Phil Anderson

phil anderson | FAITH AND VALUES

Phil Anderson has been covering the Topeka religious community since 1989. Always looking for a good story, Phil welcomes your ideas and suggestions.

Notes: Peace Camp signup continues

July 7, 2012

A North Topeka church is sponsoring its first camp meeting this coming week.

Family of God Church, 1231 N.W. Eugene, will sponsor meetings titled “Restoring the Power of Pentecost Back to Topeka.”

Meetings will be held at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, July 8; 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday, July 9, through Saturday, July 14; and 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, July 15. Visit www.fogchurch.com for more information.

In other religion news:

■ The Rev. Doug Bottorff will speak at 11 a.m. Sunday, July 8, at the Unity Church of Christianity, 9126 S.W. 10th. Bottorff also will speak at 5 p.m. Sunday, July 8, at the Infinite Source Church, which meets at Unity.

■ Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, 610 S.E. Lime, will have its fifth annual luau from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 7. Pork and fish dinners will be sold for $10.

■ Rolling Hills Christian Church, 4530 N.W. Hiawatha Place, will have vacation Bible school from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15. The theme will be “Rocky Point Lighthouse.”

■ The Rev. Mamy Ranaivoson, a native of Madagascar and recent graduate of Wartburg Seminary in Iowa, will be ordained into the ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America during a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 14, at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 731 S.W. Buchanan, where he also will be installed as pastor.

■ Black-and-white photographs of many of Topeka’s clergy will be featured during July in the Cloister Gallery at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th. The photos were taken by Tom and Diane Harrington. The gallery is open during cathedral hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays and 8 a.m. to noon Sundays.

■ Registrations are being accepted for the annual Peace Camp sponsored by the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice. The camp will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, July 9, through Friday, July 13, at Highland Park United Methodist Church, 2914 S.E. Michigan. The cost is $50 per child. Breakfast and lunch will be provided each day, along with a field trip July 13 to Independence, Mo. Call (785) 215-0397 or (785) 357-4484 to register or for more information.

■ The seventh annual 100 Women in White service will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, 610 S.E. Lime. The event will include a program followed by a tea.

■ A new Bible study is being offered at 7 p.m. Friday, July 13, at Central Park Christian Church, 1535 S.W. Clay.

■ The Women’s Ministry at the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ will have its annual special service at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, July 8, at the church, 2420 S.E. Bellview. The speaker will be Minister Shawna Wuenstel, of the home church.

■ Lynn Landweer, of Wycliffe Bible Translators, will speak at 9:40 a.m. Sunday, July 8, at First Congregational Church, 326 W. 12th in Emporia.

■ Shawnee Heights United Methodist Church, 6020 S.E. 44th, will offer the “Operation Overboard: Dare to Go Deep With God!” vacation Bible school for children ages 4 through sixth grade at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, and Friday, July 13, and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 14. Registration is $10 per child.

■ Award-winning pianist Addison Frei and New York City-bound baritone Lane Johnson will be featured in this year’s “Rising Stars Concert” at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 8, at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th. A freewill offering will be received, and canned food donations for local food banks will be accepted.

■ Totus Tuus, a summer catechetical program for children entering first through sixth grades this fall, will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, July 9, to Friday, July 13, at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 3601 S.W. 17th. The cost is $25 per child.

■ The Kaw Valley District Laymen’s Early Morning Service will be held at 6 a.m. Sunday, July 8, at Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, 531 S.E. 33rd Terrace.

■ University United Methodist Church, 1621 S.W. College, will have vacation Bible school with the theme “Operation Overboard: Dare to Go Deep with God!” from 7:45 a.m. to noon Monday, July 16, to Friday, July 20.

■ The Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ will have vacation Bible school and Summerfest from 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 12. The program is for ages 4 through senior citizens. Call (785) 266-7102 for more information.

■ Calvary Lutheran Church, 4211 N.W. Topeka Blvd., will have vacation Bible school from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, July 9, through Friday, July 13.

Notes: Peace Camp signup continues

June 29, 2012

Registrations are being accepted for the annual Peace Camp sponsored by the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice.

