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Pastor John Gray stops cheating allegations again

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A relentless Church leader relentlessly cleans the air.

Among previous rumors that he was cheating on his wife, head of a mega-church Pastor John Gray talk about building trust, and we’ve got an exclusive look.

In this week’s episode of ALLBLK “Social society”, host Kendall kyndall as well as a roster of experts dig into “the wounded church,” the concept that a person’s religious beliefs may have affected their personal or professional life.

Want news at your fingertips? Text “ERICA” to 52140 to join our club. (Terms and conditions)

For relentless Church leader John Gray, his headline-grabbing scandal damaged the confidence of his congregation, but also that of his wife. According to the pastor who says that he “does not just preach Jesus, he needs Jesus ” and “stabbed in the back” because of insecurity and jealousy, did internal work to gain “fairness of trust” with his wife.

“Building trust with a congregation is secondary to the fairness of trust with my wife,” Gray said on social company ALLBLK. “When you’re trying to reject your marriage because of your own pain, your own shame, your own sexual repression, things that happened in your childhood, you have to dig deeper than ‘I’m sorry’. I can be sincere sorry, but if you don’t do the internal work, you will come back and start over.

He then frankly said THIS to Kendall Kyndall.

“There were all these things swirling-“ he slept with this and that ‘– the only woman I’ve been inside is my wife, ”Gray said. “Let’s get it straight. “

Gray added he was guilty of “trusting people with the deepest parts of his pain who didn’t deserve it.”

WELCOME !

We must applaud the frankness of the clergyman on that one; he said what he said.

This is not the first time the pastor has defended himself and his family amid allegations of fraud. While denying infidelity in 2019, he urged people to stop sending slanderous messages to his wife and praised his First Lady for staying by his side and “loving” him during the controversy.

“The last three months have been the hardest of my life,” said Gray. “So much has been said about me. Some are true. Most of them don’t. I’m a good game. My wife and kids aren’t. My breaking is mine. Don’t dishonor the one who loved me through this. Already.”

Plus, while he is with Kendall, they play a fun game, discuss how in his church “you belong before you believe” and he offers his take on “being in the world but not in the world” .

A new episode of “Social Society is now airing on ALLBLK. Click on HERE to concern!

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This article was originally published on Bossip.com.

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Catholics serve us well | Chroniclers

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TIMOTHY WALCH


Catholicism is a threat to American democracy! This is a claim spread by Lyman Beecher and many Americans in 1835.

In fact, Beecher warned his fellow citizens that the Pope and his Jesuit army were plotting to establish a new Vatican in Cincinnati!

Beecher was not a weirdo. In fact, he was one of the most respected religious leaders of his time and his accusations stirred the country. Be concerned, the American people have been told, about these foreigners infesting their cities.

Fast forward to 2021. If Beecher were alive today, he would find Catholics as President of the United States, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Chief Justice of the United States. No doubt he would have feared for the fate of the country.

But wait; it’s even worse than Beecher could have feared. A third of Joe Biden’s cabinet, two-thirds of the Supreme Court, almost a third of the House and a quarter of the Senate are also Catholic.

For Beecher and the many Americans living in the years leading up to the Civil War, such a scenario would be a nightmare!

Of course, Beecher’s fear was ludicrous, and Catholics gradually became central figures in the American political establishment over the next century. They have come to serve with honor and dignity in Congress, in the presidential offices and in the Supreme Court.


The Charlotte Church is still meeting virtually due to the pandemic.

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (WBTV) – As of Wednesday, places of worship in Mecklenburg County are required to meet the county’s COVID-19 mask mandate.

Earlier this month, Mecklenburg County commissioners voted to extend the mandate to churches as well. While some local religious leaders have already expressed their views on mask mandates, at least one church congregation will not have to worry about the order of government. Wedgewood Church in South Charlotte still brings its congregation together in a virtual setting.

Melba Evans, ministerial coordinator at Wedgewood, explained that her congregation has taken the pandemic very seriously. Although members of the church community have been permitted to volunteer with the church pantry, no in-person religious gatherings are held. Evans said the congregation had not met for in-person worship since the start of the pandemic.

“We take ‘love your neighbor’ very seriously at Wedgewood. That’s what really guides Wedgewood Church, ”explained Evans.

She said members of the congregation hope to return to worship services in person this fall, but fears over the continued spread of the coronavirus have put those plans on hold.

“We heard a lot of our members say, ‘No, we don’t want to go back, let’s just keep it as it is.’

Churches are allowed to hold in-person worship, but Evans said his congregation chose to play it safe rather than try to round up masked people.

“Even with everyone masked, it still makes some people hesitate to attend,” said the ministerial coordinator.

While Mecklenburg County now officially mandates masks for places of worship, some churches have already required attendees to wear masks. Dilworth’s First Christian Church has been demanding masks since August.

“I don’t want our church to become a vector for the spread of this terrible disease,” said First Christian Pastor Jolin McElroy.

However, at least one local religious leader, Penny Maxwell, pastor at Freedom House Church, said her congregation would not follow a mask mandate. Maxwell posted a video on social media explaining that Freedom House Church members would not be required to wear masks.

“We’re not going to tell people they’re going to have to love covered mouth and face. We’re going to do business as usual and our lawyers are ready to go, ”Maxwell said in the video.

Evans said she did not understand why some churches were wary of mask mandates.

“I don’t understand how they profess ‘love your neighbor’, but I don’t love my neighbor enough to put on a mask to protect my neighbor,” Evans said.

The head of the Wedgewood church said there were benefits to virtual worship. She explained that the church gained new members during the pandemic and that the virtual setting allowed Wedgewood to host a variety of guest speakers from different locations.

Evans said his congregation will discuss the possibility of meeting again in January.

Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.


Local pastor says we need to listen to young people to solve gun violence problem

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Peoria (WEEK) – Community leaders said they wanted gun violence to stop in Peoria, but the question was how?

After a week of gun violence, Mayor Rita Ali said the community group S-NET is focused on reducing gun violence and the group is considering six proposals to achieve this.

Other members also had ideas on how to help.

Local pastor and business owner Chuck Brown said he believes the answer to the problem lies within the community

“The very people we’re talking about don’t watch the news, they don’t watch the billboards. As far as they are concerned, we are not part of their culture, we are not their leaders. We have to get into that. culture Study and understand the very people we are trying to change, ”Brown said.

Brown said he wanted to change the culture of the community

“Young people have been engulfed in what I see as a culture of hate, rage and revenge. You have to change the narrative by just helping to catch these young people at an early stage,” Brown said.

But the community might not know what the answers are, members I spoke with said it’s been like this all their lives and they have no idea how to change it, but Pastor Brown thinks there is a way.

“We need to change our approach to manage and create a culture of peace,” Brown said.


Today’s culture makes dialogue difficult. The early church approach might help.

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A reflection for the twenty-sixth Sunday in ordinary time

Readings: Numbers 11: 25-29 James 5: 1-6 Mark 9: 38-43, 45, 47-48

Not so long ago, during a pressured theology session, a parishioner was surprised, perhaps even a little delighted, to learn that the mass we are celebrating in the parish is closer to the old church liturgy than the one that retired in 1963. She has parents who avoid her for what they call the traditional mass. “Heaven,” I told him. “The Mass that Luther set out to reform was older than that. The Tridentine Mass was not standardized until after the Reformation by Pope Pius V, and many of its layers were medieval and not Patristic.

Here is a layer of the two liturgies which is quite old: to pronounce in the Eucharistic prayer the names of the bishops who are held in communion with one another. In the Roman, Tridentine or current rite, this practice is abbreviated. We pray for our local bishop and the bishop of Rome, the idea being that if our local church is in union with Peter, it is in union with the whole Catholic Church.

In the first centuries of the life of the Church, great problems still divided the faith. Was Christ really God? Was he less than or equal to God the Father? Did he have a human will? A divine will? Or both? Ecclesiastical councils were called to settle these matters, but, like many conflicts, they continued to simmer. Bishops wrote letters to each other, called calumny, explaining how they understood the faith, showing that they had every right to be considered as being in full communion with the Catholic Church. Bronwen Neil and Pauline Allen posted several with comments in Conflict and Negotiation in the Early Church (2020).

Too often we are willing to close the dialogue with anyone who even seems to disagree with us.

Quite often these letters mention diptychs. These were two tablets – hence the name – placed on the altar, listing the bishops who stood in communion with one another so that they would be included in the Eucharistic prayer. So a church would pray for others across the Catholic and Orthodox world.

For example, in a letter from the fifth century, Egyptian leaders address the emperor in Constantinople, seeing the two churches as united in the ministry of the Roman Church. Alexandria believes that his faith was unfairly judged by Rome and asks the emperor to bring up the matter with the bishop of Rome, who had previously determined

that Dioscorus, Timothy and Peter, former archbishops of our city, believed things contrary to this faith, and that their names should not be mentioned in the diptychs. We demanded the opposite; that either those who oppose it must be produced who can affirm and demonstrate that they oppose it …

or, if Alexandria is justified, the names of its past and current archbishops should again be included in the diptychs.

These former church leaders took seriously the desire of their Lord, expressed in his own priestly prayer on the eve of his death, “that they all may be one, like you, Father, you are in me and I in you. ”(Jn 17:21). They understood that communion in faith, prayer and the sacraments was a constant command and challenge. Hence all these calumny, begging other bishops for their understanding of the gospel.

Many people don’t seem to believe that the veracity and charity of their social media posts will ever be judged by God.

Our church and our contemporary society could learn a lesson from these letters. Too often we are willing to close the dialogue with anyone who even seems to disagree with us. Has social media exacerbated this situation or has it just highlighted it? Regardless, many people don’t seem to believe that the veracity and charity of their social media posts will ever be judged by God.

Our grandparents would have blushed with shame to run away from their pastor, pope, bishop or priest. It was the same with presidents and elected officials. They did not necessarily agree or did not understand, and they expressed their opposition. In the 1930s, privileged children would often have heard their parents despise Franklin Roosevelt. However, previous generations considered these offices, ecclesial or civil, as being given by God and therefore to be respected. They could assault the captain, but they wouldn’t rule out the community. It was a step their conscience would not understand.

The temptation to heap contempt rather than charity on our fellow human beings in faith and politics has always been there. In fully Catholic Italy, centuries before the Reformation, warring city-states were known to insult each other by ritually slaughtering mitred donkeys, as Florence did in Arezzo in 1284. All the world has its unique gifts. No one charms or curses like an Italian, but pities the poor donkeys who have been invited to replace the Bishop of Arezzo.

How can we disagree on what really matters while remaining united on what matters most?

Balance is so difficult to maintain. Faith, justice and unity always count. Prudence, charity and patience too. The latter are not chains on the former. These are channels that direct them to their source in God.

There is no one doing mighty deed in my name
who can say bad things about me at the same time.
Because whoever is not against us is for us (Mk 9,39-40).

How can we disagree on what really matters while remaining united on what matters most? Our blessed Lord knew, at the beginning, that it would take a lot of prayer. Don’t be offended when someone you disagree with says, even with a hint of condescension, “I pray for you. As the old church testifies, we can all use prayer.


Bishop Pilla dies at the age of 88; he led the church’s efforts to unify the Clevelanders

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Retired Bishop Anthony M. Pilla of Cleveland is seen in this undated photo. He died on September 21, 2021 at the age of 88, the Diocese of Cleveland has announced. (CNS Photo / courtesy Diocese of Cleveland)

By Dennis Sadowski, Catholic Information Service

CLEVELAND – Retired Bishop Anthony M. Pilla of Cleveland, who led initiatives to bring diverse communities together to overcome poverty, racism and social inequality, died on September 21 at the age of 88, said the Diocese of Cleveland.

Bishop Edward C. Malesic of Cleveland announced Bishop Pilla’s death in a statement, saying the Clevelander native had died at his home. No cause of death was given.

A funeral mass will be celebrated by Bishop Malesic on September 28 at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Cleveland. Interment will be in the Chapel of the Resurrection of the cathedral.

Since his installation as Bishop of Cleveland in September 2020, Bishop Malesic said he had come to know Bishop Pilla “as a very warm, caring and deeply faithful shepherd, always devoted to the people of the diocese”.

“He was generous with his time and shared with me his knowledge and his interest in the diocese,” said Bishop Malesic. “As a leader of the national church, Bishop Pilla has been an inspiration and an example to me throughout my priesthood and in my years as a bishop.

“I felt so welcome by him when I arrived in the Diocese of Cleveland, a church he loved so much. As a leader in the community and a friend of so many people, he will be sorely missed. “

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, offered his prayers and sympathy to family, friends and those touched by his years of ministry in the Diocese of Cleveland .

“He led the bishops’ conference in the 1990s as president, and those who worked with him expressed that his deep love for the church was evident through his staunch commitment and desire for unity within the church he expressed through his pastoral leadership of the conference, ”Archbishop Gomez said in a statement on September 22.

Bishop Pilla’s love for his hometown and his desire to serve people of all faiths and backgrounds has become the hallmark of his 25 years as spiritual leader of the Diocese of Cleveland.

Friends and colleagues recalled Bishop Pilla as a humble man, whose love for the church was at the forefront of his life and guided his desire to build bridges between the people of the eight counties of the diocese who s ‘spanned rural, suburban and urban communities.

“He was Pope Francis before there was a Pope Francis,” said Tom Allio, who worked with Bishop Pilla for three decades as director of the Diocesan Office of Social Action.

“He was a champion of social justice and peace. No one loved the people of northeastern Ohio more than Bishop Pilla. He did all he could to bring people together, ”Allio told Catholic New Service.

Not one to attract attention, Bishop Pilla has become one of Cleveland’s most powerful voices for peace and reconciliation thanks to the partnerships he has forged with businesses, neighborhood groups. and interfaith leaders. His Church in the City initiative aimed to establish links between parishes in city centers and outlying areas of the diocese.

Bishop Pilla often expressed the belief that vibrant parish communities were vital parts of city neighborhoods and he went to great lengths to prevent parishes from closing. While parishes closed in major cities in the industrial heartland and northeastern United States, only 12 parishes closed in neighborhoods in Cleveland during his tenure.

Allio described how Bishop Pilla’s vision for the church’s role in building bridges and fighting injustices led the diocese – and Bishop Pilla by extension – to acquire a national profile.

Bishop Pilla played a leading role with the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the forerunner of the USCCB, from 1981. He served on the bishops’ committees on finance and ecumenical and interfaith affairs and is became chairman of the ad hoc committee on monitoring. for the Pastoral Care of the Economy.

In 1990, he became treasurer of the conference, its vice-president in 1992 and its president in 1995. He is also a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church in the Vatican.

A few days after leading the general assembly of bishops in the fall of 1997, Bishop Pilla had his first health problem while undergoing a quadruple bypass surgery. Soon after, he was diagnosed with a staph infection, which put him on the sidelines for three months. Then in 1999, he underwent prostate surgery.

Born November 12, 1932 to Italian parents, Bishop Pilla grew up in a working-class neighborhood of Cleveland. He was ordained a priest in 1959. He served in parish ministry and joined the faculty of Borromeo Seminary in Cleveland in 1960. He was appointed rector of Borromeo in 1972 and appointed secretary for religious services and personnel in the diocese in 1975.

He became bishop in 1979, when Saint John Paul II appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland. He was appointed ninth bishop of Cleveland in November 1980 and was installed on January 6, 1981.

Bishop Pilla’s tenure was also marked by challenges posed by sexual abuse of the clergy as revelations of wrongdoing by priests and the shortcomings of church officials in their dealings with priests became known. at national and local levels. He apologized and repeatedly met with survivors of abuse. He later described the abuse crisis as the most painful of his time as a bishop.

Bishop Pilla retired in 2006 citing health problems.


Pastor John Hannah celebrates opening of new church and performing arts facility

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Pastor John Hannah, Senior Pastor of New Life Covenant Church SE, will host the grand opening celebration to kick off the opening of the new church and performing arts center “The Temple”. The 3-day celebration will take place on September 28, 29 and 30e, 2021. The New Temple facility is located at 7621 S. Greenwood Avenue; Chicago, Illinois.

“The Temple,” which has been a long labor of love, has finally been completed and is a 100,000 square foot facility that houses 4,000 seats and will also serve as a community performing arts center. The performing arts center will be an important addition to the cultural enrichment of the community. With state-of-the-art attributes such as personalized lighting, advanced audio systems, elegant dressing rooms, stage spaces, comfortable green rooms and numerous restrooms, the performing arts center will attract local and national artists, theatrical productions, concerts, and specialized acts.

It was important to Pastor Hannah that “The Temple” be built in the Grand Crossing neighborhood, he pointed out that this location was chosen to redevelop an underserved African American community. “Greater Grand Crossing is a community that lacks economic resources. Families here deserve to be reborn. New Life Covenant has continued to drive change by becoming an economic catalyst that will literally and figuratively bring new life to Greater Grand Crossing, ”said Pastor Hannah.

“New Life Covenant is poised to work hand in hand with members of the Greater Grand Crossing community. Our goal is to provide a ‘beacon of light’ for families and children in a community whose light has been dimmed for too long, ”said New Life Covenant Executive Pastor Jermone Glenn.

The 3-day celebration and ribbon cutting will take place on Tuesday September 28, Wednesday September 29 and Thursday September 30 every evening at 7:00 p.m. Special guests are Pastor Mike Todd, Jekalyn Carr, Bishop IV Hilliard, Donald Lawrence & Co., Bishop TD Jakes and Dr Judith McAllister.

A private media tour will take place on Monday, September 27, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (specific times can be requested)

For more information on New Life Covenant Church SE, please visit the church’s website at www.newlifesoutheast.org or call 773-285-1731.


Adventist pastor attends Counter-Terrorism Solidarity Day event

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September 3 is a day of solidarity in the fight against terrorism in Russia. This memorable date is associated with the terrorist attack in Beslan, which took place in 2004. Then, on September 1, during the solemn assembly, the terrorists took more than 1,000 hostages (schoolchildren, their relatives and teachers) in the school n ° 1 of Beslan. 1. On the third day, the school was stormed.

In total, according to official sources, 334 people died, including 186 children. In Orenburg, as in many other cities of Russia, they once again remembered these terrible attacks. The event was opened by Igor Nikolayevich Sukharev, Deputy Governor and Deputy Chairman of the Orenburg Region Government for Home Policy and Minister for Regional Policy and Information of the Orenburg Region. The participants honored the memory of the victims with a minute of silence, by placing flowers at the memorial in memory of the police officers.

Pastor Pavel Mormin is a member of the Council for Ethnic Affairs and Interaction with Religious Associations under the Governor of the Orenburg region. The governor and the government of the Orenburg region maintain interfaith and interethnic dialogue to ensure peace and harmony in society through the work of the council. Pastor Mormin’s ministry is a good example of healthy dialogue between the Adventist Church and the community.

This article was originally published on the Euro-Asia Division news site

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Grant First Baptist Church feeds the community of Marshall County

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GRANT, Alabama – According to the United States Department of Agriculture, in 2020, approximately 14 million American households faced food insecurity, unsure of where their next meal will come from.

Food insecurity is widespread in the Tennessee Valley. In Marshall County, Grant First Baptist Church hosts a food bank to meet this need.

Every Monday from 7 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., a group of dedicated volunteers fill and distribute boxes of food to members of the community. The Pantry Department is an agency of the Food Bank of North Alabama. Throughout the week, they collect food from the Food Bank of North Alabama, Walmart, and other donations. Volunteers spend time making 125 boxes to distribute.

Each box is designed to provide people with a balanced diet, intended to feed four people for two meals.

“We have bread, fresh vegetables and raw vegetables,” said volunteer Jane Lemon.

Directors Joe and Georgia Adair told News 19 that there is an urgent need for food in their community, which is why they continue to serve.

“God said I was hungry and you fed me and that really stands out in today’s economy,” said Georgia Adair, director.

During the pandemic, the group had to reduce the number of boxes they manufacture because fewer people come to collect them at the dedicated time. They said they were making 100 more boxes, but they know there are still people who need food.

“I guess you notice the connection between the recipient and the people who help us get to know them if they are sick and if they need prayer or something, then they know where to come,” said Georgia Adair.

The Food Bank Department is looking for more volunteers to help pack the boxes and collect the food.

If you need help with food and would like to qualify for a box of food, call Grant First Baptist Church at (256) 728-2246


Chicago-area Catholic School Hires Lesbian After Public Outcry; US Bishops Campaign Against Equality Act

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After public outrage and a campaign by supportive parents and students, a Catholic school in Lisle, Ill., Announced it was hiring a lesbian, Amanda Kammes, as its next head coach of girls’ lacrosse. .

Weighing public sentiment with the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, the board of directors of the Benet Academy met on Monday evening to change its original decision on Kammes’s employment.

“The Catholic school had previously postponed its employment discussions with Ms. Kammes after learning she was in a same-sex marriage,” GoPride.com said in a statement. “The school board has determined that Ms. Kammes’ background and experience makes her the right candidate for the position.

“The Council has heard from members of the Benet community on all sides on this issue over the past few days,” they continued. “We had an honest and frank discussion on this very complex issue at our meeting. In the future, we will seek opportunities for dialogue in our community.

The board was given the flexibility to make its own hiring decision without Cardinal Blase Cupich, the Archbishop of Chicago appointed by Pope Francis, getting involved.

The archdiocese did not respond to GoPride.com for comment.

Conservative members of the Church have already taken to social media to denounce a “liberal campaign” to “take control of the Church” and “destroy its values.” Among their targets were Cardinal Cupich and Pope Francis.

The Roman Catholic Church is ruled by a group of cardinals and other Vatican bishops called “The Curia”. They have long supported a doctrine that marriage is only between a man and a woman and will not favorably view the blessings of same-sex unions.

But since the election of Francis, who made conciliatory comments about welcoming LGBTQ people into the Catholic Church, the pope’s welcoming remarks have been dismissed by the Curia as not official policy changes from the Church.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has gone so far as to campaign openly against the passage of the Equality Act.

Already passed by the US House, the Equality Act only needs passage by the US Senate to become law. It would prohibit the right of churches like the Catholic Church to legally discriminate against LGBTQ people in matters of employment or public service opportunities.

On the other hand, the German bishops rebelled against the Curia and turned a blind eye to German priests who bless homosexual unions.

In neighboring Indiana, its bishops in recent years have fired secular church leaders and educators for being LGBTQ.

There are organizations within the Archdiocese of Chicago made up of LGBTQ devotees who hope to change Church doctrines and attitudes from within. The Gay and Lesbian Outreach Archdiocese (AGLO) was launched in 1988 with the blessing of then Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.

