Christian ministry – Odessa Sem http://odessasem.com/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 08:50:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://odessasem.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-2021-06-25T201706.303-150x150.png Christian ministry – Odessa Sem http://odessasem.com/ 32 32 the perspective of gateway countries, Evangelical Focus https://odessasem.com/the-perspective-of-gateway-countries-evangelical-focus/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 08:50:00 +0000 https://odessasem.com/the-perspective-of-gateway-countries-evangelical-focus/ Unsurprisingly, the Russian invasion of Ukraine caught surrounding countries off guard for what was to come.. In addition to Ukraine’s direct neighbors (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova), we also include the Czech Republic and Bulgaria in this article, as a large number of refugees are heading there as well. Although we have become accustomed […]]]>

Unsurprisingly, the Russian invasion of Ukraine caught surrounding countries off guard for what was to come..

In addition to Ukraine’s direct neighbors (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova), we also include the Czech Republic and Bulgaria in this article, as a large number of refugees are heading there as well.

Although we have become accustomed to calling these countries “gateways”, the following weeks and months have shown that they were not only essential transit countries for these refugees, but were to become longer-term refuges for many of them.

As former Soviet/Russian satellites, these countries have a lot in common. A particular similarity concerns the attitude that these countries express to immigration.

According to the 2018 European Social Survey, residents of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) were less likely to welcome immigrants than their Western counterparts.

This was evident during the Syrian refugee crisis that hit Europe in 2015 when their governments strongly opposed plans to relocate asylum seekers and pledged to keep their borders closed to refugees, which caused a major rift within the EU.

However, since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Ukrainians were the largest minority in many Central and Eastern European countries and the overall experience with them has been quite positive: most of them have come in search of employment so they can support their families back home, which has made them trouble-free neighbors and co-workers reliable, without major cultural differences.

Moreover, the a common view of Russia as a potential lasting threat has led Central and Eastern European countries to sympathize with Ukrainee, especially since 2014, when attacks by Russian forces began in the Donbass and Crimea was annexed.

As Russian troops openly invaded Ukraine February 24, the the biggest refugee crisis in Europe’s recent history has begunimpacting this time mainly the region which showed less solidarity in the past.

In the first five weeks alone, more than four million Ukrainians have been forced to leave their country. Overnight, bordering countries were inundated with people fleeing war.

The situation at the borders and in the main transport towns was dramatic and chaotic, but at the same time the governments and civil society, including churches, responded quickly and developed contingency plans to help those fleeing the Russian invasion.

The churches were among the first to respond. Although few in number in this region (especially of evangelical believers), but thanks to the many existing relationships and partnerships with the Ukrainian churches, they were able to help immediately, organically, flexibly and efficiently, long before the big players could to intervene.

Most churches immediately offered their venues, finances, workers, volunteers and other resources face what they saw as their life’s challenge.

New systems were put in place, new leaders organized evacuation, transport, accommodation, humanitarian aid, language training and many other services.

The number and variety of stories is overwhelming. There are hundreds of thousands of churches like Maják, a small evangelical church in the small town of Vsetín, Czech Republic, which originally wanted to help 10-15 Ukrainian families close to some of their church members, but ended up helping a thousand refugees in just the first week of the crisis-

Or like PROEM Christian Center in Zakościele, Poland, which quickly adapted all its programs and connected with partners to be able to offer care in different ways to thousands of people fleeing the war, or like the network of Ukrainian Churches from Bucharest (UBC22), which connected 800 volunteers who helped more than 5,000 refugees and delivered more than 100 tons of food to Ukraine.

Like approx. 50% of refugees were children and 80% of adult refugees were womenold concerns and fears about immigration were forgotten and empathy and solidarity prevailed throughout society.

Many unchurched people have been brought into cooperation with churches meanwhile, trusting and appreciating their selfless and effective ministry.

By serving the refugees, Christ became visible in the Church. This first intense phase lasted about two months. Then fatigue came. The volunteers slowly began to withdraw.

Leaders burned out and realized they needed support themselves. The future was uncertain, but it was clear that most of the refugees would stay, not wanting to be away from their homeland and the family members they had left behind.

Realized churches this cooperate and create long-term sustainable models of ministry from the Ministry of Refugees is inevitable.

“To turn evil into good” is a biblical model of God working in the midst of the most difficult circumstanceschanging that which was destined for destruction by accomplishing His purposes.

From this point of view, we can identify four main areas of new challenges and opportunities for the Church in neighboring countries.

Sustainability – despite the difficulties, continue to develop what you have already begun: In recent months, the Church has grown in the areas of spiritual accompaniment and social commitment in an unprecedented way.

New ministries have been created, new people have stepped in, new leaders have arisen. But the war in Ukraine has impacted the economy of countries like Poland, the Czech Republic or Moldova, and church worshipers may grow weary of helping Ukrainian refugees while suffering from inflation, rising electricity and heating costs as winter approaches.

It is therefore of the utmost importance to continue to draw our attention to the war in Ukraine. Unlike the media, we can’t take it out of our church headlines because people get tired of hearing about it. Instead, the church must look for ways to make ministry to Ukrainians sustainable and long-term.

Intentionality – despite serving many, continue to seek out the still unseen and unanswered needs of a few: with governments reducing their involvement in helping refugees, the Church must play an active role in the identification and response to new needs as well as in identifying refugees who fall into existing systems.

