

The victim, Valerie Cannon, of Salisbury, Maryland, refused to testify against Leon W. Morris, sixty-three, of RJ Drive. Commonwealth Assistant Attorney Michael Baker has reached a plea bargain agreement with Morris. In exchange for Morris pleading guilty, Baker dropped one injury charge and amended the other to a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Judge W. Revell Lewis III gave Morris a 12-month suspended sentence. The accused had been incarcerated since the November 5 incident.

“It was a terrible mistake,” admitted Morris. We have been “together for 17 years. She punched me in the back of the head. She gets jealous of other women,” he said. Morris admitted that he then “put his hands on her” and she fell to the ground. Both had been drinking. “I haven’t been in trouble for 20 years,” Morris said.

The judge suggested he go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to stay sober. Morris said he thought about it and quit smoking. “I will go to church every Sunday,” he added. Lewis encouraged him to do so and eventually help others in the community.


Same Day Loans For Beginners: What to Look For When Getting a Loan from Instant Payday Loan Company

Same Day Loans For Beginners: What to Look For When Getting a Loan from Instant Payday Loan Company

You can find better deals if you know the loan process and factors to consider before opting for a loan. Lets go through some steps to help you learn more about no credit check loans.

The first thing that you need to do is consider your budget. Calculate the amount of loan you want to borrow before choosing a lending network. Dont borrow more than the amount you need. Remember that you will have to pay lesser interest on a Ipass Loans.

After devising your budget, make a plan on how you will make monthly payments on time. While considering your budget and making a repayment plan, consider basic needs such as housing, food, and transportation. In addition, make an estimate of your credit card payments.

After calculating the amount that you can repay each month, make a plan for the repayment period. If you choose to repay in a longer period, you will be charged a higher interest rate.

However, this doesnt mean you sign up for paying an amount that is too big for your monthly income. It is better to pay a high-interest rate than default on monthly payments.

Before you get a loan, check whether your loan is secure or not. In addition to the loan type, look at whether the interest rate is fixed or variable. A fixed interest rate means you will be charged with the same rates despite economical changes. In comparison, variable interest rate fluctuates with fluctuations in the index rate.

Furthermore, make sure you consider each fee, such as the origination fee, before getting a loan. This will help you plan expenses accordingly.

The online availability of loans has made it easier for borrowers to compare interest rates. Therefore, dont let this opportunity go and compare rates and fees everywhere to save on interest.

In addition, the number of companies offering same-day loans is increasing in number. However, getting a loan remains difficult. Therefore, you shouldnt consider finding a loan an easy task and should take the process seriously. Dont settle for the first network you find.

Some lenders offer pre-approval. Using pre-approval, you can find the interest rates offered by each lender. In addition, pre-approval will help you understand the rate of interest you will be charged based on your credit history.

You should try to get pre-approvals to compare different rates. Once you are done comparing, you can apply for the best loan.

Be wary of scams and fraud. Online lending has numerous benefits. But there are several drawbacks as well. Sometimes, people might try to make money off you. Therefore, check how genuine the company is before sharing your information.

If a company is making big promises or offering more than ideal rates, it is probably scamming you. Similarly, if the company doesnt have a privacy policy, then it isnt genuine. Suppose a lender charges you high fees or asks you to pay through your credit card, run from that lender. The chances are that the lender is trying to get your bank details.

Dont fall for a company just because it seems desirable. Do your research first. Or always go for top-rated companies because these companies care about you, your money, and your information.

Another factor that you have to be careful about is paying back the loan. This is obvious, however, a lot of people dont take paying back seriously. Remember to pay back your loan on time to avoid penalties and late fees.

Late repayment of a loan can negatively impact your credit score, which will bring issues for you in finding a loan. Moreover, your lender might not lend you in the future if you dont leave a good impression.

In addition, you will have to pay high interest on your loan after you miss the repayment deadline. Therefore, you should do your calculation prior to getting a loan. This will help you repay your loan on time, every time.

Lastly, make sure you are comfortable with your chosen repayment method. Before you take the offer, your lender will inform you about the repayment method. You can get the method changed if you arent comfortable with your lenders chosen method.

So make sure you work out the repayment method before the due date of loan repayment.

With companies like Money Mutual and BadCreditLoans, getting a loan is easy. However, you should consider the factors mentioned earlier to make your loan process hassle-free.

FAQs Regarding Same Day Loans

Q. Can I Get A No-Credit-Check Loan Online?

If you looked for an answer to this question some time back, you would read no. This is because financial institutions dont involve themselves in activities too risky. And nothing is riskier than lending money without performing a credit check on the borrower.

Lenders look at credit scores to determine the ability of people to repay the loan. However, online networks have started to believe that everyone deserves a loan despite their poor credit score. Therefore, multiple networks are offering no credit check loans.

These networks work with lenders who are willing to offer loans to people without a credit check. However, all these networks have eligibility criteria. So, you wont get a loan if you dont meet the companys eligibility criteria.

Some lenders might not be willing to lend if your monthly income is low. However, renowned companies forward your loan request to multiple lenders, which increases the chances of you getting a loan.

Q. Can I Apply And Receive The Loan On The Same Day?

Most companies try to connect customers with lenders as soon as possible. Sometimes, your loan request is approved within minutes, and you are connected to the lender. So, the trick is to submit the online form as quickly as you can.

Once your request is approved, you are connected to your lender. And then, the lender transfers funds to your account in less than a day. Sometimes lenders offer the wire transfer option. If you use this option, the lender will transfer funds to your account in minutes. But to avail the wire transfer option, you will have to pay an additional fee.

Technology has made it easier to get loans in no time. If you go for top-rated companies, then you can find loans within the same day as applying.

So, you can receive your money as soon as you confirm the offer. But make sure you read the terms and conditions before accepting the offer.

Q. Will The Same Day Loan With No Credit Check Negatively Impact My Credit Score?

The credit score is affected every time a person accepts the loan offer. However, this shouldnt stop you from getting no credit check loans. You can make up for the bad credit score by paying monthly installments on time.

Make sure you sign up for a payment plan which is suitable for you. This way, you wont delay your monthly payment, which can deteriorate your image in front of the lender and impact your credit history.

Q. What Is The Interest Rate Charged To People With Bad Credit Scores?

Finding a loan with a bad credit score is easy now. These days, even people with a credit score as low as 450 can get a loan. However, a poor credit score means you will be charged a whopping interest on your loan amount.

The interest rate charged varies from lender to lender. The interest rate doesnt solely depend on the credit score because the lender considers factors like repayment period before determining the suitable rate.