Dignity Chicago, a local branch of a national group of the same name, lobbied the Vatican to change its doctrines and attitudes not only towards LGBTQ Catholics, but also towards women in the ministry.


Pastor pleads for parole of man convicted of murdering Michael Jordan’s father :: WRAL.com

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Man convicted of murdering Michael Jordan’s father Daniel Green gets his first chance at parole.

Green has been in prison since his arrest in 1993. For the first time in 28 years, he is eligible for parole.

Three people, including his lawyer, Christine Mumma, spoke on his behalf with the head of the parole board on Tuesday. She was joined by the president of the North Carolina NAACP and a pastor who said he was convinced to get involved after watching Capitol Broadcasting’s documentary series “Moment of Truth”.

“He called me one day and then he took me as a father figure,” said Pastor Tom Jones.

He has been in contact with Green for several years. “He always, for me, maintained his innocence and he just convinced me. And I believed every word he said,” Jones said.

Green admits to helping his co-accused and best friend at the time, Larry Demery, dispose of James Jordan’s body, but Green says he was not there when Jordan was killed. Demery accepted a plea and testified against Green. He was granted parole in August 2024.

“This friend he thought was his friend was trying to get out of jail,” Jones said. “And he would say all that was needed is what he would do to get out of jail on his own.”

Green supporters spoke to Parole Board Chairman Bill Fowler.

Jones acknowledges that the celebrity cloud over the case shouldn’t affect the outcome, but it could.

“Look who you are dealing with. You are talking about the father of the most famous athlete on the planet,” he said.

When James Jordan was killed, Michael Jordan was leading the Chicago Bulls to back-to-back NBA championships, renewing a legend who started at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he played for Dean Smith and won a championship. NCAA.

Jones hopes the commissioners will not be swayed by the politics or the celebrity of the case, but rather study the facts.

The four commissioners are due to issue a parole decision for Green on October 14. A majority must vote in favor of parole for it to be granted. If Green’s parole is denied, he can reapply in three years.

Daniel Green

Green has another shot at freedom, a pending appeal Mumma filed last month. She has requested a new hearing in the case, a hearing which she says was wrongly denied last year.

Key to the new evidence is a statement from Demery, who mom says told her Green was not there when Jordan was killed. She believes Demery will testify to this fact – contradicting her testimony from Green’s original trial – if a new hearing is allowed.

She also cites mistakes by Green’s judges and defense attorneys that she says merit closer examination, including a witness who says she saw Green at a party around the time of the murder.

“I truly believe he has been denied justice since the day he was arrested,” Mumma said.


Ed Litton warns of “tribal hostility” on SBC

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Ed Litton
Ed Litton was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention on June 15, 2021. |

Southern Baptist Convention president Ed Litton warned of “tribal hostility, lack of grace and suspicion” within the denomination, reminding Southern Baptists that the world is “watching” how they deal with issues such as sexual abuse and racial reconciliation.

“In the toxicity of the conversation and the lack of civility, we do the opposite,” Litton, pastor of Redemption Church near Mobile, Ala., Said at the SBC executive committee meeting in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday night. .

“We must honor each other [and] those who struggle. The mood of our time is to attack, demonize, make allegations and threaten. We are rarely slow to speak and slow to anger. Why not come and reason together instead of promoting tribal hostility, lack of grace and mistrust of one another? “

Litton spoke hours after members of the executive committee debated whether the waiver of solicitor-client privilege requested by the sexual abuse task force would violate the SBC’s bylaws.

In June, SBC messengers voted for Litton to appoint a task force to oversee a third-party investigation into allegations that SBC executives mismanaged a “sexual abuse crisis” in the denomination.

Guidepost Solutions was tasked with “reviewing and improving the training provided to SBC executive committee staff and its board of directors” regarding sexual abuse and “organizational communications to cooperating churches and faithful of cooperating churches ”.

The task force then asked the Executive Committee to waive solicitor-client privilege for the investigation.

Movement called on the executive committee to “accept the best accepted standards and practices as recommended by the third party appointee, including, but not limited to, executive committee staff and members waiving solicitor-client privilege in order to ” ensure full access to information and its accuracy. in the review.

Speaking on Monday evening, Litton said his heart was “heavy” about the rally.

“I think we all feel the weight of it, and together we have to find a way forward for the glory of God,” he said.

“Our convention is in trouble right now,” he continued, “and it’s a crisis of confidence. Whichever way you call it, there is a solution and that solution is with us. Our churches want to see our entities working together in harmony, and they want to see the EC lead the way. “

Southern Baptists, Litton said, have “real concerns” about how abuse cases will be handled.

“People are watching, and what they are looking for is openness and transparency,” he said.

“The world is watching,” he added. “They will be watching to see what we are doing here this week about abuse. They will watch to see how sincere we can be about racial reconciliation. They will watch us at every turn and they will make decisions.

Litton also underlined the weight of EC decisions.

“Our actions will either trouble the Southern Baptists and their mission of carrying this gospel to the ends of the earth, or we will do what is right,” he said. “We will do everything we can to build the trust… that has been placed in us. “

“The Southern Baptist Convention is not a child we hold hands with. We have the confidence of the Southern Baptist Convention in our hands.

Earlier in his post, Litton said that during his short time as president of the second largest Christian denomination in the United States, he was struck by the good Southern Baptists are doing in the world – from feeding the poor to helping disaster relief. to plant churches.

But the pastor said he had also encountered victims of sexual abuse and had seen their pain firsthand. He stressed that the SBC wants to fight against sexual abuse and racial reconciliation and desperately wants to unite.

“The cross of Jesus Christ unites us like no other people can be united,” Litton said. “The only way the gospel stays above everything is if Jesus stays at the center of it all.”

Mainly due to the secularization of the culture, the SBC has lost both power and influence in society, the pastor said. Instead of succumbing to fear, Litton urged listeners to trust God for deliverance. He warned that failure to do so would lead to the type of fundamentalism that breeds fear.

“I always thought the word ‘fundamentalist’ was a good word,” he said. “These are people who believe in the fundamentals. But there is a danger for fundamentalists. [Evangelist] Del Fehsenfeld Jr. said: “Fundamentalism feeds on fear, strength and intimidation.

The theme for next year’s SBC annual meeting will be “Christ at the Center of Everything,” Litton said. He pointed out that SBC has a “disease” that can only be cured by Jesus Christ. He reminded the Southern Baptists that, whatever their differences, Christ is “preeminent in all.”

“The most common question I get asked as president is, ‘How are you going to unite the Southern Baptists?’ My answer is, ‘I can’t. It is a work of the Holy Spirit. But we are all called to unity, ”he said.



German bishops turn to synod and abuse scandal

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The Catholic bishops of Germany hold their fall plenary assembly, which focuses on the ongoing synodal path and the reform of the Church.

By Lisa Zengarini

The German bishops hold their autumn plenary assembly until September 23 in Fulda. The meeting focuses on the clergy sexual abuse crisis, the ongoing German synodal path (Synodal Weg), and a discussion on Church reform, including the place of women.

The synod process was launched in late 2019 to discuss a range of contemporary theological and organizational issues, as well as possible responses to the crisis of abuse that has rocked the German Catholic Church in recent years.

The bishops will also discuss the synodal process starting in October this year, which will lead to the 2023 General Synod of Bishops on Synodality in Rome.

Urgent need for repentance for abuse scandal

At the opening Mass on Monday, Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, president of the German Catholic Bishops‘ Conference (DBK), stressed the urgent need for repentance. He noted that the Church too has her share of responsibility in the growing distance between the Gospel and contemporary culture and “the ever deepening gulf which makes its understanding difficult” in modern society.

“Unquestionably, we ourselves have contributed to this confusion and therefore to the failure of the communication of the Gospel”, he declared in his homily, referring to the part of the responsibility of the bishops in the scandal of the abuses.

The bishop added that the vocation to the episcopal ministry “fundamentally requires that we leave behind what is ungodly, sinful, unspiritual and fundamentally harmful to the community“.

Bishop Bätzing: Jesus has the power to heal

At the same time, he emphasized the healing and renewing power of Jesus against injustice and shame.

“One word and everything becomes new: only God can do it, alone with him nothing is impossible,” he said. Bishop Bätzing therefore called on the German bishops to “tell how Jesus touched and called us and how we come together, we deliberate and discuss, we plan and decide in order to make the Lord shine, for he is the light of the nations”.

Bishop Eterović: The process of renewal of the Church requires communion and holiness

In his opening address, the Apostolic Nuncio in Germany, Bishop Nikola Eterović, focused on the syodal process, recalling that “the goal of all reform and renewal in the Church is the holiness of its members”.

“The Lord Jesus,” he said, “constantly calls us to follow the path of ecclesial communion, of Catholic faith and of holiness in our time, especially in the midst of pressing ecclesial and social challenges. “

Participating bishops

Sixty-eight bishops participate in the assembly. During the meeting, they will also elect the member, chairmen and vice-chairmen of the 14 committees of the DBK e and its sub-committees.


‘Mask it, vax it or choose the coffin’: pastor and barber urges community to get vaccinated | Arkansas

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This photographic essay was published in partnership with Scalawag, a nonprofit journalism and storytelling organization that disrupts mainstream narratives about the southern United States. The Scalawag Breaking Through Covid Series is a collection of stories aimed at illuminating the ways the Covid-19 pandemic realigned communities and highlighted the crises the south was already facing.

At Bethesda Worship and Healing Missionary Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Reverend Kenneth B Thomas Sr. preaches the gospel of “Mask it, Vax it, or Choose the Casket.” The choice is yours. “

In Craighead County, where Jonesboro is located, only about 34% of all eligible people are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This figure is about 10% lower than the state as a whole and 20% lower than the national average.

On a recent Sunday, the Reverend urged his predominantly black congregation to get vaccinated. “The virus might not get you out, but it’s serious,” he said in his booming bass voice. “Just because you haven’t been sick doesn’t mean you won’t get sick.”

At the right time, the choir sang We’ve Come This Far by Faith, as if it bore witness to the past 18 months and the burdens to come as new variants cause more illness and death across the country.

  • Lyrica Ray, three, and her mother, Sharon Alexander, attend Sunday service at the Bethesda Worship and Healing Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas on August 8, 2021.

Thomas saw how the pandemic and the vaccination efforts played out in his community. In addition to serving as a pastor, Thomas owns Daddy’s Choice Barber Shop; he is also a sports coach and teaches math and social studies at a local high school.

In each of these spaces he has seen the victims of a pandemic that is complicated, multi-faceted, and has no clear beginning and end. Jonesboro represents 78,394 of the county’s population of 111,000, which recently ranked second in the state in new cases of Covid-19.

Thomas recognizes that schools, hair salons, beauty salons, and places of worship function as both shelters and information centers in many black communities. He also knows that everyone who sits on his pew or in his barber chair is not vaccinated, so he uses each meeting as a teaching moment.

Julian Turner, 36, gets his hair cut at Daddy's Choice Barber Shop.  Shop owner Reverend Kenneth B Thomas Sr. encourages his customers to get vaccinated.
Kadejus Williams receives a facial and beard treatment before having his hair cut at Daddy's Choice.
Asked about the Covid-19 vaccine, Julian Turner said:
  • Above: Julian Turner, 36, gets his hair cut at Daddy’s Choice Barber Shop in Jonesboro, Arkansas, August 6, 2021. Shop owner Reverend Kenneth B Thomas Sr. encourages his customers to get vaccinated.

  • Left: Kadejus Williams receives a facial and beard treatment before having his hair cut at Daddy’s Choice.

  • Right: Asked about the Covid-19 vaccine, Julian Turner said, “It helps us. “

The reasons he hears for not getting the shot are as varied and nuanced as the haircuts he gives. Andre Jones – a client who has an appointment every two weeks or so for beard, face and line up treatments – is still hesitant about the vaccine. He arrived at the store without a mask.

“I don’t feel like I need the vaccine, but I think about it. I am open to it. But I’ve never had the flu shot either, ”said Jones, who has a 10-year-old daughter.

Still, he acknowledges that the virus is not a hoax.

“It’s real and it’s deadly. A lot of friends have been close to death and some have been on oxygen, ”he said.

Camden Woods, 13, checks her haircut at Thomas's barber shop.  Woods is vaccinated.

Latoshia Woods, who was recently at the barber to have her 13-year-old son’s hair cut for the first day of school, says she is “pro-vaccine,” in part because of her eldest child’s kidney disease. . While she, her husband and one son have been fully vaccinated, two other sons are still too young to be vaccinated.

“We shouldn’t have to lose millions more to the virus while they wait for the longevity of vaccine research,” Woods said. “And by killing people from the virus, we are diminishing our representation in the African American community across the country,” she said, watching her eldest son have their hair cut. “We have to think about children who cannot get vaccinated. It is more dangerous not to vaccinate than to vaccinate.

Earlier this year, Thomas received the Pfizer vaccine; he wears a mask and gloves when in contact with people outside his family.

“I wanted to be the guinea pig for my family, my church family, my clients and everyone,” Thomas said. “I told them, ‘I’m going to get the vaccine and you see how I’m doing.’ I had no side effects.

Thomas’ decision to get the shot gave Rose Robinson, Bethesda’s financial secretary, reassurance that she needed to get the shot. “When he started talking about the coup he tried to put people at ease. We kind of made a joke about it, but we know it’s serious, ”said Robinson, 68. “It made me feel a bit at ease. And he also talked about how God put these scientists in these positions and we should listen to them. “

Reverend Kenneth B Thomas Sr. prays before preaching in the Sunday service on August 8, 2021.
  • Reverend Kenneth B Thomas Sr., pastor of Bethesda Worship and Healing Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas, prays before preaching in Sunday service on August 8, 2021.

Like many pastors, Thomas praised some members. Others have not returned to the church since it reopened in June 2020 for fear of exposure.

The congregation, which once numbered 150 members, has shrunk to about 35 in Sunday service.

When the church first reopened after being closed from March to June 2020, Thomas said a family had walked out because they did not want to wear masks, while another member who had lost their mother because of Covid-19 would not leave her home, let alone come to church.

Worshipers at Bethesda Worship and Healing Center pray during the Sunday service.

At Jonesboro, Thomas is an important voice in the ongoing vaccine conversation. “I see myself in a position of trust,” and in the Bible that comes with responsibility.

While the roles he plays in his community are unique, his experience is one that countless other leaders face nationally. Thomas doesn’t know how effective his efforts are, he just knows how people have – or haven’t – reacted.

“If every preacher and every leader said the same thing about the virus, more people would be ready for the vaccine. “

To learn more about Scalawag, subscribe to their newsletter, This Week in the South.


U.S. bishops renew calls against public funding for abortion

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The bishops of the United States are again calling on Congress to reject provisions of the Biden administration’s “Build Back Better Act” that would provide public funding for abortion services.

By Lisa Zengarini

U.S. bishops have once again called on lawmakers not to increase taxpayer funding for abortion, reiterating the position expressed in a letter sent to Congress on September 7 on the next budget reconciliation bill.

The letter, among others, urged senators and representatives not to adopt “provisions facilitating and financing the destruction of unborn human life,” saying that if these provisions were included in the bill, they would be included in the bill. would oppose.

Provisions on the financing of abortion still in the bill

However, on September 15, the House Ways and Means and Energy and Trade Committees of the House proposed legislation containing the tax elements of the “Build Back Better Act” – President Biden’s stimulus package – without removing abortion funding provisions nor include the Hyde Amendment.

For nearly 40 years, this bipartisan legislative provision prohibited the use of federal funds to pay for abortion, with few exceptions, including rape.

Americans shouldn’t be forced to pay for abortion

The US bishops responded to the move with a statement calling on Congress to “drop the inclusion of taxpayer funding for abortion in the Build Back Better Act.”

While reiterating their support for the other measures contained in the Build Back Better Act, aimed at improving health care coverage for those in need in the United States, the statement insists that the funding provisions abortion should be removed from the bill.

They therefore urge all members of Congress and the administration “to work in good faith to advance important and vital health care arrangements without forcing Americans to pay for the willful destruction of unborn human lives.”

The declaration is signed by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ (USCCB) pro-life activities committee, and by Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, committee chairman of the ‘USCCB on National Justice and Human Development.


The True Shepherd Satisfies the Soul | The pastor’s feather

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“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. “

John 10:11

I read the story of a pastor who went overseas to Scotland many years ago. There he began talking to a shepherd who had decades of experience under his belt. The shepherd asked the pastor a question which made him think before his answer. The question was: “Have you ever seen a sheep eat (without ruminating) while lying down?”

The pastor replied that he had never done it, whereupon the shepherd said no one had done it. The Shepherd then said, “If a sheep is lying down, there may be a nice tuft of grass within an inch of its nose, but it won’t eat it. She will get to her feet, bend over and eat the grass that was within reach before.

In Psalm 23: 1-2 we find: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me sleep in green pastures; he leads me near calm waters.

Unlike the earthly sheep who is never truly satisfied, the person who accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior will be completely satisfied in their soul.

Did you notice this very important phrase in verse one; ” I do not want ” ?

The word “want” means to lack or not to have enough, dissatisfied.

We see in the second verse that the soul trusting in Jesus is so satisfied in the soul that it is led and made to lie down in “green pastures”!

Many people aspire in the soul to be completely satisfied or to have an ultimate fulfillment in their life. It is unfortunate that the reason for this is that they are following the wrong “shepherd”. Many follow financial freedom as their “shepherd” to happiness, some through their work, still others through their good deeds, and so on. As this Psalm emphasizes, true satisfaction and fulfillment lies in the relationship one has with the one true Shepherd. , Jesus Christ.

I wonder today if you could be one of those dissatisfied “sheep” today? In Luke 19:10 (Jesus speaking of himself) says: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost. “

Think about it.


News from the community of the region | News, Sports, Jobs

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Ron Retzer Trio entertains members of Four Seasons Seniors

WEIRTON – The Four Seasons Seniors held their September meeting on September 15 at Undo’s under the chairmanship of President Gene Viola.

Tony LaRosa delivered the opening and closing prayers. The group recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “God bless America.”

After dinner, the members were entertained by the Ron Retzer Trio.

Committee reports are read. An anniversary and an anniversary have been recognized. A report was given on the cards sent.

Sandy Corrigan won the design of an autumn wreath donated by Margaret Chapman. The 50/50 draw was won by Stephana Iannetti. The Undo gift cards were presented to Carolyn Shaffer and Stephana Iannetti. The other winners were Terry Mamula, Norma Yoho, Larry Purks, Josie Cekinovich and Nancy Smurda.

The next meeting will be on October 20. The menu will be cheese lasagna or roast pork with Italian potatoes, green beans and brownies.

WVNCC offers free exercise classes on Zoom

WEIRTON – West Virginia Northern Community College offers a free exercise class on Zoom.

The class meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday to December 8.

This is a low impact aerobics class with an emphasis on cardiorespiratory endurance, improving strength and flexibility without chair or floor work, usually to music from 128 to 140 bpm . Each student can adapt the exercises to their level of fitness. A link will be sent during registration. Registration is ongoing. Go to www.wvncc.edu/programs/continuing-and-community-education/117.

Auxiliary to make the Thanksgiving basket for the drawing of the event

WEIRTON – President Shirley Brecht opened the September 13 meeting of the Tri-State Marine Corps Club Auxiliary with the prayer of Chaplain Mary Ann Smith and thanks for those who are sick.

Brecht led the members in the engagement to the flag. Vice-President Darlene Kemp called the roll call.

Secretary Marcy Spano read the August meeting minutes, which were approved as read. Brecht gave the treasurer’s report, which was also approved as read.

The women will prepare a Thanksgiving basket for a draw at the military ball scheduled for November 13. The cocktail hour and social hour will begin at 5:00 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $ 25 per person at the door. There will be an item draw from the Tri-State Marine Corps Club. December marks the 30th anniversary. A cake and a celebration were approved.

The club will be filling the stockings for the veterans of the Geriatric Center and Woodland Hills.

Brecht won the draw 50-50. The next meeting will take place on October 11 at 6 p.m. in the VFW room. Refreshments will be provided by the auxiliary.

Grandparents Day observed with special church service

BRILLIANT – The House of Prayer Church, 2535 Township Road 163, Rayland, hosted a special service for Grandparents’ Day with the winners receiving special gifts.

They were: the oldest grandfather, Sam Firm Sr.; the oldest grandmother, Dotty Mayle; the youngest grandfather, Stew Moore; the youngest grandmother, Cathy Cline; Grandfather of the Year, Reverend Jack Jackson; and Grandmother of the Year, Linda Jackson.

Book club to meet

WELLSBURG – The Brooke County Public Library Book Club will meet at 5 p.m. on September 30 to discuss Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds “All the American boys.”

Anyone can participate in the free club in person or virtually at https://wvreads.overdrive.com. A copy of the book can be obtained from the website or by calling (304) 737-1551.

See ‘News from the world’

FOLLANSBEE – Follansbee Branch of Brooke County Library to Show Historic PG-13 Rated Film “News from the world”, with Tom Hanks, Friday at noon.

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St. Wenceslas Church prepares for goulash day after overcoming derecho damage

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -St. Wenceslas Church brings back its Czech Goulash Day this weekend. He had to cancel the event last year after the derecho seriously damaged his buildings, and they’re still working on recovery.

Like many places in Cedar Rapids, the church suffered damage in the August 2020 derecho, including a severe blow to its parish center in Glovik.

The parish center is the hub of social activities, mainly on Czech goulash day. The celebrations were an annual fundraiser at St. Wenceslas Parish dating back to 1894 when it was known as the Bazaar. The bazaar was suspended during World War I, but resumed in 1922.

Czech Goulash Day, featuring its namesake goulash – what some might consider a beef and vegetable stew – has been occasionally canceled since then; most recently during the floods of 2016 and after last year’s COVID-19 pandemic and the derecho of hurricane force that struck the church.

They work hard throughout the week preparing for the event, doing prep work and testing batches of kolaches to get used to the gear they haven’t been able to use since then. from derecho.

Patti Jansa, ward coordinator at St. Wenceslaus Church, says it means a lot to be back to host the event. “Fundraising, of course, is important. But it’s the community. This is the only time in a year that you could stand next to someone having ice cream or helping the kids play, who you might not see because you are attending a different Mass than the one before. their. It really is a great community building thing for us.

Live music will be from 11 am to 5 pm on September 26 outside the church at 1224 Fifth St. SE. Performances include the Iowa Accordion Club at 11:30 am; Czech Plus Band at 12:30 p.m .; Dancers Svetlusky at 1:30 p.m. and Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Bingo, raffles, Kids Zone and visits to the newly renovated church are among other activities.