Children struggle to balance on-site and online school education. Persons with disabilities cannot enroll in any support program. Single mothers with babies cannot work or send their children to kindergarten.

Men struggle with addictions. The elderly cannot count on the support of the government or that of their adult children. These are specific needs that can only be met through intentional involvement.

Equip & popularize – despite the natural gravitation toward those already in the church, continue to reach out to the lost: There is a common tendency in the Church to focus on those who are already disciples of Jesus and to neglect those who still don’t know him.

Yet the Great Commission does not lose its relevance in the circumstances of war. As disciples of Jesus, we are still called to “go and make disciples of all nations.”

Therefore, we must find ways to serve the people whom God has brought to our doorsteps, though displaced and afflicted by the horrors of war.

Equipping Ukrainian believers as well as seeking, developing and supporting diaspora leaders who can mobilize others to reach out to their Ukrainian neighbors should become another focus of our attention.

As Yaroslav Pizsh, the president of the Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary, has said, helping refugees transform themselves “from victims into ambassadors” for Jesus is essential in this process.

Serving Ukrainians outside the Church whose marriages have been strained, identity shaken and sense of belonging undermined provides another opportunity to reach out to them with the gospel of Christ.

Mobilizing women leaders, given that more than 80 percent of all refugees are women, is of the utmost importance despite the cultural challenges involved.

Unexpected partnerships – despite the challenges, continue to develop new partnerships inside and outside the Church: The last six months of the war have resulted in the formation of new partnerships, both inside and outside outside the Church.

Many communities of believers have become more visible in their local context, cooperating with other associations and local authorities. At the same time, new partnerships (both national and international) have been established, providing opportunities for outreach in the future.

Developing these partnerships will hopefully lead to increased recognition and growth of the Church in countries like Poland or the Czech Republic where Evangelicals are considered an insignificant minority.

let us use this time wisely, not for our own glory, but for the glory of God and the ultimate expansion of His Kingdom.

Rafal Piekarsky is a Polish pastor and leader of Proem Ministries.

Barbora Filipova is Czech and works with the international team of Josiah Venture.

This article first appeared in Vista Journal Issue 42 (November 2022) and is republished with permission.

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Funeral Notice, November 13, 2022 https://odessasem.com/funeral-notice-november-13-2022/ Sun, 13 Nov 2022 08:30:09 +0000 https://odessasem.com/funeral-notice-november-13-2022/ Katherine Debra Ramsey (née Zeplin) passed away peacefully on November 8, 2022 at the Hacienda at the Canyon in Tucson, Arizona. Kate was born in Ainsworth, Nebraska on February 20, 1938 and raised in Lexington, Nebraska, the fifth daughter of Nora S. (Murphy) Zeplin and John Zeplin. Kate was gifted with incredible artistic creativity, a […]]]>





Katherine Debra Ramsey (née Zeplin) passed away peacefully on November 8, 2022 at the Hacienda at the Canyon in Tucson, Arizona. Kate was born in Ainsworth, Nebraska on February 20, 1938 and raised in Lexington, Nebraska, the fifth daughter of Nora S. (Murphy) Zeplin and John Zeplin. Kate was gifted with incredible artistic creativity, a deep Catholic faith, an easy laugh and an independent streak that guided her throughout her life. It was in the spirit of this independence and adventure that she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1960s. Kate worked for Bank of America, a role she relished until until she met Hal Harrison Ramsey III, who became the love of her life. They were married on January 11, 1975, in San Mateo, California, and they moved to Tucson, Arizona, in 1983. When Hal died suddenly on August 2, 1985, Kate began a new phase in her life, coming to embrace its independence. again and moving into a circle of close friends. She was especially fond of her church friends and her hiking group, both of whom supported her through the loss and met regularly for coffee, meals and to share stories. It was also during this time that Kate devoted herself even more fully to her career as an artist potter and painter, and throughout her career her work was regularly featured on consignment throughout Arizona. Kate is survived by her sister, Patricia Zeplin, of Durango, Colorado, and her nieces and nephews Matthew and James Carnes; Chuck, Tony and Jack Englert; John, David, Paul and Ann Englert, Jenny Firkins, Catherine Dunham and Meg Kimbrell; and David, Steven and Michael Zeplin, and Chrstina Reimers, as well as numerous great-nieces and great-nephews, in California, Nebraska and Colorado. She was predeceased by her husband, Hal Ramsey, her sisters Jeanne Zeplin, Maureen Zeplin, Mary Ann Englert, Lois Carnes and her brother James Zeplin. Kate will be remembered with a resurrection funeral mass at St. Anne’s Convent (3820 N. Sabino Canyon Road, Tucson, AZ 85750) on Monday, November 14 at 11:00 a.m. A rosary will precede the mass at 10:30 a.m. am She will be buried in Skylawn Memorial Park, San Mateo, Calif., alongside her beloved husband, Hal, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Kino Border Initiative (PO Box 159, Nogales, AZ 85628-0159, https://www.kinoborderinitiative.org/give), St. Anne Convent of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Marie (3820 North Sabino Canyon Road, Tucson, AZ 85750) or Gospel Rescue Mission (326 W. 28th Street, Tucson, AZ 85713).

