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Trail pastor and parishioner join humanitarian mission for Ukraine – Cranbrook Daily Townsman


A pastor from Trail and a member of his congregation will land in Poland next week as part of a humanitarian effort to help the many Ukrainians driven from their homes by war.

Pastor Shaun Romano of the Gateway Christian Life Center and Chris Reid – a Trail native and FortisBC worker – will arrive in Krakow on March 16, alongside Lethbridge Chaplain Dwayne Schaaf and Faith Woods of Mission Partners International of Ontario.

This compassionate mission is just one of 16 trips to Ukraine the Gateway Christian Life Center has made since the church began doing missionary work in Crimea in 1999. That year, the Gateway congregation joined the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada and partnered with a church organization in Kyiv that has planted places of worship throughout Ukraine.

In 2006, before moving to Trail, Pastor Romano became personally connected with a Christian mission in Luhansk Oblast, the easternmost oblast (province) of Ukraine.

Eight years later, the scale of Christian missionary work in the Eastern European nation has been transformed due to political instability and territorial disputes.

“In 2014, when conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine and Crimea was annexed by Russia, it changed the scope of our mission from a localized and regional ministry to a national ministry, as relations and partners scattered throughout the Ukrainian country,” Romano said. Explain.

Because Ukraine is a priority country, he says the church continually raises funds for the cause.

“We have worked with the elderly, orphanages, churches, drug treatment homes and, more recently, in partnership with Clear Vision, a Ukrainian charity, to organize glasses clinics in villages where options were limited” , said the pastor.

“Over the past two years, we have also provided relief ministry to pastors and their wives from the occupied territory of Ukraine and Crimea.”

In fact, the church had organized a father/daughter trip to Ukraine during the 2022 spring break, but that all changed when the war started on February 24.

With war relief in Ukraine now underway, anyone wishing to help can do so in a number of ways, such as donating directly through the Gateway Christian Life Centre.

“We partner with an organization called Mission Partners International,” Romano said. “It’s a Canadian charity that sponsors seniors, children and pastors in Ukraine and Belarus.”

During this two-week trip to Poland, the group will partner with a ministry in Krakow called Slavic Mission in Europe.

The Slavic Mission recently acquired a hostel for 74 people, so Trail’s men and their peers will be working to serve and provide whatever physical assistance they can to incoming Ukrainian refugees.

“We are also bringing resources to provide food, clothes, first aid kits, medicine, water and other items and send them daily to Ukraine from Poland,” Romano said.

“During this trip, we also hope to solidify partnerships for future assistance.”

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– Livermore North Baptist Church


LIVERMORE – At the North Livermore Baptist Church service on March 6, the congregation was greeted by Pastor Bonnie Higgins at 9.30am to begin the service. The call to worship was read and the invocation/Lord’s prayer was recited. The hymns that were sung were “Victory in Jesus”, “Are You Washed in the Blood?” and “I give up everything”. The service ended with communion and “Blessed be the bond that binds”. Linda Lyman is the organist each week. Lew Lyman conducts congregational music each week.
The sermon, titled “Understanding Sacrifice” and scripture reading from Hebrews 10:8-10. Pastor Bonnie began to explain that we now begin the holy season of the journey to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. She went on to say that a sacrifice is giving up something precious. God gave him the most precious person, His Son, Jesus for us, and we were sinners and He always knew that He had to sacrifice His Son for us to be reconciled to Him. The sacrifice of the Son of God is what brings us together as believers through the blood that Jesus shed for all. Only those who accept the gift of salvation brought to us by the blood of Jesus are reconciled to God. This free gift of salvation is entirely due to the sacrifice God has made for us.
Pastor Bonnie used Abraham and his son Isaac from the Old Testament as an example of another father who had to sacrifice his son. As Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, God intervened and delivered a ram to be sacrificed instead. God did not do this for himself. He sent His Son to be the sacrifice for all mankind for the sin in the world. Pastor Bonnie told the New Testament story of how the rich man went to the temple and put money in the coffers, but made sure everyone heard the money coming in. They did this not just because it was supposed to give, but to make sure everyone saw them giving. They gave what they had and made sure to keep what they needed. When the woman came and put in some coins, which is all she had, Jesus was more pleased with the woman because she gave all she had. Woman sacrificed all she had for God, rich men did not.
During this time and the rest of the year, there are reasons why we should sacrifice ourselves for God. It is not a sacrifice if we do not voluntarily give up something that is valuable to us. If you give up something that is worthless to you, is that really a sacrifice? Saying you’re going to give up coffee for a while and only drink it once or twice a month really isn’t a sacrifice. If you say you are going to fast because you don’t have much food, that is a condition of life and not a sacrifice. You cannot sacrifice something that does not belong to you. If you offer someone else to do something, you don’t sacrifice anything, neither your money, nor your time, nor anything. When we sacrifice something, we have to participate in it.
The ways to make sacrifices to God are to give Him time, to give up your favorite TV show to read His Word or to pray to Him, to take your time to volunteer to help others, to visit people, calling people, feeding people, etc. the list is unlimited. Our time is precious to us, we all have things in our lives, we just need to prioritize our time to make sure we give some of it in Jesus name to others, most of the time it means giving up something in our lives to work on the relationship with God.
For us to have a personal relationship with God, God knew that we were all sinners and that had to be rectified so that we would be in his presence. If we were to spend eternity with him, we had to get rid of the sin that we carried. It was done by Jesus on the cross, He took all our sins on Himself so that we could be reconciled to God. In the Old Testament, people brought a blood offering to priests to wash away their sins for a year. They had to keep coming back for forgiveness. God decided he wanted sin to be rid of once and for all, and that’s why he sent Jesus to the cross to shed his own blood for each of us and our sins. Jesus was sinless, but he became sin for each of us, so that we could receive eternal life through his death and resurrection, simply by accepting and repenting of our sins.
We must remember during this season, that Jesus came voluntarily from heaven to earth to sacrifice all that he was for us. It was the ultimate sacrifice!
The announcements listed in the bulletin were that the congregation will be collecting any type of dry pasta for the pantry in the month of March. Bible study begins at 1 p.m. every Tuesday. If there is snow on the roof, do not park next to the church. AA meetings are held on Friday evenings at the church.
For more information, see our website at northlivermorebaptistchurch.org. You can email the church at [email protected] Pastor Bonnie’s office hours are Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon. When there is no school due to weather, Pastor Bonnie will not be in the office and all events on that day will be cancelled.

US gov’t urged to help Ukrainians, work with agencies ‘on the ground’


WASHINGTON — Amid the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, the chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ International Policy Committee has urged the U.S. government “to provide all possible assistance to the Ukrainian people and to work closely with faith partners who are already on the ground providing emergency assistance.

Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, Illinois, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ Committee on International Justice and Peace, released the statement March 4.

He also encouraged everyone “to give generously to organizations such as Catholic Relief Services and the USCCB Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe which bring tangible relief and the hope of Christ to those who need”.

Donations to CRS, the American Bishops’ Overseas Relief and Development Agency, can be made at bit.ly/3KhEvFv. Information on how to donate to the USCCB collection is available at usccb.org/committees/church-central-eastern-europe.

“On February 24, the world watched in horror as Russia launched airstrikes and began bombing Ukraine,” Bishop Malloy said. “The death toll is already in the hundreds, if not thousands, and growing. More than a million Ukrainians have already fled the fighting to neighboring European countries and millions more could become refugees.

In this time of crisis, he said, the U.S. bishops “echo Pope Francis’ call for those who have the political responsibility to seriously examine their conscience before God, who is the God of peace and not war… who wants us to be brothers and not enemies.”

“We join the Holy Father in praying that ‘all parties concerned refrain from any action that would cause further suffering to the people, destabilize coexistence between nations and bring international law into disrepute,’” Bishop Malloy said.

“We also join in solidarity with the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches and the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the United States who are all united in prayer for their people and their homeland,” he added.

The Knights of Columbus fraternal organization, based in Hartford, Conn., is among American groups that have launched humanitarian initiatives for Ukraine and its people.

The Knights committed $1 million Feb. 25 for immediate distribution to support Ukrainians affected by the Russian invasion and also launched the Ukrainian Solidarity Fund, pledging to match all funds raised up to $500,000. additional $.

As of March 2, the fund has raised over $747,000, for a total of over $2.2 million in assistance; 100 percent of donations are used to help internally displaced people and refugees from Ukraine, according to a press release from the Knights.

He said the funds are being used to provide shelter, food, medical supplies, clothing and religious goods, as well as other identified humanitarian needs, both directly in Ukraine and through refugee sites in Poland.

“Some of the proudest moments in the history of the Order have come in the midst of the adversity of war,” Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly said in a video message to the more than 1,800 Knights of Columbus in Ukraine today. February 25. a pattern. There’s a reason we count patriotism among our guiding principles. The time has come.

In Poland, among other efforts, local Knights set up tents on the Polish-Ukrainian border to distribute food and water to refugees; established collection sites in selected cities for medical supplies, warm clothing and basic necessities; and created a database of parish houses and parish centers that will host refugees.

“Polish Knights and their families have already taken in and housed wives and children sent by some Ukrainian Knights across the border,” the press release reads.

Cross-community religious service for victims planned

Victims activist Kenny Donaldson. Photo: Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

The South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) organizes “1972 Remembered – 50th Anniversary” with St Columb’s Cathedral. The event is at 7:30 p.m.

SEFF Director of Services, Kenny Donaldson, said: “Nearly 500 people died as a result of the ‘Troubles’ of 1972 and nearly 5,000 were injured. We are aware that many of these families feel forgotten and others feel marginalized. We have therefore worked with St. Columbus Cathedral to develop this service which we hope will provide an opportunity for collective remembrance and solidarity among innocent people from all religious and political backgrounds. We are again in the lead and we call on the others to react positively”.

Mr Donaldson said the aim was to provide “time for reflection for those seriously affected by the violence; the bereaved, the injured and those who witnessed as well as those who supported the aftermath of the incidents”.

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He added: “All must finally recognize that there is no legitimacy in resorting to violence in the pursuit or defense of a political objective; to claim there was is to continue the lie that fueled the violence that led this place to civil war.” Mr Donaldson concluded by inviting “all innocent people, especially those affected by the violence of 1972” to attend.

Register for the service with the SEFF office on 028 677 23884 by selecting option 1.

Hollis Church statue vandalized in attempted robbery – QNS.com


A Hollis Church has been vandalized for the third time since 2019, according to the Brooklyn Diocese.

The diocese is working with detectives from the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica following an attempted robbery last weekend at St. Gerard Majella Catholic Church, located at 188-16 91st Ave.

On Sunday morning March 6, a man attempted to steal the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the lawn outside the parish presbytery, removing the Marian statue from the grotto, according to the diocese. Surveillance video shows the man entering the gate, lifting the statue over his shoulder and exiting the property.

The video then shows him tossing the statue back into the rectory garden moments later after a neighbor and a motion light deterred him. The statue suffered no damage.

“Sunday morning as we started to open the church to welcome people to pray in a special way for world peace and blessings during this Lenten season, a disturbed person tried to steal our welcoming statue of Mother Mary,” said Father Josephjude. C. Gannon, parish priest of Saint-Gérard Majella. “Fortunately, thanks to our good neighbors in Hollis, that person did not make it. This incident is sad and a bit scary, but it is a lesson to all of us that even in these dark and scary times, God protects us. The light of Easter will always shine on us and Mother Mary will always guide us as individuals and as a community.

The aftermath of the attempted theft of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the lawn outside St. Gerard Majella. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Brooklyn)

Last August, CCTV captured footage of a man as he attempted to set the church on fire. The men set fire to a scarf and threw it into the church vestibule as the doors were open. The man sat on the steps of the church where he was confronted by Fr. Gannon before fleeing. No one was injured and the church was not damaged.

In September 2019, detectives from the 103rd Precinct arrested a 69-year-old Jamaican woman in connection with two acts of church vandalism. The woman told investigators that “black magic” caused her to bring a hammer to the Rosary Stations, which were made in Italy. Parish signs affixed to a fence, and a sprinkler system at the church.

In New Video, Arkansan Shares Life Story After Abortion – Arkansas Catholic


USCCB, Project Rachel will use 13 videos to raise awareness of post-abortion healing ministry

Posted: March 7, 2022

Screenshot, USCCB video

Helen Evans of Little Rock is seen in a Project Rachel ministry video recorded in Washington, DC, in October by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. She was one of four women chosen to share her abortion healing story for national videos.

A Catholic from Little Rock helps the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops publicize Project Rachel, a post-abortion healing ministry.

Helen Evans, a longtime volunteer and former Rachel Project Coordinator for the Diocese of Little Rock, was one of four women chosen to share her story in a national video. She said she found hope and healing through the ministry about 20 years after her abortion in 1979.

“God was so merciful, look what he did: he healed me. I am released. And we’re going to share our story,” said the 70-year-old parishioner of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Little Rock. “That’s what we’re supposed to do, love and serve the Lord. That’s one way to do it and thank God.

Thirteen USCCB videos, with Evans featured in several, are freely available to dioceses that have Project Rachel ministries. For a cost, the videos are also customizable, allowing departments to put their confidential direct contacts for their departments in the video.

“I want people to know that Jesus is the healer…that God loves us,” Evans said.

The diocesan office of Respect Life, which oversees the ministry of Project Rachel, will have five personalized videos in English and Spanish for $800, thanks to donations, said Catherine Phillips, director of Respect Life.

The videos, which include interviews with women who have had abortions and with priests, can be used in multiple ways, including on the diocese’s website, dolr.org, and in clips on social media.

“It was a collaborative process that spanned many years,” Phillips said.

Last summer, she and other directors across the country were asked by Mary McClusky, assistant director of the Rachel Ministry Development Project for USCCB, to recommend women “who could share their stories with hope, but with humility. also, and for me, I’ve known Helen for many years now, I met her through the Rachel project and she does it so well.

Evans traveled to Washington DC in October to record the footage at St. Theresa of Avila Church.

“I want people to know that Jesus is the healer…that God loves us,” Evans said, adding that she was “trapped in this shame” for about 20 years.

On the day of her abortion, she remembers saying, “I killed my baby.

“How long can you live with this kind of secrecy?” and while she promoted the idea of ​​”my body, my choice” at the time, “it was just me trying to appease my conscience.”

Her courage to share her story again, this time nationally, goes back to seeing a woman named Mary speak about her abortion at a healing conference in Arkansas circa 1998.

“I saw Marie and I thought, ‘I want to be in this place of peace. I want to be free. I want to pick up my mat and walk. I don’t want to be paralyzed,” Evans said.

She saw a Project Rachel ministry pamphlet about a week later and attended a retreat. It changed his life.

While the videos don’t state that Evans is from Arkansas, it speaks to the quality of Project Rachel’s ministry in the state.

“I am so proud of Helen, so proud of our ministry and so proud of our diocese and the foundation that Anne (Dierks, who founded the diocese’s Rachel project) laid and has continued all these years. … We are blessed,” Phillips said.

The ministry has expanded and continues to have a multifaceted approach, with healing days, retreats, Bible studies, support groups (see box), but above all accompaniment for any woman or man (speaking English or Spanish) who was injured by an abortion. Calls and texts are answered on a confidential direct line, (501) 663-0996.

“Having someone to be there for you, to listen to you, to walk with you, to point you to resources, prayers, scriptures, priests,” Phillips said.

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Ukraine’s pro-Russian monasteries arouse local mistrust | world news


At the start of the war in Ukraine, soldiers at a military airstrip in the west of the country set out to find the origin of a laser pointer they feared was marking targets on their base.

They found him in a nearby church. Behind the thick walls of the building in Kolomyia, manned by monks loyal to Moscow, they also discovered a large stock of food and alcohol, as well as three rifles.

“It’s very, very surprising, because it was a monastery,” said Father Mykhailo Arsenich, military chaplain to the unit that searched the church. “There was a large stock of food, packed for military use, designed to keep 60 to 65 people going for a very long time.”

“We found two pistols and a shotgun converted from a combat Kalashnikov. They couldn’t answer the question of why priests needed guns.

A bitter and long-standing dispute over religious allegiance has escalated since the invasion of Russia. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church formally separated from the Moscow leadership three years ago, but many historic churches and monasteries have remained faithful in religious practice and political allegiance to Russia.

These ties to Moscow have put the Ukrainian communities around them under suspicion. To many locals, the thick walls and cave networks of ancient monasteries and churches suddenly look like potential military bases or warehouses for a hostile invading force.

Pochaiv, one of the holiest sites in western Ukraine, was built to honor a footprint of the Virgin Mary and a famous military victory four centuries ago.

The sprawling complex of ancient churches, cave chapels and a historic bell tower, normally bustling with pilgrims, is almost empty.

The Pope declares that the invasion of Ukraine is not
Pope says invasion of Ukraine is ‘not just a military operation but a war’ – video

Some stay away because they fear it will be targeted as a symbol of Moscow, some stay away because they fear it will be used as a military base to launch attacks, and d Others simply want to distance themselves from the Russian ties he represents. .

“I’m afraid there will be an attack,” said a woman who runs a hostel for pilgrims a few hundred meters from the site. Its normally occupied dormitories are empty.

The church is closed to visitors outside of services for the first time that Sasha – a former altar boy now in his 30s – remembers. “It’s because of the situation,” said the only monk willing to talk; others greet visitors.

Burly men in military boots follow a group of foreign visitors, not bothering to conceal their surveillance.

There is no evidence of Russian military links on any of the sites. But in the strongly nationalist west, allegiance to Moscow after a devastating invasion is itself a source of suspicion.

The firearms found in Kolomyia were registered, so not illegal, nor the stock of food. But the discovery has inflamed local concerns that Russian troops may consider using the building, just 300 meters from the airfield, as an outpost if they march further west.

“We haven’t found the laser pointer, but we have found the location where we believe it was used. A hole in the wall, facing the right direction,” Arsenich said. “I have no doubt, if Russian paratroopers land there, they will use the church as a base.”

“I stopped going to confession ten years ago. I don’t like how they are heavily involved in pro-Russian politics,” said Yuir, a 62-year-old businessman from Pochaiv, who said his deeply religious mother would have been heartbroken if she had lived to see suspicions between the church and the community around. this.

Like many Ukrainians who no longer trust Russian-linked churches in their country, Yuir is particularly wary of the Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill, who, according to information from Soviet archives, was a government agent before the fall of the Soviet Union. USSR.

“Kirill is a KGB guy, and he supports any aggression against Ukraine,” he said, but asked not to give his last name, worried like many in the city about communal tensions over the church. “He’s a bastard, not a religious leader.”

In a sermon, Kirill said Russian values ​​were being tested by the West, which only offered excessive consumption and the illusion of freedom.

Others resent a church they say doesn’t care about its community, excluding them from what is effectively a former air raid tunnel. They wonder what lurks in the tunnels if the townspeople sheltering in the shadow of the monastery cannot enter.

“They have a lot of underground tunnels there, very good and protected. If there’s shelling here, we don’t have a safe place, only the Lavra. But the priests are not suggesting that you can come and sit there and be safe,” said Nadia, a housewife who lives next to the monument.

Whether the violence of the war reaches Pochaiv or not, however, many who grew up around her believe the Russian invasion will change her future. The horrors of this year make a religious split with Moscow inevitable, they say.

“My dream is to do a story about the lavra, the history of the place and the role of modern history,” Sasha said. “To try to convince people, we have to stop and change direction, because we can’t have a Russian church here.”

Oklahoma Baptists hire Andy Taylor for regional ministry role


TULSA—Oklahoma Baptist leaders today announced the hiring of Andy Taylor as the regional ministry partner for East Central Oklahoma for the state convention.

Taylor has served as pastor of Broken Arrow, Arrow Heights, since 2015. He will step into his new role with Oklahoma Baptists in April, where he will be part of the Church Relations group, led by Associate Executive Director James Swain .

“Andy Taylor is a humble servant of our Lord with a pastor’s heart,” Swain said. “His proven record of leadership in the church and service to our country will stand him in good stead in this role. He has a passion for discipleship and leadership development that strengthens the work of Oklahoma Baptists in the advancing the gospel. Andy is an encouragement by nature and will rub shoulders with pastors and church leaders in an incredible way. I am so grateful that the Lord has brought Andy into our team and I look forward to serving with him.

Taylor earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion (Bible Emphasis) from Oklahoma Baptist University, a Master of Divinity in Biblical Languages ​​from Southwestern Seminary, a Graduate Certificate in Christian Apologetics from the University of Biola and a doctorate in expository preaching from The Masters Seminar.

During his more than 30 years of ministry, he served as senior pastor at Ponca City, First and Chickasha, Trinity. He also served on the staff of Moore, Regency Park, and a church plant in Texas.

Additionally, Andy served for over eight years as a full-time U.S. Army Chaplain. During this time, Taylor made two tours to Iraq and one to Afghanistan, for which he won three Bronze Star medals. He also served as Deputy Senior US Army Chaplain at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Andy retired from the military in 2015.

Todd Fisher, Executive Director-Treasurer of Oklahoma Baptists, said, “Andy Taylor is one of the best and brightest Baptists in Oklahoma. His heart to encourage pastors and serve the local church will be vital to his role, and we are grateful that the Lord has led him to serve Oklahoma Baptists in this way.

In March 2018, Oklahoma Baptists designated regional ministry roles for all parts of Oklahoma – northwest, southwest, mideast, and east, as well as affinity groups including ministry Hispanic, African American, Native American, Asian Ministries and Ministry Wives. Taylor will serve the mid-east region which includes Tulsa.

He is married to Laurie and they have three children: Seth, Cole and Lexie.

Expect more coverage in future editions of the Baptist messenger.

Forsyth County church with ties to Ukraine praying for friends close to Russian border – WSB-TV Channel 2


FORSYTH COUNTY, Georgia — Many churches in the Atlanta metro area have strong ties to Christians in Ukraine, and a Forsyth County congregation has even built three churches there.

Berndt Petersen of Channel 2 spoke to church members who say they haven’t heard from their friends in Ukraine since the day the Russians invaded.

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They say it’s probably because the three First Redeemer Churches in Ukraine are less than 80 km from the Russian border, and the Russian army has taken all that territory.

Pastor Jeff Jackson said the church family is not limited to those who attend on Sundays.

“Our thoughts are with them. Our prayers are with them. It’s very personal to us,” Jackson said.

First Redeemer has built 45 other churches around the world, including three in Ukraine.

“As soon as the invasion took place, we haven’t heard from the churches since that time,” he said.


Dr. Larry Aultman leads the First Redeemer mission team and has been to Ukraine four times. Last year, one of the local pastors showed him around the neighborhood.

“He took me to the war zone. Most people know that the war has been going on for eight or ten years there,” he said.

Aultman saw buildings and homes that had been blown to bits, and that was long before Russian troops crossed the border. Aultman said 80 to 90 people attend each of the Churches of the Redeemer in Ukraine.

“You get past the politics – which is a reality that I understand – but you get past the politics and you find out it’s just people,” he said.

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Pastor Jackson hopes that none of the news from the Churches of the Redeemer in Ukraine is good news. They pray.


Rejection or Acceptance: Transgender Catholics Meet Both | Way of life


For transgender Catholics across the United States, maintaining their faith can involve complex calculations. They face rebuke from some Catholics, including many bishops, but are fully accepted in some church premises.

A small but growing number of parishes have formed LGBTQ ministries or support groups and are welcoming transgender people on their own terms. Yet in the past two years, at least six Catholic dioceses have issued guidelines targeting trans people with restrictions and refusing to recognize their gender identity.

“Many of our bishops are anti-science. … They are cold and cruel,” said Sister Luisa Derouen, a retired nun who has cared for transgender people. “You can’t respect people and deny their existence at the same time.”

The latest policy targeting trans Catholics was released by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in January. It prohibits church staff from using trans people’s preferred pronouns that reflect their gender identity.

Opposing the cross-supporting ‘gender theory’, the policy states that ‘all interactions and policies, parishes, organizations and institutions shall uniquely recognize a person’s biological sex’.

Among other measures, it says parishes, schools and other Catholic organizations in the archdiocese should require people to use bathrooms associated with their birth gender and adhere to dress codes on the same basis.

And a broader policy issued in July by the Diocese of Marquette, which encompasses Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, said pastors should deny trans, gay and non-binary Catholics the sacraments — such as baptism and communion — “until unless the person has repented”. It was signed by Bishop John Doerfler.

But in some other parishes across the country, a different and more welcoming face of the church is on display.

Just weeks before the Marquette Policy was released, Our Lady of Grace Church in Hoboken, New Jersey, celebrated its annual Pride Mass in support of the LGBTQ community. Christine Zuba, a transgender woman from New Jersey, gave part of the homily at the invitation of priest Alexander Santora.

“We’re not messy or confused or trendy,” Zuba said, sharing with fellow devotees the decades-long journey that led her to come out six years early at age 58. “We’re not trying to challenge God, or play God. ”

“By staying visible, not just outside these walls but inside our churches, we are changing hearts and minds, one person at a time,” she concluded. “From time to time we may be deported, but if that happens we will not leave. We return immediately.

Santora, a priest for 40 years, said fellow worshipers stood up and applauded.

“Our church was opened in 1878,” Santora said. “I wanted Christine to be on that pulpit.”

A lifelong Catholic, Zuba said she knew from the age of 4 that she was different. When she finally decided to come out five decades later, she was grateful that a nearby parish, Saints Peter and Paul in Turnersville, New Jersey, took her in. She serves there as a Eucharistic minister.

Yet she knows that much of the Catholic hierarchy, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, rejects the concept of gender transition.

“These bishops and priests don’t understand that when they reject someone they lose parents, children, groups of friends who say this is not the church we want to belong to,” said Zuba.

Lynn Discenza, a 64-year-old transgender woman, grew up in an observant Italian-American family in West Hartford, Connecticut, and tried out seminary before pursuing a career in aerospace design.

She considers herself lucky, after transitioning two years ago, to be part of a welcoming Catholic church in the area – Saint Patrick-Saint Anthony Church in Hartford. She is co-responsible for her LGBTQ ministry.

The November 21 observance marking the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, which commemorates those killed as a result of anti-trans violence, was particularly moving, Discenza said. She thanked fellow devotees for their support and they responded with applause.

The pastor, Timothy Shreenan, highlighted the commemoration in the parish bulletin.

“We must always stand up against hate in all its forms and not let the fears of others [or phobias] be a reason for hatred,” he wrote. “On the contrary, we must continue to learn more about each other’s experience and become more tolerant and accepting of one another.

Discenza hopes that grassroots activism for greater inclusion will accelerate as more parishes add LGBTQ ministries.

“Change is going to come from zero, and some of the old bishops are going to die,” she said.

For transgender Catholic youth, the conflicting approaches of different churches and clergy can pose challenges for both them and their parents.

Philadelphia’s Eli Musselman, who will turn 19 in March and came out as transgender almost four years ago, said he felt a strong connection to his faith as a boy and has many of his friends who support him.

But the family’s longtime parish pastor refused to refer to him with male pronouns and he had anxiety attacks at church due to ‘mean looks’ from some parishioners, prompting the family to change parishes to feel at home.

“A place that had once been a refuge for me had become a place of danger,” said Musselman, now a freshman at Jesuit St. Josephs University, where students and most faculty, with one hurtful exception , supported me. .

“But since coming out,” he added, “my spirituality has grown. … I feel whole for the first time in my life.

“I’ve lost some really good friends,” said her mother, JoEllen Musselman. “I felt like I was constantly making excuses to people, and I got sick of it.”

Having embraced Catholicism as a convert after her marriage, she now has mixed feelings. Although determined to remain active in the church and to advocate for greater inclusiveness, she remains skeptical of key Catholic leaders.

“They’re flawed,” she said. “If it weren’t for Christ, the church would crumble, because we humans are screwing things up.”

At the highest level of Catholic leadership, Pope Francis’ position can be described as bilateral.

On the one hand, he personally ministered to trans Catholics, receiving them at the Vatican and meeting them as archbishop in Argentina, and he said the Catholic Church must accompany them. However, he has repeatedly denounced “gender theory” and what he calls “ideological colonization” in some schools that teaches children that they can change their biological sex at will.

Francis spoke at length on the issue at a press conference in 2016, stressing the need to avoid “gender ideology” but reaffirming the need to care for trans Catholics. “But please don’t say ‘The pope sanctifies trans people!’ Please!”

Luisa Derouen, the retired nun who has served more than 250 transgender people since 1999, received permission from her superiors in 2014 to write about this work. But that was on condition that she did not identify herself or her congregation as the Dominican Sisters of Peace. She did so under a pseudonym, which she eventually dropped in 2018 to speak publicly on behalf of trans people and “testify to their dignity and worth as human beings.”

In a recent interview, Derouen said friction over transgender inclusion is likely to intensify.

“There has never been a time in the American Church when the Catholic hierarchy has had less moral credibility,” she said. “People in the pews take responsibility to do their own homework and recognize that we are all God’s people.”

Michael Sennett, a 26-year-old transgender man, sees this happening at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, where he serves as director of communications.

The unwelcoming attitude of some bishops discourages him, but he is encouraged by advances, including the formation of a support group called LGBTQ+ Catholics.

“Overall, I’m amazed at the progress,” Sennett said. “People are expressing themselves like never before, joining forces. … The laity find more power.

Associated Press correspondent Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to this report.

How Sacramento’s Ukrainian Churches Are Leading the War Response


In Sacramento, refugees help refugees.

Dina Samodarov is one of them. Over the past week, she has been on the phone nonstop, taking calls from church members wanting to help beleaguered Ukrainians and delivering donations to missionaries on the ground.

“I was emotionally crying inside,” Samodarov said, watching her nephews at her home in Auburn, “because the whole country and her friends there [are] innocent people who die for no reason.

Samodarov and his family came to the United States as refugees in 1999, due to the religious persecution his family suffered under the Soviet Union.

Now, she and many other Christians in the Sacramento area are at the forefront of the war support effort – raising funds, organizing political and religious events, and even returning to the war zone.

Sacramento has one of the largest communities of recent Ukrainian immigrants in the United States, according to a 2020 census analysis by the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan.

More than 16,000 Ukrainian-born immigrants have come to the Sacramento metro area since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, according to their analysis, more than to any area outside of New York, Chicago and Seattle.

But members of Sacramento’s Ukrainian community say the number of people in their diaspora is much larger — up to 100,000 — and many attend dozens of Slavic churches in the area, such as Spring of Life in Orangevale. or the First Ukrainian Baptist Church in Roseville.

Last week, Vadim Dashkevych, pastor at Spring of Life Church, co-hosted a large rally near the Sacramento Capitol and a prayer breakfast for dozens of Ukrainians, church leaders and politicians. Then he flew to the Polish border with Ukraine to make contact with humanitarian missionaries.

“God has done a great job in very difficult situations,” Dashkevych said. “Prayer is [the] the most powerful weapon we can have in the world.

Why Sacramento’s Ukrainian community is one of the largest in the United States

According to Vlad Skots, there have been three waves of immigration from Ukraine, with the third beginning around 1990. The most recent was when most Ukrainians started coming to Sacramento, he said.

“The United States opened a special program for them,” Skots said. “In this case, there were many Christian families because they were persecuted there by the communist regime.”

Indeed, according to the Migration Policy Institute, many Ukrainians were able to emigrate to the United States thanks to the Lautenberg Amendment, which from 1990 created a pathway for those persecuted under the USSR.

Under Soviet Russia, people of any religious tradition, including Christianity and Judaism, could be taken to prison for practicing their beliefs.

“Especially during the Stalin years, many churches and synagogues were destroyed,” said Jeanne Batalova, senior political analyst at the Institute. “So people who wanted to practice their religion, they did it underground.”

The Lautenberg Amendment was available to any persecuted religious person, but evangelical Christians in particular took advantage of it to come to the United States, Batalova said.

California was a destination for Ukrainian immigrants, Skots said, because it’s “beautiful” and Sacramento isn’t as expensive as Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Lubow Jowa, president of the Ukrainian Heritage Club of Northern California, said there was another force drawing Ukrainians to the area: a Christian pastor.

“He had outreach work with these people who were trying to migrate,” Jowa said. “He invited them to come to his church here in Sacramento… [and] they turned to a man who offered them help.

Jowa says that because most Ukrainians who came to the Sacramento area were religious, they have “very strong beliefs,” which lean toward traditional values ​​and can align with the Republican party. But the younger or less religious of the Ukrainian diaspora may no longer have conservative values, according to Jowa.

Sacramento immigrants contribute to the war effort

Sixty-seven-year-old Nadia Vavrynyuk also emigrated as a refugee from Ukraine due to the religious persecution she suffered under Soviet rule.

Her son is now a pastor at the First Ukrainian Baptist Church in Sacramento, which also raises funds for the humanitarian effort in Ukraine.

Growing up in Ukraine, Vavrynyuk says fellow Christians had to worship in private places like “the woods” or in a private home to avoid fines or prosecution. Her father, who was also a pastor, was imprisoned for 10 years as a youth for being a Christian and refusing to fight for the Russians, she said.

“They wouldn’t allow me to go any further in work or school because I wouldn’t put my beliefs aside,” Vavrynyuk said through an interpreter. Because she had no access to higher education or job opportunities, she worked in a factory and worked many night shifts.

Although she arrived in the United States in 2002, more than 10 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Vavrynyuk says she wanted to leave behind a legacy of Soviet-era political leadership in Ukraine.

“The communists never really left, and we didn’t know whether the country would follow them or not or whether it was going to change,” Vavrynyuk said.

Her late husband’s family and close friends are still in Ukraine, and she said she has been on the phone with them constantly since the Russian invasion.

“I hear them crying, I cry with them,” Vavrynyuk said, holding back tears. “The situation absolutely does not leave my mind.”

Return to homeland

Volodymyr Androshchuk, 65, with his daughter, Dina Samodarov, just before boarding a plane to Poland in an attempt to cross into war-torn Ukraine to save his grandson and help with humanitarian efforts.Pauline Bartolone / CapRadio

Dina Samodarov didn’t just have the stress of being a translator, fundraiser, mother and babysitter to her nephews this week. She was also helping coordinate her parents’ trip to Poland, where they flew on Tuesday hoping to cross the Ukrainian border to rescue their two-year-old grandson.

“My nephew, we are planning to get him out of the war zone in Poland. And then we will apply for refugee status, maybe so we can bring him here,” Samodarov said.

Her father, Volodymyr Androshchuk, is 65 and has a prosthetic right leg. Despite the extreme risk, he plans to stay in Ukraine after rescuing his grandson to help other disabled people in the humanitarian crisis.

“I have to be there, where it’s very bad for people,” Androshchuk said.

“Wherever there is a need, or [it’s] difficult for people to breathe, like [a] Christian, I want to be there.

Samodarov will watch the war unfold in his homeland in the coming weeks and monitor the well-being of his parents, nephew and two brothers.

She said she was worried about her parents, who left their safety in the United States. But as she said:

“It has to be done.”

Local pastor’s mornings with the Lord lead to devotional book

Pastor Rod Compton

Three years ago, Rod Compton felt God’s instruction to change his morning routine.

Compton, pastor of Craig’s Calvary Baptist Church, said he decided to follow what he thought was a divine urge to spend the first part of each day writing down the inspiration he received from the study. personal Bible this morning and quiet time spent with the Lord.

“I have committed to writing a daily devotional every day and posting it on our church’s Facebook page,” Compton said Monday by phone. “I’ve been doing it since, and I’m in my third year now.

Collecting these devotions in volumes has produced enough content for several published books, the first of which came out recently.

“This first book is the first year,” Compton said. “The second-year book is being published, and the one I’m working on this year will be the third.”

Each book has its own theme. The one that’s out now is titled “Because God is Love: A Daily Walk in God’s Love” and it’s themed accordingly.

“He tells you every day how much God loves you and what he’s done for you,” Compton said. “All the things contained in the scriptures concerning his love”.

The next book will be “Because God Is Lord: A Daily Walk in the Lordship of God,” Compton said.

“It’s about walking with him in control and our devotion to him,” the pastor said. “And then this year, it’s ‘Because God is Life,’ and it was centered on the abundant life that we have in the Lord. Three years of work — I’m excited.

The experience of putting together the books’ content has been hugely rewarding for Compton, he said.

“It meant everything to me,” Compton said. “Because without him, without his love, I would have nothing, and no one else either. We would have things that are temporary and will fade, but that love is eternal, and it is unconditional. He loves you no matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been or how badly you’ve done or even what you think of yourself. He loves you, and because of that, we can follow him and give our lives to him. He loves us more than anyone has ever loved us.

The book, Compton said, travels through scripture that examines and discusses God’s love for mankind.

“Put things into perspective,” he said. “What does it mean? The fact that He who never sinned became all sin for us so that we could be right with God in Christ Jesus – He had nothing to do with all that, but that great love, He gave Himself up for us, took the pain of our sins and paid for them. There’s no greater love than that.”

Among the editing elements of the book that surprised him was the elevator. But, he said, it was more than worth it.

“I didn’t know how much work it would be,” Compton said. “I’m the type of person who, if I say I’m going to do something, I’ll do it, but being told it’s not always easy. I just told the Lord, in preparation for this first year, that I was committing myself each morning to spending time with Him and writing down what He had to say to me. I thought it would be so hard, but now, honestly, I can’t imagine not doing it. I don’t know if there’s a fourth book or a fifth book, but I know I’m not going to stop doing this.

Compton’s book is available on the websites of Amazon and Barnes and Noble, among other places where books are sold.

Latter-day Saints from Europe help as refugee crisis deepens in countries bordering Ukraine


Latter-day Saint leaders who oversee four countries hosting the bulk of Ukrainian refugees said Thursday they were providing humanitarian aid and called for a day of fasting and prayer on Sunday.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to those who are hurting and whose lives have been changed,” the Europe Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement. letter released Thursday evening.

The church has provided sleeping bags, cots, tents and other supplies to local governments, the Red Cross and other groups helping Ukrainian refugees arriving in border countries, according to a separate statement. Release released Thursday evening by the church headquarters in Salt Lake City. The presidency of the Europe zone identifies the needs and responds to them with the support of the headquarters, the press release indicates.

“In the early hours, the church began contacting friends and collaborating organizations in the area to assess needs and purchase food and other necessities,” the statement from headquarters said.

The Europe zone of the church includes four countries that share a border with Ukraine and host Ukrainian refugees: Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary. These four countries have hosted more than 800,000 refugees, according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

Russia and Ukraine are part of the Church’s Europe East Area.

UNHCR reported Thursday that more than a million Ukrainians – 2% of the national population – fled the fighting that began when Russian forces invaded Ukraine by land, air and sea a week ago.

“We invite all members to participate in a day of prayer and fasting for peace throughout the region, on Sunday, March 6, 2022,” the members of the Europe zone presidency wrote to the members of the 31 countries from which they have load.

“We are grateful and amazed as we contemplate the generosity of so many of you across the region who have reached out to offer us your support,” said the Europe space presidency. “All who feel a desire to serve and contribute are encouraged to coordinate their efforts with their stake presidency or—for multi-stake projects—under the direction of the Area Seventy in their jurisdiction.”

Stakes are geographic groupings of five to 12 congregations. Area Seventies are leaders who oversee groups of stakes.

The church’s social services department and Latter-day Saint charities use local and regional leaders to identify needs and use church funds to purchase relief resources locally. They also regularly provide financial resources to larger partners like the Red Cross with established footprints in areas of emerging need.

The statement from church headquarters says further help is being arranged.

Church members around the world have asked how to help or contribute. We invite them to do so through the church’s Humanitarian Relief Fund, which will be used to address this and other crises,” the statement read.

Last week, the church’s highest governing body, the First Presidency, issued a statement saying that senior church leaders “are heartbroken and deeply concerned about the armed conflict currently raging” and that they pray for peace and implore world leaders to seek a resolution. .

The presidency of the Europe area echoed this message in its letter on Thursday.

“As followers of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we yearn for resolution, comfort and peace in these times,” he said.

Kennedy: Attacks on the Catholic Church Must Stop


LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Louisiana Senator John Kennedy calls on the US Department of Justice to crack down on those who attack the Catholic Church.

Kennedy, a Republican, is urging US Attorney General Merrick Garland to hold those who assault the church strictly accountable.

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, there have been more than 100 attacks on Catholic churches in the past two years.

“President Biden’s Justice Department must punish these crimes or the anti-Catholic and anti-Christian violence will continue,” Kennedy said. “What you allow is what will continue. It has to stop now. There is no place in America for religious bigotry.

In September 2020, the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Rapides Parish was vandalized. The heads of the Virgin Mary and Jesus were smashed from a statue. A stained glass window and several other windows were smashed. Chandler Johnson, 23, of Pineville, was arrested and charged with trespassing and vandalism.

“Certainly some people are opposed to all religion in the public square and may seek to express that in these desecrations that have occurred,” said Bishop Douglas Deshotel of the Diocese of Lafayette.

Deshotel says he prays for those who commit these crimes because there is a deeper purpose for a positive outcome.

“In the church, we always pray for conversion of heart. We always pray for a change of heart. That whatever disturbs a person to commit such acts will be understood, and the beauty of faith will be revealed to him. Let’s hope they will have this conversion of heart. If they repent, everyone is forgiven by God,” Deshotel said.

Click here to read Senator Kennedy’s letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland

Click here to read the report of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Community gathers behind Howard County Church after sign stolen – CBS Baltimore


CLARKSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — The community comes together after a church sign in Howard County was vandalized last week.

The sign stood outside the Linden-Linthicum Methodist Church in Clarksville and displayed the message “Everyone is welcome here” on multicolored stripes.

READ MORE: Maryland State Police say they are ready to allocate additional resources to potential convoys

But late last week, Pastor Gayle Annis-Forder noticed he was missing.

Someone had sawn off the panel’s support posts and peeled off with the panel.

“Last Thursday morning I looked up to see him, because he always makes me smile, he wasn’t there,” the pastor said. “…I was quite upset, as you can imagine.”

Annis-Forder told WJZ the same sign was vandalized last June when someone scrawled their own message on it.

“Someone had written that God is not mocked and repent,” she said. “We had cleaned it up as best we could and left it there. I think the person was hoping we would delete it and we didn’t, so they did I think.

Although the colors on the sign are LGBTQ-friendly, Annis-Forder said the message of inclusion goes much deeper than that.

READ MORE: Fire and explosion reported at Silver Spring residential building, fire department says

“We also include international people and people with disabilities and all kinds of people in this congregation,” she said. “It was just a sign that everyone is welcome here, whatever.”

The pastor said she didn’t realize how many people in the neighborhood had been positively impacted by the sign.

“I think everyone needs to feel like there’s a place where they’re welcome and what a lot of people said was, ‘I’m not going there, I’ve never been there. before, but it makes me feel good,'” she said. noted.

As investigators review footage obtained from a surveillance camera at a nearby gas station, Annis-Forder said she was impressed with the community’s support. She has a message for the culprit.

“You don’t have to agree with us, but we’d love to talk to you,” she said. “But let’s do this in a civil way, in a cordial way. Let’s not damage, degrade, destroy, steal, let’s talk together. I think that’s what God wants us to do.

The pastor said the church will install security cameras and a new sign will be commissioned. A celebration will take place outside the church once the sign has been replaced.

The Red Bird Bar and Grille in Glenelg will also be holding a fundraiser this month to help defray the cost of a new sign.

NO MORE NEWS: 70-year-old woman killed in northwest Baltimore shooting, police say

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Howard County Police at 410-313-STOP.

Ukrainian pastors think of their homeland as they direct their efforts here | Woonsocket


WOONSOCKET — Rhode Island is coming together to support the Ukrainian community as their homeland remains under attack, according to the Reverend Boris Kroner of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Woonsocket.

On Sunday, February 27, the parishes of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church and St. Michael the Archangel came together for a joint service at St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Archangel Michael Reverend Mykhaylo Dosyak joined Kroner, along with Auxiliary Bishop Robert Evans of the Catholic Diocese of Rhode Island.

The service was what is called a moleben, or intercessory service, performed on feast days, in honor of a saint, or as needed. This moleben was offered on behalf of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea were present at the service as parishes prayed together and collected humanitarian aid.

Kroner said the phone kept ringing and the support for the community and aid organizations has been very strong. St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church directly accepts humanitarian aid.

Kroner added that he was busy with events in favor of Ukraine. On Monday, February 28, he attended the raising of the Ukrainian flag in East Providence. On the same day, Governor Dan McKee sent a letter to President Joe Biden expressing that Ukrainian refugees are welcome in Rhode Island, in addition to announcing that the Statehouse will continue to be lit in blue and yellow, the colors of the flag. Ukrainian, in solidarity. .

Dosyak requested that any humanitarian aid to their church be sent directly to the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, https://ukrarcheparchy.us/ or the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford, www.stamforddio.org .

Dosyak could not put into words how he is handling the violence perpetrated in his country. Most of his family is currently back in Ukraine, he said, and he has a lot to do. While he is able to get donations where they need to go, it would be more direct if they went to the Archeparchy or the Eparchy.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin began attacking Ukraine on February 24, support for Ukraine has flowed in from the international community, all the way down to the local level.

The military action comes after decades of tension built up around Ukraine’s vote for sovereignty in 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union. In 2014, Russia seized Crimea, a predominantly ethnically Russian peninsular territory of Ukraine, which drew condemnation from the international community.

The February 24 invasion was largely motivated by the idea of ​​Ukraine joining NATO, an international military alliance that Putin sees as a threat to Russian security. World leaders have condemned his unprovoked attacks, sending weapons and other aid to defend Ukraine and calling for an end to the bloodshed, which has killed civilians in Ukraine.

As missiles and the army head towards Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, citizens are displaced as refugees as their home becomes a war zone. Military reservists between the ages of 18 and 60 remain in defense.

Parish plays future events by ear, Kroner said The breeze, and up-to-date information is available on their “St Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church” Facebook page. The moleben service is available on Facebook, as well as information on parish events.

The Day – US Secretary of the Interior visits Mashantuckets, Mohegans


US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan reservations privately on Wednesday, Haaland’s office and the tribes acknowledged later in the day.

Haaland toured the Mohegan Cultural Preservation Center, Tantaquidgeon Museum and Mohegan Church for about 90 minutes before heading to Mashantucket, where she met for about an hour with tribal leaders at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center.

It was Haaland’s first official visit to either reservation since being sworn in as secretary in March 2021, the first Native American Cabinet Secretary in US history. She had previously visited the Mohegan Reservation in October 2019 when she represented New Mexico in the United States House of Representatives. She is a member of the Laguna Pueblo.

Lynn Malerba, the Mohegan chief, said Haaland was accompanied by several staff members.

“She’s so down to earth,” Malerba said. “She works so hard to understand the tribes and the people she represents. It’s so important for tribes to share their culture. Every tribe is different and she cares about nuances.”

In a statement, James Gessner Jr., president of the Mohegan Tribal Council, called it “a historic day for the Mohegan Tribe.”

“She’s been a strong advocate for tribal communities,” he said of Haaland, “and we’re thrilled she came the next morning after President (Joe) Biden announced in his state of Union that it was committed to investing in critical infrastructure in our communities…. Just as we value our historic partnerships with the State of Connecticut and neighboring local municipalities, our continued collaboration with the federal government and the Department of the Interior is of utmost importance to our tribal leaders and members.

Lori Potter, spokeswoman for the Mashantucket tribe, said Haaland was greeted by members of the tribal council, council of elders and council of youth.