But usually, lenders charge around 20% and above if your credit score falls below the category of a good credit score.

Q. Can I Get An Emergency Loan If My Credit Score Is Bad?

The companies mentioned above mostly provide no credit check loans. So, choose the company which is quick in its services. You can read customer reviews to find companies offering quick services.

Most companies approve your loan request within minutes and connect you to a lender. Once you are connected to the lender, then it wont take long before you receive funds in your account. The good thing about online networks is that you can apply for a loan anytime you want. Be it day or night, and you will get your request approved in minutes.

Q. Can I Get A Loan If I Am Unemployed?

Yes, you can get a loan even if you are unemployed. Lenders want to see whether you have adequate funds to repay your loan. So, if you dont have a payslip, then you can provide proof of your property income, pension funds, or investments.

You can get a loan if you are on student aid or child support. So, this is a great opportunity for all those who dont have a full-time job. Just make sure you are 18 above and meet the companys eligibility criteria.

Q. What If I Dont Have A Credit History?

Dont feel confused if you dont have any credit. When you download your credit report, your report will show that you dont have a credit score due to insufficient information. A situation like this is called credit invisibility.

This happens when you have never taken a loan or dont have a credit card. So, the credit bureau will produce your score once you get a loan or a credit card.

Therefore, you must make monthly payments on your loan on time. Your lender reports your lending activities to credit bureaus, so you dont want to disappoint your lender.

Q. Is It Guaranteed That I Will Find A No Credit Check Loan?

There are so many lenders out there willing to lend you regardless of your low credit score. Most of the top-rated companies have started to cater to people with a bad credit score. So, there are high chances that one of the lenders will lend you money despite your weak credit history.

However, you must understand that getting a loan with a poor credit score comes with a cost. The lender might charge you a high-interest rate to compensate for poor credit. In addition, your loan terms might not be too favorable for you.

The Recorder – ‘We want to help’: Greenfield church joins regional effort to provide aid to Ukrainian refugees


Published: 03/13/2022 21:59:47

Modified: 03/13/2022 21:59:34

GREENFIELD — As the war in Ukraine rages and the humanitarian crisis worsens, more local churches have launched fundraising events to support the beleaguered country and its neighbors.

The Agape Moldovan Baptist Church on Silver Street joined the cause on Saturday with a tag sale in hopes of raising funds to send to Moldova, which is experiencing a staggering influx of Ukrainian refugees, according to the pastor of the church. Peter Cioclea Church.

“It’s overwhelming,” Cioclea said, adding that many people are staying with strangers while waiting for shelter. “They stay for 12 hours and just need a warm place and food.”

Cioclea has family and friends in Moldova who have helped the country cope with the influx of refugees and he wanted to find a way to help, despite being thousands of miles away.

“We want to contribute,” he said. The church has donated the money it has collected from services over the past few weeks, but Cioclea wanted to go further and involve the whole community. “We thought of a tag sale. … We all have things in our house that we can share.

With all manner of household items and an abundance of clothing set up throughout the church on Saturday, people had a wide range of options to choose from. And if they couldn’t find anything to add to their wardrobe or their home, there were also sweets and pastries.

All proceeds from tag sales and any additional money raised will be donated to Keys Connection, an organization that raises funds and provides support for people living in Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

Gary Bourbeau, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Gill, was walking around selling tags and said his own church was collecting donations for the same organisation.

“We did normal collections,” he said. “It’s gratifying because we know it’s not going to some kind of administration, it’s going to humanitarian aid for refugees.”

These churches join several others in Pioneer Valley, such as South Deerfield and Ludlow parishes, in sending money to Ukraine or its neighboring countries to provide support to those affected by the invasion. Russian.

Other churches running donation or fundraising drives include the First Congregational Church of Montague, which is seeking hygiene kits or monetary donations for the Church World Service’s Ukraine Emergency Response Fund; and the Sunderland Congregational Church, which is seeking medical supplies to send overseas.

Cioclea said these charitable programs help her and the rest of the Moldavian community in Franklin County stay connected to their hometown, while supporting a good cause.

“He retains a sense of attachment and connection. It’s something that ultimately makes me feel good,” he said. “We just try to share our love for people.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4081.

The North American Mission Board calls Birmingham-area pastors to prayer


Mark Hobafcovich said it was interesting that he, a Romanian-born, was working with an American mission board, but he is thrilled to be part of mobilizing pastors and churches for church planting across the North American Missionary Council.

“I am now an American citizen and a citizen of heaven,” Hobafcovich told a group of Birmingham-area pastors. “I am happy to meet pastors and other leaders and ask them to pray for new churches to bring people to Christ.”

Hobafcovich hosted a lunch at Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham March 7, noting that NAMB uses this type of gathering to present a vision of loss and opportunity in North America. It will host 37 similar events this year, departing from Birmingham to Oxford, Mississippi and then to Memphis on this trip.

Consider planting

“Many in America and Canada have never heard the gospel,” Hobafcovich lamented. “They may have heard of Jesus, but not specifically of the forgiveness and eternal life he offers to those who seek him.

“At NAMB, we come and go, but state conventions, local associations and churches remain. We want to build and strengthen relationships with these groups,” he said. “We encourage them to pray for new churches across the country and to consider planting new churches themselves.”

Hobafcovich said his core message is prayer.

“Jesus had a prayer strategy when He asked us to pray for the Lord of the harvest to send out workers,” Hobafcovich noted. “This strategy has not changed. We need to pray for new churches and for new opportunities for the gospel to be shared in our homeland.

Opening speech

George Wright, senior pastor of Shades Mountain, was the keynote speaker at the luncheon, telling the group he felt called to do church planting as a student.

“My wife and I moved to northwest Atlanta in 2006 to plant a church and stayed there for 11 years,” he recalls. “We then took on a church in South Carolina for five years before moving to Birmingham last summer.

“Shades Mountain has a rich missionary history, and we continue to encourage our members to get involved in missions.”

Wright said he believes the next few years could be the best for God’s Church because the culture is “hungry and desperate” — conditions that have become more acute during COVID-19.

He pointed the pastors to a passage from Matthew 9 that Hobafcovich had quoted earlier, stating that Jesus had a heart for the Kingdom of God.

“His message was about the harvest,” Wright said. “The Church may be known for our message about masks, vaccines, and the current administration in Washington, but that is not our message. Jesus’ compassion moved him to action, and we must also show our compassion for hurting people by loving them and sharing Christ with them.