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Unopposed candidates vying for municipal positions in Hopkinton | Richmond and Hopkinton https://odessasem.com/unopposed-candidates-vying-for-municipal-positions-in-hopkinton-richmond-and-hopkinton/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 00:35:00 +0000 https://odessasem.com/unopposed-candidates-vying-for-municipal-positions-in-hopkinton-richmond-and-hopkinton/ Editor’s Note: Unopposed candidates running for City of Hopkinton offices have been omitted for space reasons from the Sun’s Voter Guide, which was published October 30. Below are the candidates. Hopkinton Town Clerk (1 candidate, 1 open seat) Marita D. Murray (U) Did not respond. Hopkinton Town Moderator (1 candidate, 1 open seat) David A. […]]]>

Editor’s Note: Unopposed candidates running for City of Hopkinton offices have been omitted for space reasons from the Sun’s Voter Guide, which was published October 30. Below are the candidates.

Hopkinton Town Clerk (1 candidate, 1 open seat)

Marita D. Murray (U)

Did not respond.

Hopkinton Town Moderator (1 candidate, 1 open seat)

David A. Stall (R)

Profession: Pastor and coordinator of church planting in the United States and Canada

Education: Undergraduate in Business Marketing and Christian Ministry Leadership, M.Div. in Theology/Church Development, PhD student in Global Leadership.

Relevant experience: Former Chariho School Board member, current Hopkinton Republican Town Board member, member and leader/manager of numerous Boards of Directors for various non-profit groups.

Why you should vote for me: I will do the job with excellence and significantly better than my opponent, since I am running unopposed.

Main issues:

I’m interested in:

1. Fair/open meetings

2. Ensure that all voices are heard at our meetings.

My experience in the Chariho school committee has been frustrating. The most alarming issue was the manipulation or suspension of the College’s rules (mainly by President Lyall) to silence dissenting voices, especially mine. Because I questioned things, stood up for underrepresented groups, and presented opinions contrary to the positions of the administration and the unions, my voice was silenced. Even as a committee member using all appropriate channels, legal rules and processes were ignored to avoid hearing my voice and that of other taxpayers. Items would “disappear” from agendas or never appear on them, even if placed there by the proper process. I’ve seen others shut down by inappropriate tactics from Hopkinton City Council President Moffitt. When I have the opportunity to lead meetings, I will do so with fairness and respect for the prescribed and legal process. I will continue to serve and defend taxpayers, ensuring that no one manipulates the system to silence dissenting voices.

Hopkinton Town Sergeant (1 candidate, 1 open seat)

Thomas E. Buck (U)

Did not respond.

Hopkinton Director of Public Welfare (1 candidate, 1 open seat)

Maria Cristina “Tina” Lavigne (D)

Occupation: Retired.

Relevant experience: Our Lady of Victory Parish and Hopkinton Historical Association.

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‘Living Flag’ performances honor vets, late minister (plus news briefs) https://odessasem.com/living-flag-performances-honor-vets-late-minister-plus-news-briefs/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 12:29:12 +0000 https://odessasem.com/living-flag-performances-honor-vets-late-minister-plus-news-briefs/ The traditional “Living Flag” performances at Mohammed (Sick.) christian church will be presented again this year, honoring not only our nation’s service members and veterans, but also david johnson, the senior minister who founded the patriotic concerts 18 years ago. Johnson oversaw productions until his death in February this year at the age of 69. […]]]>

The traditional “Living Flag” performances at Mohammed (Sick.) christian church will be presented again this year, honoring not only our nation’s service members and veterans, but also david johnson, the senior minister who founded the patriotic concerts 18 years ago. Johnson oversaw productions until his death in February this year at the age of 69.

“He was loved by everyone” Cathy Menacher say it News-Gazette for a report this week. Menacher is in his first year directing the production, which features 30 singers on a 16-by-24-foot flag constructed from scaffolding. The hour-plus program features a narrator and songs from five military branches. This weekend’s free performances — 5 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 5 p.m. Sunday — will likely draw 300-400 people each (with room for more).

Menacher described the program as “fun”, but also “very spiritual, moving, [and] patriotic.”

_ _ _

News in brief

“It’s not too late to join us on site or online,” according to the International Missions Conference. “Register for the conference online. . . throughout Conference Weekend,” which runs Thursday through Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. “You can even buy a virtual pass that will extend your ICOM experience! Passes [are] available now and after the conference. On-site attendees can also register at the door when the conference officially opens at 1 p.m. Thursday

_ _ _

Jared Wilkins40, who had served as senior pastor with Parkcrest Christian ChurchLong Beach, Calif., died suddenly Oct. 20 after back surgery.

“We are all devastated by the passing of Jared,” said Eric Marsh, executive pastor of the CCP, in an article in the Press-Telegram. “There was an immense outpouring of love for him and his family. He was larger than life, cheerful, outgoing, a bridge builder. He had such a positive impact in a relatively short time.

_ _ _

Eastview Christian Church— with campuses in Bloomington and Normal, Ill. — has purchased a former YMCA facility and plans to expand its social services to the Twin Cities and McLean County as a whole, according to an article in the Pantagraph,

“The main draw for us is the location and being in the community, among the people we call family and have loved and served for many years,” the senior Eastview pastor said. mike baker told the newspaper.

“We’ve already done so much in terms of food pantries, after-school programs and backpacks for kids, single mother care and recovery groups, that we’re going to have to have a larger dedicated facility for all of them. these services that we want for the community,” Baker told the newspaper. Other opportunities include youth ministry, after-school programs and recreational opportunities for children and families, he said.