“A longtime friend of Mashantucket, Secretary Haaland is the first serving Home Secretary to visit our reservation,” Potter said in a statement. “There was no better way to kick off Women’s History Month than to welcome a woman who has broken down so many barriers and has an unparalleled commitment to this country and all Native Americans.”

In a press release, Haaland’s office said his visit helped highlight the bipartisan Infrastructure Act of 2021’s $13 billion investment in Indian Country, which will help strengthen tribal economies, strengthen the resilience of communities, replace aging infrastructure and expand access to drinking water and high-speed internet. . The act provides $466 million for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, including $216 million for climate programs and $250 million to support water and health infrastructure.

On Wednesday, Haaland also joined Gov. Ned Lamont and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams at the headquarters of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Westbrook to highlight the law’s $1.4 billion allocation. on infrastructure for ecosystem restoration.

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The most inclusive show in the world


Gina Latcheran and her son Eric have always loved the beauty, comedy and drama of a circus. Even after seeing the show, they would buy a video of the show so they could watch it again and again at home.

“We enjoyed going to something that brought out the kid in both of us. We could act stupid and put on our (clown) hats and noses,” Gina said. But more than that, it was an equalizing experience. “Everyone around us, we were all the same. You didn’t see different skin colors and different accents – everyone was laughing, smiling, clapping and in awe, and you were all doing it together.

Eric, with Down syndrome, and Gina, parishioners of the Saint-Timothée de Chantilly church, had been waiting for this particular circus for a long time. Omnium: A Bold New Circus, according to the website, is a non-profit organization with a “unified, multi-faceted, multi-racial and versatile” cast and a show designed to be accessible to people with disabilities.

On a recent Saturday afternoon – the show’s debut after an earlier postponement – ​​some excited patrons rushed to their seats, while others lingered in the lobby to buy popcorn, cotton candy dad, bright toys or t-shirts. When the curtain rose, the audience saw hula hoopers, unicyclists jumping rope, aerial acrobats and Frisbee retrieving dogs – performances enhanced by swirling fog, colored lights and theatrical music. The crowd laughed at the clowns’ antics, held their breath during daring balancing acts, and clapped in relief and amazement when a round went off without a hitch. Behind all the action, glowing letters at the back of the stage spelled out the word Omnium – which means “of all” in Latin.

Lisa B. Lewis, Founder and Executive Director, wanted to create something special with Omnium. She has been involved in the circus since she attended clown college. “I felt at home – this is where I belong,” Lewis said. She now works to make sure it’s a place where everyone can feel like they belong.

The inspiration came when she was volunteering for an annual circus show that had accommodations for the deaf and blind. “The more I did, the more I fell in love with the diversity of the population and the potential for joy that we could bring to this underserved group of people,” she said. “As wonderful as this (annual show) is, there was so much more we could do.”

So Lewis and other Omnium members created a show with everyone in mind. More than 25% of Omnium artists, staff and crew are disabled. Aerialist Jen Bricker-Bauer, for example, was born without legs. But how all audience members could better experience the show was at the forefront of their plans.

“Sometimes you’ll go to a show as a deaf person and the sign language interpreter is around, and so you have to watch the interpreter and miss the whole show,” Lewis said. “So we integrated (our interpreter) throughout the production to ensure that your experience was a complete experience. The show is fully described in audio for the blind and visually impaired. The entire production has been designed with sensory sensitivities in mind (and we have) relaxed seating areas for people to talk and express their joy and move around. We keep the music at a reasonable level. We don’t use strobe lights (because) they trigger epilepsy.

Omnium is still slowly building a tour, Lewis said. They plan to perform next in Queens, NY, and hopefully return to the Washington area in a few months.

After Gina heard about Omnium online, she and Eric quickly became personally involved. Before the opening show at Tysons’ Capital One Hall on February 26, they put up posters advertising Omnium wherever they could. Gina is now part of the board of directors. Eric and his fellow Knights of Columbus from the Assembly of Acts of the Apostles in Chantilly volunteered to present the colors as Eric’s favorite performer, Ringmaster Jonathan Lee Iverson, sang the national anthem.

The circus plot loosely revolves around Iverson’s story of growing from popcorn seller to performer, and encourages everyone to believe in his ability to persevere and achieve great things, using the phrase “I am possible”. Gina sees the show as a beautiful celebration of unity. “I get goosebumps thinking about the impact this has had so far, and it will continue,” she said.

Turning a diverse group of people into a cohesive community pretty much sums up circus life, said Father Frank Cancro, a clown-turned-priest from the Diocese of Charlotte who is now the national circus chaplain. Father Cancro and other members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ Circus and Traveling Performing Arts ministry serve carnivals, motor-track workers, and circuses such as the Omnium. Father Cancro offered an opening prayer for the company and was there to see his premiere.

Learn more about the sacraments in the central ring

Father Cancro travels with companies to offer the sacraments to circus people. He sees his work primarily as a ministry of presence not just for the roughly 40% of circus people who are Catholic, but for everyone in the show. He said one of the best compliments he received from a circus member without a church was that having a chaplain around was like having a grandfather around. “We’re really there for people in those times when there’s a real need to meet a listening ear or a loving heart, and there’s a testimony there,” Fr. Cancro said. “I think the face of God is revealed all the time in there.”

Father Cancro said he was delighted to attend the launch of Omnium and to support it. “I think inclusion is what helps us understand the common dignity we all share as God’s creation,” he said. “And I think (the) circus community celebrates that in a classic way. You have people from many different languages ​​and from many different countries coming together to do a particular show. In this case, people with different abilities came here specifically to shape something for everyone.

Moray’s new church minister hopes to be a ‘visible presence’ in the community


Moray’s new church minister hopes to be a ‘visible presence’ in the community

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African students say they are blocked from fleeing Ukraine, local pastor tries to help – WSB-TV Channel 2


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A Metro pastor is trying to help African students desperate to leave Ukraine who say they are being barred from fleeing the war-ravaged country because of their race.

Pastor Jamal Bryant, of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, posted the interaction on social media.

He said Channel 2’s Audrey Washington that he is now in contact with another pastor stuck in Ukraine as well.

From a small room in Ukraine, Nigerian pastor Dr. Promise Issac spoke to Bryant about what some of his parishioners are going through as they attempt to flee the country.

“Currently, I think we have around 10,000 African students in Ukraine,” Issac said. “What we have seen is that most African students have been blocked from entering at the borders.”

We haven’t independently confirmed all the details, but a video that emerged on social media appears to show a large group of African citizens trying to board a train from Ukraine.

Officials stand in front of the group.

Then you can see a woman reach for a child before they are both held back, along with the crowd. The train then pulls away.

For days now, African citizens, many of them students, living in Ukraine have reported instances of racism as they attempted to board trains and buses to Poland and Hungary.

On Monday, African nations on the United Nations Security Council publicly condemned discrimination against African citizens at the Ukrainian border.

“A lot of people mistakenly assumed racism was just American and didn’t realize it was truly a global pandemic,” Bryant said.

Washington asked Bryant what was being done to help get African citizens out of Ukraine safely.

“Both Nigeria and Ghana have representatives at the Polish border to escort them,” Bryant said.


Some Hispanics in Texas attracted to Republicans share immigration grievances


The chasm between undocumented Central American migrants crossing the border and Latino residents of the valley is deep and wide.

Many residents are Mexican Americans who have lived in the area for four or five generations, or proudly claim that their parents and grandparents came to the United States legally. They know both Border Patrol agents and undocumented Mexican immigrants who have lived and worked in border towns for years. Those who are Republicans say they don’t view their views on immigration as hypocritical or anti-Hispanic. Instead, they see themselves as a bulwark for law and order. A few thousand Border Patrol agents live and work in the area, many of whom are Hispanic, adding to a pro-law enforcement ethos that manifests in churches, schools and local politics.

“We’re in a war – a war of ideas,” said Jessica Martinez, 33, a stay-at-home mom from Brownsville who said she never voted until she voted for Mr Trump in 2020 , after being frustrated. with the implacable indignation against him of the liberals. “That is how we Christians see it. We feel attacked.

In Harlingen, Mr. Cabrera transformed the entrance to the church into a commercial space. He exhibits and sells T-shirts that read Make America Godly Again and Make America Repent. For years, he said, he avoided talking about politics from the pulpit. But last year he hosted several Republican leaders at the church, including Mr Abbott.

“I want to bring God back into politics,” Mr. Cabrera said. “And so that’s what I do.”

Joe Cadriel, a 57-year veteran of the Gulf War Desert Storm and retired social worker, rarely placed campaign ads on his lawn. But he made an exception for Ms. Flores, the Republican candidate for Congress from Brownsville.

Mr Cadriel and his wife, Diana, a retired educator, both voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and then voted for Mr Trump four years later, believing he would better protect the southern border, just 10 miles from their Weslaco House.

The couple grew up in the Rio Grande Valley as children of conservative Democrats, and they nurtured a proud independent streak. Mr Cadriel has been exasperated by illegal immigration for as long as he can remember – he said he once quit a job because he was too angry to see food stamps and d Other Benefits for Children of Unauthorized Immigrants.

Joseph Espaillat is the first Dominican bishop of New York. What does this mean for our church?


For many Dominican Catholics, the appointment of Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Espaillat is long overdue but welcome.

The appointment of the first Dominican bishop, at a time when conversations about Afro-Latinidad versus Latinidad are increasing in theological spaces, gives us, as American Catholics, the opportunity to elevate and more fully understand the nuances of the Latinx experience.

On March 1, Frs. John Bonnici and Espaillat were to be consecrated auxiliary bishops by Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Espaillat will be the youngest American bishop.

These appointments by Pope Francis were first announced on January 25. “Pope Francis has selected two outstanding priests, both experienced pastors, to serve the people of God in this archdiocese as auxiliary bishops,” Dolan said after the announcement. “I look forward to working even more closely with Bishop-elect Bonnici and Bishop-elect Espaillat, as they take on this new role in their priesthood.”

Bishop Joseph Espaillat, also known as Father J., was born on December 27, 1976 in Manhattan, and is the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. He has a Catholic upbringing and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Fordham University in 1998.

He was ordained five years later, in May 2003, at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie.

From 2009 to 2012 he worked at St. Peter’s in Yonkers, New York, and from 2012 to 2015 he worked in youth ministry for the Archdiocese of New York.

It is refreshing to see one of our own chosen to serve as a bishop for the first time in the Archdiocese of New York. The majority of Catholics in New York are Latinos, and Dominicans are the largest immigrant group here. As in many parts of the United States, while Latinos make up the majority of churches and parishes in our city, church leadership is still overwhelmingly white. Many Dominican Catholics hope Espaillat could begin to change that, with many hoping he will one day become the future archbishop and cardinal of the Archdiocese of New York.

I was a parishioner at Our Lady of Martyrs Church in Washington Heights, upper Manhattan, when Espaillat began his ministry in 2003. I remember being pleasantly surprised to see him sitting in a neighborhood park, talking and listening to young people.

He currently serves as a pastor in the South Bronx at St. Anthony of Padua Church. As part of his ministry, he is part of “Sainthood in the City”, a podcast and YouTube ministry series run by the Centro Católico Carismático. He uses rap music to reach young people and has joked about rapping as a bishop.

While many praise Espaillat, others point to an episode last year of “Holiness in the City”, in which he described how the devil moves “azabache” Where “evil of ojo“Afro-indigenous customs popular among many Dominican and Latin communities. I was not surprised to hear this from him, as many Dominican Catholic bishops also use rhetoric and scripture to revise how much Christianity and other Indigenous and African traditions of worship and religions are intertwined.Caribbean, this language ignores that God is present in our Afro-Dominican Catholic traditions.

It’s an unfortunate part of Dominican Catholicism, but I hope Espaillat’s appointment will help us begin to address it.

Espaillat worked as director of the Hispanic Charismatic Catholic Renewal for the Archdiocese of New York. I grew up in this community because my father, to this day, is a charismatic Catholic. Charismatic Catholic Renewal has often helped me in my life to come together with others in prayer and to express joy through dance and music in a church. I have also met charismatic Catholics who understand that prayer is an essential part of social justice action, although this is still an issue where I think the movement needs to improve.

As an adult, as I have drifted away from the charismatic faith of my childhood, it is still part of how I integrate my progressive politics into my life of faith, including my work as an anti-capitalist Catholic organizer, one who believes in the abolition of all oppressive systems. And because of this focus, as I see and must name how Espaillat’s nomination also elevates the anti-blackness that I am working to dismantle within Dominican and non-Dominican religious spaces, I also find hope in how his appointment and ministry can help challenge our faith, including his charismatic commitment to using resources like rap music to engage with young people.

His appointment comes at a critical time for the American Church, as the number of Latinos continues to grow in the United States and in the Church, and as we undergo a synodal process in which Pope Francis invites us to “walk together and to reflect together on the journey that has been made.”

The appointment of the first Dominican bishop, at a time when conversations about Afro-Latinidad versus Latinidad are increasing in theological spaces, gives us, as American Catholics, an opportunity to elevate and more fully understand the nuances of the Latinx experience, starting by addressing how deeply rooted anti-darkness is in our spaces and communities. I hope Bishop Espaillat can challenge our Latin and Dominican community to challenge anti-Blackness more deeply within our own communities, especially as we see the Haitian immigration crisis at the US border and the Dominican Republic builds a border wall.

I hope his nomination can be prophetic, even if our approaches to our faith differ. I hope that through his work as a bishop he can inspire white Catholics to think more deeply about white supremacy in our church.

As Catholics, I also hope that we can challenge Bishop Espaillat and the rest of our church leadership to fight against their own internalized anti-blackness. As part of our synodal journey, we must challenge ourselves, our communities, our church and our leaders.

I am grateful to see Dominican representation at the conference, and I pray to Our Lady of Altagracia, Spiritual Mother of Catholics in the Dominican Republic, that Bishop Espaillat may be a prophetic voice, like Bishop Óscar Romero, for all oppressed peoples of the Bronx, in New York, in the United States, in the Dominican Republic and in the world.

Prayers for Ukraine: Church community gathers for vigil at Bell Tower Green – Salisbury Post


SALISBURY — Leading the prayer from the stage at the Bell Tower Green Amphitheater, Lara Musser Gritter’s eyes drifted over the outstretched arms and twinkling lights covering the park lawn.

“It was really beautiful to look outside and see all those candles burning, hundreds of them burning, in unity and prayer,” said Musser Gritter, co-pastor of First Presbyterian Church.

A few hundred people of various faiths gathered in Bell Tower Green on Monday evening for a prayer vigil organized by local churches. The idea for the vigil began with a simple email chain between inner-city church pastors late last week.

“When we first had email exchanges, we just thought we would be a handful of us gathered here on the grass,” said Reverend Mark Conforti of First United Methodist Church.

As more people found out about the vigil through social media or their Sunday morning church service, the number of people coming to the rally began to increase.

“There was an outpouring of support that was garnered over the weekend,” Conforti said.

Veronika Poliakova, a sophomore tennis player at Catawba College whose family lives near Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, stood in front of the crowd with a bouquet of sunflowers in the crook of her arm. Poliakova was joined by a Ukrainian friend who attends college in South Carolina and traveled to the event.

“I’m so grateful to be here and to have met so many amazing people who support and pray for my country,” Poliakova said.

Poliakova was stunned by the outpouring of community support.

“I didn’t expect a lot of people to come,” Poliakova said. “It looks like the whole Salisbury community came.”

People followed as more than a handful of pastors quoted scripture and led a prayer litany.

Jim Stringfield, who attends First Baptist Church, prayed while cradling a blue and yellow Ukrainian flag over his shoulder. Stringfield, his wife and several members of their church visited the town of Munkacs in western Ukraine in 2011 on a mission trip. During the stay, they guided the children through Bible school lessons and taught science experiments. To commemorate the trip, Stringfield and the church purchased the flag he carried more than ten years later at the vigil.

Stringfield thought about the country he visited and the war he is currently fighting.

“When the Berlin Wall came down, we thought it was all over,” Stringfield said. “I never imagined that the Russians would be on the march again. It really is good versus evil. It’s very clear.

He also thought of his own country.

“I’m so grateful to be an American,” Stringfield said. “To have freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, freedom of religion. My father and his people and their generation fought for our freedom, fought for our freedom and we tend to take it for granted.

As the sun began to dip below the horizon, attendees held their candles aloft and prayed. A moment of prolonged silence was accentuated at the end by the bell ringing before everyone recited the Lord’s Prayer. Musser Gritter ended the vigil with words of encouragement.

“Remember, we seek God not as individuals, but as a community of faith knowing that God listens to the prayers of God’s people here and in Ukraine and beyond,” Musser Gritter said. “Friends tonight, may you go in peace to love and serve the Lord knowing that the peace of Christ passes all understanding. Amen.”

As people lingered on the green talking among themselves, the wall of water bathed the park in a blue and yellow glow.

Musser Gritter hopes the vigil will have a lasting impact in more ways than one.

“I have two hopes. First, I really hope that our prayers will be answered and that God will intervene in a way beyond our understanding to bring peace and security to Ukrainians,” Musser Gritter said. “Secondly, I hope this is the first of many times we have come together ecumenically on the Bell Tower Green for prayer and worship.”

Harlem pastor accused of selling church says he did no wrong


HARLEM, NY – The Harlem pastor accused of selling his church to a real estate developer – and pocketing thousands of dollars in the process – has hit back in new court filings, saying he still cares about the best interests of his church.

Bishop Kevin Griffin is senior pastor and president of Childs Memorial Church Temple of God in Christ: a house of worship in Harlem that operated for decades out of a four-story building on Amsterdam Avenue near West 147th Street.

Last fall, Attorney General Letitia James’ office sued Griffin, claiming he had secretly pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars after he struck a 2014 deal with developer Moujan Vahdat, who planned to demolish the church and construct a new building that would include space for Childs Memorial.

Prosecutors alleged Griffin violated state law by failing to notify his parishioners of his own involvement in the deal and changing the sale agreement to give Vahdat more time to complete the project – which remains unbuilt years later.

But Griffin’s attorneys argued last week that the state’s case had a “fatal” flaw: It “alleged no harm to Childs Memorial.”

According to Griffin’s attorney, the attorney general’s complaint contains no evidence that the $2 million sale of the church was unfair. In fact, when the state gave Childs Memorial the ability to revoke the agreement, the church board “chose to reaffirm its agreement with the developer,” Griffin’s attorney, S. Christopher Provenzano, wrote in a Feb. 22 court filing.

Griffin, in another affidavitalso insists that he informed the board of some of the “finder’s fees” he received from Vahdat for helping facilitate his purchases from other churches in Harlem – but does not say not whether he disclosed his stake in the sale of the Childs Memorial.

Lawyers for the pastor are asking a judge to dismiss the state case, which sought to bar Griffin from a prominent role in any New York-based nonprofit or charity – even if it would allow him to continue serving as a pastor.

The state has until April 1 to respond to the motion by Griffin’s attorneys.

Leaders and community leaders rallied last January outside the former Childs Memorial site at 1763-1771 Amsterdam Ave., calling on the city to change its shelter plans in favor of permanent affordable housing. (Michael Palma Mir)

Griffin, a resident of New Jersey, also holds leadership positions in the Pentecostal Christian Church of Antigua and Barbuda and in New York State. division of the Church of God in Christ — a predominantly black denomination.

A former theatre, the Amsterdam Avenue home of the Childs Memorial has played a part in history: it was where mourners gathered on February 27, 1965 for the funeral of Malcolm X, six days after the death of Malcolm X. assassination of civil rights leader.

Over the following decades, the building fallen into disuse, with opening holes in the roof of the structure. It was demolished in 2018, following the sale to Vahdat, but the planned apartment building – originally planned to be completed by 2019 – did not materialize. (Childs Memorial has temporarily moved to a storefront on West 148th Street.)

Ironically, the delay was welcome for some in the community, who were unhappy with Vahdat’s plan for the Childs Memorial site: a building full of studio apartments that he would rent to the city for use as a family shelter.

At a protest last year, community leaders argued the studios would be ill-suited to homeless families and called on the city to develop affordable housing there permanently.

Reviews | Lent without church


It’s not that I disapprove secular expressions observance of Lent that have arisen in this century of sharply declining church membership. If someone wants to lose 10 pounds, or start their new novel, or try veganism, I tell them more power. And God knows I’m all for a social media fast.

Life is hard for all living beings. Making things more difficult – knowingly and voluntarily, even for a limited period of time – is a uniquely human exercise. We want to be better than we are. We want living to mean more than surviving. There is something truly beautiful about this pulse, whatever form it takes.

But as a new member of the Christian faithful without a church, what am I supposed to do with Lent? Surely there must be some spiritual practice that lies between a Church-ordained ritual and a secular project of perfectibility. Something that would help me use this time of prayer and reflection to move away from fears that I cannot shake – for my country, for my planet – and towards a stronger faith in the possibility of redemption, a more certain conviction that all is not yet lost in this deeply troubled world.

My maternal ancestors, all Protestants, strongly believed in starting the day with a prayer and an entry into the devotion of this season. But my idea of ​​a daily spiritual practice is less a prayer written by someone else than a walk alone in the woods. A devotional isn’t what I’m looking for, and neither is another church’s Lenten program. Not yet anyway.

Honestly, I don’t know what I’m looking for.

Forty years ago I took a college course in philosophy of religion. I still have the manual, and I looked at what I underlined in that book, the passages that I carefully starred. Why did the girl that I was 40 years ago decide that certain passages should be marked with a star?

I signed up for the course because I was having my first crisis of faith. The class itself did nothing to clear up my confusion, and continually thinking about the questions that tormented me didn’t help either. I still worried. Still, I tried to figure out what I believed and why.

Then, one summer afternoon, months later, I was sitting in my parents’ garden, listening to a mockingbird sing. Suddenly, inexplicably, a feeling of peace came over me. A feeling of perfect and absolute peace. No reassuring voice accompanied him, and no words formed in my mind to explain it. But if there had been words, they would have been something like, “It’s OK. Do not worry. Its good.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer marks a day of prayer for Ukraine


Westchester County Executive George Latimer marks a day of prayer for Ukraine

Following the current overseas crisis, Westchester County Executive George Latimer declared Sunday, February 27 a day of prayer for Ukraine in Westchester County. He celebrated Mass with the Ukrainian community of Yonkers at St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Latimer said, “We are here in a human capacity. We see humanity here in the Ukrainian community of Yonkers, Westchester County, and by extension, the world. We all pray for justice in Ukraine. We will continue to pray for peace in Eastern Europe and around the world.

Father Kiril Angelov, pastor of St. Michael Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church said, “Being together here at St. Michael Archangel shows that we are praying together. I am convinced that prayer will win. We would like to thank the department executive and all our elected officials for being by our side during this difficult time. Let’s continue to pray for Ukraine.

St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church has been in the Yonkers community since 1899 and serves over 400 families in their parish.

According to the latest census data, 1,767 Westchester residents were born in Ukraine and 6,393 Westchester residents were of Ukrainian ancestry. The municipalities with the largest populations reporting Ukrainian ancestry were Yonkers and Greenburgh, with 1,745 reporting Ukrainian ancestry in Yonkers and 793 in Greenburgh.

Mediterranean Church, political leaders cry out for peace


FLORENCE, Italy (CNS) – Bishops and mayors of cities around the Mediterranean gathered to talk about migration, peace, development and the promotion of human rights, but war broke out in Ukraine and overshadowed their talks.

Benjamina Karic, the 31-year-old mayor of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was at the meeting in Florence. His city became the symbol of the last war fought in Europe, the Balkan war of 1991-95. Karic, speaking on Italian television on February 26, offered prayers for the residents of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, especially for the frightened children crammed into shelters as the fighting continued.

The “Mediterranean for Peace” meeting opened in Florence on February 23 before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his offensive. The gathering brought together 60 bishops from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa for their own meeting and for joint discussions with 65 city mayors from 20 countries in the Mediterranean basin.

Pope Francis was due to address the bishops and mayors at the end of their meeting on February 27 and celebrate a mass in Florence, but he canceled his trip after his doctors prescribed him rest for severe knee pain.

Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, president of the Italian episcopal conference, celebrated Mass instead, leading prayers for Pope Francis and, above all, for an end to what he described in his homily as “an unjust war and useless”.

“We are living in dramatic times,” the cardinal said Feb. 26 as he opened a joint session of bishops and mayors.

“The madness of war must be stopped,” he said. Too many bishops and mayors present “know this scourge, which is why we asked and continue to ask for peace. Any conflict is a “useless killing”, as Benedict XV said at the height of the First World War. The present can only be summed up in a word that becomes an invocation: peace!

Dario Nardella, the mayor of Florence, told the rally: “These are days marked by fear, despair and deep concern for what is happening in Ukraine because of this attack which is claiming civilian victims and not only military ones. “.

Bishops and mayors do not have armies, he said, but they are responsible for building bridges, helping citizens to move around, ensuring the education of children – all of this favoring dialogue, which “is the only way to achieve peace between our cities and between our peoples.

At the end of the meeting, the participating bishops and mayors signed the “Charter of Florence”, pledging to work together to promote peace and social harmony, respect the rights of migrants and refugees, guarantee religious freedom , protect the environment and increase employment opportunities, especially for women and young people.

But the charter did not ignore Ukraine: “A feeling of pain has gripped the bishops and mayors, who together hope that violence and the use of arms might cease, that great suffering would be avoided for the people Ukrainian and that negotiations to rebuild peace could begin immediately.

Closing the meeting in place of the pope on February 27, Cardinal Bassetti insisted on the interest of the discussions, especially given the war in Ukraine.

“As a deranged war erupts in Ukraine, wreaking death and destruction, the clock of history has stopped in Florence and strikes the hour of peace and dialogue,” he said. .

Europe, Asia and Africa touch the Mediterranean “with different cultural traditions and with a conflicting political history, but also with strong points of interconnection”, he said, especially through its cities. and its religions.

“The Mediterranean has always been a place of transit and trade – not just military clashes, not just political borders,” he said, “but also a meeting place for coastal towns and religious communities.” .

The task of political and religious leaders around the sea and the world, the cardinal said, is “to unite what has divided us for centuries, to unite in the name of human brotherhood…to unite for peace, an epic challenge”.

Called by the faithful love of God to live…


daily writing

Ephesians 2:1-10

1 Formerly you were as dead because of your evil deeds and your trespasses against God. 2 You lived like the people of this world. You followed the rule of destructive spiritual power. It is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in people whose lives are characterized by disobedience. 3 At one time, you were like these people. You were all used to doing what you felt good and whatever you thought you wanted, so you were children headed for punishment, like everyone else.

4-5 However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us back to life with Christ when we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did it because of the great love he has for us. You are saved by the grace of God! 6 And God raised us up and made us sit in heaven with Jesus Christ. 7 God did this to show future generations the greatness of his grace through the goodness that God has shown us in Jesus Christ.

8 You are saved by the grace of God because of your faith [or through his faithfulness]. This salvation is a gift from God. It’s not something you owned. 9 It’s not something you’ve done to be proud of. 10 Instead, we are God’s fulfillment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God intended these good things to be the way we live our lives.

Reflection questions

The free grace of God, offered to all, is a gift that we do not deserve and that we could never deserve. But truly accepting this gift of grace changes us. The Apostle Paul, a passionate preacher of God’s saving grace like never before, wrote that when we accept this grace, we live as “God’s fulfillment [Greek poema, meaning “artistry” or “handiwork”], created in Jesus Christ to do good things. He believed it was important for Christians (in Ephesus and everywhere) to understand that significant changes in their lives (cf. Acts 19:18-20) were not something they accomplished simply by tapping into their own inherent goodness. They were God’s fulfillment, living the kind of life God wanted them to live.

  • John Wesley used the idea that we are “created in Christ Jesus to do good things” in the second general rule of the Methodist Church: “Doing good; by being merciful in every way according to their power; as they have the opportunity, doing good of all kinds and, as much as possible, to all men. Does the phrase “do good of all possible kinds” Stimulate your imagination? What are one or two “kinds” of kindness that you did not practice before, but do now as a follower of Christ? How willing are you to let God continue to shape the way you live, even the “secular” parts of your life: driving, shopping, doing business, gambling and watching sports, etc. ? What is your purpose in life? (You have one, even if you think you don’t. You make daily choices based on an inner vision of who you are and why you are here.) God has a purpose for your life. . Spend some quiet time today comparing your current lifestyle with what Ephesians 2:10 says about God’s intention.


Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of your saving and transforming grace. Guide me as I seek to live in the reality of the good things You created (and re-created) me to do. Amen.

Demetrios Papademetriou, leading immigration specialist, dies at 75


In this case, Mr. Papademetriou and Kathleen Newland, an expert on refugee issues, had founded the Migration Policy Institute a few days before 9/11, separating it from the Carnegie Endowment. Mr. Papademetriou served as President from 2001 to 2014. In 2011, he founded the institute’s sister organization, Migration Policy Institute Europe, in Brussels.

He is the author of approximately two dozen books and dozens of scholarly articles on immigration and reintegration issues. He closely advised European Union policy makers during the 2015 and 2016 refugee crises and was a go-to source for the media.

Beginning in 2008, he convened the institute’s annual Transatlantic Council on Migration, a gathering of government officials, business leaders and academics from the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia that explore their common immigration challenges and seek to refine their governments’ responses to these challenges. .

Mr. Papademetriou “has dedicated his life to understanding the complex nuances of international migration in all its forms,” Andrew Selee, president of the institute, said in a statement. “He has used this knowledge to advance pragmatic and intelligent immigration and immigrant integration policies that work in the interests of all elements of society” – not just migrants themselves, but countries in which they came from and those they left.

Demetrios George Papademetriou was born on February 18, 1946 in Patras, Greece. His father, Giorgos Papademetriou, was a dentist. His mother, Vasiliki (Chrysanthakopoulos) Papademetriou, was a housewife.

Demetri, as he was known, arrived in New York in 1964 at age 18 as part of a scholarship program that selected the brightest students from Greece to study in the United States.

He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Wilkes College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1970. He then attended the University of Maryland, where he received his master’s degree in 1972 and his doctorate in 1976, all two in political science. . He became an American citizen in 1977.

Last religious services | News


Editor’s note: Here are the church service changes submitted to the Tribune as a result of COVID-19. Contact your church to see if services not listed below are still taking place.

• Abundant Life Fellowship United Pentecostal Church International, 1040B Washington St., Meadville, has services Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and Bible study and fellowship services Wednesdays at 7 p.m., with Pastor Doug Long. More information: Dial (814) 333-1164.

• Atlantic Community Church, 3468 Atlantic Lake Road, has services Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. More information: atlanticcommunitychurch.org or Facebook.com/theatlanticcommunitychurch.

• Barton Road United Brethren Church, 20262 Barton Road, Meadville, has worship times on Sundays at 9.30am and 6pm, in accordance with current COVID-19 rules.

• Bethany United Methodist Church, 140 Wadsworth Ave., Meadville, has Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and worship at 10:30 a.m. Masks are optional; distancing precautions. More information: Contact Pastor Sarah Roncolato at (814) 724-6736.

• Bible Baptist Church, 11116 Livermore Road, Meadville, has a Sunday school at 10 a.m., a church service at 11 a.m. and a Wednesday service at 6 p.m.

• Blooming Valley United Methodist Church has services Sundays at 9 am.

• Calvaire de Meadville, 543 Randolph Street, worship on Sundays at 9:30 am. You can also join live via facebook.com/cbcmeadville.

• Cambridge Springs Presbyterian Church, 338 S. Main St., Sunday worship at 11 a.m., with Sunday school at 10 a.m. Recommendations issued by the CDC and the State are followed. More information: Dial (814) 398-4249.

• Dean Sherman’s Channels for Jesus radio show from the Meadville area is at 9:45 am Sundays on WMGW 1490 AM, WTIV 1340 AM and WFRA 1450 AM.

• Church of Harmonial Fellowship meets Sunday at 11 am in the old Third District School Building, 230 Columbia Ave. More information: Call (814) 333-3733.

• Cochranton Presbyterian Church, corner of Smith and Pine Streets, has services at 9:30 am on Sundays.

Community Bible Church, 37534 Route 408, between Townville and Hydetown, has Sunday worship at 11 a.m., Sunday school at 10:10 a.m., Sunday breakfast at 9 a.m. and Bible study on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Services can be viewed on Streammedia.tv, Facebook and Armstrong channels 23 and 100 Sunday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday at 9 a.m. More information: Rev. Rudolph G. Babcock at (814) 967-3628.

• Emmanuel Community Church, 30 Park Ave., closed until further notice due to the effects of a small but serious fire. Sunday worship will be held at the Presbyterian Church of the Redeemer, 16864 chemin du lac Conneaut, at 11 a.m. Certain precautions will be put in place; masks are optional.

• Epiphany of the Lord Parish will live stream Masses on its Facebook page. Saturday evening mass is at 4:30 p.m. Sunday Masses are at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. at St. Agatha, 353 Pine St.

• Faith Geneva United Methodist Church, 15439 Route 285, Conneaut Lake, has Sunday worship at 11 a.m. and Sunday school for children at 11:15 a.m. Masks and social distancing are required. Services are recorded and posted on the church’s Facebook page.

• Fallowfield United Methodist Church, 3993 Leach Road, Atlantic, is holding services Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Then join us on Facebook Live with Pastor Les Hutchins.

• Meadville First Baptist Church, 353 Chestnut St., has Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. and Sunday school classes for all ages at 9:15 a.m. Services can be viewed on Armstrong Channels 23 and 100 at 10:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Sundays of each month as well as Thursday noon. Services are also streamed live on the First Baptist Church of Meadville PA Facebook page. Babysitting and children’s activities are available.

• First Christian Church, 503 N. Main St., Meadville, has Bible school at 9 a.m. and Sunday worship at 10 a.m. Services can also be viewed at First Christian Church Meadville on YouTube. Robert McGuire is the new Prime Minister. More information: (814) 336-3540.

• Meadville First Presbyterian Church holds Sunday services at 8:30 am and 10:00 am in the sanctuary. Services can also be seen on meadvillefpc.org via livestream or on Armstrong channel 23 on the first and third Sunday of each month at 10 a.m. More information: Call (814) 333-2161.

• French Creek Community Church, 18320 Conneaut Lake Road, has Sunday services at 10 a.m., also available on the church’s Facebook page.

• Grace United Methodist Church has services on Sundays at 8:15 a.m. and 11 a.m.

• Hamlin Chapel United Methodist Church, 16460 Route 198, Saegertown, has Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and worship at 10:45 a.m. Lenten services March 9 and April 6 at 11 a.m.; bring a lunch bag. Masks are optional; privileged distancing. More information: Contact Larry Miller at (814) 763-3920.

• Harmonsburg Presbyterian Church holds a Sunday service at 9:15 a.m. Fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask.

• Harmonsburg United Methodist Church, 14182 First St., holds worship and Sunday school for children at 9:30 am The church is handicapped accessible.

• Hartstown Presbyterian Church has services at 11:15 a.m. on Sundays and Sunday School at 10 a.m. and follows current CDC guidelines.

• High Street Community Church, 9517 Route 322, Conneaut Lake, has a Sunday worship service at 10 a.m. Masks and social distancing are observed. The church also offers a junior church for all children ages 4-12 during Sunday service. Follow Sunday evening services on the church’s Facebook page. More information: Call (814) 382-2874 or email [email protected]

• Linesville United Methodist Church holds Sunday worship at 11:00 am.

• Littles Corners United Methodist Church, 15382 Route 198, Meadville, has Sunday school at 10:30 a.m. and worship at 9:30 a.m. Lenten services March 2 and 23 at 11 a.m.; bring a lunch bag. Masks are optional. More information: Contact Larry Miller at (814) 763-3920.

• Milledgeville Christian Community Church has Sunday services at 11:30 am with Pastor Curt Brenizer. More information: Dial (814) 720-7548.

• Mumford Chapel United Methodist Church, 20115 Route 285, Cochranton, has a Sunday worship service at 9 a.m. and a Sunday school for children at 9:30 a.m. Services are recorded and posted on the Facebook page of the church. More information: Contact Pastor Joy Mumford at (814) 425-8171.

• Norrisville United Methodist Church has services on Sundays at 9 a.m.

• Open Door Baptist Church, 22062 Center Road, Venango, has Family Bible Hour on Sundays at 10 a.m., Morning Worship at 11 a.m., Evening Service at 6 p.m. and Wednesday “Gear Up!” Bible study at 7 p.m., with Pastor Norman Aabye.

• The Notre-Dame de Lourdes church in Cochranton offers a mass on Sundays at 8:00 a.m.

• Park Congregational Church in Meadville has Sunday services at 10:30 am on the upper level of the church.

• Conneaut Lake Presbyterian Church, 145 S. Fifth St., has Sunday services at 10:30 a.m. Call to hear the Sunday message at (602) 580-9207, pass code 4874448, or visit clpresby .org.

• Saegertown United Methodist Church, 620 Euclid Ave., holds Sunday services at 8 am, 9:30 am, and 11 am; Sunday School at 9:30 a.m.; and Grow Kids for K-6 and Youth Group 7-12 on Sundays at 6 p.m. More information: Visit saegertownumc.org or the church’s Facebook page.

• Stone United Methodist Church holds in-person worship Sundays at 9 a.m. and broadcasts on Armstrong channels 23 and 100 and facebook.com/stoneumc.org, with reruns Thursdays at 10 a.m. on Armstrong.

• St. Anthony of Padua, Cambridge Springs, holds Mass today at 4.30pm and Sunday at 9.30am

• St. Bernadette, Saegertown, celebrates Mass at 8 am on Sundays.

• The Saint Hippolyte church in Frenchtown offers a mass on Sundays at 11 a.m.

• St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 25812 Mt. Pleasant Road, Cambridge Springs, has Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. and Sunday school for children in grades 3-6 at 10:15 a.m. Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month. Social distancing is required.

• St. Paul’s Reformed Church, 1070 Park Ave., has services in the church building with a Bible study at 9:30 a.m. and worship at 10:45 a.m. At our gathering, we are following all social distancing guidelines. Alternatively, you can join the live service via Zoom (contact us by email and we will provide you with the link). Additionally, services can be seen on the St. Paul’s Reformed Church in Meadville Facebook page and on Armstrong TV Channel 23 on the first (11 a.m.) and third (10:45 a.m.) Sunday of each month. More information: Call (814) 336-5188 or email [email protected]

• Trinity Lutheran Church, 649 Park Ave., holds Sunday services at 8:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. (also posted on the church’s Facebook page) and Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. The church is following CDC guidelines. More information: Dial (814) 336-2654.

• Trinity United Methodist Church, 240 N. Third St., Conneaut Lake, has Sunday school at 8:45 a.m., followed by worship at 10 a.m.; junior church with Bible lesson and crafts for kids during worship; and the meeting of young seniors immediately after worship.

• The Twelve Apostles Lutheran Church at Euclid Avenue and Erie Street in Saegertown holds services on Sundays at 10:15 am and posts them on Facebook. More information: Contact [email protected] or call (814) 763-5384.

• Meadville Unitarian Universalist Church, 346 Chestnut St., has services Sundays at 10:30 am.

• Guys Mills United Free Evangelical Church, 11534 Route 198, holds in-person services at 10 am on Sundays. Additionally, a live streaming service is available at guysmillschurch.com. Bill Cox is the acting pastor.

• United Faith Fellowship Church of God, 561 State St., Meadville, has in-house services on Sundays at 10 a.m., with the Rev. Beverly Williams, acting pastor; children’s Sunday school, first and third Sundays at 10 a.m.; and Bible study, Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. More information: Call (814) 336-4124.

• Venango United Methodist Church, 21472 Church St., invites all to attend Sunday services at 9:30 am with Pastor Larry Peters officiating. The Services are also provided on Facebook Live.

“The World Is Against Him” ​​Ukrainian Pastor in Missouri Responds to Russian Invasion


SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (KOLR) – Ukrainians across Europe and the United States watched in horror Thursday as Russia’s invasion of their country began with several violent attacks.

A pastor from Springfield, Missouri, originally from Ukraine, says his heartbreak for the Ukrainian people who are now trapped. Peter Golosinski, is the Senior Pastor of Connect Church. He arrived with his family in the United States of America when he was 19 years old.

“We arrived as refugees because my father was a pastor in Ukraine during communist times,” Golosinski said. “So he was in jail for his faith.”

Golosinki says it was shocking that the invasion of Ukraine became a reality.

“Nobody thought this would actually happen,” Golosinki said. We just thought about Putin’s big bluff.

Golosinski says his heart goes out to Ukrainian citizens as they are now trapped.

“All major highways are blocked because people are trying to get out,” Golosinki said. “All airlines have been suspended to and from Ukraine. The only way to get in or out is to flee to Poland.

Golosinki has always been able to keep in touch with his friends and family who are currently in Ukraine. They shared heartbreaking videos about the current state of Ukraine.

“Explosions are everywhere in Ukraine,” Golosinki said. “Russia targets military posts and airports. But it’s all around town. Whether the rocket is flying towards your house or not, you can hear it. Children are crying, people are panicking trying to get out of towns.

Ukraine currently has about 40 million inhabitants. The nation was part of the former Communist Soviet Union throughout the 20th century until that country collapsed in 1991. It was also the center of Eastern Europe’s first Slavic state, Kyivan Rus . The country was the most powerful state in all of Europe during the 900s and 1000s.

Why is Russia invading Ukraine?

“Putin has been in power for almost 20 years,” Golosinki said. “This is in direct contradiction to the constitution of Russia. It would be as if one of our presidents [in the United States] wanted to stay. So what did he do? He changed the constitution. In return, he told the Russians that he would raise their status, to restore their former glory days. And the Russians bought that.

Golosinski says tyrants throughout history have risen to power by lying to their people and making promises they have no intention of keeping.

Thirty years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 2021 and 22 years since Vladimir Putin came to power, Moscow has successfully reasserted itself as the dominant political force and security provider in the region. Only Ukraine and the three Baltic states that became members of both NATO and the European Union in 2004 have managed to escape Moscow’s grip.

In 2014, Russia invaded and then Annex the Crimean Peninsula of Ukraine.

“When he took over Crimea in 2014, he realized there was no real consequence and I think it was just a matter of time,” Golosinski said. “He had this intention for a long time. He was testing the waters and the will of the West. He realized that there were no consequences. He took Crimea why not take Ukraine.

When Putin came to power, he took control of two things: media and energy.

“Whoever controls the media and energy has the power. And that’s what Putin has,” Golosinki said. “Who knows if that will be the last thing on his list to conquer.”

What are we doing to punish Putin?

The United States, the European Union and several other countries and entities have extended their economic sanctions against Russia as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine.

On Thursday, February 24, 2022, President Biden said the United States would cut Sberbank and VTB Bank, two of Russia’s largest banks, and several large companies from Western financial markets. He also announced sweeping restrictions on tech imports and said the United States was freezing trillions of dollars in Russian assets, expanding the crackdown on Russian elites and their families, although Mr Putin was not directly targeted.

Biden told Americans, “Our forces are not and will not be engaged in a conflict with Russia in Ukraine.”

However, Biden also said, “The United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power.”

Ukraine is not a member of the NATO defense alliance, but it is located next to NATO members such as Poland and Romania that the United States is required to defend in the event of an attack. ‘attack.

“The West is now inventing or fighting for ideas, like global warming and other ideas that have no connection to real life,” Golosinki said. “Tyrants are rising and they are real. They do not fight against global warming. They didn’t care. They fight for territory and power. Unless the West finds a way to return to our values, I don’t think we can offer a real solution to Ukraine.

Golosinki says Putin is not afraid and does what he wants to do, good or bad.

Ukrainian resistance

“Russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, like Nazi Germany did in World War II,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted.

President Zelenskyy calls on Ukrainians to defend their country. He said weapons would be given to anyone willing to fight.

Zelenskyy said the country had severed diplomatic relations with Russia. He says the nation’s security is the top priority.

He says Ukraine has made a choice to stand up to Russia and not be intimidated by Putin. However, he thinks that militarily, Ukraine has very little chance of repelling Russia.

“Ordinary citizens can take up arms, but if you are untrained, what kind of resistance against air power can they provide. I think it would definitely unite Ukrainians and bring people closer to each other and to God, knowing that only God can protect them at this point,” Golosinski said.

Despite Russia’s might, the Ukrainians have already shown their willingness to fight back.

“As for the will to fight, I already think the Ukrainians have shown that over the past eight years,” Golosinski said. “[Russia] continues to kill people and constantly fight Ukraine, but Ukraine has shown resilience and the will to fight back.

What will be the long term impacts

Golosinski explained that Ukraine is not a rich country, but it is a vast country.

“Ukraine was booming and people were trying to gain ground and I think Russia was scared of that,” Golosinski said. “It will set Ukraine back economically. Imagine all the building and infrastructure they will have to do.

There is also another concern that could arise: a division among the Ukrainian people.

“I think it will further divide people. A group of people will say that we should never have left Russia and then there will be people who want to be an independent country,” Golosinski said.

Golosinski says Ukraine will have to find its national identity. Will Ukraine be on the side of the West? Will they stand for independence and freedom, or will they give in to Russia?

Golosinski’s message to Putin

“Putin must understand that the world is united against him. When I listen to his speech he gave yesterday, he lives in an invented reality. He believes he is the savior and is free to occupy Ukraine. It is only a matter of time when this machine that is the Russian Federation will collapse. Anything built on bloodlust or the desire to rule and conquer will fail.

Pierre Golosinski

Chocolate Church Arts Center to host ‘Headway’ exhibition featuring Spindleworks artists


“Classic Universal Monsters” by Kevin Babine. Courtesy picture

The Chocolate Church Arts Center presents “Headway”, a group exhibition featuring artists from the Independence Association’s Spindleworks program. The show opens March 4 and runs through April 9 at the Chocolate Church Arts Gallery.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. There will be an open house at the Chocolate Church Arts Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March 31 with representatives from Spindleworks in attendance.

Spindleworks, a non-profit organization, provides self-taught and unique artists with the tools necessary for self-expression and full integration into the artistic community. More than 15 artists will showcase their work in a variety of mediums, from painting to photography, in a show that promises just the kind of vibrancy and color needed at this time of year.

“We are a program of the Independence Association, whose mission is to provide adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to live full and inclusive lives,” says Brian Braley, Senior Program Director. “We provide opportunities for artistic and professional growth in an experiential creative setting. Our artists sell and represent their work whenever possible, which is an important source of income.

Artists often work collaboratively on projects such as murals, art installations, and poetry books, but they also create their own work based on their personal desires and goals.

“Art gives us energy to supercharge our self-esteem, explore self-identity, develop value, increase communication, form new friendships, nourish our spirit, strengthen our courage, dissolve boundaries and enrich our imagination,” Braley said.

CCAC curator Kimberly Becker has been a long-time Brunswick Spindleworks fan. “The CCAC has done exhibitions in the past with them, and I was so delighted with the work that I contacted Spindleworks when I became a curator here to organize an exhibition,” she said. “This group of artists create art without preconceptions, and the results are wonderful.”

Spindleworks supports 50 artists from surrounding communities including Bath, Brunswick, Richmond, Topsham, Freeport, Sidney, Portland, Wiscasset and beyond.

Braley named the show “Headway” in “the spirit of hope”.

“The pandemic has been a difficult time for us and we have learned to adapt to an ever-changing environment,” he said. “Regardless of the restrictions, we finally feel like we can happily move forward no matter what the world throws at us.”