Wright called church planting the “evangelical front line” of the church.

“Heart for Prayer”

“Jesus also had a heart for prayer,” he noted. “He saw the labor shortage and called us to pray.

“Church planters depend on God and pray desperately because they know that if they don’t reach the lost, their work is a failure. All of us church leaders should get down on our knees, fall on our faces and cry out for the workers to join us in the work of the harvest.

NAMB asked local congregations to consider linking with church planters in North America as prayer partners. A website, prayforplanters.com, identifies church planters and their locations, and individuals and churches can commit to praying for specific workers. The same information is available by texting “pray” to 888123.

NAMB.net offers other stories of church planting, as well as resource materials for Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions.

Hobafcovich can be reached at 678-524-5025 or [email protected].

Global Payday Loan Services Market Estimate 2022-2028 Analysis by Key Players like Wonga, Cash America International, Wage Day Advance, DFC Global Corp, Instant Cash Loans, Speedy Cash, etc.


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  • Cash America International
  • Payday advance
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  • Check and go
  • Finova Financial
  • TMG loan processing
  • Just military loans
  • MoneyMutual
  • Allied cash advance
  • Same day payday
  • LendUp Loans

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How the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches Handle the War


Last week, more than a dozen religious and political leaders sat on the dais of the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Volodymyr on the Upper West Side, listening to solemn prayers and fiery speeches denouncing Russia and praising Ukrainian resistance to the invasion begun two weeks earlier.

They gave speeches, one by one: the leaders of the Ukrainian, Greek and American Orthodox churches; a prominent rabbi; the head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York; even Governor Kathy Hochul of New York.

But one group was missing from this interreligious picture: the Russian Orthodox Church, whose leader, Patriarch Cyril of Moscow and All Russia, is an ally of President Vladimir V. Putin. Organizers said Russian Orthodox leaders in New York were invited but did not respond.

“Here in America, they don’t take a stand against the Moscow Patriarchate or against the political leaders of the Russian Federation,” Bishop Daniel, a leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States, said of the religious leaders. Russians in New York. “They are trying to dance a political dance.”

The world of Eastern Orthodox Christianity is complex, with more than a dozen autonomous branches whose leaders live primarily in cities in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Because New York is home to hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Christians, many of their churches treat it like an American base of operations. These include the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church and a branch thereof, the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia. All three have outposts within walking distance of each other; the headquarters of the Russian branches is practically next door to Manhattan’s Upper East Side, while the ornate Ukrainian cathedral is across from Central Park.

Patriarch Kirill is based in Moscow and is the highest authority of the Russian Church and its American branch based in New York, which merged into the Moscow Patriarchate in 2007. He is also the highest religious authority of most Russian Orthodox parishes in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church became independent in 2019 by decree of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the religious authority for all Eastern Orthodox branches. This decision has outraged Russian political and religious leaders, and the future of the Ukrainian Church may depend on the outcome of the war.

Patriarch Kirill refused to condemn the Russian invasion. Instead, he has attacked western culture, especially gay rightsin recent weeks, and has given a religious tone to Mr. Putin’s rhetoric about the unity of Russia and Ukraine.

In a recent statementPatriarch Kirill asked God to “preserve Russian land” from “evil forces” and clarified that he was referring to “the land which now includes Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other tribes and peoples”.

This statement and others have drawn criticism from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine and the United States. In an interview, Bishop Daniel described Patriarch Kirill as “a product of a Soviet system” and a political tool of the Russian state.

The church is one of the propaganda or control departments of society, and has been since the collapse of the Soviet Union“, said the archbishop. “Obviously he will say what he needs to say.”

Across the park, an atmosphere of fear descended on the Ukrainian cathedral’s Russian counterpart, St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, which is the administrative and religious headquarters of the Moscow Patriarchate in the United States.

The cathedral attracts worshipers from all over the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine. In recent days, some parishioners and priests seemed hesitant to talk about the war. Some cited growing Russian government repression, saying they feared endangering loved ones in Russia and Ukraine.

A worshiper, her face contorted in anguish as she stood on the rain-covered steps of the cathedral, apologized for refusing an interview with a reporter, explaining that her family was in Kharkiv (the second largest city in Ukraine, which has been bombarded relentlessly since the war began).

A priest, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said the cathedral had received hate mail since the start of the invasion and that a protester even entered the sanctuary and disrupted a religious class . She left after priests called the police, he said.

“Whether anyone believes us or not, we suffer from this,” the priest said. “We have relatives and friends in Ukraine. The parishioners have relatives and friends in Ukraine.

He said clergy don’t talk about politics in public partly because they don’t want to stir up division in the parish. But he said war anxiety seemed to be pervasive among parishioners.

“We try to explain to people that we are not politicians or that we do not talk about politics,” the priest said. “At least here, nobody asked us for our position on whether or not we should start fighting against Ukraine or not. Everyone here is against it. »

Father Sergey Trostyanskiy, rector of the Saint Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Mission at the Union Theological Seminary, said public debate about politics was a violation of canon law in the Russian Church, even though the Patriarch’s public statements Kirill are politically charged.

Father Trostyanskiy is also a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, founded in New York after the Russian Revolution and reunited with the Moscow Patriarchate 15 years ago. The church, a few blocks from St. Nicholas, also refused to send a representative to the interfaith event, where the Russian government was denounced, sometimes in deeply religious language.

In a speech at the interfaith prayer service, Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations, described his Russian counterpart, Vasily Nebenzya, as “the herald of Satan” and said that Ukraine would prevail over Russia “because we believe in God”. His remarks earned him a standing ovation.

Father Trostyanskiy said: “The Russian Church cannot participate in any event like this.”

He said Patriarch Kirill’s speeches should not be read as endorsements of war, but as an effort to protect the unity of the Church, which operates in Ukraine and Russia, by refusing to oppose the Kremlin.

“At the end of the day, people expect him to participate in political efforts, and that’s impossible,” Fr. Trostyanskiy said. “All of Kirill’s statements are constantly, ‘Let’s do things peacefully, pray and beg.’ It’s very clear, but he will never go against the Russian authorities.

This, he added, could be dangerous for any priest or parishioner.

“If people are involved in more public endeavors where they make more open statements – people currently try not to because it could affect their future or the future of those close to them,” Father Trostyanskiy said. “After this war, you never know what will happen.”

Other Orthodox leaders said Patriarch Kirill was morally obligated to publicly oppose the war, especially for his many supporters in Ukraine.