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Saturday, Mike Gillespieminister with Marengo (Indiana.) christian church, announced its 4,200th sporting event, a sprint football game in Frankfort, Ky., featuring Midway University (Ky.) as the home team. On September 15, he announced the first-ever sprint football game played in “the South” as Midway hosted Bellarmine University (of Louisville). Sprint football has been played for over 100 years, primarily in Northeastern schools, and only by players who typically weigh less than 178 pounds. (We wrote on Gillespie’s AP announcing “hobby” in February 2021, shortly after announcing his 4,000th sporting event.)

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Send news to cs@christianstandardmedia.com.

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Speech at the Centennial Banquet of Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Warren, Ohio – Messages https://odessasem.com/speech-at-the-centennial-banquet-of-saint-demetrios-greek-orthodox-church-warren-ohio-messages/ Sun, 30 Oct 2022 14:09:03 +0000 https://odessasem.com/speech-at-the-centennial-banquet-of-saint-demetrios-greek-orthodox-church-warren-ohio-messages/ His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros Speech at the centenary banquet of the Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church October 29, 2022 Warren, Ohio Your Eminence Metropolitan Savas, Reverend Fathers Constantine Valantasis and Demetri Constantine, Esteemed President of the Parish Council, Dr. George Ploumbis, Beloved Brotherhoods of the Philoptochos and Heads of Parish Organizations, Dear Centennial Celebration Sponsors, […]]]>

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros

Speech at the centenary banquet of the

Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church

October 29, 2022

Warren, Ohio

Your Eminence Metropolitan Savas,

Reverend Fathers Constantine Valantasis and Demetri Constantine,

Esteemed President of the Parish Council, Dr. George Ploumbis,

Beloved Brotherhoods of the Philoptochos and Heads of Parish Organizations,

Dear Centennial Celebration Sponsors,

Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

What a joy it is for me to be with all of you here in Warren as you celebrate your parish’s centennial observance. As you all know, this Community predates the Archdiocese itself by a few years. Organized by the local diaspora community, you received your first priest before the archdiocese became the first eparchy of the ecumenical throne in 1922. Your centenary therefore has a very special meaning.

Here at Warren, your story is an icon, an image of the Greek American and Greek Orthodox experience that has been repeated time and time again across the United States. Greeks came to this country in search of a better life and often came from war-torn regions in Asia Minor, in addition to the various islands and regions of mainland Greece.

I have to tell you that I have been part of many centennial celebrations of our communities over the past year across our great country: from Seattle to Philadelphia. One hundred years ago our spirit ancestors and many of our own blood ancestors came to America in numbers we have not seen since. They planted the Greek Orthodox faith in America like a vine, to produce a tremendous yield of spiritual fruit. Here at Warren, it’s no different.

You can all be proud that a Greek Orthodox Primate of America, former Archbishop Spyridon, was born right here in Warren on September 24, 1944. His Eminence joined me and my immediate predecessor, former Archbishop Demetrios, at the Centennial Lay Clergy Congress this past July in New York. They were both attending the dedication of the National Shrine of St. Nicholas on the site of the rebuilt World Trade Center. And let me add that a son of this Paris, your own John Payiavlas, one of the great lay leaders and benefactors of the whole Church, is an officer of the non-profit organization, Friends of Saint Nicholas, who succeeded in resuscitating the little House of God which was destroyed on September 11. Here in Warren, Ohio – much of the history of the Church in America has been written, and you will write much more in the next hundred years!

Just three days ago we celebrated your Heavenly Patron, the great martyr and myrrh spreader, Demetrios. His name came to this parish because many of your early ancestors were from northern Greece, and the Πολιούχος of Thessaloniki was revered by all.

Your 100th birthday is a sign that this ward is built on the firm, unshakable foundation of the apostles, and the Lord Jesus Christ is your chief cornerstone.* Saint Demetrios is that champion who illustrates your fidelity to the Church, because he gave his life rather than abandon his faith. And in his own “holy week”, Saint Demetrios emboldened all around him to confess their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, just as he sent young Nestor into the arena to defeat the giant Lyaeus, a new David slaying another Goliath.

Over the decades, the Warrens Omogeneia has demonstrated time and again that ministry and service are at the heart of this community. This is why you were able to overcome the royalist/Venizelist divide of the 1920s. This is why you were able to support Greek War Relief during and after the Second World War. And that is why you have come together to build a magnificent Church building and carry out all the programs and ministries that are the hallmark of Greek Orthodox communities from coast to coast.

Now the second hundred years is before us all. I noticed your centennial celebration logo:

“Honoring Our History – Envisioning Our Future.”

Both sides of this golden coin of intention are of supreme importance to your steady progress in Christ. To honor your history, you must indeed know it. This is why the names, dates and places where Saint Demetrios unfolded in the presence and plan of God are so important.

But, we must never rest on our laurels. The achievements of the past find their true meaning in their impact on future generations. We can never allow our churches and communities to become relics of a once glorious past. Especially here in America, and here in Warren.

As you know, I was born in Constantinople, the queen of cities, and served there for over a quarter of a century. I have seen relics of our faith scattered throughout Asia Minor. But it was not a willful diminution of Christian faith and presence. It is the result of great historical and political movements that have taken place over a millennium.

But we live in a free and relatively new country. We have opportunities and freedoms that our ancestors never knew or enjoyed. In fact, that’s precisely why so many of them came to America in the first place! As we celebrate the past tonight, let us never forget that our vision of the future will shape what that future will be for generations to come.