The camp will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, July 9, through Friday, July 13, at Highland Park United Methodist Church, 2914 S.E. Michigan.

The cost is $50 per child. Breakfast and lunch will be provided each day, along with a field trip July 13 to Independence, Mo. Call (785) 215-0397 or (785) 357-4484 to register or for more information.

In other religion news:

■ The Sharp Family will perform a benefit concert for victims of the February Harveyville tornado at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 30, at the Odd Fellows Hall near Oak and Main streets in Harveyville. Admission is free and refreshments will be available.

■ Baha’i devotions at 5 p.m. Sunday, July 1, at the Topeka Friends Meetinghouse, 603 S.W. 8th, will conclude with a presentation on how to create and implement a disaster preparedness plan for home and family.

■ The Women's Day Committee of St. Mark's African Methodist Episcopal Church will sponsor a multifamily garage sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 30, at the Colonial Park Townhouses Clubhouse, 2557 S.E. Golden. A variety of items will be available.

■ Jerry Anderson will present his 11th annual “Music from the Tower: A Concert of Patriotic Music” played on the historic Deagan Chimes at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 1, at Topeka High School, 800 S.W. 10th. Attendees are invited to bring their lawn chairs for the outdoor concert.

■ Kansas Avenue United Methodist Church, 1029 N. Kansas Ave., will have a trustees garage sale from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 30.

■ The Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ, 2420 S.E. Bellview, will have vacation Bible school and Summerfest from 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 12, except for July 8.Classes will be available for ages 4 through senior adults. Call (785) 266-7102 for more information.

■ Grace Episcopal Cathedral and Jade Travel of Topeka are sponsoring a trip to Israel from Sept. 7 to 16. Sites to be visited include the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem. For more information, call (785) 235-3457 or (785) 273-1226.

■ Fairlawn Church of the Nazarene, 730 S.W. Fairlawn, will offer Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at 6:30 p.m. Mondays starting July 2. Call Mark Gieseke at (785) 272-6322 for more information or to register.

■ Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th, will have its annual Independence Day community program at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 4. A community choir will perform patriotic music during the celebration, and attendees will be invited to sing along. An ice-cream social follows.

■ The Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church youth department will hold a gospel skating celebration from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 30, at Starlight East skating rink, 301 S.E. 45th. The first 75 people to arrive will be admitted free. After that, the admission price is $5 per person. The event is open to the public. Call (785) 234-4422 for more information.

Notes: Sheriff to share testimony

June 23, 2012

Shawnee County Sheriff Herman Jones will give his testimony during the 10:30 a.m. service Sunday, June 24, at Central Presbyterian Church, 920 S.W. Huntoon. Jones, 53, became Shawnee County sheriff in April, replacing Dick Barta, who retired.

In other religion news:

■ New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 2801 S.E. Indiana, will celebrate its 89th anniversary during the 11 a.m. service on Sunday, June 24. The Rev. Gale Martin will bring the message, and the Men of Zion will provide the musical selections.

■ First Lutheran Church, 1234 S.W. Fairlawn, will have its annual Sibberson Fun Fest from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 23. The rain date for the event is June 24.

■ Central Park Christian Church and the Urban Ministry Institute of Topeka will have a parking lot worship service starting with a hot dog dinner at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 23, at the church, S.W. 16th and Clay.

■ Randel Ministries, in conjunction with Family of God Church and Harvesters, will have a free food distribution beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, June 25, at 1231 N.W. Eugene.

■ Harveyville United Methodist Church will sponsor a free community concert featuring bluegrass, country and gospel music with the Banner Creek Band starting at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 23, at the Harveyville Fire Station, 270 Main St. in Harveyville. Refreshments will be available. Those attending are asked to bring their lawn chairs.

■ Fairlawn Church of the Nazarene, 730 S.W. Fairlawn, will offer Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at 6:30 p.m. Mondays beginning July 2. For more information, call Mark Gieseke at (785) 272-6322.

