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Community members gather at a vigil at Aptos to remember the lives of Jane and Michael Daugherty – KION546

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APTOS, Calif. (KION) On Wednesday evening, community members gathered in a vigil at St. John’s Episcopal Church to honor the lives of Jane and Michael Daugherty, the estranged couple who police say are died in a murder-suicide.

A light is how many community members and friends describe Alice Jane, a talented musician and deeply devoted to her faith. She was also a member of the La Selva Beach Community Beach Church and often volunteered at Aptos High School.

“She was a light, that was a perfect description of her. She had so much joy, especially when she played music. It was really what illuminated her life,” said Tracy Wells Miller, priest of the episcopal church.

Many friends came to the vigil to pay homage. Many were in disbelief in what police call an apparent murder-suicide of Jane and Michael Daugherty. Some even learned of the tragedy a few hours before the vigil.

“It was all a total shock to our community and we just wanted to create a space where people could just come and be together,” said Tracy Wells Miller, priest of the Episcopal Church.

Despite the tragic circumstances surrounding the couple’s death, many shared their appreciation for Jane and Michael.

“Michael, we knew him too … he would come with Jane to church occasionally. He was a master craftsman, a carpenter, he refinished the doors of the church,” said Tracy Wells Miller, priest of the episcopal church.

No details are known about what exactly happened or why.

A memorial for the couple is currently in preparation.


Historic Greenwood Church to relocate

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A local church that has been part of the Greenwood community since before the Civil War has started writing its next chapter.

The First Baptist Church is sewn into the fabric of Greenwood, which has called the town home since 1839, when it was first organized by a group of 20 members. Back then, church services were held outdoors until the church could build its first house in 1846, near the intersection of what is now Madison Avenue and Main Street.

The church moved to its current property along Main Street in the 1860s, when a one-room structure was built on the property. Since then, two more buildings have been constructed on the same land, including its current building, completed in 1971. Residents and visitors alike will recognize its iconic bell tower towering above the trees in the Old Town Park.

Greenwood’s new First Baptist Church facility will be built on this 26-acre site near Greenwood Middle School. Photo of Scott Roberson | Daily newspaper

First Baptist will not be staying there any longer, as an almost four-year planning process moves into its next phase.

The church is moving a mile and a half south at the intersection of Averitt and Stop 18 highways. The $ 6.1 million project will lead to the construction of a 16,000 square foot facility on a property of 26 acres that the church has owned since the early 2000s.

The new church building will be more than just a place of worship. It will include a community center and a day care center. Lionheart Children’s Academy, a company based in Dallas, Texas, will operate the academy outside of the church, said Rev. Sean Holloway, senior pastor. The project is a joint effort between the church and Lionheart, and First Baptist’s goal is to build a facility that will be used by the community and target a need for daycare and preschool in Greenwood.

“We recognize that it is difficult to find good quality child care, and especially with the number of waiting lists in the area, it is difficult,” Holloway said.

The hope is that the new facility – and the church’s partnership with Lionheart – will provide a quality education for children from birth to fifth grade and families with the gospel.

The proposed facade of the Lionheart Children's Academy site in the new building of the First Baptist Church in Greenwood is shown in this first render.  Submitted
The proposed facade of the Lionheart Children’s Academy site in the new building of the First Baptist Church in Greenwood is shown in this first render. Submitted

It will be the first Lionheart Academy in Indiana, and only the 12th nationally, said Michael Tapp, president of the First Baptist ad hoc construction team.

Lionheart will also be a revenue generator for the church. Instead of renting space from the church, the children’s academy will give the church a monthly share of the tuition, Tapp said.

“This is not only an opportunity for us to get a return on our investment, but more importantly, it is an opportunity for First Baptist Church Greenwood to increase our faith footprint in the community,” he said. .

The new building will be a great opportunity for the church to raise awareness in the community and increase the size of its congregation. The church has 165 active faithful, but its total membership is around 225, including those who attend sparingly.

“We’re pretty sure this will be a successful business venture, but at the same time, we’re reaching out to the community. There is a very good possibility that by reaching out to the community we will increase our church congregation with a lot of young families, ”Tapp said.

Lionheart has had success in the past when it comes to young families who are interested in the churches they are linked to. When young parents bring their kids to the academy, they’re not just interested in daycare, he said.

“They end up getting involved and coming back and going to church,” Tapp said.

Holloway’s favorite part of the project are the opportunities and services the new church will provide, he said.

“It’s been a long time coming for this church… and it’s just a major turning point in (her) life,” Holloway said.

Planning for the new building is still in its early stages. The current building is in the process of being sold to Bethel Chin Baptist Church, a local Burmese congregation. Until the new building is constructed, the two churches will share the space, Holloway said.

The building had to be sold so that First Baptist could move forward with their project, Tapp said.

The First Baptist congregation voted unanimously to go ahead with the project and sell the current church building.

“Everyone is on the same page. That’s what makes it even more exciting, ”he said. “We have everyone pulling in the same direction with God answering a lot of prayers.”

Church officials hire contractors, survey the land, and apply for permits. The goal is to start construction in January or February and have the new church, community center and school operational by winter 2023, they said.


The change of department heads has yet to produce results – Catholic Bishops

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Catholic bishops under the auspices of the Nigerian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CBCN) said the change in department heads by the federal government has yet to produce the desired effect.

They spoke through the president of the CBCN, Bishop Agustine Akubueze yesterday in Enugu during the second plenary session of Catholic bishops which is taking place in Enugu.

The clerics stressed that the level of insecurity in all parts of the country was of great concern to them, adding that many of them had to bury their deceased worshipers due to insecurity due to the activities of kidnappers, cultists and accidents. of the road caused by bad roads.

They therefore called on federal, state and local governments to shoulder their responsibilities, noting that many Nigerians are dying in inevitable deaths.

“The federal government changed the heads of departments after many Nigerians shouted loudly for change, the change has yet to produce the desired effect. The level of insecurity in all parts of the country is of great concern to us bishops. Many of us bishops have had to bury our deceased faithful due to insecurity due to the activities of kidnappers, bodybuilders, traffic accidents caused by bad roads. So many Nigerians are dying in inevitable deaths, the federal government, state and local government must take responsibility, ”they said.

On electoral reform, they firmly rejected any form of electoral system that could not respect the vote of Nigerians, stressing that the world is moving towards a more digital system.

They suggested that electoral reform in Nigeria should align this change, saying that electronic transmission of results should be worked on while rigging elections at various collection points should be a thing of the past.

“Electoral reform should allow more transparent reporting of results quickly to facilitate the resolution of electoral issues.

“Each of us must work for the development of Nigeria. We need to develop the idea of ​​taking personal responsibility for our actions. The electorate must hold their political leaders for their actions, ”they said.

On the call for secession launched by parts of the country, the clerics declared: “The first step to be taken is an open and unconditional dialogue. It is always better to have a dialogue than to take up arms. No one should be celebrating the murder of military personnel in different states. No military man should intimidate a Nigerian for his opinions. We call for respect for the diversity of points of view.

“The call for constitutional reforms that respect the rights of every Nigerian and provide the opportunity for equal access to Nigeria’s resources is something that should be treated fairly.

“The right to self-determination should follow a civilized model and should not be demonized. The church believes the government should avoid criminalizing those who disagree with them.

They said freedom of speech and respect for diverse opinions must be respected, and praised Nigerians for their patience in the face of what appears to be a repeated failure of the government to meet minimum government requirements.

Governor Lalong accuses new Bishop of Lafia of praying for Nigeria(Opens in a new browser tab)


Churches could be San Jose’s next affordable housing sites – NBC Bay Area

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A place of worship could be the next refuge for people looking for a permanent home.

San José and local religious leaders are proposing a change to the city’s affordable housing plans that would allow developers to build in gathering places such as churches, private clubs, lodges and theaters, bypassing the permit process and often long city approval – land the city public / quasi-public calls, or PQP.

Gathering places often have excess land, such as lawns or parking lots, which makes them attractive for housing development. The city estimates that between 300 and 500 affordable housing units can be built across San José if the policy is approved, with places of worship being the sites most likely to be developed. The city is committed to minimizing the impact of parking as much as possible to compensate for an influx of residents.

A movement to build on church property, called Yes In God’s Backyard, or YIGBY – mirroring movements of the same name such as NIMBY and YIMBY – began among religious leaders in San Diego in the late 2010s. In 2019, San Diego City Council passed legislation eliminating parking requirements for churches and streamlining the permitting process to allow places of worship to build affordable housing.

The construction strategy at the gathering places is part of the San José anti-displacement policy unveiled last year. Mayor Sam Liccardo included funding in his 2021-2022 budget to research the idea. This is part of the city’s ambitious goal of building 25,000 homes, including 10,000 affordable homes by 2023. The city has built 3,348 homes, of which 506 are affordable, since 2018.

“Displacement has a lot of negative impacts,” said Kemit Mawakana, division chief in the city’s housing department. “It has an impact on education, it has an impact on vulnerable groups like the elderly.”

The housing program, if approved, is voluntary – churches, lodges and similar buildings will not be mandated to build affordable units on their land.

The city hosted a virtual meeting on Thursday as part of a two-month outreach effort to help sell the idea to residents.

The plan is already gaining ground among the coppers of the Cathedral of Faith, a Christian mega-church in central San José. The church has been working with developer Sand Hill Property Company for more than a year on a housing project filled with affordable units on the church’s 13.4 acres – and talks with the city are still ongoing. The two-building project plans to offer 258 affordable units, according to the church. One building would be reserved for low-income families, the other for the elderly. Each building is designed as five floors.

“The most important thing at the heart of our church is meeting the needs of our community,” said Kurt Foreman, director of operations and executive pastor of the Cathedral of Faith. “One of the things for us as a church is always to try to address and provide solutions to community issues because we have 12,000 people who are part of our church and our community. One of the big challenges we’ve seen is affordability of housing. It’s critical and probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever seen. “

Foreman hopes the city will adopt this policy soon. According to his estimate, if the church followed the traditional planning route, it would take at least until 2025 to begin construction. With the proposed policy, the inauguration could be brought forward as early as 2023.

Some are concerned about the construction schedule of the units. Steve Lynch, director of planning and rights at Sand Hill Property Company, said he was concerned that housing projects were still taking too long to get approved.

“All in all, the sooner we can start tackling any kind of affordable housing, any kind of housing crisis, we’ll be four years old, maybe even longer,” Lynch said. “In the 20 years I’ve been here, homelessness has exploded in this city, and we have to do something. And honestly, four years is too long.

The city is also considering a similar zoning policy that could allow libraries, museums, airports, fire stations, convention centers, government offices and other public buildings to accommodate affordable housing.

There are 541 public / quasi-public sites in San José, including San José Mineta International Airport and San José State University. Of these sites, 203 are used for gatherings, including places of worship.

Another community meeting is tentatively scheduled for November. The policy is expected to be submitted to the city’s planning commission this fall. The city council will then consider it early next year.

“It’s a great opportunity for churches to connect. We have other ideas to make this our own version of the Google Village,” Foreman joked. “It may not be for all churches, but it is a great opportunity for churches to help.”

This story was originally published by San Jose Spotlight. Contact Lloyd Alaban at [email protected] or follow @lloydalaban on Twitter.



An alleged arsonist foiled by the pastor of Queens

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A man was filmed trying to start a fire in the entrance to a Queens church on Saturday before the pastor thwarted him, police and diocese officials said.

Surveillance footage released by the Diocese of Brooklyn shows that the alleged arsonist first threw what appears to be a scarf in the vestibule, where the doors were open, from St. Gerard Majella to Hollis, officials said. ‘church.

The man then apparently lights something and throws it out as well, said the Diocese, which also covers Queens.

The man then suddenly stops what he is doing and sits down on the steps of the church, shows the video. He is soon confronted with Father Josephjude Gannon and runs away.

“It’s sad and very scary, but it could have been worse,” Father Gannon said in a statement. “Fortunately, no one was injured and nothing was damaged.

“It’s clear this person has problems, whatever they are, I don’t know, but I hope he gets some help. I will pray for him.

The suspect throws what appears to be a scarf at the open doors of the church.
Brooklyn Diocese Press Office
CCTV image of the suspect.
The man then lights something on fire and throws it through the doors.
Brooklyn Diocese Press Office
CCTV image of the suspect and the pastor.
Father Josephjude Gannon confronts the man sitting on the steps of the church.
Brooklyn Diocese Press Office

Anyone with information should call NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


Haitians return to earthquake damaged church, gangsters help

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Port au Prince – Haitians resumed service on Sunday, both inside and outside the damaged church. It was also the first time since the catastrophic earthquake of August 14, when the country’s Civil Protection Agency dropped the number of victims of a 7.2 magnitude quake to 2,207.

New tolls arise as relief efforts intensify, but authorities are struggling to ensure security at distribution points. Gangs have hijacked relief trucks and even ambulances, forcing rescuers to transport supplies by helicopter. In one place, a desperate crowd throws up a bag of food.

One of the capital’s most powerful gangs on Sunday announced in a video on social media that its alliance gang had reached an armistice and would support relief efforts. If this turns out to be true, it may help speed up relief efforts.

Jimmy Cherizier, also known as “Barbecue,” the leader of the G9 Revolutionary Forces, posted a video on Facebook in the most devastated areas of the southwestern peninsula of Haiti. “We want to tell them that the Revolutionary Army of the G9 and its allies sympathize with their pain and sorrow for all, and for all,” said Chelizier. “The Revolutionary Army G9 and its allies… are helping them and participating in the rescue. We encourage all our compatriots to show solidarity with the victims.

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The death toll was the first increase since late Wednesday, when the government raised it to 2,189. The government said on Sunday that 344 people were missing, 12,268 were injured and nearly 53,000 homes were destroyed. destroyed by the earthquake.

In Les Cayes, many went to church, mourned the lost and thanked them for their own survival.

At the Evangelical Church in the Bergo district, parishioners sang hymns under the rays of the sun through the holes in the roof and walls.

Reverend Seblin Mark Dix Jonas said Sunday worship is special. Because until now, his congregation has not been able to meet since the earthquake.

“It was a must see today,” said Ten Jonas, standing under a large opening in front of his church. “Thank God. He protected us. We are not dead.

His church was one of the few churches that the congregation could worship inside. In many other places, service was done in the streets outside the collapsed shrine.

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With this in mind, the Roman Catholic Church in Les Cayes has moved its morning service to 6.30am to avoid the heat of the day.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Haitians return to earthquake damaged church, gangsters help

Haitians return to earthquake damaged church, gangsters help


Norfolk Church to Celebrate 150 Years in Music | National life

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The 150th anniversary celebration of a Norfolk church will bring music to the ears of the community.

The First Congregational United Church of Christ will be hosting a performance of “A Touch of Brass” at 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 22 on the church lawn at 1102 W. Norfolk Ave. The concert takes place in honor of the 150th anniversary of the church.

The history of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Norfolk dates back to the summer of 1869, when Colonel Charles Matthewson brought his family from Pomfort, Connecticut, to the Northeastern Nebraska colony that would later become Norfolk. Matthewson built a flour mill and sawmill on what is now First Street and Norfolk Avenue. He became the leader of a small group of congregationalists and frequently held religious meetings in his home.

On May 15, 1870, at Matthewson House – under the leadership of another settler, the Reverend JW Kidder – the first congregational church was organized with 10 founding members.

A one-room church was erected at 225 Norfolk Ave. in 1871. This structure served the congregation until 1885.

In 1877, a community Christmas party was held in the small church. There were only about 200 people living in Norfolk at that time. A large tree that reached the ceiling of the church was transported to Norfolk possibly by rail. Each child in the community received a gift: a knife for the boys and a doll for the girls.

The second church was built at the corner of Ninth Street and Norfolk Avenue at a cost of $ 6,000. Over the next 59 years, the church was enlarged six times. In 1930, the church had over 700 members.

During the annual meeting in January 1944, the church debt was repaid, but later that evening a fire destroyed the church. It was debt free for just a few hours.

The ground was inaugurated for the current church at 1102 W. Norfolk Ave. in April 1949. It was consecrated in the fall of 1950. The bell of the burnt down church is now on the front lawn.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place in October 1960 for an educational wing. It was inaugurated on September 10, 1961.

A new constitution meeting was held to approve the constitution of the United Church of Christ in 1960. In 1967, new bylaws were accepted and the name changed to First Congregational United Church of Christ. A new entrance was added to the church and a ground floor communion room was added in the 1990s.

Reverend Jackie Perry is currently minister of the congregation.

Those attending the concert are invited to bring a garden chair. The concert is sponsored by the Steven Uzzell Memorial Fund. In case of rain, the event will take place in the sanctuary of the church.


Pastors against church closures threaten to vote against ANC – SABC News

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Pastors against church closures have threatened to vote against the African National Congress (ANC) in the upcoming local elections if the government does not allow churches to open at 100% capacity.

Under Level 3 lockdown regulations, churches are allowed to operate at 50% capacity, but some church leaders say this is unsustainable and has had a negative impact on churches.

Hundreds of church leaders and worshipers demonstrate outside Union buildings in Pretoria, calling for an end to regulation. They also want the charges against pastors who flouted the regulations to be dropped.

The movement’s Moafrika Wa Maila says the ANC does not recognize churches.

“It’s a statement, there are no more ANCs in the churches. It will be a slogan, from here. If seven days pass, if next week the churches are not 100% open, there will be no ANC voting in our churches. And there are no more polling stations in our churches. We have 22,000 polling stations including 4,800 in churches, they have to move, that’s the period if that’s the case. As we speak, the church is declaring a dividing line between itself and the government here.

Pastors lead a mass demonstration against church closures in Union buildings:


Total Praise Ministries Congregation Going Home After Over A Year – The Vicksburg Post

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On Sunday morning, the Total Praise Ministries church congregation celebrates a rebirth.

For the first time in over a year, when COVID-19 forced church officials to halt in-person services in favor of online streaming services, members will once again host services in the church in 2009 Drummond St.

And when the congregation comes in, they will find a better building than the one they left.

“We have renovated the building,” said Pastor Gregory J. Butler. “We want to use this space to do what we need to do. We have had the building for about five years.

He said contractors removed ties from the floor and replaced it with a painted finish on the building’s concrete floors. A plumber was hired to renovate and expand the washrooms, and a carpenter built the new classroom and building washrooms.

Repairing the floors, he said, required church members to remove and store the church’s 30 16-by-21 pews.

“The bathrooms were dated and substandard,” he said, adding that renovations to the toilets were underway to provide amenities and make them full-service facilities. They are expected to be completed next week, he said.

Other features are included to provide other services; part of what Butler said is a holistic approach to helping his congregation and the community.

“We made a classroom. This allows us to facilitate the vision God gave me to create a literacy program for middle-aged seniors, ”he said. “The problem I discovered is that our kids come out illiterate about a lot of things – basic reading, math, but there are also a lot of middle-aged people who are afraid of computers.

“You can’t even find a job these days – you file for unemployment, it’s almost all on your phone or on the computer,” he said. “If you are afraid of it or if you don’t know how to use one, then it will be very difficult for you to survive. “

Survival, he said, means the community stays up to date and, from an education perspective, that includes technology.

“So the goal is to provide classes at least two or three times a week in the church where we have four or five computers installed and if you want to know more about what a computer is, what is Internet, how to get connected – all the basics that people around computers take for granted.

He said the church has teachers who will volunteer a few hours a week to teach reading, math and science.

Besides education, Butler said, “We also have a certified chaplain who offers counseling for mental health issues that will orient and guide (people) in the spirit on mental health issues.

“There were a number of things in terms of facilities that the building did not provide what we think was needed,” he said. “We needed to have the proper facilities for people to feel comfortable entering and with that we will offer basic mental health services, basic conference services, computer literacy and basic education. for those who want help. ”

Butler said the church had to cut in-person services due to COVID in March 2020.

“We have organized services on Facebook and Zoom. We couldn’t have survived without it, ”he said. “Sunday we reopen. We will be entering the church and having regular worship service for the first time together in over a year.

He said members would meet at 10:30 a.m. and service would begin at 11 a.m.

Butler said the congregation will practice social distancing and follow state and city demands.

“We will have a health station and people will be asked to wear masks,” he said. “We will also ask an unvaccinated person to watch the service online. We are not telling you not to come, but if you are not vaccinated we will strongly recommend that you follow the worship service on Facebook or Zoom. We will send you the link.

“If you are vaccinated, we will want you to practice social distancing and always practice the things necessary for good health. We don’t want to do anything other than what the governor has asked for, what the mayor has asked for, and that is our mandate.

About John Surratt

John Surratt graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in General Studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been on the staff of the Vicksburg Post since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul’s Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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Vatican punishes Polish archbishop for negligent sexual abuse | World news

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Catholic Church authorities in Poland say the Vatican is punishing a retired Polish archbishop for his alleged negligence in cases of child sexual abuse by clergy under his authority.

The Archdiocese of Wroclaw said the Vatican had examined reports of alleged negligence by the former head of the diocese, retired Archbishop Marian Golebiewski. The survey covered the years 1996 to 2004, when Golebiewski was head of the Diocese of Koszalin, and from 2004 to 2013, when he was head of the Archdiocese of Wroclaw.

As a result, the Vatican has banned Golebiewski, 83, from attending any religious or secular public ceremony and ordered him to donate out of pocket to a foundation preventing sexual abuse and supporting its victims. He must also pray and repent.

The Holy See punished a dozen Polish bishops and archbishops for having concealed the sexual abuse of minors by priests under their authority.

A report of people who say they were abused by priests accuse two dozen sitting and retired Polish bishops and archbishops of protecting predatory priests. It was handed over to Pope Francis on the eve of his 2019 Vatican Abuse Prevention World Summit.

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Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Norwegian bishop launches website to share gospel message

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Bishop Erik Varden of Trondheim, Norway is launching a new website to share his thoughts, sermons and other writings, in the hopes that it will be a place of conversation with people of good will.

By Charlotte Smeds

As the Church celebrated the feast of Saint Bernard of Clairveux on Friday, Bishop Erik Varden’s new website was launched (www.coramfratribus.com).

The bishop hopes to use the site to provide reflections and an opportunity to promote dialogue within the Church in northern Norway and those in the Diaspora.

“The idea of ​​a website came immediately in connection with my appointment,” says Bishop Varden. Internet allows you to go far. The pandemic has shown the limits of the Internet, but also its power as a means of disseminating knowledge. “

Why “Coram Fratribus”?

The name of the site “Coram Fratribus“comes from his episcopal motto: Coram Fratribus Intellexi, which is a line from a sermon on Ezekiel by Pope Saint Gregory the Great. Bishop Varden read this sermon the same day he learned that the Pope had appointed him bishop.

Saint Gregory reflects on how sometimes it is difficult to understand the meaning of the Bible when he reads it alone, but when he hears the same passage read in church, ‘coram fratribus meis positus, intellex‘. That is to say: “face to face with my brothers, I understood”.

Bishop Varden wants both in his choice of motto and with the website to underline how the living Word of God is addressed to us together, and that we need each other to receive it, understand it correctly and follow it most faithfully. possible.

“My mission as a bishop is to preach the gospel, so the purpose of the website is to act as a channel in this area,” says the bishop. “I feel there is a thirst for homilies.”

Four categories of content

The content of the website is mainly in English and Norwegian and is divided into four categories: Word on the Word, Notebook, Life Illuminated and Archives.

The “Word on the Word” section contains the bishop’s sermons published in the languages ​​in which he gave them.

Under “Notebook”, the Internet user can find reflections similar to those that one writes in the margins of a book while reading. In other words, these are ideas that come during the day, gathered in a notebook, not only on books but also on music, art, cinema and human encounters.

“The Illuminated Life” highlights the bishop’s desire to share his experience of giving chapter conferences during his life as a monk, while allowing faith to illuminate life.

In the ‘Archives’ you can find articles, texts, interviews, book reviews and audio files. Among the audio are readings from the Gospels in the original language, an ongoing project launched with the website. Bishop Varden’s advice is to read one chapter of the gospel per day, and the audio section of the website will provide an opportunity to listen to his reading. He plans to start reading the Bible in Norwegian afterwards.

Near the bottom of the website, it is possible to request email updates whenever something new is posted.

Monk and bishop

Bishop Erik Varden, OCSO is a Trappist monk, as well as a bishop.

He was born in Norway in 1974. In 1993 he welcomed into the Catholic Church. After ten years at the University of Cambridge, in 2002, he entered the English Trappist Monastery of Mount Saint Bernard in Charnwood Forest.

After his priestly ordination in 2011, he taught Syrian and Christian anthropology at the Papal University of Sant’Anselmo in Rome. Back in his monastery, he was elected abbot in 2015. As abbot, he founded a Trappist beer brewery in the monastery, Tynt Meadow.

In 2019, Pope Francis appointed Erik Varden bishop of Trondheim, a diocese that had been without a bishop for a long time. His episcopal consecration took place in the medieval Trondheim Cathedral on October 3, 2020.


Augusta Health Immunization Clinic Update: August 9, 2021

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In partnership with the Shenandoah Central Health District (CSHD), Augusta Health is continuing community vaccinations against COVID-19.

Current number of vaccination doses at Augusta Health:

  • Doses given during weekend events: 52
  • Total doses administered in Augusta Health vaccination clinics: 82,001
  • Community member fully vaccinated in HA vaccination clinics: 42,698

Current situation

The prevalence of COVID-19 in the health district of Shenandoah continues to increase. Over the weekend, Augusta Health reported 34 new cases with positive tests.