The responsibility is great. The opportunity… even greater!

Therefore, in congratulating you all tonight, I also encourage you to press on, as the apostle Paul says:

… Ἔμπροσθεν ἐπεκτεινόμενος κατὰ σκοπὸν διώκω ἐπὶ ὸ βραβεῖον τῆς ἄνω κλήσεως τεοῦ ἐν χριστῷ ̓̓ησοῦ….

…always straining forward, rush toward the goal for the prize of God’s high calling in Christ Jesus.

Your Centenary reminds us all that the Greek Orthodox Diaspora had and still has a deep attachment to its Faith, the two thousand years

spiritual tradition that accompanied the first immigrants across the ocean, in order to find new ground in which to grow. Your physical and spiritual ancestors were the apostles of future generations. They were true missionaries, intentional or not, and they planted seeds of our holy Orthodox faith across the United States, and right here in Warren, Ohio.

I extend to each of you my sincere congratulations and my best wishes for this historic step.

May the Lord bless you always, through the intercession of the Holy Great Martyr and Myrrh-Streamer Demetrios.

Thank you and congratulations again to all.

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Tammy Faye, Almeida Theater Critic – Elton John’s hilarious glitter bomb of a musical https://odessasem.com/tammy-faye-almeida-theater-critic-elton-johns-hilarious-glitter-bomb-of-a-musical/ Thu, 27 Oct 2022 11:41:11 +0000 https://odessasem.com/tammy-faye-almeida-theater-critic-elton-johns-hilarious-glitter-bomb-of-a-musical/ The Lord moves in mysterious ways – and so it happens that we have this divinely wacky glitter bomb from a James Graham and Elton John musical. Along with lyricist Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters, the playwright and songwriter gauges the phenomenal rise and fall of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. “If I hadn’t lived it, […]]]>

The Lord moves in mysterious ways – and so it happens that we have this divinely wacky glitter bomb from a James Graham and Elton John musical. Along with lyricist Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters, the playwright and songwriter gauges the phenomenal rise and fall of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. “If I hadn’t lived it, I wouldn’t believe it,” she says at the start of the action – a comment that, by the end, feels like an understatement.

But while Rupert Goold’s production thunders with all the ungovernable energy of hairspray-rich roller-disco, at its heart lies a serious point about an unholy mix of populism, politics and preaching that remains with us today.

At the start are Tammy Faye (Katie Brayben) and Jim Bakker (Andrew Rannells), earnest small-town evangelists who get the message across through the uncertain means of puppet theater. Enter satellite TV and electric church. Miraculously, they procure a religious channel, with Tammy Faye acting as her husband’s sidekick. But it is she who captures the essence of the medium, blending Christian ministry with straightforward advice. His instinctive understanding that, in a lonely world, television feeds on the illusion of intimacy, reaching out across the screen shoots ratings skyward and fills coffers with cash.

But all over Eden there are snakes in the grass and forbidden fruits. The couple’s “prosperity gospel”, their extravagant lifestyle and their fraudulently amassed fortune cannot survive contact with cold reality – or the FBI. (Plus, there’s the Bakker sexual misconduct scandal.) Meanwhile, Tammy Faye’s belief that Christian love extends to everyone — she did a famous interview with a gay pastor who had AIDS – both enrages the Christian right and gives them ammunition.

Graham, our chief political playwright, spies in this garish saga on the roots of contemporary culture wars, with conservatives and fundamentalists raging over “woke” values ​​and infiltrating the body politic with chilling effect. It’s the Graham of Ink and The best of enemies, offering a thoughtful analysis of the interplay between politics and popular culture. But he’s also the Graham of television series sherwood, favoring forgiveness over revenge. Key to the drama is Tammy Faye’s observation that in the Bible love is mentioned 489 times, hate 89 times.

It’s all presented in a larger-than-life narrative style, which fills this unique church with a mix of frenzied dialogue, religious frenzy and Lynne Page’s wild dance routines. John and Spears drive events forward with a combination of silly rock pastiche, glam-rock, and authentic, catchy ballads. Best of these is “Empty Hands” before the interval, a soul-baring torch song that Brayben delivers with a passion that soars the rafters. And she looks great, bringing both warmth and sparkling intelligence to Tammy Faye, nicely contrasted by Rannells’ Bakker, uneasy in her own skin. Slithering around them is Zubin Varla as the reptilian Jerry Falwell.

It all gets a little bogged down in act two and few songs follow you home. What’s missing in the frenzy is character depth and closer examination that would make this truly illuminating. But it’s a spectacle riot, at the heart of a timely and provocative message about love and tolerance.

★★★★☆

As of December 3, almeida.co.uk

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Love Inc. Launches Homes from the Heart Program | Across Indiana https://odessasem.com/love-inc-launches-homes-from-the-heart-program-across-indiana/ Mon, 24 Oct 2022 20:30:00 +0000 https://odessasem.com/love-inc-launches-homes-from-the-heart-program-across-indiana/ Love in the Name of Christ (Love Inc.) has been serving those in need since 2011, coordinating with churches in Boone County to provide a variety of items to the community. Zionsville United Methodist Church, for example, is their location providing adult clothing. The Christian Church of Lebanon provides linens. Members of each of the […]]]>

Love in the Name of Christ (Love Inc.) has been serving those in need since 2011, coordinating with churches in Boone County to provide a variety of items to the community.