■ The Topeka City Mission Union will have its annual youth and Sunbeam program at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 23, at Second Baptist Church, 424 N.W. Laurent. Minister Edward Huggins, of Fellowship Christian Church, will bring the message. Scholarships will be awarded to high school graduates.

■ Shiloh Baptist Church, 1201 S.W. Buchanan, will celebrate men’s and women’s day at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, June 24. The Rev. Sandra Lassiter, of Faith Temple Church, will speak.

■ The Topeka Center for Peace and Justice will sponsor its annual Peace Camp from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, July 9, through Friday, July 13, at Highland Park United Methodist Church, 2914 S.E. Michigan. The cost is $50 per child. Breakfast and lunch will be provided each day, along with a field trip July 13 to Independence, Mo. Call (785) 215-0397 or (785) 357-4484 to register or for information.

■ Kansas Avenue United Methodist Church, 1029 N. Kansas Ave., will have a trustees garage sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, June 28, and Friday, June 29, and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 30.

■ The Women’s Day Committee of St. Mark’s African Methodist Episcopal Church is holding a multi-family garage sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, June 29, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 30, at the Colonial Park Townhouses clubhouse, 2557 S.E. Golden Ave.

A variety of items will be available, as well as baked goods for purchase.

■ Community chorus rehearsals for a special Fourth of July service are set for 7 to 8 p.m. each Thursday in June at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th. The annual service will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, at Grace Cathedral.

■ Grace Episcopal Cathedral and Jade Travel of Topeka are sponsoring a trip to Israel from Sept. 7 to 16. Sites to be visited include the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem. For more information, call (785) 235-3457 or (785) 273-1226.

Notes: Pastoral appointments announced

June 16, 2012

Each year at this time, the United Methodist Church and the Roman Catholic Church announce new pastoral appointments.

Among pastors to begin serving area congregations in coming weeks is the Rev. January Kiefer, who on July 1 will take the reins as minister of University United Methodist Church, 1621 S.W. College. Kiefer formerly was pastor of St. Mark’s African Methodist Episcopal Church in Topeka.

The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas also has announced pastoral appointments that are to take effect July 6. Several local parishes are affected by the appointments.

The Rev. Thomas Aduri moves to Mother Teresa Catholic Church in Topeka, where he will become pastor after serving in the same role at St. Theresa parish in Perry and St. Aloysius parish in Meriden.

The Rev. William Bruning moves from pastor at Mother Teresa Catholic Church to the same position at Prince of Peace parish in Olathe.

The Rev. John Cordes moves from his role as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Topeka to the same position at the St. Catherine parish in Emporia and St. Joseph parish in Olpe.

The Rev. Anthony Ouelette becomes pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Topeka following his service in the same position at St. Patrick’s parish in Osage City and St. Patrick parish in Scranton.

The Rev. Oswaldo Sandoval becomes parochial vicar of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Topeka.

In other religion news:

■ St. John A.M.E. Church, 701 S.W. Topeka, will sponsor its annual bargain fair from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 16. Items will include furniture, appliances, collectibles, children’s and adults’ clothing, and baked goods. For more information, call Frankie Sheffield at (785) 273-1269.

■ The True Vine Missionary Baptist Church Mission Department will sponsor an old-fashioned home-style fried chicken dinner with three sides and a dessert for an $8 donation from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 16. Call (785) 235-8442.

■ An open house will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 16, on the Memorial Wall for the Unborn grounds at 1216 S.E. Republican. Light refreshments will be served. Those attending may bring their own lawn chairs.

■ Barbara and Elsie Bohm will sign copies of their books of prayer from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at the Town Crier, 716 Commercial in Emporia. The mother-daughter team have written “Bohm Book” and “Bohm Book 2,” which feature prayers published in The Topeka Capital-Journal’s Religion section.

■ North Topeka Baptist Church, 123 N.W. Gordon, will have a special “Worship on the Steps” service at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 17, featuring musical performers Jeff and Deborah Conrad and friends.

■ Tecumseh United Methodist Church, 334 S.E. Tecumseh Road, will have a vacation Bible school from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, June 18, to Friday, June 22. The theme will be “Operation Overboard: Dare to Go Deep with God.”