” Previous

CBCP urges Filipinos to stand up for the truth amid distortion of history and ‘pandemic of lies’

Gaea Katreena Cabico – Philstar.com

February 25, 2022 | 10:36

MANILA, Philippines – On the 36th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, the Philippine Conference of Catholic Bishops has urged Filipinos to discern what is true and good amid what it has called a “pandemic of lies”.

In a pastoral letter for the upcoming elections in May, the country’s Catholic bishops also warned Filipinos against historical revisionism and the distortion of truth.

“Dear brothers and sisters, let us defend the truth. Remember: kindness without truth is pretense. Service without truth is manipulation. There can be no justice without truth. Even in charity, without truth, there is only sentimentality,” the CBCP said in a letter published Friday.

“An election or any process that is not based on truth is nothing but a deception and cannot be trusted,” he added.

The bishops also said they were appalled by the “radical” distortion of history or its denial, misinformation and disinformation and the proliferation of troll farms.

“A failure to respect the truth is a failure to respect freedom. When we ignore the truth, we ignore our accountability. Can we fight corruption if there is no truth? We must be ready to face the truth about ourselves,” they said.

Martial law is not an invention

The letter, signed by CBCP President and Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, was released as the country commemorates the 36th anniversary of a peaceful uprising that toppled the dictatorship of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., whose the two-decade reign saw an outright violation of human rights. and the massive looting of state coffers.

His son and namesake is leading the presidential race, according to opinion polls, despite the clan’s history.

The bishops said many of them witnessed the injustice and cruelty of Elder Marcos’ martial law. “All of this is written in our history.”

“We are alarmed by this distortion of the truth of history and the attempt to erase or destroy our collective memory through the sowing of lies and false narratives. It is dangerous, because it poisons our collective conscience and destroys the moral foundations of our institutions,” they said.

The CBCP also stressed that the people power revolution was not the invention of one person or one party.

“It was a fruit of love of neighbor and of faith. With you, we were just part of it… It was a triumph of all the Filipino people,” he said.

Dialogue, discernment

As the campaigns for the upcoming elections heat up, the Catholic Bishops have urged Filipinos to engage in dialogue and discernment.

“Listen to your conscience. Be the ones who decide. We trust in your ability to discern what is true and good. We all seek the common good,” CBCP said.

“And, in the light of the Gospel of Jesus, let us follow the path of truth, goodness, justice and peace, and not the path of violence, revenge or evil.

Kansas church connects Zoom and in-person worshipers, elects new vestry member from online worshipers – Episcopal News Service


A worshiper from St. Luke’s, Wamego, Kansas, turns to see who is joining the service via Zoom before worship begins on February 13, 2022. Photo: Eric Benson

[Episcopal News Service] Amid conversations about whether churches should abandon online worship options developed because of COVID-19 or keep them, a small church in the Diocese of Kansas discovered that its online presence had not only maintained its community together during the pandemic, but had also attracted new people, some of whom live hundreds of miles away. And in what could be a first for the Episcopal Church, the congregation has elected an online member to its sacristy.

When St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Wamego, Kansas, suspended in-person worship in March 2020, its rector, the Reverend Casey Rohleder, worried that live streaming would not keep his parish community of 60 members connected. , she told Episcopal News Service. Instead, they gathered using Zoom, with each participant’s name and, if desired, an image, appearing in boxes on the screen. Rohleder said that to his surprise, “people started joining who weren’t our Sunday regulars in person.”

Among them were Denise Thornton and her husband, Mace, who live in the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, Missouri. They had been active at an Episcopal church in Virginia before Mace Thornton’s work took them to St. Louis in late 2019. Denise Thornton told ENS that at the start of the pandemic they tried to watch live worship streams, but felt the services lacked a sense of community. they had known.

Denise Thornton grew up Presbyterian in Wamego, and through a Facebook chat with a childhood friend who had started attending St. Luke’s, the couple also began worshiping there via Zoom. They loved it and became regulars, joining what has grown to a dozen online worshipers who make up about a third of the congregation’s average Sunday attendance. They also began paying tithing, attending Bible studies, discussing movies, and reading lessons during worship. In August 2021, the Thorntons made the 700-mile round trip to attend the funeral of a parishioner they had come to know and love. It was the only time they were inside the church building.

Denise Thornton, who lives in Chesterfield, Missouri, and participates in Sunday worship and other parish activities, was recently elected to St. Luke’s vestry. Photo: Courtesy of Denise Thornton

And for Denise Thornton, online worship not only provides a real sense of community; it also protects her. The medications she takes to manage rheumatoid arthritis weaken her immune system. “I have to be really, really careful,” she said. “Catching COVID would be a serious risk.

When St. Luke’s Sacristy began discussing who might have the leadership skills and spiritual formation to fill an upcoming vacancy, someone suggested Denise Thornton, and the members unanimously agreed, said Rohleder, who then checked the canons and consulted with Kansas Bishop Cathleen Bascom to see if anything prohibited Thornton’s election. Denise Thornton ran unchallenged and was elected to the vestry on February 6. His election “seemed groundbreaking,” Rohleder said.

As a member of the vestry, Thornton wants to watch over everyone in the church, but feels especially protective of the congregation online, “partly because of its importance in my life, but I see the importance that ‘she can have in many other lifetimes’. St. Luke’s online presence could be helpful to people like her who just can’t be in church, especially those with serious illnesses or who are in nursing homes, he said. she declared.

Even after St. Luke returned to full-time in-person worship in February 2021, the church worked hard to include Zoom parishioners like the Thorntons, Rohleder said. During services, the Zoom screen is projected onto the back wall of the nave, so that attendees can see and hear everything that happens and, just as importantly, can be seen by those in the pews and at the altar. Sometimes an online worshiper serves as a reader. During the passage of peace, some parishioners will pass in front of the camera to greet the online community. Even coffee time isn’t neglected, Rohleder said — the Zoom community is on a TV screen in the church hall with a table microphone and camera nearby, so those in person can chat with those in line.

When asked if they had discussed connecting with a church near them, Thornton said they had and decided against it. “We are very comfortable at St. Luke’s and with Mother Casey,” she says. “Maybe years later we might feel differently. Right now our needs are totally met with St. Luke’s.

Thornton appreciates the value of people being physically together, “but that’s not the end of it at all, because for some people that’s not an option.” she says. “Who said we only need to commune one way? What would Christ say? He met people not only in the temple, but on mountains and other places. Would he have preached on Zoom? He went where the people were. And many of us need to be on Zoom.

– Melodie Woerman is a freelance writer and former director of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas.

Church News: Feb. 24, 2022 | The Daily Courier


Editor’s Note — Please submit Church News items of 50 words or less for the page through a form on dCourier.com (www.dcourier.com/faith-values) to allow more churches and events to participate. Listings will be in print as space allows; all publish online.

Happenings and sermons at Prescott-area churches, congregations and places of worship, as of Feb. 23, 2022:

  • Prescott Unitarian Universalist Fellowship —Rev. Joe Donatone of East Shore UU Church challenges: “As we look to spring cleaning our house, let us also look to decluttering the wear and tear of our lives, and keep only the simple gifts that spark joy and time to live,” Feb. 27 at 11 am Zoom: https://puuf.net/sunday-programs/.

  • Trinity-Presbyterianwww.aztrinitypres.org, 928-445-4536 — Ash Wednesday, Imposition of Ashes Service at noon March 2. Join us for a time of worship pointing us toward the hope and promise of the good news through the cross of Jesus Christ.

  • Solid Rock Christian Fellowship — Join us in person or online Sundays at 8:30/10:30 am This week, Pastor Matt continues our series, “The Gospel Path” (Ephesians 3:14-21). Join us as we consider God’s good news for us. Find us at 148 S. Marina St., downtown Prescott, or at SolidRockPrescott.org.

  • Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 7763 E. Long Look Drive, PV — Worship services at 9 and 11 am Live streaming and masking for safety. All are welcome. Free takeout mealFeb. 25. Ash Wednesday Service March 2 at 7 pm Additional Ash distribution March 2 at 11, noon and 1 pm

  • Calvary Chapel of Prescott, 2313 E. Highway 69 — Join us in person or online as we continue in our study of the book of Hebrews. Sundays, 8:30 and 10:30 am and Wednesdays at 6:30. Children’s and Youth Ministry Sunday, 10:30 am; and Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. www.calvaryprescott.com.

  • Mountaintop Christian Fellowship, 1519 W. Gurley St. — Join us for worship every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Check out our children’s wing, complete with indoor playground. Wednesday Night Service at 6. Women’s Ministry Tuesdays at 6 pm Men’s Ministry Wednesdays at 6 am www.mountaintopchristianfellowship.org or on Facebook.

  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church invite you to join in worship, visit www.slecp.org for information. Sunday School for ALL ages. Our food pantry accepts donations Thursdays, 2 to 4 pm, and welcomes the public Fridays, 9 am to noon for pickup. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.”

  • Saving Grace LCMS, 440 W. Palomino Road, Chino Valley. savinggracelutherancvaz.org. 928-636-9533 — “Women of Grace” providing music 10 am Transfiguration Sunday Worship; 11:30 a.m. “Closer Look.” “From Pancakes to Ashes” Shrove Tuesday (Pancake) Supper, March 1, 5 pm Contact the church if interested in attending. 9:30 am Wednesdays Women’s Bible Study “Where Love Abides.”

  • St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 600 W. Hillside Ave., Prescott, is growing by leaps and bounds! Come see how we can make a difference in your life with our traditional services and friendly congregation using the 1928 Book of Common Prayer; 10:30 a.m. Sundays; 10 a.m. Wednesdays; and Potluck every third Sunday.

  • B’rith Shalom Temple, Prescott — Join us Friday, Feb. 25, for Shabbat Services at 6 pm in person or on Zoom. Join us for Torah Study at 10 am Saturday. For more information or if you have a child interested in religious school, call 928-708-0018 or email [email protected]

  • Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (LCMS) — Visit us on YouTube/Facebook. Our Sunday worship is at 9:30 am followed by coffee, fellowship and then Bible study for adults and Sunday school for youngsters. On Tuesdays is an adult Bible study at 10 am Fridays we have a women’s bible study at 9:30 am

  • Unity of Prescott, 145 S. Arizona Ave. 928-445-1850. www.unityprescott.org — Sunday services at 9 and 11 am Rev. Richard Rogers’ message on Sunday, Feb. 27, is “Love Opens the Door.” All are welcome! Music performed by the Unity Choir. Please check our website for mask policy.

  • Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation meets at 10 am Sunday, Feb. 27, in our building and online (www.prescottuu.org). Rev. Doug Bland: “Love is a Garden” explores stories to help bridge political, cultural and religious divides through tales of common air, water and food on which all life depends.

  • Alliance Bible Church, 2601 W. Iron Springs Road, Prescott. 928-776-1549 Livestream: www.abcprescott.com — A church family where you belong! Sunday ministries for children! This Sunday Pastor John‘s message will be “My Way or the High Way” (James 4). Sunday service at 9:30 am Coffee fellowship after the service.

  • The Center for Spiritual Living, 3755 Willow Creek Road, inclusive spiritual community, honors all faiths nurturing personal transformation. Sunday Meditation at 10 followed by service featuring local musicians at 10:30. Youth Program at 10:30. www.CSLPrescott.org, 928-778-1602. Also online: www.facebook.com/CSLPrescott/ or YouTube CSL Prescott.

  • Beit Torah, www.onetorah.org — Shabbat Shekalim, Parashat VaYachel: Saturday, Feb. 26, discusses modern tabernacles and supporting our communities. Free 5782 calendars available! Free cotton masks! Arrange consultations or discussions by phone, online, email, ext: 928-237-0390, 227-0582, [email protected] [new email]. Safety for all first! Wear masks! Vaccinate if possible!

  • Starting Point Church — Join us this weekend for our current series in the life of Peter. Our Saturday service is at 5 pm and our Sunday service is at 10:10 am Saturday has childcare and Sunday has kids church. We’re located next to Bed, Bath & Beyond. Visit www.mysp.church.

  • Heights Church is now in Prescott and Prescott Valley! Whether you join us online, in Prescott, or in Prescott Valley, we’re excited to step into the purpose we have been created for. To learn how you can gather with us, visit us online at heightschurch.com.

  • Prescott United Methodist Church, 505 W. Gurley St., Prescott — In-person worship and live streaming on Facebook, Saturdays at 5 pm, and Sundays at 9 and 10:30 am Join us weekdays for Prayer Time at 2 pm, Unhurried Spanish Devotionals Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. on Facebook, facebook.com/prescottumc/videos. 928-778-1950.

  • The Flock Church — Come worship Jesus with us Sunday morning at 10. We meet at The Prescott Vibes Event Center at 6200 N. Highway 89, Prescott. www.theflockchurch.com.

  • Prescott Church of the Nazarene, www.prescottnazarene.com — Join us for Sunday worship at 9 and 10:30 am We welcome you to a place you can belong. A place to worship grow and serve Christ.

  • Mystical Spiritualist Church — Spiritualism for the 21st Century! We meet the first and third Sundays at 10 am at Collective Alchemies, 211 Grove Ave., Prescott. Please enter through the backdoor. For more info, call Pastor John-Aaron at 928-274-5245.

  • The Prescott SDA Church, 2989 Willow Creek Road, has two worship services on Saturdays; 9 am is a smaller service for distancing, 11:15 is a full worship service. At 10 there is an adult bible study class and programs for youth and kids and kids church once a month. https://prescottaz.adventistchurch.org.

  • Mingus View Presbyterian Church, 8340 E. Leigh, Prescott Valley — Sunday Worship: 10 am Also on Facebook. Masks optional. We look forward to having you join us. Food pantry open 9 to 11 am Mondays. All are welcome.

  • Mountain Reformed Church — Worship with us every Sunday at 10:30 am at Prescott Valley Library Auditorium. Enjoy a peaceful, traditional service with classic hymns and beautiful choral music. The messages from God’s Word are to-the-point and applicable to today’s life experience. Come and worship with us! www.mountainreformed.org.

  • American Lutheran Church, 1085 Scott Drive, Prescott, is open. No reservations. Sunday Traditional, 8 and 10:30 am; Contemporary, 9 and 10:30 am; ALC Kids, 10:30 am “The Rock” Youth Center, 655 Talwatha by Prescott High School: high school students, 6 pm Wednesdays; middle school, 6 p.m. Thursdays. 928-445-4348.

  • Christian Science Society, 410 E. Gurley St., Prescott — Sunday services and Sunday school are at 10 am Wednesday services are at 1 pm The Reading Room is open Tuesdays from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, and Thursdays from 10 am to noon. All are welcome.

  • Dewey-Humboldt Church of Christ, meeting at 1133 Old Chisholm Trail, Prescott Country Club, offers 10 am Bible study and 11 am worship service Sundays. Bible-based worship includes communion, prayer, A cappella singing, scripture reading and teaching. Come learn from the scriptures. For more information, call 928-458-8287 or visit www.dewey-humboldtchurchofchrist.com.

  • Firm Foundation Bible Church — Join us Sundays at 10 am for great expository preaching by Pastor Lloyd Murphy. Check out our website at FirmFoundationPV.org for information on our many mid-week activities. We’re located at 8933 Florentine Road.

  • First Congregational Church, 216 E. Gurley St., Prescott, is following CDC guidance and returning to mask wearing at the 10:30 am Sunday worship service. All are welcome. 928-445-4555. Groups that meet at the church are still on hold until the virus is under control.

  • Living Waters Church, 8075 N. Prescott Ridge Road, Prescott Valley — Weekly services in person or online Sundays, 10 am We provide masks, hand sanitizer and seating to allow for social distancing. Nursery and kids’ church. Youth on Wednesdays, 6 p.m. Join us! Visit www.livingwaterspv.com or find us on social media.

  • Prescott Valley United Methodist Church is inviting old and new members to return for worship. Masks are suggested but not required. No one will be turned away. We miss you. 8944 E. Sommer Drive, Prescott Valley. Service starts at 10:15 a.m. Sundays. Hope to see you soon.

  • St. George Orthodox Church — Over 2,000 years ago! That is when our church started. Have you ever wondered how the early church worshipped? Come and see! The only difference will be the sermon. Come and hear the oldest hymns in Christendom. Service starts at 9:30. prescottorthodox.com.

  • St. Luke Ebony Christian Church, 12191 E. Turquoise Circle, Dewey — Kendra Hobson, pastor/teacher. Sunday service at 11:30 am with a non-denominational diverse congregation, we welcome everyone to join us as we exalt our Lord and savior Jesus Christ through prayer, praise, sermon and music. Pastor Kendra Hobson: 480-606-8609.

  • The Salvation Army, 237 S. Montezuma, Prescott, has been meeting serving physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our community for over 125 years. We have Adult Sunday School at 9:30 and worship services at 11. Come just as you are, everyone is welcome.

  • Willow Hills Baptist Church — Worship in our gym, social distancing, Sundays at 8 am and 9:30 am with choir and orchestra. Contemporary service is at 11:15 am Sunday school classes are available for adults during each worship hour. Children and youth Sunday school at 9:30 am AWANA-children at 5 pm Sundays.

  • Yahshua Mayim Chayim Ministry (YMCM) is the Sacred Name, Hebraic Roots, Torah Observant Congregation in Northern Arizona proclaiming biblical truth, as it was taught by Yahshua and His disciples. YMCM obeys and teaches the Commandments of Yahweh and Yahshua Ha Mashiach. Pastor Jun Francke, 928-277-7215, www.ymcm.org/contact-us.

  • 25 years later, victims of the Legion of Christ seek reparations


    VATICAN CITY – A Connecticut newspaper uncovered one of the Catholic Church’s biggest sex abuse scandals when it reported 25 years ago on Wednesday that eight men accused the revered founder of the religious order the Legion of Christ of raped and assaulted as boys preparing for the priesthood.

    It took a decade for the Vatican to sanction the founder, the Reverend Marcial Maciel, and another decade for the Legion to admit he was a serial pedophile who raped at least 60 boys. In the meantime, the original whistleblowers suffered a smear campaign from the Legion, which branded them liars bent on creating a plot to harm a man believed to be a living saint.

    As they marked a quarter century of revelations that tarnished the legacy of Saint John Paul II, three of Maciel’s victims are still seeking reparations from the Legion to compensate for the abuse they suffered and the “moral” wrong. ” caused to their reputation by the order.

    They had refused previous offers of compensation that fellow survivors had accepted, and a mediation process that began in 2019 has stalled, according to emails and documents provided to The Associated Press.

    In 2010, the Vatican took over the Mexico-based Legion and forced a reform process after an investigation showed Maciel sexually abused seminarians and fathered at least three children with two women. The Vatican discovered that it had created a system of power based on silence, deceit and obedience that allowed it to lead a double life.

    The findings were by no means new to the Holy See: Documents from the Vatican archives show how a succession of popes, cardinals and bishops from the 1950s onward simply turned a blind eye to credible reports that Maciel was a con artist, drug addict, pedophile, and religious fraud. The Vatican and especially John Paul, however, appreciated his ability to attract vocations and donations.

    The reality of Maciel’s depravity burst into the public domain on February 23, 1997, when The Hartford Courant published a lengthy exposé by investigative journalists Jason Berry and the late Gerald Renner on Maciel and the Order, whose US headquarters was based in Connecticut.

    The story, which formed the basis of a 2004 book “Vows of Silence”, cited several victims by name who independently reported that Maciel would bring them to his room at night and, under the pretense of abdominal pain, would incite him to subdue him.

    “When The Courant published the lengthy investigative piece Renner and I did on Maciel, we thought Pope John Paul II would see the light and punish Maciel,” Berry told the AP in an email. . He noted that other mainstream media only began reporting on clergy sexual abuse after the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” revelations in 2002. “At that time, John’s blind faith Paul en Maciel was a cover by any other term and lasted until his death.”

    A year after Courant’s original story, in 1998, the victims filed a formal canonical complaint against Maciel with the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where the case languished until John’s death. Paul. Maciel was sentenced in 2006 to a life of “penance and prayer”, and he died in 2008, still considered a saint by the Legion.

    Following the Vatican-mandated reform process, the Legion has apologized and attempted to make amends, even as it has been forced to deal with revelations from a new generation of abusers within its ranks. – some of whom are Maciel’s first victims – and superiors who covered up the crimes, some of whom remain in power.

    In 2020, the Legion publicly retracted the “negative institutional and personal judgments about the character and motives of those who made legitimate and necessary accusations” in the Courant’s original exposition. Naming the first victims, he said “Today we recognize as prophetic their charges for truth and justice.”

    But Jose Barba, one of the eight most vocal survivors, wants the Legion to formally retract what he calls the “lies” of the order given to the Courant to discredit him and the other victims. They include what he says is a forged letter from a Chilean bishop who investigated Maciel in the 1950s, and false statements from four Mexicans who claimed the victims tried to enlist them in a plot against Maciel.

    Barba, who says he represents fellow survivors Arturo Jurado and Jose Antonio Perez Olvera, wrote a proposed letter to the Courant and the Vatican newspaper he wanted the Legion to submit to withdraw the claims. But the Legion’s superior, the Reverend Eduardo Robles-Gil, refused during a December 2019 mediation meeting in Mexico City, Barba said.

    In a summary of that Jan. 4, 2020 meeting, Barba said the Legion’s initial calculation of a five-figure settlement offer for each of the three remaining victims was a “humiliation,” and he offered a team of five. arbitration experts to determine a fairer remedy.

    Robles-Gil signed the summary but wrote, “I receive this without agreeing to the process which is requested and it remains for our consideration whether to accept it or not.”

    The Legion’s new superior, Reverend John Connor, unsuccessfully attempted to engage Barba after his election in February 2020, sending two letters that remained unanswered until Barba emailed him on January 5, 2021 , seeking to relaunch negotiations.

    Connor assured her that he wanted to “find ways to help heal and close the painful events in the history of our congregation”. But in an email, Connor said Barba’s proposal for five arbitration experts would not help “find a common solution”.

    Barba never answered. “I don’t trust them because it’s not in good faith,” he told the AP.

    In a statement to the AP, Legion spokesman Reverend Aaron Smith noted that the order had reached agreements with most historical victims and hoped for a resolution with the others.

    “We are saddened that the meeting has still not taken place, especially given the positive experience of meeting with other victims of Father Maciel,” Smith said in a statement. “We continue to remain hopeful that this will take place in the near future allowing for an open dialogue with him.”

    Barba, meanwhile, says he is getting old and his two colleagues are sick. As they are hailed by ex-legionnaires as “los 8 Magnificos” (the Magnificent Eight) for standing up to Maciel and the order, Barba recalls a November 8, 1997 letter that he and the others wrote to John Paul, translated into Polish, asking the pope to hear their pain and do something.

    “It seems inconceivable to us, Holy Father, that our grave revelations and complaints mattered absolutely to you,” they wrote, according to a copy of the letter provided to the AP. “We want the church and society to understand that all we want is justice: not just for legitimate personal vindication, but for the good of the church and society.”

    The new vocation of a preacher: diversifying research in neuroscience


    Ohen I pastored a large Baptist church, people often came to me for help. These requests typically related to domestic relationships, grief trauma, or spiritual counseling. But the call from a young woman in my congregation to become a cancer researcher resonates with the new work I have been doing since my last sermon as pastor in August 2021.

    At the time, the woman was a student at Hampton University, a historically black school in Hampton, Virginia. She told me that she wanted to become a cancer researcher, but she didn’t know how to get into this field. I connected her with other members of the church who work in biomedical research, as well as leaders at the University of Maryland whom I had come to know through my work with the church. and the community. Today, she works in the cancer research division at Johns Hopkins University.

    She shouldn’t have had to come to her pastor for this help. Instead, a clear path and ladder of advancement should have been clearly visible to her and other science students of color. People seeking to work in labs or with patients should not be dependent on who-knows-who favors the most privileged. Instead, finding the path to medical research should be based on a person’s desire to know and help others.


    After leaving my post as pastor of Union Baptist Church of Baltimore in 2021, I have focused on serving my community in a different way: ensuring that the benefits of neuroscience reach more people of color by ensuring that they conduct research and participate in clinical studies. trials and research. This work, which began three years ago, is the fruit of a winding journey, stimulated by a few childhood experiences, my meeting with the young woman who wanted to be a cancer researcher, and events.

    I first saw the need for better medical care and a better understanding of brain science in the African American community in the experiences of my older brother, Charles, who was born with a developmental disability that required special care. Throughout his life, our family and community rallied to provide support, but I always wondered if there were any treatments or care that might have helped Charles if the science had been better.


    When I was in seminary, I met Patricia Outlaw, a doctor of ministry and psychologist. She walked into the classroom to teach one day in a tracksuit, explaining that she had just come from the National Institutes of Health, where she was participating in an aging study that tracked the health of a range of participants for decades. She explained that she became involved in this study because there was a critical need for more African American participants. My wife and I signed up to participate and are still participating 20 years later.

    Over the years, as I interacted with African American scientists in my church and across Maryland and beyond, I realized that if medical science is to benefit everyone, it is essential to engage a more diverse group of people to participate in and lead the research.

    To be clear, despite the fact that humans of all races and backgrounds are approximately 99.9% genetically identical, the 0.1% difference varies by ancestry and may contain responses to patterns that emerge between races, geographies or demographic groups. These slight variations may explain why some people are more likely to suffer from certain diseases and others less likely. When science focuses on the genomes of people of European descent – ​​as it overwhelmingly has – information that benefits everyone is missed.

    President Obama launched the Precision Medicine Initiative to recognize that one-size-fits-all approaches to disease and treatment are not suitable for all individuals based on ancestral, social, and cultural differences. It’s not just a scientific question. It is also a matter of social justice.

    This reality is what led me to launch the African Ancestry Neuroscience Research Initiative (AANRI), a partnership between community leaders, Morgan State University and the Lieber Institute for Brain Development. The focus on neuroscience stems from two key facts.

    The first is that many mental illnesses are more common among people of African descent than among those of European descent. African Americans are 20% more likely to have serious mental health problems than the general population and twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Yet only about 5% of participants in brain disorder research studies belong to underrepresented racial or ethnic groups.

    The second fact is that African-American scientists only make up about 4% of neuroscience PhDs, according to the Society for Neuroscience. In the United States, only 3% of neuroscience postdocs and 1% of neuroscience faculty members are African American. Diversity must be part of those who design and conduct medical research, as well as those who participate in it.

    In an AANRI collaboration, scientists from the Lieber Institute are working with their existing genomic dataset on people of African descent. One of the team members is a graduate student from Morgan State University who will complete her master’s thesis at Lieber. This is an example of a way to engage more students of African descent in neuroscience while creating more diversity among the populations studied by scientists.

    As science leaders work to make this vast enterprise more diverse and inclusive, communities of color need to be involved early in the scientific process and throughout its entirety. Communities most affected by a disease, or those that have been excluded from medical research, must have a central voice in shaping the future of research. This is what makes involving more African Americans in medical research a matter of social justice. Efforts to make science more diverse, inclusive and equitable that do not view science as a participatory process will continue to fail.

    As a pastor, I have often preached about the power and potential of individuals and communities. My latest calling, working to ensure that those who shape the future of science are not selected by chance, chance encounters or paths that are only accessible and visible to some, is not so different.

    Rev. Alvin C. Hathaway, Sr., is the executive director of the African Ancestry Neuroscience Research Initiative and pastor emeritus of Union Baptist Church in Baltimore.

    Pastor Ferndale makes controversial remarks about BLM, LGBTQ on radio – Times-Standard


    A Ferndale pastor who placed anti-gay rhetoric on the sign outside his church last summer recently decried the Black Lives Matter movement for spreading ‘sexual immorality’, ‘racism’ and endorsing ‘immigration illegal” during a radio broadcast.

    Pastor Tyrel Bramwell of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church appeared to confuse the decentralized Black Lives Matter movement with the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc, which is a Delaware-based charity. Bramwell used just over two and a half minutes of community comment time on radio station KINS 106.3 FM to explicitly express anti-gay sentiment woven into his criticisms invoking the scriptures of Black Lives Matter.

    “Now being black is definitely not bad. God shows no partiality among the various ethnicities of the world. We are all equal in his eyes. Christ died for everyone, regardless of skin color, but the word of God says queer and trans behavior is sinful. The Holy Scriptures are very clear about the evils of sexual immorality,” Bramwell told the radio.

    Bramwell Church was picketed last year after it posted a sign outside the building saying “Hurt by LGBTQ culture? Heal here. Following the posting of the sign, a rally took place in the streets of Ferndale.

    Bramwell noted that February is Black History Month and some might call it insensitive to what he was about to say, but that sensitivity was not his goal.

    “In today’s cultural climate, a white man is not supposed to be able to say that stuff. Because of my pale complexion, many leftists would call me a racist to be honest about the BLM organization,” Bramwell said.

    In an email response to The Times-Standard, Bramwell said, “This is the second time my words have angered parts of Humboldt County. I don’t want to disturb my neighbors. There are some topics that are difficult to talk about, but they still need to be addressed in loving service to others.

    Lark Doolan, director of Queer Humboldt, noted that “diversity is something to be valued, not feared or even simply tolerated. In nature, biodiversity strengthens ecosystems. Among humans, diversity makes our communities stronger.

    “He can have his opinion. Meanwhile, Queer, Black, Indigenous, Latina/Latina, Asian, and Pacific Islander people in our county will continue to love, express our cultures, and live as ourselves. We continue to help our young people become healthy, happy and active members of our communities. We know there is hate, but love is stronger,” Doolan said in an email.

    The Eureka NAACP did not respond to a request for comment by the print deadline.

    Jackson Guilfoil can be reached at 707-441-0506.

    In Memoriam: Dr. James “Jimmy” Joseph Fargo


    Dr. James Joseph Fargo, DDS, aka Jimmy, 73, died on January 26, 2022 in Germantown, WI of complications from cancer.

    Jim was with family and friends when he died at his brother John’s home.

    Jim was born August 30, 1948 in Milwaukee, WI to Mary C (Frkovich) and Joseph J. Fargo. He graduated from Washington High School in Milwaukee, class of 1966.

    Jim joined the U.S. Army and was a Vietnam veteran, serving in the 18th Brigade of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; 20th Combat Engineer Battalion; and the 815th Construction Battalion as a surveyor in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968.

    After returning to Virginia, he married Antoinette M. Yeash on November 22, 1969 at her home in Brownsville, PA. They resided in Arlington, Virginia, where Jim attended American College and worked for the Virginia Electric Power Company. Jim entered Georgetown University and graduated as a dentist, class of 1981.

    His dental office was in Falls Church, Virginia for over 30 years until his retirement. Jim was an avid golfer and organic gardener, writing many gardening articles.

    He was one of seven children. Jim is predeceased by his parents, Mary and Joseph J. Fargo, his sister Michalene M. Kilbusy, his brother Frederick L. Fargo and his ex-wife Antoinette M. Fargo. He is survived by his sister Patricia M. Goff of Roswell, NM; brother John A. and Susan Fargo of Longmont, CO; brother Gregory A. Fargo of Thousand Oaks, California; and many nieces and nephews. Jim had no children. He moved to Wisconsin four years ago.

    Jim will be sadly missed by two special friends, Jennie Jonasey and Kerin Knudsen of Falls Church, VA, as well as many colleagues and our entire family. No service is provided according to his wishes.

    Let’s keep this Lent a secret // The Observer


    Next week will see the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. This means that for 40 days, not counting Sundays, the Church will enter its annual period of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

    So how are we going to join our brothers in this observance? The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) sets out the five precepts of the Church, stating the “indispensable minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort” (CCC 2041). The fourth of these precepts says: “You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church” (CCC 2043).

    What are these days of fasting and abstinence? We turn to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which notes that “[a]abstinence from meat…must be observed every Friday, unless a solemnity falls on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting must be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday” (Canon 1251).

    Wait … all Fridays? Like throughout the year?

    Yes, Meatless Fridays are still widespread in many other countries around the world, but each national bishops’ conference “may further determine the observance of fasting and abstinence as well as substitute them for other forms of penance. , especially works of charity and exercise”. of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fasting”, according to the Code of Canon Law. And in its Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence in 1966, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did just that, stating first that “the obligation both to fast and to abstain from meat … still binds Ash Wednesday and Good Friday” and “we have preserved for our dioceses the tradition of abstinence from meat on each of the Fridays of Lent”, but continuing to “emphasize that our people are henceforth free from the traditionally binding obligation under pain of sin regarding Friday abstinence, except as noted above for Lent.

    While we the faithful are called, on Fridays outside Lent, to substitute “other penitential observances” if we decide not to abstain from meat, and more generally to understand that “Friday should be in each week some thing of what Lent is all year round,” it means that we Catholics in the United States have been excused from our obligation under canon law to abstain from meat every Friday of the year.

    So, to sum up: We fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and we are required to abstain from meat on Friday during Lent. All Catholics over the age of 14 must abstain from meat on appropriate days. Catholics between the ages of 18 and 60 must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (Code of Canon Law 1252). All this is more or less simple.

    But what about this personal devotional practice of “giving something for Lent”? Well, dear reader, allow me to dwell on my platform of the week: In a season whose spirit is that of penance, let’s not fall into the temptation of one-upmanship.

    Here is the dilemma. Jesus tells us, quite emphatically, that when you fast you must “anoint your head and wash your face.” But how often do we tell others what we have given up for Lent?

    Sometimes we don’t even want to do that. Take my Lenten experience two years ago as an example. I’ve decided to ditch all dark-colored soft drinks (call it soda if you like, cheat if you like), but as anyone who knows me knows how my food preferences and of drink are locked up, I opt for a drink other than a root beer or a variety of Cherry Coke was to arouse suspicion. Inquiries were raised, and I was thus compelled to reveal that I had renounced these things for Lent. I have “received my reward,” to end Christ’s exhortation. A piece of advice I probably need to take to myself too: Lent is not about proving ourselves to others.

    But Lent is not about letting go of bad tendencies in our lives either. What? Scandalous! I hear your preliminary indignation, dear reader. But keep reading. Yes, it’s not the worst idea in the world to use Ash Wednesday as a stepping stone to bettering ourselves for the rest of our lives. Still, there are two pitfalls for the unwise to give up a bad habit (like gossip, negativity, or worse) for Lent.

    Since Lent temporally ends at Easter, either (1) we succumb to the temptation to start this bad habit at the end of Lent, which really misses the point, or (2) we continue not to do that bad thing, which is great, but we really gave that bad thing away for good rather than just for Lent.

    But worst of all, the concept of giving up something for Lent causes us to temper our collective joy too much when something great falls during Lent. All the social conventions surrounding whether someone who gave something for Lent should accept their exclusion from certain aspects of the collective celebration in the name of increasing their penance, or whether someone with a Lenten celebration should simply temper his celebration because it’s Lent, because make me groan in exasperation.

    Perhaps the solution is to look at Jesus’ command to anoint our heads and wash our faces when we fast. My challenge to you this Lent is this: whatever you renounce, keep it a secret. Don’t tell anyone what you are doing or when you are doing it. And let’s banish the six-word phrase “I gave that up for Lent” from our collective vocabulary. If someone offers you the thing you gave up? Accept it, appreciate your community of people and let this indulgence, linked to your penance, make us grow in the love and service of God and each other.

    Of course, don’t go looking for that sort of thing; which also misses the point. And none of that advice applies to the things we all do as a large Catholic community to commemorate Lent (fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, or abstaining from meat on Fridays in Lent), because if someone asks why we do these things, it’s a critical evangelism opportunity. In these situations, we can explain that Christ suffered and died for our sins to free us from the bonds of death, so we unite our small penitential sufferings of Lent with His great ones. What is the difference? When we brag about our personal Lenten practices, we become like the people Jesus denounces for flaunting their fast. But we cannot claim any real credit for doing what the Church asks of us during Lent – ​​as the Catechism says, it is the “very necessary minimum”. May this Lent be filled with blessings and many secret penances!

    Devin is a member of the Class of 2023 at Notre Dame Law School. A native of Farwell, Michigan, he graduated in 2020 from James Madison College at Michigan State University. In his spare time, he sings with the Notre Dame Folk Choir and discusses the day’s legal developments with anyone who will listen. Inquiries about its surplus of law journal articles and note ideas can be directed to [email protected] Where @DevinJHumphreys on Twitter.

    The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

    Tags: American Catholicism, Ash Wednesday, Catechism, Catholic Doctrine, Catholic Teachings, Lent, Slow Sacrifice, Penance, personal choice

    Bretheran Church community gets wish as Wagga Council approves their ‘little meeting hall’


    A 3D image of the proposed meeting room. Photo: Adaptive interiors.

    The Plymouth Brethren Church community of Lake Albert breathes a sigh of relief after Wagga Wagga Town Council narrowly approved its application for the development of a ‘small meeting hall’ at 53 Gregadoo Road during the meeting of the board on Monday 14 February.

    The church meeting hall development is on a 2518 square meter block. Council staff recommended the development for approval as they believed it complied with the provisions of local planning legislation and could limit hours of use with conditions of consent.

    One of the opponents of the development was local resident Andrew Behan who called the development “a church in house disguise” and challenged earlier inferences that the opponents were motivated by a distaste for the Brethren Church community. .

    “Our opposition is not about religion, it’s about conformity,” Behan said.

    “If this development were Catholic, Anglican, Baptist or Islamic, or any other religion, I would stand here before you with the same objections based on the same principle.”

    READ ALSO: Compliance of the natural disaster warning system by the 2022-23 bushfire season

    Mr Behan described council staff’s reasons for recommending approval as ‘grey and vague’, arguing that 45 out of 46 residents had followed the R5 (large residence) zoning targets and that it was unfair to leave a landlord lot deviate from these objectives. He also cited legislation that said a development application had to take into account existing uses in its vicinity.

    Street plan of the church location

    The street plan of the location of the church and its surroundings. Photo: Town of Wagga Wagga.

    He asked councilors whether approval for the development ‘would stand the pub test’ and wondered how Springvale Nursery, despite the same zoning restrictions, could be recommended for rejection.

    Mr. Behan also said the lack of parity for neighboring ratepayers, using their old building in Tatton, which pays 38 cents per square meter compared to its neighbor who pays $4.63, because it is classified as property of the ‘church.

    READ MORE: Councilors advised to reject Wagga Wagga’s childcare application as promoters back high demand

    “It’s not fair and just and frankly offensive to those of us who use the same public infrastructure provided by Wagga Council,” he said.

    Glen White was another naysayer who spoke at the meeting and cited the reasons given for the daycare’s rejection and argued that the same reasoning could be applied to the development of the church, and hinted at his confusion that the same staff member could achieve polar opposite results.

    Mr White also raised concerns about the future development of the site should the church ever decide to sell the property, which would not require approval for a zoning change.

    Trevor Nason, a senior member of the Brethren community, lives in a nearby property at 43 Gregadoo Road.

    He spoke of the value of the property to his faith and the faith of several other local families. He explained why the building was relevant to a religion that has existed within Wagga Wagga for over 50 years.

    “As a community, we have a main living room or meeting room in each city where the Brothers reside. There are over 80 towns across Australia and over 300 around the world that have a Brethren community and we have a main town hall,” Mr Nason said.

    “Then we have a small, what we call a subdivision room, which is a small meeting room, in the quarters where the families of the Brothers live.

    “We need a local subdivision room in this compound to practice our faith. There are 10 families now living on either side of Gregadoo Road in Wagga and we need a small meeting room in the area,” he said.

    READ ALSO: Wagga Boat Club Fitted Out For Events On Lake Albert

    Mr. Nason revealed that the meeting room will rarely gather more than 50 people and that being low key to the wider community is an important part of their faith. He said the group is ready to do whatever is necessary to make it more acceptable to close neighbors.

    Councilor Tim Koschel questioned Mr. Nason on the nature and necessity of the 6 a.m. start for Sunday morning gatherings, which is part of the Brethren Church faith. Mr. Nason responded by saying that the early start is essential to their faith and therefore to the overall sustainability of the development.

    Councilor Mick Henderson argued that a 2,500 square meter block was a large area for a “small meeting place” and asked if other more suitable options had been explored. Mr Nason said there was no alternative.

    Following the recommendation of council staff, councilors then voted five to four in favor of approving the development.

    Pastors pray to stop social ills in Windmill Park


    Pastors from various churches in Windmill Park, a social worker and members of the community held an anti-crime prayer session on February 13.

    The prayer, held at the Vultures sports ground in Windmill Park, was led by Pastor Joshua Dywili of the Unlimited Worshipers of God Church.

    Attendees included Moses Linda of Fountain of Christ Ministries Church, Pastor Chris Leputu of Bethel Ministries Church, Pastor Arnold Fortuin of Outreach For Christ Ministries Church and social worker Maria Gaba.

    Dywili said it is important for pastors and community members to seek God’s intervention to deal with the scourge of crime in the township.

    “God has asked me to organize this prayer session with other pastors and the community. We find deaths almost every week and while other various crimes are committed daily, I believe that God will stop such evil by our prayers,” Dywili said.

    Linda said it is only God who has the power to stop their community.
    “If we sincerely pray to him, he will stop these violent crimes,” Linda said.

    Leputu told attendees that God has chosen pastors to be guardians of his kingdom.

    “When there are problems in society, as pastors we have to act and lead people to God so that the problems are alleviated,” Leputu said.

    Pastor Fortuin said they were there to pray as the killings got out of control.

    “Our problems have been exacerbated here in Windmill Park, so we need God in disparate ways.”
    Gaba said many bad things are happening in their area.

    “We have drug addicts and criminals, but this prayer will help us to stop and eradicate all these evils,” Gaba said.

    Also read: Community lights candles for slain women

    Church in Nebraska may build new facility after reaching settlement with village


    WALTHILL, Neb. (WOWT) – A settlement was reached Thursday with the Village of Walthill, Nebraska, and World Light Gospel Ministries according to the First Liberty Institute.

    The church may construct a facility on Main Street for worship, ministry, and business ventures.

    “Light of the World Gospel Ministries is thrilled to now be able to more effectively serve the region and help revitalize the community,” said Roger Byron, senior counsel at First Liberty Institute. “Light of the World will transform the dilapidated and undeveloped property into a new space to serve all the inhabitants of the village. We are grateful to the United States Department of Justice for their assistance in this matter, and we are grateful to the village officials for reaching this settlement.

    The Light of the World Gospel Ministries sued the village of Walthill in 2018 for “revoking or refusing numerous permits,” as the statement said.

    It was reported that the US Department of Justice filed a separate lawsuit against the village in 2020.

    “We are grateful that we can now bring the light and love of Jesus to our community and help revitalize our city,” said Paul Malcomson, Pastor of Light of the World. “We just want to live in peace, worship and serve our neighbors.”

    Copyright 2022 WOWT. All rights reserved.

    Indian government approves demolition of 20ft Jesus statue in Christian village after complaint from pro-Hindu group


    A 20ft-tall statue of Jesus that stood in a village in southwest India for 18 years was taken down on Tuesday after local officials claimed it was built on land set aside for grazing for animals.

    An authority told Catholic media Node that the High Court ordered the destruction; however, Christian leaders in the area say the issue was still unresolved.

    The statue was built in 2004 next to St Francis Xavier Church in the village of Gokunte in the state of Karnataka.

    “We have torn down the statue based on the High Court order,” an official said. “After seven to eight hearings, the High Court had ordered the demolition of the statue as it had been built on government land. We had issued notice to the church regarding the demolition. We had to submit the compliance report to the High Court on Wednesday and as a result it was demolished.”

    Villagers say several members of a pro-Hindu organization sought to create conflict in the area and filed a plea in the High Court.

    The village of Gokunte has a population of 500-600 people with four Catholic families.

    “We have been praying in front of the statue since 2004,” said a villager named Rayappa. “They didn’t even listen to us and took everything away.”

    He added: “Although he asked the (local) administration to remove the statue safely and hand it over to us, it was demolished and taken away in a tractor. There were about 14 small structures and a ark was also torn down. We pooled funds and worked hard to build it.”

    Father Faustina Lobo, spokesperson for the Karnataka Regional Council of Catholic Bishops, told the media India Matters that the statue was torn down in a “very crude and painful manner” and without a valid court order.

    “The video of the demolition has been widely circulated, and Christians are truly alarmed and pained by such repeated acts by the pro-Hindu government apparatus,” he said.

    Catholic bishops in Karnataka say dishonoring the statue of Jesus is an example of growing attacks on Christians in the Indian state. The state of Karnataka is ruled by the Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya Janata (BJP).

    India currently ranks 10th on the 2022 Open Doors Global Watchlist of the hardest places in the world to be a Christian.

    The Open Doors watchlist warns that “persecution of Christians in India is escalating as Hindu extremists aim to cleanse the country of their presence and influence.”

    *** Please sign up for CBN newsletters and download the CBN News app to ensure you continue to receive the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective. ***

    Birchcliff Bluffs United Church Welcomes Rev. Dr. Ellen Redcliffe as New Minister – Beach Metro Community News


    The Reverend Dr Ellen Redcliffe is the new pastor at Birchcliff Bluffs United Church in south-west Scarborough. Photo: submitted.

    By Tricia Reid

    In times like these, when we are tested by global pandemics, divisive politics and simply trying to protect our families, it is difficult to maintain connections with each other and with the world. It’s easy to feel alone, helpless, angry. And many of us crave certainty, hunger for justice or purpose.

    I know as a member of Birchcliff Bluffs United Church that it has been so for me, for us as a congregation. For us as a congregation that has deep commitments to grassroots community support programs through deep connection to bring love and acceptance into the world in a real and tangible way.

    And that has been difficult to do during this pandemic. Hard to stay connected and hard to feed the soul with things that matter. It left us hungry and thirsty for…??

    And so it was that we welcomed the Reverend Dr. Ellen Redcliffe into our church and our community – with a deep hunger and thirst for certainty, for comfort, for…??

    Reverend Ellen has always lived her life in service to others, whether serving her family or supporting her husband’s ministry or ministering in his community. (Ellen was married to the Reverend Dr Gary Redcliffe for many years).

    After her family grew, she herself went back to school, studied hard, and entered the ministry to continue serving her community and her church. Even in retirement, she continues to seek ways to connect people in spirit.

    But when you ask him, “What should we call you?”, there’s no insistence on using titles or status. “Oh, call me Ellen”. Humble server.

    And right away she could see the hunger and thirst in our congregation. The fear of not being able to continue the work we have started, the worry of losing the connection with each other and the questioning, always the questioning… are we doing the right thing? Are we going in the right direction? How can we help? Where are we best used to make a difference?

    We didn’t get any answers. Instead, Ellen asked us to:

    Feel the hunger inside. Don’t disguise it. Don’t ignore it. Let it rise and make you restless.

    Because then you can act in the world and in your community and for your community. Only then will we know where we can best make a difference.

    Consider these thoughts today. And if you want to learn more about your spirituality, your action in the world, your connection to others and to spirit, there is always a welcome invitation for you at Birchcliff Bluffs United.

    Everyone is welcome at Birchcliff Bluffs United Church. We love online Sunday mornings – check out BBUC.ca for more info. We are an affirmation church and support our community programs that serve 2SLGBTQ youth (Toby’s Place) and seniors (Dorothy’s Place). Bluffs Food Bank is another community program of our church that has been fighting food insecurity and hunger for over 18 years in Scarborough.