Vaccinations at the first dose are also starting to increase. The third Vax the Valley event in Waynesboro on Saturday, August 7 provided 48 first-dose vaccinations, the highest number of vaccinations at any Vax the Valley events.

Productive immunization clinics were also held last week at Rosenwald Community Center, La Sabrosita in Waynesboro, WARM Shelter and Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Immunization efforts

Augusta Health immunizes all people 12 years of age and older who live, work or attend school in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are licensed for people 18 years of age and older. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for persons 12 years of age and older; a parent or guardian must be present to consent to the vaccination of persons under 18 years of age.

The focus of vaccination efforts has shifted from large-scale mass vaccination clinics on campus to smaller, more convenient neighborhood clinics throughout the community. Large clinics will still be scheduled regularly, but in half-day increments.

Vaccinations in primary care offices

COVID-19 vaccinations continue in all Augusta Medical Group primary care offices. Patients who prefer to receive an immunization from their personal physician should contact their physician’s office to be scheduled in the next available immunization appointment block.

Community clinics

Augusta Health also offers off-campus community clinics in partnership with local organizations, churches and schools. The number of these clinics has increased considerably.

This week, these community clinics are scheduled. Walk-in tours and drive-through tours are welcome at community clinics:

  • Monday August 9
    • At Mint Springs Ruritans from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available.
  • Wednesday August 11
    • At Bluegrass in the Park at Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available.

Community organizations wishing to partner with Augusta Health for an immunization clinic can contact VaccinationTaskForce [at] augustahealth.com for more information on the requirements.

Large vaccination clinics on campus

Appointments are preferred for clinics. Walk-ins are welcome.

Visit vaccinate.augustahealth.com to view the links and make an appointment. Information about new clinics, links and criteria for each link, are posted as they become available. Clinics on campus for the rest of the week are:

  • Tuesday August 10: Clinic hours after school / after work for those who cannot come during the day. The clinic will operate from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Reception without appointment until 6 p.m.

This is a dual Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson clinic. Anyone 12 years of age and over can receive the Pfizer vaccine; Johnson & Johnson is a single dose vaccine available for people 18 years of age and older. The link is open at vaccinate.augustahealth.com

  • Thursday August 12: Clinic hours after school / after work for those who cannot come during the day. The clinic will operate from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Reception without appointment until 6 p.m.

This is a dual Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson clinic. Anyone 12 years of age and over can receive the Pfizer vaccine; Johnson & Johnson is a single dose vaccine available for people 18 years of age and older. The link is open at vaccinate.augustahealth.com

Immunization call center

Not everyone has internet access. Those who need help planning should call Augusta Health Immunization Call Center at (540) 332-5122. The call center is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to answer questions and help schedule immunization appointments.

Homebound patients are vaccinated as part of a pilot program with Central Shenandoah EMS. Contact the immunization call center for more information.

We appreciate our continued partnership with CSHD as we work together to provide vaccines to all community members who need them.


Proud boys, Antifa traded paintball shots, pepper spray at controversial Pastor’s rally in downtown Portland

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Members of the right-wing Proud Boys militia and the left-wing Antifa, commonly referred to as anti-fascists, clashed at a protest in downtown Portland on Saturday, Portland Tribune noted.

The altercation occurred at Tom McCall Waterfront Park during a religious rally hosted by Pastor Artur Pawlowski.

Pawlowski is a divisive Canadian clergyman known for his impromptu street preaching. He has previously claimed that the flooding in Canada came from God’s dissatisfaction with homosexuality and called the police officers who apply COVID-19 “Nazi” security laws.

In June it was guilty in contempt of court for organizing large unmasked gatherings for religious services in Calgary and denying access to health officials.

According to the Portland Tribune, around 50 people attended Pawlowski’s event, with members of the Proud Boys providing security for the event. The religious ceremony lasted around 90 minutes before the two sides began to face each other.

Video shows black-clad Antifa protesters with shields disrupting the event by throwing smoke grenades and grabbing the group’s speakers in an apparent attempt to turn off the public address system.

The Portland Tribune said the Proud Boys equipped with paintball guns, batons and other weapons marched to their announced meeting location in retaliation, sporting their signature black and yellow colors and PB emblem.

Before colliding and exchanging paintballs and pepper spray, the two groups can be seen arguing. According to local press, the Proud Boys have been kicked out of the park.

The fights resumed in the street around the block. In the background, police sirens are heard, but no arrests have been made.

Wade Varner, a 64-year-old Navy veteran who served on the USS Fulton, told the Portland Tribune that the Nazis had come out and repelled the group, he was walking through the park with his dog when he decided to get involved.

“I’m sitting here, totally unarmed, in a wheelchair, and this f-ker shoots me in the face with a paintball.”

Antifa had warned to start fighting and do what they are doing, and then they came and did, one participant said. The same participant added that the cops were not far away, laughing in their patrol cars and going about their business.

Antifa attacked a Christian meeting, right-wing experts said. In contrast, left-wing commentators said it was a protest against a political event.

Antifa attempted “to assault and shut down a family Christian prayer and worship session on the waterfront,” Andy Ngo, a far-right commentator, said on Twitter.

Portland’s Reverend Chuck Currie responded with writing, “A Christian minister in Portland here. This was not a“ Christian family prayer event. ”A MAGA congressman from California planned the far-right political rally. “

[REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE] MIAMI, FLORIDA – MAY 25: Enrique Tarrio (C), leader of the Proud Boys, uses a megaphone while counter-demonstrating to people gathered at the Torch of Friendship to commemorate the first anniversary of the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2021 in Miami, in Florida. Mr Tarrio led a group in the area to express his support for the police. The murder of Floyd by Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin has sparked a worldwide protest and continues to spur the Black Lives Matter movement. Joe Raedle / Getty Images



A prophetic confrontation: Baal or Yahweh?

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Daily writing

1 Kings 18: 17-24, 28-39

17 Ahab seeing Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Are you troubling Israel?

18 Elijah answered, “I have not troubled Israel; you and your father’s house have! You did the same when you gave up the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. 19 Now send a message and gather all Israel together to Mount Carmel. Gather the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who are eating at Jezebel’s table.

20 Ahab sent the message to all the Israelites. He gathered the prophets to Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah came up to all the people and said, “How long are you going to hobble between two opinions?” If the LORD [the contrast between the Lord’s divine name (YHWH) and Baal’s name is crucial throughout this passage] is God, follow God. If Baal is God, follow Baal. The people gave no answer.

22 Elijah said to the people, “I am the last of the Lord’s prophets, but the prophets of Baal number four hundred and fifty. 23 Give us two bulls. Let the prophets of Baal choose one. Let them cut it and put it on the wood, but don’t add fire. I will prepare the other bull, put it on the wood, but I will not add fire. 24 Then you shall all call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who responds with fire is the true God!

Everyone replied, “This is a great idea.

28 Then the prophets of Baal cried with a louder voice and cut themselves with swords and knives as was their custom. Their blood flowed over them. 29 At noon they became mad about their ritual until it was time for the evening offering. There was still no sound or response, no response at all.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here! All the people shut themselves up, and they repaired the damaged altar of the Lord. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD was, “Your name shall be Israel. 32 He built the stones for an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around the altar large enough to contain two seas. [One seah is approximately seven and a half quarts] of dry grain. 33 He put the wood in order, slaughtered the bull, and placed the bull on the wood. “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the sacrifice and on the wood,” he ordered. 34 “Do it a second time!” he said. So they did it a second time. “Do it a third time!” And so they did it a third time. 35 The water flowed around the altar, and even the ditch was filled with water. 36 At the time of the evening offering, the prophet Elijah approached and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. I did all of these things on your instructions. 37 Answer me, LORD! Answer me so that these people know that you, Lord, are the true God and that you can change their hearts. 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell; he consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the dust. He even licked the water in the trench!

39 All the people saw this and fell on their faces to the ground. “The LORD is the true God! The LORD is the true God! they exclaimed.

Questions for reflection

Ahab, king of Israel, married Queen Jezebel, worshiper of Baal of Sidon (cf. 1 Kings 16: 29-33). They brought financial wealth to Israel, but created spiritual poverty by fighting the worship of the God of Israel (cf. 1 Kings 18: 4). Elijah and King Ahab organized a confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Elijah made sure that, if anything, his God faced handicaps (eg a soaked sacrifice and altar). Both groups of prophets called, but only one god answered. The God of Israel, and not Baal, was the living God. In a flash, God confirmed Elijah.

  • Ahab greeted Elijah in these words: “Are you the one who troubles Israel? (18:17) The tyrant king, seeking to kill anyone who was faithful to the God of Israel, always attributed the problems of his kingdom to the one man who dared to speak the word of God to him. When did you need, more or less importantly, to “speak the truth to power”? How did you do it and with what results, outwardly and in your own heart?
  • Elijah challenged the Israelites, “How long are you going to hobble between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow God. If Baal is God, follow Baal ”(verse 21). The problem for Israel was simple, if not easy: choose! , high-ranking theology, even “just” theology. Neutrality is not an option. Which “god” do you choose to serve? How do you clearly act on this choice every day?

Pray

Lord God, I choose to serve you today. When my focus or my commitment falters, I ask you to remind me of my choice, and to continue to lead me back on your path. Amen.


U.S. Bishops Advocate for Due Process and Protect Migrants’ Dignity

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US bishops call for the protection of the human dignity of migrants, as US authorities expand a policy that prevents migrants from entering the United States without recourse or due process.

By the editor of Vatican News

Amid the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant, US authorities have renewed a public health order dating from the previous administration, which allows US authorities to quickly deport migrants arriving at the borders, in the absence of ‘court hearings.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement explaining the rule, saying it “will remain in effect until the CDC director determines the danger of a further introduction of Covid. -19 in the United States from covered non-citizens has ceased to be a serious danger to public health, and the order is no longer necessary to protect public health.

In response to this latest development, the bishops of the United States have called on authorities to backtrack on the expanded use of the Expedited Elimination of Title 42 policy, and to reconsider its use, particularly in light of the commitments. past efforts of the United States to re-establish due process in the legal immigration system.

Guarantee due process and the protection of asylum seekers

In a statement released on Saturday by the chairman of the USCCB committee on migration, Bishop Mario Dorsonville, the bishops stressed that they welcomed the decrees signed by President Joe Biden in February, related to the removal of obstacles and the re-establishment of due process in the immigration system.

The orders included actions to address the root causes of migration from Central America and to expand the possibilities for legal migration; the creation of a working group to reunite families separated during the previous administration; and strengthen integration and inclusion efforts for new Americans.

The bishops further noted that “although Congress did not intend to use expedited removal against bona fide asylum seekers, it is widely believed that its use undermines due process and hinders access to protections guaranteed by national and international law ”.

Several advocacy groups that pushed to end the policy have long argued that Title 42 was used less as a means of controlling the spread of the coronavirus, and more as a means of curbing migration and easing political pressure from political opponents. . So far, tens of thousands of migrants have been deported to Mexico using the Title 42 ordinance.

“Strong due process is vital for the rule of law to thrive in accordance with the common good, and we cannot have a fair, orderly and humane immigration system without strong due process protections,” the officials stressed. bishops.

Appeal to the American authorities

Reiterating Pope Francis’ many calls for the protection of migrants, the bishops urged the Biden administration to work “as a nation to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants according to their God-given dignity.”

While stressing the importance of being attentive to public health issues, the bishops further expressed their encouragement for policies supported by strong justifications, and declared their opposition to those “having a disparate impact on families, children and other vulnerable populations ”.

In this regard, they acknowledged the administration’s recent efforts to expand access to vaccination for migrants – a move, they added, which is “critical to limiting the spread of Covid-19”.

The bishops concluded their declaration by invoking the intercession of Saint Joseph, patron saint of families, which the Church celebrates this year, to “intercede on behalf of vulnerable migrant families, especially those traveling with children and the elderly” .


For Chipmans, giving the Jacksonville community a family commitment

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Bob and Janet Chipman are lifelong accomplished volunteers who encourage others to “participate” in the community as they have.

“I think Jacksonville is a wonderful city,” said Bob Chipman. “I feel like I am giving back to the city and its citizens something they gave to me.

Janet, Bob’s wife of 48 years, agrees.

“There are so many dedicated volunteers in Jacksonville who donate so much time, talent and treasure to various causes,” said Janet Chipman. “It makes this region a great place to live. ”

If you have a suggestion about someone who should be profiled, send their name and any available contact information to [email protected]


Janet Williams, from the Chapin area. and Bob Chipman, a longtime Jacksonville resident, met when Bob was a freshman at Illinois College and Janet was in his final year at Triopia High School. They married when they were both students at IC in 1973. Janet has spent her professional life teaching, while Bob’s career began in city administration, moved to banking, and he has been involved in the real estate industry for over three decades.

The Chipmans are strong supporters of the college they graduated from, and many of their volunteer activities focus on the 192-year-old institution. They are co-chairs of the Illinois College Society, a philanthropic organization, and both have served on the Illinois College Alumni Board of Trustees. Bob continues to be a director of IC, which he has been doing for 23 years, and Janet is a member of the IC Smith House Board of Directors and sits on the IC President’s Advisory Council on Philanthropy. . They both continue to judge at literary society meetings at school.

Sons Timothy, principal of South Jacksonville Elementary School, and Andrew, deputy principal of the Chicago Public Schools System, both graduates of Illinois College, were Fulbright scholars and spent a year studying abroad. Bob and Janet hosted international students for college for 25 years at their Jacksonville home, and four years ago they visited several of these students in Japan as part of an IC trip. For the past seven years, Janet has been the host coordinator of the exchange program between Illinois College and Ritsumeikan University in Japan.

“We really support international students,” Janet said. “We also benefit because we learn from them. ”

Bob and Janet are longtime United Way supporters and co-chaired the 2016 fundraiser with their son Tim and daughter-in-law Stephanie, using the family pun “Chip In” to encourage donations. Six years ago, they were among the leaders in favor of a one-cent sales tax increase to help fund School District 117.

“When this vote took place six years ago, we had an election monitoring team with 60 people in my office,” said Bob. “When we announced it was over, there was a big party.”

The Chipmans are also actively involved in First Presbyterian Church, where they are both ordained elders and have taught an adult Sunday school class for the past 27 years.

“Our faith is very important to us. The apostle Paul told Timothy not to neglect the gifts you have, ”said Janet. “I think we are all called to do it. ”

Individually, the Chipmans continue to make their mark in the community. Bob is the elected president of the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce. He is the president of the Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation, an organization that his late father, Bill, helped establish. Bob has served as president of the Jacksonville Association of Realtors four times and was instrumental in establishing the organization’s multiple listing system.

Bob has served as Chairman of the United Way Board of Directors, the Jacksonville Kiwanis Club, the Passavant Hospital Board of Directors, the Bob Freesen YMCA Board of Directors, and is a founding member of the Jacksonville Area Board of Directors. Museum Foundation.

Janet served on numerous committees for School District 117 while she was an educator for the district. She currently sits on the board of directors of Centraide and has served on the board of auxiliaries of Passavant. Janet founded a children’s choir in their church and took an active leadership role in the multi-faith bible study group of the explorers. She chaired two Passavant Bazaars and Janet and Bob chaired two and performed in four Passavant Follies.

“We had wonderful parents who served as role models for us,” said Janet. “I often think that when I am asked to do something, I honor my parents.”

Bob received a degree in history and government from Illinois College. He worked for Jacksonville Mayor Milt Hocking for a few years, spent ten years in the lending and marketing departments of Farmers State Bank and Trust Co., and was with Chipman Realtors & Appraisers for 35 years.

“I always knew this would be my career path because my grandfather started the business in Rushville, my father had it in Jacksonville, and I’m the third generation in real estate sales and appraisals.” said Bob. “I love helping people buy and sell homes, seeing people achieve the home they want, can enjoy, and can afford.”

Janet taught at Triopia for four years after graduating from IC, stayed home for ten years raising a family, and taught piano lessons at home. She taught for 14 years at North Elementary School and ten years at Jonathan Turner Junior High School. After her retirement, Janet became a part-time English teacher at Routt Catholic High School and is entering her ninth grade there this fall.

“I love school and consider myself a lifelong learner,” Janet said. “I have always been drawn to a life of service and I feel that education is a vocation of service.

Janet feels fortunate to be able to serve the community through her volunteer and professional efforts.

“We are so lucky to live in Jacksonville where we went to college and to be able to maintain these strong bonds,” Janet said.

Bob said the community made him who he is today and his volunteer service is just a way of showing gratitude.


Catholic Archdiocese Must Work Openly to Preserve Historic Chicago Churches | Editorial

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The Gothic Revival Church, Convent and Rectory on 31st and Aberdeen Streets have served the community of Bridgeport for over 110 years, first as a Parish of the Immaculate Conception and, since 1991, as a Monastery of the Holy Cross.

And the buildings will likely be preserved even longer, as a city commission voted last Thursday to recommend that city council grant the structures monument status.

It’s the right move – prompted by the monks themselves who have applied for landmark status for the complex – that will protect a solid piece of religious architecture in the neighborhood that once belonged to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. .

This should be the fate of the wealth of churches currently owned by the Archdiocese of Chicago that the accounts are currently closed as part of the Archdiocese’s Renew My Church initiative.

The Monastery of the Holy Cross in Bridgeport, built 109 years ago, was called the Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception until 1991.
Tyler The River

But after padlocking one large building after another since 2016 as part of a church consolidation program, the Archdiocese has been pretty much silent on what will happen to those structures.

It shouldn’t be. It is a practice that must end.

Although the churches belong to the Archdiocese – and we sympathize with their financial difficulties – the practical reality is that the buildings belong to all of us.

And because of this, the Archdiocese has a responsibility to do better with these buildings.

The architectural beauty of the city under threat

The Archdiocese launched its Renew My Church initiative in 2016 and began closing and consolidating churches in response to a drastically reduced membership.

It is difficult to know exactly how many churches have been closed. A spokesperson for the archdiocese did not respond to repeated requests for information.

But the churches that have been closed are some of the most beautiful structures in the city.

For example, Corpus Christi Church, a 120-year-old Italian Revival beauty located at 49th Street and King Drive with a dazzling coffered ceiling, closed in June.

St. Ignatius Church, 6559 N. Glenwood Ave., a limestone building with a majestic entrance marked by six elegant Corinthian columns, celebrated its last regular mass earlier this month after 113 years.

Interior of St. Ignatius Church, 6559 N. Glenwood Ave., which celebrated its last mass this month:

Interior of St. Ignatius Church, 6559 N. Glenwood Ave., which held its last regular mass this month.
Church of St. Ignatius

The closures concern the conservatives because the archdiocese did not hesitate to swing the ball of the wrecker on unused churches.

The picturesque St. James Catholic Church, 2942 S. Wabash Ave, was demolished in 2013 after 133 years of service.

The Church of St. John of God, 1234 W. 52nd St., was demolished in 2011, although its limestone facade was stripped and rebuilt in a new church near Antioch, Illinois.

Preservation Chicago Group is so scared for the future of the city’s historic Catholic Church buildings that it included them as a theme for the organization’s 2019 List of the 7 most endangered buildings in Chicago.

“This is nothing less than a tragedy, affecting entire communities and towns across the country,” said Preservation Chicago – which helped the monks of Bridgeport research and compile the historical information used in their successful historic offer.

“After all, these buildings and parishes are more than religious centers, but also community centers hosting neighborhood meetings, pantries, day care centers, family and addiction counseling, educational institutions and centers. warming in bad weather, ”the group said.

Archdiocese must work to reuse buildings

The archdiocese, however, was unwilling to work with curators and community groups to find new uses for these buildings.

Landmarks Illinois in 2016 contacted the Archdiocese to help preserve St. Adelbert at Twin Towers, 1650 W. 17th. The church is still standing, but the preservation group said its openness to the archdiocese “has never been answered.”

Considering the architectural significance and beauty of the buildings and their contribution to the history of the city, the Archdiocese should follow the example of the Monastery of the Holy Cross and become the protector of these structures – and advocate for their preservation and reuse.

Send letters to [email protected].


Indianapolis pastors welcome teens to their homes after mother dies from COVID-19

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INDIANAPOLIS – A family in Hendricks County is leading by example by showing up for the people you love. Pastors Russell and Beverly Hylton, of the Bethel Family Worship Center, opened their home to two teenagers after their mother died in July after battling COVID19.

“They brought so much joy,” Beverly said. “We tell everyone, and we tell them every day, that these are great kids and they really are.”

Their mother, Belinda, served in Hylton Church for years and the children grew up there.

“We have a lot of parishioners, but she was a friend,” Beverly said. “She was loyal, she was loyal. She loved her children.

Russell and Beverly offered to make his house a home for the children of Belinda, Antoine and Nina Cooper, or they could move to Chicago and live with other family members. Antoine and Nina moved in two and a half weeks later.

“They are so familiar, I guess you could tell,” Nina said. “Because it would be a big change to have to move to Chicago from Indiana, that’s all I know. “

Russell and Beverly are already proud grandparents and now welcome this unexpected blessing of caring for these two Ben Davis High School students who continue to make their mother proud.

“Especially since we are honorary students, we maintain our grades, don’t drop them,” said Nina.

The Hyltons and the Coopers encourage everyone to be willing to help others through difficulties.

“We knew what she wanted for her children, we knew what she wanted spiritually, we knew what she wanted educationally and we just determined in our hearts that we were going to stay on track and there. ‘help achieve that,’ said Russell.


In 10 days, 6 Jacksonville church members die from COVID-19, pastor says

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JACKSONVILLE, Florida – A pastor at the Jacksonville church said that in the past 10 days, six of its church members have died from COVID-19, and more of their members are currently in hospital.

Now the church is pushing to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

Senior Pastor George Davis of Impact Church in Arlington told News4Jax on Friday that his phone had not stopped ringing last week.

“In the past 10 days, we have had six members of our church who died from COVID. Four of them were under 35 years old. They were all healthy and the only thing they had in common was that they weren’t vaccinated, ”he said.

He says 15 to 20 members are now in the hospital, a dozen more are at home with the virus and three to five vaccinated members have also tested positive.

“It’s pain,” Davis said. “These are real people that I know, that I have led. A 24 year old child, I have known him since he was very young.

6 Jacksonville Impact Church Members Died From COVID-19

Davis said it was late July when they first learned that a member had tested positive. From there it was a cascade of more cases. Those who died, he says, were not in the hospital long before they died.

A d

During church services, Davis said the church needs masks, that the auditorium is thoroughly cleaned between services, that it practices social distancing and offers hand sanitizer.

Davis said on Friday that he was certain that after speaking with the families of those members, they contracted it somewhere outside the church.

Even though the church is following CDC guidelines, Davis is pushing to get more people vaccinated.

The church held a vaccination event in March where it said 800 people were vaccinated.

With the rise of the great Jacksonville community and its church, they are now hosting another event on Sunday. The event is open to the public.

“All I know is that the passion of my heart is to help the people I am called to serve and to do whatever I can to help them be in a healthier place,” said Davis said.

Davis encourages everyone to educate themselves and get vaccinated.

The first memorial service for the deceased members will take place this weekend.

Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.


COVID-19, global warming and reduction of Catholic guilt | Earth beat

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COVID-19 and global warming are enough to make me miss the days of clerical power and Catholic guilt. In those good days and bad, the church hierarchy was able to issue thunderous edicts, and most Catholics followed his instructions like sheep. If the laity did not do this, they would feel guilty and fear going to hell.

The church had the power to make and break kings; the power to shape cultures and control the actions of people. Too bad she doesn’t have such power to save humanity from itself today.

Could the Pope declare vaccine skeptics and climate change deniers heretics and put their books, articles, Facebook pages and tweets on the Forbidden Books Index?

It would be quite a change from when Galileo and Darwin were considered heretics. This time, clerical power would support science.

Nothing would please me more unlawfully than to have the governors of Florida and Texas excommunicated, as well as the rulers of the petroleum and coal industries, just as kings and nobles were excommunicated in the past.

And rather than organizing crusades against Muslims, as it has done in the past, the church could mobilize its people to protect the health of the Earth and of humanity. But today the children’s crusade is led, not by the church, but by Greta Thunberg. Hopefully, it will be more successful than the Children’s Crusade of 1212, which ended in disaster.

There was a time when Christianity had the capacity to do great things (some good, some bad).

We marvel at those Christians of the past who dug the foundations of great cathedrals, the completion of which they and their children would never see. The idea of ​​undertaking a project, such as the construction of a cathedral, which could take centuries to complete is incomprehensible to us.

Today, it is impossible for us to make sacrifices (wear masks) that will benefit us in a few months, let alone make sacrifices (reduce carbon emissions) that will benefit our grandchildren in the decades to come. to come.

Pope Francis, in his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si ‘, called on the world to individual and systemic conversion to prevent the rapidly approaching catastrophe. Some responded, such as the Laudato Si ‘Movement (formerly known as the Global Catholic Climate Movement).

But millions of us go about our business caring about our daily lives as Catholic bishops and elites (including me) discuss Latin Mass, Communion for Politicians, and Grindr, rather than the climate apocalypse to come.

Francois is right. We need both individual and systemic conversion.

Our lifestyles must change and our carbon-based economic system must change. The thermostat must be raised in summer and lowered in winter. We need to recycle and use less energy. But we also need government regulations and a carbon tax to make the entire economic system less dependent on carbon.

It won’t be easy, but it has to be done. The church has lost its clerical power, so I guess we’ll have to depend on Catholic guilt. But this time, the hell we face will be of our own making.