■ Grace United Methodist Church, 2627 S.W. Western, will offer vacation Bible school for children ages 3 through fifth grade from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, June 18, to Friday, June 22. This year’s theme is “Operation Overboard: Dare to Go Deep with God.” Registration is free and will be taken at the door. Call the church office at (785) 232-3333 for more information or to register.

■ Community chorus rehearsals for a special Fourth of July service are set for 7 to 8 p.m. each Thursday in June at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th. The annual service will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, at Grace Cathedral.

■ The summer session of courses offered by The Urban Ministry Institute of Topeka will begin this week. A nine-week course on “Conversion and Calling” will be offered on Thursday evenings at a cost of $125. Another class, “Foundations for Christian Mission,” will take place on Thursday mornings, Thursday evenings or Saturday mornings at a cost of $85. For more information, call (785) 431-6000.

■ Crestview United Methodist Church, 2245 S.W. Eveningside Drive, will offer vacation Bible school with the theme “Amazing Desert Journey: Where Jesus Leads Us Home,” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, June 18, through Thursday, June 21. The Bible school is open to children ages 3 through sixth grade. For more information, call (785) 272-3676.

■ Grace Episcopal Cathedral and Jade Travel of Topeka are sponsoring a trip to Israel from Sept. 7 to 16. Sites to be visited include the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem. For more information, call (785) 235-3457 or (785) 273-1226.

Notes: Concert set for Overbrook church

June 8, 2012

Two musicians who have made their mark on the country scene will combine their efforts for a special gospel concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, at Grace Community Church, 310 E. 8th in Overbrook.

Eddie Kilgallon and Dusty Workman will present their ministry called "Evidence of Journey — Two Musicians, Two Journeys, One Purpose" at the event.

Kilgallon is an award-winning songwriter, singer and musician who was an original member of the group Ricochet, which recorded on the Columbia label. The group was known for such No. 1 hits as "Daddy's Money," as well as top 10 hits like "What Do I Know?" and "Love is Stronger than Pride." Kilgallon at present is bandleader and keyboard player for platinum-selling artists Montgomery Gentry.

Workman is an original member and drummer of the Nashville-based group Dixie Road, with which he performed with such country stars as Travis Tritt, Keith Urban, Willie Nelson and Shania Twain.

Though both had tasted success in country music, both sensed a lack of fulfillment that they said they have realized through their gospel performances.

Segments of Tuesday night's performance will be taped for future promotional purposes. There is no admission charge, and a freewill offering will be received.

In other religion news:

■ The Urban Ministry Institute of Topeka, located in the Bridge building at S.W. 8th and Clay, will offer a pair of workshops on Saturday, June 9. Bill Ritchey, of the Topeka Rescue Mission, will lead the “Drug and Alcohol Workshop: Helping Families of Addicts,” from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Following a potluck lunch, Terry and Debbie Barnes will lead a marriage workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. The event is free.

■ A walk and prayer vigil titled “We Stand With the Sisters” will take place starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 9, at the south end of Collins Park, S.W. 15th and Collins. Following a short opening statement, participants will walk two blocks south to First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1701 S.W. Collins, for a prayer vigil in the sanctuary.

The event is being sponsored by Catholics for Renewal of Northeast Kansas. For more information, visit womenandspirit.org.

■ True Holiness Family Church of God in Christ, 1244 S.E. Republican, will have a barbecue and catfish dinner fundraiser from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 9. Dinners range in cost from $6 to $10.

■ The Kaw Valley Usher Ministry’s annual foreign mission musical will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at Calvary Baptist Church, 434 S.W. Harrison. Soloists and choirs from the Topeka and Kansas City areas will be featured.

■ Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, 531 S.E. 33rd Terrace, will celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Rev. Kenneth Anderson at the church with special services at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 10. Special guests will be congregations of Mount Olive Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church and St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church.