    For more information, please visit https://www.bbuc.ca/

    Kelsey Grammer to Play a 1970s Pastor in Lionsgate’s Jesus Revolution


    fraser Star Kelsey Grammer has just landed her next starring role. By Deadlinethe actor has joined the cast of the upcoming film jesus revolution, a collaboration between the Kingdom Story Company and Lionsgate “inspired by the true story of a national spiritual awakening in the early 1970s and its origins within a community of hippie teenagers in Southern California”. Grammer joins the cast along with Anna Grace Barlow, Jonathan Roumie and Nicholas Cirillo, with the film also starring Joel Courtney, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Ally Ioannides, Julia Campbell, Nic Bishop and Jolie Jenkins.

    The synopsis reads: “In the 1970s, young Greg Laurie (Courtney) sets out to redefine the truth by any means of liberation, and instead meets Lonnie Frisbee (Rumia), a charismatic hippie street preacher Laurie and Frisbee, along with Pastor Chuck Smith (Grammer), open the doors of Smith’s languishing church to unexpected renewal through rock and roll, new love and a twist of faith leading to a Jesus revolution that changed the world. Laurie then launched Harvest Christian Fellowship, one of the largest churches in America, and the Harvest Crusade events, which were attended by more than six million people.”


    Jon Erwin and Jon Gunn wrote the screenplay. Ervin (I can only imagine, American Underdog) and Brent McCorkle (Unconditional) live with the film produced by Kevin Downe and Jon and Andrew Erwin, alongside Josh Walsh and Daryl Lefever. Grammer’s character, Chuck Smith, is the real pastor of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, who mentored Greg Laurie. He had opened his church to a generation of hippies and seekers who helped start the last great spiritual revival in America.

    “The film is set in a very specific time and place, but the theme of finding deeper meaning in life, in the midst of a fractured and broken world, is timeless,” Erwin said. “In his iconic performances, Kelsey has a proven ability to connect with audiences in a real and vulnerable way, which will make him a formidable presence in this film.”

    Grammer added, “Jesus has had a profound influence on my life. I am proud to be part of this film. »

    Related: Exclusive clip: Kelsey Grammer refuses to move on to Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookstore

    Kelsey Grammer also hopes to see Frasier Crane again

    Frasier Revival attempts to woo the original cast

    One of Kelsey Grammer’s most famous roles is that of Frasier Crane in Cheers spin off fraser. Grammer has worked hard in recent years to revive the series, as now is a time when nearly every other great show of the past has been revived. Last year, Grammer provided an update on the project saying everyone involved is happy with how things are going as they stand.

    “We’re struggling,” Grammer said, per NJ.com. “We have some ideas and we’re pretty happy with the current situation. We don’t know if everyone will be back, but I know there’s a third act for Frasier. He certainly still has a lot to explore. .”

    jesus revolution does not yet have an official release date set.

    The Adam Project clip has Ryan Reynolds meeting his younger self

    Netflix has released a clip from the new movie The Adam Project featuring Ryan Reynolds meeting his younger self played by Walker Scobell.

    Read more

    About the Author

    Former Ukrainian Church Brotherhoods as Forerunners of Nation’s Civil Society Today, Horyevoy Says


    The charter issued by Jeremias II, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 1536-1595), confirming the right of the Dormition Brotherhood of Lviv to run a press and a school. (Credit: EncyclopediaofUkraine.com)

    2022/02/19 – 19:10 •


    Many study why civil societies have emerged in some countries but not in others; but their research, Dmytro Horyevoy said, paid insufficient attention to religious groups like the Orthodox brotherhoods which arose among Ukrainians and explains why this country has a vibrant civil society unlike Russia where it did not exist.

    The origins of brotherhoods date back to medieval times brachynia, organized in the churches of Princely era (first mentioned in the Chronicle of Hypatian, 1159). The brotherhoods proper appeared in Ukraine in the middle of the 15th century among Ukrainians living in cities ruled by the Magdeburg Lawthat is, where there was local self-government and various social groups organized to defend their interests, the Ukrainian religious affairs expert said.

    “Essentially,” he says, “these were religious NGOs that were involved in activism, enlightenment, advocacy and defense of the rights and freedoms of citizens in their sphere.”

    For example, the Lviv Dormition Brotherhood which was established in 1439 managed to secure two places on the local town council. But the brotherhoods were also “a powerful intellectual force” because they sought to defend Orthodoxy from the actions of Catholics and thus engaged in the elaboration of texts so that the Orthodox better know their faith and can defend it.

    As a result, says Horyevoy, “the Orthodox not only believed, but began to study their faith, to seek logical arguments and a rational basis, and to find answers to important questions, thus developing a vital religious life.” In this they were like the Protestants whom they copied in this respect because of the old principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

    “One of the most famous Ukrainians of that time, Stanislav Orikhovsky, was a student of Martin Luther. And despite the fact that Orikhovsky was not a Protestant but a practicing Catholic, he still borrowed a lot from the great reformer and was one of the best-known humanist philosophers,” explains the Ukrainian researcher.

    In the Muscovite tsarism of the time, he points out, there was no similar movement – or at most it only led to the correction of errors in the texts of basis but not to the development of new ones. And so a phenomenon that ultimately led to the rise of civil society among Ukrainians did not exist to help promote the same among Russians.

    Read more:

    Ukraine needs independent journalism. And we need you.
    Join our community on Patreon and help us better connect Ukraine to the world. We will use your contribution to attract new authors, update our website and optimize its SEO. For as little as the cost of a cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for what topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to Support.
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    Tags: Protestantism, Ukraine, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Ukrainian history, Ukrainian Orthodox Church

    CBCP official: Leave betting approval to the laity


    AN OFFICIAL of the Philippine Conference of Catholic Bishops (CBCP) on Saturday, February 19, 2022, advised other clergy to leave the endorsement of candidates for the upcoming state and local elections to the laity.

    In a radio interview, the executive secretary of CBCP’s public affairs committee, Fr. Jerome Secillano said priests and nuns should avoid making public endorsements of particular candidates.

    “Choices of priests and bishops should just remain private,” Secillano said.

    “Let’s leave the public approval of candidates to the laity,” he added.

    The priest said it was because the Church had a specific set of teachings and pleas that could possibly contradict the tenets of their candidates.

    “The Church may be compromised in such cases because it will appear that the candidate supported by the former opposes these Church teachings,” Secillano said.

    Instead of making public endorsements, he said it would be better if the clergy were deeply engaged in the discernment process.

    “During circles of discernment, let’s just champion pro-people candidates who are sensible and accountable in running government,” Secillano said.

    The call came on the heels of Vice President Leni Robredo’s endorsement by the “Pari Madre Misyonero Para Kay Leni” group of hundreds of Filipino priests, nuns, religious brothers and deacons.

    It also came after the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (Laity Council of the Philippines) endorsed Robredo’s presidential candidacy. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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    Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Fort Morgan moves to new location – The Fort Morgan Times


    By Ann Stivers, special for The Times

    It was a bittersweet service on November 28, 2021 as the Trinity Lutheran congregation held their last service at their church, located on the corner of Eighth and Sherman in Fort Morgan.

    The service was a thanksgiving at the disposal of a church building. As the final closing of the church door happened on a sunny morning, many Trinity members recalled many memories etched in their hearts. Several members have had generations of family members baptized, confirmed, and married in the church located at 800 Sherman. The church building was recently purchased by Young Disciples Immanuel Church of Fort Morgan.

    After the sale and throughout December, many volunteers helped move furniture, records and offices to Trinity Lutheran School located at 1215 W. Seventh Street in Fort Morgan and for the first time since 1983, the church and the school again share the same space. The construction of a new sanctuary will take place on the same land as the school. It is expected that the new sanctuary will be completed within the next two years. Trinity held its first worship service at the school on the first day of Advent on December 1. The first Sunday worship service was held on Sunday, December 5 at 9 a.m. and services continue at the same time every Sunday. We welcome everyone.

    • Jenette Walter is the oldest member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Morgan. (Courtesy picture)

    • Sandra Schmeeckle is the member of Trinity Lutheran Church with the earliest ancestral connection to the founding members of the congregation. (Courtesy picture)

    • Aria Kreeger is the newest and youngest member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Morgan. (Courtesy picture)

    • Ed Gerken is the oldest continuous member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Morgan. (Courtesy picture)

    To celebrate Trinity’s many years in existence, a potluck dinner was held on Sunday January 2 at Trinity Lutheran Church and School. A slide show was projected after the meal with many memories and photos appreciated by those present. After the slide show, many members were recognized for their longevity and service to the existence of the church. Trinity’s oldest member in years was introduced to 100-year-old Jeanette Walter. The award for oldest continuous member of the church was presented to Ed Gerken. Ed was baptized in 1942, confirmed in 1954, and was married to Karen at Trinity in 1967. Sandra Schmeeckle received the award for being the member with the oldest ancestry and descendant of one of the first heads of families of the church, Elmer and Alta Tieman, who joined in 1922. Ed Gerkens was a close 2nd place with his parents, Elmer and Ruby Gerken, becoming members in 1923. The newest member and the last person to be baptized at Trinity in 800 Sherman was Aria Kreegar, daughter of Jordan Kreegar and Jayden Markland of Brush.

    After the recognition of the members, Scott Bostron, President of the Congregation, opened the time capsule, which was housed in the cornerstone of the church, for all to see. In addition to several 1954 editions of the Fort Morgan Times, there was also a copy of Luther’s Short Catechism and a Bible belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Schwanke, early members of Trinity. There were also 1954 coins of each denomination and five $1 silver certificate notes.

    Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church has served the Fort Morgan community for over 115 years. It started in 1906 and the school was established in 1907. The church alternated Sundays with services in English and German. The first pastor installed was the Reverend JG Pflantz. The church exceeded its capacity and a new church was built on the corner of Seventh and Sherman and dedicated in 1954 by Rev. Karl Hofmann.

    Having a parochial school was of paramount importance to the Founding Fathers and Trinity opened its first school in 1907. The school closed in 1942 but reopened in 1979 with classes held in the Church Fellowship Hall of Seventh and Sherman. Karen Freidenberger was one of the first teachers during the reopening. The school succeeded and outgrew the location of Eighth and Sherman and a new school was built in 1983 at 1215 W. Seventh and has served well in providing a Christian education to many children residing in Morgan County during of the last 33 years. Currently, the school provides Christian education to children in kindergarten through fourth grade. Trinity Preschool was established in 1983 and transitioned to the early childhood education program, known as Little Lambs in August 2013. Little Lambs currently serves 42 young children in the Fort Morgan community. It has been a real joy to watch the children who attend Trinity or Little Lambs Lutheran School grow in both faith and education. Under Carrie Brown’s leadership, the Early Childhood Education program has received numerous accolades, including Colorado Shine’s Level 5 highest honor.

    Although Trinity is currently seeking to call a pastor to lead and shepherd the congregation, Trinity has not been without leadership. Many church members have worked tirelessly and given generously to Trinity’s growth. Trinity has been blessed for over a year with the dedication and leadership of retired pastor Dean Boernke of Brighton. Trinity welcomes everyone and we would love for you to visit us in our new location. Church services will continue at 9 a.m. each Sunday.

    PASTOR MILAM: Our children need our best


    What do you see when you look into a child’s eyes?

    You will see everything from wide-eyed wonder and happiness to deep thought and stress. When I look them in the eye, it reminds me of the responsibility we all have to be a good example for our children. As Christians and followers of Jesus Christ, one of our duties is to lead our children and young people in the right direction. This right direction is that which models a life in relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We are the example they follow as they grow and mature. They watch our every move.

    Reverend Claude Wisdom White Sr. in his poem “A Little Fellow Follows Me” says this:

    A careful man that I should be,
    A little guy follows me.
    I dare not stray,
    Lest he follow the same path.

    I can’t once escape his eyes,
    Whatever he sees me doing, he tries.
    Like me, he said, he’ll be,
    The little guy following me.

    He thinks I’m fine and fine,
    Believe in my every word.
    The base in me that he must not see,
    This little guy following me.

    I have to remember as I go,
    Through the summer sun and the winter snow.
    I’m building for years to come,
    In the little man who follows me.

    We need to be careful about the example we set for our children. Every movement we make is observed and then it is tried. Our children believe that we know what we are doing. They will go in the same direction as us. The question is where are you leading them? Are you giving them the faith base they will need as they grow up? Will the seeds of faith be planted so that in years to come our children will develop a faith they can call their own? These are the things we need to do as Christian parents, teachers, coaches, friends and family to guide our children in the right direction. It’s not just for our own children, but for every child that crosses our path. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Lead children in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn aside from it.” Remember to a child, 20 years old is old.

    I heard that children and young people are our future. To some extent, there is some truth in that. I dispute that children and young people are not only the future, they and the present. They need our best right now. There’s no time to lose. Take this opportunity to help shape our children into young men and women who live and serve others with grace, mercy and love.

    One of the best ways to help guide our children is to become involved in a church community that will help inspire and develop their understanding and belief in Jesus Christ. Gathering with like-minded people strengthens our faith and provides the examples our children need as they grow and mature.

    If you are looking for a place to be inspired and encouraged, you are invited to gather with us at First Congregational Church in Greenville on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

    Ed Milam is the pastor of First Congregational Church in Greenville.

    To share

    Diocese of Buffalo priest most often accused of sexual abuse dies at 79 | Local News


    “No, I didn’t,” Becker told The News, when asked if he had ever molested children. “Definitely not sexual… It’s quite shocking.”

    King posted a raw and powerful 3,800-word essay on Facebook this week about the alleged abuse and its effect on his

    But more than two dozen men have come forward publicly in lawsuits describing how Becker victimized them as children, often showering them with alcohol at his cabin in Java, Wyoming County. Others who alleged Becker abused them, including Harry King of Buffalo, received settlements through a diocesan compensation program.

    King said Thursday that Becker’s death was heartbreaking because it eliminated the possibility of the priest being questioned under oath about what he had done.

    “I’m certainly not glad he’s dead, just from a human perspective,” said King, who alleged Becker sodomized him in 1975 when he was 13 and was parishioner to SS. Peter and Paul Church in Hamburg. He said he was angry because “we’re never going to get him dropped off.”

    King said he first reported the abuse to diocesan officials in 1992 and “they did nothing but blatantly lie to me.”

    Harry King, who said he was repeatedly raped by the Reverend Donald Becker when he was 13, has been offered $140,000 in compensation under a Diocese of Buffalo program for victims of clergy sexual abuse. (Photo provided)

    Becker served in at least nine parishes in the Diocese of Buffalo from 1968 to 2002, including St. Mark in Rushford, St. Mary of the Assumption in Lancaster, St. Bonaventure in West Seneca, SS. Peter & Paul in Hamburg, Nativity of Our Lord in Orchard Park, St. Stephen in Grand Island, St. Agatha in Buffalo and St. Joseph in Fredonia. His last position was pastor of Sainte-Marie in Batavia, where he was appointed in 1991.

    Local churches welcome LGBTQ+ people

    As you walk upstairs to the Falls Church Presbyterian, you are greeted by a colorful mural with the saying “You Belong Here”. (Photo courtesy of Diane Maloney).

    Considering its small size of 2.1 square miles, it’s no wonder Little City of Falls Church has fostered such a tight-knit community. While the “problem” of being “queer” (a generic reference to homosexuality that is understood in a non-pejorative sense) has persisted in various churches for decades, local churches across the city have made it their mission to be more inclusive and open. to people, no matter who they are.

    There are a number of prominent signs outside churches in the small town displaying rainbow flags and emphasizing “all are welcome”.

    One case is Diane Maloney. She has been on staff at Falls Church Presbyterian for nearly four years, where she serves as Director of Spiritual Growth and Community Engagement.

    “One of the things that drew me to Falls Presbyterian Church was how open and assertive they were,” Maloney said. “As a queer person myself, it’s very hard to find church jobs and hard to find places that will accept and welcome you with open arms as yourself.”

    Falls Church Presbyterian joined the Covenant Network of Presbyterians in the mid-90s. Essentially, a sub-ministry that churches can join that “seeks equity that is not yet fully realized for LGBTQIA+ people in the church and society” by “engaging”, “educating” and “equipping”.

    Maloney grew up attending churches and youth groups and found herself called to ministry during her teenage years.

    “When I realized I was queer a year or two later, I felt like I couldn’t have both things, so I spent a lot of time struggling with that and trying to decide if I live my life in the closet as a minister because I feel like that’s where God calls me Or do I live as I feel like I am and disregard this thing that I feel called to,” she said of her experience as a teenager and young adult. “I did my undergraduate degree and then I went to seminary and I I was still undecided. In seminary, I had this change in me to understand the entirety of Scripture and who God is. God is love and where there is love, God is present. It changed some things in my head and made me feel like I could live my life like that. Once I finished seminary I started looking for an open and assertive church where I could be myself and that’s how I found Falls Church Presbyterian.

    Working with many teenagers in the church, Maloney makes sure everyone feels loved and accepted. It includes a mural (shown with this item) that features the quote “You Belong Here”.

    “For me, as someone who works with young people and who has invested a large part of my life in teenagers, I wanted this to be a message that they hear while climbing the stairs. You belong here no matter what,” Maloney said.

    While Falls Church Presbyterian has been asserting for many years, things are not so simple in The United Methodist Church. While Dulin Methodist and Christ Crossman Falls Church strives to be as inclusive as possible, there are barriers in place.

    The United Methodist Church has a general conference every four years, but has been delayed due to Covid-19. The lecture offers a discussion of issues such as queer affirmation and same-sex marriages in the church. The General Conference is the “only body that can set official policy and speak for the denomination,” according to UMC.org.

    According to JP Hong, senior pastor of Christ Crossman, “We have been working towards a peaceful dissolution so that there will be a more centrist and progressive denomination, and then those who are more traditional will withdraw and form their own more traditional denomination. . In the middle from this, our Falls Church congregation definitely aligns with the more progressive and liberal view of what inclusion should entail and should look like.

    Hong was placed in Christ Crossman nearly four years ago, working to bring more inclusion to the church.

    “When I walked in, it was very clear that this congregation was healing from some of this tension from the past year where their senior pastor had a different theological view than the majority of the congregation,” Hong said. . “One of the first things that happened when I walked in was the need and the desire to clarify our position. We had a series of town hall meetings where people had the opportunity to express their thoughts and their opinions.As a congregation, we voted to recognize that we were a congregation that, when we say we are fully inclusive, included people of different genders and sexual identities.

    Reverend Dave Kirkland, pastor of Dulin Church, expressed similar concerns to Hong as they await decisions to be made by the General Conference.

    From next week’s edition of the News-Press: Count the historic Falls Church Episcopal on that list, too.

    Pastor Cal says some people are ‘being dishonest through the process’ amid Alyssa-Chris disaster


    Pastor Cal Roberson finally talks about Married at first sight The most uncomfortable match of season 14: Alyssa and Chris.

    The Boston couple didn’t get along early on, with Alyssa refusing to share a hotel room with her new hubby on their wedding night. Things didn’t improve during their honeymoon in Puerto Rico, when she told the show’s producers that she hated the man she married. Now the couple have returned home, and on the Feb. 16 episode of the Lifetime reality series, they sit down with one of the show’s experts to work out their issues.

    Chris says “it’s my decision day” on the February 16 episode of “Married at First Sight”

    RELATED: ‘Married At First Sight’: Chris Reveals Alyssa’s Surprising Off-Camera Move After They Wed

    In a preview (via Twitter) for the next episode of Married at first sight, Chris and Alyssa sit down for an intervention with Roberson.

    “Alyssa, since the wedding night, has had no interest in being married to me,” Chris says. “She says we are not compatible. She used the expression stolen… And it started on the wedding night.

    Alyssa – who says she’s “a good person” – admits she wasn’t physically attracted to Chris. Once she saw who the pundits had paired her with, she questioned her decision to go on the show.

    “When I first saw it, I was like, OK, I don’t think that’s my physical type,” she says. “And I think it was, like, when I started being like, ‘Oh my God. What did I get myself into?'”

    In the previous episode, Alyssa said she wanted to move into the Boston apartment, but without Chris. She told producers he was a “f***ing*sshole” trying to make her look bad. At the same time she said she wanted Married at first sight “experience”, even if she seems completely excluded from her marriage.

    Chris is done with that.

    “I think there’s a lot of reasons to still be here, but I don’t think marriage is what you’re here for,” Chris says in the teaser.

    “For me, this is my decision day,” Chris told Pastor Cal.

    ‘Truth always prevails,’ says Pastor Cal

    Pastor Cal Roberson of ‘Married at First Sight’ | Lifetime

    On social media, many Married at first sight fans defended Chris while criticizing Alyssa’s bad attitude. They also wondered what the experts were thinking when they matched the pair. Some have even accused the show’s producers of bringing the two together just to generate drama.

    At instagram, Roberson shared the clip of him sitting with Chris and Alyssa. He also weighed in on the controversy.

    “We still have high hopes for all the participants chosen on Married at first sight. But, for marriage to work, two people have to be consenting,” he wrote, adding that Married at first sight “is not just a show for me. It’s about helping real people with real feelings.

    Roberson went on to say that some people aren’t completely candid during the show’s casting process.

    “Unfortunately some people think they know what they want, but they really don’t,” he wrote. “And then there are others who are dishonest throughout the process. We may not always be able to tell the difference between the two, but in the end the truth always wins out.

    Viewers of the show think the experts should have intervened sooner

    ” src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/3dYnID8SHnY?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; automatic reading; clipboard-write; encrypted media; gyroscope; picture in picture” allow full screen >

    While Married at first sight viewers were happy that Alyssa’s behavior was going to be addressed, a number felt that experts should have intervened sooner.

    “I just want to know why it took them so long to intervene,” one person commented on Instagram. “Because at that time she had been very clear that she was not interested in Chris and that she wanted to stay for her ‘friends and experience’.”

    “They needed an intervention before going on their honeymoon,” wrote another. “It’s been a series of goofy, hard-to-watch scenes since the wedding day.”

    New episodes of Married at first sight Season 14 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

    To verify Showbiz Cheat Sheet on Facebook!

    RELATED: ‘Married at First Sight’: Karen and Miles Still Seem Together Despite Split Speculation

    Ruined Little Milwaukee Church Calling for Donations


    MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church needs the help of the community to keep its doors open.

    The small church was built in 1858 and moved twice. You can find it now at 1231 W. Scott Street in Milwaukee.

    CBS 58 caught up with Parish Council President Sophia Torcivia and Treasurer Ed Bergey.

    “It went from a Baptist church to a Greek Catholic church to a Greek Orthodox church, and we are currently a Greek Orthodox church,” Torcivia said.

    The church now serves as a safe space for the Ukrainian community, which is currently going through extremely difficult times.

    “With the imminent invasion of Ukraine, it’s been a bit difficult…I’m sorry.”

    Staff now face another challenge. The church is physically collapsing.

    “The ceiling is about to collapse in this section. We have bungee cords across, keeping the walls apart. We could use manual help, financial help, we need help,” Torcivia said. .

    “The attic joists that hold the roof up are the same joists that were there when it was built in 1858. A lot of them break and as a result the roof starts to slip, and that’s what causes the exterior walls moving,” Bergey said.

    According to the staff, the steps of the church also had to be redone several times. They would like to install a ramp as an added safety measure for older parishioners.

    Sophia and Ed say the church needs at least $60,000 to replace the roof so they can keep their doors open.

    “What does this mean for us, for people who are my age, who have been here for a while, it’s a big thing for us,” Bergey said.

    “If we stay here, a future generation can also participate and carry on. It’s not just a place, it’s a home,” Torcivia said.

    Torcivia says they are working on setting up a GoFundMe page to help raise donations to rebuild the roof of the church. They are also welcoming all donations at this time.

    If you would like to send a donation by mail, you can send it to St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church at 1231 W. Scott Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204.

    Viral videos continue to cut President Biden’s remarks out of context


    In an October 2020 campaign speech in Georgia, just days before the election that sent him to the White House, candidate Joe Biden used a quote from Pope Francis.

    The quote is from a letter the pope sent to Roman Catholic bishops, in which he urged world leaders to “ask themselves, ‘Why am I doing this? What is my real goal? »

    On social media, former President Donald Trump’s campaign seized the moment to turn it on Biden and portray him as confused and senile – a narrative that Trump and his allies had been pushing for months. With a tweet cutting Biden’s speech to just 7 seconds of video, the campaign gave the impression that Biden was speaking for himself, rather than quoting the letter.

    “Joe Biden: ‘Why am I doing this? Why? What is my real goal?’ the Trump War Room account said in the Tweet from October 27. PolitiFact rated the tweet as fake.

    A misleading tweet from the Trump campaign cut off Biden’s comments briefly quoting Pope Francis to portray him as confused in October 2020. (PolitiFact)

    Such strategic video cuts were a favorite tactic of the Trump campaign and supporters. Another time, the campaign shared a cut clip it seemed to show Biden saying he was running for the Senate; in context, he was actually talking about running for office as a Democrat throughout his career, including as a U.S. senator.

    The misleading video montage turned out to be just a glimpse of what was to come when Biden took control of the White House. The attacks continued during the transition and throughout Biden’s first year.

    Social media users, conservative influencers and outlets, and groups like the Republican National Committee have repeatedly targeted the 79-year-old president with truncated, out-of-context clips that misrepresent the meaning of his remarks.

    “These clips are inspired by a common trope about President Biden that is popular among his critics: he is old, clumsy and senile, which means he is incompetent and unable to do this job,” said Rebekah Tromble. , director of the Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics at George Washington University.

    Biden’s opponents have shared videos that take his remarks out of context. (political fact)

    The tactic is what experts who study misinformation and media manipulation call an “expensive faux pas”, said Claire Wardle, co-founder and executive director of First Draft, a nonprofit that works to protect against harmful misinformation and misinformation.

    “It’s the weaponization of the context,” Wardle said. “It’s authentic content, but the context changes via minor edits. Anyone can be vulnerable with the right editing.

    Anyone can also be vulnerable to these changes. Experts have warned that Americans surfing social media or watching cable news should be wary of clips that are very short, presented without clear context and aimed at triggering an emotional reaction.

    Combining false information with kernels of truth has been a powerful form of propaganda for decades, said Inga Kristina Trauttig, research director and senior fellow at the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Media Engagement.

    And it has only extended into the digital age.

    But unlike more sophisticated “deep fakes” that use complex technology to swap someone’s face, clone their voice, or lip-sync their lips to a different audio track, cheap fakes are easy to produce. Amateurs with basic software can make edits that slow down a video, speed it up, cut it into snippets, insert or remove details, or present it in false context.

    “It’s basically free,” Wardle told PolitiFact. “And if someone says ‘that’s wrong,’ they can say, ‘No, that’s from a real event’.”

    One such trend in recent years has seen social media users slow down footage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, to give the false impression that she was drunkenly mouthing her words.

    As Trump’s team criticized Biden during the campaign as being too old, clumsy and out of touch – a man who wouldn’t leave his basement, had gone senile and didn’t know what he was talking about – Biden became a target main deception edits that sought to reinforce this narrative.

    These efforts continued even after the campaign ended. Days before Biden was sworn in, Donald Trump Jr. shared an edited video on Twitter that claimed to show Biden looking confused about where to go after an event ended. The video received millions of views, but it only showed 19 seconds of footage from the event, and it zoomed in on Biden. The result: Viewers failed to see that Biden was actually waiting for others to leave the stage before him.

    Many other videos have been similarly edited, shortened to present his words out of context:

    • Right-wing influencers including Steven Crowder shared an abridged, out-of-context clip they said showed Biden saying the N-word. ‘hear’ from other world leaders at a conference.
    • Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield aired a shortened clip that appeared to show Biden that the United States was “doomed” because of African Americans. In context, Biden was saying that “if we can’t make meaningful progress on racial equity, this country is doomed.”
    • A TikTok video reportedly showed Biden telling people that getting the vaccine would protect them against hurricanes. In context, Biden was saying that people living in hurricane-prone states should get vaccinated so they don’t have to worry about getting COVID-19 if they were to evacuate and stay in a shelter with other people.
    • A conservative super PAC and other right-wing websites shared an 8-second video to suggest Biden accidentally read the words “end of quote” on his teleprompter. In context, Biden was quoting a statement from the CEO of Walmart celebrating partnerships between private business and government. Biden started with “And I quote.”
    • A video shared by conservative websites like Townhall cut Biden off mid-sentence to sound like he was saying high gas prices were all about Americans “paying their fair share.” In context, Biden was talking about lowering prices. The shortened video cut off what he said next – that ‘paying your fair share’ meant ‘not getting ripped off for gas’.
    • A Trump Save America PAC ad blasted Biden’s response to the coronavirus by playing a clip of him saying, “Look, there’s no federal solution.” In context, Biden was talking about working with states. He was responding on a conference call to Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who encouraged Biden during a discussion on rapid COVID-19 testing to “make sure we don’t let federal solutions get in the way of state solutions”.
    • The RNC tweeted a video that cut Biden off mid-sentence to make it sound like he said answering reporters’ questions was “inappropriate.” In context, Biden was saying he didn’t want to answer questions about his choice to replace retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer after an event honoring Breyer, because Breyer was in the room and is ” still sitting on the bench. Biden said he would take questions later in the day and week.

    “It’s hard to objectively assess whether someone, especially someone as high profile as the president, is aloof or not,” Trauttig said of the misleading clips. “However, it is easy to manipulate media content that provides a clear image in one direction.”

    The White House declined to comment for this story.

    It’s not just Biden who has been targeted during this time. Other members of Biden’s White House have had the meaning of their words twisted in videos that have gone viral. They include Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser, and Jen Psaki, the press secretary.

    But videos that take Biden out of context are particularly effective, Tromble said, because they build on Biden’s reputation, which dates back to his days as a senator, for being gaffe-prone.

    Biden committed a number of verbal gaffes during the campaign trail. It has continued ever since, such as when he stumbled in his description of Satchel Paige as a great black league baseball pitcher, prompting critics to say he called Paige a “nigger.”

    Biden grew up stuttering. The fact that his stutter remains unknown to many Americans “makes it easy for his opponents to create fake but compelling clips of President Biden,” Tromble said.

    The clips also resonate with some voters’ perception that politicians in Washington are detached, and they also fit the image some Trump voters have carved out for Biden as the weak and fragile counterpart to Trump’s combativeness, officials said. experts.

    Experts who study disinformation recommend that when people come across clips of public figures from either political party that have been cut – and especially when the clips go viral that are only a few seconds long – they should consider the source of the information and research the full context. Biden’s remarks are usually televised and transcribed on the White House website.

    “I always advise people to pause for a second whenever they come across media that elicits strong emotional reactions,” Tromble added. “We have to catch our breath and ask ourselves, ‘Is there a reason why I feel so upset? Is this designed to piss me off?’”

    This article was originally published by PolitiFact, part of the Poynter Institute. It is republished here with permission. See the sources for these fact checks here and more of their fact checks here.

    “Hands and Feet of Jesus”: Orchard Church Aims to Grow God’s Kingdom | Religion


    Pastor Ed Shaw, who shared how he redirects his same-sex attraction, labeled ‘heretic’

    Screenshot from YouTube / @The Pastor’s Heart

    Tom Buck, pastor of First Baptist Church (FBC) in Lindale, Texas, says Ed Shaw, pastor of Downtown Emmanuel in Bristol, England, is guilty of “heretical teaching”. Buck takes issue with how Shaw explains how to navigate same-sex attraction and called Sam Allberry and The Gospel Coalition (TGC) to no longer support Shaw.

    Shaw says that when he sees a man who is attractive to him, “I don’t necessarily need to repent of this recognition of beauty because what I have recognized is something that I, as a being. human, I was designed to recognize.” Shaw shared these thoughts in a 2019 interview with Dominic Steele of The Pastor’s Heart. In addition to being a pastor, Shaw is the director of live outsidea ministry whose purpose is “to encourage Christians, equip churches, and engage the world with God’s plan for sexuality and identity.”

    Shaw explains, “I was designed to recognize beauty; I was designed to recognize the image of God in someone else. Attraction in itself is not a sin. What is sinful is what we do with the attractions that we have. Shaw says that the moment he recognizes another person’s beauty, he has a choice to either sin or respond in gratitude to God for the beauty he has created.

    “Nothing new on Ed Shaw’s claims,” ​​Buck said in a Feb. 15 Tweeter from an excerpt from Shaw’s interview. “I exposed this heretical teaching three years ago… What also hasn’t changed is Sam Allberry’s reluctance to condemn this as it still remains on the Living Out website, and [TGC] continue to cover Shaw. Allberry is the founder of Living Out, and he and Shaw have articles posted on the TGC website.

    Ed Shaw: Let’s Stop the “Journey to Ungodliness”

    “I continue to call on @SamAllberry to renounce the teachings of Ed Shaw and Living Out”, Buck noted later Tuesday. “Sam needs to get out of them rather than ‘keep supporting them’.” Buck also gave Shaw a Example “wolves ravaging the church today.”

    The FBC pastor linked to a article he wrote in 2019 where he addressed similar comments that Shaw made in a Publish on the Living Out website. Buck thinks Shaw’s views are inconsistent with Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 5:29 seriously dealing with lust or instructing believers in Colossians 3:2 fix our minds “on things above”.

    “No faithful pastor would give this advice to a heterosexual man who goes through with his desires,” Buck says. “I could never imagine a pastor saying, ‘It’s just your natural response to beauty as you were created to respond to it. You should appreciate beauty, but don’t let it drift into sexual fantasy.

    Ed Shaw and Dominic Steele, however, made that exact point in The Pastor’s Heart interview. At one point, Steele reflected on his own thought process noticing someone who is “pretty”, thinking that person is attractive, and then “switching to ungodliness in my thought patterns”.

    “We’ve become so used to taking this journey into godlessness that it’s really hard to change,” Shaw said. “What I try to do and what I encourage others to do is actually to try to break that habit and see that noticing beauty is an opportunity to recognize where that beauty comes from, to acknowledge God and to worship and praise Him for the beauty that passes right in front of us in the street. It’s the decision of the moment, but I think it’s something that we can more and more train ourselves to do.

    This posture of gratitude helps Shaw not live in “horrible fear of falling into sin” because of his attractions. And that helps him recognize the depth of God’s love for him. “My sexuality is there to help me appreciate God’s love for me,” he said. Church leaders in an interview last April. “When I feel the strength of sexual desire, I actually get a tiny glimpse of the strength of God’s love for me.”

    Lobby groups call on Church of Italy to submit to external investigation into sexual abuse | world news


    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Catholic groups on Tuesday accused the Italian Church of an “institutional failure” to tackle clergy sex abuse and demanded an independent national inquiry mirroring those carried out in France and Germany.

    A collective of nine groups – seven led by women – made the demand when launching a campaign called “Beyond the Great Silence” and a hashtag, #ItalyChurchToo, inspired by the international #MeToo movement against bullying sexual.

    In an online press conference, Paola Lazzarini, head of Women in the Church, called for the opening of the archives of “all dioceses, convents and monasteries”, for damages for the victims and for the discovery of the truth, “however painful”.

    Globally, disclosures of clergy sex abuse have so far cost the Church hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation.

    Political cartoons about world leaders

    The Italian campaign aims to increase public pressure on the Church and government for a decades-old national inquiry, and rejects claims by some Italian Catholic leaders that the Church has the resources to do the job itself.

    “Only independent investigations (elsewhere) have overcome the Church’s resistance to acknowledging its own institutional failure,” said anti-abuse lawyer Ludovica Eugenio.

    Any Italian investigation “must absolutely be impartial”, added Francesco Zanardi, head of Rete l’Abuso (The Abuse Network).

    Pope Francis has expressed shame at the Church’s failure to deal with sexual abuse cases and said it must make itself a “safe home for all”.

    The Vatican did not comment on Tuesday.

    Italian bishops are due to decide in May what kind of abuse investigation, if any, the country will organize.

    Antonio Messina, 28, one of the victims who attended the press conference, says he was repeatedly abused as a minor by an adult seminarian turned priest.

    Without providing details, he said local church authorities in his hometown tried to buy his silence. “The Church is not in a position to handle this (investigation),” he said.

    The German study, published in 2018, showed that 1,670 clergy members abused 3,677 minors from 1946 to 2014. The French investigation, published last year and covering seven decades, found that more than 200,000 children had been abused in Catholic institutions.

    Zanardi said the numbers would be higher in predominantly Catholic Italy because the country has traditionally had many more priests.

    (Reporting by Philip Pullella; editing by John Stonestreet)

    Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

    A pastor baptized people for decades using the wrong word. Now these are all considered invalid – Boston News, Weather, Sports


    (CNN) – A Catholic priest has resigned after a church investigation found he had performed invalid baptisms for most of his more than 20-year career, according to Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix.

    Father Andres Arango, who performed thousands of baptisms, said: “We baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. But Olmsted explained that the words “We baptize” should have been “I baptize” instead.

    “The problem with using ‘We’ is that it is not the community that baptizes a person, rather it is Christ, and He alone, who presides over all the sacraments, and so it is Christ Jesus who baptizes,” Olmsted wrote. in a message to parishioners posted last month.

    The error also means that because baptism is the first of the sacraments, some people will need to repeat other sacraments, according to the diocese’s web page for frequently asked questions. CNN has reached out to the diocese for comment on other sacraments.

    Arango resigned as pastor of St. Gregory Parish in Phoenix on Feb. 1.

    “It saddens me to learn that I have performed invalid baptisms throughout my ministry as a priest by regularly using an incorrect formula. I deeply regret my error and how it has affected many people in your parish and elsewhere” , wrote Arango in his own post on the site.

    Olmsted said the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2020 affirmed that when a baptism is conferred with the formula “We baptize…” it is invalid and people must be rebaptized.

    The diocese has set up a website for anyone who thinks they have had an invalid baptism. The diocese said Arango baptisms performed after June 17, 2021 are presumed valid.

    According to Katie Burke, spokesperson for the diocese, a few new baptisms have already taken place.

    Arango began his career in Brazil in 1995. He will continue to be a priest and devote his energy and time to helping those who have had invalid baptisms.

    Olmsted said he did not believe Andres intended to harm any of the parishioners.

    “I, too, am sincerely sorry that this error has caused a disruption of the sacramental life of a number of the faithful. For this reason, I pledge to take all necessary measures to remedy the situation for all those affected. said Olmsted.

    According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, there are seven sacraments in the Catholic Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage, and Holy Orders.

    “Through the sacraments, God shares his holiness with us so that we, in turn, can make the world holier,” the conference states on its website.

    ™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia company. All rights reserved.

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    Fake pastors are worse than bandits, says Bishop Adeoye


    By Lateef Dada, Osogbo

    A clergyman, Bishop Seun Adeoye, has called for an urgent cleansing of churches in Nigeria to protect churches from fake pastors.

    Adeoye, who is the General Overseer of Sufficient Grace and Truth Ministries (SGTM), Rehoboth Arena, Okinni, Osun State, exposed the growing wave of fake pastors in the country.

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    In a statement signed and made available to reporters in Osogbo on Monday, Adeoye, who is also Senior Bishop of the World Church of England (WAC), Nigeria and spokesperson for the World Council of Bishops (WBC), Africa, said called on the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to immediately commence registration and licensing of all religious practitioners within its fold.

    He lamented that social media platforms have given unfettered access and voice to many false pastors where they “emit foul odors and vomit filth from their intestines in the name of prophecy.

    “Today we are surrounded by so-called men and women of God declaring false prophecies, spreading unbiblical doctrines, engaging in all manner of immoral behavior, and undertaking all manner of rituals at the altar.

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    “Although these false pastors are in the minority, they are dangerous for the church and society. They cheat in the name of God. They cause havoc to the Church and so much pain and shame to true Christians. They are worse than bandits.

    “These wolves need to be identified, exposed and dishonored. These trees must be separated from the wheat. They are not called by our Lord to preach the gospel but they see the Church as a means of sustenance to serve the gods from their bellies.

    “Therefore, these wicked must give way to allow the gospel of Christ to flourish. CAN leaders should embark on an urgent cleanup by registering and allowing all true men and women of God into its fold. By this, we can easily identify the wicked and help deliver the victims from their wickedness.

    “CAN leaders should be prepared to boldly come out to deny anyone engaging in satanic activity and disbar any pastor whose behavior is contrary to the welfare of the body of Christ. Enough of all this nonsense in the name of God,” Bishop Adeoye said.

    Videos from January 6 allegedly show Colorado denier Shawn Smith clashing with police


    Sedition Hunters, a group that helps law enforcement track down people who may have committed crimes during the January 6 uprising, on Saturday Shawn Smith, Colorado “election integrity” activist in videos of the 2021 attack on the US Capitol and named him a “person of interest”.

    The development follows a Newsline investigation that identified Smith in another Jan. 6 video, as reported in a story that the outlet published on Wednesday.

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    Smith, a retired Air Force colonel, is a key figure in election denial activity in Colorado and other states. He is president of Cause of Americawhich is funded by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell to coordinate “election integrity” activities across the country, driven by the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from the former President Donald Trump.

    On Thursday, Smith was a panelist at a gathering of Colorado figures in the far-right Holocaust denial movement, including Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters at The Rock Church in Castle Rock. During a presentation that evening, Smith, referring to Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, said, “I think if you’re involved in voter fraud, you deserve to be hanged.”

    Sedition Hunters has identified Colorado denier Shawn Smith as the person seen in this screenshot from a video, in which he shouts “Stand with the people!” during a violent clash with police at the United States Capitol during the January 6 uprising. (Screenshot from a video linked to by Sedition Hunters)

    Videos in which Sedition Hunters identified Smith show him as part of a violent mob in a physical confrontation with the police trying to clear Trump supporters from an area near the Capitol side. Smith, according to Sedition Hunters, is seen at the front of the crowd in direct physical contact with police in riot gear.

    ‘You know they are criminals,’ he shouts at police, apparently referring to Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress who that day were certifying President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory in the election of 2020. “Stay with the people!” Stick with the people! These are your people! These are your people here! … Don’t, don’t, don’t! he heard in a video credited to landoseason.com.

    At one point he lost foot as a policeman walks up to him. A flash grenade explodes nearby and the gray cap he wears falls off. Then he appears to leave the area immediately in front of the police.

    On Sunday morning, Newsline sent Smith a text request for a comment about her appearing in newly discovered videos on Jan. 6. The text included a screenshot of the face of the Sedition Hunters person identified as Smith. A later text included a link to a video in which Sedition Hunters identified Smith. Smith initially replied that he was “preparing a response”. He didn’t dispute that the person in the screenshot was him. He wrote later that we would not be able to respond until Monday.

    “I recommend that you await my response, including the specific facts and characterizations in dispute,” Smith texted about seven hours after Newsline first contacted him. He did not specify the facts and qualifications to which he was referring. If Smith responds, this story will be updated.

    In a later part of the landoseason.com video, the person identified as Smith appears to warn other members of the crowd about their behavior towards the police.

    “Stop, stop, stop yelling at them, stop, stop yelling at them,” he told another Trump supporter. Then he turns to the phalanx of police and, pointing to the Capitol, says: “This is our house… This is our house.

    Sedition Hunters describes itself as “a global community of open-source intelligence investigators” dedicated to insurgent hunting. HuffPost called the group one of the FBI’s “most critical assets”, whose efforts “affected hundreds of the more than 700 cases that federal prosecutors have brought” against suspected insurgents.

    The four videos in which the group identified Smith are the first known to show the person they identify as Smith directly engaging with law enforcement during the insurgency. Video of Smith that emerged from the Newsline investigation shows him among a violent group of rioters engaged in a confrontation with police outside the Capitol, but Smith does not appear to engage officers directly in this footage .

    Thursday’s rally at The Rock Church was organized by far-right group FEC United. The Sunday church was the site of a demonstration against him allowing FEC United, which was founded by Colorado conspirator and podcaster Joe Oltmann, to hold his events at the church.

    Diocese of Iowa’s ‘58,000 cups of coffee’ initiative fuels synod conversations


    DAVENPORT, Iowa — An idea began to sprout in Patrick Schmadeke’s head as he listened to an interview with Missionary Sister Xaviere Nathalie Becquart about the 2023 synod of bishops and the process leading up to it.

    “Synodalism begins with coffee,” said the French nun, who is undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops.

    “It just felt right to me. I jotted it down on my notebook,” said Schmadeke, evangelism director for the Diocese of Davenport. “Conversations over coffee are places where humble listening to the experience of church people can take place.”

    Meanwhile, he and members of the Diocesan Evangelism Commission were trying to figure out how to reach the disaffiliated.

    “They don’t just show up to church for an event and are unlikely to show up for a formal listening session,” he said. “Most if not all of us have friends and family who are disaffiliated. So how do you leverage people’s personal connections? »

    Then Schmadeke began to smell of coffee. The diocese had just compiled its 2021 diocesan Mass attendance count, which stood at 19,399, or about 60% of the pre-pandemic tally. If each of those 19,399 Massgoers had a conversation with three different people, that would total about 58,000 cups of coffee!

    So put the coffee maker. The Synod’s 58,000 Cups of Coffee One-on-One Conversations initiative began in the Diocese of Davenport.

    “It’s a smart way for Catholics in the diocese to engage others on the topic of the Catholic faith,” Davenport Bishop Thomas R. Zinkula said. “A lot of people don’t know how to broach the subject; they don’t know what to say; they think they don’t know enough about faith; they will not have answers to the questions.

    “The synod and this initiative give them an excuse, an opportunity, to tell others about the faith, and all they have to do is listen.”

    Here’s how it works:

    Mass spectators are invited to have a synodal conversation with three different people: someone already on the pews; someone who was on the benches but hasn’t been there since the pandemic; and someone who has never been part of a religious community or who has long ceased to practice.

    The conversation focuses on the essential question of the Synod in the Diocese of Davenport: In your personal experience, what fills your heart and what breaks your heart about the Catholic Church (for example, in your parish and beyond your parish)?

    “It’s about listening to the experience of your interlocutor. It’s not about debating or listening to respond, it’s about deep, in-depth listening to understand,” Schmadeke told the Catholic Messenger, Davenport’s diocesan newspaper. “We want to learn from their experience.”

    No one is limited to three conversations. “Have coffee with as many people as you can! This is an opportunity to generate enthusiasm for the faith in our communities,” Schmadeke said. The diocese provides a form on its website – davenportdiocese.org – for the person who initiated the conversation to share their thoughts on the experience.

    Deacon candidate Ryan Burchett, who serves on the Evangelism Commission, reached out to a Catholic friend who has been away from church for some time.

    “It led to a really interesting conversation for us,” Burchett said. “He told me where he was and I told him where I was. We both left the conversation in tears. It was heartfelt and meaningful.

    “So rarely these days do we have the opportunity to be heard without being subjected to guidance, judgment, counterpoint,” Burchett said. “It was time to stop and listen.”

    He admitted to feeling a bit anxious about inviting his friend to talk about his faith. “I felt like I was rolling the dice a bit.” The question, “What fills your heart and what breaks your heart,” goes beyond superficial stuff. It cuts to the heart. My advice: don’t be afraid to go there and give it a try.

    Burchett is grateful to have done so.

    Responses submitted on the diocesan website were equally compelling. “People bare their hearts,” Schmadeke said. “People need space and conversations to allow these things to come to the surface.” Among the comments:

    — “This man is my son, and although he deeply appreciates the life of faith we gave him growing up, and is still drawn to rituals, the church has left him deeply disappointed.”

    — “She craves spiritual fulfillment and connection to the community. She has been a faithful Catholic, but considers faith to be actions for the greater good (rather than) faith of rote Mass attendance. I felt his pain and his search.