Rocklin’s Destiny Church is a spot on Placer County

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title=Church, pictured June 27, 2019. Pastor Greg Fairrington announced on Monday, July 13, 2020 that Destiny Christian will not be closing pursuant to Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 Stop Order.” title=”FILE – Destiny Christian Church, pictured June 27, 2019. Pastor Greg Fairrington announced on Monday, July 13, 2020 that Destiny Christian will not be closing pursuant to Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 Stop Order.” loading=”lazy”/>

FILE – Destiny Christian Church, pictured June 27, 2019. Pastor Greg Fairrington announced on Monday, July 13, 2020 that Destiny Christian will not be closing pursuant to Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 Stop Order.

The Sacramento Bee

Rocklin’s Church of Destiny is reckless and careless. But we already knew that.

When California imposed strict restrictions on all indoor gatherings to slow the spread of a deadly virus, Destiny held services in contempt for months.

Last winter when Placer County short of beds available in intensive care unit and has seen COVID levels skyrocket, Destiny has knowingly exposed its worshipers and their neighbors to the spread of the virus by actively encouraging them to attend room services. In December, a former member of the congregation said six people tested positive after attending an in-person service at Destiny.

Destiny Pastor Greg Fairrington has proven to be a threat to Placer County by encouraging people to take action that defied state COVID-19 guidelines and exposed people to the coronavirus.

More recently, Fairrington has found a new way to abuse his role as religious leader in the community by telling his followers to support Governor Gavin Newsom’s recall, potentially jeopardizing Destiny’s tax-exempt status by testing the IRS regulations that restrict political campaigns inside churches.

“Are you afraid of Gavin Newsom?” My God, do your job as Christians on September 14 and vote ‘yes’ on recalling an immoral governor, ”Fairrington said, gesturing to a screen behind him that delivered the same message.

“Are we afraid of a vaccine, of liberal school boards, of racial social agendas (critical race theory), of an LGBTQ agenda?” ” He asked. “The non-sexist, anti-American doctrine of radical groups like Black Lives Matter?

Whether he’s imbalanced or deliberately trying to draw attention to himself, Fairrington deserves his church’s tax-exempt status removed. The problem, however, is that his delusional preaching could harm other churches and religious institutions in the region.

“Fate could possibly survive without the tax exemption, but the vast majority of religious institutions across the country would not,” said Reverend Alan Jones, pastor of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Sacramento. . “He is entitled to his opinion, and I would support him firmly, but without being preached from the pulpit.”

Jones said he was taking the Johnson amendment, which very seriously prohibits churches from participating directly or indirectly in political campaigns for or against candidates. For example, when Congressman Ami Bera attended services in St. Mark’s, Jones told Bera that he was not authorized to promote his campaign. The same policy applies to any other politician or political candidate who attends services in Saint-Marc.

The word that comes to mind when Jones thinks of Destiny is “hubris”.

“Destiny is a very successful business, it has attracted thousands of people, but there is a danger in success that breeds arrogance,” Jones said. “It saddens me deeply that so many people are under the influence of a voice that does so much damage.”

Indeed, Destiny is a company, with A coffee, a gym, a nursery and primary school and a performing arts center. In June, the the town of Rocklin has partnered with Destiny for a fireworks display. By partnering with Destiny, Rocklin sent the message that the church’s anti-gay attitudes and unprincipled and unethical behavior are OK.

Jesus’ values ​​of selflessness and compassion are not found in the ideas shared by leaders and members of Destiny – instead, they are aligned with fear, hate, extremism, and the alt-right.

In December, when protesters carrying Black Lives Matter and Pride flags showed up to protest Destiny’s blatant disregard for public health orders, members of the Proud Boys came forward to counter protest, defending the church. Identified by the FBI as an extremist group, the proud boys participated in white supremacy, neo-nazi Rally “Unite the Right” in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the insurrection of January 6 on the United States Capitol.

In January, during another demonstration outside Rocklin Church, a member of Destiny with a bible verse on the back of his shirt, urged a protester holding a “LOVE” sign, decorated with LGBTQ Pride flags. The church member embarked on a homophobic rant before fleeing.

In a recent sermon, Fairrington released an excerpt from a YouTube video in which the San Francisco Gay Men’s Choir sings a satirical song with the words “We Will Convert Your Children.” In response, Fairrington said, “It’s wrong, it’s vile.” Be careful, pastor, your blatant homophobia is visible.

What can that be called other than fear and demagoguery?

Under the Johnson Amendment, pastors and religious leaders are allowed to preach on social and moral issues. In St. Mark’s, Jones spoke often about social issues, including immigration and homelessness.

“I preach social justice from the pulpit a lot, but sometimes people confuse a moral position with a political position,” Jones said. “There is a long and established tradition of social justice in our congregation. And there are other congregations in our city and county that you could say the same thing about. But we always stop before we approve a candidate.

In a July 18 sermon, Fairrington said church leaders should be forced to vote in favor of the recall because it is a moral issue – not a political issue – because Newsom is a governor “Immoral”. This is an ironic point, given that Fairrington’s own morals are deeply lacking.

Fairrington preaches hatred from his pulpit. He has proven himself to be a nasty tyrant who represents the worst of Rocklin and Placer County. If he insists on preaching politics, he should go down another path.

Hannah Holzer, a Placer County native and UC Davis graduate, is an opinion assistant at the Sacramento Bee.

Hannah Holzer, a Placer County native and UC Davis graduate, is the Sacramento Bee’s opinion assistant.



Pope Francis called for unity: will we hear it?

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On July 16, 2021, Pope Francis released a motu proprio (similar to a decree) titled Traditionis Custodes. If you’ve spent fifteen minutes on Twitter in the past three weeks, you probably know it. And you know that motu proprio has something to do with the Mass in its extraordinary form, often referred to as the “traditional Latin Mass”.

The order rescinded the permissions that Pope Benedict XVI had granted in his own motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. The 2007 document of Pope Benedict XVI authorized any priest (without the authorization of the bishop) to celebrate the 1962 Missal of Pope John XXIII, the basis of the extraordinary form of the Mass. This missal was the last to be published before the reforms initiated by the Second Vatican Council.

Pope Francis told the bishops – the head liturgist of the diocese – not to create new personal parishes dedicated to the celebration of the pre-conciliar liturgy. Priests must now ask for permission to celebrate this liturgy. The preconciliar liturgy cannot be celebrated in parishes but must be reserved for shrines or personal parishes already established.

Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI both released these contradictory documents with the same goal: to inspire greater inclusion and unity in the Catholic Church. While Pope Benedict XVI motu proprio may not have achieved its goal, Pope Francis’ effect will be determined not only by the circumstances of its publication, but also by how Catholics respond to it.

The reasons of Pope Benedict XVI motu proprio

Pope Benedict XVI sought to inspire unity in the Church between those who are still attached to the pre-conciliar liturgies and those who celebrate the ordinary form of the mass promulgated after Vatican II.

Publicity

He sought to correct what he considered to be a theological error, namely the hypothesis that Vatican II introduced a rupture between the past and the present. Often those who celebrated the Reformed rites of Vatican II looked with suspicion on those who were still attached to the pre-conciliar liturgy. This rupture implied that our ancestors in the faith were not inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Pope Benedict XVI also wanted to contribute to a mutual liturgical renewal between the two forms of the liturgy. The extraordinary form could benefit from some of the reforms of Vatican II, including the liturgical calendar and vernacular readings. The Reformed liturgy could be imbued with a sense of the sacred often present in extraordinary form.

The reasons of Pope Francis motu proprio

Pope Francis’ motu proprio was promulgated after consultation with bishops around the world. Admitting that Reformed rites are often performed without proper respect, Pope Francis nonetheless determined that Pope Benedict XVI’s experiment did not work. Rather than leading to unity in the Church, the presence of the two forms has only led to a rupture of communion. Communities that celebrate the extraordinary form, according to Pope Francis, are likely to deny the validity of Vatican II, including the Reformed rites. The solution of two forms of the Roman liturgy did not work.

Of course, like most church controversies today, Pope Francis motu proprio generated a lot of discord in the digital sphere. Many who prefer the extraordinary form have felt that the motu proprio was excessively harsh. According to many who worshiped in the extraordinary form, the pope who spoke so often of accompaniment did not want to smell like these sheep.

And yet, many bishops, priests, and laity have also heard “Latin Mass” communities condemn the post-conciliar rites, claiming that the extraordinary form is the Mass of the Centuries, while the Reformed rites of Vatican II are sources of heresy and the Eucharist. sacrilege in the church. Many liturgists in the United States therefore rejoiced over Pope Francis motu proprio, hoping that these condemnations of the reformed rites come to an end.

What to think of these controversies? How Does the Average Catholic Respond Eucharistically to Pope Francis motu proprio?

Common discernment

The purpose of the liturgy is to promote the unity of the Church in Jesus Christ. Our common worship is about our vocation towards a divine love which surpasses all that is revealing. May you rejoice in Pope Francis motu proprio or strive to receive it, the reception of motu proprio should promote greater unity. Unity is not easy. This does not mean avoiding disagreements. But what unites us is the love of Christ. This must be where we start.

For this reason, our discussion of the liturgical controversy must be imbued with charity or love from the start. The purpose of the liturgy is the glorification of God and the sanctification of the human person. Pope Francis’ motu proprio isn’t an opportunity to dunk on your imaginary enemy, in this case the so-called traditionalists who you think deserve what they get. It is not time for traditionalists to once again find a reason to hate the Pope. We are called to common discernment.

How Does the Average Catholic Respond Eucharistically to Pope Francis motu proprio?

More precisely, for those who worship according to the reformed liturgy of Vatican II, our companion of adoration in the extraordinary form is not an enemy but a member of the Body of Christ. Their suffering (and many are suffering right now) is our suffering. Their sorrow, our sorrow. If the Eucharist does not cultivate this deep sense of solidarity with our neighbor, then we are not receiving the gift of divine love correctly in the first place.

The church needs to do a better job of understanding the appeal of the ancient use of Mass in the first place. Even Pope Francis, I fear, does not quite understand what is going on in the church on this point.

Yes, there are traditionalists in the church who attack Vatican II and despise those who attend the Reformed liturgy. But there is more to the story than that. Many of my undergraduate students attend the extraordinary form (some have even been married according to pre-conciliar rites) because it connects them to a tradition in which they find value.

They were brought up in a time when speed and progress are the ultimate end. The Mass celebrated according to the 1962 Missal favors a posture of silence and contemplation which offers respite from the acceleration of late modernity. They enjoy singing, listening to polyphony and engaging in devotional practices that allow them to assume a particularly Catholic identity in the world. They actively engage in their participation, even if it seems different from participating in my Reformed Liturgical Parish. They don’t reject Vatican II so much as they worship in a way that allows them to meet Jesus Christ.

I have attended conferences where those who love traditional practices are dismissed as rigid. Even practices that are still part of the church are rejected, including the blessing of the Blessed Sacrament. The message is that they are not “our” kind of Catholics. Rather than trying to figure out why someone would worship according to the rites of 1962, we assumed the worst of our neighbor. Francis’ motu proprio should be an opportunity to better understand why traditional liturgical practice is attractive to at least some people. This should lead scholars not to ideologically support the current rites but to concern themselves with a more holistic recovery of the entire liturgical tradition of the Church from the patristic era to the present day.

Common worship

Traditionis Custodes demands that we be more attentive to what constitutes active participation in the liturgy. The assumption has been that active participation means that we sing the hymns, the priest faces the people (against populum), everyone understands every text or gesture, and everything is always in the vernacular.

May you rejoice in Pope Francis motu proprio or strive to receive it, the reception of motu proprio should promote greater unity.

But for some, the extraordinary form constitutes an active participation precisely because the priest is facing east (ad orientation), turning with the people to the Lord in a common act of worship. Are we ready to consider that there is wisdom in this practice and allow it in our parishes today? Are we ready to allow vocals and polyphony for those who are interested?

Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis call us not to uniformity but to unity in difference. After all, if there is room for a Black Catholic Mass or Mariachi Mass in a diocese, could there not be room for a Reformed Liturgy celebrated in such a way that those who prefer the extraordinary form feel welcome ?

This is going to require conversion on the part of those who are the custodians of the church liturgy, including pastors and bishops.

In other words, less schadenfreude and more Eucharistic love.


Image: Unsplash / Josh Applegate


Thanksgiving gunshot death of NJ pastor’s son leads to 3 indictments

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A grand jury has indicted three men in connection with the shooting death of a minister’s son in South Jersey on Thanksgiving last year.

Atiba N. Rose Jr., 25, was shot in the abdomen during an argument at a Woodbury home on the evening of November 26, authorities said.

Authorities have described Rose as an innocent victim in the incident.

Stefaun Z. Corley, 19, of Blackwood, Tyriq L. Bundy, 20, of Deptford Township, and Antwone D. Hutchins, 19, of Westville, were charged in the case and a County Grand Jury Gloucester indicted them last month.

Video from a doorbell camera is a key factor in the case, according to court documents.

Shortly before 9:30 p.m. for Thanksgiving, the defendants parked their car at the corner of Laurel and Hunter Streets and three people got out and approached a house on Hunter Street, officials said. The driver remained in the vehicle.

When a man of the house answered the door, he was assaulted, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case.

Rose apparently came out at this point.

Four shots were fired and Rose was shot, officials said. He later died in a hospital. The other man was reportedly beaten and punched, breaking his nose during the assault.

Authorities said the trio returned to the car and fled. The assault and escape were filmed, police said.

Authorities allege Corley stood on the sidewalk outside the house and fired the gunshot that killed Rose, while Hutchins, who did not get out of the vehicle, was the driver. The fourth person in the group was described as a 17-year-old from Deptford who was charged with aggravated assault for beating the surviving victim.

His case is being processed in the juvenile court.

Corley was charged with first degree murder and second degree offenses of possession of a weapon for illegal purposes and possession of a handgun without a license.

Bundy and Hutchins have each been charged with first degree conspiracy to commit murder. Bundy was also charged with a charge of aggravated third degree assault for allegedly assaulting the other man during the incident.

Among the evidence investigators gathered was a text message sent the day before the murder in which Corley allegedly told the other three co-defendants that he had purchased a gun, court documents show.

Rose, who was recalled in his obituary as a popular DJ, is the son of Rev. Atiba N. Rose Sr., pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in the Mullica Hill section of Harrison Township in Gloucester County.

In a statement released last year, Acting Gloucester County District Attorney Christine A. Hoffman condemned the bloodshed. “It was a senseless act of violence where an innocent victim was killed,” she said.

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Matt Gray can be reached at [email protected].


Local Church Leads Prayer Rally for COVID Patients and Staff in Baptist Nassau

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FERNANDINA BEACH, Florida – Members of a local church led a morning prayer on Friday outside the Baptist Medical Center in Nassau County as hospital staff grapple with a slight increase in COVID-19 cases that has left frontline workers feeling “overwhelmed”.

Journey Church hosted the prayer with members holding signs to encourage staff and each other.

They prayed for those battling COVID-19, their families and hospital staff.

As late as last week, the state’s coronavirus figures showed more than 10,000 positive cases have been reported in Nassau County.

Baptist Health is at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 with 569 positive cases in its facilities as of Thursday, according to health system CEO Mike Mayo. According to Mayo, the average age of these patients is under 51 and 98% of them have not been vaccinated.

Since June 21, Mayo said, 119 patients have died at Baptist’s five hospitals. One of them was a 16-year-old.

A d

Journey Church has said she wants to surround those working and suffering with COVID in Nassau hospital in prayer.

“We just wanted to go out and show our support for our frontline workers and the people who are fighting for their lives, and just support the families at home who are praying and just waiting for their family members to come home, hopefully. -the. Said Catie Harless of Journey Church.

In the church’s call to prayer on the hospital, he urged everyone to “put aside our differences and come together to show our love and support.”

“If there has ever been a time to come together for one purpose, this is it,” the church said.

Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.


Hillsong pastor Brian Houston accused of allegedly withholding information about child sex offenses

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Hillsong Church pastor Brian Houston has been charged with allegedly withholding information relating to child sex offenses.

Houston is a personal friend of Scott Morrison’s who wanted him to be invited to the White House State Dinner that President Donald Trump hosted in honor of the Prime Minister in 2019.

But the White House has rejected Houston.

An NSW Police statement released Thursday evening said: ‘In 2019, an investigation was opened by officers attached to the Hills Police District Command into reports that a 67-year-old man knowingly withheld information relating to sexual offenses against children.

“Following extensive investigations, detectives asked the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) to review their evidence file. “

Earlier this week, the ODPP gave its opinion to the police. After further investigations, “the detectives served a notice to appear in court for concealing a serious criminal act from the man’s legal representative” Thursday afternoon.

“The police allege in court that the man knew of information relating to the sexual abuse of a young man in the 1970s and did not bring this information to the attention of the police.

“The man is scheduled to appear in Downing Center local court on Tuesday, October 5, 2021,” the police statement said.

In 2015, the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which examined the allegations against Houston’s father, Frank, found neither the Assemblies of God executive in Australia nor Brian Houston fired. allegations to the police.

He concluded that Brian Houston “had a conflict of interest” in taking responsibility for dealing with the allegations “because he was both the national president of the Assemblies of God in Australia and the son of Mr. Frank Houston, the ‘alleged perpetrator’.

The Wall Street Journal revealed the story, during Morrison’s trip to the United States, of the Houston prime minister’s nomination for dinner and rejection.

Morrison dodged questions at the time and later to find out if he had put Houston’s name in. He said the story was “gossip”.

It wasn’t until March 2020 that he confirmed this, telling 2GB “we’ve come up with a number of names, including Brian, but not all of those whose names have been put forward have been invited.” He said he had known Houston for a long time.

In the 2GB interview, Morrison was asked if he was unaware that Houston was under a police investigation at the time.

“These are not things that I follow up close,” Morrison said. “All I know is that this is a very large, well attended and well supported organization here in Australia.

“They’re very well known in the United States – are so well known that Brian was actually in the White House a few months after me. So the president obviously didn’t have a problem with that. And that’s why I think that this is where the matter is at rest.

Houston has lived in the United States for some time.


Natural family planning resources available

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Friday 06 August 2021

By Special at Catholic Intermountain

Crystal Painter

SALT LAKE CITY – Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a general title for ethical, natural, safe, and effective methods of achieving and preventing pregnancy in marriage. NFP methods teach couples how to observe and interpret the signs of a woman’s fertility and infertility. In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the NFP methods “respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them and promote the education of authentic freedom”. (CCC, n ° 2370)

Natural Family Planning Awareness Week took place July 25-31 this year, marking the anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae vitae, which was published on July 25, 1968. This encyclical of Pope Paul VI articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood.

“To have… to hold… to honor natural family planning, to support God’s gifts of love and life in marriage” was the theme of this year’s National Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, an educational campaign of the Conference. United States Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to celebrate God’s vision for marriage and promote natural family planning methods.

The Marriage and Family Office of the Diocese of Salt Lake City joins US Bishops in highlighting the benefits of NFP as an ethical method to help married couples live out God’s purpose for their marriage.

“I encourage all families and parish communities to take this opportunity to learn more about our Church’s teaching on human sexuality and God’s purpose for marriage. For years, natural family planning has been a source of God’s grace to many married couples as they live out his call to faithfulness, unity and love, becoming witnesses of a true marital love and responsible parenthood towards others, ”said Bishop Oscar A. Solis. .

To learn more about the NFP methods available in our diocese, visit dioslc.org/offices/office-of-marriage-and-family/marriage-preparation.

The Catholic Church invites all the faithful to embrace God’s plan for conjugal love. Learn more about these beautiful teachings that support the use of NFP in marriage at usccb.org/topics/natural-family-planning/church-teaching.

Please join us in spreading awareness of God’s purpose for marital love and the gift of life and the methods of NFP.

For questions or information about the NFP in the Diocese of Salt Lake City, contact the Marriage and Family Office: [email protected], 801-456-9324.

Crystal Painter is Director of the Diocese of Salt Lake City Office of Marriage and Family Life.


Stamford Church Says Its Pride Banner Was “Torn From Its Frame and Torn”

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Photo by Léa Brennan

The Stamford Unitarian Universalist Congregation’s pride banner was vandalized over the weekend, church officials said.

Contributing Photo / Unitarian Universalist Congregation

STAMFORD – The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Stamford has said that a pride banner on its property has been “torn from its frame and torn.”

The church said members found the damaged banner on Sunday morning as they came for a service.

“As members of a faith-based community that accompanies the struggle of those who identify as LGBTQ +, we are saddened by this destructive gesture,” said Lynne Lane, chairman of the board, in an email. “We respect everyone’s right to peaceful free expression, but the destruction of private property is never acceptable. “

The church said its banner “featured a rainbow image and the UUC logo, with the simple message: Welcoming Congregation” and was hung in the summer “to express alliance with the LGBTQ + community.”

A police official had no information to share about the incident on Monday evening.


“The congregation plans to replace the banner and hopes to hold a vigil using the disfigured banner to inspire civic unity,” the statement said.


Rocklin, California pastor asks church to recall Gavin Newsom

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The pastor of a Rocklin mega-church who defied California’s COVID-19 restrictions urged supporters in a Sunday sermon to oust Governor Gavin Newsom in recall elections, testing IRS regulations that restrict political campaigns inside churches.

During a passionate sermonPastor Greg Fairrington of Destiny Christian Church called on his followers to vote “yes” on impeaching the governor in six weeks.

“Are you afraid of Gavin Newsom?” My God, do your job as Christians on September 14 and vote ‘yes’ on the recall of an immoral governor, ”Fairrington said, gesturing to a screen behind him that delivered the same message.

In fluorescent red letters and on a yellow background, the screen read: “VOTE YES TO THE SEVEN REMINDER. 14. ”

“Not paid by any candidate or committee,” said a smaller second line.

Under federal law, churches are free to participate in many political activities, such as efforts to obtain the vote. Religious organizations, however, can jeopardize their tax-exempt status if they or their leaders demonstrate bias for or against a candidate in a political campaign.

More specifically, the tax code stipulates that it is absolutely forbidden for these tax-exempt beneficiaries to participate or intervene directly or indirectly in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for an elective public office. .

When making political statements, religious leaders are also encouraged to make it clear that their views are personal and not on behalf of the church.

These rules do not prevent pastors from supporting candidates outside the church or appearing at events with politicians. They restrict political activity inside places of worship. Pastors generally cannot explicitly endorse a chair candidate.

Newsom critical church leader

In a statement, Fairrington slammed Newsom for signing laws that updated California sex offender registration rules, put money aside for transgender health care and mandated public universities provide abortion pills at campus clinics.

Throughout the governor’s tenure, his policies and politics have continually contradicted the Word of God and have been in opposition to the millions of Christians in California, ”said Fairrington.

“My comments on the recall do not support a candidate but rather highlight Governor Newsom’s unfortunate actions which have traumatic consequences for families, schools, communities and the church,” Fairrington continued. “This is not a political issue, but a moral one, and it is the responsibility of the church to our community to preach what Ephesians 5:11 says: ‘Do not take part in the fruitless works of darkness, but expose them. rather. “”

He “tells people how to vote”

Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School and an expert on political ethics, said it was clear the church was weighing in on a campaign issue that should technically be banned.

“There’s something about the ballot, it involves candidates, and (Fairrington) is telling people how to vote,” Levinson said.

Levinson said it was not clear what the consequences might be for the church or Fairrington, but “I guess they’re just getting a warning letter.”

Fairrington already made headlines last year with an increase in COVID-19 cases when he refused to close the doors of his church, despite restrictions on indoor gatherings.

During Sunday’s sermon, Fairrington also asked its members if they were afraid of President Joe Biden, along with a list of what are considered left-wing ideologies.

“Are we afraid of big technology, of socialism, of higher taxes? Are we afraid of a vaccine, of liberal school boards, of racial social agendas (critical race theory), of an LGBTQ agenda, ”Fairrington said. “The non-sexist, anti-American doctrine of radical groups like Black Lives Matter? What are we afraid of, church?

Stories Related to Sacramento Bee

Hannah Wiley joined The Sacramento Bee as a state political reporter in 2019 to cover the California Capitol. She is originally from the Chicago area and graduated from St. Louis and Northwestern Universities.


Advice that goes both ways (or the ecclesiastical spirit of play)

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By Dr Jeff Mirus (bio – articles – email) | 02 Aug 2021

I hope the time will come soon when those bishops and theologians who prefer to think with the mainstream culture will be ignored as fundamentally deceptive and even abusive. Consider two short stories that illustrate a seemingly deliberate reversal of the truth to produce results patently opposed to the gospel.

First of all, let’s take this seemingly innocuous story: Pope Emeritus Benedict warns against “flight to pure doctrine”, underlines the Vatican spokesperson. It seems that the editorial director of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication wanted to place in a particular context the rather striking public expression of Benedict XVI that the German “synodal path” is essentially derailed, suffering from what must be for Catholics an “internal contradiction”. ”. In other words, the goals of many Catholics in Germany are incompatible with the Catholic faith.

But Andrea Tornielli’s remarks actually seem to distort Benedict’s intentions, perhaps seeking to align the Pope Emeritus with the likely thought of Pope Francis, in other words, suggesting that Catholic practice should not reflect so much the “Pure doctrine” as the lived experience and values ​​of the community which, in effect, deny this doctrine. On the contrary, all we know from the statements and previous writings of the Pope Emeritus suggests that his whole argument was that we cannot have a “pure doctrine” on the one hand and a living faith on the other, as if the two could happily coexist. in contradiction: “Yes, yes, the Church teaches X, but real human persons in real human situations see only a kind of ideal.