Zionsville United Methodist Church, for example, is their location providing adult clothing. The Christian Church of Lebanon provides linens.

Members of each of the 38 partner churches have a specific purpose and thanks to Love Inc., an international organization, residents of Boone County can receive what they need.

“Love Inc. exists to mobilize churches to meet community needs and transform lives in the name of Christ,” said Co-Executive Director Marcia Overfield. “Thanks to church volunteers, we are able to provide clothing, cleaning supplies, personal care items, towels and linens, furniture and appliances.”

Love Inc. also has a ministry program, going beyond providing specific items and a word of encouragement.

Classes are available to all members of the community and include Affirming Potential, a 12-week course designed to look beyond today’s crisis and begin to look to the future.

“Boundaries” is an eight-week course to help with interpersonal relationships and “Faith and Finances” looks at budgeting, planning and faith that God will provide.

Classes begin October 26, but anyone can join at any time.

In January 2022, Love Inc. launched its new program, “Homes from the Heart”.

“The birth of Homes from the Heart came from a group of pastors who decided to address homelessness in the county,” Overfield said. “We use an apartment shelter model and walk around them like a family would.”

The organization has started partnering with local apartment complexes to find a place families in need can use for a short time.

“We have an apartment in Shakers Square, and then in March another apartment in Parkview became available,” co-CEO Traci Hoffman said.

Families stay in the apartment for three to six months. There are program requirements, including attending classes, saving money, and submitting to random drug testing.

More importantly, Overfield said, they have a case manager and mentor, helping them set measurable goals and get on their feet.

“We have seen single mothers who have been able to change jobs to better paying jobs. Some have almost finished getting their GED and have qualified to get an apartment on their own,” Overfield said. “We had another mum who was just baptized and as a faith-based organization we see that as a blessing and a success.”

Each family completes a 25-category assessment at the start and throughout their stay, allowing them to see progress and empowering families to keep moving in the right direction.

“We bypass them like I would my own kids,” Overfield said. “We are taught to love our neighbor as Christ loves us and it is a good opportunity to share encouragement, dream big and give them a chance to be independent.”

Such a large program requires many volunteers.

Love Inc. is looking for mentors, both for courses and for apartments. Churches can walk alongside the family, bring them a meal once a week, and help provide basic supplies. A moving crew and a cleaning crew are needed whenever a family moves in or moves out.

“Sometimes things happen very quickly,” Overfield said. “It can take as little as three days and we have to take action, so just having a list of people we know we can call to make that happen is really helpful.”

Overfield and Hoffman hope the program will continue to grow.

“We would like to expand, but it depends on funding. Right now we’re asking 200 people or groups to sponsor with $16 a month,” Hoffman said. “We need to hire a part-time program manager for the Homes from the Heart portion and we need to connect with landlords who are willing to work with us.”

Donations of all kinds are helpful. Apartments need bath mats, shower curtains, trash cans, kitchen utensils and more.

Love Inc. has an emergency pantry and can always use canned food. Additionally, volunteers are needed to make phone calls on a regular basis, check in with those they have provided, and confirm that needs have been met.

“We have our hands full,” Overfield said. “Last year we responded to 3,400 needs and this year we are at the same capacity, if not more.”

For more information, visit the website at https://www.loveincbc.org.

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Pastor Adam’s Weekly Updates – October https://odessasem.com/pastor-adams-weekly-updates-october/ Fri, 21 Oct 2022 20:38:59 +0000 https://odessasem.com/pastor-adams-weekly-updates-october/ Dear Resurrection Family, We have a few weeks left in our BE campaign: Be Just, Kind and Humble of Micah 6:8. the ideals that Republicans, Democrats and Independents should agree are fundamental to life and essential to effective politics – justice, kindness and humility. This weekend’s sermon will focus on where religion and politics meet. […]]]>

Dear Resurrection Family,

We have a few weeks left in our BE campaign: Be Just, Kind and Humble of Micah 6:8. the ideals that Republicans, Democrats and Independents should agree are fundamental to life and essential to effective politics – justice, kindness and humility. This weekend’s sermon will focus on where religion and politics meet.

THIS WEEKEND IN WORSHIP: FAITH AND POLITICS

This weekend, former U.S. Senator John (Jack) Danforth will share a powerful message about religion and politics. Senator Danforth is uniquely qualified to share this message. He began his public service career in 1968 as Missouri Attorney General, then served three terms as U.S. Senator from Missouri. In 2004, he was appointed United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Besides being a lawyer and politician, he is an ordained Episcopal priest who has spent his life trying to live out his faith in politics.

Over the past few years I have had several conversations with the Reverend Jack Danforth about how the church could play a key role in reducing polarization in our country and healing our land – the theme of our campaign BE. I learned last night that he had just been diagnosed with COVID, but he didn’t want to miss sharing this message with you, so he will be sharing the message from his home in St. Louis via video.

Several years ago, Senator Danforth published a book called faith and politics, calling on Christians to seek common ground and work together, rather than allowing their faith to be used to divide. A few years ago, he wrote an excellent opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, with Catholic priest Matt Malone, on this subject. You can read it here. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to hear the message of an inspiring leader who has dedicated nearly sixty years of his life to connecting his faith and his politics. His message will be delivered via video in all of our locations, online and on TV; but join us in person, if you can, to inspire music, scripture and prayer as we worship in community.