“It hurts because we are part of the same Church, the Orthodox Church,” Bishop Daniel said at the Ukrainian cathedral. “He is also a spiritual leader for Ukrainian Orthodox Christians who follow the Moscow Patriarchate, and he does not defend them.”

But the fear of speaking out was palpable at St. Nicholas, the Russian Orthodox Church. Speaking after services there recently, some parishioners said the war had overwhelmed them emotionally. Others said they were afraid of what might happen to their families if they spoke out publicly, even in New York.

A woman, who gave only her first name, Olga, out of fear for her relatives in Russia, including a son and his mother, said she was still haunted by the 15 years her grandfather had spent in a Soviet prison.

“I think this kind of thing can happen again, definitely,” she said. “The situation is getting worse and worse and the newspapers are not telling people the truth.”

Coming to St. Nicholas brought her comfort, she said, with prayer and the elaborate rituals of the Orthodox faith providing respite from worry.

“Even normal people cannot say what they think because they are afraid,” she added, before entering the cathedral to pray. “Even I think of my family.”

Sister Dede’s medical license restored, after temporary religious exemption from vaccination mandate for healthcare workers | National Catholic Register


After he sued Washington, DC, a stay was granted, but that doesn’t resolve all of the issues raised in his lawsuit.

The nun who sued Washington, DC, for denying her a religious exemption to her COVID-19 vaccination mandate for healthcare workers has been granted a temporary reprieve. Sister Diedre Byrne, a nun who is also a physician-surgeon and a retired U.S. Army colonel, told the Register that Washington officials informed her on Friday that her medical license would remain active until September.

Known to many as “Sister Dede”, she served in Afghanistan as an army reservist before joining the Sisters of the Little Workers of the Sacred Heart. She is now the medical director of her convent’s free clinic, runs an abortion pill reversal ministry, and volunteers at local hospitals and clinics to care for the indigent and undocumented in our nation’s capital. . Sister Dédé describes her religious order – the Little Workers – as “a community that puts everyone between the ears of Jesus and Mary, and we try to serve Our Lord in whatever ministry God calls us to do.”

Last August, Washington officials began requiring district health care workers to be vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19. The policy includes exemptions for medical or religious reasons. Sister Dede, noting that the three vaccines approved for use in the United States “have been tested, developed, or produced with cell lines derived from abortions,” opposes the city’s vaccine on religious grounds. Although the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have both stated that it is permissible to receive a vaccine against COVID-19, they have also insisted that it is not was not morally required and generally should not be obligatory.

On September 17, Sister Dédé requested a religious exemption. Earlier this month, the nun learned that her application had been denied and her medical license had been suspended. She received an unsigned letter from the District via email. Granting Sister Dede a religious exemption would pose an “undue hardship,” the letter said. Between the filing of her request for exemption and the refusal of the city, she practiced medicine. None of the hospitals and clinics where Sister Dede provided unpaid volunteer medical services to those in need expressed any objection, she told the Register.

Unable to continue her work of mercy with a suspended medical license, Sister Dédé closed her clinic for a month. As EWTN’s first report on World Over, the Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit on March 9 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of Sister Dede against Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Department of health and other officials. The lawsuit says Washington’s refusal to exempt Sister Dede from her vaccination mandate violates her fundamental right to free exercise of her religion, protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

Friday’s letter informing Sister Dede that her license was now active until September does not resolve all of the issues raised in her lawsuit. Specifically, the letter to states: “If at a later date the Director concludes that it is in the best interest of public health, the exemption granted to you may be rescinded. Sister Dédé’s lawyer, Christopher Ferrara of the Thomas More Society, remains concerned. Whether or not someone qualifies for a religious exemption, he said, has been replaced by a new standard: “You can practice until we say otherwise.”

Fortunately, Sister Dédé can see patients again. But that’s not the end of the story. Is Sister Dede treated differently from others who oppose the Washington mandate? If yes, why? What exactly does the letter mean that she is able to practice unless it is not in the “best interest of the public”? Who’s deciding ?

Sister Dede’s attorneys are preparing to discuss these issues and more with Washington attorneys on Monday. Meanwhile, Sister Dede told the Register that she plans to reopen the medical clinic and that surgeries are scheduled for the coming week. For Sister Dede, there is a sense of relief that she can practice now, but she continues to sound the alarm for other doctors and nurses she knows with similar religious objections to the vaccine. Sister Dede said, “I really don’t want this to be my own little battle.

Church members dedicated to the community near and far | rural churches


At first there were two.

Since the 1880s, Lutherans near the village of Storla, South Dakota, west of Mitchell, have supported two churches. They participated in youth rallies and summer picnics. They also shared in the tragedy, when both church buildings were knocked down in a great summer storm in 1924. They each rebuilt and continued their work for another 90 years.

Storla Lutheran Church (1).jpg

The wood from the destroyed church was used to build the neighboring presbytery. The new Lutheran Storla is seen here at the building’s dedication festival, October 6, 1929. It still stands today, as does the house, which is no longer a parsonage.

Photo submitted

Today, only one church remains. Knowing how far they have come – through windstorms, economic hardship, world wars and declining rural populations – members are preparing to celebrate 140 years of history at Storla Lutheran Church this summer.

“Those are our roots,” said Mary Fristad.

“It’s like the farm,” Dennis Scott said.

Scott’s family are among those who founded the church on April 7, 1882. His father grew up in Storla Lutheran while his mother’s family were members of the now defunct sister church, Trinity, which was five kilometers to the east.

“The boys from Storla were going to rob the girls from Trinity,” he said.

Storla Church was originally located just north of the village of Storla at the place known as Jensen corner. The church moved closer to the thriving community center in 1924. It was two weeks after the move, on June 14, that a storm blew up, destroying both this building and Trinity Church.

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Members stand near the remains of the original Storla Lutheran Church, which culminated in a windstorm in 1924, two weeks after it was moved to the site.

Photo submitted

The wood was salvaged and used to build a presbytery, which still stands next door. One of the few items saved from the disaster was a large altar depicting Jesus as a shepherd leading a flock of sheep and carrying a small lamb in his arms, a gift from the Andrew Jensen family.

Decades later, this long treasured focal point of the church has also been lost. A fire broke out on May 18, 1980, the day Mount Saint Helens erupted, and the painting was lost.

The congregation put a lot of thought into designing a new piece of art for the altar. Fristad’s husband, Eugene, spent many nights at their dining room table putting to work his drafting tools from his time at the South Dakota School of Mines, she said. The church commissioned Robert Aldren, at the time chairman of the art department at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, to turn it into a metal sculpture.