It would be a specious leak in pure doctrine – the artificial separation of doctrinal formulations from lived Catholicism, the separation of what we might call a ideal the orthodoxy of the complexities of a real “Orthopraxy”. But we know from long experience that it is a theological-sociological game whose goal is to embrace within the Church those culturally accepted sins that, in a shameful reality, too many Catholic voices present in reality as goods. In other words, it shifts the proper purpose of sinner’s love to the protection and encouragement of sin.

This is an example of advice going both ways, if we allow it. It can be argued that a “flight into pure doctrine” is an artificial attachment to Catholic truth without any sympathy for human weakness, and it is very convenient to maintain such a pretext. This creates a straw man, very easy to cut down. But the real “break” of Benedict’s advice, of course, is that we cannot separate doctrine from life precisely because we must strive to have our faith in the teachings of Christ to inform our behavior, and not the reverse.

Divisions on the Eucharist

Or take another equally common example of another seemingly innocuous report: The American Bishops’ Eucharist document should unite, not divide, the Church, the panelists advise. This is something CatholicCulture.org picked up from the Catholic News Service. But what does a “unite” document mean – a concept that, again, is a double-edged sword?

We live today in an ecclesiastical culture in which the argument “to unite” is always advanced precisely to justify the failure to effectively witness to Catholic faith and morals. It is considered a source of contention to insist on the real and deliberate implementation of Catholic truth, as we cannot expect people to approve of it. Wouldn’t such an insistence be, once again, a misinterpreted escape into pure doctrine? But there is no unity when statements are made to ignore divisions. The whole point of being a Catholic is to bear witness to the truths revealed by Christ and taught by the Church precisely so that there is a true unity of mind and heart. There is no value in a testimony that seeks unity in ensuring that Catholics will avail themselves of a false freedom to believe what they want and to act according to any set of beliefs they want. they choose.

No, the only thing it accomplishes – and we’ve had a lot over the last couple of generations or so – is paralysis of the Church as it bleeds souls in the lay pool. A Church that refuses to unite around Christ as a sign of contradiction is a Church with a truly evil will to death. By promoting a false cultural unity, by again separating orthodoxy and orthopraxy, it signs its own death warrant. We usually call the thirst for social acceptance “relevance” when what we are really talking about is the approval of those who matter in this world.

Side with the winner

Heavily popular detective story writer Erle Stanley Gardner, who created Perry Mason, told some pretty good stories in some pretty bad prose. Nevertheless, in his 1933 Sulky Girl case he managed to write the following:

In many, a sporting instinct is implanted to side with the underdog, but it is in man, the individual. Crowd psychology is different from individual psychology, and pack psychology is all about taking down the weak and devouring the wounded. Man can sympathize with the underdog, but he wants to side with the winner.

The whole problem with the Catholic Church is that somehow it is her lot to side with the ultimate oppressed – the Crucified – against the constant tantrums of the people of the world. who will not be associated with him unless he approves and encourages their desires. . Consequently, these same worldly people criticize the testimony of the Christian faith as a “flight into pure doctrine” and any testimony of Christian morality as (all together, the 3) DIVISIBLE.

But Catholics are not supposed to run away in pure doctrine; they are supposed to live this doctrine in an act of continuous love. Nor should they seek a unity rooted in opposition to what is true: “Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather the division ”(Lk 12, 51). It is easy for insincere people to take the gospel out of context so that it can cut both ways. Our job is to know which side Our Lord seeks to cut.

So a final example: when our Lord explains that his disciples are like salt, which, if it loses its flavor, is only worthy of being trampled on (Mt 5:13), we can think that we can do very well in this world as Christians. But that is not at all the direction of his cup, as he is not talking about what the world will do with us in this life, which is to honor us not when we are as faithful as tasty salt but rather when we lose that flavor by giving up the Faith. Instead, he explains how his Father will judge us for eternal life.

The key to the riddle is the injunction of Our Lord which begins: “I will warn you who to fear” (Luke 12). This is the key to spotting which side the truth really cuts, whenever it is used to cut the other way.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a doctorate. in Intellectual History from Princeton University. Co-founder of Christendom College, he was also the pioneer of Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. See the full biography.

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Bartholomew Orr: Pastor who went viral for “stealing” to deliver sermon to congregation, video emerges Nigeria news

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  • Pastors have been known to offer different ways to bring home a sermon or get the attention of the congregation
  • Pastor Bartholomew Orr had “stolen” himself to give a sermon to his congregation to the hilarious reactions of many people
  • The pastor of the United States said his flying entry and sermon style were synonymous with how “the second coming of Jesus Christ” will be.

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Pastor Bartholomew Orr of Brown Missionary Baptist Church in Southaven, Mississippi, USA instantly became a celebrity on social media after his grand entrance to church.

The pastor, in a YouTube video shared by Inside Edition, flew over the assembly to deliver a sermon.

The pastor’s act caused a stir in the church and on social media Photo credit: Screenshots from video shared by DailyMail
Source: UGC

His act certainly took devotees by surprise, with many finding him hilarious.

Read also

Drama as pastor turns church service into soccer field, dribbles members as crowd reacts, video goes viral

Why he arrived for the sermon this way

Pastor Bartholomew said the entry style was in line with the theme of the sermon passage, Daily mail reports.

The passage says to ‘be patient for the coming of the Lord is at hand’ and it worked perfectly.

“Just as the return of Christ is going to be unexpected, my flight was unexpected.”

The cleric during the incident that occurred in 2018 urged church members to be vigilant because the “second coming of Jesus Christ” would be exactly as if he arrived at the service – unexpectedly.

He said God orchestrated the great arrival

Bartholomew, who believed God orchestrated the whole act, said the experience was not nerve-racking.

He admitted, however, that it was not a comfortable feeling to preach in the harness (the equipment that kept him in the air).

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Read also

Man fired from job after rescuing his three children from gunfire receives n125 million from foreigners

Pastor turns church service into football pitch

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that a pastor had turned a church service into a football pitch.

The unidentified pastor in a viral video was captured with a soccer ball and attempted to dribble past church members in front of him.

It was observed that there was no physical contact with the ball or the pastor to justify the fall. The congregation erupted in cries of wonder at the pastor’s protest, with one labeling the act as a sign that “Jesus is here.”

Source: Legit.ng


Events: community events, activities and public notices | Local

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Explore deep space and marvel at the wonders of the night sky during the starry night from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences – Contentnea Creek, 949 Contentnea Lane, Grifton. One Friday per month, the museum opens its observatory and the Chia-yu Li Planetarium for people to learn about the main seasonal constellations and experience deep space treasures up close. The event features a full dome documentary short as well as observations through a massive 16-inch robotic telescope at the Kitty and Max Joyner Observatory. The cost is $ 5. Register at atimeforscience.org.

The Magnolia Arts Center, 1703 E. 14th St., will present the musical “Nunsense” at 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday July 29-31. Morning performances are scheduled at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays in July and from July 31 to August 31. 1. Tickets cost between $ 15 and $ 20 and are available at magnoliaartscenter.com.

Vidant Health and CAREE will be hosting a community health event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 31 at the Farmville Public Library, 4276 W. Church St. It will feature blood pressure screening, diabetes screening, colorectal information. , COVID-19 tests and vaccines, information on organ donors, “Plant your own grass” children’s activity, employment opportunities, information on mental health and health benefits, a cooking demonstration and snacks health. The event is free, but donations of non-perishable food will be accepted.

The Friends of the May Museum will welcome July 31 to the May Museum and Park, 3802 S. Main St., Farmville on Saturday from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event will feature free music, as well as food and drink vendors. A wine and beer garden will be available for ages 21 and over. Participants must bring garden chairs or a blanket.

The Winterville Market in the square will host a Back to School Splash event from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on August 3 at 252 Main Street. burgers and hot dogs, water slides, a toddler paddling pool and prize drawings. Visit www.facebook.com/WintervilleMarket.

Daughters for Dads will be hosting their annual Get Carded event from 7 to 9 p.m. on August 5 at the Greenville Museum of Art, 802 S. Evans St. The event is a fundraiser to benefit families battling cancer. Admission is a $ 25 gas or grocery gift card, but cash donations will also be accepted. Wine and appetizers will be served, and there will be raffles. Visit facebook.com/Daughters4Dads.

River Park North, 1000 Mumford Road, will host an insect hunt from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on August 7. After returning from a search for insects in the park, participants will take a closer look at the insects under a microscope in STEAM. Walter L. Stasavich Science and Nature Center laboratory. The fee is $ 3 for city residents and $ 5 for others. Places are limited and pre-registration is required. Visit greenvillenc.gov, call 329-4560 or email [email protected]

The Greenville Museum of Art, 802 S. Evans St., will host “The Art of Jazz,” a First Friday Artwalk reception from 5 pm to 8 pm on August 6th. Pianist Lenore Raphael and bassist Carroll Dashiell will perform 7-8 pm for the reception of the museum’s current exhibit, “Black, White, and Read All Over”. The group exhibition, featuring the work of Jillian Goldberg, Susan LaMantia and Constance Pappalardo, runs through August 21. Visit gmoa.org.

Greenville Comic Con is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 7 at the Greenville Convention Center, 303 SW Greenville Blvd. The annual event includes costumes, cosplay, and a chance to meet comic book makers, artists, writers, and vendors. Tickets cost $ 7 for ages 13 and over, $ 3 for ages 4 to 12, and free for ages 3 and under. Visit greenvillenccomiccon.com.

Pitt County Schools, Suddenlink Communications and Parents for Public Schools are sponsoring a 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. school supply drive on August 7 at Walmart, 4600 E. 10th St. at the school. Contributors can make donations to the site or choose to have them shipped. Visit /www.facebook.com/ppspittcounty for more details.

NC Stop Human Trafficking will be hosting its Human Trafficking 101 education session at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 12, at the Farmville Public Library, 4276 W. Church St. The session provides information on what human trafficking looks like in Carolina of the North, indicators of human trafficking and how to safely report suspicions. It is free to the public but registration is required at https://humantrafficking101august.eventbrite.com. Refreshments will be served. For more information, email Melinda Sampson at [email protected]

The Winterville Watermelon will return with entertainment and more at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 26-28, 324 Sylvania St. opening for the carnival rides. Vendors will also feature fan favorite foods, crafts, and trade goods. The grounds open at 5 p.m. Friday and feature Straightwire and Legacy Motown Review performances. Saturday’s activities include a parade and performances by country artists The Justin West Band, Matt Stell and Lonestar starting at 6 p.m. Visit watermelonfest.com.

The Grifton Museum is gearing up for its John Lawson Legacy Days which will be held October 29-30. The festival is a free, family-friendly event with history presentations and demonstrations, cannon firing, exhibitors and more. For more information call 524-0190, check them out on Facebook, and visit JohnLawsonLegacyDays.org.

The Pitt County Council on Aging offers the following courses and programs at Pitt County Senior Center, 4551 County Home Road. Offers are free, unless otherwise specified. Registration required unless otherwise specified by calling 752-1717, ext. 201.

• Zumba Gold 5:30 pm-6:30pm every Friday.

• Bookmobile stop, 10.45-11.15 am, July 30 and Friday August 20.

• Knitting and crochet, 2 pm-4pm the second and fourth Friday of each month.

• Caregivers’ café from 1 pm to 2 pm, Monday, August 9.

• Interior design course 6 pm-7pm Wednesday August 4, 6 pm-7pm

• Subtle yoga class from 10 am to 11 am on the first and third Saturday of each month.

• Transitional Care: Things You Need to Know and Plan for, will be presented by Pruitt Healthcare on Monday August 16 from 3 pm to 4 pm.

• Blood pressure screening from 10 am to noon on August 10 and 24. Welcome visitors.

• Gardening lessons from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday August 18.

• Physiotherapy screening 10 am to 11:30 am Thursday, August 19. Welcome without appointment.

• Jewelery classes from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 25, the cost is $ 5.

• Conversational Spanish from 6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m., Thursdays from August 26 to Sept. 7.

• COA is sponsoring the West Virginia Train Adventure Travel September 20-23. Call 752-1717 for more information.

• Deposits are now being taken for an eight-day, seven-night Alaska cruise May 19-27 aboard Royal Carribean’s Ovation of the Seas. Call 752-1717 for more information.

• Deposits are now taken for a seven-day, six-night trip to the beautiful Southwest, with the International Balloon Festival, October 1-7, 2022. Call 752-1717 for more information.

The American Red Cross Donation Center, 700 Cromwell Drive, is open 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday. Visit www.croixrouge.org or call 758-1140 or 1-800-733-2767 to make an appointment at the center or during upcoming blood drives at the following locations:

• Spring Of Living Water Church, 4221 Belcher Street, Farmville, 4 pm to 7 pm, July 29.

• Hookerton Fire Station, 404 E. Main St., 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., August 4

• Lighthouse Mennonite Church, 1281 Honolulu Road, Grifton, 3 pm to 7 pm, August 9.

• Brody School of Medicine, 600 Moye Blvd., 10 am-4pm, August 13.

• Farmville Presbyterian Church, 4138 Grimmersburg Street, noon to 4 p.m., August 15

The Greene County Senior Center offers free ventilators to residents who are 60 years of age or older or have a disability. Supplies are limited. People who received ventilators last year and / or whose central air conditioning is working may be placed on a waiting list. Call 252-747-5436 for more information. Fans are provided through the Duke Energy Progress Operation Fan Heat Relief Free Fans for the Elderly program.

The Pitt County Animal Shelter is limiting the admission of all animals until November 2021, now that renovations to the facility have resumed. Animal Services is not able to accept dogs or cats transferred by their owner; trapping, sterilization and release services and cat deterrents remain available. The shelter will accept expulsion animals, bite quarantines and other animals on a case-by-case basis.

Ayden’s Mary Alice Davenport Splash Pad, 3869 Jolly Road, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through August 22. Admission is $ 2 per child and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Water shoes are mandatory. Call 481-5837.

Vidant Health now offers COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 12 to 15 at the Greenville Vaccine Clinic, 2380 W. Arlington Blvd. Appointments can be made by calling 252-847-8000 or visiting vidanthealth.com/vaccinate.

The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina, 3520 Tupper Road, is in need of foster families to provide temporary care for kittens, puppies, dogs and cats. Some animals may only need a home for several days, while others may need several months of care. For more information, visit hsecarolina.org/become-a-foster.


Mansfield Church to Hold Free 5-Way Outdoor Concert | Life & Culture News

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MANSFIELD – The church at the intersection of Marion Avenue, Sturges Avenue and Park Avenue West will host a free outdoor worship concert on Saturday.

Requel Church invites the public to a concert on his lawn 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The church band will perform. Free hot dogs, fries and lemonade will be available.

“We really wanted to celebrate the release of COVID. It is also an opportunity for us to do something good for our neighborhood, ”said Pastor Mark Pierce. “We really want to do something that is a total gift from us to the community.

While attendance is free, the church will circulate a tip jar with the proceeds going to Reaching Out, a ministry serving the homeless in Mansfield.

The nonprofit was founded by Angie Henke, baptized in Church Requel several years ago.

“I am extremely grateful to Church Requel for choosing Reaching Out to support this event,” said Henke. “Pastor Mark and Marykay are wonderful people.”

Pierce said his church chose to support Reaching Out because of the “fantastic job” they saw Henke and his team do at Mansfield.

“They have all the compassion that I think Jesus wanted us to have for the world around us,” said Pierce.

The church had originally planned to borrow sound equipment, since its own system is buried in the floors, walls and roof of the building.

After the person who planned to lend the equipment got sick, the church went out and bought a second set of supplies.

Pierce says the unexpected purchase will allow the church the flexibility to have more outside services in the future.

“What was a challenge for us has turned into a real gift,” said Pierce.

The church is also accepting donations for Reaching Out Online until July 25. Community members can visit the church donation page and select “Go” under the designation field. Church leadership will also donate on behalf of the entire church.

“We really want to put our money into working here in our community where it can really do the most good,” Pierce said. “Angie is just a dynamo. She’s action in motion… Whatever she gets, she multiplies it and makes it work.”

Community members can also donate to Reaching Out by sending checks to 114 Vennum Ave, Mansfield Ohio 44903 or by visiting the PayPal page.

If you have ever experienced the joy of creativity and culture, then you know the value of the arts. Your support for our reports reinforces this. Become a Source member today.




Fisher of men: a pastor brings the gospel to every household during a delivery on the lake

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By MARK MAYNARD, Kentucky today

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (KT) – Steve Kellam could easily be called a modern-day fisher of men.

Kellam, the pastor of Knoxville Baptist Church, had several homes on Lake Williamstown as part of his territory for Gospel to Every Home.

The only way to get to some of these gates is by boat, so that’s what Kellam did.

“The lake that is in our community is where a lot of people come from Ohio and stay on weekends,” he said. “Some people didn’t want to talk and some had been partying all night, but when I had a full-fledged gospel conversation it was great.”

Kellam said he went dock to dock and was looking for life. Some people were sitting down with the first cup of coffee of the day.

“I believe in due diligence to do what God calls us to do,” he said. “I want to share the truth, share it with love and that’s what I do. I let Spirit lead from there.

The evangelist pastor asked the residents who Jesus was to them, and if he was not their Lord and Savior, “then we have a problem,” he said.

Some were receptive, others rejected it – just like those who went door to door with packages. However, no matter what, he left documents with them. Even if no one was home, he would put a package on the dock.

“I would come later in the boat and it would be gone,” he said.

Kellam said he enjoyed riding alongside the pontoon boats and asking if he could share a word with them. He said the reception was mixed.

The Knoxville Baptist Church has packaged 1,200 Gospel to Every Home kits for distribution. Kellam said they had almost 100 delivered to their areas, including Lake Houses.

He said that a man from Mason, Ohio, was interested in what he was doing. He was already a believer, Kellam said. “He said it was good to know that there is a church here locally that they can attend if they stay on Saturday night. He said they usually came home for church on Sunday.

Kellam said he brought packages to around 200 houses on the lake. Other churches also have part of the territory which includes nearly 600 lake houses.

“I knew you weren’t going to go to some of these houses except on the water,” he said. “And I’m not going to lie, I threw a line in the water once or twice.”


The program aims to engage a diverse group of Catholic young adults – Catholic Philly

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Auxiliary Bishop Fernand J. Cheri of New Orleans, Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, NM, and Archbishop of Philadelphia Nelson J. Pérez are seen in this composite photo. (CNS Composite / Photos by Gregory A. Shemitz; Bob Roller; Sarah Webb, CatholicPhilly.com)

From uneven responses to the COVID-19 crisis to the raw racial tensions exhibited by the death of George Floyd in 2020, Americans over the past year have become more aware of the country’s diverse population and struggles than different cultures. live a day-to-day basis.

This goal has also become a priority in the Catholic Church nationwide, and a program initiated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church focuses on a way to promote voices and understand the needs of the diverse group of young adults who are the future of the Church in the United States.

Called Journeying Together, the program aims to bring together young adults from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds to discuss their experiences in the American Church and initiate a strategy on how to make their voices heard as the Church moves forward.

Walking together, according to the organizers, is the response of the USCCB to the 2018 Synod of Bishops on Youth and the 2019 Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis “Christus Vivit” (“Christ Lives”), his reflections on the synod. The document emphasized the importance of listening to and involving young people around the world.

The main goal of the USCCB program is to help find ways to make the voices of young Catholic adults from all cultural backgrounds heard.

“We started this because of the Pope’s message on transmitting the Gospel to all young people,” said Mar Muñoz-Visoso, executive director of the Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church of the USCCB.

“There has been an awareness for some time that youth and young adult ministry does not always serve or reach all young people in all cultural groups,” she told Catholic News Service. “We know that young people from all cultural groups feel that their dioceses or parishes are not contacting them, and therefore the church is increasingly becoming a part of their life.

Teresa Rojo Tsosie, director of religious education at St. Jude Parish in Tuba City, Arizona, participates in a Journeying Together intercultural dialogue led by the Asian and Pacific Islands Cultural Group in March 2021. Over 2,300 young adults and ministry leaders have participated in various stages of the Journeying Together program since its launch in July 2020 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church. (CNS photo / courtesy of Mar Muñoz-Visoso)

The initiative launched on July 25, 2020, with what was originally supposed to be an in-person conference. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented this, so organizers moved quickly to ensure important conversations could still take place.

Engagement became a priority, especially with the heated discussions about racism and diversity unfolding across the country amid nationwide protests over Floyd’s death and other incidents.

“The Cultural Diversity Committee said we don’t want to delay this conversation – we have to do it now with everything that’s going on – the pandemic, the reckoning with racial justice – so we’ve gone virtual,” said Muñoz-Visoso.

“This gathering that we were going to do in a single weekend spread to a series of online meetings that gave each community the chance to talk to each other and introduce themselves to others, to present their joys, their sorrows. , their needs and their hopes, ”she said. noted.

In a way, the COVID-19 restrictions have proven to be a blessing for the Journeying Together process because what started as a weekend get-together has turned into a year-long conversation fueled by the platform. -Zoom meeting form that has become so vital during the pandemic.

Participants first met in monthly intracultural groups, which gave young adults from the same communities the opportunity to share their experiences, frustrations and challenges of combining their cultural experiences with their faith. These were followed by monthly intercultural exchanges which gave members of all communities the opportunity to learn about each other’s cultures and faith experiences.

The meetings brought together young adults and ministry officials from all of the country’s major cultural families: African Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, European Americans, Hispanics / Latinos, Native Americans, and a group of migrants, refugees and communities in movement, including agricultural workers, those who work with carnivals and circuses, maritime workers and Irish travelers.

By including American Europeans and migrant communities, Journeying Together went beyond many recent diversity programs, as it gave these two groups a chance to discuss their unique cultures and reflect on what they are. mean for the fabric of the church.

Each of the online meetings was led by a panel that presented the main issues, and then the meeting participants broke into small groups where participants from across the country could discuss their experiences in a smaller, more comfortable setting.

Young adults jumped at the chance to speak both with members of their own cultural community and with others – each Zoom session attracted over 200 participants.

Young adults were also heard by church leaders. More than 35 bishops from across the country joined the meetings, offering their perspectives on issues of diversity and inclusion and listening to first-hand testimonies about the experiences of young adults as Catholics in the United States.

Participating bishops included Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez of Philadelphia, chair of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, who attended more than 10 of the dialogues.

Other attendees included Auxiliary Bishop Fernand J. Cheri of New Orleans, a member of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Migrant, Refugee and Traveler Pastoral Care, and Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup. , New Mexico, Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on Native American Affairs.

Mar Muñoz-Visoso, executive director of the American Bishops’ Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church, is seen in this September 11, 2020 photo. (CNS Photo / courtesy Mar Munoz-Visoso)

“Most of the young adults who participated do not have much access to a bishop to sit and talk with them, and for many it was an uplifting experience to have a bishop sitting around this virtual table with them to listen to their stories, ”Muñoz-Visoso told CNS.

The monthly online meetings ended at the end of June, and for the next year participants from across the country will come together more to address what has been learned.

Participants will finally be able to meet at a live in-person event scheduled for June 23-26, 2022 in Chicago. At the heart of this event, there will be planning sessions on how to take what has been learned to the next level, namely to work on concrete ways for the church to better engage young people of all cultures across the country.

The results of the Journeying Together process will then be published and offered to dioceses, schools, Catholic organizations and apostolic movements across the country so that they can continue the work at the local level.

Many participants said that this will be the most important fruit of all the months of reflection, prayer and discussion.

“Creating the space for this conversation to happen was such a key step, but my prayer is that it doesn’t just remain another process, conversation or other document that is written,” said Cecilia Marie Flores, a organizer of the Filipino American community with Sacramento ACT in the Diocese of Sacramento, California.

“I pray that what we have learned from each other during this process,” she said, “will kindle our hearts with the desire to be a church that celebrates and truly embraces diversity as a gift. “


The bishop as catechist – Intermountain Catholic

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Friday July 23, 2021

IC file photo

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Bishop Oscar A. Solis, shown here with youth from St. Kateri Tekakwitha Mission in a 2019 photo, is the chief catechist for Catholics in Utah.

By Special at Catholic Intermountain

Susan northway

[A reflection based on material from the Directory for Catechesis (USCCB, 2020 p. 75-76.)]

“The bishop is the first preacher of the gospel by his words and by the testimony of his life. – Saint Pope John Paul II, October 16, 2003

The role of a bishop includes preaching the gospel and ministering to his people as the chief catechist of the diocese. The Most Reverend Oscar A. Solis, DD, 10th Bishop of Salt Lake City, testifies of the faith and transmits it to God’s people in Utah. It presents reflections on the Word of God in many contexts. He offers his life as an example to others. Her message stems from her love for Christ and her compassion for God’s people in Utah.

As chief catechist, Bishop Solis receives help from the diocesan offices for catechetical planning. Occasionally, bishops may seek the expertise of theologians, master catechists, and psychology and human formation consultants. One of the jobs of a bishop is to make sure that those who teach the Catholic faith are well prepared for the job. He recognizes that effective preparation often involves collaboration with training experts. Our bishop calls on talented instructors from the Congar Institute for Ministry Formation in San Antonio, Texas. Their priests, religious and lay ministers assist our catechetical leaders as speakers and workshop leaders during the annual pastoral congress of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. Bishop Solis supports the development of the faith by demanding advanced training courses for the laity who serve our parishes and missions as master catechists.

A bishop ensures that the gospel message is faithfully proclaimed. Because the faith is transmitted through the process of inculturation, a bishop must become familiar with the different cultures present in the diocese. To do this, Bishop Solis makes frequent pastoral visits to parishes, missions and stations across the vast territory of Utah. By listening to the people of God, he discovers more of their catechetical needs and ensures that the various cultures have access to an effective teaching and proclamation of the Catholic faith.