    The 58,000 cups of coffee initiative is one of two parts of the Diocesan Synod process. The other strand focuses on organized listening sessions that leverage Church structures, such as parishes, schools, and other diocesan entities to connect to the greater community.

    Responses from the listening sessions and conversations will provide content for a 10-page summary that the diocese will submit to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The USCCB will synthesize summaries from around the country to send to the Vatican for the World Synod of Bishops which will meet in 2023.

    The ideas collected in the diocese will also be “very useful in our efforts to evangelize the people of our diocese,” Bishop Zinkula said.

    “I hope that once they get a taste of this, people will be more inclined to continue having one-on-one conversations about the Catholic faith with others,” he said. “Hopefully it will become more natural and normal.”

    Keep the coffee maker on.

    – – –

    Arland-Fye is editor of The Catholic Messenger, the newspaper of the Diocese of Davenport.

    Eastern Oaks Church Responds to Community Needs Through Tutoring


    Nearly ten years ago, Eastern Oaks Church in Montgomery decided to try something new for the summer.

    “We took all summer Wednesday nights and went door to door and said, ‘How can we pray for you, and what can our church do to serve the community,’ remembers Pastor Daniel Gillenwater.

    They got a recurring answer to the second question – “Our children need help in school.”

    So they took that and ran with it, Gillenwater said.

    The church began hosting a breakfast every first and third Saturday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m., helping students with homework or tutoring if needed.

    “We had teachers in our congregation and college graduates who weren’t shy about helping out and someone who volunteered to make breakfast,” Gillenwater said. “Depending on the crowd, sometimes it’s one on one, sometimes it’s one tutor for four or five kids.”

    All ages concerned

    The focus is on K-12, but “we’ve had a few middle schoolers who needed math help, and we have a few math pros in the church,” Gillenwater said.

    They also helped a few preschoolers with the alphabet and some non-English speaking families to learn the language, he added.

    “We didn’t send anyone away if they showed up asking for help. We will give all the help we can give.

    One of Gillenwater’s favorite aspects of the ministry is seeing how people across the church have volunteered.

    “We had several of our youngsters, fifth and sixth graders … who came to help tutor kids younger than them,” he said. “You don’t need to have a teaching degree or a college degree to help.”

    The ministry fits squarely into the mission of the church, Gillenwater noted.

    “We are big proponents of needs-based outreach. We believe very strongly in trying to meet the needs so that we can share the gospel with them.

    Pastor invites gang members to sit-down conversation after 10 homicides mark deadly start to 2022 | KLRT


    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) – Little Rock’s homicide count rose to 10 after two people died in multiple shootings on Friday. Amid the deadly start to the year, a North Little Rock pastor publicly invited gang members and affiliates for a sit-down conversation in hopes of finding common ground.

    “Let’s get involved in the lives of these young people,” said Eric Crowder-Jones, pastor of Another Chance Church of NLR.

    Crowder-Jones, who began his ministry after a stint in prison, said he believed he could mediate between warring factions because of his connection to their struggles. The pastor said he spends time with people directly involved in the ongoing violence and mentors some in his work.

    “A lot of times young men come into my office…gang members, people who aren’t in gangs but are just temperamental,” Crowder-Jones said. “We have a frank conversation.

    Some local activists cite the lack of affordable housing, the inaccessibility of loans to finance businesses, de jure and de facto racism and the difficulty of achieving upward mobility as reasons why young people in poor areas resort to violence. Crowder-Jones said leaders need to step up and young people need a place to vent their frustrations.

    “Maybe it’s a feud, but when do we get to the point and how do we get to the point where we’re saying even though we’re arguing, violence isn’t the way to handle this?” said Crowder-Jones.

    With more killings seemingly every week, Crowder-Jones said he plans to welcome gang members and affiliates to his church next Wednesday at 7 p.m. He said political or police approaches to solving the problems had done little to quell the problem.

    “You can’t fix it. You tried,” Crowder-Jones said. “Now let the streets speak so you can hear what they have to say.”

    Vagrancy and violence force New York church’s ‘No Trespassing’ sign


    It is a sign of the times.

    A The Upper West Side church posted a “No Trespassing” sign on its front porch and a steel chain across its entrance in January, after its front porch became a sanctuary for vagrancy and violence.

    The First Baptist Church on the corner of West 79th Street and Broadway has been forced to violate Christianity’s cardinal rule – forgive those who trespass against us – following violent attacks on at least five people and constant attendance during of the past year of homeless men living in squalor on the steps.

    “They drink alcohol, they smoke, they eat, they litter, they defecate and they urinate everywhere,” said Dale Brown, president of the West 79th Street Block Association, of the horde of homeless people. .

    The stairs are normally used by parishioners to enter Sunday services. Church officials, including Pastor Harry Fujiwara, did not respond to requests for comment.

    A spate of bloody violence has unfolded around the corner from the church in recent weeks, according to NYPD reports.

    Two women were bloodied and hospitalized following what police said was an unprovoked attack on December 2 near the entrance to the church. Darrell Johnson, 28, a homeless man, was charged with assault.

    On December 14, three people were attacked on West 79th Street by a man wielding a golf club. Elvin Torres, 36, of Brooklyn was arrested in the attacks.

    A homeless man has been charged in connection with an attack in December near the entrance to the church that left two women hospitalized.

    On New Years Day, police responded to a call for disorderly conduct outside the church, but the suspect fled before officers arrived.

    The city saw a sharp increase in crime in January, the NYPD reportedwith robberies up 33.1% (1,251 vs 940), robberies up 58.1% (4,047 vs 2,559) and shootings up 31.6% (100 vs 76) per compared to January 2021. The 20th District, which includes the church and much of the Upper West Side, report that crime and misdemeanor assaults are flat year over year (23), while robbery jumped 77.8% (48 vs. 27), outpacing the citywide increase.

    the West Side Rag first reported the appearance of the “No Trespassing” sign at the First Baptist Church.

    Machete Lopez, one of the homeless people who had camped on the church steps in recent months, blamed the violence on outside agitators. His group, made up mostly of immigrants from Mexico, has since moved a few yards from the Broadway median, which has also drawn neighborhood anger.

    “We like it better here,” Lopez said, citing the hot air rising from the subway grates on the median, while admitting the problems on the church steps had become untenable. “We don’t blame them for moving us.”

    Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who represents much of the Upper West Side, said the city continues to fail its most vulnerable citizens, despite a $2.1 billion budget for the Department of Homeless Services. -shelter.

    “We still aren’t addressing as a city the mental health and addictions issues that are at the root of many of our issues, including homelessness,” said Brewer, the former borough president. of Manhattan.

    First Baptist Church
    Homeless people who had camped on the steps of the church moved to a median of Broadway.

    She said the city recently secured $265 million in public funding to address the opioid crisis and hopes it can be used to address the quality of life issues that have overwhelmed the city.

    Until then, First Baptist Church members will enter Sunday services through a side entrance on West 79th Street.

    “It’s terrible that the church had to do what it had to do,” said Brown, the leader of the neighborhood association. “But they had to protect their parishioners.”

    Boris Johnson should be ashamed of Savile’s insult, says Bishop | Politics


    Today’s political culture is ‘rancid and dangerous’ and Boris Johnson should be ashamed of himself for telling a lie that led to street violence, a Church of England bishop has said.

    Paul Bayes, the Bishop of Liverpool, said the UK faces a “struggle between those whose interest is to fragment society and those who want to uphold the common good”.

    Speaking on the eve of his retirement, Bayes also said Church law should change to define marriage as between two people, regardless of gender – a highly controversial move that would overturn centuries of biblical teaching. traditional.

    Bayes said Johnson should take “a serious stock-taking of his position” after telling parliament that Keir Starmer had not prosecuted pedophile Jimmy Savile. Two days later, Starmer had to seek refuge with a mob accusing him of being a “paedophile protector”.

    Bayes said: “I don’t think that’s an honest statement, and I think [Johnson] should be ashamed of it. And the people who trotted out to say “it’s not really a problem, it’s all part of the turmoil of politics” should share that shame…

    “The parallel in my mind is Donald Trump. [Johnson] shows us who he is, and people seem to want that in politics. And I regret it. We need a policy that has no room for lies told in the House of Commons that could produce violence in the streets two days later.

    However, if Johnson resigns, the political environment would still have to change, Bayes said. “It’s not about individual bad apples. It is a question of culture. The culture of politics was “contradictory, irritated, exhausted” and “rancid and dangerous”.

    This was the case “on the other side of the west”, he said. “You see clear illiberalism in Eastern Europe, you see the rise of the far right in France, and you see what you see in the United States… Basic decency has been lost.”

    People who suggested that bishops should not express political views were wrong, he said. The church has “a place in the public square” and “there are values ​​that we can express clearly and which will have a political impact. As long as that platform is there, it is up to us to stick to it.

    Within the C of E, Bayes has been increasingly vocal about the urgency of LGBTQ+ equality, an issue that has caused bitter divisions for many years.

    He said: “I want to see a church where if a congregation and its ministers want to bless and marry same-sex people or trans people, they should be free to do so without stigma. And those who do not want to do so should have the freedom of conscience not to do so. I want to see gender-neutral marriage canons, which just say marriage is between two people.

    Bayes said he expected that to happen, “100 percent.” The Church must listen to “God who never changes, and society which changes all the time. About slavery, abortion, contraception, women’s ministry, long and agonizing debates resulted in a church that made room for these things. And I think in the end it will happen [with LGBTQ+ equality].

    He did not expect such a change imminently, but “I hope and pray that it will happen in my lifetime”.

    Bayes, who has been Bishop of Liverpool since 2014, was introduced as a member of the House of Lords in November, just three months before his retirement. “I would have been there for five or six years but there was a [C of E] rule that female bishops should take precedence. I support this rule, but it means I have been the shortest member of the House of Lords for decades. But it’s cool.

    After retirement, he will trade his eight-bedroom Bishop’s house in Liverpool for a two-bedroom workman’s house in the West Country. He can write a book, but first “there will be a lot of snoring for about six months, and he will remember how to be a grandfather”.

    Kindergarten to Community Christian School Overview | News, Sports, Jobs


    The kindergarten gathering will be February 24 at Community Christian School, 2406 9 1/2 Ave. S.

    Two sessions will be available, one at 3:30 p.m. and the second at 5:30 p.m. All interested families are invited to participate to learn more about the CCS. To be eligible for kindergarten, a child must be 5 years old by September 15, 2022.

    Come learn about the kindergarten program, get to know the teacher and the classroom. If you are unavailable on February 24, please make an appointment for an individual consultation at another time by calling 515-573-3011.

    CCSl offers day care for infants through elementary as well as before and after school care and preschool services for ages 3 and 4 that are faith-based and academically based.

    Kindergarten through eighth grade offers a biblically integrated education. High academic standards, smaller classrooms, caring teachers, and a family-friendly environment make CCS a popular school choice. The school is state-accredited and non-denominational, which means that many religious denominations are represented by students and staff. CCS offers financial assistance to families who qualify.

    New family discounts and discounts for multiple family members are also available.

    To make a reservation for this year’s kindergarten gathering, please call Community Christian School at 515-573-3011 by February 18.

    Today’s breaking news and more to your inbox

    2 deputies north. Pastors Talk Community Healing After Recent Violence – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of Minnesota and the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul.


    Extended interview: 2 Mpls from the North. Pastors Speak of Community Healing After Recent ViolenceWatch Kirsten Mitchell’s extended interview with two North Minneapolis pastors who talk about community healing from recent acts of violence.

    WCCO Digital Update: Afternoon of February 11, 2022Here are Minnesota’s latest headlines.

    Midday weather reportWCCO’s director of meteorology said road conditions could be risky for the afternoon drive.

    Midday titles of February 11, 2022Police are investigating after two people were found shot inside a car in North Minneapolis.

    Spinouts, crashes in blizzard conditionsWe saw crashes and spinouts in all of the Twin Cities this morning, and across the state for that matter.

    A unique way to say “Bee Mine” this Valentine’s DayChef Kris Koch of Farmers Kitchen + Bar explains.

    Twin Cities drummer raises heart health awarenessPete Johnson was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm five years ago. This led him and his wife Amy to start the nonprofit Rock From The Heart.

    How to Create a DIY Scavenger HuntAmy Blaubach shows how you can take your kids on a scavenger hunt to help them create a special memory.

    9:00 a.m. weather reportWCCO meteorologist Riley O’Connor shares the latest news on severe winter storms in parts of Minnesota.

    Do blind dates work?Tinder has launched a new feature that pairs users before allowing them to view their profiles.

    How do they de-ice planes?Every day, hundreds of planes land and depart from MSP Airport, often during ice storms or snowstorms.

    February 11, 2022 mid-morning headlinesFour people have been shot in just over 24 hours in North Minneapolis. Three of these victims died.

    CBS News MN Morning Update: Feel Good FridayJason DeRusha asks viewers to share their positives from the week.

    4 things to know since February 11, 2022The Canadian Trucker Blockade and Disney On Ice are two of the stories you should know.

    6:30 a.m. weather reportParts of the state are under blizzard warnings and winter storm watches Friday morning, Riley O’Connor reports.

    Minnesotans Feature in New Disney On Ice ShowShayla Reaves speaks with Cale Ambroz and Ryan Santee.

    Morning headlines February 11, 2022Jason DeRusha and Heather Brown share the latest titles.

    “Marry Me” gets a rare one-star ratingRusty Gatenby wasn’t a fan of Jennifer Lopez’s latest romantic comedy.

    Prosecution could conclude federal trial for former MPD officersA Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension medical examiner testified Thursday at the federal trial of three former officers charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights over the drugs investigators found in the squad car tried to get him put it on before holding it on the sidewalk.

    Recall of illegally imported COVID-19 home testsSD Biosensor is voluntarily recalling its STANDARD Q COVID-19 Ag home tests.

    4 firefighters injured after public transport bus fireThe fire occurred in Eden Prairie overnight.

    Minneapolis North HS mourns QB killed in shootoutThe victim was the second teenager fatally shot in the metro area in the past two weeks.

    It’s time for a preview of “Puppy Bowl”For many, this is the real highlight of Super Bowl weekend.

    5 a.m. weather reportWCCO meteorologist Riley O’Connor shares the latest news on a new dose of winter taking hold in the state.

    Italy’s Catholic Church faces pressure for independent investigation into abuse | world news


    By Philip Pullella and Angelo Amante

    ROME (Reuters) – In an ongoing trial in Sicily, a 28-year-old Italian is seeking justice against a man he accuses of forcing him to perform sex acts before becoming a priest.

    Victim claims alleged abuse, committed more than a decade ago when he was a minor and accused was a seminarian leading youth groups, included forced masturbation and oral sex in sacristies and halls of class. The accused denies the charges.

    The victim turned himself in to police only after the Church failed to follow up on his accusations, which he spelled out to two priests and in a meeting with a bishop involving his parents.

    Victims groups say there are thousands of similar cases hidden in Church records, and they are increasing pressure for an independent investigation in Italy to mirror recent moves in France and Germany.

    Political cartoons about world leaders

    Nine Italian groups have formed a consortium and will announce a campaign called “Beyond the Great Silence” on Tuesday and unveil a hashtag #ItalyChurchToo.

    It aims to publicly pressure the Italian government to investigate past and present abuses in the Church or for the Church to commission an impartial investigation by outsiders.

    The campaign is the latest global move to force the Catholic Church to establish the full extent of clergy sexual abuse that has cost it millions of dollars in victim compensation.

    “The state and the government must take the lead on this,” Francesco Zanardi, the leader of one of the groups, Rete l’Abuso (The Abuse Network), which tracks clerical abuse in Italy, told Reuters. .

    “If the Church investigates itself, its first objective will be to protect itself,” said Zanardi, a victim of clergy sexual abuse.

    Activists did not specify how many sexual abuse crimes they suspected had taken place in Italy, but Rete l’Abuso documented hundreds of such cases, mostly current or recent.

    The German study, published in 2018, showed that 1,670 clergymen abused 3,677 minors from 1946 to 2014. The French survey published last year and covering seven decades found that more than 200,000 children had been abused in Catholic institutions.

    Pope Francis expressed his shame at the Church’s failure to deal with sexual abuse cases and said the Church must make itself a “safe home for all”. Former Pope Benedict has acknowledged that mistakes occurred in handling sexual abuse cases when he was Archbishop of Munich and asked for forgiveness.

    The results of an independent survey dating back decades could be devastating in Italy, where around 74% of the population is Catholic.

    “The Church doesn’t want this because it would be a powder keg,” Zanardi said.

    The bishops of Italy are divided on the type of investigation to be carried out.

    Some say the church has the resources, like diocesan anti-abuse committees, to do the job itself.

    Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, a supporter of an internal investigation, explained his position in an interview with the newspaper. Paola Lazzarini, head of Women in the Church, which is part of the consortium, told Reuters Bassetti’s position “does not satisfy us at all”.

    Other bishops, including Erio Castellucci of Modena and Paolo Lojudice of Siena, signaled their support for the commissioning of an outside investigation.

    Victims groups and some experts on abuse within the Church have warned that an internal investigation would not be convincing.

    “We may have the best intentions, but as long as we do it internally, no one will believe us,” Father Hans Zollner, who heads the department of protection and prevention of sexual abuse at the Gregorian University, told Reuters. Rome.

    A decision must be taken in May during a plenary to elect the new president of the Italian Episcopal Conference because any investigation will be carried out during his five-year term.

    (Reporting by Philip Pullella, editing by Timothey Heritage)

    Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

    The synod process will be different from parish to parish

    Pope Francis is calling on all Catholics to participate in a global consultation and “become experts in the art of encounter.” This consultative process involves dioceses and parishes around the world. CNS PHOTO/PAUL HARING

    by Joe Bollig
    [email protected]

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. – There seems to be an art to everything these days. Waffle making. Beard maintenance. And for those of you old enough to catch the reference, even motorcycle maintenance.

    Now Pope Francis is calling on all Catholics to participate in a global consultation and “become experts in the art of encounter.”

    “Today, as we begin this synodal process, let us begin by asking ourselves – all of us, pope, bishops, priests, religious and laity – if we, the Christian community, embody this “style” of God, who walks the of history and shares in the life of humanity,” the pope said October 10, 2021, at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

    The Synod of Bishops on Synodality will take place in Rome in 2023. Its theme is: “For a synodal Church: communion, preparation and mission”.

    Now this consultative process is moving to dioceses and parishes around the world.

    Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann kicked off the synod process in the Kansas City Archdiocese in Kansas with an opening Mass Oct. 24, 2021 at St. Peter’s Cathedral.

    Many Catholics may not know what a synod is.

    “The process of convening a synod of bishops is truly a process of brotherly collaboration among the bishops of the world,” said Fr. John Riley, vicar general and chancellor of the archdiocese. “A synod is essentially an advisory body of bishops that gives the pope a means to discuss the issues of the day and to receive feedback and advice from bishops around the world.”

    Bishop Naumann said synodality is a process that involves a community speaking, listening and praying together.

    “Synodality is a way of talking about how the Church is called to be a community that journeys together,” he said. “It draws our attention to the synodal process which truly exemplifies the mission of the whole Church – a people journeying together, each of us not going our own way, but trying to follow Him who is the way, the truth and the life. .”

    The pope has asked each bishop to engage in the process of gathering information for the synod by consulting with clergy, laity, the Catholic faithful and non-Catholics. In the Archdiocese, consultation will mainly consist of listening sessions.

    “We have already done quite a bit of work in the Archdiocese,” Fr. Riley said. “We communicated with all the pastors of the 107 parishes. We sent them the questions to use to address the groups they want to engage. . . . [How the process is conducted] will be different, I presume, for each parish depending on the size and demographics of the parish.

    Pastors do not have to use all of the questions suggested for the listening session. They serve as a guide. Congregations and ministries should focus on the issues most relevant to them.

    Parish groups that pastors choose for the consultation process could include pastoral councils, finance councils, Ignite evangelism teams, parish training groups, Knights of Columbus, altar societies or congregations, youth groups, prayer groups, Hispanic or other ethnic groups, ministries or others. Individual parishioners who wish to participate, but do not belong to these groups, should contact their parish priest.

    “Once [pastors] have consulted with their respective groups in their parishes, they will consolidate all of this information into one report for their parish to upload to our Archdiocesan website,” Fr. Riley said. “We are looking for a report by parish. They will need to consolidate all of their responses and synthesize their discussions into general themes on the questions we sent out for discussion.

    In addition to parishes, other entities and ministerial groups will be involved in the consultation process of the synod. These include religious communities, Catholic academic centers in colleges and universities, high schools, and Catholic charities.

    “I think it is important to note that [the synod] is not something that seeks to change the teaching of the church on issues or the way the church views this or that issue,” Fr. Riley said. “It provides, if you will, a lens through which the church can look to better live and articulate the truths contained in the Catholic Church and its teaching, and to carry out the mission of the church in the world. “

    The deadline for all parishes and other ministerial entities or groups to submit their reports to the Archdiocese is April 1. 1.

    The archdiocesan report – as well as those of all the dioceses of the world – will be used by the bishops who will participate in the synod on synodality in 2023. Eventually, this synod will produce a document.

    Parish milestones

    January 12 – February 14: Pastors decide which groups or ministries to gather feedback from and schedule times and dates for in-person meetings, videoconferences or electronic communications.

    January 10 – March 25: Parishes conduct their ministry and group meetings.

    April 1: All reports must be entered on the Archdiocesan website.

    Question topics

    The consultation questions of the Archdiocesan Synod are grouped under 10 topics:

    1. Listen
    2. Talk about our faith
    3. Divine Worship
    4. Take responsibility for our Christian mission
    5. Include
    6. Attendance
    7. Decision making
    8. Creation
    9. Dialogue in Church and Society
    10. Other communities of faith

    texarkana community center


    TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) — An uncle and nephew are investing in their Texarkana community by turning a neglected church building into a haven for the community’s children.

    The Texarkana, Arkansas Planning Commission on Monday approved a conditional use permit allowing Brandon Johnson and his uncle Phillip Wilson to convert a former church into a community center. The center, located in the 2600 block of Walter Street, will be a place to help young people become responsible and effective citizens through mentoring and tutoring services.

    “I grew up in this community and my mom lived on East Ninth St., and you know we had to play the cards that were dealt to us,” Wilson said.

    Wilson and Johnson are self-funding the project and hope to begin operations within the next month. They say the center will offer tutoring three days a week, and they also plan to recruit community volunteers to participate in a career day once a month to expose students to a variety of career options.

    Download the ArkLaTexHomepage app to follow the latest news, breaking news, weather, sports and more!

    “A lot of people I met taught me things that worked with me because I had a little turmoil in my life as a kid growing up, but I was able to become a businessman. very prosperous.”

    Wilson says his personal success is why he is so determined to go above and beyond to give back to his community.

    Kisoro pastors charged with threat of violence


    The Kisoro Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday charged four people, including three pastors, with threatening their fellow pastor.

    The prosecution led by Kisoro state prosecutor Peter Muhendo told the court presided over by Raphael Vueni that Pastor Martin Ahimbisbwe, 43, Pastor Charles Turyatemba, 43, Pastor Cossum Mbabazi, 30, all Lift Up pastors Jesus Rubuguri and Annah Nyiranziza, 33, the CEO of Hope Mission Uganda; threatened with violence against another pastor named Pastor Michael Kasingye.

    The court was also told that the fifth person accused along with the four Manireba Jado, a Rwandan national working in the same Project Hope mission in Uganda, was unable to appear in court as he was remanded in custody for illegal entry. in the country.

    The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge of threatening violence and, through their lawyer, Solomon Saddam, asked the court to grant them bail because they are all pastors and have families and will obey the law.

    His Honor Raphael Vueni granted them all a cash bond of Ugx 500,000 each and the sureties were each bonded at Ugx 2 million not cash.

    The case has been adjourned to February 28, 2022, when they will appear in court for mention of the case.

    Community races against time to restore dilapidated church

    Al Beatty, Chairman of the Cedar Hill/West Bank Heritage Foundation, holds an old nail removed from a rotting part of the timber frame of Navassa’s Reaves Chapel. The chapel was built in the mid-1800s by former slaves on the Cedar Hill Plantation and other nearby plantations. Photo: Trista Talton

    NAVASSA – There were times when Al Beatty was scared to look at Reaves Chapel as he walked past.

    Jesica Blake felt a wave of nausea when she saw the chapel, built in the mid-1800s, visibly shaking when its steeple was lifted from the roof a few years ago.

    Many a conversation between the two began with the question, “Is it still standing?”

    Remarkably, Reaves Chapel, one of the oldest African-American buildings in southeastern North Carolina, indeed still stands after falling into disrepair since a congregation last met in its walls more than 15 years ago.

    Since then, the small chapel built by former slaves at Cedar Hill Plantation has withstood tropical storms and hurricanes. Termites feasted on his wooden bones.

    The weight of the steeple, which contains a small but impressively heavy bell, has begun to tip the chapel to one side.

    The race against time to restore the chapel before it collapses weighed heavily on Beatty, president of the Cedar Hill/West Bank Heritage Foundationand Blake, North Carolina Coastal Land Trust Associate Director.

    “It would never have survived another tropical storm,” Beatty said, surveying the chapel’s new floor on a recent cold February morning.

    It was the first time he had entered the chapel, its floor being too rotten to contain a person safely, in over a year.

    “It’s fantastic,” Beatty said, a beaming smile on his face. “It’s a great past. It’s fantastic.”

    About half the million dollars it will cost to restore the building, lay out the grounds for the chapel, construct a separate building for restrooms and parking, has been raised through fundraising efforts led by the land trust , the foundation and the Wilmington Historical Foundation.

    The Coastal Land Trust purchased the little over half an acre on which the chapel now sits just off Cedar Hill Road in Navassa, the Brunswick County town nestled at the confluence of the Cape Fear and Brunswick rivers.

    Ed Reaves, a former slave on the Cedar Hill Plantation, donated the land in 1911, around the time the chapel was moved by his congregation, whose members used logs and a team of oxen, for the move inward from the Cape Fear River cliffs.

    The church eventually became affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal denomination and remained an AME church until its doors closed for good in the mid-2000s.

    As a child, Beatty attended church with his family. He remembers the Easter Sunday programs when he and the other children, dressed in their best Sunday clothes, had to recite from the pulpit short speeches interspersed with scriptures.

    “Everyone had a speech,” Beatty said. “Everyone.”

    Beatty helped create the Cedar Hill/West Bank Foundation in 2011 in an effort to save the chapel. The foundation was officially granted nonprofit status two years later.

    The first attempts to buy the chapel failed. The land trust, which had worked with Navassa as the city began a process with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to remediate the former Kerr-McGee Superfund site, eventually stepped in and offered to help pick up the cause to save the chapel.

    “It’s a piece of American history that we’re honored to help protect,” Blake said.

    After years of effort and fundraising, the Reaves Chapel in Navassa is being restored. The chapel was built by former slaves on the Cedar Hill Plantation and other nearby plantations. Donations are always accepted for the project. Photo: Trista Talton

    The church is restored to how it was in 1911, when a cube-shaped addition was built to the front of the church to accommodate a choir.

    Today, the chapel’s white paint is gray and chipped. Traces of water damage mark parts of the ceiling and walls.

    Parts of the building’s exposed timber frame are strewn with holes eaten by termites. “Real old fashioned nails”, as Beatty calls them, still hold the frame together.

    But the bones are good, testimony of the craftsmen who built the chapel more than a century ago.

    Beatty said he has yet to bring new visitors to the chapel who were not immediately drawn to its charm.

    “The church becomes a part of them,” he said.

    Balding Brothers, a Wilmington-based company that specializes in restoring historic buildings, is overseeing the project.

    Since restoration work began late last year, the church’s foundation has been stabilized by some of the original concrete blocks that have supported the church for years. New brick piles were added along the sides of the foundation.

    Three stained glass windows, including a triangular-shaped window above the double-door entrance, were removed and sent for cleaning and restoration at the steep price of $50,000.

    A shipping container next to the chapel, which is temporarily surrounded by a tall chain-link fence, is used as storage for items taken out of the chapel, such as pews and the bell tower bell.

    Off the chapel site, in the woods that lead to the Cape Fear River cliffs, is the chapel cemetery.

    About ten tombstones are in this area. More than 70 depressions in the ground signal more graves.

    “We’re in the process of restoring that and getting a catalog,” of those graves, Beatty said.

    The organizations are working with the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office to have the chapel and its cemetery designated a State Historic Landmark, which would eventually be linked to nationally recognized places of historic significance related to the Gullah Geechee.

    The Gullah Geechee are descendants of West Africans taken from their country and enslaved in the rice, indigo and cotton plantations of Sea Island on the lower Atlantic coast.

    Reaves Chapel would be the northern anchor of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, which encompasses 12,000 square miles of coastal area that runs along the southern Atlantic coast from St. John’s County, Florida to Onslow County .

    Efforts are underway to connect the corridor to the East Coast Greenway in Brunswick County. The Greenway is a 3,000-mile walking and biking route that crosses 15 states from Maine to Florida.

    The Gullah Geechee Greenway/Blueway Heritage Trail project will be designed to combine outdoor activities, including walking, biking and paddling, with Gullah Geechee history and culture.

    There is also a proposal in the works to build a cultural heritage center in Navassa, a place that will further educate visitors about the history and culture of the Gullah Geechee.

    Blake said the goal was to get the state to take ownership of the chapel. Ultimately, Beatty said, the plan is to have the site listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.

    Blake said, though noble, she hopes the restoration of the chapel will be complete by the end of the year.

    Quebec bishops deplore government’s COVID vaccine passport for Mass attendance | National Catholic Registry


    The Quebec vaccine passport system has been in place since September 1, 2021.

    QUEBEC CITY, Quebec — Quebec’s Catholic bishops, while registering their opposition to the province’s imposition of COVID-19 vaccination passports as a requirement to attend church services, said this week they accept the requirement for now and continued to ask the government to get it over with.

    “[I]It seems reasonable to us in the current circumstances to accept certain compromises that contribute to the safety and health of all,” the Bishops wrote in a Feb. 3 statement.

    “For the moment, we accept that vaccination passports are compulsory to access places of worship, even if this measure upsets us deeply. However, we remain in contact with government authorities to remind them that this requirement goes against our beliefs and to ensure that it will be lifted as soon as it is safe to do so.

    The Quebec vaccine passport system, in which an electronic file functions as a pass allowing vaccinated people to access certain places or activities, has been in place since September 1, 2021.

    The bishops noted that “Dignitatis humanae”, the Second Vatican Council’s declaration on religious freedom, declared that the human person has the right to religious freedom, according to which “no one can be compelled to act in a manner contrary to one’s own beliefs, whether in private or in public, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

    The bishops qualified their statement by noting that religious freedom “may exceptionally be subject to temporary restrictions for the common good.”

    As part of Quebec Premier François Legault’s staggered reopening plan, places of worship reopened on February 7. By February 21, places of worship will be allowed to operate in Quebec at 50% capacity with a maximum of 500 people, with the vaccine passport system.

    The current numerical limit is 250 people and attendees of church services must remain seated and not move around, the guide says.

    Most COVID restrictions will be lifted by March 14 under the current plan, except for the province’s mask mandate and its vaccine passport system.

    The bishops said that in meetings of a statewide interfaith council, they had “insisted” that those attending Mass be exempted from the vaccination passport requirement, “aware that we are negative effects of its imposition on our communities”.

    “We recognize that many worshipers believe this requirement constitutes intolerable discrimination that deprives unvaccinated people of their right to religious freedom. This exclusion seems to them incompatible with the very essence of a community of believers, called to be welcoming, compassionate and open to diversity,” the bishops wrote.

    More than 85% of Quebecers received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine at the start of the year. Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 in Quebec have increased from 3,400 to 2,400 in the past three weeks, says Legault.

    Legault announced a health tax on the unvaccinated in January. A curfew was lifted the same month.

    Other Canadian provinces, such as Alberta and Saskatchewan, have recently announced plans to end their vaccination passport systems and mask mandates.

    Chanhassen Church donates gift bags to District 112 staff | News Chanhassen


    When the Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Chanhassen received a large donation from one of its congregation members, the church was tasked with finding a way to share God’s love in the community. To do this, he created a program called Just a Little Something.

    The program started small and focused on helping members of the congregation recovering from surgery, illness, or in need of a meal. The church then wanted to expand the program and when the idea of ​​doing a little something for teachers arose, it evolved, said Kim Schaeferle, the church’s connections coordinator.

    The congregation came up with the idea of ​​creating gift bags for all employees of School District 112 in Eastern Carver County, including teachers, custodians, paraprofessionals, bus drivers and support staff. The church recognizes that district staff have faced a lot of stress and what they are doing is making a difference, Schaeferle said.

    “We see them and we know they work really hard,” Schaeferle said. “We appreciate all the love and care they have given our children during this pandemic.”

    A mission statement for the church is “to make disciples who make a difference,” Schaeferle said. Everything the church does comes down to this feeling and this effort is part of it. The church is trying to spread the love in the community to people who need extra pick me up during this time, Schaeferle added.

    Inside the gift bags is a notepad that says ‘let what you do today be enough’, a sticker that says ‘just breathe’, a pen that says ‘in this big world you do a difference,” a $5 Starbucks gift card and a thank you note.

    The church has been challenged by donors to think of a way to share God’s love with this donation, Pastor Josh Nelson said. He hopes District 112 feels people love and care for them and want to share their appreciation for how they touch children’s lives, he added.

    A mission statement for the church is to “make disciples who make a difference,” said Kim Schaeferle, the church’s connections coordinator.

    Nelson’s wife is a teacher in another school district, so he has witnessed her experience over the past two years and the sacrifices she has made. Often teachers are blamed for things beyond their control, such as hiding or remote learning, he said. He wants to be part of a group of people who say thank you and cling to school staff, he added.

    Members of the church congregation met for two days to assemble all the gift bags. There was such joy putting the bags together and putting them together, Nelson said, adding that it was fun to be part of a big effort.

    “Just the sheer joy of being able to serve and give and how much it means to each person to be able to be part of such an important effort,” Nelson said.

    In Nelson’s office, the calligraphy of the word “encourage” hangs. He kept the object for a long time and brought it with him to the various churches he served. In the scriptures, encouragement is listed as one of the gifts of the spirit that should be shared with others.

    “I really like to see that play out with people when we’re able to share encouragement with others,” Nelson said. “It also gives us courage.”

    The gift bags were distributed to district staff in early February.

    “These thoughtful tokens of appreciation lifted the spirits of staff members and brought smiles to our faces this week,” Celine Haga, district communications and community relations director, said in an email. “Being recognized by the community for the hard work and impact of our staff over the past two years really makes a difference.”

    Anambra: Pastor’s car stolen at gunpoint from church


    An Anglican priest, the Reverend Canon Chibieze Abone, had his vehicle stolen by armed men inside the compound itself.

    It was reported that the cleric was robbed from St. Thomas Anglican Church, Oba, Idemili South Local Government Area, Anambra State on Tuesday.

    Another report revealed that Abone had lost other valuables to thieves during the theft.

    The robbers were found to be holding Abone at gunpoint before taking away his army green Toyota Highlander SUV with registration number GGE 195 FX.

    The incident was revealed by the state’s Information and Information Commissioner, Don Adinuba, in a statement released on Tuesday.

    According to Adunuba, the priest lost vital documents, which were also taken with the car.

    The statement read: “A military green Toyota Highlander Jeep with registration number GGE 195 FX was stolen at gunpoint from inside the Rectory of St Thomas’ Anglican Church, Oba (Idemili-South LGA, Anambra State ) (8 February 2022). Other valuables belonging to Reverend Canon Chibueze Abone were also taken away.

    “Please any information leading to the recovery of the jeep should be directed to the nearest police station or contact Reverend Canon Abone on 08038894070. Thank you.”

    Source: Naija News

    BYU will remain “a religiously oriented religious university”


    Brigham Young University will not stray from its religious and spiritual roots like other American colleges and universities have done, the school’s new liaison to its board of trustees said Tuesday during a devotional. at the Provo, Utah campus.

    “It’s a religious university with a religious purpose,” said Elder Clark G. Gilbert in his first address to BYU since being named commissioner of the education system for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. in May 2021.

    “BYU is prophetically led and will remain a spiritual beacon to the world,” he added.

    Elder Gilbert said BYU, the flagship school of the religious system, is unaffected by the three main factors that pull many religious universities away from their spiritual origins identified by Robert Burchael — faculty promotion is outsourced to secular disciplines, funding is transferred from the sponsoring religion to outside sources, and university management is separated from the sponsoring institution.

    Sometimes some people suggest that the Church of Jesus Christ should move away from BYU as it got rid of junior colleges nearly a century ago.

    “Let me explain why this will not happen to BYU,” said Elder Gilbert, who became a General Authority Seventy of the church in April 2021. “First, the prophets foretold the important role that this university will perform in the kingdom of God. Additionally, we have outstanding faculty and staff who have come to BYU precisely because they believe in the university’s unique spiritual mission.

    Two weeks ago, church leaders moved to ensure faculty remain spiritually aligned with church and BYU missions by announcing that all newly hired Latter-day Saints will be required to hold a recommendation to temple use, which signifies their faith in Jesus Christ, the church and its leaders.

    Clark G. Gilbert, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Church Education Commissioner, speaks during a BYU devotional at the Marriott Center in Provo on Tuesday February 8, 2022.
    Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

    Second, Brother Gilbert said BYU’s governance structure is unique.

    “Perhaps the most fundamental reason BYU will remain grounded in its religious goals is that its oversight and governance remain closely tied to the church itself,” Elder Gilbert said. “By design, the President of the Church Board of Education and the BYU Board of Trustees is the prophet, President Russell M. Nelson. The vice presidents are his two advisers, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring.

    Third, he said church leaders on the board remain invested in BYU students. He didn’t mention it, but the church subsidizes tuition for each student. Brother Gilbert said the board also invests time and support. The presidents of BYU, BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii, BYU-Pathway Worldwide, and Ensign College meet once a month with the full board and a second time a month with the executive committee of the board , chaired by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and former president of BYU.

    “By any external standard, this is a remarkable council,” Gilbert said, referring in part to the fact that three council members are former university presidents and the president is a former college professor. of Medicine. “But more importantly, they are spiritual, even prophetic leaders. They pray for you. They advise you on your needs. They receive revelation for this institution. They love BYU and they love you.

    As the church’s education commissioner, Elder Gilbert, a former Harvard business professor who specializes in disruptive innovation and former CEO of Deseret News, liaises between the board and universities and coordinates monthly meetings.

    Clark G. Gilbert, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Church Education Commissioner, embraces Nathan Relken after delivering a BYU devotional speech at the Marriott Center in Provo Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

    Clark G. Gilbert, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Church Education Commissioner, embraces Nathan Relken after delivering a BYU devotional speech at the Marriott Center in Provo Tuesday, February 8, 2022.
    Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

    “Every major expenditure, all faculty appointments, key program decisions and the selection of college presidents are reviewed and approved by the Church Board of Education,” he said. “So when BYU’s mission statement states that the university is ‘founded, supported, and guided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,’ know that this is part of the very design of the university.

    “BYU is designed for a distinct spiritual purpose.”

    Elder Gilbert, who is the former president of BYU-Idaho and BYU-Pathway Worldwide, walked around a circular stage on the arena floor of the Marriott Center as he addressed an estimated audience in 2,413 people, according to center staff.

    He shared thoughts on his time as a BYU student who graduated in 1994 with a degree in international relations and a wife, Christine, with whom he has eight children. He said BYU is a temporary spiritual refuge

    “A lot of us come from places where we were religious minorities and have been through things like Elder Gilbert talking about being made fun of in a high school congregation,” said Nick Burrup, 21, a student in finance in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “So we all come here and we are united in faith.”

    Brother Gilbert pointed out that the size of the school is not large enough to accommodate all the Latter-day Saints who would like to attend.

    He told the students that he wanted them to understand “in what sacred seat each of you sits.”

    “Students from regions such as Africa, Brazil and the Philippines look up to you as role models,” he added. “They would do anything to receive the opportunities that you have to be on this campus, to live in this community and to be at this devotion.”

    This notion struck a chord with 21-year-old Eleanor Molver of Seattle, Washington.

    “It made me think of students all over the world who would give anything to be here,” said Molver, a second-year bioscience student. “Sometimes I don’t pay attention in class and I was like, ‘I should.’ I should be constantly grateful to BYU and to the great church leaders who set such a good example.

    Elder Gilbert advised students to take root in Jesus Christ at a time when people he quoted, such as David Brooks and Rod Dreher, noticed that society was disintegrating spiritually. He said some young church members have told him they fear getting married and having children in a world that Dreher says is losing its bonds.

    “My message today is that we can find peace, even in the midst of turmoil,” Elder Gilbert said, quoting President Nelson’s recent message that “despite today’s unprecedented challenges, those who build their foundations on Jesus Christ and have learned to tap into his power, need not succumb to the unique anxieties of that time.”

    He said BYU can change the lives of students in lasting ways if they let it. He told them that he and his friends weren’t perfect as BYU students, “but most of us were trying our best to become something more in Christ, and we were grateful to BYU’s impact in this effort.”

    “I appreciated the clip he shared of President Nelson about how we don’t focus on perfection but on improvement, improving ourselves through Jesus Christ,” said Andrew Logan, 21, a mechanical engineering student from Oakland, Calif.

    Brother Gilbert asked the students to remember four things:

    • Christ will take us wherever we are: “Brothers and sisters, you don’t have to be perfect to be in this church. You just need to do your best, which includes repentance, as you strive to become something more in Christ.

    • He will love us even if we don’t return that love: “In this season of polarizing public speaking, I am grateful for Christ’s pattern of charity and love. Even when we feel attacked for our most cherished beliefs, he inspires us to respond with empathy and kindness.

    • “In these troubled times, Christ is the Mender of the breaches in our lives.

    • He will help us in our infirmities: “For those of you who are struggling with challenges that do not seem right, do not look to the world. Please turn to the covenants that bind you to Jesus Christ. He can comfort you like no one else can.

    The Tuesday Devotional is available now for on-demand viewing on BYUtv.org. Video, text and audio will be available later speech.byu.edu.

    North Philadelphia pastor dedicates decades to community service

    PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WPVI) – “Where you come from has nothing to do with who you become,” said Alice Martin.

    Martin grew up in North Philadelphia and always knew she wanted to give back to her neighborhood. Today, the community service enthusiast is a pastor, real estate agent and executive director of the nonprofit organization Voice Community Economic Development Corporation.

    “I understand the struggle that comes with low-income families, because I was also a single mother of three children,” said Martin, who is now a grandmother of 19. “And the children we have here, they are our future. “

    For its latest initiative, Martin has created a multi-purpose service center in a former car factory at 3509 Old York Road. The second floor is currently under construction and will become a place of worship for his ministry. The first floor currently houses a pantry and several free or subsidized preschool options. They are partners of Pre-K Counts and PHLpreK. For kids who don’t qualify for either, they run the Champion program to make sure no one is turned away.

    “I absolutely see kids who are confident and smart, eager to learn and not afraid of a challenge,” Martin said of his current students. Although they are 3 or 4 years old, they are already learning to count in Spanish.

    “But we don’t just educate children,” she added. “We help families.

    Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit organization held weekly food and clothing drives in the community. Mrs. Martin specifically invited everyone even if they were not in need. Although new challenges have arisen over the past two years, their goal is never to let a month go by without offering the same service.

    “We also have our pantry there, which we draw on to serve the community and prepare the children,” she said.

    Although she has served her community for more than 30 years, Ms. Martin is not slowing down.

    “You have the power within you to turn your problems into an experience,” she said. “We can make change. Be the change you want to see.”

    To learn more about Philadelphia’s pre-K services, visit the city’s website.

    RELATED: Philadelphia Shelter Director Empowers City’s Homeless Population

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    A penny for your thoughts


    The debate centered on a county ordinance to add prevailing wage language for work performed under county construction contracts. In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly had passed HB833/SB8, which allowed state agencies and localities to require payment of “going wage” in public construction contracts. Governor Northam signed the bill into law, with a delayed effective date of May 1, 2021. The prevailing wage is determined by the Commonwealth Commissioner of Labor and Industry based on rate determinations of applicable prevailing wages made by the US Secretary of Labor under the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act. That’s a long way of saying that “construction workers should be paid commensurate with their skills and training.”

    Seems simple enough. People who work in the construction industry, who show up for work in all weathers, who come home with knee and back pain, but who come back day after day to complete their assigned project, deserve be paid fairly and create a pathway to the middle class. Going wages help create this path, along with benefits (annual and sick leave, health insurance, and retirement accounts) that have been important job attributes since the 1930s. Going wage rates can increase the Government projects cost up to 15%, but a clearer estimate is that implementation would cost less than half that cost, closer to 5-7%. Paying the prevailing wage also has benefits associated with One Fairfax for the community as a whole, including increased protection of workers’ rights and helping workers and their families live in the communities where they work every day.

    My colleague, Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield), felt that implementing prevailing wages is too difficult, too complicated and too expensive. This was not surprising, considering the speaker. What stunned us was that he completed his opposition remarks by saying, “We can’t have everyone in the middle class, otherwise there would be no lower class or upper class.” What?! A Fairfax County elected official has in fact declared officially that he does not support the expansion of the middle class, the hallmark of success for generations of Americans.

    Frankly, the problem is that America’s middle class seems to be shrinking. Fewer families are able to buy a home; home ownership provides a way to pass wealth from generation to generation. Surveys of housing availability in the region reveal that there is a huge gap, the ‘missing middle’. As the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” widens, the payment of a prevailing wage on construction contracts, as well as the adoption of policies to pay a “living wage” (currently above $15 an hour) to other service workers is just the right thing to do. Eight members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors agreed. The change to the current wage order passed with a vote of 8 yes (Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik, who supported the change, is on maternity leave); 1 no (Herrity).

    Too hard? Too complicated? Too expensive? It can be difficult and complicated too. In the long run, giving people the opportunity to succeed doesn’t cost a lot. In fact, it may be the smartest investment we can make.

    Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. It can be emailed to [email protected]

    Charles Vert Willie, 94, dies; Studied and championed racial diversity


    Charles Vert Willie, a sociologist whose work reshaped our understanding of inclusive schooling and black family life, and whose stance against sexism in the Episcopal Church paved the way for the ordination of female priests, died Jan. 11 at his home in Brighton, Mass. He was 94 years old.

    His daughter, Sarah Willie-LeBreton, confirmed the death.

    Dr. Willie, who taught at Syracuse University and later at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, called himself an applied sociologist – someone who not only studied social problems but also proposed ways to solve them.

    He arrived at Harvard in 1974, and soon after began advising the city of Boston in its efforts to integrate its public schools. Dr. Willie was a proponent of transporting students to different school districts to achieve racial balance, but he acknowledged the process generated an intense backlash from many white parents who threatened to undermine his goals.

    By the late 1980s, he and a graduate assistant, Michael Alves, had devised a new system, which they called controlled choice. City elementary schools would no longer be filled based on geographic proximity; instead, parents would list their top three choices. In most cases, they would get their first choice, as long as that school maintained a racial balance close to that of the city as a whole.

    The plan was a success. Not only has it better integrated the schools; based on parental input, it also revealed schools that needed improvement, allowing the city to refocus its resources to help them. Over the next decade, Dr. Willie and Mr. Alves helped dozens of school districts across the country implement the controlled-choice model.

    Dr. Willie’s scholarship had a similar influence.