WORSHIP THIS WEEKEND IN PERSON, ONLINE OR ON TV

  • Leawood held at 7:30 a.m. at Wesley Chapel, 9 a.m. at Sanctuary and 11 a.m.* traditional at Sanctuary and modern at Foundry, or 5 p.m. at Sanctuary
  • Downtown pitch Saturday at 5 p.m. or Sunday at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m.
  • blue springs, Olath (West) and land park pitches Sunday at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m.
  • Online at cor.org/live Saturday at 5 p.m. or Sunday at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. or 5 p.m.
  • On KMCI Channel 38 television on Sundays at 8 a.m. or 11 a.m.
  • On request on Youtube during the week

A NIGHT AT THE CINEMA – MATTHEW MINISTRY CONCERT

Speaking of amazing opportunities, if you really want to be inspired, join us on Monday, October 24 at 7 p.m. in the foundry at our Leawood location for “A Night at the Movies.” Matthew’s Ministry celebrates the performing arts with an evening of music, dance and drama featuring performances by the community theater group Matthew’s Ministry, the Sonflower Drama group and the Sonflower Ringers.

Matthew’s Resurrection Ministry supports, empowers, and encourages individuals of all abilities to become deeply committed Christians by knowing, loving, and serving God. The ministry provides opportunities for children and adults and supports for families. You can read more about Matthew’s ministry on our website.

THIRD YEAR BIBLE PRESENTATION NOV. 13; BIBLICAL ADVENTURE NOV. 18

One of my favorite annual events is the presentation of a Bible to each of our third graders. On Sunday, November 13, during worship services at all locations, our third-grade students will receive their Bibles in front of the entire church. This is a special milestone that friends and family are encouraged to attend. Please register your children or grandchildren so that we can have a Bible for them. here is the link.

Then, on Friday, November 18, we will have the Bible adventure. Third-grade students and their parents or grandparents can enjoy dinner, games, interactive Bible teachings and a treasure hunt in the church. By the end of the night, third graders (and their adults!) will know how the Bible is organized, how to look up verses, and why the Bible is important to their lifelong adventure. You can sign up for Bible Adventure here.

CHEST OR TREAT NEXT WEEKEND!

Get your trunks and costumes ready for Trunk or Treat next weekend. We’ll have delicious treats, a chance to win amazing prizes, special guests and more. This is one of our biggest community events of the year and the perfect opportunity to invite your friends and neighbors to a fun, free fall event. Trunk or Treat is October 29 or 30 at all resurrection locations, including Brookside Resurrection. Hours vary by location:

  • October 29 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Leawood
  • October 29 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Overland Park
  • October 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. West
  • October 30 after offices at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Downtown
  • October 30 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Blue Springs
  • October 30 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Brookside

There are a few volunteer opportunities at this event so you can double the fun and service! We are also looking for volunteers to provide a decorated trunk and distribute candy, direct traffic and greet guests. If you can help us Click here.

For Resurrection Brookside, click here to volunteer.

BE CAMPAIGN T-SHIRT, GARDEN SIGNS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

If you ordered a t-shirt, pick it up during Sunday worship hours at The Well Bookstore at Leawood location or office at other locations. More shirts are available at The Well Bookstore while supplies last.

We still have road signs available. You can pick up signs after worship this weekend and place them around town in public spaces wherever you see candidate campaign signs.

social media is another great way to spread the “Be Fair, Kind, Humble” message. Resurrection’s social media pages have great posts that you can share on your own social media.

VESPERS THIS TUESDAY

Vespers will be back live this Tuesday. I will come to you live and share some thoughts on Jack Danforth’s message this week on faith and politics.

Click on here to go to my Pastor Adam Hamilton Facebook page to watch live at 7 p.m. Tuesday or watch the replay on Youtube later in the week.

In the love of Christ,

Adam

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Kannapolis Fire Truck Parade, Kid’s Costume Contest is the perfect family gathering – Salisbury Post https://odessasem.com/kannapolis-fire-truck-parade-kids-costume-contest-is-the-perfect-family-gathering-salisbury-post/ Tue, 18 Oct 2022 04:17:09 +0000 https://odessasem.com/kannapolis-fire-truck-parade-kids-costume-contest-is-the-perfect-family-gathering-salisbury-post/ Kannapolis Fire Truck Parade, Kid’s Costume Contest is the perfect family gathering Posted at 12:10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 By Brad Dountzbrad.dountz@salisburypost.com KANNAPOLIS — There was fun for all ages Friday night as the Kannapolis Fire Truck Parade and Children’s Costume Contest kicked off this year’s fall festivities. Countless children dressed up to […]]]>

Kannapolis Fire Truck Parade, Kid’s Costume Contest is the perfect family gathering

Posted at 12:10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 18, 2022

By Brad Dountz
brad.dountz@salisburypost.com

KANNAPOLIS — There was fun for all ages Friday night as the Kannapolis Fire Truck Parade and Children’s Costume Contest kicked off this year’s fall festivities. Countless children dressed up to see nearly 25 fire trucks with blaring sirens rolling past City Hall. Once that was over, the costume contest began where prizes were given out for the most original fire department award, most similar to the Kannapolis Fire Department, and Chief’s Choice.

The fire department also sponsored a food drive to help Cooperative Christian Ministry, an organization that helps feed needy families in Cabarrus County and Kannapolis.