Fulfilling their role as Chief Catechists, our Utah Bishops have developed specific goals for faith formation in Utah. By studying demographic research and engaging in broad consultation with clergy and laity, Bishop John C. Wester, ninth bishop of Salt Lake City and now Archbishop of Santa Fe, formulated catechetical goals based on current needs and future of the diocese. In this process, he encouraged the development of the formation program for the ecclesial ministry of lay diocesans.

Continuing the work of his predecessor, Bishop Solis now takes decisions on the formation of faith in fidelity to the diocesan pastoral plan which he promulgated and which he now supervises. As chief catechist, he supports local parish projects based on a vision that aligns with the catechetical guidance offered by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

the Directory for catechesis (USCCB, 2020) emphasizes that a bishop must have a “real passion” for catechesis. During pastoral visits, Bishop Solis observes how a local parish provides training in the faith and, if necessary, directs staff and financial resources to assist local teaching ministries.

For many years our bishops have advocated the training of catechists with skills and adequate knowledge of the teachings of the Church. I asked our Vicar General Emeritus, Monsignor J. Terrence Fitzgerald, about the catechetical heritage of some of our bishops in Utah. He replied: “Bishop Duane G. Hunt (fifth bishop of Salt Lake) was a master teacher, having been professor of communication at the University of Utah before his conversion to Catholicism and his eventual ordination as a priest and then bishop. . He has had a weekly KSL radio show, explaining the teachings of the Catholic faith, for many years. He was a renowned preacher and teacher, called to speak on behalf of American bishops on occasion. (Like the inauguration of the United Nations in San Francisco). His catechetical homilies were published from time to time in pamphlets. As with other bishops, his confirmation homilies were very catechetical in nature. “

In the 1960s, shortly after Vatican Council II, Most Reverend Joseph L. Federal, the sixth bishop of Salt Lake City, founded the Annual Diocesan Congress. Today he continues to help catechists, clergy and interested adults to develop their skills under the enthusiastic leadership of Bishop Solis.

“Mgr. Fitzgerald said. “Bishop Federal also opened the Diocesan Resource Center where the catechetical material he approved was made available to parishes. “

A bishop sets an example for teachers of the faith. He is a master catechist who promotes continuing education and advances the understanding of good practice in educational psychology. His preaching, his catechesis and his personal witness shape effective teaching methods. Fluent in Spanish, Bishop William K. Weigand, Seventh Bishop of Salt Lake City and Bishop Emeritus of Sacramento, recognized and responded to the growing need for evangelism and catechesis in Spanish in the diocese. He encouraged parishes and missions to offer religious education and liturgies in Spanish and Vietnamese so that all of God’s people can participate fully in the life of the Church. “Likewise, Bishop Weigand has sent members of the clergy to study Spanish to facilitate their support for the growing Hispanic population,” said Mgr. Fitzgerald said.

Most Reverend George H. Niederauer, Ph.D, eighth Bishop of Salt Lake City and Archbishop Emeritus of San Francisco, was a master catechist who occasionally shared his scientific knowledge of American literature with students of Saint Joseph, Judge Memorial, and Juan Diego. Catholic high schools. He had a great facility with words. As a faculty member, I remember hearing his deep faith shared beautifully with a class of JDCHS seniors who were analyzing short stories from a famous Catholic author.

A bishop testifies of the gospel by his actions on his behalf. Bishop Solis ensures that catechists use approved textbooks and other teaching materials that are written and reviewed by experienced religious educators in consultation with respected theologians. It ensures the permanent formation of the laity through the program of ecclesial ministry of the laity. As the head of our faith, he designates special times for catechesis during the liturgical year. With his advocacy and promotion of the Congress, his retreats during Advent and Lent and his support for the RCIA program, Bishop Solis continues to lead and inspire our catechists.

Susan Northway is director of the Office of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Salt Lake City.


Greenwood Church Honors Six Veterans with Quilts of Valor | New

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Patriotic plaid patterns draped over the shoulders of six U.S. Army veterans on Sunday at Laurel Baptist Church, as church members honored those veterans with Quilts of Valor.

The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a non-profit organization where volunteers donate their time and effort to make quilts in honor of veterans. Quilts are a symbol of protection and healing, draped over the shoulders of a veteran during the ceremony.

Regina Luker was living in Anderson in 2015 when she heard about Quilts of Valor at a Daughters of the American Revolution reunion. One of the members of her section was a volunteer quiltmaker.

“From that point on, I made it my mission to give my father a valuable quilt because he was a field doctor in Vietnam,” she said.

In October 2016, she was able to see her father honored with a quilt for his service, and in the years that followed, it has become an annual DAR Chapter tradition to honor a local veteran. Eventually, Luker moved to Greenwood and became a member of the Laurel Baptist Church when his memory of the experience came back to him.

“I was on my way home and thought about it. I picked up the phone and called James.

Pastor James Rodgers liked the idea of ​​honoring church veterans. Together, they reached out to the eight veterans of the congregation; six of them were able to obtain their military service records in time for the organization to make quilts for them.

“There are a lot of Vietnam veterans who didn’t get the recognition they deserved,” Rodgers said. “It was a thrill, and it was touching for them.”

At the ceremony Sunday, the wives of the veterans helped drape the quilts over their shoulders. Rodgers and his wife stepped in for those without families to wrap them in quilts.

Among them, Larry Ward, 82, said the ceremony was a fantastic experience – he just wished the other three church veterans could have joined them.

“It was very impressive for me, and I was honored to be a part of it,” he said.

He had been in the Navy Reserve while in high school, and two days after graduation, enlisted in the US Air Force in May 1956. During his basic training, he served received a letter from the Navy telling him to report to work, but his Air Force Drill Sgt told him not to worry.

He served for four years and put his natural technical talents to good use by working in radar maintenance.

“I was interested in electronics before I even entered the service,” he said. “It was exactly what I thought I wanted to do. “

Al White was recruited in 1967 but decided to enlist before his choice was withdrawn. He joined the Navy and was accepted into the Officer Candidate School in Rhode Island.

A chemistry graduate from Clemson University, he taught and worked in research projects in New Mexico. After four years of service, he remained in the Navy Reserve for a career of approximately 21 years.

“I had gone to a Quilts of Valor ceremony at the veterans center a few months ago, so I basically knew what it was,” said White, 77. “I would say thank you to the other guys for their service, and thank you to the people at the church, mainly Regina.”

Bill Haralson spent four months in Guam before his entire US Army Air Force company was sent to Taipei to build missile sites. The 86-year-old remembered the day he was recruited in 1957 and appreciated the efforts of his church members to recognize the service of him and other veterans. Raymond Davis was also honored with a quilt, but could not be reached for comment for this story.

“I was not married but for a little over a year. I didn’t want to go, but I knew I had to, ”Haralson said. “I think it was an honor to be with so many of us in one place.”

Dwayne Bledsoe was the youngest of the group at 57. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1985 and served for four years, then spent two years in inactive service. In 1998, he joined the SC Army National Guard, where he served for 29 years until his retirement in February. During this time, he served in Iraq for 15 months, retiring as a First Class Sergeant.

It was nice to be recognized, but Bledsoe said that’s not what you served for.

“You did it because you wanted to serve your country, not to stand out from anyone,” he said. “You have to have a good wife. When I left for Iraq, I left with the conviction that I might never come back. My wife stayed at home to watch our two children.

Frank Eddy, 83, also reacted with humility. Having served in the Army National Guard before joining the Navy in 1956, he said he was grateful to serve in peacetime aboard a cruiser near Japan.

“It was very good service, I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I didn’t really feel like I deserved it, but I was very grateful.”

But Luker said humility is the reason she felt it was important to honor their service. Veterans don’t often have a big ego, and she said their service often goes unrecognized by those around them.

“If you look at your story, almost everyone has a veteran in their family if you think about it. Settlements now, ”she said. “I think veterans are the heart of our country. You listen to their stories and they are just inspiring.

Contact editor-in-chief Damian Dominguez at 864-634-7548 or follow us on Twitter @IJDDOMINGUEZ.


All of us in the “Big C” church belong to each other

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I differentiate the “Big C” church from our individual church in Llano. The “Big C” Church includes Christians of all traditions, spanning geography and history. It’s not just a cute designation. This is a biblical question with important implications for how we do our work and experience the ministry.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans, as he encourages them to work together, he inserts this tidbit applying not only to a local Roman congregation, but to Christians separated by space and geography: “So in Christ we , although many, let us be one body, and each member belongs to all the others ”(Romans 12: 5).

Differences working together

What would it be like if Christians really realized that we all belong to each other? I got a glimpse of this possibility as Christians and religious leaders in Llano recently came together to help prepare school supplies for a community effort called “Jackets for Success” —in reference to our school’s mascot. , the yellow jacket.

The effort provides school supplies to every student on every campus in Llano. In addition to many businesses in our community, each church represented also provides financial assistance to make this possible.

As a parent of two young children and husband of a public school teacher, I cannot overstate the blessing this brings to our community on many levels. At the most immediate and basic level, it is a blessing for students in making sure they have what they need, and it is a blessing for parents in relieving a financial burden often exacerbated in the fall. when students also need new clothes.

In addition, it is a blessing for teachers, as it ensures that students will have the correct supplies requested by teachers and it prevents teachers from tapping into their own pockets – which they do far too often – to provide what. lack.

On a spiritual level, Christians can rejoice in the blessing of taking ownership of the community that is theirs because they recognize that we all belong to one another.

Do not mistake yourself ; I am a dedicated Texas Baptist. You won’t find me kneeling with Catholics, sprinkling with Methodists, speaking in tongues with charismatics, banning instruments with Churches of Christ, avoiding modern translations with independent fundamentalists, or being too fashionable with non-denominational people. And you will certainly not see their devotees adhering to my traditions and my ideals.

It is right and appropriate for us to defend the individual points of theology, doctrine, policy, and tradition that we find important in our practice of being individual churches. In doing so, however, we must not lose sight of the fact that in Christ we belong to one another. This is not only helpful in enabling us to be better together with the “Big C” church. It also highlights our particularities, as our individual churches seek to live in the unique mission and call that God has for us.


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Distinct parts of a body

Every November I attend the annual meeting of the Texas Baptist General Convention. Our church is associated with the BGCT, and I know a lot of people who participate in it. It’s refreshing for me to reconnect with other pastors I’ve been to school with and friends I’ve served with over the years.

The unique brotherhood that I experience in these gatherings is special because of the distinctive traits we have in common. But if this is the only kind of brotherhood and cooperation that we agree to, we remain short-sighted and anemic.

The truth is, being the “Big C” church takes work. It’s not as easy or as natural as associating with those who are most like us. It can be tempting to isolate ourselves in religious ghettos and become convinced that we are the holiest, most righteous, and most important because of our unique mark of devotion and service to the Lord. This misses our denominational peculiarities.

A few weeks ago, I “swapped the chair” with Bryan Rogers, pastor of Lutie Watkins United Methodist Church in Llano. After preaching in each other’s churches, we were lovingly heckled with similar remarks, something like, “Your sermon was not too bad for a Baptist / Methodist.

Our families accompanied us. My children had never been part of a service in which a historic Christian creed is recited and a more formal liturgy is performed. At the end, I asked them if they were ready to become Methodist. They both shook their heads vigorously, my daughter exclaiming emphatically, “It’s not our tradition!”

That didn’t stop them, however, from attending their second summer vacation Bible school with Lutie Watkins United Methodist Church.

Recognizing that we belong to each other in Christ does not mean losing our traditions. Rather, it helps us appreciate our uniqueness, even as we celebrate the larger meaning of the “Big C” church. Join me in thanking God for his entire church, as well as the unique space our Texas Baptist family occupies in this diverse group.

Matt Richard is Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church in Llano. His bachelor’s degree is from East Texas Baptist University, and he holds a master’s degree in divinity and a doctorate in ministry from Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University. The opinions expressed are those of the author alone.



Two pastors sharing two bell towers | Local News

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A husband and wife are the new pastors of the United Methodist churches in Gloucester and Rockport.

The Revs. Valerie and Printice Roberts-Toler succeed Reverend David Myers, who retired last month. The Roberts-Tolers were also retired, having moved to Gloucester two years ago after decades of preaching. While Valerie said she welcomed the break, Printice was not ready to stop work.

“I was really hungry,” Printice said. “I wanted to resume teaching and do the things that I have been doing all my life.”

The two said they were happy to be back in the saddle, so to speak.

“This is where God wants us to be,” Valerie said with a smile.

Valerie, an ordained minister for 30 years, is from western Massachusetts while Printice is from Los Angeles. Printice was originally ordained into the congregational church 50 years ago, but began to focus on Methodist teachings while pastoring at Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, Connecticut. Around this time he met Valerie, who was studying Methodism at Gloucester.

“I was drawn to (Methodism) because I was looking for ordination, and other denominations are not welcoming to women,” said Valerie. “It pains me, however, that this denomination has not been welcoming to the gay community. I want to make it clear that (The United Methodist Churches of Gloucester and Rockport) are welcoming to all. I’m not afraid to infringe. the rules if it gets there. “

The two have three children together. At the end of last year, they welcomed their first grandchild. They had just finished babysitting the 10-month-old baby on Monday night when The Times spoke to them for this article.

Since July 1, Valérie and Printice have been exchanging each week between the two churches. When one is preaching the 9:15 a.m. service at Gloucester Church, 436 Washington St., the other is attending the 11:00 a.m. service at Rockport Church, 36 Broadway.

The couple live in the rectory of Gloucester United Methodist Church at 6 Holly St.

At this point, they said their goal was to get to know the Cape Ann Methodist community better. Later, Valerie said she hopes to work more with the youngsters of Gloucester and Rockport. She is already involved in the Cape Ann Interfaith Commission. Printice said he was looking to organize a Bible study group with church members.

“We have dedicated people in these churches and we want to confirm that,” Printice continued. “They greeted us graciously and we loved every minute of being here. (Cape Ann) is an amazing place.”

“The challenges facing churches are not new to us,” continued Valérie. “Despite these challenges, especially those caused by COVID, it is our job to spread the good news in a world of bad news. I think this is really what people need more than ever.

Michael Cronin can be contacted at 978-675-2708 or [email protected]


Among Mormon women, Frank talks about sacred undergarments

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Not everyone is attached to the idea of ​​preserving clothes. Lindsay Perez, 24, who lives in Salt Lake City, suffered from persistent urinary tract infections which she said were made worse by her clothing. She now leaves them out at night and after taking a shower.

If she had a choice, she said, she would prefer to wear a cross necklace or ring – popular among young church members – with the letters CTR, a reference to the motto “Choose the right,” a reminder to make ethical choices. . “There are so many different ways of reminding myself of what I promised,” Ms. Perez said. “I don’t need it to go through my underwear.”

In the church’s private Facebook groups for women, she said, clothing is a constant topic of discussion, with some women hoping for improvements and others defending the clothing as it is. But few women feel comfortable approaching male leaders to discuss bodily fluids, infections, and sexual intimacy.

“People are afraid to be brutally honest, to say, ‘This isn’t working for me. It doesn’t bring me closer to Christ, it gives me urinary tract infections, ”Ms. Perez said.

Open discussion is also thorny as clothing is frequently the target of mockery from strangers. When church member Mitt Romney ran for president in 2012, he was ridiculed by some mainstream commentators for wearing “magic underwear.”

This kind of ridicule is “extremely painful,” said Jana Riess, senior columnist for Religion News Service who writes about the church and who conducted the 2016 poll with a colleague.

This is especially hurtful because the clothes symbolize a deep spiritual connection with God. “One of the nicest things about them is that they’re underwear,” Ms. Riess said. “It expresses my belief that there is no part of my messy humanity that is not loved by God.”


Wisconsin priest resigns national post amid allegations of misconduct

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A priest who grew up in Marshfield and who previously served Catholic parishes in Wisconsin resigned his post as administrative chief of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops after “looming media reports alleging possible inappropriate behavior,” said said the organization on Tuesday.

The charges against Bishop Jeffrey D. Burrill shared with the Conference of Catholic Bishops do not include misconduct with minors, President Jose Gomez said in a memo to members, that the National Catholic Reporter posted Tuesday on Twitter. Gomez is also Archbishop of Los Angeles.

The American Bishops elected Burrill as Secretary General on November 16, 2020. Prior to that, he served as Associate Secretary General for over four years. Burrill served at St. Bronislava Church in Plover from 2013 to 2016 and moved to Washington, DC, following his election as general secretary.

From 2001 to 2009, Burrill served parishes in Durand, Lima and Mondovi, in western Wisconsin, according to his biography on the conference website. He also taught and served as chaplain in the Regis d’Eau Claire high schools and colleges from 1999 to 2001.

Her parents had lived in Marshfield since 1967, according to her mother’s September obituary.

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Gomez did not disclose the nature of the misconduct, but said Burrill resigned from his post to prevent the story from being a distraction for the Bishops’ Conference. The Conference takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and will take action to address them, Gomez said in the statement.

The resignation comes after The Pillar, an online news source covering the Catholic Church, began asking questions about what it calls “evidence of a pattern of sexual misconduct on Burrill’s part “.

In an investigative report released on Tuesday, The Pillar said it obtained and analyzed data from Burrill’s cell phone for two 26-week periods in 2018-2020 and discovered that it was used to access Grindr, an app from adult dating, “on an almost daily basis”. both at his Conference office and at his employer’s home and at Conference meetings and events in other cities.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the Bishop of La Crosse, William Patrick Callahan, said Burrill “has regularly completed training on a safe environment and background checks”, most recently in 2020, and has gone through committed to cooperate fully with the Conference as it investigates and deals with the situation. Burrill is a priest in the Catholic Diocese of La Crosse.

Neither the Bishops’ Conference nor the Diocese of La Crosse responded to calls for interviews from USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.

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Friends and family gather at North Texas Church to watch Wally Funk launch into space – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

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SOUTHLAKE (CBSDFW.COM) – Hundreds of Wally Funk’s closest friends and new fans cheered her on at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church as she launched into space. Emotions were running high as everyone watched in wonder Wally’s dreams come true.

“She’s doing what she wanted to do all of her life,” Pamela Stroud said.

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It’s a dream that at one point seemed impossible. She began this journey over 60 years ago as part of the Mercury 13 Women’s in space program, but has never had the chance to fly. Today, at 82, Funk is the oldest to go to space.

Funk’s hard work and determination made her a pioneer in her own right. She became the Federal Aviation Administration’s very first female inspector and taught more than 3,000 pilots how to fly. His friends say it was his faith and determination that kept him going

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“God blessed her with this opportunity to go do this,” said Steve Lallier.

Funk has proven that no matter what, you always have to aim for the stars.

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“God has a plan for us and sometimes the time is not what we want, it’s his time and he’s coming for her,” Lallier said.


U.S. Bishops Urge Congress To Act After Deciding To Suspend DACA

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Following a recent ruling by a U.S. federal judge banning further deferred action program for children’s arrivals (DACA) requests, U.S. bishops call on Congress to pass laws that will provide legal status and a pathway to citizenship for immigrants.

By the editor of Vatican News

The bishops of the United States have expressed disappointment at a recent ruling by a federal judge in Texas that declared the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal.

The ruling, released Friday by Judge Andrew Hansen, found the DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs federal rule-making, because it escaped the normal “notice and comment” process adopted for drafting. new rules.

The DACA program, created under the Obama administration, not only protects some undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children from deportation, but also allows them to work in the country. The protections of the DACA program are renewable and valid for two years at a time. However, the program does not provide a pathway to citizenship.

The latest move prevents the US government from accepting new applications for the DACA program, which actively covers approximately 650,000 recipients out of an estimated 3.6 million potential applicants (often referred to as “dreamers”) in the United States.

Appeal to lawmakers

In a statement released Monday, Most Reverend Mario Dorsonville, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington and chair of the American Bishops’ Conference Committee on Migration (USCCB), called on Congress to pass legislation that would protect immigrants.

In this regard, he noted that the “Senate already has several bills before it that would provide permanent relief to dreamers, including the American Dream and Promise Act passed by the House of Representatives in March.”

The Bishop went on to point out that DACA was never meant to be a permanent solution for dreamers; and that the recent decision is “simply the most recent development in a long list of events warranting action by Congress.”

Not just a question of human dignity

Further supporting his call, Bishop Dorsonville highlighted the Dreamers’ contributions to the American economy, noting that they “serve in our armed forces and raise American families.”

Despite this, he lamented, “they are prevented from becoming full members of our society”. He therefore stressed that “all Dreamers, not just those who receive DACA, deserve the opportunity to realize their God-given potential in the one country most of them have ever known”.

This, he insisted, “is not only a question of human dignity but also of family unity, given the 250,000 children of American nationality whose parents the Dreamers are”.

In conclusion, Bishop Dorsonville urged the Senate to join the House of Representatives in passing legislation that provides legal status and a path to citizenship for all Dreamers. In doing so, he said, “we recall the words of Pope Francis: ‘Immigrants, if they are helped to integrate, are a blessing, a source of enrichment and a new gift which fosters a society. to grow ‘.

Decision to be challenged

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden on Saturday expressed disappointment at the federal judge’s decision to quash the Obama-era DACA program and said the Justice Department will appeal the decision.

He noted that while the court order does not affect current DACA beneficiaries, the rulings nonetheless relegate hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to an uncertain future.

Biden also urged Congress to act, insisting that only he can guarantee a permanent solution by granting Dreamers a path to citizenship that “will provide the certainty and stability these young people need and deserve.” He therefore reiterated his call to Congress to pass the American Dream and Promise Act.


Why not let the church you hate save the theater you love?

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Have a little confidence, Californians.

Even if you hate the religion or politics of your local churches, you might find their congregations to be precious saviors – of your historic and threatened cinemas.

In other words, think twice before you engage in a holy war like Fresno’s against the historic Tower Theater.

The tower, inaugurated in 1939, is a Streamline Moderne arrow-shaped gem anchoring a retail, dining and art district known as the Tower District. But, like so many iconic California theaters, it struggled, especially during the pandemic. So the owner of the theater tries to sell. The owner’s preferred buyer is an evangelical church that has opposed same-sex marriage and LGBTQ ministers.

From a practical standpoint, church takeovers of old theaters make sense. Movies and live shows are often not enough to support the costly upkeep of these dilapidated palaces. Churches with growing congregations can regularly fill seats while raising funds for maintenance and improvements, and keeping space available to the community for events and screenings.

But these are polarized, impractical times. And many growing churches are non-traditional, evangelical, or politically conservative, so they don’t fit into the more secular, progressive entertainment districts where you’ll find old theaters.

In some places, churches and their neighbors transcend their differences and focus on their common interest in old buildings. Responsible churches agree to preserve and maintain the theaters they support, in exchange for neighborhoods accommodating traffic or parking problems associated with hosting a congregation. Fresno saw something like this happen when churches took over other theaters.

But at the Tower Theater, conflicts between the church, the theater owner, and the community escalated, turning a neighborhood issue into a statewide controversy.

To sum up: During the pandemic, the owner of the Tower Theater allowed Adventure Church, a largely Latin congregation elsewhere in the Tower District, to hold services there (a questionable decision given the dangers of COVID-19). The adventure loved it so much that when the owner of Tower put the property up for sale at the end of last year, the church agreed to buy it and keep it open for shows and events. non-profit.

If the neighborhood can find a savior for theater less morally problematic than Adventure, that would be wonderful. But there is reason to doubt that a relatively poor municipal government like Fresno’s, or a restaurant, could successfully operate an old and expensive theater.

But when word of the purchase contract leaked, many people in the Tower District understandably saw the move from the iconic theater to the church not only as a threat to the theater, but as an attack on the spirit of the artistic and inclusive district. A petition opposing the sale has circulated widely and weekly Sunday protests have multiplied. Local businesses have also questioned whether zoning allows for a church there, and therefore whether Adventure’s presence could create zoning or licensing issues for bars and cannabis businesses.

The anti-church protests quickly drew counter-protesters from right-wing groups, and the police erected barriers to separate them. The church or the owner of the theater – it’s unclear who – raised the political heat by displaying a tribute to the late right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh, infamous for his homophobic rhetoric, on the theater marquee. California media, obsessed with culture wars, fueled controversy with their coverage.

The conflict developed from there. The tower property includes restaurants; one of them took legal action to block the sale, claiming that his own deal allowed him to buy the property. The mayor of Fresno, seeking to defuse the situation, offered the church alternative property, which Adventure refused. Other city officials pitched the idea of ​​taking the theater as a prominent area. There is also a lot of talk about other people or institutions that might want to buy the place.

If the neighborhood can find a savior for theater less problematic than Adventure, that would be wonderful. But there is reason to doubt that a relatively poor municipal government like Fresno’s, or a restaurant, could successfully operate an old and expensive theater. If so, then Adventure or another church might end up being the best option, and it might be smart for the community to stick their noses and negotiate.

Yes, I hear the screams about any compromise with an anti-gay church. But an approach of keeping your enemies close makes more sense. The adventure is already in the Tower District, whether or not it occupies the theater. And if you have to put up with such a church, why not try to take advantage of its presence, by having it restored and the Tower preserved? And if you want the church to stop spreading hatred, what better way than to engage with the church, in order to change the hearts and minds of the congregation?