    His 1976 book, “A New Look at Black Families,” pushed back against the conventional wisdom of the 1960s, promoted by scholars like Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who argued that the social problems of the black community, including low rates of marriage, were the result of deep pathologies dating back to the time of slavery.

    Dr. Willie saw things differently. For him, the Black family was a great achievement, given the long history of slavery and discrimination.

    “The story of the Black family in the United States,” he writes, “must be seen as a miracle move from nothing to something.” (Later editions of the book were co-authored by Richard J. Reddick.)

    Problems that others considered endemic were, for Dr. Willie, the result of continued discrimination and social inequality – a view that over the following decades was embraced by many sociologists and policymakers.

    A life member of the Episcopal Church, Dr. Willie built what amounted to a second career as a lay Church official. In 1970 he was elected Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Church Legislature. Most people, including Dr. Willie himself, expected him to eventually become the first black Speaker of the House of Representatives.

    But he proved to be more progressive than many of his colleagues. In 1974, he helped break down the church’s gender barrier by giving the sermon at the ordination of 11 women to the priesthood. The service drew a rebuke from the House of Bishops, the upper house of the church, which three weeks later voted overwhelmingly to invalidate the ordination of women.

    Dr. Willie immediately resigned from the legislature in protest.

    “I could not act like Pilate and do what I knew was wrong,” he explained in a 1976 letter. “If the Episcopal Church did not change its sexist ways, I had to resign as officer of the church because I could no longer carry out procedures that I knew were wrong and sinful.”

    That same year, the church reversed its position, and from 1977 allowed women to join the priesthood. Dr Willie remained in the church and, at a meeting in 2015, the House of Representatives honored him with a service medal and a standing ovation.

    Charles Green Willie was born on December 8, 1927 in Dallas. Both of his grandfathers were born into slavery. His father, Louis, worked as a railroad porter, a job that paid poorly and took him away from home for long periods of time, but was also stable and secure, protected by one of the few black-run unions , the Brotherhood of Sleeping Cars. Holders.

    His mother, Carrie (Sykes) Willie, was among the first black women to graduate from college in Texas. She earned a teaching degree from Wiley College in Marshall, but couldn’t find work when Charles was young – under Depression-era rules, married women often couldn’t get jobs if their husband already had one.

    Charles and his four siblings traveled to school by streetcar, forced to move out back under the city’s Jim Crow laws – an experience of racial navigation he later recalled as strange, given of his future as a sociologist.

    “I studied most of the cities I lived in, including Boston and Syracuse,” he said in a 1989 oral history. “But I didn’t know much about Dallas because my moving to Dallas was in separate lanes. There were black neighborhoods and white neighborhoods, and black people rarely entered white neighborhoods.

    He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he befriended Martin Luther King Jr., another sociology student and member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He graduated in 1948 and earned a master’s degree, also in sociology, the following year from Atlanta University, now known as Clark Atlanta University.

    While studying for a doctorate in sociology at Syracuse University, he joined the choir of a local Episcopal church. There he met Mary Sue Conklin; they married in 1962.

    Besides his daughter and his wife, he is survived by his sister, Mary Gauthier; his sons, James and Martin; and three grandchildren.

    After earning his doctorate in 1957, Dr. Willie taught at Syracuse for 17 years – he was the first black to hold a tenure there – and took over as head of the department in 1967. He brought Dr. King to the school to speak twice, in 1961 and 1965.

    When Dr. Willie retired in 1999, some of his students, knowing of his penchant for collecting images of Noah’s Ark, presented him with a hand-carved model. Thanking them, he explained the reasoning behind his unusual hobby.

    “The world has been swept away except for the survivors of the ark”,
    he told them. “So I use the ark as a way to demonstrate diversity. Noah brought on board not just his family but his whole family, even those uncles or cousins ​​you never talk about. The world that exists today is such because people of all kinds have populated it.

    Catholic leaders encourage lobbying and discussion against the death penalty


    WASHINGTON, DC — Catholic leaders are encouraging believers to get involved in lobbying efforts against capital punishment and to discuss the issue in their parishes and with family members.

    Two recent webinars on this topic have brought this message to Catholics across the country.

    On January 27, Catholic Mobilizing Network hosted a webinar, “Ending the Federal Death Penalty: The Road Ahead,” and on February 1, Renew International and the Archdiocese of Washington hosted, “Dignity and the Death Penalty: A Conversation with Cardinal Wilton Gregory and Sister Helen Prejean.

    The panels highlighted not only the position of the Catholic Church against capital punishment, but also the need for believers to step up and do their part to help end the practice in the United States.

    “This is a pivotal moment,” said Ingrid Delgado, policy adviser at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ Office of National Social Development. She reminded viewers on January 27 that 44 people are currently on federal death row and that President Joe Biden campaigned on a promise to end the federal death penalty.

    She said anti-death penalty bills in Congress especially need Republican support “to show that this is a bipartisan issue.” She also noted that the federal death penalty abolition law, introduced last year, “is unlikely to pass at this time.”

    “But we are people of faith and hope; we can and we will get there,” she said.

    Delgado urged people to sign the Catholic Mobilizing Network‘s online petition calling on Biden to end the death penalty, available at: https://catholicsmobilizing.org/biden-end-federal-dp. She also asked them to contact members of Congress about the issue and speak to state lawmakers if their state still has the death penalty.

    But the work should not stop there. She also urged webinar viewers to “think about your circles of influence” – such as parishes – and take this topic forward there.

    That was the focus of the Feb. 1 panel with Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory and Sister Helen Prejean, a sister of St. Joseph de Medaille, who has long campaigned for the abolition of the death penalty.

    Gregory said pastors should form social justice ministry teams with parish leaders who can engage parishioners on a consistent ethic of life. He also said discussing this issue can be difficult as people have strong feelings about it, and stressed that the dialogue should be in Christian charity with an emphasis on listening to each other.

    “Be nice, especially at the beginning of this dialogue. It will touch the hearts of devotees,” he said, stressing that the same approach is also needed when discussing this matter with family members who disagree on the matter.

    “These conversations can be uncomfortable and painful,” he noted, but that doesn’t mean they should be avoided.

    Prejean is used to such conversations and said that when she is invited to parishes to talk about the death penalty, she tells stories about the men she has visited on death row.

    She also recounted conversations with a man whose son was shot and killed. She said he was “ridden with anger and lost in it” before he learned to forgive, which he says ultimately saved his life.

    She reiterated what she has often said about death row inmates: that they are “more than the worst thing they’ve ever done.”

    Sister Barbara Battista, a Sister of Providence from St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, had a similar message in the Jan. 27 panel. Sister Battista, a member of Terre Haute Resistance to the death penalty, which mobilizes against federal executions, accompanied two men during their federal executions in 2020.

    She said that William LeCroy, who was executed on September 22, 2020, “was not at all the man who had committed murder years before”, which she said shows that “healing and reconciliation can happen”. In the years leading up to his death, he became deeply spiritual, she added.

    Just hours before his execution, his lawyers unsuccessfully petitioned the Supreme Court for a stay.

    On January 27, the day of one of the webinars, two executions took place in the United States, both after obtaining authorization from the Supreme Court, which did not issue the requested reprieves.

    Donald Grant was executed at Oklahoma State Penitentiary that morning by lethal injection, and Matthew Reeves was executed that evening by lethal injection in Holman Jail in Alabama.

    Reeves had requested, and been denied, the opportunity to be executed by nitrogen gas.

    Grant and another death row inmate had asked a federal judge to grant them a temporary injunction that would delay their executions until a trial could be held to determine whether Oklahoma’s use of the injection protocol three drugs was constitutional. They had asked to be killed by firing squad as an alternative, arguing that it would be quicker and less painful.

    Catholic Mobilizing Network reacted on social media to the executions of Grant and Reeves, the first executions in the United States this year.

    Of Grant’s execution, the group tweeted, “Every human life is endowed with God-given dignity, even the lives of those who have done great harm. #DonaldAnthonyGrant is a child of God, and we mourn that #Oklahoma State chooses to go ahead with his execution.

    As for Reeves, he said in a tweet that his execution that night “represents a legal system that allows violence to cheaply replace real justice. Executions contribute to a culture of death and further alienate us from a culture of reconciliation.

    Rifts on a Jesus theme | Columns Pastors


    A dying man asked, “Is God really like Jesus?” Many hoped so.

    Long ago, Jesus portrayed God as a shepherd looking for a lost sheep or as a father hoping in hope for the return of a son. Jesus saved a woman from a cruel death by stoning.

    There was more to the job than the strength of his personality.

    There are so many things Christians don’t know and never will know, but we begin to know God by seeing the face of Jesus. This is a spiritual journey since the physical face of Jesus was never described by those who knew the color of his eyes or the length of his beard.

    Christians have long viewed the life of Jesus of Nazareth as a window into the life of God. A man in time reveals the eternal God? How is it possible?

    This is only possible because there was a link between Jesus and the Being and Act of God. In short, God chose to reveal himself in and through this first-century Jewish man.

    His human life was created to receive and be imbued with the divine presence.

    This means that Jesus of Nazareth, child or adult, would not have lived apart from this movement on God’s part at all. Jesus was not a special man who was chosen by God for testimony or sacrifice or anything else. He was the visitation of the Son of God, coming from the inaccessible kingdom in the grain and the grind of our world.

    He did not merely participate as a third party in bringing God’s truth to others, as a messenger, but He was God’s truth in human flesh. The term “incarnation” means “in the flesh”. Jesus was the embodiment of God’s presence, truth, love and purpose.

    This human person, Jesus, was created by God to be God’s revelation to the human family. This movement of revelation goes hand in hand with forgiveness and reconciliation.

    God the Father sent the Son to become a true human being, without ceasing to be God’s own Son. He became one with us to both reveal God’s heart and save us from ultimate destruction. He has reconciled us to God, removing the barrier of guilt from our age-old rebellion in which each of us participates in our own way.

    Of course questions arise. For example, did Jesus reveal everything about God? And the answer is no. God is beyond our ability to fathom, like a bottomless, unfathomable, inexhaustible ocean.

    Even in eternity and given a heavenly vision of God’s glory, none of us will know everything about God. Even angels cannot know everything about God. Everything we know about God should be given to us as a gift.

    And what the New Testament presents is not much information about the inner life of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), but God’s interaction with us for our ultimate rescue and healing. In the story of Jesus, we are told of the reconciliation of all things with God. It is a deep mystery of love and grace.

    Jesus is the link, the bond, the bridge. Therefore, our experience of God in Christ does not lack God.

    As Scottish theologian Hugh Ross Mackintosh said, “The words of Jesus are the voice of God. The tears of Jesus are the mercy of God. The wrath of Jesus is the judgment of God. What he did and said was consistent with the eternal reality of God.

    The Son of God imbued the human life of Jesus to provide God’s central act of redemption and to bring undeserved grace to each and all. In doing so, the true humanity of Jesus was always honored. He was never an alien in disguise, like in a sci-fi movie.

    He was both human and divine, the Son of God in the flesh. And he will return to consummate God’s promise of renewal and eternal life.

    We have never seen him and can only imagine his face. (I think he looked more like Chaim Potok than those Danish models in old biblical illustrations.) So why am I talking about the face of Jesus? To represent his presence.

    Across generations, involving every culture we know, people who have felt the presence of God have often found that the image Jesus presented of God is not fading but coming closer and stronger.

    Mackintosh said, “All believers confess, with adoring praise, that in their most sacred hours God and Christ merge into each other with a morally indistinguishable identity. When in secret we look at the face of God, it is still the face of Jesus that stands before us.

    Phil Lockard: A longtime church leader has a heart for service | Sunday clothes


    Spiritual health and, more recently, cardiovascular health have been major focus points for Phil Lockard in his 90s.

    Longtime members of Millbrook Baptist, South Aiken Presbyterian, and First Presbyterian Church of Aiken may know the Arkansas native for his years of guidance in Christian education as well as managing church affairs. .

    “I was a Certified Director of Christian Education for the Presbyterian Church (USA). I ​​held that position for 30 years until I retired in 1995,” he recalls.

    “I led a church’s education ministry from birth to death. Now they have youth workers and youth educators and child educators, but I was the full gamut in a local church , directing Sunday school and youth and training activities and all the educational ministry of the church.

    His connection to Millbrook included serving as the church’s business administrator from 1995 to 2000, and by the end of that time heart health had become a major concern and surgery was imminent.

    “I had to step down from that position and go get my heart fixed,” he said.

    The problem was “mitral valve regurgitation, which means the mitral valve doesn’t close completely,” he recalled. “As a result, some of the blood goes back into the body rather than the lungs to be oxygenated, and so they did a procedure which they fixed by putting a band around my mitral valve, kind of like a rubber band, and the leaflets closed better, but they did not… completely close.”

    The leaks continued, but more than 20 years later Lockard is vigorous, walks without a cane and has no pain – a major asset as he and his wife Emily seek to keep up with a family that includes two adult sons and an adult girl.

    Lockard does not take his excellent health for granted.

    “I attribute that to the fact that for 17 years I went to the USC Aiken Wellness Center. They have an exercise program, and the first few months I was there as a cardiac patient recovering from my heart surgery, so the doctors recommended that I exercise…Then when those 12 weeks were over, I went on year after year and did it.”

    He became a founding member of the Aiken Chapter of Repaired Heartsan organization “to inspire hope and improve the quality of life of heart patients and their families through ongoing peer-to-peer support, education and advocacy”.

    Mended Hearts as a whole has about 72,000 members in 20 countries and 250 chapters and groups, Lockard said.

    The organization’s operations, however, have been hit hard locally over the past two years, due to COVID-19 concerns and heavy restrictions against hospital visits, meaning local boosters of Mended Hearts could not meet face to face with the heart. patients to offer encouragement and share stories of highs and lows.

    “Our main goal was to visit patients and encourage them, support them if they have heart problems, and their families.” He confirmed that “we were all a group of retirees, and we were tired, and then the hospital told us we couldn’t visit, because of COVID, and we’re still in that mode.”

    Mended Hearts:

    Lockard and his wife married in April 1964 and remain regulars at South Aiken Presbyterian, where church member Paul Ebel opted for “energetic” and “devoted to the church” when asked to describe the man of the house.

    “He and Emily have been vital to the work of our church, and they are there every Sunday. He has been sick recently, but whenever he feels well enough he will be there, and that is just wonderful. to see it.”

    He added, “Everybody in the church knows…Phil and Emily, and every time I walk past the church, I look over there and I see his SUV with the little American flag hanging in the windows, and I know it’s his car and… he’s there all the time, just doing stuff – painting and picking up stuff – and he’s just a wonderful guy in the church.”

    Ebel’s wife, Reverend Martha Ebel of the First Presbyterian Church of Aiken, confirmed knowing the Lockards largely from their service at Aiken Regional Medical Centers, where Martha was a volunteer chaplain.

    “Phil and Emily were very active in talking to people who had heart problems or heart surgery,” she recalls. She noted that Emily, in particular, is great at helping church members stay in touch. “It’s…like all of a sudden you’ve had a heart attack, or your sister-in-law in Texas has had brain surgery, the person you’ll be calling to spread the word is Emily. Emily goes online and tells us everything that’s going on in the church,” she says.

    The family’s background also includes contact with one of the most prominent businessmen in American history: Sam Walton, who made his fortune as the founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club, and spent much time in the town of Newport, in northeast Arkansas, where Phil Lockard first saw the light of day.

    “Sam Walton was an elder at my local church and he had his first store in Newport, Arkansas — a Ben Franklin,” he said. “He went to Bentonville and started his mass marketing program. There’s a window around the corner from where his store was, with a picture and a whole bunch of information inside about Sam Walton He was a very generous and generous man and he developed a marketing strategy that really took off.”

    Over the decades, Lockard’s favorite activities have included woodworking and (less recently) fishing, and he was also instrumental in founding the Greater Aiken Estates Neighborhood Association. He was its founder and first president (2006-10).

    His family’s heirloom at Aiken Estates includes greenery with annual flashes of rose, just yards from Whiskey Road, in the form of a camellia bush “planted in honor of Phil and Emily Lockard for their dedication and their devotion to the Greater Aiken Estates Neighborhood Association.”

    His routine no longer includes visits to the USCA Wellness Center, due to COVID-19 concerns, but weightlifting and stretching are part of his weekly routine, as he pointed out he a few decades ago.

    “While we were there we had a 30 minute stretching session and worked every joint in our body, from fingertips to rotating my feet to raising my legs and rolling my arms. We were working every joint in our body, which I think has helped loosen up the joints now. We’d do anything with them… They had a good rehab program there, and I guess they still offer it.

    Lockard’s experience also includes involvement with Aiken County Habitat for Humanity (as a founding board member and second president), the Aiken Council of Neighborhoods (as a co-founder, with the late Bill Gassman) and the boards of the Aiken-Barnwell Mental Health Center and area churches serve together.

    The local homelessness situation, he says, pricks his conscience.

    “We don’t seem to be making any progress in getting homeless people off the streets in cold weather, and that’s one of my concerns right now, in particular, I hate to see our veterans treated poorly, and a lot of they are homeless. I have never served, and none of my family has ever had the opportunity to serve, but I really feel for those who are homeless.”

    Mended Hearts Golf Tournament scheduled for September 21

    Lockard’s appreciation of good medical care predates his Mended Hearts experience by a few decades. He and his future wife met in Texarkana, Texas in 1962, attending a religious ceremony in connection with his role in Christian education involving seven congregations. At the time, he was a recent graduate of Lyon College (then known as Arkansas College, in the town of Batesville), and she was an accountant at Wadley Hospital, Texarkana.

    They became engaged in 1963, and on the first day of 1964, Lockard suffered a broken jaw, fractured ribs, and other injuries in a car accident that landed him in hospital for three months, in due to a bad encounter with black ice on a road. in Appomattox, Virginia. At the time, he was pursuing a master’s degree in Christian education at the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, in Richmond, Virginia.

    “I give my homage to my lord and savior for helping me recover,” he said, adding that he was also grateful for divine guidance in 2000 as he underwent heart surgery and recovered with success.

    Regarding Mended Hearts, Lockard said he doesn’t know if or when Local Organization (Chapter 294) will get back on their feet. Mel Sires, one of Lockard’s longtime associates at Mended Hearts, noted that outreach to local hospital visits began on September 1, 2001 and continued until late February 2020, when the pandemic was making headlines in the United States.

    During this period, Mended Hearts representatives visited 26,247 individual patients at Aiken Regional Medical Centers and conducted 5,705 family visits. The total number of patient visits, Sires said, was 47,839.

    Lockard “was involved in all of this,” Sires noted. “He was always very dedicated and very committed.”

    Lockard pointed out that Aiken’s Mended Hearts chapter, at one point, had over 100 members, with 50 certified visitors in the mix. Certification was achieved through hours of training at Aiken Regional Medical Centers and also through the Mended Hearts National Office, all focused on “proper visitation etiquette – the do’s and don’ts for visit a patient.

    Controversial pastor goes to Wiregrass


    HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) – The nation has hit 900,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began, but that hasn’t stopped a Tennessee pastor from banning the wearing of masks at his church. He was in Wiregrass on Friday to air his often controversial posts.

    Despite the rain and cold, Pastor Greg Locke was greeted by a crowd of more than 100 people in Gordon, Alabama. The controversial Tennessee pastor has made national headlines and been kicked off Twitter for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “He’s a false prophet,” Pastor Locke said of himself. “Did y’all see that Google said he was worth $129,000,000? Google says men can get pregnant, so get a hold of yourself! Google is in bed with the others.

    Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Pastor Greg Locke has made many controversial comments regarding the virus, even declaring his congregation a mask-free church.

    “If they go through the second round and you start showing all these masks and all this nonsense, I will ask you to leave,” Locke said last summer during a sermon at his church. “I don’t play these Democratic games in this church.”

    Despite his rhetoric, the crowd at Mt. Zion Church in Gordon cheered and cheered for every word he said.

    “And a lot of them said Pastor Greg Locke is the most hated pastor in America,” Locke said. “It just makes me want to grab a cup of Dunkin Donuts and cry out to the Lord.”

    In September, Locke was banned from Twitter for spreading misinformation about COVID-19. However, despite this ban, the pastor received a lot of support beyond his church. This includes subscribers throughout the county, including residents of Alabama.

    “We’ve had more witches show up to our I’m talking about adult witches. I’m not talking nonsense about the Wizard of Oz,” Locke said. “I’m talking about witches in their own right who show up at our church with crystals, spells, vexes and hexes.”

    WDHN tried to speak with the Faith Over Fear Revival pastor, although he was asked to attend the event Locke asked us to leave, as he tried to pray and heal someone who had a medical problem.

    “I’ve never had so many people hate me in my entire life but let me tell you something that doesn’t worry me because I’m not leaving until I get caught up in the glory of God,” said Pastor Locke.

    Chants of Amen and Hallelujah for Pastor Greg Locke were heard among the crowd, which came from all over the southeast.

    “CNN has been to our church seven times, you think after attending that long we would get married. These liberal fiends, they slander us,” Locke said.

    Each stood in the rain and cold to hear the pastor despite his often controversial messages and most said they would continue to follow him no matter what he preaches.

    “Vice News called today, News Week misquoted me, Time Magazine, The Independent, Reddit, everyone you can imagine, everyone you can imagine,” Locke said. “Did you see Pastor Greg Locke having a book burning? Who else burned books but Hitler? »

    On the other side of the pastor’s desk: the biggest challenge is ourselves – Albert Lea Tribune


    Through George Marin’s Pastor’s Office

    “If you dwell on your own feelings about things rather than on God’s faithfulness, love and mercy, then you are likely to have a terrible, horrible, not good, very bad day. Our feelings are very fleeting and fleeting, aren’t they? We can’t rely on them for five minutes at a time. But dwelling on God’s love, faithfulness and mercy is always safe,” said Elisabeth Elliot.

    George Marin

    Some of the greatest challenges we will face each year are not those involving other people or outside influences, but rather ourselves. John Maxwell wrote: “When we are mad we want to conquer the world – when we are wise we want to conquer ourselves.”

    The believer’s life should not be ruled by feelings. We walk by faith and not by what we see (human senses). Our feelings are not always the most reliable. They can be like quicksand beneath us. They don’t always provide the most stable base. Therefore, we can learn to submit our feelings/emotions to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. We don’t need to buy tickets to ride life’s emotional roller coaster. We can, with the help of God, godly mentors, and daily disciples, train and discipline ourselves to live by the spirit and not by our own flesh. Will it take work? Oh, yes, that will be fine. But, we are not alone in this journey.

    God is good. He gives us his word. It is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. Psalm 119:105. We don’t have to venture down dark paths, for his word is the light that drives out the darkness. John 1:5. His word is established (established) forever in heaven. Psalm 119:89. He upholds all things with the word of his power. Hebrews 1:3. His spirit lives in us as believers. The fruit of his spirit grows in our lives –– love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness and self-control. Galatians 5. We do not have to strive for these abundant fruits. When we live by the spirit, they simply grow and are clearly evident in us. Praise God for that!

    My prayer for you today is that you experience and take full advantage of the stability and strength (spiritual, emotional, physical and mental) that develops within us as we focus on all the goodness that God has generously provided for us.

    I love you I’m in your corner!

    George Marin is a pastor at Grace Christian Church.

    Editorial: HBCU Bomb Threats Should Horrify All Catholics


    On the first day of Black History Month, 13 historically black colleges and universities received bomb threats, including Xavier University in New Orleans.

    Xavier University of Louisiana, founded in 1915, is the only historically black university in the United States that is also Catholic. This is the second bomb threat the school has received this year. These bomb threats horrify us as Catholics and Americans.

    These bomb threats are part of a long-standing pattern in America. White supremacists, from the Reconstruction era until today, have historically used bomb threats/violence to intimidate black Americans.

    When the Ku Klux Klan was launched in the aftermath of the Civil War, its goal was to intimidate newly freed black Americans from participating in political and social life, and to undermine reconstruction governments in the states of the old Confederacy in check. . Vigilante violence, particularly lynching, was his preferred method of intimidation.

    In the years following Reconstruction, state-sanctioned violence was also deployed, but vigilante violence was never abandoned. Sometimes it was impossible to know where one started and where the other stopped. The 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama shocked the nation, in part because the aftermath was televised. For white supremacists, the bombing was an extension of their intimidation standard operating procedures, a difference in target but not in method.

    The goal is always the same: to intimidate black women, men and children by using violence to destabilize intimate and communal parts of their daily lives, including schools and places of worship.

    As Catholics, we are called to show our solidarity by denouncing any aggression that threatens the dignity of any person. This is what it means to be a pro-life church, and it is imperative that church leaders and local church authorities condemn this violence.

    If churches, schools, being with friends have all been deemed unsafe, where do black women, men and children go for communion?

    For those who are black and Catholic, the assaults on Xavier and other HBCUs are also spiritual attacks. The attacks come at a time when Church leaders, including the President of the American Episcopal Conference, Archbishop José Gomez, are speaking out against the Black Lives Matter movement and critical race theory, movements and theories which many Catholics have found helpful in learning what it means to oppose such racial violence. Our bishops must be shepherds of a flock that is vulnerable because it is suffering, and suffering because it is vulnerable.

    Last month, Gomez spoke in memory of Martin Luther King Jr., saying Catholics must continue to “continue his work for equality and justice.”

    Gomez added, “Let us continue to learn from him and emulate his prophetic example and testimony.”

    We agree, and therefore look forward to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops not only explicitly condemning this violence, but also offering all possible support to Xavier and other schools affected by this. Bishops must authentically take up the torch of spiritual, moral and civic leadership that King carried.

    Pope Francis, when addressing the US Congress, only cited the example of four Americans, and one of them was King. Francis urged the country to heal the wounds of racial division that have lingered. The American bishops must take up the legacy of the king and take up the challenge launched by Francis. They must urgently and consistently condemn all attacks on the black community.

    Crosslink Community Church Holds Prayer Vigil for Officers Who Died Feb. 6


    HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – The City of Bridgewater mourns the loss of Bridgewater College Campus Police Officer John Painter and Campus Security Officer JJ Jefferson after they were shot and killed on the campus on Tuesday.

    Bridgewater Police Chief Phillip Reid said these men will always be remembered as heroes for protecting the Bridgewater College community.

    “We are all here to help the community, to serve and to protect and to be that reference person. You call us, we’re here, and sadly, such a tragedy has happened,” said Chief Reid.

    Although there are no plans in place yet for the funeral or memorial services, the community continues to pray for healing. On Wednesday, Bridgewater United Methodist Church held a community healing service where students, law enforcement and the community all sang and prayed together.

    On Sunday, February 6, the Crosslink Community Church invites the entire community for a prayer vigil. It takes place at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium at Turner Ashby High School.

    “As a leadership team, as a church, we wanted to bring together not just our congregation, but the community for a time of prayer, of unity, of encouragement, whatever the need was,” said the Pastor Michael Miller.

    A GoFundMe has been established to assist with funeral and memorial expenses for Officer Jefferson and the Painter Officer. By Thursday evening, over $120,000 had been raised.

    Copyright 2022 WHSV. All rights reserved.

    Died: Duane King, pastor who saw the need for sign language…… | News and reports


    Duane King, a hearing minister who based a deaf ministry and began work on the first Sign Language Bible translated from the original Greek and Hebrew, is dead at 84 years old.

    King had no special skills or training in working with the deaf. He had no personal experience with Deaf family members motivating him to see and care about this often overlooked community.

    But he believed the gospel was for everyone. He believed that a good shepherd would leave the 99 to go after that one. And when he met people who didn’t have access to the church or the scriptures, he couldn’t give up. He devoted the rest of his ministry to reaching these people.

    “He was a giant” noted Chad Entinger, a Deaf Christian who succeeded King as Director of Deaf Missions in Council Bluffs, Iowa. “Because of Duane and his faithfulness to God, millions of deaf people and their families and friends in over 100 countries around the world have been touched by the gospel of Jesus!”

    King was born outside of Skidmore, Missouri on November 9, 1937. His parents, Elza Cledith and Myrtle Lois Brown King, had four boys, and Duane was the youngest. He was raised in the Independent Christian Church and attended Nebraska Christian College with the intention of becoming a pastor.

    King was first drawn to the music ministry. He joined a college quartet, first called the Lordsmen, then later the Watchmen, and toured the Midwest singing the bass parts of gospel songs. The Watchmen were popular at summer revivals, and King also learned to preach.

    When he met a young woman named Peggy Carr who also belonged to the Independent Christian Church, also attended Nebraska Christian College, and was also an accomplished singer, his future and ministry seemed clear. The two married in 1961.

    King took a job at First Christian Church Norfolk and began pastoring the congregation there, while still occasionally traveling with the Watchmen.

    A couple who couldn’t go to church

    Five years later, he invited a new couple to come to church around Christmas. It changed his direction forever.

    “I pushed what I thought was a doorbell, but later learned it was a light,” King said. noted in an account of the pivotal encounter.

    A woman came to the door and King started talking, but she just turned her palms away. She didn’t understand. She couldn’t hear his words.

    The woman, Louise Booth, found a pencil and a pad of paper and invited King into the kitchen. There, the 29-year-old minister wrote his question to her and her husband, Emery Booth: “Why don’t you come to church?

    Louise replied, “We can’t get anything from the church.

    The realization was like a light that went on instead of a doorbell. Of course they can’t! thought the king. And there must be other people like that.

    The pastor made the deaf couple an offer. “If you come to church,” he wrote on the pad, “I’ll learn sign language.”

    Both Duane and Peggy King learned it, and the new skill opened up a ministry. A few years later, King took a position at the First Christian Church in Council Bluffs, Iowa, near the Iowa School for the Deaf. The church supported him as he launched Deaf Missions and planted the Church of Christ for the Deaf in 1970.

    The congregation was small—in 1972 there were about 30 regular members—but King preached the gospel, served communion, baptized new believers, visited the sick, and buried the dead, all in signs.

    A church wedding once captured national attention when the Associated Press reported that the ceremony was silent. King asked a deaf man in sign language if he had taken a deaf woman to be his wife for better, for worse, for richer and for poorer.

    King still traveled occasionally with the Watchmen, taking the opportunity to ask independent Christian churches in the Midwest to financially support deaf missions.

    He and the staff of Deaf Missions also began developing materials for Deaf Christians. In 1979, the department published its first issue of Daily devotions for the deaf. The devotional was released on videotape, using Japanese technology that was just beginning to be available in the United States.

    The mission has published a devotional for each day for the past four decades, updating the format as video technology has advanced. Today deaf devo is available as a smartphone app.

    Vision for a Sign Language Bible

    In 1981, Deaf Missions began a more ambitious project: translating the Bible into American Sign Language. King recruited Harold Noe, a Christian church minister with a doctorate in theology from Drew University and a local TV show for deaf children in West Virginia. Noe helped with Greek and Hebrew. King also recruited Lou Fant, a Baylor College graduate who became a pioneering educator and co-founder of the National Theater of the Deaf, as well as an actor who played a signature preacher on general hospital and little house on the prairie. Fant helped with ASL.

    For a few years, the mission used video equipment from a local media company and then from an Omaha television station. However, when new owners purchased KMTV in 1987, Deaf Mission was forced to purchase its own equipment and build a studio to continue filming.

    King found the money. And they continued. To him, it was just another “probortunity,” a word he told Chad Entinger he had made up to describe how God worked.

    “God takes problems,” King said, “and turns them into opportunities.”

    Entinger has compiled a list of King’s sayings, “Kingisms”, which state his philosophy of ministry:

    • “If you cut too many corners, you’ll start going in circles.”
    • “The return of Jesus is closer today than it was yesterday.”
    • “An important part of prayer is the willingness to be part of the answer.”

    The New Testament was translated into American Sign Language in 23 years. When it was finally finished, King was speechless.

    “I’m thrilled,” he said, “beyond the way to put it.”

    King retired in 2007, leaving the completion of the full version of American Sign Language to his successor. Entinger, with support from a network of Bible Societies and Bible Translation Ministries, led the translation to completion in 2020.

    King attended a Bible Completion Celebration at Deaf Missions, but balked when he felt someone was giving him too much credit for the project that involved 53 deaf translators working over a 39-year period.

    “If we succeed anyway,” he said. Recount an Iowa television station, sitting at his kitchen table with his family, “it was God working through us.”

    King died on January 25. He is survived by his wife, Peggy King; daughter, Christine Clausen Cannon; and his son, JD King. At his request, they served ice cream at his funeral.

    Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) increases its dividend to $0.26


    Church & Dwight Co., Inc. (NYSE:CHD) will increase its dividend on March 1 to $0.26. This brings the annual payout to 1.0% of the current share price, which is unfortunately less than what the industry is paying.

    See our latest analysis for Church & Dwight

    Church & Dwight revenue easily covers distributions

    It would be nice if the yield was higher, but we should also check whether higher levels of dividend payments would be sustainable. However, Church & Dwight’s earnings easily cover the dividend. This means most of his income is kept to grow the business.

    Looking ahead, earnings per share are expected to fall 4.9% over the next year. If the dividend holds up on recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio could be 34%, which we consider quite comfortable, with most of the company’s earnings remaining to grow the business going forward. .

    NYSE:CHD Historic Dividend February 3, 2022

    Dividend volatility

    Although the company has a long history of dividends, it has been cut at least once in the last 10 years. The first annual payment in the past 10 years was US$0.34 in 2012, and the most recent year’s payment was US$1.05. This equates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 12% per year during this period. Despite rapid dividend growth over the past few years, we have also seen payouts decline in the past, which makes us cautious.

    The dividend should increase

    With a relatively volatile dividend, it is even more important to assess whether earnings per share are increasing, which could indicate dividend growth in the future. Church & Dwight has impressed us by increasing EPS by 14% per year over the past five years. Church & Dwight definitely has the potential to increase its dividend going forward with earnings on an uptrend and a low payout ratio.

    Church & Dwight looks like a big dividend stock

    In summary, it is always positive to see the dividend increase, and we are particularly satisfied with its overall sustainability. Distributions are easily covered by earnings and plenty of cash is also generated. If earnings fall over the next 12 months, the dividend could be shaken up a bit, but we don’t think that should cause too much of a problem in the long run. Overall, this checks a lot of the boxes we look for when choosing an income stock.

    Market movements testify to the valuation of a consistent dividend policy over a more unpredictable one. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, these are not the only factors our readers should be aware of when evaluating a company. For example, we chose 2 warning signs for Church & Dwight that investors should consider. If you are a dividend investor, you can also consult our curated list of high performing dividend stocks.

    This Simply Wall St article is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell stocks and does not take into account your objectives or financial situation. Our goal is to bring you targeted long-term analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price-sensitive companies or qualitative materials. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

    Raise my Catholic voice


    Friday 04 February 2022

    By Marie Mischel

    Intermountain Catholic

    Looking at American society today, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the social issues that go against Catholic teaching: abortion, the death penalty, physician-assisted suicide, abandonment of the needs of the poor, to name a few.

    It’s also easy to put all those intentions into a prayer and say, “I’ve done my part. But even as far away as St. James, this attitude was despised. If a sister or brother has no food or clothing, he asked, what is the use of answering “Go in peace” rather than providing for them?

    Today, an answer to that question could easily be, “What’s the point of praying for an end to abortion if we don’t give a desperate mother the resources to care for her child once it’s born. ? Are we willing to help parishes in our diocese implement the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ “Walking with Moms in Need” program, which helps connect pregnant women and mothers to the resources they need? need ? Beyond simply preparing a list of resources for a mother in need, are we prepared to help her access these resources by helping her complete the necessary forms to demonstrate that she is qualified to receive them? Are we willing to arrange transportation for medical appointments, or facilitate daycare or grocery shopping, or help with any of the other tasks such a mother faces?

    “Faith in itself, if unaccompanied by action, is dead,” St. James wrote in his epistle.

    Unfortunately, Catholics are sometimes perceived as spouting words against abortion but offering no help to mothers in difficulty. Sometimes we are seen as being ‘pro-birth’ rather than ‘pro-life’ – caring about a child in the womb but not once he or she is born, as noted by Deacon Greg Werking in his homily during last Saturday’s Respect for Life Day, a diocesan event held at the Catholic Church of the Blessed Sacrament and online.

    But Catholics are called not only to pray but also to show God’s love, to be God’s eyes and hands, the deacon stressed.

    “Do you want to show God’s love to a young mother?” He asked. “Be there when she’s scared. Be there when she is alone and feels abandoned.

    A very quick way to help young mothers is to contact your state officials to ask them to support HB220, which would extend Medicaid coverage to pregnant and postpartum women with household incomes of $200 or less. % of the federal poverty level, which equates to someone earning about $12 an hour in a full-time job. To put that into perspective, currently a single woman in Utah who earns $8.92 or more an hour is not eligible for Medicaid, even if with that salary she could not pay rent on the housing market today.

    Several other bills before the Legislative Assembly also provide an opportunity to make your Catholic voice heard in the public arena. There is a proposal to end the death penalty in Utah – the teaching of the Church is that no human being can be artificially deprived of the possibility of reconciliation with God. For those who argue that the death penalty is simply justice, it should be noted that from 1999 to 2016, Utah prosecutors sought the death penalty in 165 cases. Of these, only two resulted in death sentences, “so to say it’s justice for the families is to say that 163 families didn’t get justice,” says my colleague Jean Hill.

    Contacting your legislator is simple: contact information can be found at le.utah.gov. Jean recommends keeping your message to lawmakers polite and brief, listing no more than three reasons why you’re asking him to support or oppose a particular bill.

    Jean suggests contacting lawmakers by email or text rather than by post because the session ends at midnight on March 4.

    I will also reach out to my lawmakers to ask them to support Governor Spencer Cox’s call for a $128 million Deeply Affordable Housing Credit, so people earning minimum wage can afford to live; and $100 million for permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless. As Catholics, we are called to uphold the dignity of every person, and it is difficult for a person to maintain their dignity without a place to lay their head.

    Marie Mischel is editor-in-chief of Intermountain Catholic. Contact her at [email protected]

    Church sues Brookings for restricting meal services for the homeless


    The town of Brookings, located on Oregon’s southern coast, is being sued after the local government passed an ordinance last fall prohibiting St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church from serving more than two free meals a week to the homeless. -shelter without permit.

    The church says it obeys the teachings of Jesus Christ when providing food and medical care to those in need. By denying them this opportunity, they claim the city is interfering with their faith.

    Most Reverend Diana Akiyama is the Bishop of the Diocese of Oregon. She says Brookings interferes with the right to religious expression.

    “We are a Christian denomination, seeking to express our faith fundamentally in the form of feeding hungry people,” Akiyama said. “And we don’t think the city council has the right to tell us to stop caring for people in need.”

    Brookings Mayor Ron Hedenskog declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.

    The ordinance prohibiting serving more than two free meals a week was passed by the city council in October. It came in response to a petition that circulated in April among Brookings residents who live near St. Timothy’s. They claimed that the church’s programs created public safety issues. The petition, which called people around St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church “vagrants” and “undesirables,” was signed by 30 people.

    Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Timothy’s has taken on a greater role in feeding, immunizing and sheltering the homeless community.

    Walter Fonseca of the Oregon Justice Resource Center is representing St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in the lawsuit. He argues that the ordinance appears to be aimed specifically at limiting church activities.

    Virtual Reality Church: Worshiping in the Metaverse


    How faithful worship has changed dramatically during the pandemic, with many turning to online services as churches shut down in-person services for security reasons. Now some are practicing their religion in a whole new way.

    DJ Soto is a bishop who founded virtual reality church in 2016.

    “It’s a mind-to-mind interaction. We remember the previous week, we know each other’s voice. We start to recognize each other’s avatar,” Soto said. “So that’s definitely an improvement for so many people, especially those who can’t attend a physical church.”

    His VR church membership has increased dramatically during the COVID shutdown. Devotees attend using virtual reality headsets and create an avatar. Everything from scripture readings to baptisms can take place in the metaverse. VR Church attendees say it enhances their religious experience.

    “I was able to see an interpretation of the verse I was reading, which made the scripture so much more meaningful to me,” Garret Bernal said.

    “Suddenly you’re empowered again, suddenly you matter again,” said Alina Delp. “Suddenly you became human again.”

    Pastor AR Bernard oversees the Christian Cultural Center, a mega-church in Brooklyn.

    “I think given what we’re going through right now in terms of the virtual world, the metaverse takes it to another level,” Bernard said. “The difference is that the current virtual experience involves sight and sound. The metaverse, as an avatar, allows us to engage all five senses.”

    Bernard doesn’t think it will replace in-person worship.

    “There’s just something about us as human beings that we need to be in the same space, share the same physical space with someone else – so I don’t think we’re going to lose this,” he said. “I think it’s a wonderful alternative, but I don’t think it’s going to replace the reality that the sacred corporate experience as an assembly is what God intended for worship.”

    Bishops and other Christian groups warn against mandatory coverage of transgender proceedings


    The U.S. Bishops’ Conference has signed a letter opposing Health and Human Services’ proposal forcing insurance companies to pay for “gender transition” procedures.

    A consortium of Catholic and Christian groups is calling on the US Department of Health and Human Services to drop possible plans to require health insurers to cover transgender procedures.

    In a memo released in early January, HHS said it was proposing a rule updating certain regulations to comply with a Biden administration executive order “preventing and addressing discrimination based on gender identity and gender identity.” sexual orientation”.

    “Unfortunately, the proposed regulations go beyond access to care by suggesting that nondiscriminatory health plans must cover procedures that are not medically indicated, may harm rather than cure, and may violate people’s religious and moral beliefs. ‘an insurer, plan sponsor or other stakeholder,” says a comment filed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and five other organizations. “Most problematic are the provisions of the proposed settlement that relate to ‘gender identity’ and which, read in conjunction with the preamble, appear to mandate coverage of ‘gender transition’ procedures.”

    Protecting patients from discrimination based on gender identity should not include a mandate to cover gender transition procedures, said the consortium, which also includes the National Catholic Bioethics Center, the Thomas More Society, the National Association of Catholic Nurses, the Christian Legal Society, and the National Association of Evangelicals. But they argue that many procedures are harmful or ineffective and are morally wrong, and that denying coverage for these procedures is “not discrimination contrary to the Department’s goals of ensuring access to care for all.”

    “Like many healthcare providers, we believe that medical and surgical procedures that claim to change a person’s gender are, in fact, harmful to patients. Such interventions are not properly considered health care because they do not cure or prevent illness or disease. Surgical alteration of the genitals, in particular, mutilates the body by taking a healthy bodily system and rendering it dysfunctional,” they wrote.

    The signatories cited a study using the world’s largest dataset of patients undergoing “gender affirming” surgeries. It found no benefit from hormonal procedures, and in 2020, an update published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that “results demonstrated no benefit of surgery over health care related to subsequent mood or anxiety disorders”.

    More worryingly, a study from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which followed patients over a period of 30 years, “found that about 10 years after having the operation, transgender people began to experience mental difficulties growing. Most shockingly, their suicide mortality increased nearly 20 times above the comparable non-transgender population.

    Finally, the consortium cautioned against creating conflicts with the federal Restoration of Religious Freedom Act (RFRA). “HHS is currently a party to litigation in which federal courts have found that Department regulations issued under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) violate RFRA by requiring religious stakeholders to provide and cover these procedures. “, wrote the signatories.

    “For all of these reasons, we believe that HHS should decline to include language in the regulations that is not necessary to protect people from discrimination in obtaining health care,” they said, ” and it could, instead, be interpreted as requiring coverage of procedures or treatments that health insurance issuers have determined are not supported by medical evidence or that violate the religious and moral beliefs of insurers, sponsors plans and individual purchasers.


    Great Road Coffee reuses more than a century-old church in Christiansburg


    CHRISTIANSBURG, Virginia. – On the main street of Christiansburg stands a church that has been around since 1908. Although it recently stood vacant, the Larkins changed that just over a year ago by bringing their “best kept secret” into city.

    It started Great Road Coffee. Its name dates back to the 1700s.

    “The historical value of the Great Road, you know, the migration trail from Philadelphia to Atlanta.”

    Mike Larkin, co-owner of Great Road, says he wanted to respect the historic value. Part of that involved leaving the stained glass windows intact.

    It’s not just the look that sets this place apart, but the taste and the smell.

    Larkin tells us that when he came up with the menu, he told his team, “I don’t want anything that you can find on the side.

    The Larkins give kitchen staff creative freedom, and they ran with it. We start with coffee specialties like the Nutty Irishman, with Irish cream and hazelnuts to start the morning.

    A d

    Chef Robin Upchurch uses the talent she’s had since she was a little girl to spice up the menu, along with what she calls ‘magic’.

    When asked about it, Larkin laughed and said, “She calls it magic. We don’t know exactly what it is.

    Either way, it’s great!

    My favorite from our stop at Great Road was the cinnamon toffee apple scone with maple glaze on top. It’s a sweetness that lingers in the mouth for minutes after the last bite.

    For lunch, the magic continues with dishes such as “Chicken and Bacon Ranch Wrap, Chicken Salad Wrap and Avocado Toast”.

    The chicken bacon ranch wrap had our photographer, Chase, and me repeatedly saying, “Man!” It was that good! (Thanks, magic!)

    More important than comforting coffee or the magic of food is the mission the Larkins set themselves when they moved here over a decade ago.

    A d

    Larkin concludes, “If you’re going to live in a community, be part of the community. And if you have something to offer to improve this community, then that’s what you bring.

    Copyright 2022 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.

    Elderly pastor living with spore-like growth in Winter Springs apartment moved to new unit – WFTV


    SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — An elderly pastor who lived with black growth forming on air vents and spreading through his Winter Springs apartment is getting a new place to live.

    Pastor Bobbie Stiver said she’s glad the resort agreed to move her to a new unit, but getting to this point hasn’t been easy.

    Stiver had a black and green spore-like substance forming on his vents and beginning to coat his clothes and furniture.

    After code enforcement issued a written warning and Channel 9 highlighted the issue, Stiver said the resort had promised a new apartment in a building and even offered to move their belongings.

    READ: Pastor blamed by complex after spore-like growth appears in Winter Springs apartment

    Then when she and a friend went to the office, something changed.

    They said a worker first asked her to sign a new one-year lease before giving her new accommodation. They’ve since backed off, but according to Stiver, they still haven’t helped her move.

    Stiver and his friend took things slowly.

    READ: OCPS parents who keep students home due to COVID-19 issues could face truancy issues

    Although she is grateful to be out of the unpleasant apartment, she hopes the resort will send help with some of the heavy lifting as promised.

    “I just couldn’t stay here,” Stiver said. “The smell and knowing what was here, but the smell was horrible.”

    Channel 9 began reporting issues in 2020, but received no response from Hawthorne Residential Partners’ local office or headquarters in North Carolina.

    READ: Viral social media post falsely claims illegal immigrants were dropped off at central Florida motel

    Click here to download free WFTV news and weather apps, Click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and Click here to broadcast live Channel 9 Eyewitness News.

    Artist creating sacred images in the dome of the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in Utah


    Iconographer Dionysios Bouloubassis runs his hand along his painting of Jesus in the dome of the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in Holladay on Thursday January 27. Bouloubassis uses the Macedonian style of iconography where the faces of saints tend to be round and painted in pink colors (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

    Estimated reading time: 3-4 minutes

    HOLLADAY — Members of the Greek Orthodox community in Utah recently hired an iconographer to create sacred imagery for the dome of the Church of the Prophet Elias in Holladay.