Copyright 2021 KCRG. All rights reserved.


St. Paul’s Lutheran Church fire: Pastor Beecher vows to rebuild after 156-year-old church burnt down

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BEECHER, Illinois (WLS) – A historic church in the southern suburb of Beecher that was once featured on the big screen has been reduced to ashes after devastating fire.

The pungent odor hung in the air Monday as the burnt remains of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church blew smoke. The 156-year-old Lutheran Church stronghold in the southernmost southern suburbs has been a beacon for generations.

Parishioners were attending an Oktoberfest celebration on Sunday in a tent in the parking lot when someone noticed the church had caught fire. Some people were still in the church too. The parish priest then took care of a parishioner.

“Yes, it’s devastating – 150 years of weddings, funerals and baptisms and all that is gone – but the church is still standing, people, we still have our people and our faith,” the Reverend said. Michael Stein, Senior Pastor at St. Paul’s.

Witnesses said the church was reduced to ashes within hours. A regional alarm went off and firefighters from 31 municipalities responded.

Firefighters said it took 91,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire – which is no small feat considering that the nearest fire hydrant was a mile away, firefighters have so had to bring their own water.

The institution had been featured in the Hollywood movie “Road to Perdition”, but it was pretty much instantly clear that the building was not going to be saved. A few symbols of the church have survived, including a chalice and a cross.

“It’s heartbreaking, really, because I love this church,” said parishioner Jennifer Maehl. “Oh I love the picturesque, the beauty of this building actually calmed my soul. It was very important to my life, to tell you the truth.”

In the smoldering ashes, leaders see the symbolism – and the chance to use their faith to rebuild.

“We’re going to continue, aren’t we? That’s not the end of the chapter. It’s a dark and sad chapter, and we mourn it and we grieve it… but we still look to Christ and find it. I hope to continue, ”said Stein.

And while the firefighters inspected the damage in the shade of monuments recalling the distant origins of this place, the fire chief regretted not being able to do more.

“It’s a matter of pride. We don’t like to say that we have been defeated. We take great pride in providing top notch service to our community, ”said Beecher Fire Chief Joseph Falaschetti Jr.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire.

Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.


Clergy Can Support Individuals’ Own Vaccine Exemption Requests | Catholic National Register

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SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts – Bishop William Byrne of Springfield, Massachusetts said Tuesday that clerics in the diocese should support Catholics who themselves seek conscientious exemption from COVID-19 vaccine mandates by attesting to their baptism and practice of the faith.

“It is important for us to recognize and encourage the well-formed consciences of those who desire both the vaccine for themselves and the common good, as well as those who, for health or other reasons , may wish not to receive the vaccine. Bishop Byrne wrote September 14 to clerics in the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts.

“In charity as priests and deacons we must help support the rights of conscience of our faithful Catholics on this issue and on all issues. We can do this by attesting to their sacramental baptism and the “practice” of their Catholic faith, in a separate letter or statement, to support their letter or request for religious exemption, but not to compose or sign a letter or train ourselves.

The bishop wrote his letter to help his clerics who receive requests from parishioners requesting a “religious exemption” from compulsory vaccination against COVID-19.

He cited documents from the Conference of American Bishops, the National Catholic Bioethics Center, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which indicate that vaccines can be taken, but their receipt is not a moral obligation and therefore should be volunteer.

“Many organizations and institutions are starting to demand the vaccine, and therefore, to understand the objections to conscientious rights, we, as leaders of our congregations, can be invited to help the Catholics in our parishes to request an exemption,” wrote Bishop Byrne.

The bishop said that “on the basis of conscience it is not possible for anyone to act or speak on behalf of another person requesting an exemption.”

“The request for exemption from such a right of conscience must come from the individual himself by way of

their own letter or by filling out an exemption request form from an organization, ”he noted.

However, he has ordered his clergymen to provide cover letters that support individuals’ own requests for religious or conscientious exemption.

“I hope that clarifying these points on what we can do, and what is beyond our scope of responsibility, will be helpful to you as these requests may arise among our good people in the future,” concluded Bishop Byrne.

In its December 2020 Note on the Morality of the Use of Certain Anti-Covid-19 Vaccines, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated that “vaccination is not, as a general rule, a moral obligation” and “Therefore, it must be voluntary. “

He said that “in the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the epidemic, the common good may recommend vaccination.”

“Those who, however, for reasons of conscience refuse vaccines produced with cell lines of aborted fetuses, should do their utmost to avoid, by other prophylactic means and appropriate behavior, becoming vehicles of transmission of the disease. ‘infectious agent,’ the congregation wrote. .

Bishop Thomas Paprock of Springfield, Illinois recently wrote that “while the Church promotes immunization as morally acceptable and urges cooperation with public health authorities to promote the common good, there are questions of personal health and moral conscience involved in vaccines that must be observed. Therefore, participation in the vaccine must be voluntary and cannot be forced, as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the authority of Pope Francis, indicated last December. While we encourage vaccination, we cannot and will not impose vaccination as a condition of employment or the freedom of the faithful to pray in our parishes. “

“The Catholic Church teaches that some people may have conscientious objections to taking COVID vaccines, and that these conscientious beliefs must be respected,” Bishop Paprocki added.

The Catholic Medical Association said it “opposes mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment without conscientious or religious exemption.”

The National Catholic Bioethics Center, a think tank that provides advice on human dignity in healthcare and medical research, also released a statement on July 2 opposing compulsory vaccination with any of the three vaccines. COVID-19 approved for use in the United States.

The bishops of South Dakota and Colorado have both issued statements supporting Catholics wishing to seek exemptions from conscience. The Colorado Catholic Conference released a template for Catholics and their pastors to send to employers for a conscience-based religious exemption.

Archbishop of Portland Alexander Sample and Bishop of Spokane Thomas Daly both said that any Catholic seeking an exemption places the burden on the conscience of the individual rather than on the approval of the Church, and therefore the priests. of their dioceses are not allowed to vouch for the conscience of another person by seeking an exemption from a vaccination mandate.

In late August, the five bishops of Wisconsin released a statement encouraging vaccination against COVID-19, while saying people should not be forced to accept a COVID vaccine. The bishops added that in cases where Catholics conscientiously object to receiving a vaccine, the clergy should not intervene on their behalf.

Many bishops in California, as well as in Chicago and Philadelphia, have asked clergy not to help parishioners requesting religious exemptions from receiving COVID-19 vaccines, saying there is no basis in the Catholic moral teaching to reject vaccination warrants on religious grounds.

Bishop John Stowe of Lexington has demanded COVID-19 vaccines for all diocesan employees, and Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago demands that all archdiocesan employees and clergy receive a vaccine against COVID-19, and no ‘will only allow exemptions for medical reasons.


NBCA Pastors’ Conference Highlights | Morung Express

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Speaker and participants of the 6th Biennial NBCA Pastors’ Conference) at Sechü Zubza.

Kohima, September 20 (MExN): The Nagamese Baptist Churches Association (NBCA) held its 6th Biennial Pastors’ Conference at the Zion Retreat Center, Sechü Zubza from September 16-17 under the theme “A Vision of the Harvest” (Gal. 6: 9).

Rev. Dr Zelhou Keyho, General Secretary of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) and Rev. Dr Meren, Executive Secretary of NBCA spoke at the conference as the keynote speaker while Rev. Dr Lulen Jamir was the resource person.

The conference was organized by the Kohima Nagamese Baptist Pastors Fellowship (KNBPF). Sixty-four delegates registered for the conference.

Reverend Dr. Keyho encouraged pastors to be vocational pastors and not to see it as a profession.

He also encouraged participants to be vocational leaders while stressing that professionals are formed by the head and while vocations are formed by heart and lamented that professionalism kills pastoral ministry.

Reverend Dr. Keyho further warned that when one gets too close to the world, one can become too far too far from God.
Reverend Dr Meren felt that the Nagas have become a status-driven society, which is killing the ministry.

Pointing out that NBCA ministries start at the local level, he said it should not become a program-oriented ministry but be a Holy Spirit-oriented program, which he added is the need of the moment.


German clergyman defends pope’s decision to keep archbishop | World news

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The head of the German Bishops’ Conference on Monday defended the pope’s decision to allow the Archbishop of Hamburg to remain in this post, although he has been blamed for his handling of allegations of sexual abuse.

The Bishop of Limburg, Georg Baetzing, said he understood what people thought of the decision, but that Pope Francis got there by adhering to the tough new rules he instituted after a summit on abuses in 2019 to prevent cover-ups.

“There are a lot of people who are confused by this decision – they express their disappointment, they expected something else, among them especially those who are affected,” Baetzing said at the start of a regular meeting of the Bishops’ Conference German, that he has chairs. “I can understand that well.”

However, Baetzing said that “Pope Francis has obeyed his own law”. He said the new rules set out the criteria by which bishops could lose their jobs, and “in recent years a number of bishops around the world have lost their jobs because of this new legal position.”

Political cartoons about world leaders

Political cartoons

Six months after Archbishop Stefan Hesse offered his resignation, the papal nuncio’s office in Berlin said last week that Pope Francis had rejected the offer. He said the Vatican found “personal procedural errors” on Hesse’s part, but an investigation has not shown that they were made with the intention of covering up cases of abuse.

He also said that Hesse admitted his mistakes when he was a senior official in the Archdiocese of Cologne “with humility”. A Catholic group of influential German secularists sharply criticized the decision.

Hesse’s offer to resign came after a report commissioned by his counterpart in Cologne revealed 75 cases in which high-ranking officials neglected their duties in such cases. Hesse was blamed for 11 cases of dereliction of duty.

The Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, was cleared by the report, but remains under pressure for his handling of the issue. He refused to withdraw.

The Vatican sent two envoys to Cologne in June to investigate possible mistakes by senior church officials in handling past sexual abuse cases and the “complex pastoral situation” in the deeply divided church the low.

Baetzing said he is still awaiting an assessment from Rome of their overall findings.

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


Baker and Janey to speak at Twelfth Baptist Church’s $ 1 Million Awards Ceremony in Honor of MLK – NBC Boston

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Boston Mayor Kim Janey and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker spoke about the significant impact the Twelfth Baptist Church had in the community of Roxbury on Monday as King Boston donated $ 1million. dollars.

“This gift is important because it will help continue this work around food insecurity, the work the black church has always done. A place where people have organized themselves, a place where people have sought refuge from the storm “said Janey. “The storm, still with us as we know, as COVID cases continue across our city and across our country and around the world, but we still have work to do.”

King Boston, a non-profit organization whose mission is to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King while addressing economic and racial inequalities, donates to help amplify the work of the church in the community.

“This symbolically important initiative, but so much more, has the potential not only to change the conversation, but to change the state of issues related to equity, race and justice here in the Commonwealth,” Baker said.

“King Boston gave me a sense of hope that this business may bring the whole concept of service here in the city and across the Commonwealth,” said Baker. “There is a lot to do, but there is a team on the pitch here who are ready to stand up, hold hands and make it happen.”

It was in September 1951 that Dr King began his stay in Boston, working and preaching at the historic Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury. The donation is part of the campaign for the Embrace Memorial on Boston Common, honoring the legacy of Dr King and Coretta Scott King.

“We are so excited to receive this gift. We are grateful for all that has happened and all that is being done, we are grateful to King Boston and we believe it allows us to continue the great ministry work that we ‘did, “said Reverend Willie Bodrick II, senior pastor of Twelfth Baptist Church.” We are living in the midst of a global pandemic and we have been trying to meet that moment. “

The donation will benefit the work of the Twelfth Baptist Church, including supporting its food insecurity program, which helps more than 200 families, its former incarceration program, church social ministries and more.

Also present at the ceremony were Suffolk County Attorney Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins, Boston City Councilor and Mayoral Candidate Annissa Essaibi George and King Boston Executive Director Imari Paris Jeffries, between others.

“Twelfth Baptist is one of Roxbury’s anchor institutions and therefore to ensure that we are able to nurture a historic institution – which is so important to the community,” said Paris Jeffries. “This million dollars will benefit the Twelfth Baptist in a way that future generations can benefit from and experience.”

King Boston will also announce the nomination campaign and selection committee for Freedom Plaza 1965, a group of activists, educators, local artists and cultural leaders who will review and finalize the selection of Freedom Plaza winners. 1965, alongside Co-Chairs Tito Jackson and L ‘Merchie Frazier.

Members of the community will be able to submit potential names for Freedom Plaza 1965 online at www.kingboston.org/1965nominations from Monday. In addition, polling stations will be set up at a number of Boston Public Library branches and several places of worship across the city, enabling equitable community engagement for those who may not have access to Wi- Fi and technology.


Canadian Bishops: Follow Your Conscience by Voting

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Canada’s bishops are encouraging all Catholics across the country to vote in Monday’s legislative elections, calling on them to follow their free and informed conscience.

By Vatican News reporter

“The democratic duty of every citizen to vote in an election is also a gift and an opportunity to exercise civic and social responsibility,” the bishops of Canada said in a statement released ahead of Monday’s legislative elections.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the election two years earlier in hopes of securing a parliamentary majority, while the rival Conservative party, led by Erin O’Toole, is hoping to overthrow him. Polls show that neither Trudeau’s Liberal Party nor the Conservative Party has enough public support to form a majority government.

Three other parties Рthe Bloc Qu̩b̩cois, which presents candidates only in the French-speaking province of Quebec, as well as the New Democratic Party and the Green Party Рare also standing for election.

In their statement, the Canadian bishops urge all Catholics in Canada to vote in the election and call on every Canadian to follow their conscience when deciding how to vote. They add that Catholics are called “to discern their options on the basis of the key principles of the social doctrine of the Church“, notably respect for the sanctity of human life, the protection of religious freedom and reconciliation with the Church. Indigenous Peoples.

The bishops also highlighted concern for the environment, efforts to eradicate poverty, the promotion of a just and equitable economy, the defense of workers’ rights and the establishment of peace as vital concerns during the elections.

“By carefully considering our choices, we help shape the fabric of the society in which we live, as well as the legacy we leave for young Canadians,” say the bishops.

Faced with difficult choices, the bishops encourage the faithful, “in addition to informing their conscience, reflecting deeply and sharing with others … to invoke the Holy Spirit for an outpouring of his multiple gifts so that the electoral process and all that awaits us will be marked by lasting peace, justice, respect and social order, so that together we strive to build a better future for all.


New Hi’ehi’e house on Thursday

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KAPA’A – Ron Moriguchi scanned the surface of the newly placed leveling material on Thursday as the Project Vision Hawai’i Hi’ehi’e mobile hot shower unit fell into place at All Saints Episcopal Church.

“We just leveled the parking lot,” said Wayne Doliente of the church.

“Now the bigger trucks can access more areas around the All Saints gym. “

Doliente was joined by Carolyn Moriguchi to welcome the new addition to their Thursday lineup.

“We are offering a packed lunch (it’s safe for COVID-19) for Hi’ehi’e mobile hot shower customers,” Carolyn Moriguchi said.

“We drink too. We were going to use disposable plastic cups, but these are not COVID compliant, so we are using paper cups. I also have people who signed up for lunch on the next shower visit on the third Thursday of the month.

Grace Meek of Project Vision Hawai’i was busy setting up the Hi’ehi’e unit near the gymnasium.

“I’m so glad the church called,” Meek said.

“We are completing the first phase of the Hi’ehi’e deployment, and we are now moving to the second phase which calls for more sites and community partners,” she said.

“Hi’ehi’e showers will be available on this site on the first and third Thursday of each month from noon to 3 pm”

Guests using the Hi’ehi’e service receive free towels and soap, and in the case of a church stop, a packed lunch provided by the church.

Hi’ehi’e, translated from Hawaiian, means “dignity” or “pride,” and the portable shower is one of the programs offered by Project Vision Hawai’i.

The mobile hot shower program offers the island’s homeless community an opportunity for hygiene, health, privacy and confidence.

The mobile hot shower unit is available every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Salvation Army Lihu’e Corps, across from Hardy Street from the Kaua’i War Memorial Convention Hall.

The weekly Tuesday stop provides guests with a hot meal, and representatives from Ho’ola Lahui Hawai’i discuss medical issues.

Hi’ehi’e moves to the Salvation Army Hanapepe Corps on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., where clients also receive a hot meal with their shower and the presence of Ho’ola Lahui to discuss medical needs.

On a recent trip, Salvation Army Lt. Amy Lewis said patrons received a new outfit from the thrift store and that in addition to Ho’ola Lahui, officials from the Department of Education of the state were on hand to meet the needs of the children. homeless communities.

Meek said that with the first and third Thursdays locked in Kapa’a, she had room for the second and fourth Thursdays for any community partner looking to provide the hot shower service to the homeless community.

Visit projectvisionhawaii.org for more information.

•••

Dennis fujimoto, writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or [email protected]


Brian Houston: Hillsong pastor accused of hiding father’s sex crimes leaves church board

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Brian Houston, founder of the Hillsong mega-church, recently resigned from the church’s board after police in Australia accused him of hiding his late father’s sexual offenses. However, Brian did confirm that he would continue to be the church’s senior world pastor. “I also wanted to let you know that I have made the decision to step down from my role on the Hillsong Church boards that oversee the governance of our operations. I have done so so that these boards can. function to their full capacity during this season. It does not change my role as a senior world pastor. I thought it was important to let our church family know in the interests of transparency, and I wanted you to hear it straight from me, ”Houston said in an email obtained by People.

Two months after Brian was charged with concealing his late father’s serious crimes, he will appear in Downing Center local court in Sydney on October 5. He was charged with his offense by the NSW Police. “The police will claim in court that the man was aware 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,” he said. NSW Police said in a statement. Depending on how long Houston had hidden his father’s crime, he could get a maximum sentence of five years in jail. This is not the first time that a pastor from Hillsong Church has made headlines about sex crimes. In 2020, Stephen Carl Lentz, who was the senior pastor of Hillsong Church NYC, was fired by Brian Houston for “moral failures.” Lentz was the senior pastor until November 4, 2020. It turns out that Lentz had “multiple” affairs, which weren’t secret, and Hillsong had known it for years.

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What had Frank Houston done?

Frank Houston, Brian’s father, has been charged with sexually assaulting a 7-year-old boy from east Sydney. The abuse took place during his travels from New Zealand, in 1969 and 1970. In 2014, NSW police opened a child sexual abuse investigation and gradually began to investigate how Hillsong’s precursors , the Hills and Sydney Christian Life Centers, had dealt with the child sexual abuse allegations against Frank. The royal commission’s final report revealed that Brian, then president of the Evangelical organization Assemblies of God in Australia, confronted his father, who confessed to the crime.

The investigation further said Houston did not report the matter to the police, but instead gave the survivor money and let his father retire. According to the survivor, he met Frank in 2000 at a McDonald’s restaurant in Thornleigh, where Brian offered him a dirty napkin to sign in exchange for $ 10,000, after which the survivor felt “shame, fear and embarrassment “. He also reportedly suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Before he died in 2004, Frank confessed to a “lingering problem” of sexual interest to young boys.

Meanwhile, Brian justified not reporting the abuse by saying that when the allegations surfaced, the survivor was already 35 or 36 years old. He alleged that weeks after learning of the abuse, the survivor refused to surrender to police – a claim the survivor has previously disputed.

Maintaining his innocence, Brian said he was shocked by the allegations. “These accusations shocked me given how transparent I have always been about this,” he said. “I vehemently profess my innocence and will defend these accusations, and I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight,” he added.


Church dedicated to the former union hall | News, Sports, Jobs

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LORDSTOWN – Members of Harvest Point Church said they knew they had found a new home as soon as they walked into the old lobby of United Auto Workers Local 1112 near Salt Springs Road.

“We heard the hall was for sale and a group of us visited it, and we all got our hands on the building,” said Robin Romesburg, a congregation elder. “The next day we learned that our offer had been accepted. By the grace of God, we have found our new home.

Garry Bates, a former and former acting pastor, said: “We had been looking for a building for several years. During our visit, many of us prayed and asked God for this to happen. We are excited about what God has done here.

The church bought six of the 42 acres that were for sale for $ 400,000. This included the union hall, a pavilion and a ball field. The hall has two office spaces that the church wishes to rent.

The sale was finalized in April 2020, but the church did not have its first service until July 19. She had a dedication ceremony on Saturday with a hundred people present.

Parishioners wanted to wait until the COVID-19 pandemic had passed for a dedication ceremony, but decided to go ahead on Saturday. Since July 19, the church has hosted in-person services with an online option for members.

“Many of us prayed for that day to happen and it has happened,” said Pastor David Cross, who preached in the church’s first two sermons when services were held 20 years ago. years in the garage of a Champion couple with 35 people present. . “I can move the church forward. I feel like I am at home. It is very exciting and an honor to do this.

The congregation spent a lot of time cleaning the interior of the old union hall. He has movable chairs, rather than benches, so people can distance themselves socially and allow him to use it for other purposes, Romesburg said.

The congregation plans to hold dinners, carnivals and events at the new home and will rent it out for weddings and other activities, Romesburg said.

“We are delighted to be here,” she said.

Cross said he had memories of the old union hall and was glad it had been turned into a church.

Before purchasing the old UAW hall, the church had many houses. Harvest Point was the last at Lordstown Plaza Shopping Center prior to this move. The congregation arrived in Lordstown 19 years ago from the Church of God in Newton Falls.

The remaining 35 acres on the UAW site remain for sale. It is zoned industrial with access to a nearby railway line.

General Motors closed its Lordstown plant in March 2019.

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Denison Church unites to fill the benches

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Denison, Texas (KXII) – Congregations across Denison hosted a joint event called Denison Comeback on Sunday.

This event included inflatables, music and food.

It was put in place to make Denison residents anxious to fill the pews at one of their local churches, especially after COVID-19.

The pandemic has closed the doors of many local churches over the past year, forcing many to find different ways to pray.

“I went there while the doors were open, and when they weren’t, we did it online,” said Georgia Leach, a local church member.

With that also came the decrease in attendance.

“Our church personally, we have seen a decline of about 50 percent of what we normally had before,” said Gene Amerson, pastor of the New Beginnings Brotherhood and president of the Denison Ministerial Alliance. “It’s just a difficult thing for churches. To truly be a church, we have to be together.

On Sunday afternoon, the Denison Ministerial Alliance and 22 churches of all faiths held a community event to say it’s time to come back to church.