I have seen this more accommodating approach pay off in two places in California. One is Redding, where the huge Bethel Church and its school of supernatural ministry have long been controversial. Bethel supported gay conversion therapy and attempts to perform miracles such as using prayer to resuscitate a dead child. Yet when the Redding Civic Auditorium was in trouble, Bethel Church and its members, even in the face of much criticism and fears from the church in the community, helped form a nonprofit, Advance Redding, to save and manage the auditorium. The deal was a civic success, with the auditorium hosting a variety of performances and the ministry’s school making rent payments to support the facility.

The other theater is literally around the corner from my San Gabriel Valley home. The historic Rialto, which played itself out in films (like the murder scene in Robert Altman’s film The player, and as a meeting place where Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone watch old movies in La La Land) remained vacant and decaying for nearly a decade until Mosaic Church, a growing mega-church with congregations from Hollywood to Mexico City, moved there.

There was some resistance from the community to the arrival of the church and concerns about what the theater might become. The mosaic is not my cup of tea – I attended the services, and while I loved the young and diverse congregation, your cynical columnist cringed at the pop music and overblown positivity of the message.

But, three years later, Mosaic is undeniably a neighborhood asset. The church carefully helped repair the theater and took care to keep the place open and welcoming to the community.

Before the pandemic, Mosaic even screened films on the Rialto giant screen. One of the last films we saw before the success of COVID-19 was a Mosaic sponsored screening of Miracle on 34th Street, the classic Christmas movie about faith in people whose beliefs we don’t share.


Liaoning Church Holds Orientation Service for Five Newly Ordained Pastors

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Yingkou CC & TSPM held an orientation service and ceremony for five pastors who have just been ordained in collective ordination on July 9.

These five pastors from Yingkou City were blessed on July 16 at New Life Church in Dashiqiao, Yingkou, northeast China’s Liaoning Province.

At 9 a.m. the service began with the anthem God our Father, lead our Church, then the choir presented other songs. Reverend Zhao Guangwei, vice president of Liaoning TSPM, delivered a sermon, followed by blessings from former Shi Aijun, president of Liaoning TSPM.

After the service, the ceremony began with the national anthem. After Reverend Shi gave a speech and exhortations, the five pastors respectively began to read the Bible, pray, thank and bless.

(The article was originally published by Gospel Times and reported from Dashiqiao City, Liaoning Province.)

– Translated by Abigail Wu

辽宁 营口 教会 举行 新晋 圣 职 的 传道 人 迎 立 礼拜 和 典礼

Liaoning Church Holds Orientation Service for Five Newly Ordained Pastors


Tallahassee church still struggles to rebuild after Hurricane Michael

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – It’s been almost three years since Hurricane Michael hit the Big Bend and a local church is still grappling with the aftermath.

Deacon James Lee with Mt. Olive Holiness Church, Inc. says a tree crashed into the roof of the church, causing extensive water damage to floors, pews and other equipment. The water damage eventually turned into mold, making the church unsafe for members.

“We have a Wednesday night Bible study, Friday night prayer service, and regular Sunday morning church services,” Deacon Lee said.

The church received a FEMA grant in the amount of $ 207,000. Lee said a condition of the grant requires the church to provide 25%, which Lee said equates to $ 51,000. However, this is proving difficult for the small church, with a number of non-working members.

“Being a church with only five or six adults, and most of us are retired. Our pastor is retired from the highway patrol, ”said Lee.

Before the pandemic, the congregation was allowed to use the sanctuary of another church, but then moved away during COVID.

Now that the church hopes to restore and reopen the building, Deacon Lee is reaching out on social media. He created a GoFundme asking for community support to raise the additional funds needed to unlock the FEMA grant.

According to Lee, several donations have already been made.

Copyright 2021 WCTV. All rights reserved.


Priest who was San Diego’s icon for his homeless ministry dies aged 80

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – With his strong Bronx accent and smirk, Msgr. Joseph Carroll was a San Diego icon.

“Father Joe,” as he was much better known, was the president emeritus and namesake of San Diego’s largest homeless service provider, Father Joe’s Villages.

After years of declining health, which saw both of his feet amputated as a result of complications from diabetes, Father Joe died in the early hours of July 11. He was 80 years old.

Father Joe once said that his greatest achievement has been helping others understand that the homeless are just “neighbors who need our help.”

“When you take out the name ‘homeless’… it seems to eliminate the fear of working with our neighbors in need,” Father Joe told about 800 people who had gathered at the Town and Country Resort & Hotel in Mission Valley at the end of June 2012 to celebrate his life and his work.

Father Joe added that his life had been enriched by daily encounters with people who benefited from the programs of the Villages of Father Joe.

Through a series of long-running TV commercials, in which he solicited donations of not only cars, but also boats and planes to fund local homeless services, Father Joe was more than the face of the villages. from Father Joe.

To San Diego’s of various faiths, he was arguably the most recognizable local Catholic. And to local Catholics, including bishops and fellow priests, he was a larger than life personality and a force of nature.

“Father Joe Carroll was a priest who made Christ’s message of compassion and mercy real in a world where we so often look away rather than embrace those who suffer among us,” said Bishop Robert W McElroy of San Diego.

“Given the task of rejuvenating our diocesan action with the homeless four decades ago, he completely recreated that action and gave San Diego an incredible network of homeless programs that exude a humanity and a deep and relentless hope, ”said the bishop, who was scheduled to preside over an event in honor of the priest’s life on July 20 at St. Rita Catholic Church in San Diego.

“Father Joe’s Villages housing network is a testament to his life’s work,” said Bishop McElroy. “But an even deeper testimony is that Father Joe taught so many of us in San Diego to see the homeless as true neighbors, equal in dignity and children of the one God who is our Father in God. all. In this deeply pastoral ministry, Father Joe Carroll is distinguished in our county and in our nation.

Deacon Jim Vargas, President and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages, issued a statement hours after Father Joe’s death.

“While I am personally saddened by the passing of Father Joe Carroll, I fondly remember the stories and the laughter we shared, and his legacy will live on in everything we do,” said Deacon Vargas.

Joseph Anthony Carroll, who became known nationally for his work with the homeless, was born April 12, 1941 in New York City.

Raised in the New York district of the Bronx, he moved to Southern California in 1963. There, he entered the seminary.

Father Joe was ordained a priest for the Diocese of San Diego on June 28, 1974 by Bishop Leo T. Maher at St. Joseph’s Church in Carpinteria, California.

His early years of ministry as a priest were devoted to parish life, including assignments in the Diocese of San Diego as Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Grace in El Cajon, of Saint Pius X in Chula Vista and of Saint Rita in San Diego.

In July 1982, Bishop Maher hired him as director of the Saint-Vincent de Paul Center, which already existed about a quarter of a century before Father Joe was even a priest.

In his early years as a manager, Father Joe served homeless peanut butter sandwiches daily. He also began to travel the country to learn about social services available to the poor and homeless.

He may not have been the founder, but under the watchful eye of the enterprising priest, the center would become what is now Father Joe’s Villages, which has a full four-block campus in East Village and programs across the county that shelter around 2,000 per night.

Last year, the organization served nearly 12,000 homeless people. It has served over 60,000 people over the past decade.

Father Joe’s Villages owns and operates 10 buildings in San Diego County and provides assistance and rental assistance to even more.

Its most recent building, Villa Saint Therese in Calcutta, is a 14-story building that is slated to open next January. The building will include 407 units for more than 500 people and community space on each floor.

Speaking at a celebration in honor of Father Joe in 2012, Mgr. Dennis Mikulanis, a longtime friend, said Father Joe’s appointment was made director of the Saint Vincent de Paul Center after Bishop Maher and the diocesan staff council for priests agreed that Father Joe was “the biggest con artist in the diocese ”.

“He has been a con artist for Christ, for the church, from the very beginning,” said Mgr. Mikulanis. “None of this benefited him. It benefited the church. It has certainly benefited our community.

In a 1984 television commercial for the Father Joe’s Villages vehicle donation program, Father Joe made this “con artist” character his own. His opening line was, “Hello, I’m Father Joe. I am a con artist.

This nickname also entered the title of his memoir, written with Kathryn Cloward: “Father Joe: Life Stories of a Hustler Priest”, published in May of this year.

He led Father Joe’s Villages until his 70th birthday on April 12, 2011, when he rose to the role of President Emeritus. He retired from active ministry in November.

“Father Joe Carroll was a heroic man who helped his community with all his heart and soul. He helped the poor, the hungry and the homeless and had a knack for bringing people together in his mission to serve, ”said US Representative Juan Vargas, who represents California’s 51st Congressional District.

“I hope the church will canonize him, for his work was truly holy.”

– – –

Grasska is associate editor of The Southern Cross, newspaper of the Diocese of San Diego.

Cape Reverend Raises Anniversary Money for Church Repairs: PM Patch

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SANDWICH, MA – It’s Monday July 19th. Here’s what you need to know this afternoon:

  • Provincetown city officials have released news mask rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people after more than 130 residents and tourists have tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • Bill to protect victims of violent crime and human trafficking from deportation was enacted on Friday
  • Framingham City Council could repeal a two-week-old law that allows stores to charge customers for single-use paper bags.
  • Jeanica Julce, 27, of Somerville, was pulled from the water by dive crews after more than nine hours after a boating accident at Boston Harboat.

Scroll down for more on these and other stories that Patch covered in Massachusetts today.


Today’s story

Reverend Tina Walker-Morin turns 40 next month and to celebrate, she asks the community of Sandwich to help her repair the church she serves.

Walker-Morin is a member of the clergy of the Nearly 200-year-old First Church of Christ. Just as the coronavirus pandemic struck, church officials discovered the church had major structural deficiencies, particularly where the building supports the steeple. Walker-Morin said the church community had not been able to pray at the shrine since before the pandemic.

“The church is more than a building, this community is where a single mother can bring her two beautiful shy daughters and watch them blossom and grow in self-confidence surrounded by love and community. benevolent, ”said Walker Morin. “It’s a place where older people who have to move into a nursing home are visited and given cards and respond with words of thanks saying, ‘It’s nice to know that I haven’t been forgotten. “”

Rethinking paper bag fees in grocery stores: Framingham City Council may soon prove that the customer is still right. A new municipal law came into effect on July 5 that allows businesses to charge 10 cents per single-use paper bag. Barely two weeks later, a city councilor wants to repeal the fees after backlash from disgruntled buyers. The law allows businesses to charge 10 cents per paper bag and keep the money.

Boston Harbor Boat Crash Victim ID: Jeanica Julce, 27, of Somerville, was pulled from the water by dive teams after more than nine hours of searching on Saturday morning. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The US Coast Guard said a small boat with eight on board reached the day mark around 3 a.m. on Saturday, throwing everyone on board into the water. Crews were able to get seven of the boaters ashore, but an eighth person was missing until his body was found around noon, Boston police said. Julce lived in Somerville and majored in finance at UMass Boston, dreaming of opening his own dance studio, and a GoFundMe page was created by his family

The new MA law prevents the deportation of victims of violence: A bill to protect victims of violent crime and human trafficking from deportation, tabled by state representative Tram Nguyen, D-Andover, was enacted on Friday, Nguyen’s office said. The bill was tabled with Representative Patricia Haddad, D-Somerset and included in the FY2022 budget, which Gov. Charlie Baker signed on Friday. The bill “provides clear and consistent language for law enforcement to certify immigrant victims of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse and sex trafficking, who have helped prosecute their attackers,” according to A press release. “With this certification, these victims can then apply for a U or T visa, which would allow them to testify without fear of deportation.”

Police are asking for help finding a suspect in a serious hit-and-run accident: Wilmington Police are seeking information on a serious hit-and-run accident on Wednesday. At around 10:20 a.m. Wednesday, there was an accident at the intersection of Middlesex Avenue and Clark Street that ended in a vehicle hitting a nearby house, police said. A brown or red vehicle fled the scene on Clark Street towards Church Street, police said. They are looking for witnesses and information on a brown or red vehicle with damage to the front.


Eat Fresh: Patch’s 2021 Massachusetts Farmers’ Market Guide


Imagine this

For the first time, a state commission is meeting to be tasked with reviewing and making potential changes to the state’s seal, flag and motto. The current Commonwealth emblem depicts a Native American, with the arm of a settler above him wielding a sword, and a Latin phrase that reads, in part, “By the sword we seek peace.” (Photo Shutterstock)


Saying Goodbye to 2 Quiet Giants – Norm Graham and Pastor Ed | Local News

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They were not attention seekers.

They both sought to just help others.

They were both gentlemen in every sense of the word.

And the Kankakee region will be less so because of their absence.

Norm Graham, the owner / operator of Graham Industries, 300 E. Chestnut St., then Graham Furniture, 189 W. Court St., died July 7. Pastor Ed Kannapel, the creator and director of Gift of God Street Church and Men’s Shelter, died July 10.

Graham died at the age of 87. Pastor Ed was 73 years old.

It would be safe to describe these two men as unusual men. They just did their job without fanfare. They just fulfilled their mission, regardless of what others thought or said.

“He always had a vision of passion for others”, Graham’s son, the Rev. Scott graham, said of his father. “He was committed to serving. “

Even though he was 87 when he died, that did not translate into a retirement of around 20 years. Graham worked six days a week in his downtown furniture store until he was 85. He did not leave his company until May 2020.

Asked what his father’s legacy would be, the Reverend Graham, who is the pastor of the Kankakee True Life Church, 2095 W. Station St., proposed two words: Serve. Community.

Graham did not go to school after sixth grade. Homework with the family forced him to work. He worked labor intensive jobs to bring money into the house.

His eldest son, Gary, noted that Graham’s businesses weren’t so much about making money as they were building relationships. Businesses have also provided him with a platform to serve others.

He often made people stop at the store who just wanted to talk and pray with Norm.

“It was the interaction he loved. Obviously, businesses needed to make money, but he just loved people, ”Gary said.

“People felt comfortable telling him their deepest stories. The furniture store has become a gathering point. He wanted to help those in need. He embraced the community and the community embraced him.

Gary noted that his father wasn’t too worried about his retirement years because he didn’t think he would live long. For as many things as his father was right, that thought missed the mark.

He spent time serving his son’s congregation. He was also pastor in the Township of Pembroke area.

Even though his father lived to be 80, Gary said his father’s death was still a shock.

“I thought I was prepared, but I wasn’t. I guess you are never prepared.

On the northwest side of Kankakee, Pastor Ed has passed away.

Indispensable in the battle to help not only the homeless, but also those living on the fringes of society, Pastor Ed was a pragmatic force in running the organization he created at 660 N. Fifth Ave. in 2008.

Last week, Gift of God board member Rich Allers noted that he was still amazed at the ability Pastor Ed possessed.

“His heart and his goal was to help people save themselves. They [shelter occupants] were so dejected that they no longer believed they had hope. But he told them they had as many opportunities for a better life as anyone else.

During his final weeks of life, many former shelter occupants and church members stopped by to speak with the man who worked with them to transform their lives away from the streets and, in many cases, drugs and alcohol they had become addicted to.

Pastor Ed’s shelter became known as the “Last Door Mission” because it was more often than not the last opportunity for those in need.

Board member Chuck Carnes noted that Pastor Ed worked to instill a belief that the men at the shelter have the ability to change course within them.

“He wanted them to be successful,” he said.

Now it will be up to others here to take up the torches of quiet leadership held by Graham and Pastor Ed.

While most of us – myself included – may question our ability to take on such a task, we most certainly possess at least some of this compassion and wisdom.

Let’s make sure, as we say goodbye to Graham and Pastor Ed, that the torches of these two soft-spoken giants are not extinguished.

Lee Provost of the Daily Journal writes about local business rumors, whereabouts and other notes of interest. Anyone with information to share should contact Provost at [email protected] or 815-937-3364.


American coronavirus: people not vaccinated against Covid-19 risk the most serious virus of their lives, according to an expert

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“And for most people who get this Delta variant, it will be the most serious virus they get in their lifetime in terms of their risk of putting them in hospital,” Dr Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration under the Trump administration said CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Delta is the most transmissible variant of Covid-19 to date, U.S. Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy told CNN. And experts say it’s exacerbating the increase in cases among unvaccinated Americans.

In Los Angeles County, the rate of new cases of Covid-19 has increased 300% since July 4, the county health department said. Hospitalizations related to Covid-19 have more than doubled compared to the previous month.

And 48 states are now seeing the number of new cases increase by at least 10% more than the week before, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

This is concerning, Murthy said, because often an increase in cases and hospitalizations is followed by an increase in Covid-19 deaths. Experts are particularly worried about unvaccinated populations, as 99.5% of deaths from Covid-19 occur among people who have not been vaccinated, Murthy said.

The only way to stem the increase in cases is through vaccination, Murthy told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday.

The fight to increase immunizations is shifting into the hands of local leaders, Murthy said. Springfield, Missouri, Mayor Ken McClure told “Face the Nation” that he hopes community leaders convince people to get vaccinated before it’s too late.

“So it’s up to community leaders, community institutions that people trust, that say we need to get the vaccine. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this,” McClure said.

Delta variant sends young people to hospital

The Delta variant could spread faster than other strains of coronavirus because it reproduces faster inside our bodies, the researchers found.

In research published online, scientists examining 62 cases of the Delta variant found viral loads approximately 1,260 times higher than those found in 63 cases from the first wave of the epidemic in 2020.

The Delta variant is also sending younger and previously healthy people to hospitals – the vast majority of whom have not been vaccinated, according to doctors in several states with flare-ups.

“This year’s virus is not last year’s virus,” said Dr. Catherine O’Neal, an infectious disease specialist at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Covid-19

“It attacks our 40s. It attacks our parents and our young grandparents. And it attracts our children,” O’Neal said. She said her Covid-19 unit now had more patients in their 20s than before during the pandemic.

In the face of widespread misinformation about the virus and the vaccine, McClure urged people to use reliable sources and “make sure people have the right information.”

Misinformation “takes away our freedom,” Murthy said, adding that inaccurate information inhibits the power of people to make informed decisions about their health and that of their families.

And with the virus’s disproportionate impact on unvaccinated people, the consequences can be serious.

“All of this misinformation going around has a real cost that can be measured in lives lost, and it’s tragic,” Murthy said.

Children under 12 are unlikely to be vaccinated anytime soon

One of the main reasons adults should get vaccinated is to protect children who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, experts say.

Currently, Covid-19 vaccines are only permitted for children 12 years of age and older, but studies are underway to test the safety and effectiveness of vaccinating young children.
Young children will pay the price if enough American adults don't get Covid-19 vaccine, expert says

On Saturday, Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, shed light on the timeline for approval of Covid-19 vaccines for children under 12.

Right now, he told CNN’s Jim Acosta, scientists are conducting studies in declining age groups, looking at children ages 12 to 9, then 9 to 6, from 6 to 2 years, then from 2 years to 6 months. .

“So far things look good, but the final decision will be with the FDA. And I imagine that probably won’t happen until winter, towards the end of this year,” Fauci said.

11 people show up for a three-hour vaccination event

In Alabama, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the United States, a three-and-a-half-hour vaccination clinic at a church outside Birmingham on Sunday made little progress as only 11 people showed up. .

MedsPlus, the on-site health care provider, has held clinics at churches, businesses and community centers, hoping to partner with local leaders that people trust. But according to the Alabama Department of Public Health dashboard, the number of vaccines administered in the state has fallen sharply from the peak in March and April.
According to CDC data, only 33.7% of Alabama residents were fully immunized on Sunday.

Since April 1, 529 people have died in Alabama from Covid-19. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, about 96% of them were not vaccinated.

US 'Loses Time' In Vaccine Race As Delta Variant Becomes More Common, Expert Says

Shuntasia Williams, 15, said she received her first dose of the vaccine at the event because she wanted protection when back to school next month. She told CNN that she is proud of her group of friends for being vaccinated, but has also seen rumors online that her peers are falling in love.

“I saw someone who said his arm was so swollen it had to be amputated,” Williams said. “This is the craziest thing. One thing about vaccines is that they start to spread rumors about it, but you have to go out and see it for yourself.”

Williams said these were not first hand testimonials from people but rather misleading posts and articles that continue to be shared.

“Believe me. I’m 15. Go get the vaccine. It’s not shocking. My arm isn’t swollen. I’m not going to have my arm amputated. I feel really good,” a- she declared.

CNN’s Aya Elamroussi, Holly Yan, Claudia Dominguez, Ben Tinker and Natasha Chen contributed to this report.


The Bishops’ Critical Plan for Eucharistic Renewal

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Almost buried last month in the hubbub surrounding the US bishops’ debate over who is and who is not worthy of Communion was a colloquy between two bishops regarding something that may prove to be of far greater significance in the long run. .

Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens of St. Paul-Minneapolis had reported on plans for a project called the National Eucharistic Awakening and was answering questions. Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles, a prominent media evangelist, insisted that instead of starting next year, the project should start earlier due to its urgency. Bishop Cozzens responded that dioceses could start earlier if they wished, but the revival needed careful planning if its impact was to be “lasting and deep.”

The two bishops were right. The need is really urgent. And we can only hope that this project will have significant results.

Familiar numbers underscore the need. Fifty years ago, nearly 60% of American Catholics attended mass every week, but by 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, the figure had fallen to just over 21%. Not only that, the results of a recent poll showed that two-thirds of all American Catholics, and nearly one-third of weekly Mass attendees, do not believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist.

Reacting to these disturbing figures, the bishops last year voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Eucharistic revival in the hope of promoting faith and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Bishop Cozzens, chair of the planning committee, presented a progress report at the spring assembly of the U.S. Catholic Bishops‘ Conference.

What is envisaged is ambitious to say the least. Spread over three years or more, the renewal will begin in the dioceses in the summer of 2022 and will continue at the diocesan level until the following summer. At this point, the focus will be on the formation of priests and parishes, and leaders of young adults, including the formation of “lay Eucharistic missionaries” who will carry the message in the parishes. Other planned events include diocesan “days of adoration” and diocesan Eucharistic congresses.

The second year, from July 2023 to June 2024, will be devoted to bringing the revival in the parishes. Small group facilitators will be trained to lead discussions among different age groups. Other parish activities will include Eucharistic adoration, sacramental confession, and Corpus Christi celebrations.

The culmination of the third year will be a National Eucharistic Congress – the first of its kind in the United States since that in Philadelphia during the US Bicentennial in 1976. The search for a suitable site – probably in the Midwest or the South – is now underway, said Bishop Cozzens. Overall, the project hopes to train and commission 100,000 “missionaries” to evangelize in the name of revival.

A number of organizations and institutions are committed to collaborating with the project, including the Knights of Columbus, the McGrath Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame University, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, Our Sunday Visitor, Word on Fire, Hispanic and youth groups and others.

Looking at all of this, the first word that comes to mind is: big. It would be difficult to remember a project undertaken by American bishops in modern times of a comparable magnitude.

But if greatness is not a vice, it is not in itself a virtue either. And it is here that the hope expressed by Bishop Cozzens for “lasting and profound” results is important. When the cries are over, the success of the National Eucharistic Awakening will be measured by the number of American Catholics who approach the Blessed Sacrament with stronger faith and deeper respect. He deserves our prayers.

Church helps homeless people with mattresses made from recycled bags

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – Helping Tallahassee’s most vulnerable and the environment, Ellen Oetau and other members of the Good Samaritan Methodist Church are making rugs from plastic bags for the homeless in the city.

“I hope it’s helping the homeless community, that’s the main thing,” Oetau said. “But in the process, we also keep the bags out of landfills.”

The Big Bend Continuum of Care annual report reveals that homelessness is down 29% while about 3,000 people are homeless in Leon County each year.

This week, city and county leaders awarded more than $ 4 million to local organizations to help the homeless.

“If someone can be helped with one-time nominal help, we also use homelessness prevention,” Wander said. “So if they have rent or utilities in arrears, we will help them pay them to keep them in their housing so that they are not homeless. “

Amanda Wander of the nonprofit says the $ 1.4 million US bailout will be used to support various services such as transitional housing and prevention education efforts.

Until the homelessness crisis in the county is over or the numbers decline, people like Sandy Sanders will continue to help the homeless.

“I know I’m helping someone, and it’s fun and enjoyable to do something that helps someone else,” Sanders said.

The Good Samaritan says it takes about 700 bags to make a rug. The members meet once a month to make the rugs, so their efforts continue.

If you would like to help their cause or donate plastic bags, you can contact the church directly.


Clara Rector admits killing Tommy Hope in a cold affair

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Clara Rector acknowledged that her Christian faith gave her the strength to overcome drug addiction.

“I believe that Jesus died on the cross for the redemption of all, even me,” she wrote on her blog, Kansas City Star reported in 2013. But as she managed to quit using drugs, she eventually ended up in jail for the murder of Tommy Hope.

Tommy D. Hope was born in 1955 and raised in Texas as one of three siblings. Abandoned by their parents for several days, the Hope children were finally placed in foster care.

“There has been a lot of abuse in these foster homes,” friend Brenda McCabe told “Snapped.” Sundays at 6 / 5c at Oxygen. “He was neglected. He was beaten.

As soon as he was old enough, Hope enlisted in the military. He left in his twenties and worked odd jobs to make ends meet. In his early forties, Hope lived in Camdenton, Missouri, a small town near the Lake of the Ozarks, where he made many friends from the local bar scene.

But at 6:30 a.m. on April 28, 2004, Hope’s friends Cindy Christenson and Brian Norton visited him. No one had heard from Tommy for several days, which was unusual.

After knocking on Hope’s door and getting no response, Christenson crawled through a window. Inside, she found Tommy: he was lying dead on the ground in a pool of blood. They went to a friend’s house and called 911.

“He’s lying on his stomach, but then there’s blood on the mat and stuff too, right around his face. Like, you know, he was bleeding from his head, ”Norton was heard to tell the 911 dispatcher on the tapes of the call obtained by“ Snapped ”.