    With each brushstroke – largely in golden paint – Dionysis Bouloubassis expresses both his talent and his faith.

    Bouloubassis was trained in the art of iconography.

    Painting by Dionysios Bouloubassis inside the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in Holladay, Utah on January 27.
    Painting by Dionysios Bouloubassis inside the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in Holladay, Utah on January 27. (Photo: Derek Peterson, KSL-TV)

    Born in Baltimore, Maryland, he grew up in Greece and studied at an art school there.

    “Every day, I pray with what I do. When I work, I feel that somehow I’m praying – it’s, I’ll say, it’s part of my job,” a- he declared.

    The art of creating Christian icons goes back to the Byzantine and Orthodox tradition, as early as the third century. They are meant to be beautiful eye-catching depictions of divinity, apostles, prophets and holy women.

    Father Patrick O’Rourke, associate priest of the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church, met with the church’s beautification committee a year ago to discuss new artwork for the dome at the inside the sanctuary. He discovered that they had enough money to pay for an amazing transformation.

    “The building itself preaches the gospel. It tells us the story – when we are here, we are in heaven on earth. We are in heaven made of earth, which is our understanding of what Christ is. came and did for us — that he sanctified us with his presence.”

    In order to create new art for the dome, the Greek Orthodox Church of Prophet Elias was closed for two months, the pews were moved and covered to protect them from dust, and the floor was covered with scaffolding.

    Over the weeks, the artist meticulously unveiled his vision.

    I feel and hope that what I do helps some people to come to church. What they read, what they pray, they can also see in the work. They can see the life of Christ.

    –Dionysis Bouloubassis, iconographer

    Bouloubassis does his job – well, think of Michelangelo – hanging about 70 feet on plywood that often moves when he does.

    To get this high in the air, you ride on a scissor lift and then climb through a small opening. And through this small opening, even from the floor of the sanctuary, you can see a breathtaking picture – just a glimpse of the treasures to come.

    Rarely does anyone get this close to sacred art in the dome of a Greek Orthodox church, other than the artist, but KSL photographer Derek Petersen and KSL arts and religion reporter Carole Mikita traveled to this dome to witness it for themselves.

    Once the scaffolding is removed, the site from the sanctuary floor is magnificent.

    Iconographer Dionysios Bouloubassis paints the dome of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Prophet Elijah in Holladay on Thursday, January 27.  The interior of the nave of the church is being renovated.
    Iconographer Dionysios Bouloubassis paints the dome of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Prophet Elijah in Holladay on Thursday, January 27. The interior of the nave of the church is being renovated. (Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

    The artist hopes to inspire others.

    “I feel and hope that if what I do helps some people to come to church. What they read, what they pray, they can also see it in the work. They can see the life of Christ,” said Bouloubassis.

    Father Patrick hopes the icons represent more than beautiful art. These sacred images are meant to connect faith through the ages.

    “When people look up at the dome which has been empty for nearly 20 years, they will see the face of God, they will see the face of Christ – and this encounter will bring them closer to their own faith, to their own goals, to the grace of God,” he said.

    Parishioners of the Greek Orthodox Church of Prophet Elias will return to worship services on Sunday, February 6 to view and celebrate this beautiful work of art.


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    Grace Lutheran Church homeless cottage proposal meets city zoning rules – NewsRadio 560 KPQ


    Grace Lutheran Church plans to build a cluster of 12 cottages on its property across from Washington Elementary to house homeless students attending Wenatchee Valley College.

    The church is in the “moderate residential” zoning district where cottage housing is permitted and the project could proceed as planned without a conditional use permit according to Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz.

    “It’s not a matter of land use, not something the hearings reviewer would see, not something that would come before this council, really in any way, shape or form,” Kuntz responded to the concerns raised by neighbors last Thursday. city ​​council meeting after receiving several emails. “I’m trying to be as candid as possible with the neighbors who basically want us to shut it down…and this approval process won’t go past not just this body, but even our hearings reviewer”

    “Our only frustration comes from not being able to get the information we need to have an open conversation with the church and its board about what it is, what their intention is and what the impact may be on the surrounding neighborhood,” Dustin said. Boreson, owner nearby. “The neighborhood surrounding GLC is very passionate about the subject and believes that we should tackle homelessness in our community. The only thing we dispute at this point is the “how?”.

    Grace Lutheran board member John McQuaig told KPQ Radio that the church approached the city to see if it could do the project, then asked the congregation in December if there was consensus. to go forward. Another congregational vote was scheduled for Sunday on whether to proceed. McQuaig said a subcommittee has been formed and plans to meet with neighbors in February to get feedback.

    Boreson says the church has allowed homeless people to stay on the property in the past and individuals have lit campfires on the sidewalk and owners had to clean up feces in their front yard and found used condoms and paraphernalia for drug use, including needles. McQuaig says GLC has not had a policy of allowing homeless people to stay on church property and has attempted to remove people from their property.

    The proposal would place 12 cottages at the north end of the church parking lot. The car park is bordered to the north and west by dwellings. This view is from the front yard of the homes directly across the street on Elliott Ave.

    Grace Lutheran is located at the corner of Washington Street and Elliott Avenue. The proposed cabins would be located at the north end of the parking lot. The chalets would include a kitchen, bathrooms and laundry in each unit connected to electricity, water and sewage. .

    Wenatchee Valley College President Jim Richardson released a statement after concerns about the project were passed on to the college.

    “WVC works with homeless students to help them find shelter either on campus (the Fifth Street residence hall) or through various community agencies.

    We did not seek assistance from Grace Lutheran Church. They asked us for information and data on homeless students and other WVC students in need of housing. Besides providing public data, the college has had limited discussions with the church about student homelessness. WVC was not involved in their decision to move forward with housing. WVC has no say in what they will do with the accommodation on their land. »

    The college provided survey data from 2019 that included WVC student participation

    40% of respondents experienced food insecurity in the past 30 days
    47% of respondents have experienced housing insecurity in the past year
    20% of respondents have been homeless in the past year
    60% of Wenatchee Valley College students have experienced at least one of these forms of basic needs insecurity in the past year.

    Spitting, screens and sneakers: the rise of the preacher-influencer | Religion


    IIt was meant to be a sermon on the importance of having faith in God’s vision, even when the task seems difficult. An object lesson from the book of Mark, in which Jesus heals a blind man by spitting in his eyes. But this is how Pasteur Michael Todd brought home that message that made the sermon unforgettable.

    Addressing worshipers and a live audience, Todd placed a hand on the shoulder of a closed-eyed worshiper on stage before letting out a deep sniffle and twice hacking the phlegm into his other hand. Audible gasps inside Transformation Church, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based mega-ministry firmly rooted in Black Baptist tradition, turned into an outcry when Todd smeared said loogie on the face of the adorer.

    “The way you just reacted is how the people in your life will react when God does the right thing for the miracle,” the pastor reassured the horrified onlookers. That the man playing blind on stage turned out to be Todd’s brother, Bentom, didn’t make the pastor’s brutal display any less revolting.

    Gizelle Bryant and Jamal Bryant attend the 2019 UNCF Atlanta Mayor’s Masquerade Ball. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

    The internet erupted in crises at the first sight of this clip. “God wasn’t far from that,” squeaked Root’s Shanelle Genai. “If your pastor spits in your face,” joked the Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie, a United Church of Christ minister, “find a new pastor.” Still, a few have come to Todd’s defense, some arguing for the medicinal properties of saliva and others arguing more broadly for more serious offenses that other shepherds have committed against their flocks. (See Commandments 8 and 9.)

    Within days, Todd predictably reappeared on camera to apologize for his “too extreme and too disgusting” example. “It is never my intention to distract others from the Word of God and the message of Jesus…even with illustrations!”

    In this Covid-related chapter of the internet age, Todd, 35, embodies a new brand of holy man – the preacher-influencer. In South Carolina, there’s Oprah-endorsed John Gray. In Georgia, there’s Jamal Bryant, the child of a preacher-turned-megachurch leader who occasionally appears alongside his ex-wife on The Real Housewives of Potomac.

    But none are as current as Todd – whose second book, Crazy Faith: It’s Only Crazy Until It Happens, might as well describe its viral music video. He promotes family on TikTok and parades fashion on Instagram. When memes like the Silhouette Challenge go viral, Todd isn’t just aware; he has a whole tangent in a sermon on “men anchoring their families” in which he discourages young women from “being impressive” with their bodies – an aside met with considerable pushback from secular feminists who had long considered the black church as too paternalistic. It’s definitely not the kind of thing you might expect to hear from Jesse Jackson.

    How social media became a new stage

    For more than a decade, these preacher-influencers have been spreading the gospel to reach the souls who spend more of their lives in front of screens. And it was only a matter of time before Todd joined them. “The principle of what he’s doing is very, very difficult,” says Cean James, the 47-year-old leader of Salt & Light Ministries in Philadelphia.

    Previously, the Baptist preacher didn’t need a lot of frills; he (usually a he) was the show – all it needed was a bit of gospel organ, a catchy chorus and a dash of holy spirit to move the crowd. With his father as his mentor in the pulpit, Martin Luther King Jr elevated this speaking style into a historic second act as a civil rights icon and touring speaker. It’s a style that black politicians — notably Barack Obama — often adopt when preaching to the choir on the campaign trail. And while African Americans remain the largest church-attending demographic — with an attendance rate of 40%, nearly 10 points higher than the national average, according to a Barna investigation – young black people are well behind the older generations in their weekly commitment to church.

    Long before the pandemic, black churches were striving to capture those short attention spans with flashy PowerPoints, studio-quality musicianship, bright concert-quality displays, and equally high production values. Increasingly, they come face to face with the likes of Kanye West, whose viral Sunday Service productions have only further blurred the line between spiritual and secular.

    Todd’s Sunday sermons, which saw him perform against an Imax-quality screen, sometimes standing on a water-filled stage or in pouring artificial rain, are as ambitious as anything you’d see on a proscenium. of Vegas. Parishioners don’t just want a tongue of silver, holy hands, and a puff of fire and brimstone. They want to feel this.

    Kanye West kneels on the ground
    Kanye West performs Sunday Service at the 2019 Coachella Festival. Photography: Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella

    There has always been an expectation of performance in the black church. “I know stories of preachers who on Palm Sunday led donkeys to shrines, hoping the donkeys had cleansed their intestines before going on stage,” says Bill Lamar, pastor of the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington DC. Lamar does not apologize or excuse Todd’s behavior. But as an incisive historian of the black church and its preaching traditions, he argues that technology has played a role from the dawn of print publishing. “The only difference between this young man [Todd] and the others is that we now have technology that makes things go viral.

    Social media is just another step. Gone are the days when pastors got away with writing best-selling books and peddling sermons on CD. The competition to win souls became more intense once Covid hit and church services were forced to move to a streaming-only setup. “Churches that had younger clergy or younger people who were already leaning into a lot of technological advances before Covid were really at an advantage,” says James, who is also an associate conference minister for the 66 United Church affiliates. of Christ from southern Pennsylvania. “I had encouraged our congregations to go virtual in regards to worship services and giving three years before Covid.”

    However, it is not enough to simply take care of the Internet. A preacher-influencer must appeal in other ways. The Instagram account @PreachersNSneakers, which posts screenshots of pastors in their sneakers with the market price attached, has more than 269,000 subscribers. Among other clothing horses, the account featured Todd in his Nike Air Fear of God 1s (down to $760 at press time). Even Paula White, Donald Trump’s former spiritual adviser, has been singled out for wearing $785 Stella McCartney sneakers; in fact, this trend is not exclusive to black preachers. To those who say fashion photography images are just as likely to offend as they are to inspire, recognize the messages for what they are: the new gospel of prosperity.

    Not all preacher-influencers can draw a Dollar Crefloa notorious old-school televangelist who raised eyebrows seven years ago with a six-minute video soliciting donations for a $65 million private jet — a goal he had no problem achieving, by the way.

    Bishop Noel Jones of Oxygen Preachers of Los Angeles. Photograph: Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

    Before they cracked social media, some pastors tried to proselytize through reality TV projects like Oxygen’s Preachers of LA, a kind of real cloth husbands that ran for two seasons less than a decade ago (and spawned a Detroit-based spin-off). But it can just as easily destroy an image as restore it. Gray and Bryant’s separate forays into reality TV only caught the tabloids’ attention on staff indiscretions that contradict their stated beliefs.

    “The church is hybrid now”

    Todd, however, isn’t just telegenic and exploited. He can also deliver compelling sermons that seem to defy the evangelical practice of sermonizing with metaphors and parables “like Jesus did”, says James, who believes he could have relied on visual aids as well. “Think of the parable of the sower. Imagine Jesus standing beside a field. So people listening to this sermon could have literally watched someone sow seeds. Or at least they were familiar with this process. If He didn’t have the physical illustration right there, He was painting a picture on their mind. It’s really the old technique of preaching.

    But these days, says James, preacher-influencers rely on visual examples to attract audiences in the room and followers online. And whenever one of James’s peers asks him how to strike that delicate balance, he offers the same recommendation: watch old-school televangelists work.

    “Whether you agree with their theology or not, they were really good at being there for the crowd that was in person and there for the crowd that was in front of the camera,” James says, adding that the video feed is not only part of the game on the Internet. . “The chat section has really become the new Amen corner for worship. In our church, we have a group of people in our production room who literally just go through the chat responding to what people say. people will put prayer requests in the chat.The church is hybrid now, and you can’t make either group feel like an auxiliary.

    Nor can a preacher-influencer become too shocking in the pulpit, at the risk of eclipsing his good intentions. Much less publicized than Todd’s coughed up miracle attempt, his efforts to raise more than $1 million for survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. “God is a God of reparations,” he said. told parishioners last year at an outdoor service held the weekend of June 19. “Reparations means that someone will take up the torch and implement the process of repairing something that has been destroyed. If God is the God of repairs…and I am part of God’s people…then I am responsible to be part of the restoration of what has been torn down.

    This sermon would seem to prove that about the modern preacher-influencer: their most significant impacts don’t have to be so heavy.

    They didn’t leave the church, the church left them


    This column is part of our ongoing opinion commentary on faith, called Living our faith. Find the complete series here.

    According to a recent Pew Charitable Trust poll, 3 in 10 adults in the United States identify as having no religious affiliation. Long-term trends continue, perhaps accelerated by the global pandemic. Today, even the most complacent ordained and lay church leaders across regional and denominational lines worry about a future where commitment declines, and not just for selfish reasons. The Church’s ability to feed the hungry, visit the lonely and sick, and advocate for justice requires many hands, not just professional clergy.

    As certain experiences in Europe show, a post-Christian society is perhaps not synonymous with utopia.

    These discussions of the growing group of “non-religious” people often focus on those who have left the church, especially during the pandemic. But we should also ask about those who believe the church has left them.

    Many newly deceased people ask, where was the voice of the church when young people marched for the rights of all to live free from harm in their own homes? What did my pastor say about white nationalism and leavening Christianity with a toxic mix of overt racism, outlandish conspiracy theories and hyper-patriotism? Did well-chosen silences reign in place of prophetic discourse? Has our desire to keep politics out of the church led us to ignore gross injustices in the world and within ourselves?

    The stark reality is this: Despite representing a minority of American Christians, the Christian Right has braced itself for one final crack in the culture wars, and it intends to drag us all into it. Worse still, some leaders and supporters of the movement will resort to any tactic to serve this end. These tactics include gross distortion of the Bible and demonization of immigrants, people of color and sexual minorities.

    The old Protestant hostility to Catholicism plays a role here, since a large proportion of immigrants to the United States now come from predominantly Catholic countries. Another factor may be unexamined notions of bodily conformity, usually rooted in early modernity rather than the grand tradition of the church.

    All of this despite repeated instructions from the Bible to the people of God to regard the immigrant in the same way as widows and orphans, the fact that Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew from the Eastern Mediterranean, and that sexuality seems to figure a lot less prominently in the Old or New Testament (and in life) than a range of social and economic behaviors that the politico-religious right generally ignores. A book that never mentions abortion and criticizes greed, narcissism, and abuse of power on every page somehow reads as if it does the opposite.

    Moreover, still despite the biblical teaching prohibiting false witness against the neighbor, the tactic can include the denigration of anyone who calls us to mercy and mutual understanding. Socialist, progressive, leftist, liberal – any label will do. The less precise, the better. So maybe some of the unborn didn’t leave the church so much as it left them – and Jesus with them.

    Should those of us who think the church has left us become secular? For me, the answer is no. When I became a Christian, I began to follow Jesus Christ, not the policies or practices of his other followers. As Polycarp, a second-century martyr, said, “I served him 86 years, and he did me no harm. So how can I speak against my king, who saved me? I won’t be his age for several decades, but the feeling gives meaning to my experience. The commitment to follow Jesus in the way of God is too deep to be abandoned because of the failure of church leadership.

    Nor does it mean giving up on building a community of fellow seekers who aim to serve and grow in their reverence for God and their love for other human beings. The life of worship and service goes well together as long as we understand that God is God, and that no religion, race, nation or social class can be. The human need for community should lead us to join with other honest seekers of truth and joy. These new communities should look less like institutions focused on self-preservation and more like cells of Jesus’ disciples who first heard from the apostles and prophets 2,000 years ago.

    Perhaps the institutional, especially evangelical, church did us a favor by leaving us. Now, some of us should serve the world by becoming church again, but in a new way. Easter is approaching.

    Mark W. Hamilton is a professor of biblical studies at Abilene Christian University and the author of “Jesus King of Strangers” and many other books. He wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News.

    Find it full review section here. Do you have an opinion on this problem? Send a letter to an editor and you could be published.

    Pope Benedict Accused of Mishandling Sexual Abuse Cases: 4 Essential Reads


    A German report accused retired Pope Benedict XVI of mishandling several sexual abuse cases in the 1970s and 1980s. Here are some of our articles on the crisis in the Catholic Church.

    As published byThe conversation

    When Pope Benedict XVI stepped down in 2013 – the first leader of the Catholic Church to do so in more than half a millennium – the sex abuse crisis had already rocked the Church for years.

    During the conservative theologian’s papacy, the church revised canon law and announced new guidelines in an effort to address clergy abuses.

    But a new report accuses Benedict of mishandling at least four sexual abuse cases when he was archbishop of Munich, Germany, in the 1970s and 1980s. The investigation, which covers abuse in the diocese from 1945 in 2019, concluded that the former pope had failed to properly act on the claims or punish the priests – claims which Benedict XVI dismissed.

    The charges against a living, albeit retired, pope underscore how the sex abuse crisis has rocked the Church. Here are some of The Conversation’s many articles examining the crisis over the years – both its roots and potential avenues for reform.

    1. Years of scandal

    High-profile reporting has consistently brought the crisis to the headlines over the past 20 years, particularly the Boston Globe’s famous “Spotlight” investigation in 2002 and the film it inspired in 2015.

    But the paper trail documenting patterns of abuse — and cover-ups — dates back to at least the 1950s, according to Brian Clites, an expert on clergy sex abuse. It was then that US bishops began referring priests to church-run treatment centers, rather than reporting abuse to independent authorities. Hush money payments followed.

    Lawyers Ulrich Wastl, Marion Westphal and Martin Pusch attend a press conference on an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising between 1945 and 2019, in Munich, Germany, January 20, 2022. Sven Hoppe/Pool via Reuters

    In the 1990s, as lawsuits piled up, “national outcry forced dioceses across the country to create public standards for how they dealt with accusations of abuse,” Clites writes, “and bishops Americans have launched new marketing campaigns to regain trust”.

    Read more: The Catholic Church‘s dark history of ignoring priestly pedophilia — and silencing would-be whistleblowers

    2. Speak up – and speak out

    According to many experts, two obstacles to bringing abusers to justice are the hierarchy of the Church and canonical laws, which govern the Church and its members.

    But in 2019, Pope Francis changed the “rule of pontifical secrecy,” which required sensitive information about the church to be kept confidential. Over the years, critics have alleged that the policy allows authorities to withhold information about sexual abuse cases, even from victims or legal authorities. Francis’ announcement lifted the rule for three situations: sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable people, failure to report or efforts to cover up such abuse, and possession of child pornography by a cleric.

    Even with this change, however, transparency can prove elusive, argues law professor Christine P. Bartholomew. It describes other practices that can be used to conceal information and circumvent mandatory reporting requirements.

    Read more: Pope ends rule of secrecy for Catholic sex abuse cases, but for victims, many obstacles to justice remain

    3. Celibacy controversy

    Other analysts trying to understand the roots of the sexual abuse crisis focus on the rules of the priesthood itself – in particular that priests be male and celibate.

    But it wasn’t always so clear. Early Christian scholar Kim Haines-Eitzen explains how views on marriage have changed since the first century. The first Christian leader, Saint Paul, seemed to endorse marriage “reluctantly”, she writes, as “an acceptable choice for those who cannot control themselves”.

    French Baroque painting ‘Saint Paul writing his epistles.’ Valentin de Boulogne/Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

    Attitudes towards sex and marriage continued to be controversial for centuries, contributing to schisms between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, and later the Protestant Reformation. This is still the case today, as some Catholics advocate that married men be allowed to become priests.

    Read more: How views on priestly celibacy have changed in Christian history

    4. Change is possible

    Changing a 2,000-year-old institution is difficult, but not out of reach.

    As an expert on religious change, Melissa Wilde identifies times when the Catholic Church changed course. Chief among these was Vatican II, the church’s seminal council in the 1960s that brought significant reforms to worship, such as conducting Mass in the language of parishioners, rather than Latin.

    With the church mired in crises, “the church needs more than reflection,” she argues. “He needs another advice.”

    Read more: The Catholic Church resists change – but Vatican II shows it is possible

    – The Conversation/Rappler.com

    Editor’s note: This story is a summary of articles from The Conversation archives. This is an updated version of an article originally published on October 7, 2021. It has been updated to include the January report accusing Pope Benedict of mishandling sexual abuse cases.

    The conversation

    Molly Jackson, Religion and Ethics Editor, The conversation

    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

    Expert calls attention to persecuted Christians as bishops denounce Islamist violence in Nigeria | National Catholic Register


    In Nigeria as a whole, at least 60,000 Christians have been killed in the past two decades.

    Victims of persecution in Nigeria must be listened to, an expert on the persecution of Christians told students at the Franciscan University of Steubenville on Friday.

    Stephen Rache, an American lawyer who has worked extensively in persecuted Christian communities in Iraq and Nigeria, told students that the Nigerian government has largely abdicated its responsibility to keep its citizens safe, leading to widespread violence. religiously motivated and general anarchy in the northern part. from the country.

    To make matters worse, he said, the US State Department this year, for as yet undisclosed reasons, no longer classifies Nigeria as a “country of particular concern” on a watch list of countries with violations. the most blatant of religious freedom. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has since 2009 recommended the designation of Nigeria as a “CPC”.

    “The result of this is that Christians have no more options to get governments to recognize the truth about what is happening,” Rache said.

    Rache’s Jan. 28 lecture, “Nigeria on the Brink: Nigeria’s Current Crisis of Anti-Christian Violence and the International Response,” was moderated by writer Kathryn Jean Lopez of National exam.

    The conference featured pre-recorded video messages from two Nigerian Bishops: Stephen Dami Mamza of Yola and Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto.

    Bishop Mamza, whose several family members were killed by the Islamist group Boko Haram, recently challenged US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to justify his decision to remove Nigeria from the persecution watch list, saying that he had witnessed the ongoing brutal persecution against Christians in Africa. most populous nation.

    In Nigeria as a whole, at least 60,000 Christians have been killed in the past two decades. An estimated 3,462 Christians were killed in Nigeria in the first 200 days of 2021, or 17 per day, according to a new study.

    Violence against Christians is particularly intense in the northern part of the country, Rache reported, noting that Nigerians regularly face kidnappings along major highways and raids by Muslim herdsmen. In addition, the country’s northern borders are far from secure, with many Muslim looters crossing from the Sahel to attack Christian villages.

    In areas where large numbers of Nigerians have been forced from their homes by violence, more than 80 percent of internally displaced people are women and children, he said. Rache said he believes the United Nations and foreign governments, including the US government, have not told the truth about the level of persecution in the country.

    In his recorded message, Bishop Kukah noted that his diocese is in the former location of a caliphate and that “violent persecution has always existed in one form or another.” He said he saw the absence of Christians in public life as the result of a clear effort by Muslim authorities to exclude Christians from public roles.

    Despite the challenges, Bishop Kukah noted that Catholic education has had a positive impact on Nigeria for decades.

    Bishops Mamza and Kukah have stated unequivocally that Islamist extremism is at the heart of the violence and that not only Christians but also Muslims are at risk.

    Rache added: “In the Islamic world at the moment there is an element of violence that needs to be addressed.”

    Bishop Kukah said he believes “we have lost the sense of friendship in Nigeria, there is no doubt about that,” and decried what he sees as a culture of suspicion, fear and anxiety among neighbors.

    He encouraged everyone to take brotherhood and sisterhood more seriously, mentioning Pope Francis’ encyclical on brotherhood and social friendship, Fratelli Tutti. Bishop Kukah said the document and its recommendations on good neighborliness and the protection of the vulnerable are accessible to “all men and women of good will,” not just Christians.

    Pastor’s Pen: living the experience of a rescue


    We recently rescued a bruised and scarred 1.5 year old female dog from Pound Buddies Animal Shelter and Adoption Center in Muskegon. They do a wonderful job with abused and abandoned animals. We renamed it Chella!

    She was very shy at first with her tail tucked in, her eyes showed fear to be around us, her body shook even as we showed her love and a safe haven. Even refusing to eat or drink, we were encouraged when she started accepting dog treats.

    We continued to show love, to hold each other, to caress each other and to talk in a soft and affectionate tone. She even allowed him to sleep on our bed, taking every opportunity to express a new life of security filled with love.

    After three days of encouragement, she accepted our love for her, the tail is now up and wagging, even learning new commands. Still a little shy, her eyes have lit up now thanks to this new life.

    After three days in the earth, our Lord Jesus rose from the dead! He offers us the same rescue we have for our newest family member, Chella. Some of us may feel abandoned, abused, or scarred by past experiences, feeling lost and perhaps forgotten.

    By accepting Jesus and the love he has for us, by not remaining in the curses of the past, we will begin to feel the freedom to be part of the family of God. Find love and peace comforted by the Word of God found in the Book of 2 Corinthians 5:17-19.

    “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing not their trespasses…”

    Just as we opened the door to our home for Chella, welcoming her, showing her the love she had never received before, and leaving her free to enjoy the rest of her life.

    Matthew 6:33-34; Jesus tells us:

    “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will take care of its own business. Sufficient for the day is its own problem.

    ‘Live Rescue.’ Now feel the love, we sat free, praising God! Past life weights have been removed.

    – Ron Witbeck is associate pastor at Resurrection Life Church in Big Rapids.

    Webb pleads guilty to wire fraud, transferring $261,000 from Christ the King to Lubbock


    MULESHOE, Texas (KCBD) — Nathan Webb, 42, pleaded guilty to wire fraud on Friday, admitting he stole $261,245 from Christ the King Cathedral from August 2019 to March 2021.

    Webb was hired to manage the church’s financial accounts and admitted to using PayPal and Venmo to transfer church money to his personal accounts. Then he falsified bank statements in his reports to the church and the Catholic Diocese of Lubbock.

    The factual summary of the plea agreement says, “In all, on or about September 12, 2019, or about March 2, 2021, Webb made approximately 171 unauthorized money transfers from the Church bank account to him. -even via PayPal and about 61 unauthorized money transfers from the Church’s bank account to itself via Venmo. Together, the unauthorized money transfers totaled an approximate amount of $261,245.

    The Diocese confronted Webb in early March, the last day a transfer was made to Webb’s PayPal account, before he closed his account the same day.

    The federal indictment claims Webb was in Colombia, South America, when he made some of the transfers.

    Webb was arrested by Colombian immigration authorities on June 16, after using his US passport at a hotel. He is currently being held by the Bailey County Sheriff’s Office, awaiting federal marshals.

    Copyright 2022 KCBD. All rights reserved.

    Now 75, Bishop of Diocese of Phoenix Submits Request for Retirement | Arizona News


    PHOENIX (AP) — Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, who has overseen the Roman Catholic Church’s Diocese of Phoenix since 2003, submitted a request for retirement to Pope Francis after reaching his 75th birthday, the age limit for bishops, church officials said Friday.

    The pope did not immediately act on the request Olmsted submitted on his birthday Jan. 21, diocese spokeswoman Katie Burke said.

    “The Pope can accept Bishop’s resignation as he sees fit, and the Diocese of Phoenix will be in a time of prayer and anticipation as we await the appointment of our next bishop. Bishop Olmsted will remain bishop of the diocese until Pope Francis accepts his resignation,” the diocesan office said in a statement. “The next bishop may or may not be appointed at the same time.”

    Olmsted is the fourth person to serve as bishop of the diocese, which Pope Paul VI established in 1969.

    “Bishop Olmsted has been nothing but a wonderful shepherd to our diocese, especially in the way of serving those less fortunate,” said Steve Zabilski, lifelong Catholic and CEO of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix. , at KJZZ-FM.

    political cartoons

    In the mid-2000s, Olmsted spoke out against sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and began biannual Masses dedicated to survivors, the Arizona Republic reported.

    “It is a horrible outrage within the church, but also throughout society. … We have a very deep obligation as a church to reach out to these people, whether they have been abused by someone in the church or someone else in society,” Olmsted said.

    Olmstead in 2012 publicly released a list of clerics in the diocese who had committed sexual abuse.

    In 2008, Olmstead spoke in favor of a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Voters approved the measure, but a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

    While serving as bishop, Olmstead handled a controversy involving the excommunication of Sister Mary McBride after an abortion was performed at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix in 2009.

    The case involved a seriously ill mother of four, suffering from pulmonary hypertension and 11 weeks pregnant. The pregnancy put additional stress on her heart, and hospital officials and doctors believed she was near death.

    Olmsted decided to revoke St. Joseph’s Catholic status after allowing abortion.

    “It was a painful time,” Mike Phelan, director of marriage and family life for the diocese, told the Republic. “These decisions were not taken lightly. They were after a long series of dialogues. … Then the bishop decided to withdraw the Catholic status of the hospital.

    A Kansas native who grew up on a farm, Olmsted was ordained a priest in 1973. He served as bishop of the Diocese of Wichita from 2001 to 2003.

    Parts of Arizona are included in the dioceses of Tucson and Gallup, New Mexico.

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

    Pine Bluff Area Church News as of 01/28/22


    CHURCH OF THE FIRST TRINITY OF GOD IN CHRIST, 800 S. Catalpa St., will distribute food from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 2 in a drive-thru. Food will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. All attendees are encouraged to stay in their vehicles and wear masks during this event, according to a press release. The effort is in partnership with the Food Bank of Arkansas. Details: First Trinity, (870) 534-2873.

    ONE PINE BLUFF PRAYING TOGETHER services are held in months that have five Sundays. The community is invited to attend the last January service from 6-7pm Sunday at the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church – 2008 Vaugine Street. For more details or to arrange service, people can contact Mary Liddell at (870) 643-2383 or [email protected] yahoo.com.

    UNITY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP CHURCH, 2712 S. Bay St., invites the community to join them for services. On Sundays, Sunday school starts at 9 a.m. and worship starts at 10 a.m. Also, on Tuesdays, family home evening begins with a Bible study at 6 p.m. and a free Small Business and Personal Financial Development Management course begins at 7 p.m. The church practices social distancing and will provide hand sanitizing wipes.

    OZARK MISSION PROJECT (OMP), a nonprofit ministry of The United Methodist Church (UMC), will perform minor home repairs free of charge for those in need during the summer of 2022. Projects include painting, gardening work, building wheelchair ramps or making other Minor Repairs. People who need this help must apply before May 1. The group will be stationed in Pine Bluff at First United Methodist Church and will work on projects July 18-21. Applications and details can be found at ozarkmissionproject.org.

    Church news is published in The Commercial on Friday. The deadline for submitting church announcements is Wednesday noon. Pastors, ministers, or others interested in writing for the devotional page can also submit articles for consideration. Column writers must have ties to southeast Arkansas. Articles should be submitted by email to [email protected] Details: (870) 534-3400, extension 5.

    Judge asked to punish pastor for alleged threats in defamation lawsuit


    HELENA — A Montana transgender activist who is suing a conservative Sidney pastor for defamation is now asking the presiding trial judge to sanction Pastor Jordan “JD” Hall, claiming the pastor has made repeated public threats of violence against her and her lawyers.

    Adrian Jawort’s application for sanctions, filed Thursday with State District Judge Elizabeth Best of Great Falls, also said Hall inappropriately challenged and criticized Best in public statements.

    “Threats and calls for large-scale violence are bells that cannot be undone,” wrote Jawort’s lawyer, Helena’s Constance Van Kley. “Hall’s supporters report hearing it, and some report they’re in on the joke every time Hall winks that his threats are a ‘metaphor’.”

    Thursday’s request said Hall should be fined or possibly some other punishment holding him accountable for his actions, which are intended to “disrupt and undermine the proceedings.”

    Hall, the founder of the online Montana Daily Gazette, published an article last spring that Jawort, of Billings, confronted a state senator in the halls of the Capitol during the 2021 Montana Legislature and that the senator was to be escorted to safety by the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate.

    MTN News

    Adrian Jawort.

    Jawort said the swap never happened and sued Hall last September for defamation. Since then, Hall has made a steady stream of public statements challenging Jawort and his attorneys, including Helena’s Raph Graybill, a Democrat who unsuccessfully ran for attorney general in 2020.

    Among other things, Hall posted a picture of Graybill’s name pasted next to wall racks of animal skulls and horns and said “he’s next”, introduced himself as David versus Goliath and said “don’t don’t mess with the army in the living God, because they’re gonna kill you,” and posted a photo of him holding a rocket-propelled grenade with the words “Democrat lawyers go after JD Hall – JD Hall is going on a statewide tour chasing them” superimposed on the photo.

    Hall’s attorney, Matthew Monforton of Bozeman, told MTN News that nothing Hall said “qualifies as a genuine threat under the First Amendment.”

    The sanctions request also noted that Monforton asked Hall to “fire Raph Graybill,” but that Hall himself said he was ignoring the advice of his own attorney: “I can’t do it. I can’t stop it. because it is the holy spirit in our heart that pushes us, pushes us, pushes us forward, with our hand on the plow, and we dare not take it away.

    Hall also called Best “the most liberal (judge) in the state,” said her eyes should be opened to “this reality: for the Lord is our judge,” and said he would refuse to wear a face mask in court. or refer to Jawort with a feminine pronoun.

    And, on Tuesday, he hosted an event in Great Falls, titled “Judicial Reform, Judge Best, and Removing Bad Judges from the State of Montana,” with “special guests” Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter and Commissioner of public service Randy Pinocci, a Republican from nearby Sun River.

    Best, the fourth judge assigned to the case, also issued two rulings this week, both against Hall.

    On Tuesday, she said Jawort only had to prove Hall acted with “standard negligence”, to show that Jawort had been defamed, rather than “actual malice” on Hall’s part, which is a more difficult standard. Best also said that Hall used “an offensive and ignorant epithet used by transphobic people, obviously aimed at degrading Jawort”, when describing Jawort in the article.

    The day before, Best dismissed Hall’s claim that Jawort had “abused process” by filing a lawsuit solely to seek financial gain for his cause.

    Jawort also asked the judge to move the case out of Hall’s home county of Richland, saying Hall had systematically poisoned the jury panel against Jawort, making repeated postings and other public statements disparaging Jawort and his lawyers. Best has not yet ruled on this issue.

    Statues destroyed at Virginia Church – NBC4 Washington


    Members of a Catholic church in Northern Virginia entered a church garden and found a decapitated statue of the Virgin Mary.

    Several statues were defaced outside the Catholic Church of the Nativity in Burke, Virginia.

    Father Bob Cilinski addressed the parish in a message Wednesday.

    “I am so saddened by this act of disrespect and destruction of property. The damaged statues are images of the Blessed Mother and the children she appeared to at Fatima,” he wrote.

    The photos show the severed heads and hands of the characters.

    Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington released a statement.

    “The vandalism of a statue of Our Blessed Mother at the Church of the Nativity is a tragic and senseless degradation of the sacred. Mary is a symbol of peace in a world that needs her more than ever. I ask that d ‘Others join me in praying for the perpetrator, for any motive behind such an act reflects a troubled soul in need of Our Lord,’ he said.

    Jeff McKay, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, also condemned the vandalism.

    “Under all circumstances, we reject this hateful action, and I can assure you that we will continue to make Fairfax County a safe community for all,” he said in a statement.

    A Fairfax County Police investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police.

    The statues cannot be repaired and efforts to replace them will begin, Cilinski said.

    He shared with the congregation a photo of the church grotto earlier this month, after heavy snowfall.

    “Let this be a cherished image of healing and peace on this day of darkness for us,” he wrote.

    (Credit: Catholic Diocese of Arlington)

    Last month in DC, a masked man used a hammer to smash a statue at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

    Blessed are the peacemakers who wake up the rest of us


    Pope Francis greets Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, during an audience with U.S. bishops making their “ad limina” visits to the Vatican on February 10, 2020, to report on the state of their dioceses . (CNS/Vatican Media)

    It’s all very ironic.

    It is very difficult to talk about peace in the United States without starting a fight. There’s at least one in every crowd who salutes the strongman’s need for peacekeepers who are willing to fight to keep it.

    These guys were there in the beginning. They were the ones who were in favor of suppressing Native Americans by moving them out of their own land now that we were here and declared this land ours. Then, surprisingly, they called themselves “peacekeepers” when the indigenous people fought back.

    And they were still there 350 years later when we dropped two planet-splitting bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – despite the fact that the end of the war was already in sight – to see which bomb could do the most damage. In case we ever need to use it again… to keep the peace, of course.

    It all boils down to a worldview that teaches “take what you want and threaten what you owe” to “keep the peace”. Then everyone will be happy — as the bliss says.

    To the right.

    Unless, of course, being peaceful isn’t about crushing disagreements and annihilating anyone who stands in our way. Unless it’s about not fighting, or destroying life and traditions and whole swaths of people who are just different from us.

    The problem is that Jesus who died on a cross and didn’t fight to take it down leaves us looking for ways to keep peace without suppressing and destroying the rest of society to get it.

    That said, the church has never been so good at teaching this bliss. In fact, the church has a history of achieving “peace” itself through slaughter, suppression and slavery and all sorts of other things that we refuse to remember as an institution. Like the Crusades. And the Jewish Inquisition. And the persecution of Christians who have committed themselves to a different version of Christianity. And, oh yes, like the battles fought to decide which candidate would become pope in the Middle Ages.

    So here we are, never truly forgiven of our peacemaking obligations, but never truly wholeheartedly committed either. Instead, the compelling reasons not to have been quietly inculcated over the centuries. As the weapons got bigger and the arsenal got deadlier, we all managed to practice more consternation than moral determination. “Yes, but,” we lament, “what can a person do?” Or, “after all, we have to defend ourselves.” Or, “they started it.”

    The counter-arguments are all true, yes, but unfounded.

    Yes, we have the right to defend ourselves, but certainly not with machines capable of killing every child in its path for 20 miles around.

    And yes, they started it, but didn’t we really fuel it with our own taxpayers’ money for over 75 years while those same kids grew up without three meals a day, or had no afford a college education, or didn’t you have medical insurance, or did you live in unheated rooms with no elevator in a lucrative slum landlord’s hole?

    Isn’t that also violence? Don’t we have to fix this?

    Shouldn’t we ask ourselves how come we continue to arm ourselves to bring death to invisible enemies while our society is dying by other means at our own hands?

    And now our so-called Representatives and Senators are telling us that these social things are too expensive for them when they have been inflating the military budget over and over again for all the years of our lives?

    Yet, as dark as Catholic/Christian history is, we may be living at a time when the Catholic world is beginning to teach the difference between fighting and solving human problems through less barbaric means.

    What is happening?

    First and foremost, for example, the Archbishop of Santa Fe, John Wester – the diocese that is at the center of nuclear development – ​​wrote a pastoral letter “Living in the light of the peace of Christ”. Above all, it is a letter that does not call for deterrence, as has become common. Instead, it calls us to work for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.

    Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico delivers the homily during Mass in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica Feb. 10, 2020, while he and other U.S. bishops in the Southwest region did their

    Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico delivers the homily during Mass in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica Feb. 10, 2020, while he and other U.S. bishops in the Southwest region made their “ad limina” visits to the Vatican. (SNC Photo/Paul Haring)

    This letter is strong and holy: it calls for a diocesan re-engagement on nuclear issues in a very concrete way.

    First, he calls on parishes to hold public conversations to determine the real public steps that can be taken to reopen the nuclear conversation across the country.

    Wester calls on us to push for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It has been ratified by 86 countries so far, but none of the nine nuclear powers – the US, China, Russia, France, UK, India, Pakistan, Israel or North Korea – didn’t sign it.

    Obviously, we have work to do.

    It reminds us to realize that we are well beyond “nuclear deterrence” with a few hundred nuclear weapons. In fact, we now have over thousands of them. Thousands of nuclear weapons. Justify yourself how?

    It reminds us that, ironically, we are destroying ourselves and our country in the name of defence.

    The Archbishop’s letter is a humane, holy and understandable approach to a subject that has often sparked passions so deep that they were in fact ineffectual everywhere.

    At the same time, this letter, I admit, strikes me in a very tender way. Like Wester, I also went to Hiroshima. I also visited the museum. I saw the clothes that had been beamed into pieces of brick wall as the person wearing them literally vanished into the ether. Then I followed the two-part diorama which shows on one side a model of the bustling and developed city of Hiroshima until – on the other side of the partition – there is only one tottering tower and a piece of brick here and there. I looked at him and blinked. Within seconds Model A had become Model B. And behind it, in simple frames hanging on the wall, were two letters from President Harry Truman ordering the US Air Force to completely refrain from bombing five Japanese cities – Kyoto, Yokohama, Kokura, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki — so we can find out which of the two new bombs would do the most damage.

    I am an American! Standing in that crowd at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, embarrassment consumed me. I could feel the tears streaming down my face before I could try to dry my eyes. I turned my back to the crowd pushing behind me to continue the tour.

    And then, out of nowhere, I felt someone put their arms around my waist and softly say in my ear, “I’m so sorry. We also cry, sometimes, but we don’t want you to cry.

    He was my young teenage Japanese guide with a searing lesson in forgiveness and universal care at the same time.

    Nagasaki, Japan is pictured four years after an atomic bomb was detonated over the city on August 9, 1945. (CNS/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel files, USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters)

    Nagasaki, Japan is pictured four years after an atomic bomb was detonated over the city on August 9, 1945. (CNS/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel files, USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters)

    From where I stand, it is clear that the violence starts at the top for us. Under the umbrella of ‘defense’, we have come to exalt the kind of violence that undermines all layers of our entire society. It corrupts our children, it unties our relationships, it blinds us to the poison of our national heart as we grow less and less happy every day.

    We have been called by strong bishops over the years, all of whom have understood this infection in the body politic. Bishops Thomas Gumbleton, Raymond Hunthausen, Leroy Matthiesen and 75 other bishops who led the American episcopate in the first peace ministry in the United States precede a bishop who wakes us up again to what the Beatitudes really are.

    The difference is that Wester stands alone and stands in what has become the center of America’s “nuclear soul” in Santa Fe, calling us once again to examine our American consciences. As Pope Francis said at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial on November 24, 2019, “The use of atomic energy for warfare is immoral, just as the possession of nuclear weapons is immoral. …How can we talk about peace even as we build terrifying new weapons of war?”

    Who said no one can do anything important alone? We now have a bishop who, by rising alone, can – we can hope – awaken this country to the place of conscience in the life of the Beatitudes.

    Provided, of course, that we are willing to stay there – alone – as well.

    Centerville Church expands pantry to feed community

    “There’s definitely a need here in Houston County, we have a homeless population, and a lot of times you don’t see it.”

    CENTERVILLE, GA (41NBC/WMGT) – Centerville United Methodist Church opened its pantry in a small 10×12 closet in the summer of 2020. After seeing community demand, Pastor Tommy Odum said the small space wouldn’t last forever.

    “There is definitely a need here in Houston County, we have a homeless population, and often you don’t see it,” Odom explained. “We also have a large population of people who just aren’t financially in a place where they can buy the food they need or their families are larger than the average family.”

    In 2021, the church moved out of the small closet and into its communion hall to expand its food storage to feed more people. However, after another year of service, they realized that the community hall space was also too small to meet the needs.

    “We serve 500 to 600 people and 200 to 300 families. As I said last year, we consumed 100,000 pounds of food, which is about 15,000 people throughout the year, if not more.

    In 2022, the church dedicated the Tom Shell Outreach Center on its property to make feeding 5,000 people a little easier.

    “I’m just tickled pink, I think that’s what God intended and I feel like it’s Christmas every time we open our doors.”

    The church now has enough space to store food shipments from the USDA and the Middle Georgia Regional Food Bank. According to the Middle Georgia Regional Food Bank, they are now one of nearly 200 food banks across Central Georgia.

    When families line up at church, they can get snacks, cereals and other canned goods.

    To get the food, just fill out a form with your name and the number of mouths you need to feed. Then a church volunteer will load the food into your car.

    The pantry will be open again on Wednesday, February 9.

    Coming out of retirement, Reverend Sterrett is pastor of Edgewood Church



    Rev. William A. (Bill) Sterrett served as pastor of Amiable Congregational Church UCC in Tiverton for the past 33 years before retiring on March 1, 2021. He previously served as a minister in Germany where he met and married his wife, Barbarian.

    After ten months of retirement, Bill decided he couldn’t sit still without pursuing “what God has planned for me.”

    Meanwhile, Edgewood Congregational Church was grappling with a loss of members, much like what most churches were facing during the pandemic. The church was without a pastor and faced financial difficulties, only being able to afford part-time ministries. Currently, the number of members is reduced to about 30 parishioners. A few endowments and rent have kept the church going, but at present they cannot afford a full-time minister.

    The small group of dedicated church members were determined to keep the church going – convinced that it served an important purpose in the community and was far too important to be lost.

    Reverend Sterrett and members of the Deacons met and quickly discovered that they had a common goal of finding new ways to serve the great communities of Edgewood.

    Bill was hired as a “part-time” pastor and immediately got to work on January 1, leading Sunday services and working with church leaders to discover new ways to serve his members and the community by expansion.

    “One of the ‘gifts’ of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a growing understanding of the importance of ‘presence’,” Reverend Sterrett said. “How important it is to be together, in person, with other people.”

    “We miss the hugs from family and friends, the handshakes and the conversations enhanced by the little facial expressions missed via Zoom. I personally discovered how dependent I was on these face-to-face interactions.

    Church members and Reverend Sterrett gather to brainstorm ideas on expanding the church’s larger role in the community.

    “I am so grateful to Edgewood Church for giving me the opportunity to return to pastoral ministry, albeit on a part-time basis,” Reverend Sterrett said. “Even at the start of my time at Edgewood, I am excited about the ministries this small group of people are involved in and their commitment to service to the community.”

    Edgewood Church opened to share worship space with two other churches.

    For years it hosted AA, AlAnon and NA groups. They sponsor two active scout and boy scout troops who meet weekly in the church hall.

    A local artist rents space, and the Rhode Island Chess Club recently took up residence in the building.