■ St. John A.M.E. Church, 701 S.W. Topeka, will sponsor its annual bargain fair from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 15, and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 16. Items will include furniture, appliances, collectibles, children’s and adult’s clothing, and baked goods. Lunch will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. For information, call Frankie Sheffield at (785) 273-1269.

■ Lowman United Methodist Church, 4000 S.W. Drury Lane, will have vacation Bible school for children ages 3 through eighth grade from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, June 11, to Friday, June 15. The theme will be: “JW and Company: Ride Into Funtastic Adventures with John Wesley and the Circuit Riders.” Call the church at (785) 272-8921 for more information or to register.

■ The Rev. Peter Ndungu, pastor of Overcoming Faith Church in Nairobi, Kenya, and a founder and director of the Happy Life Children’s Home, will speak at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, June 10, at Maple Hill Community Congregational Church, 104 E. 4th in Maple Hill.

■ Highland Park United Methodist Church, 2914 S.E. Michigan, will have vacation Bible school at 6 p.m. Monday, June 11, to Friday, June 15, for children ages kindergarten through sixth grade. The theme will be "Operation Overboard: Dare to Go Deep with God."

■ "A Summer Evening of Music," featuring local musicians, will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 14, at Tecumseh United Methodist Church, 334 S.E. Tecumseh Road.

■ The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas announced recently appointments that are to take effect July 6. Several local parishes are affected by the appointments.

The Rev. Thomas Aduri moves to Mother Teresa Catholic Church in Topeka, where he will become pastor after serving in the same role at St. Theresa parish in Perry and St. Aloysius parish in Meriden.

The Rev. William Bruning moves from pastor at Mother Teresa Catholic Church to the same position at Prince of Peace parish in Olathe.

The Rev. John Cordes moves from his role as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Topeka to the same position at the St. Catherine parish in Emporia and St. Joseph parish in Olpe.

The Rev. Anthony Ouelette becomes pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Topeka following his service in the same position at St. Patrick’s parish in Osage City and St. Patrick parish in Scranton.

The Rev. Oswaldo Sandoval becomes parochial vicar or Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Topeka.

Phil Anderson can be reached at (785) 295-1195 or phil.anderson@cjonline.com. Follow Phil on Twitter @Philreports. Read Phil's blog: Perspectives.

Pastor stepped up in Brenna tragedy

June 1, 2012

When tragedy comes, many people turn first to their pastors for comfort and support.

Keep in mind that pastors aren’t perfect and never claimed to be.

I’ve never met one yet who said he walked on water, fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish or turned water into wine.

Yet in times of trouble, pastors find themselves on the front line, ministering to people who are in some of the most difficult situations in their lives.

I marvel at pastors who know how to respond to people in their darkest hour, who know how to avoid religious cliches and sometimes even Bible verses and go to that place where one heart meets another.

I’m amazed at pastors who know what to say and how to say it — and who know when to be quiet and listen.

This thought occurred to me this past weekend with the tragic death on May 25 of 18-year-old Brenna Morgart, whose funeral service took place on Wednesday at Northland Christian Church, 3102 N.W. Topeka Blvd.

This past Saturday, I visited with Northland’s pastor, the Rev. R.D. Cogswell, who was acting as the family’s spokesman in the hours after Brenna’s death.

Cogswell hadn’t slept much the night before.

Upon hearing the news that Brenna had been killed as she was jogging near her home northwest of Topeka, Cogswell, who had been out of town, drove four hours to get back to Topeka. From midnight until about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, he met with the Morgart family.

On Saturday morning, Cogswell was meeting with students and faculty at Seaman High School, from which Brenna had graduated only five days before her death.

Later on Saturday, Cogswell was speaking to the newspaper and to a local television station, and also was having lunch with the family and assisting them with funeral arrangements.

In the meantime, he re-did his sermon for Sunday to reflect the tragic events of the previous Friday — to offer words of comfort and encouragement to the Morgart family and to a congregation that was devastated by the loss of one of its young leaders.

Ministering to people who are hurting is a calling. When the tough times come, that ministry must be real.

In a short visit I had with Cogswell, I thought the pastor’s words must have been inspired by God.