“I approached the body and at that moment I could see that his shirt was soaked in blood. There was also the stiffening of the body. He’s obviously been lying there for a while, ”Camdenton Police Chief Jeff Beauchamp told producers.

Luminol discovered bloody footsteps leading to a window. Footprints were also found on the window frame, where the killer had come out of the house.

An autopsy revealed that Hope died from eight stab wounds to the chest and left arm and had a laceration to her neck, the Chillicothe News reported in 2013. The medical examiner determined he had died three or four days earlier, either on the night of April 24 or the morning of April 25.

Hope’s friends told investigators he used drugs to deal with the traumas he suffered in his youth and in the military.

“He’s always had drugs. Mostly lots of users and people would party together and use Tom’s drugs. There were a variety of drugs; methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, ”Beauchamp told producers.

Another friend, Patricia Strouse, told investigators that Hope recently saw a married woman named Clara Rector. Her husband, Jason, knew about the relationship and didn’t like it.

“Tom told me a few days before he was killed that Jason had threatened to stay away from Clara or he would be sorry,” Strouse told producers.

Clara was born in 1976 in California and, like Hope, had been taken out of a dysfunctional household as a child. She was later adopted and moved with her new family to Lake of the Ozarks.

At 19, Clara got married, but her first husband died in a car crash shortly after learning she was pregnant. The day after her death, she began to use drugs and eventually married Jason Rector, with whom she had two children. Jason and Clara were regular drug addicts, but Jason eventually got sober, while Clara still struggled with addiction.

In Tommy Hope, Clara found someone who could relate to what she had been through and a willing drug buddy. She will leave Jason and move in with Hope before going to rehab in 2003 and reconciling with her husband.

Clara admitted to investigators that she had not been able to maintain her sobriety. Behind Jason’s back, she was sneaking around to take drugs with Hope.

Investigators spoke to Jason, who was outspoken about his dislike of Hope. He blamed Hope for his wife’s drug use and admitted he warned her to stay away from her.

“When they interviewed him, he said, ‘I didn’t but I’m glad he died,’” prosecutor Brian Keedy told ‘Snapped.’

Jason and Clara were both alibis for each other, claiming they were together the entire time Hope could have been killed. Without evidence or new leads, the case came to nothing. Nine years would go by without arrest.

Then, in April 2013, Lt. Scott Hines, then Camden County Sheriff’s Office, was called to Camdenton Bible Baptist Church. Pastor Jerry Sousley told Hines he was being harassed by another devotee named Clara Rector.

Sousley claimed Clara had texted him “regarding inappropriate matters of a sexual nature,” according to The Kansas City Star. These included messages left on her car windshield and a notebook she left him in which she detailed her sexual fantasies about him.

After pushing back his advances, Clara blasted. “She said, ‘Jerry, if you tell the law what you know about me, I’ll destroy you. I’ll destroy you, ”Sousley told detectives in a videotaped statement obtained by“ Snapped ”.

Clara was referring to a prior counseling session with the pastor where she admitted to killing a man. Sousley became concerned for his safety and that of his family.

“She started telling me about how she left Jason and the kids and started doing drugs and got mixed up with this guy and she just put her head down and said, ‘And I killed him.’ “Sousley told detectives.

Sousley begged Clara to go to the police and admit what had happened, but she refused.

On April 21, 2013, Clara was arrested and charged with harassment and stalking, according to the Chillicothe News.

The detectives who worked on Hope’s murder were brought in to question him. After discussing her current case, they looked back on the events of 2004. She seemed relieved to confess.

“I snuck out of my house in the middle of the night because I really wanted to get high,” Clara told detectives over the videotaped statement obtained by “Snapped.”

When Clara arrived at Hope’s house, he didn’t let her in at first, so she crawled out a window. After Hope and Clara ran out of their dwindling cocaine stores, they got into a fight. Clara said she grabbed a knife and jumped onto Hope’s back and slit her throat. Then she continued to stab him.

“I started out like, ‘I hate you, I hate you!’ and he was standing there against the wall and then he said, ‘You know, I think you’re killing me, I think I’m dying,’ and he just fell, “Clara told detectives.

Clara explained that she took Hope’s knife and wallet and ran out the window. When she got home, Jason was waiting. After hearing what had happened, he helped her get rid of any incriminating evidence.

Clara and Jason Rector were arrested on April 24, 2013, nine years to the day since the murder of Tommy Hope. Clara was charged with first degree murder and criminal action with a weapon while Jason was charged with falsifying physical evidence, Columbia, Missouri, subsidiary of ABC KMIZ reported at the time.

The charges against Jason Rector were ultimately dropped because the statute of limitations had expired.

Clara Rector was sentenced to 15 years in prison on November 10, 2014, according to local newspaper the Lake Sun Drive. She is eligible for parole for the first time in January 2024, when she turns 47.

To learn more about this case and others like it, watch “Snapped”, broadcast Sundays at 6 / 5c at Oxygen or stream episodes here.


What happened to God and the Church? | Pastors Columns

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In 2001 Donald Bloesch raised the issue in an article on Christianity Today and put the looming issue on the table before all of us. Professor Bloesch has competently dealt with some necessary and very worrying areas. To this I would also like to touch on similar topics, which remind us of Satan’s ubiquitous plans and his relentless pursuit of distraction and disorder in the Church.

Preaching is of course a primary concern. A tickle of the ears will always find an audience in the comfortable bench, but a silliness-free, clear and convincing and convincing preaching is rare today in many pulpits.

Very early on, I learned that you can preach the Bible and not the Word of God! Much of the preaching today is impersonal information about God, often about a more human personality mixed with interesting stories of how to build a good image rather than a good character.

Theologian John Stott has said in one stroke that the present state of preaching is “miserable, abysmal.”

Preaching is not everything in a church. But that this affects everything, that’s the problem. If the Word is not heard and there is no Christ-centered clarity that brings soul-satisfying power, then Sunday after Sunday, “corporate worship languishes, evangelism shrinks, discipleship weakens and the mission becomes timid, ”said evangelist David Turner.

True preaching speaks first to the mind, then to the heart. From there it goes to the will. True preaching in simple terms is the truth of God in Christ through the human personality. It is, like reading the scriptures, a signpost that directs you to Christ, never an end in itself. He has to finally point you to Him, bring you to Him.

Consumer oriented, program dependent, health / wealth / fun focused, and therapy dependent, this is often what we have achieved. We are running away from reality. Our Christianity is reduced to window shopping based on likes and dislikes. We are no longer discernible, definable or deliberate. We do not know who we are and therefore what we are, divided in our loyalties as to what is good, better or better. We are in an identity crisis pretending to help others find themselves. Marked by a moral conspiracy that says, “I won’t tell you that something is wrong with you, if you don’t tell me that something is wrong with me.”

The lowest common denominator has become our highest standard. Respectability is our highest goal, which can be just a step below scandal to be accepted. Respectability is a very low standard. The respectable man does not need to be a saint, but he cannot be a notorious bad liver, as the old book of common prayer said. A respectable man can go to hell, and in fact, can go to hell in part because he relied on his respectability.

Joe, a former classmate of mine, and I attended the funeral of a man he and I knew well. My friend, John, was smart but lacked a sense of seeing the world. Joe and I were sitting on the back bench and listening as the preacher spoke of old John’s goodness in the coffin. The John we knew was not the John the preacher knew, that’s for sure. Joe, in his naivety, looked at me as if to say, “Where are we?” Are we in the right place? ” It looked like he wanted to go upstairs and check out who was in that coffin.

One of the main problems the church in America faces today is the lack of credibility. Are you credible? Are your life and words believable? We are often seen as nice but not New.

To continue, I would say that God has disappeared because the Church is unbalanced and has lost its bearings.

God placed the Church at the center of the world, to keep the world centered. We aspire to be a people who are everything for Jesus because he is the Lord of all and has given everything for us. And yet, we have become ourselves. We have lost our focus and therefore our balance. We cannot think directly.

As Dr D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Minister and Doctor of Medicine, says: “The terrible and tragic mistake of the last hundred years has been to think that all of man’s problems are due to his environment, and that for to change the man you have nothing else to do but to change his environment. It is a tragic mistake. He neglects the fact that it is in Heaven that man fell.

Two things almost always precede failure in a church:

1. Refuse to face our problems – This is a lack of honesty.

2. Refuse to prioritize – Jesus demands it, “Seek first,” he said.

In Luke 14, he calls us to face the problems of eternity decisively, and they primarily concern allegiance to him. The alternative is a messy life and the rejection of being a follower. In short, said Jesus, gather it or forget it!

The Church is not a religious playground.

Reverend Chuck Cooper is a longtime pastor, developer of Daybreak Ministries and founder / director of Men Made New. He and his wife, Linda, live in Walla Walla. Contact him at [email protected] or 509-540-6104. Pastors in the UB traffic area are encouraged to write columns of 500-700 words. Send them to [email protected]


Many churches saw increased attendance after Internet switchover, survey finds

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Many churches plan to continue broadcasting online even after the restrictions end.(Photo: Facebook / Church of England)

Many churches have seen an increase in attendance after moving online services during the pandemic, an investigation has found.

Most of the churches surveyed by Ecclesiastical Insurance have used new channels to stay in touch with their congregation after the Covid-19 outbreak.

The vast majority (93%) used Zoom to host public events and virtual meetings after March 2020, while 60% used Facebook and 5% YouTube. Only 1% have used Microsoft Teams.

A significant minority (43%) of church leaders reported an increase in attendance following the use of these online platforms.

And nearly two-thirds (62%) plan to continue broadcasting events even after all restrictions are lifted.

The survey of 1,000 leaders was conducted in May by the Bible Society on behalf of Ecclesiastical.

Michael Angell, director of operations for the Ecclesiastical church, said: “Churches are so important to so many people and maintaining that sense of community and the unity that comes with it has been a lifeline for the pandemic.

“With restrictions preventing physical meetings and many people living in isolation, whether through home shielding or lockdown, these new ways to stay in touch with congregations have proven to be extremely popular. .

“Even though many churches are reopening, it is encouraging to see that they plan to continue with these new channels and in doing so welcome their audiences, new and old, back to their churches.”

The results also revealed that the switch to the Internet had required some financial investment from many churches, with more than half (56%) saying they bought new technology to make it possible.

Of these, 55% said they spent more than £ 500 on equipment, with half investing in sound equipment and a similar proportion (52%) on cameras. Almost two-thirds (62%) had purchased equipment to support the live streaming of services.

For more than two-thirds (69%), the investment drew on existing reserves, while almost a third (30%) financed the purchases with donations.

The survey suggested that the switch to the Internet was a technological leap for many church leaders, with more than half (57%) saying they needed help getting things done, while close to three-quarters (73%) said they received support from members of their congregation.

Grade I-listed St Edmund’s Church in Taverham, Norfolk, began delivering worship and fellowship services after the outbreak of the pandemic.

For Rector Reverend Paul Seabrook, the change has helped parishioners stay connected.

“The blockades have been incredibly difficult for so many people and the inability to go to church has really affected people in our community,” he said.

“We wanted to make sure they could still worship God and learn together like we’ve been doing since before the pandemic, and the live broadcast has been fantastic in helping us do that.”

In addition to streaming services, the church has started using Zoom for weekly coffee mornings and Bible study sessions. And Facebook was used to share prayers read by members of the congregation and a “Tiny Tunes” music and dance class for young children.

Going online has been a positive change for the church, which has found itself welcoming to viewers from much further afield.

For St Edmund’s, a Grade I listed Saxon church in Taverham, Norfolk, moving things online has meant a lot of positive changes.(Photo: Church of England)

Paul continued, “At the height of the pandemic, we were getting over a hundred visits to our Facebook page per day, ten times more than before. We had people from all over the country and even from this far away. than Arizona!

“By using social media, we were able to reach many more people than ever through the church door each week, so this is definitely something that we are looking to continue to deliver.”

St Edmund’s plans to offer both in-person services and live online streaming beyond the end of restrictions.

“We’ve seen how effective online services can be and we’ve invested in new equipment to help us deliver a better experience for everyone who connects – but we haven’t lost sight of the fact. that our church is for everyone, and not everyone can access the Internet, ”said Rev. Seabrook.

Despite the challenges and changes of the past year, Reverend Seabrook is optimistic about the future.

He added: “We are first and foremost a church for the community and our pastoral work did not stop during the pandemic.

“We have seen more people in need of support through initiatives such as food banks and have encouraged the community to come together with those most in need.

“There is certainly more hope now than there was at this time last year and we look forward to the Lord leading us through this difficult time to freedom and a new beginning.”


COVID-19 wreaks havoc on Catholic clergy in hard-hit countries, including the United States

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The coronavirus has taken a heavy toll on Catholic priests and nuns around the world, killing hundreds of them in a handful of the hardest-hit countries.

The dead include an Italian priest who brought cinema to his small town in the 1950s; a beloved New York pastor who cared for teens and the homeless; a nun in India who returned home to bury her father after his death from COVID-19 to contract the virus herself.

In some countries, most of those lost were older and lived in nursing homes or retirement homes where they did not regularly engage in person-to-person pastoral work. Other places, however, have seen a bigger blow to active clergy, accelerating a decades-old decline in the ranks that Pope Francis in 2017 called a “hemorrhage.”

Coronavirus deaths among the clergy are not just a Catholic problem, said Andrew Chesnut, president of Catholic studies at the Commonwealth of Virginia University, with religious leaders of all faiths having high exposure rates as “Frontline spiritual workers” caring for the sick and dying in hospitals and nursing homes.

But the impact is particularly acute for a church that is experiencing a “permanent shortage of priests” in most countries due to difficulties in recruiting seminarians, he added. And with Catholicism placing more emphasis on the role of the priest over other faiths, the losses are keenly felt.

“If you already have so few priests and they’re wiped out by COVID-19,” Chesnut said, “of course that affects the ability of the church to serve its parishioners.”

INDIA

Catholics are a small minority in India, comprising about 20 million of the 1.38 billion people of this predominantly Hindu nation, according to the Catholic Bishops‘ Conference of India.

But the surge in death reports among the clergy so alarmed Reverend Suresh Mathew during a devastating second wave of coronavirus this spring that he began sending emails to bishops across the country, requesting daily updates. Many mornings he woke up with multiple alerts.

“It was a shock,” said Mathew, a priest at Holy Redeemer Church in New Delhi.

About two priests and nuns died every day in April. The rate doubled in May, when Mathew recorded the deaths of 129 nuns and 116 priests.

The worst of the pandemic has abated in India, but not before it compiled a list of more than 500 priests and nuns lost since mid-April.

One of these losses affected near our home: Sister Joséphine Ekka from the convent of Surya Nagar in her parish. She had traveled to bury her father in the village of Jharsuguda in eastern India before falling ill herself.

Ekka joined the community in September 2020 amid the pandemic and became responsible for the liturgy and choir organization at a time when church attendance was limited. She was remembered for her kindness and dedication to the poor.

In the western state of Gujarat, where vaccinations were blocked by a powerful cyclone that struck as the pandemic escalated, Reverend Cedric Prakash of St. Ignatius Loyola Church mourns five priests.

They include Reverend Jerry Sequeira, a close friend who on Easter Sunday baptized a newborn baby whose father died of COVID-19. A day later, Sequeira found out that he too had contracted the virus.

“His attitude was ‘nothing is going to happen to me, God is good’,” Prakash said. “He was always available to people.

UNITED STATES

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says there is no full tally of the number of priests and nuns among the more than 600,000 people who have died from COVID-19 in the United States.

It is, however, well established that the toll includes dozens and dozens of nuns who lived in gathering places across the country, from upstate New York to suburbs of Milwaukee and Detroit and beyond. Many were older retirees who devoted their lives to teaching or nursing.

Only one order, the Sisters Féliciennes, lost 21 nuns in four convents.

“Faith and hope have both played a part in my life as I watch the devastating news of the loss,” said Sister Mary Jeanine Morozowich of Greensburg, PA. “I couldn’t go on without believing that there is a purpose, a reason for all of this.”

Reverend Jorge Ortiz-Garay of St. Brigid’s Church in Brooklyn, New York, died on March 27, 2020 and is believed to be the first priest in the United States to fall victim to COVID-19. The 49-year-old, who oversaw the Diocese of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s annual feast and pilgrimage for thousands of participants, has been remembered by the faithful for his dedication to the community and to groups of young leaders.

Also among the lives lost was Reginald Foster, 81, a Wisconsin-born priest who for four decades was one of the Vatican’s top Latin experts. He died in a Milwaukee nursing home on Christmas Day.

ITALY

Italy was one of the hottest hot spots at the start of the pandemic.

As of March of this year, 292 diocesan priests, mostly elderly, have died from the virus, according to news outlets at the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

SIR, the conference news agency, noted that the toll was almost equal to the 299 new ordinations in Italy for the whole of 2021.

Among the dead was the Reverend Raffaele Falco, priest in Ercolano, near Naples. The 77-year-old was known to have used his work to fight the Naples-area crime syndicate, La Camorra.

Reverend Franco Minardi, 94, also died, arrived in Ozzano Taro in 1950 and served as its priest for 70 years. So attached to reviving the faith of young people, he organized the construction of a theater where he screened the first films of the peasant town. Its outreach legacy also includes a tennis court and games room.

Sister Maria Ortensia Turati, 88, was one of the many nuns who died in a convent in the city of Tortona, in the north of the country. A social worker by training, she was mother general of the Little Missionary Sisters of Charity from 1993 to 2005 and founded missions in the Philippines and Côte d’Ivoire.

BRAZIL

As of March of this year, at least 1,400 priests in Brazil have contracted COVID-19 and at least 65 of them plus three bishops have died, according to a commission linked to the National Bishops’ Conference.

Among them was Cardinal Eusebio Scheid, 88. He became Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro in 2001 and was appointed cardinal two years later by then Pope John Paul II. During his 60 years in the church, he was known for his deep interest in the quality of priestly education.

Scheid was also known for a comment that some understood as political, others as a blunder; he called the then president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, “chaotic” instead of Catholic. After a slight uproar, Scheid softened his tone, saying Silva seemed “confusing” in matters of faith.

___

Associated Press editors Frances D’Emilio in Rome, Peter Orsi in Truckee, Calif., Mauricio Savarese in Rio de Janeiro, and Giovanna Dell’Orto in Minneapolis contributed to this report.

Wife of Cancer-Fighting Pastor Ready for Stem Cell Transplant | New

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The answer to the question of what the summer of 2021 has in store will be far different for Janie Whitehead than any year she has had.

This is because this pastor’s wife, mother of two and grandmother of four, is ready to undergo a stem cell transplant in the coming days. Whitehead will be leaving his Blount County home on Wednesday, July 21 for the preparation and procedure that will hopefully rid his body of the blood cancer that has taken over.

The diagnosis of multiple myeloma came almost a year ago, in August 2020. Whitehead said for months before the diagnosis that she had terrible stomach pain and episodes of diarrhea. Then there was the bodily pain.

“It got to the point that I couldn’t stand the water hitting my body even in the shower,” she said. “My shoulders, chest and back constantly hurt. “

She would learn that her blood contained proteins and eventually the doctors performed a bone marrow biopsy; It was then that she learned what was causing her so much discomfort.

After finding out it was multiple myeloma, the doctors worked out a treatment plan that included injections into the stomach. A chemotherapy pill has also become part of the treatment.

She did them until February and went into remission, Whitehead said. This positive news means this cancer patient is now able to undergo a stem cell transplant, which will take place at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

There are things Whitehead has been doing in the works, like strengthening his body with long daily walks. “They gave me just about every test they could think of to make sure I was able to withstand it,” she said.

An autologous stem cell transplant, which Whitehead says is his treatment, involves removing the stem cells from his own body, cleaning them and then putting them back into the body. Basically like running the cells through a washing machine, she explained.

The “cleaned” stem cells are then placed back inside the body, but some are instead frozen in case they are needed later. Whitehead will also need to resume chemotherapy drugs before the stem cells are returned to his body to kill any cancer cells that may remain.

Seven to 10 days is the expected length of her hospital stay, but Whitehead will need to live near the hospital for weeks so she can be checked daily for any progress or complications.

Her husband, John Whitehead, has been pastor of Hillview Baptist Church for seven years. She said she could not have endured all of this without the support and prayers of the congregation.

Hillview even started fundraising for the two weeks. Janie and John will have to stay in Nashville for weeks after the transplant, which involves expenses related to their stay. The church, she said, has collected enough for them to be in Nashville for three months.

The ladies of Hillview got together and made Whitehead a quilt in her favorite color, purple. The most special thing about the gift are the individual squares that each person has made, with Bible verses on them. Whitehead even contributed his favorites, one of them being John 14:13.

This project was orchestrated by church member Kathyrene Gibbs. Each contributor paid $ 10 for the completion of the quilt. They introduced it to her in or shortly after June 2020, before she even knew she had cancer.

Whitehead said she missed many church services because the pain was too much to bear for long periods of time.

“When I finally started my treatments it was a miracle,” she said.

A cancer diagnosis is difficult to manage, the patient said, but her doctor also reassured her that it was possible.

“He said ‘it’s a very treatable cancer,” Whitehead said. “” It will take a while to get to where you need to be. “I saw him yesterday and he told me I had come a long way since last year when he first saw me.

Despite everything she’s been through, Whitehead said she doesn’t have to look very far to see others in more pain. “I thank the Lord that I can go out and walk, I can do my housework and I can do my gardening, pretty much whatever I want to do.”

Pastor Whitehead has found pastor friends who will replace him at Hillview while he is with his wife. “He told everyone he had a star cast,” Janie Whitehead said.

It was on her faith that Whitehead said she relied; that and the kindness of family, friends and those she has never met who offer their prayers. She will bring the quilt given to her by the women of Hillview Baptist to the hospital with her in Nashville. It will be a reminder of the warmth of the many hugs from each of them, she said.

And when she gets home, this quilt will be hanging on the wall permanently.


St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Presents “I Hear America Singing” – Lee’s Summit Tribune

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July 17, 2021

The Music Ministry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at Lee’s Summit will present a celebration of American liberty and freedom titled “I Hear America Singing” at 4:00 pm. The celebration will include a 45-minute concert of festive choral selections followed by a reception with wine, lemonade, watermelon and cookies. The event is free and the public is welcome.

Dr William Baker

St. Paul A Cappella will perform seven selections from the colonial period and the decades of the 19th century before the Civil War. These will include two works by the first American composer, William Billings, songs from the sacred harp era of “shaped note song” and African-American spirituals. St. Paul A Cappella is an ensemble of ten selected voices which is one of the resident ensembles of the Episcopal Parish of St. Paul. The group sings weekly in the liturgies of the congregation, performing works from the Renaissance to the 20th century.

The main feature of the concert will be Randall Thompson’s The Testament of Freedom which will be sung by a male choir of singers from the community. Attendees will include the men of the St. Paul Choir, the Summer Singers of Lee’s Summit and guests from other choirs in the area.

The Testament of Freedom was composed during World War II by the eminent American composer Randall Thompson. The texts are drawn from the writings of Thomas Jefferson and reveal the emerging ideas that led to the Declaration of Independence. The four movements include excerpts from A Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774), Declaration of the Causes and Necessities of the Taking of Arms (1775), and correspondence with Founding Father John Adams. The work is deeply moving and inspiring in its central theme, “The God who gave us life gave us freedom at the same time. The hand of force can destroy them but cannot separate them.

The concert part of the celebration will end with the famous setting to music by Peter Wilhousky of Battle Hymn of the Republic sung by the combined choirs and the audience. The choirs will be led by Dr. William Baker, who was appointed Music Director of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in September 2020. Michelle Reed, accompanist for the Summer Singers of Lee’s Summit, will be on the piano. The reception will be provided by the Friends of the Music of Saint-Paul. Located at 416 SE Grand Ave., Lees Summit, MO 64063.

Admission is free and the public is invited.

For more information, please email [email protected] or call 816-524-3651.


Seminarist released by police – Catholic Telegraph

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by ACI Prensa

Matanzas, Cuba, Jul 17, 2021 / 06:01 AM

Rafael Cruz Dévora, a seminarian who was arrested Monday after participating in protests by the Communist government of Cuba, was released on Thursday.

Protests took place across Cuba on July 11 and 12. Protesters raised concerns about inflation, food and medicine shortages and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some protesters were beaten and at least 100 were arrested.

Cruz, 26, was arrested at his parents’ home in Matanzas on July 12. He was released on July 15 after being fined for disturbing public order.

Bro. Rolando Montes de Oca, priest of the Archdiocese of Camagüey, told ACI Prensa, the Spanish language information partner of AIIC, that Bishop Manuel Hilario de Céspedes de Matanzas intervened to obtain the release of Cruz.

“He’s fine; tired, which is obvious, but he’s fine,” added the priest.

The seminarian briefly demonstrated, “calling people to understand each other and asking the authorities not to beat them down, to respect the right to demonstrate. This is the only thing he has done and for that he is in prison, ”said Fr Montes de Oca.

Father Castor Álvarez, a priest of the Archdiocese of Camagüey, was also among those arrested during the protests.

In response to the protests, the Cuban government announced on July 14 that it would temporarily allow people entering the country to bring food, hygiene products and medicine without paying import taxes.

Brother Alberto Reyes Pías, priest of the Archdiocese of Camagüey, wrote on Facebook on July 13 that the protests show that the Cuban people are “exhausted and fed up” with the Communist government.