The sculpture is highly symbolic. The bottom of the triangle represents the trinity, as do the images inside: a hand for God the Father, a lamb for the Son of God, and a descending dove to represent the Holy Spirit. There are also symbols representing the sacraments of baptism and communion.

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A symbolic work of art hangs above the altar. It was designed by a church member and sculpted by an artist in Sioux Falls to replace a historic painting that was destroyed by fire in 1980.

Tri-State Neighbor photo by Janelle Atyeo

The members of Storla Lutheran have gone to great lengths to ensure that the mission of their church stands up to all the challenges that come their way. The women of the church have been especially dedicated in this regard.

The Ladies Aid Society was organized in 1888 with the mission of operating a parochial school. Classes met over the course of a month or two in member Andrew Jensen’s attic, and the teacher was paid $15.

Ladies Aid meetings lasted all day and the women came on foot, on horseback or in wagons. A lady traveled three miles carrying her child to attend, according to a story compiled for the state’s bicentennial celebration.

When the church building blew up, the women helped raise money for a new building by selling broody hens and serving lunch at local auctions. By 1928 enough money had been collected. Construction began this fall and the first service at the new Storla Lutheran Church was held on February 24, 1929, with the baptism of four babies.

The 1930s were difficult as harvests failed and the economy faltered. The minister’s salary was cut by a third and meetings of religious organizations were cut in half to save on mileage and fuel oil used to heat buildings.

As things rebounded, so did the Ladies Aid Society, which became well known for its Lutefisk suppers. In 1945 they were so popular that they served 800 people.

“The ladies worked so hard boiling lutefisk on that old stove,” said Norma Fristad, who, at 95, is the church’s oldest member. She didn’t like lutefisk, she said, but all the accompaniments were delicious.

From the start, Ladies Aid was a big part of the social life of women in the church. Fristad remembers her first encounter with the group as a 22-year-old bride and felt she might not be cut out for it.

A large group of ladies showed up for the meeting and the host was to serve a full lunch – mashed potatoes, chicken and pie, she said.

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The original Storla Lutheran Church built in 1903 was moved to the community in 1924 and then destroyed by a windstorm two weeks later.

Photo submitted

“I thought, ‘I will never join this organization because I can’t do this,'” she said. “But then it’s just dessert, which kind of burned the older ladies.”

Fristad really liked the quilting group, and she’s still there. At first, the quilters met in the church basement twice a week, taking breaks for coffee, homemade donuts, and a potluck. While they sewed, older ladies worked in the kitchen cooking, cleaning, and polishing silverware.

“It was a big event,” Fristad said. “They had fun in the kitchen and we had fun here.”

Even though it’s now just her and a friend who make them today, they still managed to send 47 quilts to Lutheran World Relief last year. Fristad also makes quilts for baptisms and high school graduations. For graduates, church members each design a square to embroider and sew into creation.

“It makes for a pretty colorful quilt,” Fristad said.

Although some families have moved away from the area, many women continue the active church life with which they grew up in Storla Lutheran.

“We left a legacy for our daughters,” said Margene Thompson, who used to bring her youngest daughter to circle and cleanup days, and she remains a good example today, as president of the synod-wide women’s organization, WELCA.

It’s a way for Storla to be active in the larger community, said Pastor Nancy Eckels. They also reached out to help a companion church in Cameroon. A framed photo in the shrine shows the roof they helped put on the African Church building. Eckels finds this special for such a small church.

“I think it takes real commitment,” she said.

In the past, there were three Storla Women’s Circles, couples clubs for young and old, and monthly family nights with games and dinner.

Sunday school was once nicknamed “the penny school” because of the offering the children brought tied in their handkerchiefs. Norma Fristad taught a kindergarten class of 13 little Lutherans, including Brett Selland who has now unofficially accepted the position of Church Historian.

He remembers the days of an active Junior Mission Society and Luther League who enjoyed camping trips in the Black Hills and Rockies. An annual summer softball game at Trinity Church was a favorite.

“It was the highlight of the summer meetings,” said Mary Fristad.

She and her husband worked the land around Trinity, and the pastor was always worried about whether the hay would be put in place in time to clear the field for the softball game.

Storla Lutheran continued without its sister church. Trinity closed in 2015 and the building burned down. A metal monument stands in its place, and the common churchyard is across the street.

“It’s hard to see rural churches closing,” said Norma Fristad.

A live stream of the service launched during the COVID-19 shutdowns continues today and is attracting many followers from outside the region.

Members today are ready to celebrate how far we’ve come and honor the past with a celebration on July 10th. There are plans for morning worship with Bishop Constanze Hagmaier, a midday meal, and an afternoon of sightseeing and remembrance.

“I think they have much to be proud of,” said Pastor Eckels, who has served the church since his ordination in 2018 and before that in his formal internship. “They’ve done a lot in those 140 years and they’ve been faithful.”

Prayers on the Prairie is a regular feature of the Tri-State Neighbor, replacing the Crop Watchers report during the winter season. If you have a suggestion for a rural church to feature here, contact Editor-in-Chief Janelle Atyeo at [email protected]

Journey Life Church to honor pastor for 40 years of service


Minister moved to Mansfield from Tennessee in 1982

Bruce Philippi has pastored five generations of Donna Caudill’s family.

“Longevity is part of his character,” Caudill said. “He invests in people and he wants to see them grow.”

Philippi has pastored Journey Life Church for 40 years. He will be recognized by a special dinner tonight at the church.

“It’s a belief that this is where I’m meant to be,” Philippi said. “We’re sort of the pastor of the town. I feel a calling.”

Misti Wilson works closely with Philippi as the church administrative assistant.

“He’s a special father to so many people, especially these days,” she said. “For the past two years he has been a beacon for those suffering through the storm of COVID.”

Philippi, 67, was born in Minnesota. He spent six years in the navy.

“We were overseas in Athens, Greece,” Philippi said. “We went to a Baptist missionary, and I was saved.”

He was then stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, where he married his wife Gloria. They are located in Cleveland, Tennessee. Philippi attended Lee University and earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree.

“We started a church while we were there,” he said of the 1978-82 time.

This means that Philippi has actually been a pastor for 44 years.

Philippi moved to Mansfield in 1982

In 1982 he came to Mansfield after being assigned to the Roseland Church of God on Belmont Avenue.

“It was tough,” Philippi said. “The church had been through a lot. It had six pastors in seven years.

“They just wanted someone to stay with them. Most of them didn’t think I would stay because of my upbringing.”

Philippi was obviously in it for the long haul.