“We want to see it as a kingdom day and not a First Baptist day and not a church day in particular, but truly a day on the kingdom of God here in Denison,” said Stephen Suffron, the pastor of First Baptist Denison.

They wanted the event to inspire locals to join a church for the first time or reconnect with one and finally start filling shrines again, despite the ongoing pandemic.

“We’ve seen a lot of people get discouraged and discouraged,” Suffron said. “Even when the going is heavy, especially when the going is heavy, we need each other to help us lift the weight together.”

And devotees like Georgia Leach have said they’re ready.

“I think we should all get together,” Leach said. “It’s time.”

There was also a community cult inside Munson Stadium, with football coach Denison Brent Whitson and singer Jaye Thomas.

Copyright 2021 KXII. All rights reserved.


Mike Pence named No. 1 on 2021 list of Israel’s “best Christian allies”

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Former Vice President Mike Pence took first place in the Israel Allied Foundation’s annual list of best Christian allies. The list was released Monday in honor of Sukkot.

“Recognizing the heroic work of our Christian supporters is an important proof of our gratitude to them,” said IAF President Josh Reinstein. “It is only through Christian political support for Israel, which we call faith-based diplomacy, that Israel enjoys such constant support from its allies around the world. It is Christians, not countries, that we can always count on to stand with Israel. “

The remainder of the top five places were taken by Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel; Pastor Larry Hutch, founding pastor of New Beginnings Church in Dallas, Texas; Stephen Harper, the former Prime Minister of Canada; and Christian philanthropist Dick Saulsbury.

Pence was selected, the IAF said in a statement, because of his role in moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and for his defense of Israel’s right to Jerusalem, in the Golan Heights, to Judea and Samaria. Pence was a member of the Israel Allies Caucus during his tenure as a member of the United States Congress.

The names were published in Erev Sukkot because many Christians are particularly related to the Feast of Tabernacles, their name for the Jewish holiday. This connection comes from a verse in the book of the prophet Zechariah which describes a time when people from all the nations of the world come to the holy city and celebrate and pray together at the foot of the Temple Mount.

MPs from around the world are seen together at the annual Israel Allies Foundation conference. (credit: AVI HAYUN)

“And it shall come to pass that all that are left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the king, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles,” he said in Zechariah. 2:16 p.m.

Zechariah is read in the synagogues of Sukkot.

In a typical year, when the world is not plagued by COVID-19, thousands of Christians from all over the world travel to Israel for the holidays and to participate in the historic March of Nations in support of the Jewish state. The event ends with a colorful ceremony at Sacher Park.

The IAF roster highlights supporters from all over the world, spanning many continents and Christian denominations. For example, Dr. Young Hoon Lee, senior pastor in South Korea at the world’s largest mega-church, was on the list in place # 27. Also, Pastor Sandor Nemeth, Founder and Senior Pastor of Faith Church in Hungary, is # 13.

“For me, standing alongside the modern State of Israel and supporting the Jewish people in general comes naturally and should be reflected in the life of every Christian believer reading the Bible and fearing God in the world,” said Pastor.

The IAF is the umbrella organization that coordinates the work of 50 caucuses of Israel’s allies around the world, which include 1,200 lawmakers. The network includes the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, the Congressional Israeli Allies Caucus and the European Union Parliament Allies Caucus.


John Shelby Spong, 90, dies; Seeks to open the Episcopal Church

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That year he ordained Robert Williams, an openly gay man, a priest. (Ellen Barrett, a lesbian, had been ordained some ten years earlier.) Bishop Spong understood the controversy he was creating – in fact, he invited every episcopal bishops across the country to attend.

Nine months later he was censored by his colleagues, but he continued to ordain gay and lesbian priests – at least 35 by the time he retired in 2000, he claimed, including Bishop Perry. . The church eventually followed his example: in 1996, an episcopal court ruled that homosexuality was not against its principles, and in 2015, the church recognized same-sex marriage.

While Bishop Spong’s stance on LGBTQ women and clergy has placed him on the edge of the mainstream, his theological views set him well outside. He taught that the gospels were to be viewed as artistic interpretations of the life of Jesus, not literal accounts, and he called on Christians to reject ideas, like original sin, that could not be explained by science.

These views, even more than his social activism, have drawn millions of followers, as well as countless critics. Writing in the National Review in 1988, William Murchison called Bishop Spong “the latest in a long line of the Right Reverend’s goofballs”, berating him for calling the church to lean towards modern society rather than the reverse.

Traditionalists particularly disliked his blunt approach, which they said made dialogue difficult.

“He has always pushed the boundaries, indeed making it difficult for other points of view to coexist,” said Paul FM Zahl, a retired episcopal priest, in an interview. “You kind of felt like you were being told to grow up, that he was preaching an adult version of Christianity. “

Bishop Spong’s aggressive liberalism often got him in trouble. After a prominent Nigerian bishop attempted to exorcise the “homosexual demons” of a homosexual priest at an Anglican conference in 1998, Bishop Spong denounced African Anglicans as backward.


Memories of the Palatine city councilor invite to the opening of the church’s time capsule

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Here’s Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the most upbeat and inspiring stories recently published by the Daily Herald:

A boy was in awe of the Palatine Church’s time capsule. Fifty years later, it brought about its opening.

Without the memory of a 5-year-old boy, a time capsule in a palatine church would not have seen the light of day for who knows how long – maybe never.

The capsule was extracted on September 9 from an approximately 450-pound cornerstone drilled outside the United Church of Christ St. Paul, 144 E. Palatine Road. It contained things like American flags, a religious newspaper, coins and various papers in German and English dating from the 1800s to 1971. All of the content was displayed in public during the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the church.

None of this would have happened if Brad Helms, now 55, had not remembered his admiration when the capsule was last opened in 1971, when the church celebrated its 100th anniversary.

“I remember they cut off the corner of the church,” said Helms, who is now a city councilor in the Palatine. “I was one of those kids who sort of wanted to know everything, and I remember thinking, ‘Damn, if they cut the corner, won’t the tower collapse?’ “

For the full story, click here.

New program aims to get black youth interested in farming

Jocelyn Harris, left, and Jordan Jones observe the progress of a tomato plant growing in an EarthBox on July 18. The gardening effort is part of the inaugural “Young Black Agri-takers of Kane County” program, which aims to engage and train future black farmers in Kane County. Jones participates in the program and Harris serves as his mentor.
– Courtesy of the Fox Valley Just Food Initiative

Jordan Jones, 15, of Oswego is an early participant in the “Young Black Agri-preneurs of Kane County” program, a collaborative effort between The Just Food Initiative of Fox Valley, a nonprofit based in Batavia, and the African American Men of Unity, a nonprofit group based in Aurora.

The Agri-Takers program aims to engage and train future black farmers in Kane County, where there are few, if any, such farmers. The program’s classes started in April, with around 10 young participants learning where their food comes from, the importance of healthy soil and careers in agriculture.

Currently, several boys in the program – including Jones – are participating in a wrap-up activity where they planted gardens in their respective homes using an EarthBox, specially designed containers for growing plants.

North Aurora resident Jocelyn Harris serves as Jones’ mentor and helped him establish his garden, which includes squash and tomato plants.

“To have the opportunity to teach someone younger than me how to grow their own food… I feel so grateful to be able to do that,” said Harris.

For the full story, click here.

Work begins on an accessible playground at Lake Zurich


A render is on the site where a new disabled-accessible playground called Peg's Place will be built at The Hope Collective Church on Lake Zurich.  A sale of lemonade and popcorn has recently been organized to help the project.

A render is on the site where a new disabled-accessible playground called Peg’s Place will be built at The Hope Collective Church on Lake Zurich. A sale of lemonade and popcorn was recently organized to help the project.
-Paul Valade | Staff photographer

After a successful community fundraising effort, work will begin on Friday to build an accessible $ 309,000 playground for children with disabilities on the grounds of The Hope Collective Church on Lake Zurich.

Children who use wheelchairs will have full access to the equipment, which includes a swing that they can use without getting out of their wheelchair. There will also be play equipment for children with sensory disabilities such as blindness and for children who cannot communicate.

Donna Riemer, an outreach pastor in Hope, said community members donated $ 172,000 for the project.

“We have overflowing hearts and grateful that they also grasped the vision,” Riemer said of the community’s support.

The playground will be called Peg’s Park in honor of Peggy Britcliffe, who died in 2019 after a life spent working with severely disabled children at Swedish Hospital in Chicago. Riemer said Britcliffe’s trust contributed $ 137,000 to the project.

For the full story, click here.

Naperville is on Money’s list of Best Places to Live

Only one city in Illinois has been on Money’s annual list of the 50 Best Places to Live in the United States, and that’s Naperville.

At No. 45, Money praised Naperville’s sporting history, which includes Olympic gold medalists Candace Parker, Evan Lysacek and Kevin Cordes. Money also noted Edward Hospital as one of the state’s top hospitals and Route 59 as a major retail corridor.

Money highlighted entertainment options in Naperville including the Last Fling, India Day Parade and Celebration, Riverwalk, DuPage Children’s Museum, and Centennial Beach.

According to Money, while house prices jumped 10% on average for most of the other Top 50 cities in the first quarter of 2021, house prices in Naperville only rose 5%.

• Good News Sunday will take place every weekend. Please visit dailyherald.com/newsletters to sign up for our Good News Sunday newsletter.


Charlotte Pastor to Pastor: Tell Your People to Hide

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Charlotte’s Freedom House Church has told her congregation it will ignore the county’s proposed new rule removing mask term exemptions for religious institutions.

[email protected]

From Kate Murphy, pastor of The Grove Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, to Penny Maxwell, Senior Pastor of Freedom House Church in Charlotte:

Dear Pastor Penny,

It gives me no pleasure to write this letter to you. You and I have a lot in common. We are both women at the head of congregations. We are both white pastors serving in multiethnic congregations. Most importantly, we both claim Jesus as Lord and Savior. I want to be one of your strongest supporters.

But despite all that we have in common, I must speak out against your ministry. Because your recent public statement that your congregation will challenge the mask’s mandate reveals that you have a dangerous misunderstanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You believe that your faith in Jesus will supernaturally protect you and your loved ones from COVID-19 disease. Maybe your congregation is only for the young and the strong and the beautiful and so that is largely true. But while COVID-19 is unlikely to do much harm to a member of your community (although I wonder what kind of shepherd encourages the flock to test God in this way), you know as well as me that this disease is killing and destroying the lives of many of our neighbors. How can the body of Christ be indifferent to the suffering of vulnerable people? Pastor Penny, our worship services should be a source of salvation in our communities – not a source of disease and death.

But maybe you don’t understand the science, Pastor Penny. Maybe you just don’t believe that large unmasked gatherings increase the potency and potency of this pandemic. You may think that the actions you take in your sanctuary have no effect outside the building. It’s a strange thing for a minister of the gospel to believe, but maybe you believe it. I urge you to speak to the healthcare workers who close body bags every day. Meet the ICU medical nurses who have to remove the tubes from the bodies of those who die every day. Pray with the ICU doctors who have to intubate patients whose last words are “Doctor, don’t let me die.” Talk to the hospital administrators who are meeting right now to develop a plan for rationing care in our city. Our hospitals are so overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients that they must now decide who gets care and who doesn’t, who has a chance to live and who is sent home to die. Ask them if it is important for your church to meet weekly to worship without a mask. Ask them to explain to you how your behavior inside the sanctuary affects the interior of their hospitals.

But it’s not your lack of understanding of science that bothers me. After all, you are not a scientist. It is your fundamental misunderstanding of the gospel that compels me to speak. You are the pastor of a church called Freedom House and you preach that your faith in Jesus gives you the freedom to break this law. Pastor Penny, that shows me that you don’t understand the revelation of Jesus. We have freedom in Christ, but it is not the freedom to please us. It’s not the freedom to do what makes us most comfortable. It is not, as Saint Paul says, the freedom to sin. And, in my opinion, to voluntarily engage in behavior that increases the spread of a disease that kills our neighbors is sin.

Our freedom in Christ is the freedom to live for God. It does not give us special privileges in this world – it forces us to live like Jesus, the one who put aside his power and suffered for the salvation of the world. Our freedom takes risks and makes sacrifices to bless our neighbors. Ours is the freedom to cry out for justice and to work tirelessly for peace, even when that work seems futile and foolish. We are free to risk our own lives to love, serve and bless our enemies. Evangelical freedom is the freedom to suffer for love, not the freedom to cause pain.

Pastor Penny, the government may one day pass an ordinance that threatens our Christian freedom. Maybe there will be a law that will prohibit us from preaching the gospel, feeding the hungry, or working for righteousness. If that day comes, we will stand together by defying this law. But today is not that day.

I am neither threatened nor offended that our county commissioners have changed the ordinance so that faith communities are required to wear masks during indoor gatherings. I’m ashamed that they had To. I am ashamed that so many of us had to be forced by the government to do what we should be eager to do – make a sacrifice to protect our neighbors.

Kate Murphy is a regular contributor.


Wilderado to release debut album, written in vacant and “spooky” church in Tulsa | Music

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In June, our cruelty investigator picked up a skinny dog ​​with no fur at all. We can’t imagine the pain that poor Lily must have felt for so long; just touching her skin made her bleed. She was scabbed, bright pink, and had many infected areas on her skin. While she had very little energy, Lily was a survivor and has worked hard for her health for the past 7 months. She is finally ready to reunite with her family forever and start to come out of her difficult early years.

Currently in a foster home who reports that Lily is a “huge source of joy and fun”, this shy but gentle girl is thriving. She’s about to be potty-trained and checkout. She hasn’t had an accident with her foster family for weeks and fits easily into her cage but barks a few minutes before settling down. Lily loves to snuggle up, chew on hard bones and now has the energy to take long walks.

Lily has played with other dogs and is very fond of wrestling and loud scolding, so much so that she can have a hard time stopping playing when other dogs are around! She would do well in a dog house alone or in a house with other fun-loving dogs and humans who could be proactive in reinforcing calm behavior when everyone is together.

Lily is about 3 years old, weighs 65 pounds, is infected with heartworm and has not yet been spayed. As a grown-up girl who can be nervous at times when excited, she seeks a home without children under the age of 12. Having an intact animal in your home is an additional responsibility that potential adopters should consider. She has been vaccinated, microchipped and is up to date on parasite prevention.

Due to Lily’s long road to recovery, she is offered a foster family to adopt a candidate. This comes with many benefits, such as access to our dog trainer and clinic, for Lily’s needs! The Tulsa SPCA will continue to medically treat Lily until she is healthy enough to be sterilized, after which the adoption will be finalized. We will also soon be starting treatment for her heartworms at no cost to her adopter.

Let us know if you are forever happy with Lily!

HOW TO ADOPT LILY

The Tulsa SPCA currently operates by appointment only.

• Visit tulsaspca.org/adoptable-dogs. Click on his profile and use the orange “Interested in this animal? Click here!” button to apply to adopt.

• If you are approved, we will contact you to finalize the documents, collect payment and arrange an appointment for your adoption behind the wheel.

• Please stay home if you are unwell, especially if you have symptoms of fever, cough, or sore throat.

All available Tulsa SPCA animals can be viewed at tulsaspca.org.

Photo provided by Tulsa SPCA


Many religious leaders say ‘no’ to approval of COVID-19 vaccine exemptions

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also does not provide religious exemptions for vaccines for its members, according to church spokesperson Eric Hawkins.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is undergoing major renovations on August 4, 2021.

While a significant number of Americans are calling for religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination warrants, many religious leaders say: Not with our approval.

Leaders of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America said Thursday that while some people may have medical reasons for not receiving the vaccine, “there is no exemption in the Orthodox Church for its followers from any vaccination. for religious reasons “.

The Holy Eparchial Synod of the National Archdiocese, representing the bulk of Eastern Orthodox in the United States, urged members to “pay attention to the relevant medical authorities and avoid false accounts that are totally unfounded in science.”

“No member of the clergy should issue such letters of religious exemption,” said Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elpidophoros, and such a letter “is not valid.”

Likewise, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently issued a statement encouraging the use of vaccines and stating that “there is no obvious basis for a religious exemption” in its own Lutheran tradition or in the Lutheran tradition. wider.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York laid out its own position over the summer, saying any priest issuing a letter of exemption would “act in contradiction” to Pope Francis’ statements that receiving the vaccine is morally acceptable and responsible.

The Vatican and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have said Catholics can receive the vaccines in good conscience given the lack of alternatives and the goal of alleviating suffering – even by opposing research even with a remote link to abortion.

A number of dioceses have adopted policies similar to those in New York, and the bishops of El Paso, Texas, and Lexington, Ky., Have made vaccination of employees mandatory.

But other Catholic jurisdictions are more accommodating to exemptions. The Colorado Catholic Conference, the political arm of the state’s bishops, has posted a template letter for priests to sign online saying that an individual parishioner can rely on Catholic values ​​to oppose vaccines. The bishops of South Dakota have also taken this position.

The problem for many Catholics and other abortion opponents is that the most widely used COVID-19 vaccines have been tested on fetal cell lines developed over decades in laboratories, although the vaccines themselves do not contain no such material.

The issue is becoming more and more burning as employers in the public and private sectors impose more and more mandates.

A secretary’s letter would not necessarily be necessary for a person to obtain an exemption – federal law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for “genuine” religious beliefs – although approval from the clergy may help strengthen the claim. of somebody.

Reverend Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas, a Southern Baptist mega-church, said he and his staff “neither offer nor encourage members to seek religious exemptions from vaccination mandates.”

“There is no credible religious argument against vaccines,” he said by email. “Christians who are troubled by the use of a fetal cell line to test vaccines should also refrain from using Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Ibuprofen and other products using the same cell line. ‘they are sincere in their objection. “

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not provide religious exemptions for vaccines for members, according to church spokesperson Eric Hawkins. Leaders of the Utah-based faith have advocated for members to be vaccinated even though doctrine recognizes that it is up to the individual.

The church’s Brigham Young University has asked students to report their immunization status but does not require vaccination, and the church also requires American missionaries serving in foreign countries to be vaccinated.

Some other religious groups, such as the Orthodox Union, an umbrella organization of Orthodox Judaism, and the United Methodist Church, have encouraged people to get vaccinated but have not issued policy statements on the exemptions.

The Fiqh Council of North America, made up of Islamic scholars, has advised Muslims to receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and debunk the “unfounded rumors and myths” about them.

___

Associated Press editors Brady McCombs in Salt Lake City and David Crary in New York contributed to this report.


Nationally renowned Norman Vincent Peale visited the small church of La Villita in San Antonio

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It’s an interesting story of the church, an alcoholic, a carillon and Dr. Peale… all in one. This is my transcript of a sermon he gave, probably in the mid-1980s. I grew up in Scarsdale, NY, less than a 30 minute Sunday morning drive from Lower Manhattan and Peale Church. at 29th Street and Fifth Avenue. I already lived in San Antonio but still received tapes (tapes) of his Sunday sermons. When I heard this one, my jaw dropped. I think the story may have been repeated in his autobiography.

The Small church of La Villita has had a checkered history, but this is the only episode that involves someone who was nationally famous at the time.

Norman Vincent Peale, a Methodist pastor, was chief pastor of Marble Collegiate Church from 1932 to 1984, had longtime radio and television broadcasts, and wrote over 40 books. One of them was “The True Joy of Positive Thinking: An Autobiography, A collection of essays and sermons published in 1984 that includes a mention of Reverend Paul Soupiset – one of Peale’s many works.

Soupiset, a former clothing store manager and salesperson, felt called to enter the ministry in his late forties – inspired by Peale, according to his son, Fred Soupiset.

Not a staunch devotee, Paul stayed home on his only day off while his wife and children attended St. Matthew’s Methodist Church in north Houston. “One Sunday, he turned on our new RCA 10 inch tabletop television and listened to Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. The pastor’s optimistic mix of psychology and religion “lit a fire under daddy and he dedicated his life to serving God and man in a meaningful way,” his son recalls. “He became active in our church and began to study for ministry in the Methodist Church. “

Soupiset took correspondence courses to become a Certified Local Preacher or LLP in the Methodist Church, which he achieved by the time the family moved to San Antonio in 1955. Still working in the clothing store retail business Russell on Alamo Plaza, he completed his supervision at Highland Terrace Methodist Church and filled in for pastors from other churches in the area. Busy as he was, Soupiset was always looking for a greater challenge… and he found it when he discovered what was then the La Villita Church, closed and empty at 508, rue Villita.

On ExpressNews.com: San Antonio ‘State-of-the-Art’ Subdivision Predicts Housing Trends

As he told the San Antonio Light on April 18, 1960, he was inspired by Peale’s broadcasts “to have a little chapel in the heart of a city”. When he couldn’t find one in Houston or San Antonio, he decided to found one.

The small neo-Gothic stone building he had seen on lunchtime walks had been cut in 1939 when the city undertook a federally funded restoration of the Old Quarter of 200 years of La Villita – by cleaning cabins and sparing structures of historical value. The church dates back to 1878, when the German Methodist congregation that built it received its charter from the Southern Methodist Church. After they got too big and moved, it was one of the first homes of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, a historically black congregation.

The church had some downtime and received a needed renovation in 1941, when La Villita was ready to be a municipal performance venue. In the early 1940s, it was La Villita Theater for puppet shows and experimental productions. Renamed The Little Church Around the Corner, echoing the name of a favorite show business wedding in New York City, it hosted an evangelical mission that broadcast guest speakers on radio in 1943 and then housed a training center of the Red Cross during the war. II. After that, the city promoted the church as a venue for congresses and weddings. The Daughters of the American Revolution, or DAR, used it for a memorial service at their convention in 1945, and the church was part of the La Villita tour offered to visiting dignitaries. Couples without a church who wanted a religious site for their nuptials could choose from a list of clergy of different faiths to act as celebrants.

From 1947 to 1954, the Business Men’s Bible Class met every Sunday morning in what they called “La Villita Chapel” for discussions and conferences. A non-sectarian group that dates back to the mid-1920s, the class had previously gathered in the ballrooms of the Gunter, Plaza, and Menger hotels. After an hour and a half in La Villita, members were to attend services in their home churches. When the businessmen – who reached over 2,000 bulky members – disbanded for good to start smaller groups elsewhere, the small church was again left alone.

When Soupiset first visited the church, according to Peale’s story in an undated reprint of Guideposts magazine, of which he was co-editor, “cobwebs and dust were everywhere. The only equipment: benches stacked in a corner and a rickety table. Unperturbed, he asked the city and received a monthly rental. Because he still had commitments to two other churches, Soupiset scheduled his Sunday Vespers by candlelight service at 6 p.m.