    The church has a thrift store that has expanded into a larger space than many thrift stores that offers clothing, kitchenware, sundries, tools, gift items and a host of other items. items at intentionally low prices, making it very popular for low-income neighbors. amazing business.

    Church members have been strong supporters of Project Outreach, as well as those who use church space, contributing weekly to the local pantry at the nearby Church of the Transfiguration.

    For many years, the education wing housed the daycare. The building is now used as a music school.

    Annual May breakfasts, Christmas bazaars, animal blessings, garage sales and other programs are popular community events.

    “While the national decline in church attendance has had a strong negative effect on Edgewood Church, its members remain strongly committed to finding new ways to serve Edgewood’s larger communities, Cranston and Rhode Island,” Sterrett said.

    “While my initial task will be to build relationships with current members and friends of Edgewood Church, it will also be important for me to help Edgewood members and friends discover the next phase of service to which they are called.”

    “Through prayer, conversation, and attentive listening, I intend to help build a sense of community, both in Edgewood Church and in the wider community, as we seek together to share God’s unconditional love with the world around us.”

    Sterrett mentioned that membership in many churches in the region and nationally has declined in recent years, but Sterrett and church leaders are confident that membership will grow as the church grows. find ways to be more relevant in the community.

    The church is located at 1788 Broad St., Cranston.

    For more information about Edgewood Congregational Church, call the church office at 461-1344 or email [email protected]

    The church also has a website at www.edgewoodchurchri.org.

    The church’s invitation is printed on all its literature: “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”

    US bishop calls for dialogue to ‘peacefully resolve’ Ukraine crisis


    President Joe Biden speaks with European leaders about Russia and the situation in Ukraine during a secure video conference call from the White House Situation Room in Washington on January 24, 2022. CNS Photo/The House White, Document via Reuters

    As the United States and its NATO allies consider how best to respond to Russia’s massive buildup of military forces and equipment along its border with Ukraine, the chairman of the international policy of the American bishops urged all parties to seek peace.

    “With the alarming situation in Ukraine, we call on all leaders to respect the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine and to engage in constructive dialogue to peacefully resolve this conflict which affects the lives and livelihoods of 43 million Ukrainians,” said Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, Illinois.

    The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ Committee on International Justice and Peace made the comments in a Jan. 25 statement.

    He noted that Pope Francis had proclaimed January 26 a day of prayer for peace in Ukraine “in view of the growing concerns about the situation in this country and in Europe in general.”

    Expressing concern for Ukraine and how a possible Russian-Ukrainian conflict could spread, the pope announced the day of prayer after reciting the Angelus prayer on Jan. 23.

    “I follow with concern the rise in tensions which threatens to deal a new blow to peace in Ukraine and to jeopardize the security of the European continent, with even wider repercussions,” Pope Francis said.

    In his statement, Bishop Malloy urged Catholics and all people of good will to “join the Holy Father, who in his 2022 address to the diplomatic corps said: “The mutual trust and willingness to engage a calm discussion should inspire all parties involved, so that acceptable and lasting solutions can be found in Ukraine.’”

    Bishop Malloy said the Catholic Bishops of Ukraine and Poland issued an appeal on January 24 for government leaders to “refrain from war and ‘immediately withdraw ultimatums’.” They called on “the international community to unite its efforts of solidarity and actively support those under threat in every way possible”.

    “In this time of fear and uncertainty, we stand in solidarity with the church in Ukraine and offer our support,” the Illinois Bishop added. “We call on all the faithful and people of good will to pray for the people of Ukraine, especially on January 26, so that they may experience the blessings of peace.”

    In a Jan. 25 interview with the Rome office of the Catholic News Service, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halych, Ukraine, a major archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, said his people are scared.

    “People are overwhelmed with great fear, and that’s normal in the face of such danger,” as Russia continues to deploy troops all along the Ukrainian border and the United States and other countries in NATO are warning troops of a possible deployment, he said. .

    At the same time, the Archbishop said, “As Christians, we have hope for the victory of good over evil. We pray especially for those who want to harm our people, that the Lord will divert their evil intentions and guide them on the path of peace.

    The Archbishop, his faithful and all Ukrainians, he said, are grateful to Pope Francis for declaring a day of prayer for peace in Ukraine and for the pontiff’s constant prayers for an end to the fighting that has started in 2014 between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainians. forces in eastern Ukraine.

    Keywords: Biden, Eastern Ukraine, NATO, Picks, Ukraine

    Category: News from the United States and the world

    FTK wins contract for the rehabilitation of the famous Lennox house – TAAHP


    FTK Construction Services is pleased to announce the project award for Lennox House Apartments, located at 110 NW 2nd Street, Grand Prairie, Texas 75050. Lennox House is a 9% LIHTC, 40 affordable housing unit for seniors age 62 and more. , owned and operated by National Church Residences. The value of the contract is $3,387,288. The other project partners are KeyBank as a lender and Alliance Architecture of Indiana.

    Lennox House has held an important place in Grand Prairie’s history, first opening as the Lennox Hotel in 1951. It was a “hotspot” hotel for a multitude of social gatherings in the city of Grand Prairie over the years, then to house the YMCA and a church. National Church Residences took over the property and renovated it in 1992, providing 40 affordable apartments for seniors. Now National Church Residences is renovating the property again with FTK as the general contractor.

    FTK will be performing extensive updates including new roofs, new exterior doors, new windows, new parking lot trimming and repairs, new accessible pathways, new property signage and new property lighting. Interior upgrades include new cabinets, counters, plumbing fixtures, flooring, interior paint, new appliances, and more.

    CEO Jim Goodman said, “We are very pleased to be working with National Church Residences again on another project. They are an excellent project partner and we look forward to delivering outstanding results for the Lennox House project.

    “We are thrilled to preserve essential affordable housing for seniors in the heart of downtown Grand Prairie,” said Tracey Fine, Director of Housing Development for National Church Residences.

    About FTK Construction Services

    FTK Construction Services is a full-service construction company, with three divisions of multifamily expertise: Affordable Housing Projects/Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), Multifamily Renovations, and Disaster Services/Damage Restoration insurance-related materials. FTK is a nationwide general contractor with completed projects in 33 states to date. FTK continues to ensure that all of our project protocols comply with the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to prevent person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 as well as all federal and government executive orders. ’emergency state. To learn more, visit our website at ftkconstructionservices.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    About National Church Residences

    National Church Residences serves more than 42,000 seniors through its range of housing and health care services. The non-profit organization is driven by a vision to improve the quality of life for all seniors, allowing them to stay in their homes for life. With 340 communities in 25 states, it is the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of affordable housing for seniors and the largest manager of service coordinators. The organization also offers residential communities for seniors, home and community services, and permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless and disabled people. For more information, visit us at NationalChurchResidences.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

    How the Church Can Stop Following and Start Leading the Economy

    Members of the congregation participate in a mass at the National Shrine Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on June 22, 2020 in Washington, DC |

    David Bahnsen is a principle of the Bahnsen Group, which is a financial services company located in Newport Beach, California and New York. David is also the author of numerous books including Responsibility crisis and his latest book, There’s No Free Lunch: 250 Economic Truthss.

    I recently spoke with David on my Meeting of Minds podcast, and David will soon appear on the Business in the Kingdom podcast on the Edifi network, here are some highlights of that discussion, slightly edited for clarity and length:

    Jarry: Your book is terrific. I have the table of contents in front of me right now…and you seem to cover basically all the major topics of economic theory and practice in what is a relatively short, easy-to-read book.

    David: I believe that all of these applications and all of these topics stem from the first two: human flourishing and human agency. The idea was at the beginning of the book to try to establish basic truths for people who want to approach this with a worldview of faith, who want to see what they believe about the truth claims of scripture, that which I see as the reality of creation applied to economics, applied to how humans interact with each other, applied to how we perceive money. So these different subjects really become applications from the first one.

    Jarry: You work with money. You are an economist. You are in finance. You grew up in a Christian home. You were brought up by a father who was a very eminent theologian. So you are in the world of money, which some people call Mammon, to give you an idea of ​​what they think money is inherently. So you have spent your life navigating between these worlds. What do you see out there in the Christian conversation that you can help? Where can you say “maybe this is where we’re going a little wrong, and this is how we can get back to some of these economic truths”?

    David: I think you have a tendency for the Christian church, sometimes, when it strays from a sincere desire to bring the truth claims of Scripture about matters and about culture into the public square, that what she ends up doing when she’s not leading: it ends up following.

    Right now, the trend in the culture is this idea of ​​redistributing wealth, demonizing entrepreneurs, despising productivity. If that becomes the trend in the culture – a greater desire for central planners, for government to step in and run the affairs of the economy – then the church often ends up following. And my belief is that if the church were to reclaim some of the first principles of the reality of creation, which to me is the foundation of economics, then the church will avoid this unconsciousness that follows some of the really misguided ideas in our politics . life right now, and in the culture in general.

    And so when you mention my first book, Crisis of Responsibility, I think there’s a big trend right now in the church to join the movement of well-intentioned but misguided (in some cases, not all) prosecutions. : the social justice movement, forgetting how wealth is truly created, focusing on the distribution and allocation of the cake of wealth instead of the growth of the wealth cake, and more specifically, instead of productivity which should actually be the whole conversation. How can we be better stewards of the resources God has given us? And if we maximize our stewardship and engage in productive behavior, will that increase the overall wealth pie and lead to greater poverty reduction? Will it lead to greater justice, to greater opportunity for all humans to flourish. I want the church to have these conversations instead of impersonating, I think, the rather reckless conversations of the world.

    Jarry: Mimesis is what Girard calls mimesis. We choose a role model that we associate with or want to look like, and then we imitate that. Girard said either you imitate Christ or you imitate someone else. And whatever anybody else will be, they won’t be as good an example as Christ. Christ himself said, “Make disciples of the nations.” I guess what we are learning is that if we don’t disciple the nations, the nations will disciple us, and in the wrong direction.

    David: It’s exactly that. And I think we’ve seen it play out in many different spheres of society and in the public square over the past 100 years in education, academia, the arts and entertainment. I think right now people are scratching their heads about technology not realizing that Christians have largely left behind the great technological revolution, the digital revolution of the last 50 years. So they lost a seat at this table, so to speak. And that has really created a big gap that we have to get out of.

    I sincerely hope that this is not the case with finance. You’re right with Mammon’s rhetoric that has a natural skepticism and cynicism about finance, Wall Street, capital markets. And yet, I have to be honest: I don’t mind. I’m in because I believe the truth is on our side, and I can share with optimism and empathy why I believe we need capital. We need the sphere of finance just as much as we need all of these other spheres. And I think over time people will realize that this is just another aspect of the kingdom of God.

    Jerry Bowyer is a financial economist, president of Bowyer Research and author of “The Maker Versus the Takers: What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics.”

    Pastors have an obligation of facts | Journalist


    Here is an example of how easily misinformation about Covid-19 can spread. Last week, at a press conference calling on the government to withdraw its policy requiring public sector workers to be vaccinated, Pastor Victor Gill, who leads a church in Laventille, said some things that were untrue, showed a misunderstanding of demographics and demonstrated an inability to gather statistical data.

    Gill is part of a group of churchmen, TT Response, who are pushing back against vaccination and doing so inside and outside their churches. He was joined at presscon by pastors Lennox Grant and Michael McDowell, and Bishop Wayne Baptiste.

    On a particular day, Gill said, Israel had a vaccination rate of 97.4% and 30,772 new infections; and Kenya has a vaccination rate of 13.8% and 392 new cases. Therefore, he concluded, “countries that are less vaccinated do much better than countries that are more vaccinated.”

    Where to start? With the dubious numbers, his probationary and logical leap to arrive at a global conclusion based on just two seemingly hand-picked countries, or big variables he doesn’t take into account? The New York Times has a great daily tracker that puts all the daily updated immunization data for all countries into an interactive graph.

    “Fully vaccinated” varies. In Israel, a country that has begun administering second boosters (four in total), 74% of the population received a dose, according to NYT data. The proportion of the population that his medical facility lists as fully vaccinated is 67%. So strictly a matter of fact, Gill is way off.

    It is closer to the mark in Kenya, where only 12% of the country’s population has received a dose, and only 9.7% are considered fully immunized. The two countries have significant differences. Israel has notable pockets of poverty, there is sometimes a blurring of lines between the pre-1967 border state and the illegally expanded state today, and the supply to Palestinian communities in the territories it occupies is of lower quality; but it is overall much more advanced in providing medical care than Kenya.

    Additionally, Kenya has an area of ​​half a million square kilometres, a population of 53 million, and a population density of 94 people per square kilometer. For Israel, these figures are 22,000 km2, 9.2 million and 400 per km2. Without even considering access to vaccines and the overall quality of medical care, large demographic differences have implications for the ability to perform tests.

    Kenya is a predominantly rural country, Israel is highly urbanized and more developed. Access to the most remote corners of the East African country is more difficult than it is to the ends of Israel (no matter where you consider them). We are talking about mangoes and olives. With Kenya, we don’t know what we don’t know.

    There was a lot more that was wrong. I don’t have the space to list everything. It seems to me that the basis for comparing these two countries stems from coming to a conclusion first, working backwards, and not looking too selectively or analytically for data to validate preconceived positions. And while facts are stubborn things, correct analysis is the primary victim of misinformation, and nuance is the innocent bystander killed by stray bullets.

    I say “disinformation” and not “disinformation”. The first is an accidental lie; the latter is voluntary. Because they are men of God, I choose to believe in their inherent goodness and goodwill. So I’m going to take the hopeful and redeeming view that Pastor Gill didn’t know what he was talking about.

    I am also confident that he and his fellow leaders will recant statements that prove to be false. We know what the good book says about lies, and as far as I know it doesn’t distinguish between intentional and unintentional. I am not an expert on these issues. Please feel free to correct me.

    With regard to vaccination, a clear division has emerged between the churches of Trinidad and Tobago. At the end of December, seven churches suggested vaccination against Covid-19, echoing the same community point of view that had been shared in this space a few days before Christmas.

    “Although you have free choice…we invite you to see what modern science has done to combat so many of the diseases that haunted the world 50 years ago – poliomyelitis, measles, tetanus, influenza, hepatitis B, mumps, chickenpox , malaria, etc. “, they said in their press release.

    “At the service of all, many have been vaccinated”.

    Previously, the Council of Evangelical Churches – more to the right – declared its opposition to compulsory vaccination. TT Response goes further with total opposition. He misused the data to draw direct and explicit links between Covid deaths and vaccination in the T&T. As we are increasingly vaccinated, Gill said at last week’s press conference and constantly from the pulpit, more and more people have died. “Higher vaccination percentages are directly proportional to higher death and infection rates,” McDowell falsely claimed.

    ‘Poison’, ‘evil’, ‘barbaric’ and ‘abominable’ were all words they deployed. Resistance pastors can’t seem to reconcile the contradiction of claiming to be for choice and claiming that the thing you’re willing to make your flock choose will cause their death. Either it doesn’t make sense or it’s cynical and dishonest. Once again, I will summon their good angels, and choose to believe that they have not seen the contradiction.

    The author is a media consultant at oringordon.com

    In the conflicts of Eastern Europe, Rome plays a diplomatic role with an aerial view


    By Victor Gaetan, Catholic News Service

    Thirty years after the dramatic break-up of the Soviet Union, the tremors of this socio-political earthquake continue to reverberate across the vast terrain it once covered. An uprising in Kazakhstan earlier this month. Political conflicts in Belarus around its 2020 presidential election. Ongoing conflict on the Ukrainian-Russian border, more worrying day by day.

    How does the church understand these puzzling events? It orients itself in three instructive ways: as a local actor, as a neutral mediator and as a pacifist faith. Pope Francis – and Catholic teaching going back to Christ – believe that dialogue is the key to resolving misunderstandings, whether within families or on the eve of war.

    Examining examples of recent and ongoing Church action in Central Asia and Eastern Europe provides insight into the unique Catholic mission to serve the common good, not just the faithful. It also helps explain why Washington and Rome differ in their perceptions of what is wrong.

    Catholics live in each of the 15 former Soviet republics, so the church is local first. The Kazakhstan giant, as big as Western Europe, sits in a hot spot between two ambitious powers, Russia and China. It’s a prosperous place, filled with oil and gas reserves – and some 100,000 Catholics.

    Kazakhstan suddenly came into the limelight in early January when riots, reportedly over gasoline prices, spread across the country. The Kazakh president called on the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a regional military alliance led by Russia, to suppress the uprising. With the internet disrupted and few independent journalists in the country, the conflict remained largely a mystery even after normalcy returned.

    Enter Bishop José Luís Mumbiela, president of the country’s episcopal conference, speaking during an Italian webinar regarding the church in Kazakhstan. A Spanish-born missionary priest who has lived in Almaty since 1998, he reported on events in January, including ill-intentioned efforts to recover popular grievances. The Prelate saw strategically positioned snipers and “people prepared militarily for major action.”

    Bishop Mumbiela confirmed the Kazakh President’s claim that the riots turned into a coup attempt. It is a trusted account because the priest is independent and a local citizen. He embodies Pope Benedict XV’s rule that Church leaders should remain “among the combatants instead of standing aloof and preaching peace and harmony from a distance.”

    Sharing the testimony is one thing, becoming a flashpoint in a national drama is another. To preserve neutrality, the church strives not to take sides in political or military confrontations.

    Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk, Belarus was associated with opposition to President Alexander Lukashenko, particularly after the prelate warned of a potential civil war following a 2020 presidential election that Lukashenko has won 80% in a dubious way.

    Soon after, Belarusian authorities prevented the archbishop from returning from a pilgrimage to neighboring Poland; they kept him out of the country for four months. As the crisis in Belarus took on a religious dimension, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister, visited Minsk and shuttled for four days between government and Catholic leaders to defuse tensions.

    As a result, Archbishop Kondrusiewicz was finally allowed to return home for Christmas, and the Vatican promptly announced his resignation. He has remained silent ever since.

    “Vatican neutrality is about bringing parties together,” not dividing them against each other, said Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen, a scholar from Georgetown.

    The context of Archbishop Kondrusiewicz’s sacrifice was Rome’s cultivation of positive relations with Belarus, where about 15% of the population is Catholic. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, visited there in 2015, describing it as “a useful country, especially in the context of the events in Ukraine”. Minsk was the site of the 2014 and 2015 negotiations between France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine.

    The Holy See still believes that the Minsk II Agreement could unlock peace between Ukraine and Russia – if its elements were respected and implemented by both parties. For example, the text specifies that the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, where sporadic fighting continues, should become an autonomous region.

    But the Ukrainian government has taken no steps to decentralize local government. In fact, citizens of Donbass, mostly elderly, are effectively disenfranchised: they cannot vote or receive pensions; they live, impoverished, in a frozen and stateless war zone. These are the people Francis wants church leaders in Ukraine to focus on.

    Like his two predecessors, Pope Francis and his diplomatic team have prioritized closer ties with the Russian Orthodox Church as part of an ecumenical commitment stemming from the Second Vatican Council.

    When they met in 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin reassured Pope Francis that he would encourage greater collaboration between the two religions. Eight months later, in 2016, Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Cyril of Moscow met face to face in an airport lounge in Havana – the first such meeting between the leaders of these two religious traditions, the two largest Christian churches in the world.

    Pragmatic goals were at the heart of this event, including the need for Catholics and Orthodox to unite to save Christianity in the Middle East and their intention to push back against secular materialism in the West, both of which were discussed in a common accord. Reference was also made to “hostility in Ukraine”, without assigning blame. Pope Francis had already described the Ukrainian conflict as “fratricidal violence”, rather than a Russian invasion.

    Friendship has grown between Pope Francis and Metropolitan Cyril since that meeting. Now discussions are underway for another meeting in 2022, which is certainly tied to the pope’s belief that religious leaders can help shape the moral calculations of secular leaders.

    Peace is an aspiration Metropolitan Kirill shares with the pope, a goal they should achieve together. During the Christmas service, on January 7 of the Russian calendar, the Patriarch thanked Pope Francis for a fraternal message and added: “We hope that these relations will result in many and many common actions, including those aimed at achieving peace where there is no peace today,” according to Tass, a Russian news agency.

    But nation states, according to Pope Francis, are driven by interests, whether military, economic or national pride. The pope distrusts Russian imperialism no more than he distrusts what he sees as American imperialism – Moscow and Washington are equally interested and capable of being destructive.

    Without naming either country in an address to diplomats on January 10, it seemed Pope Francis had both Russia and the United States in mind when he lamented the “proxy wars” fueled by a “abundance of arms” and “the lack of scruples of those who make every effort to supply them”, thus exacerbating the conflict. On January 21, the US Embassy in Kiev announced on Twitter 200,000 pounds of “lethal aid” for Ukrainian fighters.

    Rome plays a diplomatic role with an aerial view: the Holy See often sees through the eyes of multiple parties at odds with each other and empathizes with these diverse perspectives.

    For example, on January 23, Pope Francis called for a day of prayer for peace in Ukraine and warned that a possible Russian-Ukrainian conflict could “deal a new blow to peace in Ukraine and put into question the security of the European continent, with even wider repercussions.

    “Those who pursue their own goals at the expense of others despise their calling as human beings, because we were all created brothers and sisters,” he said.

    Paulist Father Ronald Roberson, assistant director of the U.S. Bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, explains, “When I worked in the Holy See at the Council for Christian Unity, we received reports from different nunciatures (embassies), and it was extremely detailed information from the point of view not only of the nuncio (ambassador) himself, but also of the various parties in a conflicting situation.

    Rome’s ability to appreciate diverse perspectives is true in Ukraine.

    Comments found in mainstream media focus on Russia massing some 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border without exploring the roots of this conflict, in particular the agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union regarding NATO.

    “Russia is extremely sensitive to foreign military activity adjacent to its borders, as any other country would be and the United States always has been. He has repeatedly signaled that he will stop at nothing to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO,” says former ambassador Jack Matlock, who headed the US embassy during the breakup. of the Soviet Union.

    “Gorbachev was assured in 1990 that the (NATO) alliance would not expand,” Matlock told CNS in a phone interview.

    The Holy See is keenly aware of this Russian sensibility, as well as the Russian belief that the 2014 Ukrainian revolution was a coup against an elected president sympathetic to Russia.

    Former Georgetown professor Anatol Lieven, a senior fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, echoes Matlock’s reminder that since the proposal of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, the United States has rejected any foreign power asserting itself near American borders. Similarly, Russian agitation over NATO’s presence in Ukraine, right on its border, is predictable.

    In a recent radio interview, Lieven notes that most current US stances on Russia are bizarre, as the US is unlikely to actually intervene in Ukraine and it is not not even in their interest to do so.

    He offers a solution employed in Austria in 1955, when both the United States and Russia withdrew their troops, ensuring the country’s independence and neutrality. Ultimately, “Austria has developed a successful free market democracy”.

    The Vatican, on the other hand, will rarely offer a specific solution to an international dilemma.

    The Holy See believes in a process: “dialogue. Conflict will not solve this, dialogue must solve it,” summarizes Stephen Colecchi, former director of the Justice and Peace International Office of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    As Pope Francis said, despite “the deafening noise of war”, the solutions at hand are “dialogue and fraternity, two essential points in our efforts to overcome the crisis of the present moment”.

    “Easy transition from grandMA2 to grandMA3”: Walnut Hill Community Church trusts MA


    “Easy transition from grandMA2 to grandMA3”: Walnut Hill Community Church trusts MA

    United States – Walnut Hill Community Church in Connecticut, USA provided a combination of in-person and online weekend services to their five on-campus congregations. The central campus in Bethel, CT, has invested in high-level production values ​​and technology, which includes the purchase of a compact grandMA3 XT lighting console that operates with grandMA3 software.

    Jonathan Martin, Senior Creative Lighting Intern, who designs, programs and operates the lighting for most of Bethel’s worship events, helped guide the team’s decision to purchase a grandMA3, supported by the Production Manager of Walnut Hill, Christopher Ellington.

    Jonathan explained how lighting was on the agenda when the decision was made to raise the production stakes. “We kept coming back to grandMA3, which offered the perfect combination of price and hardware features,” he explained, while Christopher also underscored the importance of investing in lighting for the present and future. future, and coordinated much of the logistics. work involved in the transition to MA.

    The console runs approximately 40 conventional fixtures, 16 moving lights and 42 custom RGB pixel tubes, as well as PAR LEDs and MR-16 blinders, with the pixel tubes widely used for creative lighting and to provide illuminated stage elements, or suspended from roof trusses. or floor mounted where it also helps create visual textures and depth of field for streaming events.

    In addition to illuminating the stage, some of the moving lights highlight the 750-seat Bethel Auditorium and are used for key or special lighting, while the heat and glow from the blinders provide classic fade effects. and contrast with the cold precision of the LEDs. There are 25 DMX universes and around 4,000 parameters run from the grandMA3, which the whole production team loves!

    Jonathan uses a combination of Phasers and MAtricks extensively in his programming, which is a preferred method for creating extremely fast, very complex lights that are particularly effective when using Pixel Tubes.

    He finds Phasers generally very easy and simple to use. “It’s a whole new way of thinking about effects, especially when working with large amounts of devices or pixels.” This console is also Jonathan’s first major grandMA experience.

    “I was always aware that grandMA consoles were an industry standard for high-level live productions,” he says, but that was when Walnut Hill borrowed an MA onPC command wing from Adam Biscow. , production designer at Strictly FX, for their 2019 Christmas Eve services, that their own MA journey has really begun!

    “Personally, I found it really easy to switch from grandMA2 to grandMA3 and felt like a lot of the workflow was improved,” commented Jonathan, who enjoys working on a console that can be “molded to the different programming needs of myself and our team of volunteers which has been exceptionally valuable!”

    Everyone on Walnut Hill’s technical team understood the meaning of investing in quality equipment that would meet their needs for many years to come, including Andrew Baggett, Assistant Production Coordinator who played a key role in transition, handling much of the installation work required. . Jonathan also takes advantage of the grandMA3 software to program offline and test future design ideas when he is not in the building.

    He has yet to use the grandMA3’s powerful GDTF/MVR facilities for Walnut Hill, but he has on some of his other personal programming projects. This year he plans to draft their scene and edits in 3D for which he will use both GDTF and MVR, so those will come into play more in the future.

    Jonathan started working at the church as a 13-year-old volunteer lighting technician. The biggest challenges of lighting different departments include the lack of haze, which forces everyone to think laterally and use their imagination when creating sets. Being able to add depth to an image is essential for both the in-person experience and the broadcast/online campus experience, which has a big influence on the production team’s creative process.

    “I really think grandMA3 is a perfect choice of console for houses of worship large and small because it’s so flexible and can easily meet the needs of those venues and operators,” Jonathan concludes.

    photos: Walnut Hill Community Church

    January 24, 2022

    Local pastor gives food donations to first responders, food for thought | Carlisle


    Pastor Chuck Kish wears many hats.

    In addition to his baseball cap, Kish is known to be the senior pastor of Bethel Assembly of God Church, a chaplain to several local first responder agencies, a stand one resident at Panera Bread in Carlisle, and most recently the founder of a new ministry dedicated to giving back to frontline workers.

    This new ministry, called Stock Their Cupboards, began about a month ago when Kish began using community donations to stock the cupboards of local first responder agencies’ break rooms with healthy, take-out options for their staff.

    Kish said many first responders face high call volumes, which increases stress and reduces the time they have to eat, so it’s not uncommon for them to miss breakfast and sometimes lunch the same day. Stock Their Shelves ensures that when responders return to the station, even if only for a few minutes, they are greeted with a kitchen full of healthy options to support them.

    People also read…

    “Food and first responders are like peanut butter and jelly,” Kish said.

    So far, Stock Their Cupboards has provided food for Cumberland Goodwill EMS and the Carlisle Police Station. According to Kish, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and North Middleton Police are next in a growing list of agencies that Stock Their Cupboards hopes to reach. Kish hopes to expand this list to include hospitals and even day cares one day with other churches participating.

    “Any church can stand up and take this on,” Kish said. “My goal in coming out is for other churches to dream.”

    Serve those who serve

    First responders from both locations who have already been contacted by Stock Their Cupboards expressed their gratitude for being the recipients of community service.

    “It shows that the community is still with us, especially as we run some of our higher call volume days and feel like we’re spinning our wheels,” said Nathan Harig, Deputy Chief at Cumberland Goodwill EMS. “It helps provide additional validation for the work we do. It’s great to see our patients improve and it’s great to see the community supporting the sacrifices we make when we answer these calls.

    Edward Martin, public safety coordinator for the Carlisle Police Department, agreed.

    “This is a very generous offer for all of my frontline service workers who are constantly on the go and often find themselves eating on the go,” Martin said. “These donations are important because they show an appreciation for our work and dedication, but also show the love and kindness of the community we serve.”

    Kish said each agency receives about $300 worth of healthy food, purchased and dropped off by himself and Anita Vonlumm, whom Kish calls his “partner in crime” at the department. He said that even though the healthier products cost more, knowing that they were purchased intentionally is like a “tight hug” from the community.

    “When you do healthier things, it makes them feel better,” Kish said, though he admitted that Stock Their Cupboards sometimes throw a box of Pop-Tarts here and there.

    According to Kish, the value of fully stocked cabinets is more than the average person could understand, and he would know it. Serving as a chaplain for first responder agencies put Kish in what he calls “a front row seat to the greatest show on earth, but it’s not a great show.”

    “I do,” Kish said. “I am with them. I see him. I feel it. I hear it.”

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    Passion vs Appeal

    Although Stocking Their Cupboards is new, Kish said the mission to nurture the community is not.

    “There’s spiritual nourishment and physical nourishment and everything is important,” Kish said. “So we’ve been doing spiritual food for decades.”

    Spiritual nourishment, according to Kish, has eternal value and involves sharing the Bible’s message with first responders and helping them do what they do best for longer.

    “There’s a lifespan on first responders just because they wear themselves out,” Kish said. “Put yourself in the shoes of the person who is called upon to keep people alive. It’s wreaking havoc.

    Kish thinks this toll helps people distinguish a passion from a calling.

    “Passion can wane, passions come and go,” Kish said. “I’m in the mood today, I’m not tomorrow. Someone hurt you, you got out of there. One call, you keep coming back.

    And for a first responder to do what it does, it takes a call. Amid the stress and pressure to save lives, Kish said there is one question that first responders keep coming back to:

    “Is the mission greater than the sacrifice? As long as you say yes, you will continue,” Kish said.

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    Stand One Chronicles

    Kish has story after story of the opportunities he has to “feed” community members, especially first responders, with this spiritual nourishment, and each one is as lively as he is.

    Many of these stories come from Carlisle Panera Bread’s booth one at 40 Noble Blvd., a location Kish has dubbed his “satellite office.”

    Kish can be found in Stand One most days, interacting with first responders who stop by for a cup of coffee as well as members of the community.

    He said his church, Bethel Assembly of God, had provided him with a “lavish” office, but he only received about five visitors there a day. At Panera, Kish said 600 hungry people walk through those doors every day.

    Through his satellite office, Kish said he sees first responders who come to believe in God. He spoke of a man who served on the front lines for his community, but also faced many challenges in his private life and marriage.

    Kish said the man approached booth one with the divorce in mind and the papers ready, and as they were talking, Kish told him about a power greater than that man. Kish said he went to pour a cup of coffee and when he returned he asked the man if he wanted to accept Christ into his life. The man said yes.

    “Since then the divorce papers are off the table, they’re together, they’re doing extremely well,” Kish said.

    Kish pointed out how close this man was to leaving his post.

    “He was a first responder that this could have ended, and he’s a person, if he had stopped, this town would have suffered a huge loss,” Kish said.

    Another stand one story came a few weeks after Kish responded to a scene as an EMS chaplain. In October 2018, a 15-year-old boy ended his life prematurely. Kish arrived at the scene and walked into chaos, a scene he described as “so horrific, it was going to end the career of one particular first responder, it was so serious”.

    Two weeks later, the deceased boy’s grandfather walked into Panera Bread and the first thing Kish noticed about him was the anger of a man who had strayed from God years ago and had just gone through the trauma of losing her grandson.

    “I was going to bring up fishing to defuse him because he was angry, and all of a sudden the power of God comes over him,” Kish said.

    He said with a chuckle that the man started to back off and said he had feelings of joy and hope. Kish said he was starting to feel the same things.

    “I said, ‘Would you like to dedicate your life to the Lord again?’ And he says, ‘Yes!’ said Kish.

    The man’s story does not end there. The story was published in full on Assemblies of God website.

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    Now what?

    If Kish has clarified one thing, it is that this story, this ministry, this mission does not concern him. In fact, he said he didn’t care if his name was attached to it or not.

    “If it was just me without God, I’d be done; I would be completely exhausted by now,” Kish said. “All I know is for me, as long as I’m in ministry for the rest of my life, I’ll try to connect every pain point in this town.”

    Kish said he also doesn’t want Stock Their Cupboards to be about Bethel’s Assembly of God, saying they’re just one of 89 Christian churches in the “greater community” of Carlisle.

    “I want people to see and be motivated,” Kish said. “It has to come from the community. They can do it and feel good.

    Anyone interested in donating to Stock Their Cupboards can drop off Walmart, Giant, Aldi or Karns gift cards at Bethel Assembly of God at 1412 Holly Pike in Carlisle. Gift cards instead of cash and food donations are preferred so Stock Their Cupboards can manually select healthy foods to donate to first responders, along with an occasional box of Pop-Tarts, strawberry or otherwise.

    Maddie Seiler is a reporter for The Sentinel and cumberlink.com covering Carlisle and Newville. You can contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at: @SeilerMadalyn

    A dream come true


    COLUMBUS, Georgia (WRBL)-Come with me on the story of one man’s selfless dream. That man is Hal Averett, a successful Columbus homebuilder who left us far too soon.

    His pastor, Dr. Jimmy Elder, says Hal was a lifetime member of the First Baptist Church of Columbus. And that’s where he served…where he really loved it.

    According to Elder, “Hal was always interested in anything that could be considered a missionary experience. It was his heart.

    Hal traveled with his church to faraway places to serve and be a blessing. But Hal also knew he didn’t have to travel far to help those in need. He often volunteered at Victory Mission, a First Baptist outreach on Victory Drive.

    Discussing the church’s mission outreach efforts, Hal said, “We can preach to them. We can feed them. We can give them private lessons. We can love them. We can take care of them while they are in our building. But when they leave here, they come home and the roofs leak and the heat and air don’t work. In so many cases, the conditions are deplorable.

    Elder said, “It bothered Hal…so much so that it became his passion. He had dreamed for years of having some kind of opportunity to provide affordable housing in this neighborhood to get people out of the conditions they were living in.

    Hal’s dream was to start with finding land. It turns out that some members of the First Baptist Church owned property across from Victory Mission.

    Elder recalls, “Hal went to see Bob Elliott and his family, and his sister Susan Rich, and told them about it. This contagious dream is something that carried over to the Elliotts. And in their generous spirit with others within the Buck family, the land was set up for this purpose. The nice part is that they gave it in memory of their mother, Brownie Elliott, the wife of Judge Robert Elliott.

    Acquiring land was only the first step in realizing Hal’s dream.

    Elder admitted, “We still couldn’t build houses. We had to have some sort of partnership, and that part of the dream is something that brought NeighborWorks into the picture.

    Cathy Williams is the CEO of NeighborWorks Columbus. She says, “Hal and I became friends many years ago in the early 90s when my office at the Greater Columbus Homebuilders Association was right next door to his office.”

    After retiring, Hal reconnected with Cathy who was then running NeighborWorks. He told her he wanted to get involved in affordable housing. This discussion led to a trip to Opelika.

    “I introduced him to a community called Jordan’s Gate,” Cathy recalls. “It’s a nice little affordable housing subdivision that’s being done on a rent-to-own program. They used our floor plans to keep it affordable and Hal fell in love with it.

    She says that when they got back to Columbus, Hal told her “we’ll do it”. To which Cathy replied: “Okay, put me on a coach. I am ready to play.

    The other pieces of Hal’s dream puzzle would take time to fall into place. Unfortunately, Hal wouldn’t be around to witness the finished masterpiece. He died in November 2018.

    “We lost Hal and it broke my heart that he wasn’t here to see him,” Cathy said. “But I know he’s watching so it’s okay.” But I can always feel his presence throughout this kind of guiding us.

    Cathy wasn’t going to let her “coach” down. She was attached to Hal’s dream. Another piece of the puzzle fell into place two years ago when NeighborWorks was able to tap into an entirely new source of capital for a project in North Highland.

    “So we created Highland Homes on Fourth using news market tax credits and it worked. It worked like a charm, and I said, okay, that’s part of the puzzle.

    Cathy then approached the City of Columbus to designate the area where the gifted property is located as a tax allotment district. The city council recently approved the TAD.

    Cathy describes all the moving parts that went into place to bring the project to fruition. “We now have the funding source for the infrastructure (on the gifted property). We have the funding source for the subsidy layer that is needed to keep housing affordable through new market tax credits. And then we had a local foundation that said what can we do? And the banks had guaranteed this loan. So now we had a local foundation guaranteeing a favorable debt instrument. Then the city said, well, we can use the benefits of the TAD to support this debt instrument. And so everything fell into place and now we’re ready… now we have to ride.

    This Hal Averett dream project is called Elliott’s Walk. When completed, it will span 33 acres and include 43 single-family homes for sale, much like the homes in the Highland Homes on Fourth project. It will also include an apartment complex of approximately 160 units for residents aged 55 and over. The project will also eventually include around 56 European-style homes.

    Details of the project were presented at a recent church service at First Baptist. Members of Hal Averett’s family, including his granddaughter Hallie, were there to help unveil an interpretation of Hal’s dream.

    One thing was clear… the credit goes to God. Dr. Elder says, “He helps us see a dream, understand our mission, and then follow the Lord for what He wants. Because in the end, Hal would tell you… it was the Lord’s dream planted in his heart.

    Cathy says they hope to innovate on Elliott’s Walk within the next six weeks.

    [OPINION] Marcos and the Church

    [OPINION] Marcos and the Church

    A few months ago, I wrote an open letter to Christians voting for Bongbong Marcos. It was supposed to be a respectful call.

    My message was simple. While reconciliation and forgiveness are pillars of the Christian faith, neither Bongbong Marcos nor his followers can rely on them. They castigate BBM critics for digging up the past and take comfort in the man’s message of ‘national healing’.

    But their message of forgiveness, I suggested, is wrong. Whenever they talk about forgiveness, they are actually dismissing the atrocities of the past as if it were an unimportant event in our history.

    They also conveniently forget that there is an intimate relationship between forgiveness and justice. While forgiveness may be an individual decision, justice is a social responsibility.

    This lesson should be fundamental for every Christian.

    But based on the online comments and numerous messages I received, I know that my article touched many members of the religious community. One person even called me a “non-Christian” for defaming BBM’s reputation. Others dismissed the entire article and accused me of promoting “hate and unforgiveness”.

    The fact that Christians today are divided on BBM should come as no surprise. Even in his father’s time, Christians of all persuasions disagreed on martial law. Months before the elections, I believe it is important to remember how the Marcos dictatorship divided the religious community.

    Collaboration, resistance and all the rest

    A few influential Catholic leaders, to begin with, believed in Marcos’ new society.

    No less than Cardinal Rufino Santos, Archbishop of Manila, claimed Marcos’ vision was “in keeping with the Sermon on the Mount and the new commandment of love.” He thus concluded that it should be “greeted and welcomed by every peace-loving citizen”. For endorsing the state’s call for discipline, this clergy was often invited by Malacañang to honor its events. Indeed, their endorsement gave the regime the moral legitimacy it needed.

    “Critical collaboration,” on the other hand, was the path taken by many in the Catholic hierarchy.

    In principle, the clergy who took this position were ready to work with the government but were also ready to denounce its excesses. Jaime Cardinal Sin was convinced that it was possible to do both because he believed he had moral influence over Marcos; in fact, he had regular access to the president to discuss affairs of state. He also believed that Marcos was “brilliant, brilliant and unemotional”, thus a reasonable man.

    In the 1970s, the bishops criticized many issues, including the intrusion of foreign capital, the presidential decree banning strikes, and the 1975 referendum on the powers of the president.

    But Sr. Mary John Mananzan describes critical collaboration as all talk and no action. She questions, for example, Cardinal Sin’s initial position on public demonstrations. In fact, the Archbishop of Manila did not support any political protest because he thought it might escalate into a civil war, which he said would only aggravate the suffering of the poor.

    At the same time, Sin also believed that any resistance led by Ninoy Aquino could only give the military or the communists the power to take over. These were unacceptable alternatives for him.

    Due to the hierarchy’s dualistic stance, adopting critical collaboration clearly made it difficult for other clergy to be more confrontational. In the words of Bishop Francisco Claver, “We fiddle with trivialities while ‘Rome burns'”.

    And then there was the “critical minority”.

    Unlike the former, they directly organized communities affected by martial law, including farmers and laborers. The work of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) testifies to this.

    At the same time, while the Philippine Conference of Catholic Bishops (CBCP) in 1972 called on Filipinos “to remain calm and law-abiding,” other bishops took a bolder stance. Less than a week after the declaration of martial law, these bishops sent the president a separate letter:

    Like you, we want a new society. That’s what we’re here for… What worries us is that the “new society” you speak of had to be brought about by force, by the coercive mode of martial law. From our experience with our peoples, we are convinced that no lasting change of heart ever comes from change decreed by decree. True conversion comes only from persuasion and good example, from inner and voluntary acceptance, not from fear or coercion.

    Other Christians

    What about Protestants and Evangelicals?

    The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), an ecumenical group of different Protestant denominations, has been critical of martial law from the start. In fact, it was the first church body to formally oppose it. The NCCP did this in 1973, when many of its ministers and church workers were harassed and even imprisoned.

    Despite this audacity, however, the reality was that some of the NCCP’s own leaders initially welcomed Marcos’ martial law.

    Although they did not represent the council, the fact that they were the leaders of its churches was more than enough affirmation for Marcos. The heads of NCCP-affiliated denominations such as the Independent Church of the Philippines, the IEMELIF Church, and the United Methodist Church signed a resolution in 1972 declaring that “the President of the Republic of the Philippines is the servant of God to fulfill his will in the nation.”

    But it wasn’t long before the NCCP made its resistance official. When this happened, it earned them the wrath of the state. Government forces raided NCCP offices across the country, detained their leaders and even expelled foreign missionaries like the Reverend Paul Wilson who worked with their local congregations.

    Within the evangelical community, on the other hand, the political awakening is taking shape at a much slower pace.

    Certainly, evangelicals were present at EDSA in 1986. Evangelical groups like the Konsensiya ng Febrero Siete (KONFES) were led by Melba Maggay of the Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture (ISACC) and Isabelo Magalit of the Diliman Bible Church (DBC). They were politically committed evangelicals.

    But many of their evangelical peers generally remained silent about the political situation, even until 1986. According to David Lim, much of it could be explained by evangelical theology, which emphasized “personal salvation” to the detriment “social or cultural problems”. This, in his view, was the legacy of American evangelicalism in the Philippines.

    This quietism was indeed reflected in the statements of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC). Even in the early 1980s, the PCEC discouraged the participation of the evangelical community in public demonstrations. In fact, even in the 1986 snap elections, the evangelical council issued a “Call for Sobriety” to respect regardless of the results.

    It wasn’t until the height of People Power in late February that the board changed its mind. In a statement, he said the following:

    Where Caesar is in conflict with Christ, we declare that Jesus is Lord. Divine law supersedes human law. Our obedience is therefore not absolute. Whenever the government rules contrary to the will of God, then civil disobedience becomes a Christian duty.

    If you like Marcos, remember to ring the country?

    The minority

    Today, Christians remain politically divided. At the center of this division is Bongbong Marcos, the dictator’s son who ironically promises national healing. This, as I said above, should come as no surprise.

    What lessons can we draw from these divisions? There are two.

    First, many Christians are fully convinced that BBM is the hope of the country. In this sense, they are no different from the clergy who endorsed the dictator’s new society in the 1970s.

    These Christians are drawn to BBM because of its promise of greatness, the recapture of an imagined glorious past that was unjustly interrupted when EDSA forces took power. Thus, on closer inspection, we realize that their vision of the political world hijacks a deeply Christian scenario: the resurrection.

    In this worldview, the father may be dead but they are all grateful that the son is there.

    They forget that BBM is a liar. They do not see that his promises are vain. And they deny that he was a beneficiary of ill-gotten wealth hidden away in Swiss banks. The fact is, for these Christians, his tale of greatness is too alluring to resist.

    The second lesson is that BBM’s popularity shouldn’t make us powerless. Many of us still see through the lies. Our vocation may not be the most fashionable, but it remains noble.

    Those who resisted the dictatorship held firm.

    And it’s worth remembering that they started out as a minority. They fought and then they prevailed. – Rappler.com

    Jayeel Cornelio, PhD, is Director of the Development Studies Program at Ateneo de Manila University and recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the National Academy of Science and Technology. This piece is based on his chapter in The Marcos Anthology, forthcoming with Ateneo Press. Follow him on Twitter @jayeel_cornelio.

    Pastor needs volunteers to help the sick and homeless


    OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A local pastor’s plan to help sick and homeless community members around his church is coming to fruition after another local church stepped in and donated his gymnasium for shelter.

    A donated gym is going to be a temporary facility for now at the Wildewood Christian Church in northeast Oklahoma City. They need volunteers to help these people in need.

    “It’s wonderful,” said Sandy Lynn Patton, pastor of WWJD Westlawn Church and initiator of this homeless relief project. “It’s perfect.”

    It’s a blessing for Patton and those she’s trying to help.

    “We want you to be street sick,” Patton said.

    Rewind to the middle of this week. We told you the story of Patton’s project to help the sick and homeless population around his church. It’s a community she says she knows well. Patton even said she thinks there are about 100 sick people in tents with the flu, COVID-19 or worse in cold weather in that area.

    “They report to me. They have had a fever for about three days with chills. Sometimes they have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea,” Patton said. “It is so cold. I’m afraid they’ll get sicker here or even die.

    WWJD Westlawn Church

    The main problems they originally faced were an undersized church with staff also recovering from illness and crowded homeless shelters. However, days later, his plan came to fruition with Derrick Scobey, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, stepping up and donating beds and food.

    “We just want to help in any way we can,” Scobey said at the time of the donation.

    “I’m still wiping the tears from my eyes,” Patton said at the time of the donation. “You know, it’s wonderful.”

    Now, a full installation has been donated by Pastor Dwayne Rodgers to the Wildewood Christian Church in northeast Oklahoma City. They donated their church gymnasium for shelter.

    “I fought all night with enthusiasm because I knew we had the facilities to do great things,” Rodgers said.

    Rodgers said after seeing KFOR’s first two stories on the situation, he knew he had to make the call.

    “It’s a great opportunity to challenge our congregation, but also to be true to scripture and help those who are the least among us,” Rodgers said.

    According to Rodgers, they made some renovations to their kitchen, restrooms, and heating and HVAC systems. It made him feel like it would be a perfect fit. Now, Patton said it was just a matter of finding volunteers to help set it all up.

    “Pray for me and pray for those who coordinate with me, number one,” Patton said. “We can’t do anything without God’s help.”

    Right now they still need help with transportation, clothing, blankets, donations, and finding people who need the help they provide. The YMCA parking lot on 4th Street is being used as a gathering place for everyone involved.

    If you are interested in helping, Pastor Patton wants you to call him at (405) 716-0881.