The church built a shrine in 1986 at its current location, 2578 Ohio 39 North, adjacent to the Milliron Complex.

“We owned another property,” Philippi said. “We traded with Grant Milliron. At that time he said he had never sold any property. He’s been very good to us over the years.”

In 1994, the church built its communion hall, followed by the new sanctuary in 2000. At that time, the church was renamed Journey Life Church.

Philippi pastors of 200 families.

“We never see them all at once, but they claim us,” he said. “We attract about eight counties. It’s pure dedication there.”

Philippi said her job has become more difficult over time.

“It’s different from what it was 10 years ago,” he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed churches

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven difficult for all churches.

“Everything we learned about how we did church, we had to relearn and figure it out,” Philippi said.

Journey Life Church closed for a few weeks and then went to two Sunday services to help with social distancing.

Only recently has the church returned to a Sunday service.

“Everyone was anxious,” Philippi said.

Yet the congregation remained united.

“We didn’t have any fights or quarrels,” the pastor said. “We haven’t really lost anyone. In fact, the church has grown over the past two years.”

Journey Life Church gained 62 homes during this period.

Philippi explained the call.

“It’s a loving church and probably one of the friendliest churches you will come across,” he said. “Hospitality is one of our core values. Our employees are very responsive.”

They are also grateful to their pastor. Over the past few days, 10 to 25 parishioners have come forward to help transform the sanctuary into a banquet hall for tonight’s celebration.

Much awaited for the celebratory dinner

About 200 people are expected, including the state overseer of the Church of God and the second assistant overseer from Cleveland, Tennessee.

Philippi said dinner would be a little “awkward” for him as he is used to giving instead of receiving. He adds that the show of love is “very, very much appreciated”.

Wilson said people come from as far away as Georgia. She will be there.

“I was 3 when the Philippis came here,” Wilson said.

Philippi and his wife have two adult children, Kristin, who lives in Atlanta, and Kyle, who is a global missionary involved in five continents.

The pastor has built a life here. Philippi has no intention of retiring anytime soon, although he could do so financially.

“We’re still going to wait a while. I’m healthy,” he said. “It’s a big church, a mature church, for 40 years.”

Philip joked about another man of God when he talked about continuing to be a pastor.

“Moses came out after 40 years, but then he died,” Philippi said.

[email protected]


Twitter: @MNJCaudill

Evidence indicates Volnovakha in eastern Ukraine fell to Russian-backed forces

Senior Private Andrii Stefanyshyn, 39, Senior Lieutenant Taras Didukh, 25, and Sergeant Dmytro Kabakov, 58, were laid to rest during a service at Saints Peter and Paul Garrysin Church in Lviv, Ukraine, Friday, March 11. (Petro Zadorozhnyy)

Three members of the Ukrainian army – Senior Private Andrii Stefanyshyn, 39, Senior Lt. Taras Didukh, 25, and Staff Sgt. Dmytro Kabakov, 58 – was buried during a service at the church of the Saints Peter and Paul garrison in the city of Lviv.

Even in this sacred space, the sounds of war intrude: an air raid siren audible to the sound of prayer and crying. Yet no one moved. Residents are now accustomed to near-daily warnings of an air attack. Everyone is asked to stay indoors for safety reasons. Mourners captive to their grief.

Didukh’s mother collapsed on her coffin crying. A soldier approached to lift her gently while three others removed the lid of the coffin revealing her son inside, a purple bruise visible on his temple.

As the coffins were opened, the crowd of mourners rushed in for a final goodbye, caressing the cheeks of the deceased.

Senior Private Andrii Stafanyshyn, 39, Senior Lieutenant Taras Didukh, 25, and Sergeant Dmytro Kabakov, 58, were laid to rest during a service at Saints Peter and Paul Garrysin Church in Lviv, Ukraine, Friday, March 11.
Senior Private Andrii Stafanyshyn, 39, Senior Lieutenant Taras Didukh, 25, and Sergeant Dmytro Kabakov, 58, were laid to rest during a service at Saints Peter and Paul Garrysin Church in Lviv, Ukraine, Friday, March 11. (Petro Zadorozhnyy)

In this war, the Ukrainian army proved to be resilient, outmaneuvering the power of the Russian war machine. But the cost was high.

The Ukrainian military will not release the number of Ukrainian soldiers killed – although officials insist that civilian casualties far exceed those of the military.

“As of March 10, the number of Ukrainian civilians killed by Russian interventionists is greater than the number of our soldiers from all our defense corps killed in action,” said Oleksii Reznikov, Ukrainian Defense Minister. “I want this to be heard not only in Ukraine, but all over the world.

Details of how and where these soldiers died are being kept secret. All their families know is that they were killed in the early days of the war.

Although Lviv is far from the fighting in eastern and central Ukraine, military units based here have been on the front line. Now those who were killed are going home. This Lviv church holds nearly three funerals a dayAs the funeral procession made its way to the military cemetery, Myroslava Stefanyshyn held a framed photo of her son Andrii.

“Two days after the start of the war. And my child was gone,” she said, bursting into tears. “Unspeakable regret. Desire. Grief. I can not support it. I feel so bad that I can’t find the words to explain it to you.

Dabbing her tears with a handkerchief, Maria Solohun watched the funeral procession pass. She is a stranger to these grieving families, but she still mourns them.

“They are all ours. These are all our children. They are our rescuers, forging our victory,” Solohun said, “Even if it is unbearable, impossible to bear this blood flowing like a river.”

Senior Private Andrii Stefanyshyn, 39, Senior Lieutenant Taras Didukh, 25, and Sergeant Dmytro Kabakov, 58, were laid to rest during a service at Saints Peter and Paul Garrysin Church in Lviv, Ukraine, Friday, March 11.
Senior Private Andrii Stefanyshyn, 39, Senior Lieutenant Taras Didukh, 25, and Sergeant Dmytro Kabakov, 58, were laid to rest during a service at Saints Peter and Paul Garrysin Church in Lviv, Ukraine, Friday, March 11. (Petro Zadorozhnyy)

Senate passes omnibus spending bill with Hyde, other pro-life provisions


WASHINGTON, DC — The chairs of several U.S. Episcopal committees and the leader of the March 11 March for Life congratulated U.S. senators who voted to pass the government’s omnibus bill with the Hyde Amendment and others pro-life provisions included.

The bishops also commended lawmakers for including “essential humanitarian assistance to victims of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

In a 68-31 vote in late March, the Senate approved a $1.5 trillion government funding bill that includes $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine. The House passed the measure a day earlier. It will now be sent to President Joe Biden for his signature.