When he began his ministry in the small non-denominational church of La Villita, the pastor was still working full time in retail. There was no official membership, no donation cards, and a need to fund bi-weekly food and clothing distributions to the needy. The church was funded entirely by donations, and Soupiset did not receive a salary for the first year or so.

On ExpressNews.com: San Antonio’s first zoo was not moved but scrapped and sold

“He gave up a good income in the clothing business and walked in the faith that the Lord would provide for our family,” said Fred Soupiset. “(Eventually) he received income from the little his ministry contributed. There were times of no income and times of moderate income, but he was so committed to his calling that he relied on God’s provision. “

The first year, a friend of the church donated an anonymous new carillon (bell tower) and an organ. Wanting to honor Peale’s inspiration, Soupiset wrote him a letter inviting him to their dedication. As Peale said in the taped sermon you transcribed, “Since I had never had any bells dedicated to me before, I thought I had to go. I had a vision of them all over the city of San Antonio. So I went downstairs and helped him dedicate the bells and gave a talk – sure.

It was around this time that an alcoholic made history – but it was not the Reverend Paul Soupiset.

At the 1957 dedication ceremony, as Peale puts it in his autobiography, “the man who made the declaration” when dedicating the bells, “an ex-alcoholic”, got angry and said “in memory Instead of “in honor of” the still existing Peale. The unnamed man got confused with Soupiset, who is presented by Peale as “lost”, “confused”, “depressed” and “drunk Saturday night” in more than one account.

The pastor of the Little Church looked after alcoholics but was not one himself, his son said. “He received the label from one of Dr Peale’s ghost writers. When it appeared in a national publication, I immediately wrote to Dr Peale requesting a retraction. He responded with a letter of sincere apology, explained what had happened and offered to fix it. “

With the best of intentions, this is not what happened. The amalgamation between Soupiset and the unnamed reader of the alcoholic declaration in recovery has been recycled by Peale on several occasions… but always in a context of great admiration for Soupiset’s ministry and of pride in being associated with it.

On ExpressNews.com: The Mexican village of Brackenridge Park has welcomed tourists to San Antonio for 20 years

During his decade as pastor, the Little Church established traditions of serving Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, hosted the Starving Artists Show, and pushed back his efforts to oust him along with unsightly food lines. before HemisFair ’68.

Soupiset died on December 11, 1968 from a heart attack. The funeral was held in the small church, with wealthy benefactors crowded alongside the humblest of his flock – so many that the windows were open on both sides for people to stand outside and listen.

In his eulogy, Assistant Pastor David Edmunds called him “a man of great faith who wanted to meet the needs of the people in a very practical way.”

[email protected] | Twitter: @sahistorycolumn | Facebook: SanAntonio History Column


City and park church seek sponsors for transitional housing

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Local volunteers raise funds to help the city of Salem and Church at the Park build temporary halfway houses for the homeless.

A pallet shelter partially completed on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 (Amanda Loman / Salem Reporter)

The city of Salem and Church at the Park want community members to help pay for so-called pallet structures designed to help people move out of homelessness.

The 64-square-foot structures – outfitted with two single beds with room for personal effects – can be connected to electricity and built as part of a managed shelter community, according to a leaflet sent by volunteers on sponsorship of shelters.

The homes will be on display at Riverfront Park at 200 Water St. NE on Saturday September 18 and Sunday September 19 with information on how to become a sponsor.

The city or the park church will own the homes purchased with donations, each costing $ 5,000, and the park church will pay the additional administration and supervision costs, the leaflet said.

Sponsors can also donate in the form of pledges or partial monthly payments for up to three years. Volunteer Hazel Patton said six sponsors have donated so far and eight more have “pledged.”

Church at the Park opened the city’s first pallet shelter site earlier this spring, with space for approximately 37 people living in the temporary shelters and 18 others living in vehicles at 2640 Portland Rd. NE

The nonprofit is the only social service provider in Salem to run a managed outdoor camp, currently operating two Pallet Shelter sites on Portland Road.

The city will propose a third site somewhere in western Salem at the Salem City Council meeting on September 27.

Most of the homes will be located on properties the city owns or leases, according to the flyer.

“What holds us back a bit is just finding a site for these structures,” Patton said.

While the volunteers are working on fundraising, the city is responsible for finding accommodations. The city has already had difficulty finding available and suitable land to place shelters and manage campsites.

The temporary homes are meant to give homeless people time “to work on more stable, long-term solutions,” said volunteer Ron Steiner.

The city has a contract with the Tacoma-based Pallet company, which provides the structures.

Donations made to Church at the Park for homes are eligible for tax deductions.

Sponsors can choose to have a custom design for the exterior of the shelter or to frame the residents. Church at the Park staff believe that “it helps homeless people visually see the community’s support for their housing and development,” the plan says.

Patton said the transitional housing would provide residents with an experience similar to applying for an apartment rental. “It makes them feel like they’re in control of their lives somewhat,” she said, “but they’re also in a position where it’s transient because they want to move on to something more permanent. They want to get their life back in hand.

A Church at the Park mental health counselor will help refer homeless people to the services they need, including one of the managed camps, supportive housing or Oregon State Hospital, DJ said. Vincent, founding pastor and CEO of Church at the Park.

Residents of Pallet Homes will not be tested for drugs, but will not be able to have drugs or alcohol on site.

PREVIOUS REPORTS:

Salem plans homeless camp run in former parking lot

Contact journalist Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Bishops reject funding for abortion in health care provisions of budget bill

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By Julie Asher, Catholic Information Service

The United States Capitol seen in Washington on July 24, 2021 (Photo: Capitol News Service)

WASHINGTON (CNS) – On September 17, two Catholic archbishops opposed two House committees advancing parts of the $ 3.5 trillion budget bill, known as the Build Back Better Act, with a wording that funds abortions being added to wording they support to improve access to affordable health care for all.

Funding for abortion, “the deliberate destruction of our most vulnerable siblings – those in the womb – cannot be included,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, Chairman of the United States Committee of Catholic Bishops on Pro-Life Activities; and Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Justice and Human Development.

“Congress can and should give up including taxpayer funding for abortion in the Build Back Better Act,” they said. “We urge all members of Congress and the administration to work in good faith to advance important and vital health care arrangements without forcing Americans to pay for the willful destruction of unborn human lives.”

Archbishops Naumann and Coakley’s joint statement came in response to the September 15 markup of legislation by the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Energy and Trade to include the provision on financing of abortion.

On September 13, before the markup, the two prelates wrote “to implore” members of the House “to reject provisions that would increase taxpayer funding for abortion” and to include the principle of the Hyde Amendment. “not to finance elective abortions”.

In their letter and follow-up statement, they reiterated the long-standing support and advocacy of U.S. bishops for proposals “at the federal and state levels that ensure access to affordable health care for all, including Medicaid expansion proposals ”.

“We are encouraged by several health care provisions in parts of the Build Back Better Act that will improve health care coverage for those in need,” the prelates said on September 15.

These include “improved postpartum coverage and other investments to address the high rates of preventable maternal deaths in the United States, expanded access to home care for family members, support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid before release. coverage for returning citizens, ”they said.

Archbishops’ statement on access to health care and abortion coverage echoes a September 7 letter from five USCCB presidents to all members of Congress and Senate on the priorities they have urged lawmakers to include it in the budget measure.

The letter called on Congress to “respect the rights and dignity of every human life in health care” by ensuring that the final bill allows everyone “to have access to affordable and comprehensive care that promotes healthy living. life and dignity, ”they said.

The USCCB “insists that the health care proposals in this bill, such as the Medicaid expansion, be governed by the Hyde Amendment’s long-standing principle of not funding elective abortions. The destruction of human life through abortion is not a form of health care, and taxpayers should not be forced to fund it, ”said the five committee chairs.

“If this bill increases taxpayer funding for abortion, the USCCB will oppose it,” they said.

Archbishops Naumann and Coakley signed the letter with Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Committee for Religious Freedom; Bishop Michael C. Barber of Oakland, Calif., Committee on Catholic Education; and Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington, Committee on Migration.

In August, House Members and Senators passed their respective versions of a framework or blueprint for the $ 3.5 trillion budget measure, and now they’re filling in the details.

Senate Democrats hope to pass the bill using the reconciliation process – meaning it could pass by a simple majority, and not with the 60 votes usually required.

Other priorities outlined by the bishops included creating jobs that pay “just a salary”; strengthening families by making the child care tax credit permanent; ensuring “safe, decent and affordable housing”; expand access to early childhood education; tackle greenhouse gas emissions, especially when they affect poor and vulnerable communities; guarantee access to drinking water, “a universal human right”; and preserve religious freedom so that all benefit from the provisions of the bill.

Another of the bishops’ priorities – meeting the needs of migrants and refugees – was addressed on September 12 in a vote by the House Judiciary Committee to approve language that would pave the way for U.S. citizenship for beneficiaries of the program. deferred action for arrivals of children, known as “Dreamers”.

The citizenship provision would also cover holders of temporary protection status, beneficiaries of delayed forced departures, and agricultural and other essential workers who are in the country without legal authorization.

“Without a doubt, Catholic social education will be involved in many aspects of this budget reconciliation bill, but it is a welcome step for many families and for the common good,” Bishop Dorsonville said in a statement. September 15.

Urging a path to legalization and citizenship for migrants and refugees, the committee chairs in their September 7 letter noted their “deep concern for family unity and the obstacles facing many families with status. mixed ”.

Regarding jobs for the poor and vulnerable, the bishops said: “We have long argued that work is fundamental to human dignity (and) constantly call for the creation of decent jobs at decent wages as the way. more efficient way to build a just economy.

“Job creation should focus on fair wages, include a right to organize and resources for vocational training and apprenticeship programs,” they said.

The five committee chairs described climate change as “a serious challenge that requires investments in mitigation and adaptation to achieve rapid decarbonization, reduce other greenhouse gas emissions such as methane, and protect human beings. more vulnerable ”.

“Disadvantaged and marginalized communities who suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change should be given priority for investments in clean energy infrastructure and climate resilience,” they said.

“Special attention must be paid to the jobs and needs of coal and fossil fuel industry workers and their families, whose livelihoods face the uncertainties of energy transitions.

The bishops described provisions which they believe are necessary to strengthen families: “We have long taught that ‘economic and social policies as well as the organization of the world of work must be continually evaluated in the light of their impact on the strength and stability of family life.

“The long-term future of this nation is inextricably linked to the well-being of families, for the family is the most fundamental form of human community.”

They called for the expanded child tax credit to be made permanent and called for increasing access to home care for family members, strengthening child nutrition programs, ensuring child care options. ‘quality and affordable children, paid sick leave, parental leave’ and other forms of support for children. working families.

Congress could support affordable housing, the bishops said, by “increasing funding for the National Housing Trust Fund and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit” and “significantly expanding the rental aid so that it is accessible to more households in need “.

Lawmakers should also preserve public housing by tackling the $ 70 billion reparations backlog, tackling the eviction crisis and promoting equal housing opportunities for all, including by addressing racial disparities in home ownership, ”they said.

The bishops called for expanding access to early childhood education and said this “must take into consideration the desires of parents, the unique needs of their children and include a variety of educational opportunities, including programs provided by the faith community “.

They also said Congress should preserve religious freedom by ensuring that “the benefits of this legislation (are) available to all”.

“To this end, Congress must avoid imposing obligations on funding programs and partnerships that exclude individuals and organizations who hold certain religious beliefs,” they said. “For example, recipients of funding under the bill should not be required to agree to a false understanding of gender and sexuality. “


British Christian watchdog warns Welsh pastors could face prosecution under ‘conversion therapy’ ban

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A Christian watch group is warning that the Welsh government has admitted pastors risk prosecution for its proposed law to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’ in Wales.

According to Christian Concern, a project of LGBTQ + action plan which was released in July will ban “all aspects” of sexual orientation change therapy, or what is often derisively referred to as “conversion therapy.”

Some British Christians see this plan as a threat to pastors’ religious freedom and would not allow them to counsel members of their flock who have unwanted same-sex attractions.

In the equality impact assessment recently released by the government on the plan, the watchdog noted, “A proposal in the draft plan to ban conversion therapy practices may restrict religious freedoms and put religious leaders at risk of prosecution.”

Since the Welsh government cannot make criminal law, Dr Carys Moseley of Christian Concern assumes the government wants people to be able to report religious leaders to police for ‘hate incidents’.

Moseley also cited a section of the integrated LGBTQ + impact assessment. A section on religion and belief says:

“The LGBTQ + Action Plan sets out our ambition to be the most LGBTQ + inclusive country in Europe. This means that we must pursue systemic cultural change and move forward in creating an inclusive LGBTQ + Wales. LGBTQ + people have the right to feel safe at home, at school, in the workplace and in the community at large. This includes supporting faith communities to include LGBTQ + people. “

“The Welsh government does not have direct powers over human rights issues such as religious freedom, so it is clearly pushing the boundaries here by offering ‘support’ to those who would attack Orthodox Christianity,” said Moseley. “He should really maintain a neutral stance.”

Moseley is warning Welsh pastors to wake up and take a stand against the proposed law.

“The long and short of it all is that the process of this Welsh government consultation cannot be trusted. The consultation involves an attack on religious freedom and the rights of singles, threatening to send responses to the police, sowing confusion about the law, and pure cronyism, ”he wrote.

“Welsh pastors need to wake up and realize that they could be in danger of prosecution just because they faithfully do their job. It is time to stand up and step back for the Kingdom of God,” Moseley concluded.

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


Brecknock Township Church appoints new Music Director [Religion Digest] – Reading eagle

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Brecknock Township Church appoints new Music Director [Religion Digest] – Reading eagle


Lutheran Church Allegheny, 1327 Alleghenyville Road, in the Township of Brecknock, named Dr. Annie Rose Tindall-Gibson is its new musical director. She received her doctorate in piano performance from the University of South Carolina, where she studied with Joseph Rackers. She holds an MA from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a BA from the Manhattan School of Music.

In addition to his studies focusing on piano, organ, voice, harpsichord and conducting, his curriculum vitae lists numerous piano performances in Prague, Czech Republic, St. John the Divine in New York and many cities in the United States.

Tindall-Gibson said musicians have a unique place in a wonderfully diverse world.

“We are united and connected by our great love for music, which ultimately transcends the differences between us,” she said. “Music speaks to our common humanity and leads us to work together, to collaborate, aware of our common paths and our uniqueness. “

SS. The Slovak Catholic Church Cyril and Methodius, 449 S. Sixth St., will commemorate its 125th anniversary on October 3. The celebration will begin with mass in the church at 2 p.m. After mass there will be a social evening and dinner at Restaurant Mimmo, 290 Morgantown Road, Reading. Dinner tickets for $ 10 each will be available through Sunday from Pat Krick, 610-779-2895, or Al Shaulis, 610-370-3186.

The Lutheran Reformation Church, 3670 Perkiomen Ave., Exeter Township, will worship in person and via livestream on Facebook Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Masks are mandatory. The choir, under the direction of Dr Heidi Rochlin, musical director, will lead the worship service. The day of fellowship and fun will take place immediately after worship in the outer tent with food trucks (to be purchased), moon bounces, other games and the Exeter community group. The worship service can be viewed later at www.Reformationlutheran.org. under the worship videos.

Schwarzwald United Church of Christ, 75 Church Lane Road, Township of Exeter, will be holding an In-Person and Zoom worship service on Sunday at 10:30 am It will also be available on YouTube. Robin Ward will be the guest pianist. In addition, the Cherry on Top Ice Cream Truck will be visiting at 3pm. For more information, visit www.schwarzwalducci-pa.org.

Christ Lutheran Church, 222 Niantic Road, Barto, will hold a worship service on Sunday at 9 a.m. Quilts will be blessed. Before the worship service, there will be a coffee and a conversation at 8:30 a.m. in the reception center, and after the service, there will also be a coffee and a conversation.

The Schwarzwald Lutheran Church, 250 Church Lane Road, Township of Exeter, will have in-person worship on Sunday at 10:30 am The recorded version will be available Monday on the Facebook page.

Rosedale Camp Grove, 1616 Vine St., Laureldale, will have breakfast this morning from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. The cost is $ 6. At 2 p.m. there will be a ladies tea with Freely Given speaker / singer Robin Rader-Knaap. The cost is $ 20 which includes lunch. RSVP at 610-823-7827. On Sunday at 6.30pm there will be music by Mended Heart. A voluntary offering will be taken. There will be ice cream after the program.

Christ Episcopal Church, 435 Court St., Reading, welcomes Fr. Doug Moyer as interim priest. On Sunday morning, there will be three in-person worship services, all including the Holy Eucharist: at 8 am, there will be a said service (no music); at 9, a service for families with young children; and at 10:15 am, a service with music. Anyone attending these services is requested to wear a mask. Parking is available at the Abe Lincoln Hotel parking lot and M&T Bank parking lot, both located off Washington Street. Parking next to the church on Court Street is available for people with disabilities or needing assistance. If registering remotely, please visit rdgchristchurch.org or Christ Episcopal Church, Reading, PA, on Facebook.

The Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, 170 Tuckerton Road, Muhlenberg Township, will meet Sunday at 9 a.m. for faith training and 10:30 a.m. for worship. Both take place live on Facebook and YouTube and in person. Dr. David Hauk and Cyndi Miller-Aungst will provide the music. Masks are mandatory.

Zion Lutheran Church, 354 Zion Church Road, Perry Township, will celebrate Sunday at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. with Holy Communion. The 10:30 am service will be available on Facebook and on the church’s website, zionslutheran.org. The congregation will meet at 9:15 am to discuss the pastoral transition process.

St. John’s Lutheran Church, 45 N. Reading Ave., Boyertown, is open for in-person worship on Sundays at 9:30 am. Registration is required in advance on the church’s website, www.stjohnsboyertown.org, or by calling the office. The cult broadcast live continues on YouTube (St. John’s ELC Boyertown). A free meal at the wheel is offered every Saturday from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm No registration necessary.

Trinity United Church of Christ, 2449 Cumberland Ave., Mount Penn, will celebrate Holy Communion in person Sunday at 10:15 am Masks are recommended for everyone, regardless of immunization status. The service will also be recorded and posted on the church’s Facebook page.

Bern Reformed UCC, 3196 Bernville Road, Bern Township, offers live worship at 9:30 am in the air-conditioned sanctuary, or participate from your vehicle via FM 87.9 transmission.

St. John’s Gernant Church, 13 Gernant’s Church Road, Ontelaunee Township, will be hosting a free community meal at its Memorial Hall on Tuesday from 5:30 pm to 7 pm. The meal will consist of roast chicken, vegetables, applesauce and bread rolls. Meals will be served to take away.

St. Benedict’s Church, 2020 Chestnut Hill Road, Robeson Township, will begin instructions for adults wishing to be baptized starting Tuesday at 7 p.m. For more information, call 610-856-1006.


Bishops reject funding for abortion in health bill provisions | national

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Five U.S. bishops’ committee chairs who wrote to members of the House and Senate on September 7, 2021 about the priorities of the federal budget bill can be seen in this composite photo: Bishop Michael C. Barber of Oakland, California; Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York; Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kan .; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City; and Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington. (Composite CNS; photos by Paul Haring, Kevin J. Parks of the Catholic Review, Gregory A. Shemitz, Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and Bob Roller)




WASHINGTON | On September 17, two Catholic archbishops opposed two House committees advancing parts of the $ 3.5 trillion budget bill, known as the Build Back Better Act, with wording that funds abortions. being added to the language they support to improve access to affordable health care for all.

Funding for abortion, “the deliberate destruction of our most vulnerable siblings – those in the womb – cannot be included,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Justice and Human Development.

“Congress can and must renounce including taxpayer funding for abortion in the Build Back Better Act,” they said. “We urge all members of Congress and the administration to work in good faith to advance important and vital health care arrangements without forcing Americans to pay for the willful destruction of unborn human lives.”

Archbishops Naumann and Coakley’s joint statement came in response to the September 15 markup of legislation by the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Energy and Trade to include the provision on financing of abortion.

On September 13, before the markup, the two prelates wrote “to implore” members of the House “to reject provisions that would increase taxpayer funding for abortion” and to include the principle of the Hyde Amendment. “not to finance elective abortions”.

In their letter and follow-up statement, they reiterated the US bishops’ long-standing support and advocacy for proposals “at the federal and state levels that ensure access to affordable health care for all, including Medicaid expansion proposals “.

“We are encouraged by several health care provisions in parts of the Build Back Better Act that will improve health care coverage for those in need,” the prelates said on September 15.

These include “improved postpartum coverage and other investments to address the high rates of preventable maternal deaths in the United States, expanded access to home care for family members, support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid before release. coverage for returning citizens, ”they said.

Archbishops’ statement on access to health care and abortion coverage echoes a September 7 letter from five USCCB presidents to all members of Congress and Senate on the priorities they have urged lawmakers to include it in the budget measure.

The letter called on Congress to “respect the rights and dignity of every human life in health care” by ensuring that the final bill allows everyone “to have access to affordable and comprehensive care that promotes healthy living. life and dignity, ”they said.

The USCCB “insists that the healthcare proposals in this bill, such as the expansion of Medicaid, be governed by the Hyde Amendment’s long-standing principle of not funding elective abortions. destruction of human life through abortion is not a form of health care, and taxpayers should not be forced to fund it, ”said the five committee chairs.

“If this bill increases taxpayer funding for abortion, the USCCB will oppose it,” they said.

Archbishops Naumann and Coakley signed the letter with Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Committee for Religious Freedom; Bishop Michael C. Barber of Oakland, Calif., Committee on Catholic Education; and Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington, Committee on Migration.

In August, House Members and Senators passed their respective versions of a framework or blueprint for the $ 3.5 trillion budget measure, and now they’re filling in the details.

Senate Democrats hope to pass the bill using the reconciliation process – meaning it could pass by a simple majority, and not with the 60 votes usually required.

Other priorities outlined by the bishops included creating jobs that pay “fair wages”; strengthening families by making the child care tax credit permanent; ensuring “safe, decent and affordable housing”; expand access to early childhood education; tackle greenhouse gas emissions, especially when they affect poor and vulnerable communities; guarantee access to drinking water, “a universal human right”; and preserve religious freedom so that all benefit from the provisions of the bill.

Another of the bishops’ priorities – meeting the needs of migrants and refugees – was addressed on September 12 in a vote by the House Judiciary Committee to approve language that would pave the way for U.S. citizenship for recipients of the l deferred action for arrivals of children. program, known as “Dreamers”.