“Human beings are made for freedom, so much so that even their Creator does not violate it. The human being can be repressed, intimidated, threatened … and this can lead, by pure survival instinct, the person to submit to slavery and even to defend the one who oppresses him, but freedom is written in our genes . Years or even generations may pass, but there comes a time when the soul rebels and says ‘enough is enough’, ”he wrote.

“For a long time,” wrote the priest, “the Cuban people have shown signs of exhaustion and weariness” and “he announced that the time of slavery was over.”

In his message, Fr. Reyes asked: “How is it possible that we have waited so long? and replied, “Because they didn’t submit to us overnight.” They deceived, manipulated, blinded us, and when the first people started to wake up, they massacred them, they shot them with impunity. And fear has put its omnipresent face in our hearts and in our homes.

The priest regretted that people had lived this way “for years, hiding, pretending and fleeing at the first opportunity, leaving many times those who dared to raise their voices of freedom on their own at the mercy of evil despite that they did it on behalf of all.

On July 13, four Cuban-American bishops expressed their support for the protests in Cuba.

“We Cuban-American bishops join in solidarity with the Cuban people in their quest for answers to their human rights and their needs. We are deeply disturbed by the government’s aggressive response to peaceful protests, recognizing that “violence breeds violence”, ”they wrote.

“Such a reaction seems to negate the basic Cuban principle of having ‘una patria con todos y para el bien de todos’ (a homeland with all and for the good of all). We stand in solidarity with those detained because they have expressed their opinions. “

Cuban-American bishops said the protesters’ “song of” Libertad “underscores their desire that every Cuban citizen can enjoy basic human rights, as recognized as part of our human dignity by the United Nations, and defended for centuries by the Catholic Church in its social teaching.

“As Cubans and bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States, we are always aware of the constant suffering and frustration of our brothers and sisters on the island. We recognize that while hundreds of thousands of people have felt the need to emigrate, in order to enjoy basic human rights and a future full of possibilities, those who do not – by choice or inability to do so to do – as Cubans in Cuba, must be actors of their future and their aspirations. The right and courage of the Cuban people to make their voice heard publicly, rejecting their fear of repression and revealing genuine solidarity as a people, is recognized and applauded. “

The bishops called “governments and all charitable organizations to work together to help in this urgent humanitarian crisis for the good of the suffering Cuban people, especially the sick and the poor. We salute the care of Caritas Cubana, as it continues to provide – with ever-scarce resources – a response to the basic human needs of the island’s inhabitants.

“As always, with our brother-bishops in Cuba, and our brothers and sisters inside and outside the island. We continue to trust the maternal gaze of the patroness of Cuba, Our Lady of Charity, ”they concluded.

Communist rule in Cuba was established shortly after the conclusion of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, which overthrew authoritarian leader Fulgencio Batista.

High Point Church hosts community vaccination clinic

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As the delta variant becomes the dominant strain of COVID-19 in North Carolina, there is a new push to get a vaccine right now. A vaccination clinic in High Point tries to reach people where they are. Organizers call the event “Bring Summer Back” because they say that every person who receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in High Point brings everyone a bit closer to normalcy. is like a party inside. Admission is a COVID-19 vaccine and the price includes a $ 25 charge card and a lesson from the Old North State Medical Society. The group runs immunization clinics throughout the city. ‘State. “We are really happy that you came, got vaccinated, and more importantly, you received information and you received education,” said Hugh Holston, senior project manager at Old North State Medical Society. As one of the oldest medical societies for black doctors in the country, the group hopes its history, combined with the location of the clinic, will make the vaccine more accessible and reliable. “They know we’ve been a part of this community since 1887. They know us, they trust us. They come to us about all the other problems they have. And now the problem is COVID-19 and vaccine reluctance. Bringing the vaccine to the people has been the primary goal of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. As a safe and walkable community site, Reverend Frank Thomas says Mt. Zion is the perfect location for this event. One of the event’s medics has vaccinated people in Guilford County for months, but he says it’s the delta variant that makes people get vaccinated. right now. This leads to worse hospitalizations and worse outcomes for those who are not vaccinated, “said Dr. Brian Shackleford of the Old North State Medical Society. Shackleford added that studies show that 99.5% of people who have died from the virus have not been vaccinated s. Community leaders and doctors say they will continue to work to convince people of the safety of the vaccine wherever they go because sometimes it works. getting over this pandemic is awesome, ”Shackleford said. Shackleford is stationed at 600 Gorrell St. in Greensboro Tuesday through Saturday each week, administering the vaccine.

As the delta variant becomes the dominant strain of COVID-19 in North Carolina, there is a new push to get a vaccine right now.

A vaccination clinic in High Point tries to reach people where they are.

Organizers call the event “Bring Summer Back” because they say that every person who receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in High Point brings everyone a bit closer to normalcy.

It’s like a party inside. Admission is a COVID-19 vaccine, and the price includes a $ 25 charge card and a lesson from the Old North State Medical Society.

The group operates immunization clinics statewide.

“We are really happy that you came, that you were vaccinated and, most importantly, that you received information and education,” said Hugh Holston, senior project manager at Old North State Medical Society.

As one of the oldest medical societies for black doctors in the country, the group hopes its history, combined with the location of the clinic, will make the vaccine more accessible and reliable.

“They know we’ve been a part of this community since 1887. They know us, they trust us. They come to us for all the other issues they have. And now the problem is COVID-19 and the reluctance. vaccination. ”says Holston.

Bringing the vaccine to the people has been the main goal of Mt. Baptist Church of Zion.

As a safe and walkable community site, Reverend Frank Thomas says Mt. Zion Baptist Church is the perfect location for this event.

One of the medics at the event has been vaccinating people in Guilford County for months, but he says it’s the delta variant that is driving people to get vaccinated right now.

“Young people are getting sicker and sicker. This leads to worse hospitalizations and worse outcomes for those who are not vaccinated,” said Dr. Brian Shackleford of the Old North State Medical Society.

Shackleford added that studies show that 99.5% of people who have died from the virus have not been vaccinated.

Community leaders and doctors say they will continue to work to convince people of the safety of the vaccine wherever they go because sometimes it works.

“To see someone who didn’t trust the vaccine finally trust the science behind it and become protected and finally get over this pandemic is great,” Shackleford said.

Shackleford is stationed at 600 Gorrell St. in Greensboro Tuesday through Saturday each week, administering the vaccine.


Charleston Area Pastors Respond to Reported Decline of White Evangelicals | Characteristics

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For years, experts have followed the decline in the number of white evangelical Christians, expecting the decline to stabilize eventually.

But recent data shows the trend has continued, in the Charleston area and other unexpected places.

“What’s surprising is that even in the Bible Belt these changes are happening,” said Robert Jones, CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute.

The Washington, DC-based institute’s new 2020 Census of American Religion provides unprecedented county-level data on religious identity and diversity. Based on interviews with 500,000 respondents from 2013 to 2020, the census reveals a changing dynamic in American religious affiliation.

Notably, white evangelical Protestants have experienced the steepest decline in affiliation in the past decade, from 23% in 2006 to 14% in 2020, according to PRRI research.

Additionally, the share of Americans not affiliated with religion has increased over the past decade, but has leveled off over the past three years, from 25% in 2018 to 23% in 2020.

The increased religious diversity in Charleston County reflects what is happening across the country.

Of the county’s 411,000 residents, 17 percent of the county’s residents are White Evangelical Protestants, 18 percent are White Protestants, and 18 percent are Black Protestants.

“I think that’s the new reality, even in the South,” Jones said. “These data are a good reminder that this country is changing.”

Additionally, white evangelicals are the oldest religious group in the country, with a median age of 56, suggesting that young people are the ones leaving these congregations, according to the PRRI census.

It has to do with the fact that young people are at political disagreement with conservative faiths, such as the Southern Baptist Convention, Jones said.

Some say race relations have improved since Emanuel's Charleston tragedy, but progress is far away

Evangelical youth have challenged the commitment of conservative religious leaders to President Donald Trump and the views of denominations on burning issues such as same-sex marriage, racial justice and climate change, said Jones, who is also the author from “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity.”

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Reverend Marshall Blalock is the pastor of Charleston First Baptist Church, the oldest Baptist church in the south. It is also a church that has worked to bring its Southern Baptist denomination beyond its racist past.

While there hasn’t been a dramatic drop in First Baptist membership over the years, Blalock has noticed a large number of people in the state’s SBC group who don’t want to identify themselves as ” evangelicals ”because of the term political affiliations.

He said right-wing politics have hurt evangelicals over the years because these Christians have chosen politics over loyalty to Christ.

“I now have young adults in my church who, if asked, ‘Are you a white evangelical? “They were like, ‘No,'” Blalock said. “They don’t want to identify with the politics that has been associated with evangelicals.”

It seems that those who leave evangelical groups find new homes in the main white Protestant denominations.

Since 2007, mainline white Protestants have grown from 19 percent of the population to a low of 13 percent in 2016, but the past three years have seen small but steady increases, up to 16 percent in 2020, according to the PRRI census.

In addition, the main groups are getting younger. In 2013, the median age of mainline white Protestants was 52, and in 2020 it was 50.

Reverend Colin Kerr pastors at Parkside Church, a new Presbyterian church in downtown Charleston. The church embraces progressive politics, supports LGBTQ inclusion and racial justice without reflecting a “secular progressive narrative,” Kerr said.

“A quarter of the population of Parkside would identify as being a former evangelical Protestant and now in the majority,” he said.

“I think you are seeing an accelerating trend with people aligning themselves with the values ​​that they have,” he said.

For others, the data raises more questions about how churches will engage with people in the community.

Ultimately, people want to be affiliated with churches where people are welcomed, loved and accepted, said Reverend Spike Coleman, pastor of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian in West Ashley.

This can be done by creating opportunities in different ministries for people to build relationships, he said.

Charleston-area churches suffer financial blow during coronavirus pandemic

Reach Rickey dennis at 937-4886. Follow him on Twitter @RCDJunior.


The host church “Community in Unity Picnic” as part of the centenary celebration; Free COVID-19 Vaccines – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio

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DAYTON – Grace United Methodist Church will be hosting a “Community Picnic in Unity” as part of their 100-year celebration.

The picnic will begin at noon and last until 3:00 p.m. at the church on Harvard Boulevard.

There will be free food, games and entertainment according to a press release.

In addition, Premier Health will administer free COVID-19 vaccines to participants.

>> Local chef receives honor from Ohio Restaurant Association

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July 16, 2021 at 8:48 p.m. EDT

By Candace Price, News Center 7 and WHIO Staff

DAYTON – A renowned local chef is recognized for her work in and out of the kitchen.

Liz Valenti, executive chef of Wheat Penny Oven and Bar, was recently one of 12 chefs recognized by the Ohio Restaurant Association. She received the “Nourishing the Community Award” for her work in the community during the pandemic.

Valenti told News Center 7’s Candace Price that the past 16 months have been tough.

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CareSource, representing all managed care plans, will be on-site to provide all Ohio Medicaid and MyCare members aged 18 and over with a $ 50 Visa gift card to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

“This event is another opportunity for us to engage with the community we love and help meet the needs of the Greater Dayton community,” said Dr. Justen V. Seay, Chapter President Beta Xi Sigma.


Is COVID Turning Us To Religion?

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Dr Ruth Powell, assistant professor in the school of theology at Charles Sturt University, said she had heard many stories of people seeking to connect to churches during the pandemic.

She says the pre-pandemic research she conducted also showed that newcomers to churches tend to be younger adults who often belong before they believe.

“Sometimes it takes a crisis for someone to say ‘I’m not happy with the way things are going in my life’ and that’s often a time to consider faith.”

Dr Powell observed two pandemic trends.

“One is that people who haven’t been connected to the community see that their local religious community is an option for them,” she says.

The other is rusty devotees, who have found new options online. “Using the Christian example, you can go to church anywhere in the world, you can visit the cathedral, you can visit the great Pentecostal mega church. It was also a disturbance from that point of view.

Dr Powell is the NCLS research director, who surveyed 1,300 Australians in December and found that 45% had used spiritual practices in 2020.

Of these, 15% used spiritual practices more in 2020 compared to 2019, 24% about the same and 6% less.

In March 2020 – when the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic – Jeanet Bentzen, associate professor of economics at the University of Copenhagen, analyzed daily data on Google searches in 95 country.

She found prayer searches (compared to all Google searches) to be at the highest level ever. “We pray to face adversity,” writes Bentzen in the summary of In crisis we pray.

Social science researcher Mark McCrindle also surveyed over 1,000 Australians last year and found that 35% said they prayed more and 41% thought more of God.

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Adel Salman of the Islamic Council of Victoria says the pandemic has highlighted the importance of the mosque in the lives of Muslims.

He says the number of people attending Friday prayers the week before the lockdown had returned to pre-pandemic levels at the mosque he frequents in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

Mr Salman said some mosques are holding multiple sessions to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

“There is a spiritual void if you cannot come to the mosque for Friday prayers or for important events – it leaves a very big void in people’s lives. “

Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann of the ARK Center in East Hawthorn noticed a big difference between the first two and the second two blockages.

After the first two, there were waiting lists to attend synagogue. He would love to say that they had found God or that they were there for his sermons, he jokes, but “they were coming for fellowship.”

But the two second blockages took their toll. “The third and fourth blockades were detrimental to people’s morale, I will not say beliefs, because Jews are inherently believers. “

Rabbi Gabi says after each lockdown he must start over to give his congregation confidence that it is safe to return to the synagogue.

The Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement – “the Grand Final of Jewish participation in synagogue services” – come in September. “I am thrilled because we will see a huge increase in attendance and hopefully rebuild morale, confidence and participation of people in synagogue life. “

One thing that strikes Professor Bryan Turner of the Australian Catholic University, one of the world’s leading sociologists of religion, is that churches have not really offered a theological narrative for COVID-19.

“What is the significance of 1000 deaths in England in one day in April 2020?” German sociologist Max Weber argued that science was not up to the task of creating meaning, ”he wrote in Is COVID-19 Is History’s Dance of Death? “

Professor Turner said Age he was always waiting for churches to come up with something that made sense of people.

“I think it’s difficult for the church to come up with anything encouraging about what we’re seeing, but the Christian message is ultimately a message of hope.”

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Four-day community workshop with the co-sponsors of the multicultural center, shows

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Everyone is invited to attend a four-day community experience culminating in two live performances of the Suite without tears in Fayetteville, AR and Tulsa, Oklahoma, September 23-26. All events are free – registration information and event times will be announced in early September. The event is a collaboration with Fayetteville Roots, University of Arkansas Center for Multicultural & Diversity Education, Oxford American, Vernon AME Church and The Woody Guthrie Center.

Events begin in Fayetteville on Thursday, September 23, with an evening community workshop and panel discussion at the Fayetteville Public Library, moderated by staff from the University of Arkansas Multicultural and Diversity Education Center. On Friday September 24, musicians from Suite without tears The ensemble will host a morning music master class at the Fayetteville Public Library for the University of Arkansas and area high school music and jazz students. That evening the Suite without tears will be performed at the Fayetteville Public Library.

On Saturday, September 25, on the 64th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, the event will move to Tulsa for a community potluck at Vernon AME Church in the Greenwood community of Tulsa. Hosted by Reverend Robert Turner, the potluck will take place outdoors on the lawn of Vernon AME followed by a performance by Suite without tears in the historic sanctuary. On Sunday, September 26, a panel discussion and workshop, “Teaching Truth to Power”, will be held at the Woody Guthrie Center.

Originally presented in 2017 by Oxford American, the No Tears Suite, written by Little Rock jazz pianist Christopher Parker and singer Kelley Hurt, is a monumental ode to Little Rock Nine and was performed at Central High School National Historic Site in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the integration of Little Rock Central High School. In this retaliation, Parker and Hurt will be joined by five outstanding jazz artists, including GRAMMY-winning jazz drummer Brian Blade, in addition to Bobby LaVell (tenor saxophone), Roland Guerin (bass), Marc Franklin (trumpet). and bugle) and Chad Fowler (baritone and alto saxophone). La Suite honors the sacrifices and continued work of all who strive to build a more just and equal society.

“At the Multicultural Center and Student Affairs, we are delighted to engage in this collaboration that commemorates Little Rock Nine and celebrates the bravery and dignity of these young leaders who have sought justice in education,” said Leslie Yingling , associate dean of students and vice-assistant. Chancellor for Student Success and Multicultural Initiatives, Student Affairs Division. “This is a dynamic programming and series of events that create wonderful opportunities for our students and our community to honor the rich voice of jazz music in civil rights activism, past and present. . “

“I am humbled that the Suite without tears and residency programs will be showcased in Fayetteville and Tulsa in 2021, especially in collaboration with such important partners, ”said Ryan Harris of American Oxford. “While we never imagined that five years after the conception, we would still present this project, No tears’ the enduring appeal speaks to a deeper significance in the music’s message, which transcends mere entertainment. The strength of the Suite lies in its ability to synthesize the past with the present. The programs bring communities together in non-threatening ways – in this case, using history and music – to facilitate the sometimes difficult personal reflection and civil rights conversations that can inspire us all to continue working for equality. . “

“The Suite without tears Immediately attracted me because of its power to tell the story of Little Rock Nine through song. It was immediately clear to me that Chris Parker and Kelley Hurt and the team at Oxford American had created an important musical tale of Little Rock Nine and their heroic efforts to desegregate Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The original piece of music is not vital to the community of Little Rock, but will impact Northwest Arkansas and beyond, ”said Bryan Hembree, co-founder of Fayetteville Roots and director of arts and culture from the U of A Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education.

“I am honored that Vernon AME is hosting this concert in September and to collaborate with so many partners and community organizations. Music is a healing balm and has been an important pillar of our church from our first congregations until today. hui. The tone and timbre of Suite without tears will resonate in our sanctuary and in our community, ”said Turner of Vernon AME.

“Woody knew the power that comes from building a positive, supportive community. We are proud to join our friends in Arkansas and Greenwood in unifying our communities and honoring the young freedom fighters who have integrated without Awe Central High School, ”said Deana McCloud, Woody Executive Director of the Guthrie Center.

A full program of the event and ticketing details will be published in early September and can be viewed at fayettevilleroots.org. In addition to collaborative presentation organizations, this series of free events is made possible through in-kind community support from the North Arkansas Jazz Society, Greenwood Cultural Center, and Fayetteville Public Library. Suite without tearsThe continued artistic creation and presentation of s is supported by these generous funders: Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative, National Park Service and Central High School National Historic Site.

About The Oxford American: Founded in 1992, the American Oxford is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is to explore the complexity and vitality of the southern United States through exceptional writing, music and visual arts. Visit OxfordAmerican.org for more information.

About Fayetteville Roots: Fayetteville Roots is a 501 (c) 3 organization whose mission is to connect community through music and food. We produce the Fayetteville Roots Festival, operate the Roots HQ (a historic venue on Fayetteville Square), promote support opportunities for musicians and the music community, and conduct year-round music and food community and educational programming in the northwest Arkansas and beyond.

About the Woody Guthrie Center: The Woody Guthrie Center, opened in 2013, offers cutting-edge exhibitions, an extensive outreach and education program and a series of concerts to pass on its legacy to Tulsans and those who make the pilgrimage to what is a destination for Woody Guthrie fans around the world. The center is more than a museum; rather, it is a center of inquiry for inspiration. By providing examples of Guthrie’s ability to use his creativity as a means of expressing the world around him, we hope to encourage others to find their voice and, through their educational programs, to explore the power that lies in being. creative process. For more information, please visit www.woodyguthriecenter.org.

About AME Church in Vernon The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Vernon was founded in 1905. It is the only black-owned structure on Historic Greenwood Ave from the Black Wall Street era and one of the few remaining buildings of the worst racial massacres of the American history. To this day, the historic Vernon AME Church remains a visual reminder of the massacre and the rebuilding process.

About the Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education at the University of Arkansas The Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education at the University of Arkansas is a multicultural, intersectional, student-centered space that affirms difference and explores shared humanity through cultural celebrations, public events intercultural, arts-based community outreach, educational forums and partnerships that promote diversity education and social justice.


A Catholic agency gradually restores services in Haiti in the midst of crisis

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A series of debilitating crises in recent weeks – from an increase in Covid-19 cases to the assassination of a president – has left Haiti reeling in uncertainty again and forced Catholic Relief Services to scale back its outreach efforts.

“Like I said to someone, it’s like the perfect storm. Everything is falling into place to bring people to their knees, ”Akim Kikonda, CRS national representative in Haiti, told Catholic News Service on July 14.

Beyond the pandemic, Kikonda highlighted the increase in gang violence in neighborhoods primarily in and around Port-au-Prince, the capital, and damage from Tropical Storm Elsa, which swept through the south. of Haiti and the Dominican Republic on July 3, ripping roofs, chopping down trees and flooding farms.

Four days after the storm, in the early hours of July 7, 28 foreign mercenaries, including specially trained Colombian soldiers, assassinated President Jovenel Moise, creating a deeper void in the country’s governance.

Kikonda said any of these events would pose serious challenges to daily life, but the ensuing crises facing the country pave the way for a worsening humanitarian crisis.

The number of reported cases of Covid-19 in the poorest country in the western hemisphere jumped in June, to its highest level in a year, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

People sleep in sports centers and community shelters. Small businesses have been looted and destroyed

One positive development is that coronavirus cases declined in July. The country’s health ministry announced on July 14 that the United States would send 500,000 doses of vaccine through COVAX, the World Health Organization-backed initiative to share vaccines around the world.

Kikonda said CRS ‘response to the coronavirus involves finalizing a contract with a private company to provide psychological counseling and social support to frontline health workers treating Covid-19 patients.

“It was disturbed by the assassination,” Kikonda said. Negotiations on the finalization of the contract were to resume on July 16 so that these services could begin as soon as possible.

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CRS, the relief and development agency for American bishops abroad, will also support collaborative initiatives with other humanitarian organizations to raise awareness of the importance of getting vaccinated.

Meanwhile, gang fighting has displaced 13,000 people and forced businesses to close and street vendors to withdraw to their homes, Kikonda said.

“People are sleeping in sports centers and community shelters. Small businesses have been looted and destroyed. Now people have to depend on aid, which they weren’t doing a few weeks ago,” he said. he declared to CNS.

Such violence, coupled with the assassination of Moïse, prompted CRS leaders to suspend programming across Haiti and order agency employees to stay at home, Kikonda said. The order covered the three CRS offices – in Port-au-Prince, and Les Cayes and Jérémie in the southwestern peninsula.

Kikonda said he heard “a lot of gunfire” near his home in Pétionville, the same community where Moses lived, soon after the assassination. “It was a clear indication that it was not safe,” he said.

The agency’s offices on the peninsula reopened on July 12, while staff from Port-au-Prince returned the next day.

“Since we reopened, we have seen people in need and people dependent on help,” Kikonda said. “They are not in a position to receive help. So we are really doing our best to resume our operations so that we can reach and serve them.”

We wait for our people to travel safely to re-establish contact with the schools we serve

Due to the violence, CRS staff delayed sending teams to assess the damage to small farms on the way to Elsa. Kikonda expressed concern that when the teams finally visit the farmers – likely from the week of July 19 – they will see that “some of the efforts that we have made to build the livelihoods and fields of these communities. people were destroyed by the storm ”.

Programming in schools has also been suspended due to the ensuing crises. CRS staff members visit schools to help early grade students improve their reading and writing skills.

“We are waiting for our people to travel safely to re-establish contact with the schools we serve,” Kikonda said.

The violence harms the poorest people, especially those who struggle normally to obtain food, hygiene products and health care, added the representative of CRS.

“So our advocacy with everyone is to talk about this and how, in this time of transition, to make sure that people in the country can get back to their normal lives and become themselves again. we need. This is what we stand for. This is our advocacy, “Kikonda said.

“If people can let go of the guns, to quote the Haitian Catholic bishops, and sit around the table and speak peacefully, it will help everyone and it will allow us to do what we are here for.

A new pastor arrives at Churubusco Church | Characteristics

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CHURUBUSCO – The United Methodist Church of Churubusco has welcomed a new Senior Pastor, Reverend John Huff, and his family to Churubusco.

Reverend Huff comes to Churubusco from The United Methodist Church in Hagerstown, Indiana.

He and his wife, Jen, met at Methodist Theological School (Ohio) where they both attended. Pastor John grew up in Jennings County, southern Indiana. Jen grew up in Ohio and Illinois.

John attended Indiana University where he studied religion, and is an avid Hoosier fan. Jen served as a deacon in Richmond, Indiana.

John sees himself as serving primarily to bring people to Christ, and that the most important goal should be to love others as Christ loves mankind. John believes in serving the parish through involvement and interaction with the community at all levels.

Jen plans to take a break from her ministry to help her family make the transition through the move and into a new environment, and she looks forward to getting involved in John’s ministry in any way she can.

The Huffs became a “forever” family in 2018, when they adopted their three beautiful children into foster care. Foster care has been an important part of their family ministry since 2014. Arianna “Ari” is 7 years old and will be entering third grade. Elijah “Eli” is 6 years old and he will be entering first grade. Kenzie is 4 years old and she will be entering kindergarten.

John enjoys exploring the outdoors and sports. Jen enjoys reading, watching movies, and trying new foods and restaurants. Their family enjoys camping, playing games, and spending time with their Goldendoodle, Punkin.

Sunday services take place at 8.15 a.m. with organ and hymn, and at 10.30 a.m. with the praise orchestra. Services are streamed live on Facebook

Churubusco United Methodist has a weekly food ministry and preschool ministry, with preschool starting in September. Registration details are on www.churubuscoumc.org.