To avoid a government shutdown, both houses also passed a four-day stopgap measure to extend current funding levels until March 15 in case the massive bill does not pass.

The 2,741-page text was released around noon on March 9, leaving many lawmakers complaining that they had little time to consider the measure before having to vote. The measure was “the product of months of negotiations,” as CNN reported.

“We commend Congress for including provisions in the omnibus appropriations package that uphold the sacred dignity of human life and will support and assist many vulnerable people here and abroad,” said the chairs of five committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in a joint statement.

“In particular, we are grateful to Congress for maintaining long-standing, bipartisan, and life-saving provisions, including the Hyde, Helms, and Weldon Amendments that prevent our tax dollars from paying for the tragedy of abortion and prevent people from having to participate in abortion against their conscience,” they said.

The Bishops also noted that the final measure covers “improved maternal health care, investments that will support refugees and other vulnerable migrants.”

The bishops who released the joint statement and their committees are: Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, pro-life activities; New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Religious Liberty; Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, Illinois, International Justice and Peace; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, Homeland Justice and Human Development; and Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington, Migration.

Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, applauded “pro-life senators who successfully fought and voted to keep all legacy pro-life runners alive.”

“While this bill still sends far too many of our tax dollars to abortion companies like Planned Parenthood, these pro-life runners will continue to save lives,” she said in a statement.

“In fact, the Hyde Amendment alone is estimated to have saved over 2.4 million American lives,” she added, “and a consistent majority of Americans say they don’t want to be forced to pay for this end-of-life procedure.”

The Hyde Amendment first came into effect in 1976 to prohibit federal funds allocated through the Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, and related agencies from being used to cover abortion or finance health plans that cover abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or when the woman’s life would be in danger.

It has been re-enacted in spending bills every year since its passage.

The Helms Amendment – which has been called “the Hyde Amendment for the rest of the world” – has banned the use of US taxpayer funds to directly pay for abortions in other countries since 1973. It was passed following of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling that year to legalize abortion nationwide.

The Weldon Amendment has been included in the annual appropriations for health and social services since 2005. It allows health care providers as well as insurance plans to refuse to provide abortions, pay for them or refer women to abortion clinics.

CNN reported that a group of Democrats who oppose these pro-life provisions wanted them removed from the final bill, but they failed in their efforts.

In their joint statement, the USCCB committee chair praised other parts of the omnibus bill, such as increased spending on affordable housing and food security and environmental provisions, including climate resilience. and PFAS remediation.

“PFAS” stands for polyfluoroalkyl substance, which are widely used long-lived chemicals whose components break down very slowly over time.

“Finally,” the bishops said, “we welcome the inclusion of provisions that address the unique vulnerability of pregnant and postpartum mothers impacted by the U.S. immigration system, as well as essential services for other populations at risk”.

Church News | | news-journal.com


Lenten Services

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 3204 S. Lakeport, continues services Wednesday, March 17, 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. A taco bar will be served by high school youth, noon and 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Voluntary offering for the National Youth Gathering Expenses. “Mercy in suffering: this is the theme.

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church ELCA, 5200 Glenn Avenue, marks the season of Lent with weekly Wednesday meals and evening prayer. Dinner is served from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Evening prayer begins at 6:15 p.m. Sunday worship at St. Mark is at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Celebrating Swedish Waffle Day

Emmanuel Lutheran Church315 Hamilton Blvd., will host a Swedish Waffle Day celebration on Saturday, March 12 at 12 p.m.

Irish Baked Potato Buffet

New Horizons United Church of Christ, 141 Reed Street Akron, Iowa will host an Irish Baked Potato Buffet from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. $7 Baked Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes and all the trimmings! Homemade pie and drink included. $4 hot dog meal, fries, drink, cookie included. Dine in, take out or free delivery within Akron city limits. Call 712-568-3446. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Lions Club of Akron.

Butter Braid Fundraiser

St. John’s Lutheran Church again hosts a Butter Braid fundraiser to benefit the church’s Community and World Outreach program. The church sponsors the food pantry twice a month, cooks and delivers meals for the heated shelter each month until April, and has the blessing box on the grounds. Their quilters produce hundreds of quilts a year, and the church looks after the area’s seniors’ residences. Bread orders cost between $14 and $14.50 and can be placed online at www.stjohnlutheransiouxcity.org from March 1 to March 20, and orders will be delivered during the week of April 11. Contact Barb Ulfert at 712-899-8231 if you have any questions.

Lake County pastor shares wise words outdoors, while fishing


Elaine Briefman is a pastor, ordained minister, licensed marriage and family therapist, author, speaker, coach, mentor, fisherman and founder of Fishing4Truthan interfaith online training and mentoring program for Christian leaders.

Camping and the outdoors have always had a special attraction for her. Although she knew nothing about fish or lures, once a friend introduced her to “catching,” her life was never the same.

Her love of fishing and her desire to make creative Christian mental health videos while fishing is what brought her and her 10-year-old cat named Bacon to Lake County last summer.

While part of the appeal is getting out in beautiful places and away from the pressures of life, Briefman confesses that fishing is addictive like gambling, only with fish.

Pamela Harpster, Branch Manager of Management Connections in Lakeport, laughed, “I feel like she would love to be the first Christian fishing therapist – kind of like Dr. Phil on the lake.”

“I had this idea many years ago and called it ‘Float Therapy,'” Briefman said. “Having the visual and physiological experience of boating on Clear Lake would be wonderfully beneficial to help people gain perspective and priority.”

She has videos on various platforms that have been recorded from a boat, dock, and shore, as well as state and county park walking trails.

As for subjects, the possibilities are endless. People have even suggested using biblical fishing analogies.

Harpster, who first met Briefman at a networking event, thinks she can get her message across to the business world as well.

“I can see how the trainings she leads with Christian leaders could easily transfer to trainings for local business leaders,” Harpster said. “His experience, knowledge and insights would be invaluable and could have a huge impact on our community.”

Turbulent childhood

Born in Sacramento, Briefman, 58, was adopted at birth. His adoptive family included two little boys, and his parents fostered many other children.

She was abused by her adoptive father throughout her childhood. The abuse began before she entered kindergarten and continued until she left home as a teenager. In high school, she ran away, got kicked out, started hanging out with the wrong crowd, and did drugs and alcohol.

She briefly dropped out of her freshman year, then decided to return to class to complete her senior year. She graduated, accepted her degree, and drove off, never telling anyone about her traumatic upbringing.