The citizenship provision would also cover holders of temporary protection status, beneficiaries of delayed forced departures, and agricultural and other essential workers who are in the country without legal authorization.

“There is no doubt that Catholic social education will be involved in many aspects of this budget reconciliation bill, but it is a welcome step for many families and for the common good,” said Bishop Dorsonville in a September 15 press release.

Urging a path to legalization and citizenship for migrants and refugees, the committee chairs noted in their September 7 letter their “deep concern for family unity and the obstacles facing many families with status. mixed”.

Regarding jobs for the poor and vulnerable, the bishops said: “We have long maintained that work is fundamental to human dignity (and) constantly call for the creation of decent jobs at decent wages as the most important means. efficient way of building a just economy.

“Job creation should focus on fair wages, include a right to organize and resources for vocational training and apprenticeship programs,” they said.

The five committee chairs described climate change as “a serious challenge that requires investments in mitigation and adaptation to achieve rapid decarbonization, reduce other greenhouse gas emissions such as methane, and protect human beings. more vulnerable ”.

“Disadvantaged and marginalized communities who suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change should be given priority for investments in clean energy infrastructure and climate resilience,” they said.

“Special attention must be paid to the jobs and needs of coal and fossil fuel industry workers and their families, whose livelihoods face the uncertainties of energy transitions.

The bishops described provisions which they believe are necessary to strengthen families: “We have long taught that ‘economic and social policies as well as the organization of the world of work must be continually evaluated in the light of their impact on the strength and stability of family life.

“The long-term future of this nation is inextricably linked to the well-being of families, for the family is the most fundamental form of human community.”

They called for the expanded child tax credit to be made permanent and called for increasing access to home care for family members, strengthening child nutrition programs, ensuring child care options. ‘quality and affordable children, paid sick leave, parental leave “and other forms of support for working families.”

Congress could support affordable housing, the bishops said, by “increasing funding for the National Housing Fund and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit” and “dramatically expanding rental assistance so that it is accessible to more households in need ”.

Lawmakers should also preserve public housing by tackling the $ 70 billion reparations backlog, tackling the eviction crisis, “and promoting equal housing opportunities for all,” including addressing racial disparities in home ownership, ”they said.

The bishops called for expanding access to early childhood education and said this “must take into consideration the desires of parents, the unique needs of their children and include a variety of educational opportunities, including programs provided by the faith community “.

They also said Congress must preserve religious freedom by ensuring that “the benefits of this legislation (are) available to all”.

“To this end, Congress must avoid imposing obligations on funding programs and partnerships that exclude individuals and organizations who hold certain religious beliefs,” they said. “For example, recipients of funding under the bill should not be required to agree to a false understanding of gender and sexuality.

Editor’s Note: The full text of the Bishops’ Letter to Members of the House and Senators can be viewed online at https://bit.ly/2Z5quIR.


The dinner church is back | Faith

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When I agreed to write for the Saturday Sermon Chronicle a few months ago, one of the parameters was that the message would be relevant to the community at large and not just Methodists. I knew right away that I didn’t want to use the column to “promote” First United Methodist Church or use it in any way as a marketing tool. We can discuss the differences between marketing and evangelism in a future column. But I’m writing this the morning after our dinner church worship service revived, and I’m just a little in awe of what God is doing through this evangelistic and worshiping opportunity.

Let me explain what Dinner Church is: Actually let me take a step back and explain what Dinner Church is not. It is not a food ministry. It’s not dinner and then the church, it’s the church while we are having dinner. It is an opportunity for people to hear the word of God proclaimed, to come together in prayer, to celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion, to study the scriptures and to have a meal together. James 2: 15-17 says, “Imagine a brother or sister who is naked and never has enough food to eat. What if one of you said, ‘Go in peace! Stay warm! Enjoy your meal!’? What good is it if you don’t actually give them what their bodies need? Likewise, faith is dead when it does not result in faithful activity.

When I was appointed by our Senior Pastor Bishop of First United Methodist Church in Victoria about two years ago, I was determined to learn as much as possible about this community. One of the things that stood out was hunger, or to put it in more politically correct terms, food insecurity. Food insecurity is not just about being hungry, but also worrying about when and how you will be able to eat again. I also found that within my own congregation there were a lot of nice people who like to meet new friends. I thought, why not get everyone together for a meal? Why not get everyone together for church? It was kind of like Reese’s old ads for the peanut butter mug: “Hey, you got peanut butter in my chocolate!” Hey, you got chocolate in my peanut butter! Of course, Dinner Church is nothing new. The concept is only a few thousand years old. We read throughout the scriptures that the early Christians gathered in each other’s homes to share a meal and worship together. With Dinner Church, we simply build on this ancient means of worship and invite the Holy Spirit to dwell among us as we communicate together while feasting on meals prepared by faithful members of the church. It really is a beautiful thing to see.

So what does it look like? Well, the technical aspects work like this: we meet in our contemporary worship space around 5:30 p.m. where there are a lot of tables set. One of our pastors greets everyone and invites them to sit down before offering a blessing for the food. After most everyone has their plate, we give a few more minutes for fellowship before we get into the scriptures and a message, while people continue to eat.

We move into Holy Communion, inviting everyone to the Lord’s table to receive the sacrament before entering into prayer for one another. We elevate joys and concerns together. During this time, I am generally in awe of the collapsed walls. People are starting to share very deep personal prayer requests with complete strangers to be brought up together. I have heard prayers for comfort during times of death. Prayers to break free from the grip of addiction. Prayers for incarcerated family members. Prayers for the cure of cancer and other diseases. And, what’s important to note here is that these prayer requests come from everyone. They come from long-time church members as well as our new church dinner attendees. True friendships have formed between people who might never have met apart from an occasion like Dinner Church.

I want to reiterate that this column was not written to try to get more people to attend the Dinner Church at the First United Methodist Church; however, we would absolutely love you to join us on Wednesdays at 5:30 pm The real purpose of today’s column is to foster relationships.

It’s about fostering relationships with others, not just people who look, act and sound the same. It’s a treasure to get to know people with different backgrounds and experiences, different struggles and victories. Learn to see God in everyone’s face, then celebrate it by building relationships wherever you go and going to new places.

The Rev. Dr. Wade Powell is the Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Victoria.


Former Delaware pastor convicted of child sexual abuse

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DOVER, Del. – A woman who said her father, a former pastor of a Delaware church, sexually assaulted her as a child and trafficked her with other men, received $ 1.5 million on Friday by a federal jury.

Alicia Cohen, 41, said in her civil lawsuit that Ronald Cohen began sexually abusing her at the age of three at the family home in Newark, then began selling her to other men for relationships sex about two years later while living in Oklahoma. .

She also said her father filmed and sold videos of her being raped and used her “religious facade” and “ministries,” including the non-denominational Miracle Tabernacle, as a cover for sexual abuse. on children and child sex trafficking.

Ronald Cohen, who also used the names “Rafi” and “Raphael”, denied the allegations as “false, frivolous and defamatory”.

“Ron was shocked at the verdict,” defense attorney Dan Boyce said on Friday. Boyce said Cohen asked him to file a motion for judgment in his favor, despite the jury’s verdict, or a motion for a new trial.

He also said Cohen, who now lives in North Carolina, is 70 years old and dependent on Social Security, and is “judgmental” on the basis of his finances.

Alicia Cohen’s attorney Dan Stephenson said the case was not about money, but about Ronald Cohen’s accountability.

“The central question in the case was whether the accused repeatedly raped his daughter for years as a child. The jury clearly said ‘yes’ and awarded both compensatory and punitive damages, ”Stephenson said in an email.

Alicia Cohen has suppressed memories of her abuse for years, according to the lawsuit.

“As a result of the actions of the defendant, the plaintiff suffered extreme mental, physical, psychological and emotional trauma,” says the lawsuit. “She has spent a tremendous amount of time and money seeing doctors, psychiatrists, counselors and other therapists.”

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they have been sexually abused, unless they are made public, as Alicia Cohen did.

The seven-member jury found Ronald Cohen responsible, on a preponderance of evidence, for various offenses under Delaware law, including incest, sexual extortion and continued child sexual abuse. They also found him responsible under Delaware law for bodily harm, emotional distress and forcible confinement.

“There was no direct or circumstantial evidence to support her claims,” ​​Boyce said, adding that the complainant’s case relied on experts who “speculated” that she had certain characteristics of ” have been sexually assaulted.

Boyce also said the judge refused to allow an expert defense witness to give his opinion that Alicia Cohen’s memories of 30 years ago were false.

Stephenson, Alicia Cohen’s lawyer, dismissed the idea that this was a “he said she said” case.

“We have brought a mountain of evidence, including objective, medical and admitted facts,” he said. “We had healers, healer records, and expert witnesses supporting what Alicia said.”


Bishops warn against funding abortion in reconciliation bill | Catholic National Register

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Pro-life leaders have warned that healthcare spending in the bill could fund abortions, unless specific pro-life language is added to legislation to block such funding.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. bishops’ conference on Friday warned against funding abortion in a massive spending bill under consideration by Congress.

“Congress can and must waive including taxpayer funding for abortion in the Build Back Better Act,” said Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, chairman of the Pro-Life Committee of American Bishops, and Archbishop Paul Coakley. of Oklahoma City, chairman of the bishops’ committee on national justice and human development.

“We urge all members of Congress and the administration to work in good faith to advance important and vital health care arrangements without forcing Americans to pay for the willful destruction of unborn human lives,” said they declared.

This week, House committees put forward parts of a federal spending program that could ultimately total $ 3.5 trillion. The package would include various policy priorities of the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats, such as funding for universal preschool, free tuition for a two-year community college, investments in “green” energy. and a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants.

Some proposals supported by the American Bishops’ Conference are included in the health care portions of the package. These include expanding Medicaid coverage, postpartum coverage for mothers, and funding for the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Catholic bishops have been strong supporters of proposals at the federal and state levels that ensure access to affordable health care for all,” Archbishop Naumann and Bishop Coakley said on Friday.

“However, the legislation put forward by the two House committees also funds abortion, the deliberate destruction of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters – those in the womb. This cannot be included,” they said. they stated.

Pro-life leaders have warned that healthcare spending in the bill could fund abortions, unless specific pro-life language is added to legislation to block such funding. Federal dollars could fund abortion coverage through the Affordable Care Act health grants and the creation of a parallel Medicaid structure for states that have refused to expand Medicaid.

Some members, such as Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, R-Wash., And Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Arizona, have attempted to insert amendments to the reconciliation bill banning abortion funding; these attempts were blocked this week, during hearings of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The budget package is expected to go through the “reconciliation” process, the process by which budget-related items can pass through the Senate with only a simple majority vote. It is envisaged in addition to the government’s usual financing “appropriations” bills for the 2022 fiscal year.


Ahead of right-wing rally, churches in Washington DC call for additional police protection

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WASHINGTON (RNS) – Places of worship in the nation’s capital will receive additional police protection ahead of a right-wing rally this weekend after members of the activist group Proud Boys destroyed and burned church banners in December 2020 .

In a letter sent to Washington Metropolitan Police officials Thursday, September 16, Asbury Methodist Church pastor Reverend Ianther M. Mills and Canardo M. Richardson church board chairman expressed concern after hearing about reports an internal Capitol Police memo warning that this weekend’s “Justice for January 6” rally could pose a threat to Jewish centers and liberal churches.

The rally is being touted as an effort to express solidarity with those arrested for their alleged role in the Jan.6 uprising on the United States Capitol.

After a protest against the election of President Joe Biden on December 12, several Proud Boys demolished a Black Lives Matter sign that was displayed outside Asbury. The leader of the group, Enrique Tarrio, was eventually arrested and sentenced to 5 months in prison for his role in the destruction of the sign, as well as charges related to the possession of weapons. Members of the Proud Boys have also been charged with participating in the insurgency.


RELATED: Proud Boys Leader Sentenced to Five Months for Burning Church Banner


In Asbury’s letter, which was shared with the media by officials affiliated with the Downtown Cluster of Congregations in Washington, church leaders said their staff had received harassing emails since Tarrio’s conviction.

Taken together, these conditions not only indicate that the physical property of Asbury United Methodist Church may be at risk of serious vandalism at the upcoming Justice for J6 gathering, but also that our staff and members are at risk of harassment and harm. The church leadership wrote. .

They asked the police to provide a plan to protect their church “as well as other targeted churches in the city center”.

A District of Columbia police spokesperson confirmed to Religion News Service that law enforcement plans to give “special attention” to the church on Saturday.

Terry Lynch, executive director of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations in Washington, said police had agreed to provide security for other churches in the area, including Metropolitan AME, another historic black church whose Black Lives Matter sign was demolished in December.

“The downtown cluster of congregations and its members have requested and appreciated the presence of the MPD in their congregations,” Lynch said in a statement. “Minorities – African Americans, Asians and others have suffered tragic hate crimes at unprecedented levels last year. We are working to make tomorrow safe for all and not suffer what we saw on January 6 and during the MAGA events. Indeed, together we will overcome hatred and violence.

This is at least the second time this year that police have stepped up security in Asbury and nearby places of worship. The officers were parked outside the church and other religious communities in the city center on January 6, when religious leaders voiced concerns to the city about the presence of right-wing groups.

Even so, a group of clergy gathered in prayer around a Black Lives Matter sign outside a Lutheran church were harassed by Trump supporters as they walked down to attend his rally that day.

An interfaith group of religious leaders pray outside Luther Place Memorial Church on January 6, 2021, in Washington. RNS Photo by Jack Jenkins

Hate group watchers said they doubted the weekend rally would come close to the numbers seen on January 6. Many right-wing leaders are dissuading their supporters from attending over concerns over the heavy law enforcement presence, and FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate said earlier this week that his agency did not given specific credible threats of potential violence.


RELATED: DC Church Replaces Destroyed ‘Proud Boys’ Black Lives Matter Banner


But organizers may have received a boost on Thursday when former President Donald Trump appeared to express his solidarity with rally fans.

“Our hearts and minds are with those so unfairly persecuted in connection with the January 6 protest over the rigged presidential election,” he said in a statement, referring to widely discredited allegations about the accuracy of the 2020 elections.

“On top of everything else, it has conclusively proven that we are a two tier justice system. In the end, however, JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL!

The local application must be on high alert before the rally, and fences have been re-erected around the United States Capitol.



Pope Francis told bishops to guide pro-choice politicians “in the style of God.” What does this mean in practice?

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During his in-flight press conference on Wednesday following his trip to Hungary and Slovakia, Pope Francis answered a question from AmericaVatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell on giving Holy Communion to pro-choice politicians. What Pope Francis has not done, in fact what he has refused to do, is to settle the matter universally and definitively.

Instead, Pope Francis’ response had a three-part structure: 1) affirming moral teaching on the injustice of abortion; 2) to affirm that people can place themselves outside the community of the Church and thus make themselves incapable of worthy communion; 3) to emphasize that the controversies over whether to refuse Communion do not arise from disagreements over the theological principles of points one and two, but rather as a pastoral problem of how to apply them. Francis spent most of his response warning that failure to address this pastoral problem as pastors could lead the bishops to “take sides in politics”, which does not end well for the church.

What Pope Francis has not done, in fact what he has refused to do, is to settle the matter universally and definitively.

I have written about these problems twice already. In May, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent a letter recommending a process of extensive dialogue before the bishops of the United States attempt to give advice on the issue of communion to pro-choice politicians. At the time, I was explaining why, even if all bishops could agree to prohibit pro-choice politicians from taking Communion, such a policy would likely not achieve the political goal of strengthening support for anti-abortion laws. . In June, the bishops voted to move forward with drafting a document on Eucharistic Coherence without taking the time out of the recommended dialogue process. I then wrote that Catholics who come to opposing conclusions about whether pro-choice politicians should be denied Communion may both be motivated by a pastoral concern.

I think that my two previous analyzes are in agreement with the emphasis placed by Pope Francis on the pastoral problem posed by this question. But his response highlighted two points that help me recognize how easy it is to fall into the trap of dealing with pastoral issues in a way that reduces them to political issues, while still thinking that one is acting like theological and moral truth demands it.

First, Francis said that a pastor “must be a shepherd in the style of God”, which he described as “closeness, compassion and tenderness”. He added that this requirement applies even in a pastoral relationship to those who are excommunicated and pointed to scriptural illustrations of this divine “style”. At the end of his response, Francis again referred to the triad of closeness, compassion and tenderness and stated that these pastoral principles “come from theology, the pastoral is theology and the Holy Spirit, which leads you to [act pastorally] with the style of God.

What Pope Francis is emphasizing here is that closeness, compassion and tenderness are themselves theological truths about who God relates to human beings.

What Pope Francis is emphasizing here is that closeness, compassion and tenderness are not pastoral. constraints on the fervor with which other theological truths are announced but themselves theological truths about who God relates to human beings. Acting pastorally “in the manner of God” does not preclude speaking frankly about the moral truth of abortion as unjust violence and saying clearly, as Pope Francis did, “whoever performs an abortion kills” and that “accepting it is a bit like accepting murder on a daily basis.” Acting pastorally in God’s style does not mean relaxing those truths. Instead, it means finding ways to stay close, like the God made it, even with people who refuse or are unable to accept these moral truths.

Second, Pope Francis referred to the casuistry and controversy over the discussion in “Amoris Laetitia” of pastoral support for divorced couples. (A group of theologians have gone so far as to accuse the Pope of heresy.) Because Francis never got involved in the uniquely American debate over whether President Biden should receive Communion – and even in the yesterday’s response, he specifically avoided addressing the peculiarities of the situation in the United States – I was initially intrigued by this reference to “Amoris Laetitia”. The problem here is where the American bishops are at odds with each other, not the Pope, and it has nothing to do with marriage.

But I realized on reflection that these two controversies both stem from mistrust of pastoral judgment rather than from formal theological disagreement. The theology of marriage in “Amoris Laetitia” is entirely in accordance with Catholic tradition. But some thought that his call to the pastoral accompaniment of divorced couples, with discernment according to individual circumstances, would be badly applied to undermine the teaching on the dignity of receiving communion. In other words, they were unwilling to trust pastors to apply a teaching, even if that teaching itself was not questioned.

Pope Francis has a broader – and I would also say more courageous – vision of what it means to be a pastor.

Likewise, in the current debate in the American church over pro-choice politicians receiving Communion, I think the issue is not a disagreement over the church’s teaching on abortion or that the rejection of this could have an impact on the dignity of receiving Communion. No bishop denies either of these statements. Rather, there is a tendency among some Catholics to treat pastoral judgments on the application of these teachings as tantamount to heresy if they are not strict enough.

Often, someone who takes this kind of position maintains that the theological principles involved are so clear that they admit only one practical conclusion: fellowship must be denied. So, anyone who disagrees must really be unwilling to fully accept the underlying theological claim rather than making pastoral judgments about how best to stay close to someone who rejects or resists parts of the religion. doctrine of the church, as they say. But thus clearly stated, the poisonous role of mistrust becomes evident. The conclusion drawn from distrust is effectively circular, ensuring that anyone who comes to a different pastoral judgment on a matter of sufficient importance must be assumed to reject a theological truth.

Pope Francis has a broader – and I would also say more courageous – vision of what it means to be a pastor. And I think this vision also allows bishops, as pastors, to disagree with one another on the best course to take, either in general or in particular concrete circumstances. Pope Francis calls pastors to trust in the Holy Spirit, who leads them to care for their flocks “in the style of God.” In doing so, he also reminds the whole Church that it is God, first and foremost, who extends to us “the closeness, the compassion and the tenderness” which must shape the pastoral care of the Church, in particular for those who seem to wander far from the herd.


Bishop of Springfield: Clergy can provide documents to support religious exemption from COVID vaccine mandate

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SPRINGFIELD – Clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, which covers the four counties of western Massachusetts, are told by Bishop William D. Byrne that they can provide documents to support requests for exemptions religious of any COVID vaccine warrant, but should not sign or write a letter of exemption.

“In charity as priests and deacons we are to help support the conscientious rights of our Catholic faithful on this and all matters,” Byrne wrote in a letter posted to the diocese’s website. “We can do this by attesting to their sacramental baptism and the ‘practice’ of their Catholic faith, in a separate letter or statement, to support their letter or request for religious exemption, but not to compose or sign a letter or we train ourselves. “

Byrne told the Republican: “In writing my letter, I was not making a statement about vaccines, rather I was reiterating that everyone has the fundamental right to raise a conscientious objection, giving advice to our priests and deacons on how they can respond pastorally.

Pope Francis, who is vaccinated, urged Catholics and others to do so, saying in a media campaign that it is a “simple but profound way of caring for each other, especially more vulnerable “.

All three vaccines administered in the United States against the coronavirus disease pandemic have used cell lines derived from abortions either in their research or in their production. None of them contain fetal cells because the lineages are decades old. However, some American bishops as well as organizations opposed to abortion raised objections early in their deployment, prompting the Vatican to respond in December that it is “morally acceptable” to receive such vaccines if no alternative. is available and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will issue a similar statement in January.

The response from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also added that “the morality of vaccination depends not only on the duty to protect one’s own health, but also on the duty to pursue the common good”.

More recently, some bishops and organizations, such as the National Catholic Bioethics Center, have advanced the role of conscience by opposing vaccine mandates and supporting religious exemptions, while other bishops and Catholic institutions have imposed their own. mandates as COVID-19, fueled by more aggressive politics. variant of the original virus, has started to increase again with the majority of hospitalizations and deaths among the unvaccinated.

Michigan-based Trinity Health, one of the largest Catholic healthcare delivery systems in the country and whose partners include the Mercy Medical Center, issued a warrant in early July for its employees to be vaccinated.

In his letter, Byrne refers to statements from the USCCB and NCBC with excerpts from each that vaccination should be a voluntary decision.

“In view of these perspectives, it is important for us to recognize and encourage the well-formed consciences of those who desire both the vaccine for themselves and the common good, as well as those who, for health reasons or for other reasons, may wish to not receive the vaccine, ”Byrne writes.

Massachusetts allows vaccine exemptions both for medical reasons, usually documented by a health care provider, as well as for religious reasons.

In advising his clergy, Byrne’s letter adds, “Many organizations and institutions are beginning to demand the vaccine, and therefore, to understand the objections to conscientious rights, we, as leaders of our congregations, can be called upon to help. the Catholics of our parishes to ask for an exemption. “

“It is important to understand that on the basis of conscience it is not possible for anyone to act or speak on behalf of another person requesting an exemption,” Byrne said. “Such a request for a right of conscience must come from the individuals themselves by means of their own letter or by filling out the form of an organization requesting an exemption. “

Baystate Health, which required its employees to get vaccinated by October 1, recently had the highest number of COVID-related hospitalizations in the state, a situation attributed to delayed vaccination rates in Hampden County.