I asked if the Morgarts, who are faithful members of the Northland church, were leaning heavily on their faith at that time.

“That’s really what’s getting them through it — their faith in God, and that his word is true and his promises are true,” Cogswell said. “They know Brenna had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and that she’s in heaven now.

“It doesn’t take the pain away,” he said. “It just brings perspective in dealing with it.”

In times of tragedy, there are no easy answers. It is then that faith kicks in, and it is enough.

Notes: Church holds annual Summerfest

May 25, 2012

Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 3601 S.W. 17th, will hold its annual Summerfest on Saturday, May 26.

The event will start with Mass at 7:55 a.m., followed by a garage sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A Knights of Columbus pancake feed will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. The event also will include a “tot trot” at 8:30 a.m., a book sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., a 5-kilometer run at 10 a.m. and a talent show at 10 a.m.

Rides will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with live bands performing on stage from noon to 3 p.m. Barbecue cook-off judging will take place from noon to 3 p.m. After a 4 p.m. Mass, a beer garden will be open from 5 to 7 p.m.

Entertainment by Cyrus K will be featured on stage from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by a dance with the Bop Daddies from 8 to 11 p.m.

In other religion news:

■ The Rev. Peter Ndungu, pastor of Overcoming Faith Church in Nairobi, Kenya, and a founder and director of Happy Life Children’s Home, will speak at 6 p.m. Friday, June 1, at Iglesia Pentecostes Para Cristo, 4th and Market in Emporia.

■ Faith Temple Church, 1162 S.W. Lincoln, will have a fish fry youth fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 26. The menu will include fish, slaw and a drink. A $7 donation is requested.

■ The chorus from Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, Texas, will be in concert at 7 p.m. Monday, May 28, at Indiana Avenue Church of Christ, 3510 S.E. Indiana Ave. A freewill offering will be received.

■ First Presbyterian Church, 817 S.W. Harrison, will have vacation Bible school with the theme “Babylon: Daniel’s Courage in Captivity,” from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, June 4, to Friday, June 8.

A kick-off social will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 3. The event is for children ages 3 to 11.

The cost per child is $10. Call (785) 233-9601 for more information.

■ The monthly Eckankar worship service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 27, the Clubhouse Inn,, 924 S.W. Henderson. The topic will be “Past Lives and Karmic Lessons.” For more information, visit www.eckankar-ks.org.

■ Financial Peace University, a 13-week course, will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 3, at First Baptist Church, 301 E. Railroad in Silver Lake. Call (785) 582-4379 for more information.

■ Marcia Gitchell, a member of the Baha’i community of Topeka, recently returned from the United States National Baha’i Convention, held at the North American Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Ill.

The purpose of the convention was to elect members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States for the next one-year term and to consult on matters of concern to the American Baha’i community.

Notes: Church to host parking lot service

May 19, 2012

A special parking lot worship service will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at the Bridge, located at S.W. 8th and Clay.

The event will get under way with a hot dog dinner, followed by a worship service featuring preaching, testimonies, music and Holy Communion.

The event is sponsored by Central Park Christian Church, the Bridge and students of the Urban Ministry Institute of Topeka. For more information, call (785) 431-6000.

In other religion news:

■ Indiana Avenue Church of Christ, 3510 S.E. Indiana, will have a spiritual growth weekend at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 19, and at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 20. The speaker will be Jack Evans Jr., of Dallas. Paul Williams, of Houston, will be the song leader.

■ Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 1100 S.E. Washington, will observe Older Americans’ Month with its fifth annual Senior Sunday service, at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 20. The theme will be “Never Too Old to Live the Abundant Live.” The Rev. Sandy Ray Fields will be the guest speaker.

■ Mother Teresa Catholic Church will start its produce market from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. beginning Saturday, May 19, at the church, N.W. 46th and Green Hills Road. All proceeds go to the Topeka Rescue Mission.

■ Acclaimed pianist Frederic Chen will present a concert titled “An Evening of Chopin” at 5 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th. Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Children 12 and younger are admitted free.