Throughout her childhood, Briefman and her adoptive family continued to attend church, which she says was a distorted view of God and herself.

“I think my biggest struggle today is with what I call ‘reality checking’ because my upbringing was so psychotic and super hypocritical,” she said. “I had a hard time knowing what was really real and what they were faking. It takes a long time to overcome.

Find a new kind of faith

As she continued to work through the confusion and pain, she did some serious research around faith. She was trying to find out what was true versus what was corrupted by her adoptive family.

Briefman was 21 when his adoptive father went to prison. Then, at 22, she came to fully accept her newfound faith as something deep and personal, something no one had ever told her to explore. Faith is for the individual to sail on their own terms.

“Discovering this dynamically changed my understanding of life as a whole and gave me comfort in my unique value to God and creation,” she said.

As Briefman continued to explore faith, life went on.

At 35, Briefman, who has four children, two stepchildren, three grandchildren and three step-grandchildren, was reunited with his birth mother through a half-sister who was also looking for her. They all keep in touch and talk to each other several times a month, even spending vacations together.

“We have dynamically different beliefs and political leanings, but we’ve learned to have healthy, uplifting conversations about these and many other topics,” she said. “In fact, she (the birth mother) was the one who suggested Fishing4Truth as my business name and even helped design the logo.”

Briefman also reunited with his biological father and stayed in touch as well.

Organize events, write books

A graduate of Sacramento State University with a master’s degree in psychology, Briefman is a firm believer that there is unity in our uniqueness. Our sense of self is often damaged, she said, and this prevents us from receiving love, from being free from fear and worry. She will host an online course on this idea known as “identity abuse” on March 15.

Man breaks into St. Mary’s Church in Royal Oak and destroys $5,000 Virgin Mary statue – Daily Tribune


A South Korean national is in custody after Royal Oak police said he smashed glass doors to enter a church and destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus.

A passerby near St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 730 S. Lafayette, called Royal Oak Police around 9 p.m. Tuesday to report a man vandalizing the church.

Sector officers arrived, saw a man in the hallway and ordered him out.

“The suspect dragged the headless statue of the Virgin Mary out,” Royal Oak Police Lt. Albert Carter said Thursday. “He said only one word – ‘justice’ – and hasn’t spoken to any officers or detectives since then.”

The 5ft 6in statue was made in 1930. Police say the man damaged the statue when he knocked it over inside the church.

“The suspect has videos on his cell phone about the Antichrist,” Carter said.

Police said the statue was worth around $5,000 and the suspect also caused $1,400 in damage to church door windows and a searchlight.

Police are seeking felony charges of breaking and entering and malicious destruction of property over $1,000 against the 30-year-old suspect.

Oakland County prosecutors are investigating the case.

The man appears to be suffering from mental illness and police said they know little about him at this stage.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials requested a copy of the complaint against the suspect.

“The only ID he has is a New York City ID,” Carter said. “He had an earlier incident in New York with a church, but was not prosecuted.”

Police said they would not release the man’s name until he was charged.

A priest at the church, Fr. Paul Snyder, informed parishioners of the incident in an emailed letter late Wednesday afternoon.

“The incident was recorded on our security cameras and the footage has been released to police,” the letter said.

Although saddened by the incident, Snyder said he was grateful no one was injured and for the quick response from police.

“There was no damage to the interior of the main body of the church,” he said in the letter. “It could have been much worse… Please keep the person who did this in your prayers.

Catholic leaders say bill could make Colorado ‘most radical abortion state’


DENVER — The Colorado Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops, has issued an action alert calling on pro-life supporters to make known their objections to a bill it says will “could make Colorado the most radical abortion state in the nation.”

The conference also noted that the measure, the Reproductive Health Equity Act, was “rushed to a committee hearing” on March 9.

The rushed hearing “is intended to quell the voices of millions of Coloradans who oppose the killing of children through abortion,” the conference said. “If enacted, RHEA will codify (into state law) abortion up to the time of birth for any reason.”

It would allow :

— Abortion on demand during the 40 complete weeks of pregnancy.

— Abortion based on discrimination based on sex, race or children with disabilities such as Down syndrome.

— Remove the obligation to inform the parents of minors if their minor has an abortion.

– Enshrine in law that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus has no independent or derivative rights under the laws” of Colorado.

— Prohibit any regulation of abortion based on concerns about the health of the woman or baby.

Three Democratic lawmakers — Sen. Julie Gonzales, Rep. Meg Froelich and House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar — co-sponsored the bill, also known as HB 22-1279.

At a rally outside the State Capitol in early December, Gonzales said it was time “to make sure Colorado is truly a legal and safe place for anyone seeking to access their right to reproductive care. “.

In a statement posted with its Alert to Action on its website, https://cocatholicconference.org, the Colorado Catholic Conference noted that in 2020, nearly 150,000 Coloradans put Proposition 115 on the ballot. vote, “which, if passed, would have prohibited abortion after 22 weeks of gestation when the child is viable.

The conference said the number of voters who signed the petition to get the ballot indicates voters’ objections to abortion on demand.

“Yet at the same time,” he added, “Colorado Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and other abortion facilities have doubled down on efforts to make Colorado an ‘abortion destination’ in response to other states passing pro-life laws and the next Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, which could overturn Roe vs. Wade and Family planning c. Casey.”

the Dobbs the case involves a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks. The high court is expected to deliver its decision in June or July.

In 1967, Colorado became the first state to allow abortion for reasons other than rape or an imminent threat to a woman’s health.

Wilmington Church dedicates prayer service to Ukraine

A Wilmington church dedicates a regular prayer service to the war-torn nation of Ukraine.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A church in Wilmington dedicates a regular prayer service to the war-torn nation of Ukraine.

St. Jude’s Metropolitan Community Church holds a community-centered prayer and meditation service every Wednesday. Pastor John McLaughlin says it gives people the opportunity to pray and reflect together on what is happening in the world.

“I think prayer works in two ways. First, it certainly works in the cosmos and the universe and helps get things done in the world, but it also changes us,” McLaughlin said. “There is a wonderful quote from Pope Francis that says ‘first we pray for the hungry and then we feed them.’ I thought this would be a perfect way for us to air our grievances and lamentations before God and continue to do what we can to help.

This week, the church dedicated the meditation session to the Ukrainian people with the aim of strengthening the sense of community.

“Knowing that even though we can’t fly and do anything on the ground right now, we can at least be together here,” McLaughlin said.

The church holds a prayer and meditation service every Wednesday at 6 p.m.