“I think this is a great opportunity for the community to come and see what’s going on in downtown Kannapolis,” said Jamie Richardson, community engagement manager for Cooperative Christian Ministry. “I hope for us, for CCM, it’s a realization that we’re here and our help is available to anyone who needs it.”

Firefighters were there to accept donations and “stock the fire truck” with non-perishable food items that will be returned to the CCM pantry for distribution throughout the following week. This event not only helps the fire department deliver food to those in need, but interacts with the community in a way that has nothing to do with an actual fire.

“It allows all of our community partners and citizens to come in and ask questions and see what we’re doing and meet the firefighters one-on-one,” the Kannapolis Fire Department Fire Chief said. , Tracy Winecoff. “Which is really important to us, so they can see us when it’s not an emergency or when it’s not a situation where they’re having a really bad day.”

Atrium Health Ballpark was the site where local businesses set up booths to sell trinkets, food, beverages, and fall games. A patch of pumpkins was placed all over the stadium’s outfield for people to choose one and take home. At the end of the day, for families looking for something fun to do, the parade and costume contest knocked it out of the park.

“It’s great for the kids, it’s great for Kannapolis. I love seeing Kannapolis grow like this,” said Pat Stack.

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NCYC Plans West Coast Expansion With Long Beach Event This Fall https://odessasem.com/ncyc-plans-west-coast-expansion-with-long-beach-event-this-fall/ Thu, 13 Oct 2022 07:03:45 +0000 https://odessasem.com/ncyc-plans-west-coast-expansion-with-long-beach-event-this-fall/ For the past decade, the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC)—the largest Catholic youth event in the United States—has moved to the central city of Indianapolis every two years. Now, by planting a foot on the West Coast, the event is growing in more ways than one: for the first time ever, the gathering will take […]]]>

For the past decade, the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC)—the largest Catholic youth event in the United States—has moved to the central city of Indianapolis every two years.

Now, by planting a foot on the West Coast, the event is growing in more ways than one: for the first time ever, the gathering will take place in Long Beach this fall, marking the start of a new schedule that will transform NCYC in an annual conference, alternating between the two cities.

Organizers say the reasoning behind the move west is to broaden coastal attendance, given that most years have typically seen fewer than 1,000 west coast attendees.

“We had seen for several years that the participation of people living on the west coast was difficult, mainly because of finances,” said Christina Lamas, executive director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM).

Christina Lamas, executive director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. (CNS/Courtesy of NFCYM via The Criterion)

According to Dayrin Perez, youth ministry coordinator for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the idea came from Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez after attending the event in Indianapolis.

“Our delegations in the past were small due to travel costs,” Perez said. “Having NCYC here in Long Beach makes it much more accessible and affordable.”

To make the cost of this year’s NCYC – which will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center – even more affordable for teenagers in Los Angeles, the Dan Murphy Foundation has provided scholarships to parishes and Catholic schools to support attendance at the conference. . So far, more than three times the usual number of participants from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles have registered.

Attendees expect standard NCYC fare — stadium masses, dynamic speakers, breakout sessions, and service opportunities — but with a California twist.

“I have to say there has been a lot of intentional effort in building the NCYC in Long Beach to reflect the community, the cultures that are represented on the West Coast,” said Lamas, who is based in Washington, D.C. . , but grew up in Los Angeles. “It’s been very intentional throughout the lineup, and I think you’ll see that show up in the workshops, on the main stage.”

He will also appear in conference “villages” or interactive exhibits that engage students with hands-on activities ranging from Catholic social teaching to open mics, and music by four-time Grammy-winning Christian pop duo For King + Country.

And for Perez, the timing of this event is more important than ever.

“One of the things we’ve learned from the pandemic is that teenagers aren’t going to believe what we tell them,” she said. “They have to experience it for themselves to be able to believe it. We can tell them every day that they are beloved children of God. Until they experience that love one way or another, nothing will change.

This experience is what is intended to make the whole process – which usually involves travel, admission fees, and time off from school or work – worth it for high school students looking for something new in their spiritual life.

“A lot of times our young people feel lonely, feel the pressures of school and life in general,” Perez said. “NCYC is a safe space. It is a space where you can be with people and feel welcomed, loved, appreciated, as if you belong.

Sometimes it is also a place of challenge and growth. Lamas likes to tell the story of last year’s NCYC 2021 in Indianapolis, where she was to give a short 15-minute keynote address to attendees. But she ultimately decided that the high schoolers in attendance would be more interested in hearing from one of their own. So she worked with two teenagers – a boy and a girl – and groomed them to take her place.

“I gave them the floor again,” Lamas said. “It was such a powerful moment. … The young woman who joined me on stage from that moment was able to return to her home diocese and continue to share. She was invited to different parishes. She was invited to share her testimony with her diocesan newspaper.

The young woman is one of the members of the National Youth Advisory Committee, a group of 12 young people and four adults who provide ideas and advice to the NFCYM.

Although the pope sent a written or video message to participants of previous NCYCs, this year he agreed to meet with the Youth Council on October 12 in Rome, where he presented a message to the NCYC for the representatives to convey in her name.

“I look forward to sharing my experiences not only with my peers and my parish, but also with NCYC in November,” Youth Council representative Julia Zerbes said last month. “I hope the stories I share will open people’s hearts, minds and souls to the many possible things Christ can do for everyone.”

NCYC registration is $320 for general admission or $280 for NFCYM members, with scholarships available for those facing financial hardship. To register or find more information, visit ncyc.us.

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