■ Eugene C. Williams, chief executive officer of KTWU-TV Channel 11, will be the featured speaker at service at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at St. Mark’s African Methodist Episcopal Church, 801 N.W. Harrison. The service celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Connectional Lay Organization of the AME Church.

■ Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, 610 S.E. Lime, will observe Sunday School Annual Day with a special program at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Delmar White, pastor of Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church in Lawrence.

■ Operation ReConnect’s Community4Kids Summer Camp for children will be offered weekdays from Monday, June 11, through Friday, Aug. 3, at Calvary Church of God in Christ, 1301 N.W. Van Buren. A math and science component will be added to the program, which will include swimming, field trips and crafts.

The camp fee is $15 per week per child, with a one-time, nonrefundable deposit fee of $75 for a family’s first child, and $25 for each additional child. Additionally, Operation ReConnect will sponsor a Summer Youth Leaders Group composed of teens from the community who will help staff the summer youth program as junior counselors. The teens are trained in leadership, teamwork, mentoring and first-aid skills through hands-on activities.

For more information, call Carla Crowder at (785) 266-6150 or visit www.orcfoundation.org and click on “Summer Camp.”

■ Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 3601 S.W. 17th, will hold its annual Summerfest on Friday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26. The event will include food, games, music and a garage sale starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 26.

■ Country Legends 106.9 has added a new program to its lineup, as “Homecoming Radio with Bill Gaither” is airing from 10 to 11 a.m. Sundays.

The inspirational show is filled with gospel music and positive messages.

Notes: Program helps build relationships

May 11, 2012

A three-part program for married or engaged couples wanting to make sure their relationships are on solid spiritual ground is being offered at a local Catholic church.

The Marriage and Family Enrichment series will take place from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Saturday, May 12, in Rossiter Hall of Mater Dei-Assumption Catholic Church, 204 S.E. 8th. Other sessions will take place at the same time on Saturday, June 9, and Saturday, July 14, in the former Assumption school building, near S.E. 8th and Jackson.

The program is designed to improve family and marriage relationships. There is no charge for the programs. For more information, call (785) 266-7573.

In other religion news:

■ The Kaw Valley District Laymen’s Early Morning Service will take place at 6 a.m. Sunday, May 13, at Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, 610 S.E. Lime. Mothers will be honored during the service.

■ A parking lot worship service will be held starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at the Bridge, located at S.W. 8th and Clay.

The event will get under way with a hot dog dinner, followed by a worship service featuring preaching, testimonies, music and Holy Communion.

The event is sponsored by Central Park Christian Church, the Bridge and students of the Urban Ministry Institute of Topeka. For more information, call (785) 431-6000.

■ Acclaimed pianist Frederic Chen will present a concert titled “An Evening of Chopin” at 5 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th. Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Children 12 and younger are admitted free.

■ Eugene C. Williams, chief executive officer of KTWU-TV Channel 11, will be the featured speaker at service at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at St. Mark’s African Methodist Episcopal Church, 801 N.W. Harrison. The service celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Connectional Lay Organization of the AME Church.

■ Operation ReConnect’s Community4Kids Summer Camp for children will be offered weekdays from Monday, June 11, through Friday, Aug. 3, at Calvary Church of God in Christ, 1301 N.W. Van Buren. A math and science component will be added to the program, which will include swimming, field trips and crafts.

The camp fee is $15 per week per child, with a one-time, nonrefundable deposit fee of $75 for a family’s first child, and $25 for each additional child. Additionally, Operation ReConnect will sponsor a Summer Youth Leaders Group composed of teens from the community who will help staff the summer youth program as junior counselors. Families planning to participate are asked to sign up by Friday, May 18.

For more information, call Carla Crowder at (785) 266-6150 or visit www.orcfoundation.org and click on “Summer Camp.”

Notes: Chiefs' McGraw to speak

May 4, 2012

Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Jon McGraw will be the featured speaker at the Washburn Rural High School Baccalaureate ceremony at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 6, in the school’s auditorium, 5900 S.W. 61st.