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The History of Sunday Parties in Black Churches in Dallas and Beyond

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According to your spiritual beliefs, the social customs of eating together and feeding the masses within religious communities have been around since, well, the beginning of time.

From Jesus’ miraculous feat of feeding thousands of people with just two fish and five loaves of bread, to the Islamic parable of Muhammed providing food to over 40,000 believers for 40 days, the stories of charismatic leaders helping the masses with manna promises from heaven are not new. . And Judaism can be thanked for lending this style of table meal to Christianity.

For the African American community, community church meals have become a pillar – a safe space to celebrate, a place of freedom. During the period of slavery in the United States, the black community generally received rationed portions of food on Saturday evenings, paving the way for the preparation and sharing of these limited foods in the traditional “Sunday dinners” that are now common. .

Sunday was also the only day of rest received by many slaves, making eating after church services a truly special occasion. In “There’s Nothing Like Church Food: Food and the US Afro-Christian Tradition”, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, author Jualynne E. Dodson notes that after the abolition of slavery, many have carried on this tradition of Sunday meals and fellowship with family and others in their new lives.

In the Bible there are many stories of shared meals, often linked to the promise of freedom. African slaves interpreted them as parables foreshadowing their own tastes of freedom after slavery. As a result, West and Central Africans, most of whom were forcibly converted to Christianity, also began to incorporate foods into their festive eating habits while simultaneously remembering their own cultures.

Today there is a long tradition in African American churches. After the preaching, singing and praying is over, everyone heads to the church dining room for Sunday dinner.

At the start of the 19th century, black churches in the South began hosting traditional open-air Sunday afternoon dinners, known in many circles as “dinner on the ground.” Some even sold plates of the “Gospel Bird” alongside spoons of tangy mustard yellow potato salad, slowly cooked bitter greens, and strawberry iced soda as a way to raise money for everything from building fund for political activism, as Georgia Gilmore did during the Civil Rights days.

The Full Gospel Holy Temple Church in South Dallas has a habit of serving Sunday meals, called Dinner on the Ground.
The Full Gospel Holy Temple Church in South Dallas has a habit of serving Sunday meals, called Dinner on the Ground.(Church of the Temple of the Full Gospel)

Some black churches have made an even more direct connection to food by organizing their services in renovated restaurants. In 1961, the late Reverend Lobias Murray opened his first church, Full Gospel Holy Temple, in South Dallas, and neighbors quickly dubbed it “Murray’s Barbecue Café”. Due to its previous existence as a barbecue spot, the planks and walls gave off a pungent smell of slow-cooked Texan beef brisket as the congregation trampled on its services.

Black churches frequently opened churches in old storefronts, just as Murray had done, in the hope of bringing the Word of God closer to communities. It also offered affordable solutions to rental space issues.

Reverend Lobias Murray, founder of Full Gospel Holy Temple in Dallas.
Reverend Lobias Murray, founder of Full Gospel Holy Temple in Dallas.(Courtesy of family / Digital file_UPLOAD)

In the 1930s, an oral history project interviewing once enslaved men and women was collected and sponsored by the Works Progress Administration. Among those documents was a personal account shared by Rosie Washington, 90, who at the time lived in West Texas. She told stories of enslaved people hiding in the woods on Sundays to attend church services because they were not allowed to practice a religion in public. She looked after the children of the plantation owners on Sundays, then rushed to the makeshift church later hidden away to meet her family and friends by the river. Once there they worshiped and fried fish. While it wasn’t called Field Dinner, the concept is surprisingly similar.

Father Jealous Divine, a controversial but magnetic Southern leader who rose from poverty to notoriety, moved to New York City in the early 1900s and had progressive ideologies for the time. He founded the International Peace Mission movement and preached his hopes for a utopian society that promoted radical beliefs of equal rights for all races and genders. He often used food to bring people together.

At the height of the Great Depression, he asked his “angels” – as he referred to his flock – to pay only if they could afford a dime or 15 cents to share a meal at one of the its lavish banquets which frequently served such foods as gospel bird, duck, ribs, potatoes, stewed tomatoes, green beans, fruit salad and chocolate cake. Under his leadership, the membership skyrocketed. It can’t be determined whether his decision to serve food was the cause of his popularity, but it certainly didn’t hurt.

The Full Gospel Holy Temple Church in South Dallas has a habit of serving Sunday meals, called Dinner on the Ground.
The Full Gospel Holy Temple Church in South Dallas has a habit of serving Sunday meals, called Dinner on the Ground.(Church of the Temple of the Full Gospel)

Although far from Reverend Divine’s abundant banquets, my own memories of communal religious meals were feasting on lazy Sunday afternoons at my little Full Gospel Holy Temple church in Sherman, TX.

For us, the Field Dinner was often an annual event in which, after church services were over, members shared the main dishes, sides and desserts they prepared, neatly stored in the neat corners of the floor. their car for transportation.

Not only was everyone encouraged to contribute at least one class, it was BYOTC (bring your own tables and chairs by means of folding tables and lawn chairs). Sometimes those of us with a truck would open the bed and use it as a makeshift table to contain the massive spread.

This rite was the most popular at our annual Homecoming celebration. It allowed me and my friends to swap our formal church dresses for our long denim skirts and Keds as we watched the boys play soccer in the large empty field next to our church. . A shared outdoor meal seemed to sum up our feelings for the afternoon perfectly.

The practice of community food sharing thrives with many churches, including the current location of the sacred Full Gospel Temple, now run by Murray’s grandson, Apostle Herman L. Murray Jr. Today’s celebrations ‘Hui persist, though some have evolved to include elaborate tents and fans to accommodate the sweltering Texas heat instead of outdoor tables on cobblestone parking lots.

Deah Berry Mitchell is a freelance writer and cultural historian from Dallas.


U.S. bishops welcome inclusion of undocumented legalization in budget reconciliation bill

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USCCB Migration Committee Chairman Bishop Mario Dorsonville expresses US bishops’ support for the inclusion of a language in the upcoming budget reconciliation bill which, if passed, would provide the legalization with a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States.

By Lisa Zengarini

The bishops of the United States have expressed full support for the inclusion of new immigration provisions legalizing undocumented immigrants in the upcoming budget reconciliation bill.

The $ 3.5 trillion bill aims to expand the country’s social safety net. However, in a move backed by the bishops, Congressional Democrats are also trying to use it as a way to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants to the United States. These include immigrants who were brought to the United States as children (the so-called Dreamers), as well as holders of Temporary Protected Status (TPS); Beneficiaries of Delayed Forced Departure (DED); and a number of essential undocumented workers.

A welcome stopover for families

The House Judiciary Committee passed the latest measure on September 13. In a statement released Wednesday, Bishop Mario Dorsonville, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ (USCCB) migration committee, hailed the decision as an “important step” and a “welcome step for many families and families. the common good. He recalled that for decades the bishops of the United States “have been the supporters of such reforms, which promote integration and family unity.” In his statement, the prelate stresses that the country cannot persist in relegating these members of society to the margins, “especially when we simultaneously depend on so many of them for our collective well-being”.

The need for comprehensive reform

While reiterating the need for a “more complete reform” of the American immigration system, “a reform which recognizes and respects the dignity given by God to each person”, the bishops therefore call on both the House of Representatives and the Senate to include the new provisions of the final reconciliation bill.

Respect the rights and dignity of all human life

Bishop Dorsonville‘s statement follows a letter sent last week by five USCCB committee chairs outlining the bishops’ wide range of priorities for the entire bill. In Wednesday’s statement, Bishop Dorsonville reiterates their call on Congress to adopt a text “which helps all those on the margins of our society, strengthens families, protects religious freedom, promotes the care of creation and respects the rights and the dignity of every human life, from conception to natural death.


Firefighter and pastor talk about bravery, being fit and church

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – As a firefighter for 36 years, he remembers how hard he hit 9/11 twenty years ago, watching his fellow first responders lay down their lives to save them. others.

Battalion Commander Mark Burnett, who has spent nearly four decades with Columbus (GA) Fire & EMS, opened up on our “Run The Race” podcast about his strong feelings on September 11th.

“A little angry and very proud that my brothers and sisters in another state are doing what they are committed to doing – helping people,” Burnett said. “That day you really saw the heart of what a firefighter, an ambulance driver, an ambulance driver, a policeman really is, it’s about taking care and saving the lives of others, in defiance of yours . It was a heartbreaking day for sure.

Burnett is also an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God, answering questions about why God “would allow” such evil to happen. In addition to preaching and responding to emergencies in the City of the Fountain, he juggles the roles of husband, father and having 7 grandchildren.

This battalion commander also talks on our podcast about being an outspoken Christian in a fire department, which offers both opportunities and challenges. Burnett also gives us the 4 basic things you need to do in order to impact the lives of others, wherever you are.

Being in great shape at 55, Burnett details his early morning fitness routine, nutritional goals, and the importance of being in good shape as a firefighter. His passion is triathlon, having done a half Ironman so far.

As the COVID-19 virus still rages on, Pastor Mark calls the local church “the hope of the world” and highlights the lessons learned from the pandemic.

Tell your friends about the #RunTheRace podcast. To listen to this firefighter’s story or one of our 80 previous episodes, visit www.wtvm.com/podcast/.

Copyright 2021 WTVM. All rights reserved.


renovations to New Beginnings Baptist Church to reach teens | Religion

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New Beginnings Baptist Church believes in investing in the next generation.

A renovation project aimed at reaching young East Texans is underway at Longview Church, which also has a campus in Gilmer.

“We want our church to be a place where families can be connected and know that values, ethics, and scripture teaching are important to their students,” said Todd Kaunitz, senior pastor of the Longview campus of the ‘church. “So we want to make sure that we invest in the resources necessary for these families to feel that and experience that. “

Planning for the project, which includes a secondary school building and an undergraduate building, began over a year ago.

“We started the project right before COVD,” Kaunitz said. “We just recognized that in order to reach out to teens, invest in and build them, as leaders and disciples of Jesus, we just needed… attractive facilities to impact our students in our community.”

Kaunitz said the decision was made to renovate two buildings on campus, where students could feel comfortable and also be comfortable with their friends.

“So, I just started praying about it, and we met our teams and really landed on renovating two of our buildings that are on campus and turning them only into middle and high school spaces.” , did he declare.

The junior high school building will house a new snack hut, group living spaces (classrooms) for students to meet, a game room, a fully indoor basketball court and a ultramodern worship center.

The high school building will include a café, a state-of-the-art worship center, an outdoor worship stage, fire pits and a sand volleyball court.

The $ 2 million project is funded by the church‘s NextGen campaign.

“It is funded by generous donations from our faithful. Our staff have just become motivated to invest in this next generation, ”said Kaunitz. “We see that our teens are leaders, not just for tomorrow but for today. Our people just really opened their hearts and their wallets and gave generously. “

Building renovations began about six weeks ago.

“We started the plans before the pandemic, so we put it off for a year,” Kaunitz said. “Since we have been operational, there have been a few setbacks due to the pandemic, but nothing too urgent. “

He said renovations to the two student buildings are expected to be completed in the coming months.

“The high school building that we expect to be able to move into in November and the junior high school building maybe at the end of November,” he said. “We have an outdoor space that the pandemic has held us back to, which is an outdoor basketball area and an outdoor volleyball area. These things will likely be delayed until January. “

The project also includes the expansion of a facility on the church campus in Gilmer.

“Part of what’s included is the expansion of a 3,600 square foot facility for our students in our children’s ministry at our Gilmer campus,” Kaunitz said. “This is a project that we will be launching in the coming months and which will allow us to reach more children in the Upshur County area. “

Ultimately, Kaunitz said he just wanted the next generation to become the leaders who shape the future of their communities.

“It’s not just an investment in students, it’s an investment in the future of our community, because each of these students will lead businesses and families,” he said. “They’re going to be coaches, teachers, doctors and nurses. So if we can invest in them now when they are young, it will only strengthen our community in the future. “


Church News | Community | bgdailynews.com

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Clearfork Baptist Church, 303 Clearfork Church Spur Road in Rockfield, will have Taco Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every third Tuesday of the month. Tacos, chips and salsa will be served to all those who need a meal or who want to come and share.

Jackson Grove Baptist Church will have her 137-year-old homecoming on Sunday. The worship service will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Don Rogers will be the guest speaker. The singing will be from 11 a.m. to noon. Commonwealth Quartet of Gallatin, Tenn., Will be the guest singers. For more information or for instructions, call Pastor Josh Jordan at 270-791-9919 or Lyndell Graven at 270-991-7554.

Join the Sneed family at 8 p.m. on September 21 for a song at the Cave City Convention Center outdoor pavilion. Bring instruments and join the house band for a meeting of old hymns. There is no admission fee.

Baptist Missionary Church of the Union of the Chapel will have a gospel song at 6 p.m. Saturday. The featured singers will be the Higher Praise Quartet (Southern Gospel Singers). The church is located at 9578 Caneyville Road north of Morgantown. Robert Bailey is a pastor.

The Garmons will perform at 10 a.m. on September 26 at Union Chapel General Baptist Church in Portland, Tenn., for the reunion.

– The deadline for church news is noon Thursday.


Walsh helps TAB Media connect with pastors

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Dave Walsh, pastor of Baptist Church of Ariton, knew The Alabama Baptist before her daughter, Maggie, started working for the newspaper as an intern about ten years ago.

But once she spent some time on the TAB Media team – then returned to a full-time position – he really started to realize all the resources that the Media and Communications Department had to. offer to pastors and churches.

Now Walsh, in addition to his duties as pastor, has joined the TAB Media team in a part-time role as a media and marketing consultant.

“My main goal will be to work with pastors and churches to make these connections,” he said, adding that he wanted to share with churches of all sizes how TAB can support them as a tool of ministry. .

Pasteur connections

Part of his new role is to coordinate an electronic newsletter called Pastor Connections which is aimed exclusively at senior pastors at least once a month.

“This is the group that needs to be strengthened first,” said Walsh, noting that the primary purpose of the newsletter is to organize information and education resources produced by TAB Media that will help pastors both personally and professionally.

It also provides a way to connect pastors with other Baptist ministries in Alabama available through sister entities and the TAB Media network.

Already, the newsletter has attracted responses from pastors who have allowed it to have personal conversations with them about their struggles and to encourage them.

“I want to help church leaders who are struggling with the new normal,” he said. “I can’t wait to make a difference.

Walsh will also join the effort overseen by Debbie Campbell, Director of Communications, to explain how church members, congregations and associations can effectively partner with TAB Media.

TAB editor-in-chief Jennifer Davis Rash said Walsh has already volunteered to help and is excited to make the role official.

“All of the staff at TAB Media have a close relationship with our Baptist family in Alabama and we know these bonds will only grow stronger as we move forward, but we have realized the need to focus specifically on senior pastors, ”she said. “With the increased levels of pressure on church pastors, especially in recent days, we want to make it even easier for pastors to engage with the various resources we provide. The more I learned about Dave’s heart to help other pastors and witnessed his own personal journey to discover how TAB Media can truly be a useful partner in all aspects of life, especially for those involved in church life, I knew it would be a perfect fit. . “

To sign up for the new Pastor Connections email newsletter, send your name, church, and email address to [email protected]


Injection of New Pastor Energy Revives St. Ambrose Parish – Catholic Philly

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This month, several parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are welcoming new pastors and celebrating installation ceremonies.

One of these parishes is Saint Ambrose, which for nearly a century served its lower northeastern Philadelphia neighborhood and served as a Catholic landmark at the southern end of Roosevelt Boulevard.

The installation of Father Charles Ravert as parish priest of Saint-Ambroise on Sunday, September 12, chaired by Auxiliary Bishop Michael Fitzgerald, was remarkable because most parishioners never thought it would happen.

(See a photo gallery of the Mass installation.)

Mass attendance had been low for years, religious education had declined, the school had closed years earlier, and ministries were few. This was all due to the reality of a changing neighborhood with fewer practicing Catholics – a trend reflected in many communities in the Philadelphia area.

Parishioners were convinced or at least suspected that the parish would close in July 2020 after the retirement of their longtime pastor, Father James Catagnus.

Parish staff resign to look for other work and parish buildings are sold.

But there were seeds and some seeds of growth, signs of hope for a possible future: the sale of unnecessary buildings would ensure financial stability, and the number of Spanish-speaking Catholics, including many young families in the neighborhood, was increasing.

Father Ravert and retired deacon José Mendez, who served in Saint-Ambroise for 32 years, share a tender and moving moment.

Yet when Father Ravert arrived as the new administrator last July, it came as a surprise to parishioners.

When the young priest, ordained in 2014, arrived, he saw around 25 worshipers attending a Saturday evening and a Sunday mass, and about double that for a Spanish mass.

And he had nowhere to lay his head at the end of the day. The presbytery and the convent had been sold.

So, with blankets to sleep on the floor and a fan to beat the July heat, he settled into a 1960s high school classroom for the first two weeks until volunteers rearranged the room. space in lounges.

He then went to work serving his parish, getting to know people, offering the sacraments, forging relationships.

“It has been a crazy year and a half,” said Father Ravert of his new mission in which he was “here to bring a message of hope, that it was not the end but a new beginning”.

Amid the pandemic’s restrictions and widespread shutdown rumors, Father Ravert detected “a spiritual depression” among the people, “and they stayed away,” he said.

He began to use his youthful energy, boundless enthusiasm and Spanish language skills to breathe new life into the parish.

Longtime director of religious education, Elaine Potalivo had found a new position, but stayed on to help the new pastor in transition. Last June, he hired Theresa Brown as the ward’s religious education program coordinator.

“It’s an exciting time” in Saint-Ambroise, said Brown before the installation mass. “Father Charles is very enthusiastic. He is young with a lot of energy.

She was expecting around 60 PREP students this year after enrolling the following night, September 13.

“We couldn’t do (PREP) last year because of COVID,” she said. “Now that we have a new pastor, he wanted to start a new program after a year of absence, with the closures. I can’t wait to meet more children. Looks like it’s gonna be good.

Another youth outreach program is starting in St. Ambrose with another new hire a year ago, a young woman who joined the St. Ambrose family as a kindergarten.

Father Ravert shows the congregation what they already know: he does have the keys to the church.

Father Ravert’s youthful age is “what this church needed most,” said Jamileth Tejada, minister of youth for ten children so far. “Father Charles (attracted) a lot of young people. We have a lot of young people in the community.

“There are definitely more people coming to church now, including new members,” Tejada said.

The numbers prove what Tejada sees. Those two dozen attendees at weekend masses have grown to around 200, and the 50 Spanish-speaking people at a weekly mass have only standing places, according to the pastor.

For older parishioners who have seen great changes in population and demographics for over half a century, the rebirth of Saint-Ambroise is encouraging.

Life member Joséphine Lavorini praised the work of her new parish priest because “it involves many members of the parish in activities. He actively seeks out and embraces people who worked here before. He welcomes everyone, ”she said.

Frank Tigue, also a parishioner for over 40 years, said he wanted the parish to remain open. “It’s a stabilizing factor in a changing neighborhood, and it’s heartwarming,” he said.

The diversity of youth and experience with a mix of ethnic cultures among the nearly 1,200 registered parish members was evident in the installation mass last Sunday.

Spanish alternated with English for all prayers, scripture readings, remarks and even Bishop Fitzgerald’s homily. General intercessions were offered in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, French and qeq’vhi, the language of the indigenous Mayans of Guatemala who reside in the parish.

The Mass, which Father Ravert described as a “celebration of what the community has accomplished with the grace of God over the past year”, celebrated what he called the “flourishing renewal of the parish”.

The Spanish and English choirs sang beautiful sacred music leading over 200 people during mass which included an emotional moment where Father Ravert, greeting the representatives of the parish, tearfully and tenderly embraced the retired permanent deacon Jose Mendez , loved by parishioners for his 32 years of service to St Ambroise.

After Mass, Father Ravert thanked many people, including his mother Eleanor, whom he called “my first friend and my best friend”, and without whom “I would never know the love of God”.

Although he often drove from his first priestly mission to St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Bensalem on Roosevelt Boulevard past St. Ambrose on his way to his family home in Manayunk, he was happy to make the parish his new home. .

He thanked the parishioners – even speaking in Vietnamese, with nods of approval from some of the faithful – for their “generous spirit and loving support which strengthens my spirit every week.” Thank you for being part of your family here in Saint-Ambroise, ”said Father Ravert. “I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us in the years to come. “


‘Back to church Sunday’ September 19

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For the star diary

The Sunday back to church will be this weekend, September 19. The Rhineland Calvary Baptist Church joins more than 30,000 churches around the world in inviting people to attend church on Sunday. Calvary is extending an open invitation to those who have never attended church, or those who have attended but no longer do, to come to their worship service at 9 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. Since its inception in 2009, churches participating in the National Back on Church Sunday have sent millions of invitations to people in their communities. The movement started when the 2009 survey found that 82% of people said they would attend church if someone they knew invited them – but only 2% of church members invited people. to accompany them in their church.

“In the fall we go back to school, we go back to football – and we want to encourage people to go back to church, especially in light of all the hardships this year with COVID-19,” said Rod Ankrom, pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church. “The special focus of this national event reminds us of how important it is to invite others to connect with Jesus Christ in the Northwoods. There are so many good churches in our area. We pray that people will attend this Sunday. This year’s theme is “Hope is Here! »With the theme verse of Romans 15:13 (May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace if you trust him, so that you may overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.)

“We invite people to come to church and find a gathering of people who grow together spiritually, apply their faith to daily challenges, and who help and support each other – as well as actively support our community.”

For more information visit www.ExploreCalvary.com, log onto Facebook or call 715-362-4792.


Bishop congratulates members of the House for proposing a citizenship pathway for immigrants

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WASHINGTON (CNS) – The chairman of the U.S. Bishops Committee on Migration on September 15 welcomed the decision by House members to include language in the $ 3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill in order to ‘Pave the way for US citizenship for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals and other immigrants.

“We are pleased that the House Committee on Judicial Power has taken this important step, offering many undocumented people the opportunity to gain legal status and a path to citizenship,” Auxiliary Bishop Mario said. E. Dorsonville of Washington, who heads the United States. Conference of Catholic Bishops of the Committee on Migration.

“Without a doubt, Catholic social education will be involved in many aspects of this budget reconciliation bill, but it is a welcome step for many families and the common good,” he said in a statement. communicated.