McGraw, an all-state football player at Riley County High School, walked on to the Kansas State University football team, where he became an all-Big 12 selection. He was drafted in the second round of the 2002 NFL draft by the New York Jets. For the past five years, he has played with the Chiefs.

McGraw, a married father of two young children, frequently shares his faith with groups such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Washburn Rural seniors who attend are encouraged to come dressed in their caps and gowns. The event is open to the public.

In other religion news:

■ The Laudate Ringers of Countryside United Methodist Church will present a concert titled “Following Our Lord from the Advent to the Ascension” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, at the church, 3221 S.W. Burlingame Road. The concert will feature new C2 and F2 bells, which have been purchased through memorial gifts to Countryside. The bells are the largest hand bells made. Admission to the concert is free.

■ Recent annual elections for local Baha’i communities have resulted in the following individuals becoming members of the Local Spiritual Assemblies.

Members of the Topeka Assembly are: Irma Andrew, Cindy Dillman. Mark Dillman, Bill Gitchell, Marcia Gitchell, Chris Hamilton, Kate Hamilton, Michael Keegan and Tahira Schmidt.

Members of the Shawnee County Assembly are Duane Herrmann, Karen Herrmann, Mark Herrmann, Jessica Kline, Ken Lopez, Sonny Sagar, Dana St. John, Mary St. John and Connie Steinlage. Each Spiritual Assembly will hold its election of officers in the next few weeks.

■ The youth group at First Christian Church-Disciples of Christ, 1880 S.W. Gage, will be hosts for a Global Mission Youth Group event called “Imagine” on Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6.

The focus of the event will be on making Central Africa a safer place to live, with attention given to children living in the conflict there.

■ Highland Heights Christian Church, 2930 S.E. Tecumseh Road, will have a ham-and-bean dinner from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Freewill donations will be accepted for the meal. A bake sale and quilt raffle also will be held in conjunction with the dinner.

■ The Lowman United Methodist Women will have their Ladies Day Spring Tea from 2 to 4 p.m. May 12 at the church, 4000 S.W. Drury Lane. A $5 donation is suggested for adults, and $2 for children.

■ The Benevolence Committee of Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, 610 S.E. Lime, will have a free clothing giveaway from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 5, in the church basement.

■ The Topeka Churches Singing Convention will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 5, and at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 6, at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, 1018 S.E. 8th.

■ A Christian rap CD party and concert will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, 1162 S.W. Lincoln. Rapper RH will release his new CD at the event. Also featured will be Scott G, of Light of the World Christian Center; Index, from Journey Church; Sherisse Verser, from Faith Temple; Top Spin, from Kansas City, Mo.; Abe, from Topeka; and TCO, from Little Rock, Ark. Admission is free.

■ Lane Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church will present “Men and Women in White: A Fruitful Spring Fling!,” at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Crestview Community Center, 4801 S.W. Shunga Drive. The cost is $25 for adults and $15 for children younger than 12. Call (785) 267-0257 or (785) 235-5598 for more information.

■ A mother-child African-themed event will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, May 11, at Kansas Avenue United Methodist Church, 1029 N. Kansas Ave. Rachael Kelly, from the Topeka Zoo, will present a program which will include live animals from Africa. Those attending are asked to bring a salad to share. Reservations are requested by calling (785) 286-1279 or (785) 234-0507.

■ Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th, will have a choral evensong program at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 6.

■ About 3,300 youths ages 12 to 18 from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from eastern Kansas and western Missouri will perform in a dance and cultural celebration prior to the dedication of the new Kansas City Missouri Temple at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City, Mo. The program will be broadcast live at the LDS Topeka Stake Center, 2401 S.W. Kingsrow Road. About 200 of the participants will be from the greater Topeka area.

■ First Congregational Church, 12th and State in Emporia, will have a 5-kilometer walk to benefit orphaned children in Kenya at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 5. Rocking chairs will be provided for those who aren’t able to walk. A $15 donation is requested of participants. All proceeds will go to the Happy Life Children’s Home in Nairobi, Kenya, which houses more than 60 abandoned babies.