Bishop Dorsonville added: “For decades, the bishops of the United States have been supporters of such reforms, which promote integration and family unity. We cannot persist in relegating these members of our society to the margins, especially when we simultaneously depend on so many of them for our collective well-being.

If the budget reconciliation bill is adopted, the language on citizenship would apply to people covered by the DACA, often called “dreamers”, as well as to holders of temporary protection status, to beneficiaries of delayed forced departure, agricultural workers and other essential workers in the country. without legal authorization.

The full House of Representatives and the US Senate will need to incorporate this language into their respective final versions of the budget reconciliation bill; both houses will need to pass the bill and President Joe Biden will need to sign it before it goes into effect.

Language endorsed by the House Judiciary Committee was among several priorities that five USCCB committee chairs urged Senate and House members to incorporate into their respective final versions of the budget bill.

In a September 7 letter to all members of Congress, the committee chairs underlined several priorities: the integration of migrants and refugees; safeguarding jobs for the poor and vulnerable; strengthening families; expand access to early childhood education; ensuring “safe, decent and affordable housing”; take care of creation; preserve religious freedom; and respect for the rights and dignity of all human life in health care.

Besides Bishop Dorsonville, the other committee chairs who signed the letter were: Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Committee for Religious Freedom; Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, Committee on National Justice and Human Development; and Bishop Michael C. Barber of Oakland, Calif., Committee on Catholic Education.

“As we continue to work towards a more comprehensive reform of our immigration system – one that recognizes and respects the God-given dignity of every person – we welcome this crucial step,” Bishop Dorsonville said in his September 15 statement on the House justice system. Committee action.

Echoing the September 7 letter, he said: “We call on both the House and the Senate to include these provisions in the final reconciliation bill and on Congress to pass a bill that helps all who are on the margins of our society, strengthen families, protect religious freedom, promote care for creation, and respect the rights and dignity of all human life, from conception to natural death.


Bishop Stowe: Catholics deserve to know if their priest is not vaccinated

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Bishop John Stowe, OFMConv., Requested last month that diocesan employees working at the Catholic Center in the Diocese of Lexington, Ky., Be vaccinated against Covid-19, extending a term that had already been announced for professors and the staff of Catholic schools. The bishop said the diocese had fired “a handful” of employees who refused. Regarding the priests in the diocese, the bishop said he had turned to “moral persuasion,” urging them to get vaccinated in order to protect parishioners. It seemed to work. About 92% of the 50 priests in the diocese have been vaccinated, a rate that puts them as a group well ahead of the 61% of adults in Kentucky who are fully vaccinated.

But for the few priests who have chosen not to be vaccinated, the bishop believes that they owe their parishioners to be frank about their status.

“When I found out that four of them still weren’t vaccinated, I said they had to reveal it to their people because people expected them to be vaccinated,” said Bishop Stowe. America. He said he also told the unvaccinated priests that “they could not enter the homes of the sick or those confined to the house or be near” the faithful.

For the few priests who have chosen not to be vaccinated, Bishop Stowe believes they owe their parishioners to be frank about their status.

News that at least two of the priests chose not to be vaccinated came to light over the weekend. Videos of Masses held on September 11 and 12 at Christ the King Cathedral in Lexington include announcements at the end of Mass indicating that the Rector of the Cathedral, Reverend John Moriarty, and Parish Vicar, Reverend David Wheeler, are not vaccinated.

Bishop Stowe was present at a mass celebrated on Saturday at the cathedral, during which a deacon read a statement attributed to Father Moriarty.

“The bishop asked that Father David and I, Father John – I speak for Father John – make an announcement that we are not vaccinated, so that people can decide if they want to attend mass where they are. were celebrating, ”said the deacon. .

In an email to America, Father Wheeler wrote: “Neither Father Moriarty nor I have chosen to make public comments, whether within or outside the liturgy, on our immunization status or the reasons for our decision. He spoke of “the decision to announce our vaccination status”.

Bishop Stowe said he does not regret commissioning a vaccine for employees of the diocese, especially those who work with children.

Bishop Stowe said he received comments from local Catholics who were upset to learn that some of their priests were not vaccinated, as well as other messages angry at him for asking priests to make their status public. vaccination. But he said he had no regrets about commissioning a vaccine for employees in the diocese, especially those who work with children.

“Children, especially those under the age of 12, do not have a choice to be vaccinated,” he said. “And so it seemed to me that if teachers have to be in a classroom with children for several hours a day, in an enclosed space, they need to be vaccinated.”

Pope Francis, along with many American bishops, encouraged Catholics to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Some bishops have gone so far as to say that religious exemptions should not be granted to individual Catholics who do not wish to be vaccinated.

Like many states, Kentucky is seeing an increase in Covid-19 infections.

Last week, the state reported more than 8,000 deaths from Covid-19, and the positivity rate hovers around 14%, an alarming rate that indicates the virus is widespread. Gov. Andy Beshear begged residents of the state to get vaccinated, insisting it was one of the best ways, besides masking, to avoid more hospitalizations and deaths from the virus .

Some bishops have gone so far as to say that religious exemptions should not be granted to individual Catholics who do not wish to be vaccinated.

“Please wear a mask when you are outside the house, but otherwise inside. It kills a lot of people, and we can prevent it, ”he added. Mr Beshear also ordered the National Guard to help overwhelmed hospitals. Children are infected at higher rates than any other age group in the state.

Medical workers have lamented the unnecessary illness and death resulting from unvaccinated people contracting the virus.

“The problem now is that we have tried to educate on the basis of science, but I think most of the education that is happening now is based on a tragedy, a personal tragedy,” said the Dr. Ryan Stanton, emergency physician in Lexington.

Seventy percent of Kentucky hospitals are reporting critical staff shortages – the highest level yet during the pandemic, the governor said.

“Those who continually appeal to their right to privacy and to their right to individual conscience lose sight of the common good,” said Bishop Stowe.

“Our hospitals are on the verge of collapse in many communities,” said Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky Public Health Commissioner.

Bishop Stowe expressed frustration at unsuccessful efforts to persuade unvaccinated people to shoot.

“It’s almost pointless right now because people have made up their minds one way or another,” he said. “There is no rational persuasion that seems to work. They want to believe all the conspiracy theories and everything they read on their favorite websites rather than the facts.

Most upsetting for him, however, is that he feels that Catholics who refuse to be vaccinated ignore a fundamental principle of Catholic social teaching: the urge to serve the common good.

“People who continually appeal to their right to privacy and the right to their individual conscience lose sight of the common good,” he said. “And I haven’t heard anyone say that [refusing a vaccine] is for the common good. It all depends on their personal preferences and beliefs.

Documents from the Associated Press were used in this report.


Church bells punctuate the 9/11 anniversary ceremony in Westborough

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By Jesse Kucewicz, Contributing writer

First responders and ceremony attendees stop to face the flag as it hangs from a Westborough ladder truck during the recent Westborough ceremony marking the anniversary of 9/11.

WESTBOROUGH – Community members gathered as church bells rang in unison in Westborough on September 11, acknowledging the times when hijacked airliners struck each of the World Trade Center twin towers in New York exactly 20 years ago.

Near the 9/11 Memorial in Westborough at the intersection of Milk Street and Grove Street, officials and first responders spoke about their experiences immediately after the attacks. They also reflected on how life has changed in the years since the attacks.

Fire Captain Brian Roberts, who has since retired, was a member of the U.S. Disaster Medical Assistance Team on September 11. When the attacks occurred, he was called in with his team to provide assistance to Ground Zero.

“It was not difficult for us to form a team; everyone on our team wanted to go, ”said Roberts. “.

Allen Edinberg, Chairman of the Board of Westborough Select, spoke about how he has seen our country as a whole change over the past 20 years.

“I cry and think about how fear can prevent understanding and even peace,” Edinberg said. “As I cry, I think about the lessons learned, or perhaps the lessons yet to be learned, from September 11th.”

“The first thing that comes to my mind is resilience, in individuals and in the community,” he continued. “The way we have adapted, evolved and, in many ways, rebuilt, speaks to individual resilience. “

While the events of that day impacted communities across the country and the world, Westborough specifically lost two of his own on September 11, 2001.

Robin Kaplan, 33, and Linda George, 27, were both on American Airlines Flight 11 with colleagues from TJX Companies when that plane was hijacked and crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Their names are now inscribed on a marble stone as part of the 9/11 memorial.


AMERICA / UNITED STATES – Against Polarization and Division: Enabling Individuals, Families and Communities to be Bridge Builders Through Perspectives

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AMERICA / UNITED STATES – Against Polarization and Division: Empowering Individuals, Families and Communities to Be Bridge Builders Through Perspectives

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Washington (Agenzia Fides) – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) today launched a new initiative aimed at combating the polarization of society. Based on Pope Francis’ call in his encyclical Fratelli Tutti for “a better policy, truly at the service of the common good” (no. 154).
The new initiative, Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics, calls on Catholics to respond to this invitation with charity, clarity and creativity.
The initiative, in which many dioceses from all over the country will participate locally, will contribute to evangelization efforts to shine the light of our faith in the often difficult field of politics, indicates the note sent to Agenzia Fides. On CivilizeIt.org, participants can engage and access accompanying materials, including a self-examination, short reflections, prayers, and a guide that will empower individuals, families and communities to be builders. of bridges across the outlook. Based on chapters 5 and 6 of Fratelli Tutti and on other reflections of the Holy Father, the material aims to help Catholics and other people of good will to cultivate a culture of encounter, to root perspectives in the truth, justice and solidarity, and to seek collaborative action for the common good.
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and chair of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development reflected on the importance of the initiative today: “Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics aims to equip Catholics with polarization in society which is sometimes also reflected in the Church. Such a division among the faithful compromises the ability of the Church to give effective witness to the life and dignity of the human person in the family, parish, workplace and political sphere. In Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis proposes another way forward based on evangelical values, justice and truth. My hope is that this initiative will help us all as we seek to “become neighbors of all”, as the Holy Father calls us to do, and to take up the challenges of encounter, of dialogue, of the search for truth. and creative problem solving, so that all Catholics can work together for the common good. ”
The polarization of American society prompted the bishops, among others, to address the problem during the November 2020 session of their Assembly (see Fides, 11/19/2020), where among the most debated topics were also that of racism. in its various forms. “Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics builds on an initiative of the same name implemented during the 2019-2020 election season that aimed to help Catholics shape love of neighbor by honoring human dignity through ‘a civil conversation.
More information about the initiative can be found at CivilizeIt.org. (EC) (Agenzia Fides, 9/9/2021)


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Church Events 9-9-21 | Local religion

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Cardio battery – Ayersville United Methodist Church, 27728 Ayersville-Pleasant Bend Road, will host cardio percussion on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. For more information, call 419-395-1742.

Remembering September 11 – The United Church of Christ St. John in Defiance, will be hosting a September 11 commemorative event Friday at 12:30 p.m. at Defiance College Peace Pole (north side of Serrick Hall on the Defiance College campus) for a brief remembrance and prayer for the 20th anniversary of September 11. For more information, call 419-782-4176.

Fall party – Evansport United Methodist Church, 1600 W. St., will host Fall Fest Saturday starting at 5 p.m., with the dedication of the shelter and playground. The event will include a craft exhibit, a sale of pastries, games, roasted hot dogs, roasted marshmallows and soup. The fun begins at 6 p.m., with The Grandpa’s and Curly’s Country Blue Grass. The event is available for a voluntary donation, and participants are requested to bring a lawn chair. The event will take place indoors if it is raining. For more information, call 419-899-4160.

Parish feast – St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 715 Jefferson Ave., Defiance, will host the St. Mary Parish Festival & Arabella Street Fest Saturday through Sunday. On Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the first Arabella Street Fest will take place, with live music from New Frontiers, a tribute band to Journey. The event is free and open to anyone aged 21 and over. There will be food, with Knights of Columbus favorite grills, grated chicken sandwiches from Ensign’s Pub and the Home Grown Kitchen food truck. In addition, there will be raffles and beer. Participants are kindly requested to bring a garden chair. On Sunday, the St. Mary’s Parish Festival will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature rides, children’s games, bicycle giveaway, bingo, silent auction, raffles, Salisbury steak dinner , Knights of Columbus favorite grills and Ensign’s Pub pulled beef sandwiches. For more information, call 419-782-2776.

Outdoor worship party / pizza – First Baptist Church, 1399 Jefferson Ave., Defiance, will host outdoor worship Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Participants are asked to bring a chair for worship. After the Sunday service, a pizza night will be held with the church providing the pizza. Participants are kindly requested to bring a salad or dessert. For more information, call 419-784-4746.

Concert – Cecil Community Church, 203 S. Main St., will host a Christian concert, featuring Nashville County musical artist Pete Schlegel, Sunday at 6 pm. For more information, send an SMS to 419-564-8383.

United Challenge – The Family Christian Center, 1834 E. Second St., Defiance, will host Defiance United on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. The event will feature churches in Defiance coming together for prayer and worship. For more information, call 419-782-2100.

PROPEL launch party – Ayersville United Methodist Church, 27728 Ayersville-Pleasant Bend Road, will be hosting a PROPEL launch party on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. for Kindergarten to Grade 6 students. The group meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month. There will be stories, games, snacks, crafts and more. For more information, call 419-395-1742.

Donuts – Ayersville United Methodist Church, 27728 Ayersville-Pleasant Bend Road, will host an in-car donut service on September 18 starting at 7 a.m., while supplies last. The cost is $ 4 for a “dozen Ayersville” (13 donuts) and the choices cinnamon, sugar, plain and apple spices. For more information, call 419-395-1742.

Fall retreat – Lutheran Women on Mission from the Napoleon and Defiance Zones will be holding their Fall Retreat on September 18, 8:30 am to 2 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 23120 US 6, Stryker. The theme is “The Wonderful Surprise,” based on 1 Corinthians 2:10. The Bible study leader will be Reverend Thomas Ahlersmeyer, senior pastor of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church and School in Fort Wayne. From 2005 to 2009, he was President of Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Participants are asked to bring second-hand Christian books, CDs and puzzles. These items will be sold for a voluntary donation, which will go to MITES (mission work). In addition, there will be a collection of new socks and underwear in all sizes for Orphan Grain Train. The $ 14 registration fee includes a light breakfast and dinner. Baby-sitting will also be provided. For more information, call 419-782-9136.

Food distribution – Cecil Community Church, 203 S. Main Street, will be holding pantry hours on September 18 from noon to 3 pm. For more information, send an SMS to 419-564-8383.

In concert – 1st Baptist Church, 448 Keyser St., Holgate, will host the Holbrook Family Singers in concert on September 18 at 6 p.m. The group, from Dante, Va., Includes Linda and Jim Holbrook, Brenda Wallen, Randall Johnson on bass guitar and James Boyd on rhythm guitar. The group will present country and bluegrass Gospel music. For more information, call 419-264-7035.

Movie – The Cecil Community Church, 203 S. Main Street, will host a screening of the film “Patterns of Evidence” on September 19 at 6 pm. For more information, send an SMS to 419 564-8383.

RCIA courses – Do you want to know more about the Catholic faith? St. John’s Catholic Church, 510 Jackson Ave., Defiance, will host Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RICA) classes starting September 23. RCIA courses are an opportunity to get answers to questions without making any commitment. For more information, or if you are interested, call 419-782-7121.

(NOTICE TO CHURCHES: Any events that require admission, food or material fees may be included in the above list for $ 15 per week. To reserve a paid seat, contact CN Advertising at 419-784-5441, ext. 300726, or email: [email protected] Free events or those with a voluntary offering will be posted free of charge. To add an event to the church list, call 419 -784-5441, ext. 300737, or email: [email protected] Deadline for free and paid events is Tuesday at noon.)


Free lunch and dinner every day this week at the King’s Church on Esplanade W.

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KENNER, Louisiana (WGNO) – The Town of Kenner and the King’s Church have partnered with George and Megan Shinn of the George Shinn Foundation to provide 30,000 hot meals this week to help residents in need.

George Shinn, the former owner of the Charlotte Hornets who moved the team to New Orleans in 2002, is a longtime church member and called to ask how he could help with the recovery process. Hurricane Ida, said Randy Craighead, associate pastor. of the King’s Church.

The entire week is courtesy of George and (wife) Megan Shinn and the George Shinn Foundation through
a gracious donation of $ 100,000, ”said Craighead.

“We will do all we can to help those who are suffering and let compassion escape us. “

Church of the King hosts drive-through distributions for lunch at noon and dinner at 5 pm daily at its West Esplanade Avenue campus at 1405 W. Esplanade Ave., on the west side of The Esplanade Mall.

Craighead said 3,000 hot meals will be served for lunch and dinner until Friday, September 10, for a total of 6,000 meals a day. The majority of meals are prepared through a partnership between the church and Mercy Chefs.

Mayor Ben Zahn thanked George and Megan Shinn and the King’s Church.

“The church is really stepping up to help the community at a time when many Kenner residents are suffering,”
said Mayor Zahn.

“It will make a huge difference for so many people, and we also want to thank
the George Shinn Foundation and Mercy Chefs for making it all possible.


Pastor Devotion – It was fast!

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By Pastor Jeff Jacobs

Lutheran Parish of Unity –

Saint-Paul, Saetersdal and

St. Matthew’s, Granger

You could say that for a “COVID” summer last year – it certainly went on for a very long time.

Chances are, like me, you have felt this summer by contrast accelerate rapidly. August is over, September is upon us, school resumes and fall is practically here – already?!? Of course, this is just our perception. Every day is still 24 hours – summer, winter, spring or fall – and it’s just the hustle and bustle of vacations, fairs, camps, sports, family reunions, community festivals and more that makes the time seems to go by.

Because we missed most of these events in the summer of 2020, the days often seemed to drag on. Yet perhaps this long and difficult summer of little activity where we couldn’t do much together reminded us of the preciousness of time spent with family and friends.

If the uncertainties, disappointments and deprivation caused by COVID and its aftermath have made us cherish our relationships more deeply and the opportunities, sometimes taken for granted, to nurture and celebrate them, we have gained something precious. May this awareness last a long time.

I conclude with portions of Psalm 90:

“The days of our life are seventy years, or maybe eighty, if we are strong;

even then, their duration is only labor and pain; they are soon gone, and we are flying …

So teach us to count our days in order to win a wise heart …

Satisfy us in the morning with your unshakeable love,

so that we can rejoice and rejoice every day. (Ps 90: 10,12,14)


U.S. Bishops’ Labor Day statement calls for an economy that works for all

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WASHINGTON (CNS) – “Current ills in our economy” invite Catholics to consider how to come up with new and creative responses to vital human needs in a post-pandemic world, said Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the United States Bishops Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, in the American Bishops’ Annual Statement on Labor Day.

Acknowledging that the economy is showing signs of recovery despite the continuing pandemic, Archbishop Coakley said the present time presented an opportunity to “build consensus around human dignity and the common good”.

But despite signs of economic recovery, he said in the September 2 statement, millions of Americans continue to struggle financially because of unemployment, poverty and hunger made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are still many uncertainties surrounding this pandemic; However, we know that our society and our world will never be the same again, ”said the Archbishop.

Archbishop Coakley congratulated and thanked the many workers “who have made our country function during these difficult times and have worked under difficult and often underestimated conditions.”

“We also pray for those who have lost or continue to lack resources or income, as research indicates that 47% of adults experienced loss of employment income” from March 2020, when the pandemic shutdowns began , and February 2021, he said.

Despite some job gains, the statement said the unemployment rate in July, at 5.4%, was higher than the unemployment rate of 3.5% in February 2020.

“Adults in low-income households were more likely to experience a loss of employment income than those in high-income households,” the Archbishop said. “And women accounted for more than half of the job losses in the first seven months of the recession (during the pandemic) even though they make up less than half of the workforce.”

Archbishop Coakley also pointed out that more than 600,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States.

“It is particularly heartbreaking that as many as 43,000 underage children in the United States have lost a parent as a result of the pandemic. Families who have lost a breadwinner are now more financially vulnerable, with a projection of 42 million people in the United States facing food insecurity this year, including 13 million children, ”he said. .

Such concerns, the statement continued, underline the need to heed the words of Pope Francis in his encyclical “Fratelli Tutti, on fraternity and social friendship”, where he shared a vision for the post-pandemic world “which aspires to a world brotherhood. that leaves no one on the margins of society.

“He denounces the reality that women are not yet recognized as having the same dignity as men, that racism continues shamefully and that those who are poor, disabled, unborn or old are often seen as indispensable,” said the archbishop.

In addition, the Archbishop explained, the Pope stressed that such a “universal brotherhood” can be achieved “when our social and economic systems cease to claim victims”.

Noting that the Pope has reflected that the answer to economic inequalities does not lie in neoliberalism or the financial markets themselves, but in “proactive policies focused on the common good,” Archbishop Coakley said.

Instead, he added, the Pope in his 2020 book “Let Us Dream” promotes a “new philosophy” around economic thought based on the work of economists Mariana Mazzucato and Kate Raworth.

Citing the book, the statement said that “the ideas of economists have formed from their experience in the periphery reflecting concern over the grotesque inequality of billions of people facing extreme poverty while the top 1% rich own half of the world’s financial wealth “.

In the book, the Pope also said he sees a thought that is “not ideological, which goes beyond the polarization of free market capitalism and state socialism and which has at the heart of the concern that all mankind have access to land, housing and labor All of these speak to the priorities of the gospel and the principles of the social doctrine of the Church.

In the future, Archbishop Coakley, quoted the second reading of Sunday Masses before Labor Day, where St. James “tells us that we become judges with evil designs when we stay away from the poor.”

“Pope Francis made a similar point when he observed that we sometimes justify our indifference to the poor by looking away and living our lives as if they just don’t exist. Not only are our actions insufficient, but our sight too, when we ignore the poor and do not allow their pleas to touch our hearts, ”he said.

He called on Catholics to accept the challenge to “come out of this crisis with an economy that works for all of God’s children”.

He also urged people to pray for those who died during the pandemic, the sick, those who lost their jobs and for a definitive end to the crisis.

In addition, the Archbishop called on people to “do what we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities from increasing infections.” And he suggested that people find the time to volunteer or donate in a local parish, with Catholic charities or a Catholic Campaign for Human Development-funded organization that works to rebuild communities.

“Finally, let us commit ourselves to building ‘a better policy’ by dialoguing with elected officials, calling them to an authentic policy which is rooted in the dignity of the human person and promotes the common good.”

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Copyright © 2021 Catholic News Service / United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


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.

Political cartoons about world leaders

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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. ”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.