Posts Tagged ‘Religion’
Sunday mornings mean many people are off to church.
If you’ve lived in one place for a long time and you go to church, chances are you go to the same one regularly, but Sunday folks from one small North Carolina town tried something a little different.
At Trinity United Methodist Church, the word “structure” best describes a typical worship service.
People recite creeds and portions from the Bible collectively, and sing old hymns, but on this Sunday the church’s Pastor is no where to be found and the congregation is excited about it.
“Myself and my family, we’re just really thrilled with this,“ said one church member.
“We’re just, well we’re just excited,“ said an elder.
They call it a ‘Pastor Swap’.
Trinity’s Pastor Harold Salmon is less than a mile down the road preaching at Mill Branch Baptist Church, a predominately African American church.
“We come together, not to change each other’s style of worship, but to actually celebrate each other’s style of worship,“ said Trinity United Methodist Reverend Harold Salmon.
And Mill Branches’ Pastor and choir are at Caucasian dominant Trinity.
“Most people know that 11 o’clock Sunday morning is the most segregated time in America,” said Mill Branch Reverend J. Gentile Everett. “We work together. We socialize together. We even spend our money at the same places, but when it came to worship for most people, they would all go in their separate ways.“
And that’s what the two groups do.
Reverend Everett and his choir shake things up at Trinity, while Reverend Salmon gets a good response from the people at Mill Branch.
“Excitement, knowing that the same God that we worship is being worshipped everywhere,“ said Mill Branch member, Cynthia Dudley.
“I think we should do it more often,“ one Trinity member said.
“How can we really love God and separate ourselves from one another because of skin tone?,” said Everett. “We’re just trying to tear that down and say to the community, ‘We love God and we love all of his creation’.“
The churches’ members believe a little change on a Sunday morning will help do just that.
“Black, white, Indians, Mexicans – all of us are God’s children,“ said Mill Branch member Vera Ford.
A small town in North Carolina with hopes of creating unity through their faiths.
It’s the second year the churches have done the pastor swap.
Reverend Salmon is leaving Trinity United Methodist later this year, but says he hopes the church’s next pastor makes the event a tradition.
In February, fire destroyed Shenberger Chapel United Methodist Church in Chanceford Township. Two months later, the congregation gathered a few miles away to celebrate Easter.
The New Bridgeville Fire Company served as a chapel. Reverend Patricia Bollinger said the congregation is strong.
“It still seems to be very uplifting and encouraging,” Bollinger said. “Our numbers still tend to be up and we are averaging about 20 people more in worship.”Church members began their Easter Sunday by meeting at the old church for a sunrise service. The rest of their service was held at the fire department, which is where they have been meeting since the century old church burned down. Pews were replaced with metal chairs. The altar was a table. The congregation noted that where they worship did not change the meaning of Easter.
“Jesus is risen and that we do worship a risen Savior, that’s always special for me,” explained Bollinger. “The wonderful blessing is that we have been able to come here and worship and the worship has been genuine and real and the ministry has continued.”
The congregation is in the process of choosing an architect. It hopes to start rebuilding in the fall.
Parishioners at a church in Sweden celebrated Easter on Sunday by unveiling a 6-foot-tall statue of Jesus that they had built out of 30,000 Lego blocks.
It took the 40 volunteers about 18 months to put all the tiny plastic blocks together, and their creation shows a standing Jesus facing forward with his arms outstretched.
The Protestant church was filled to capacity with about 400 worshippers on Sunday when the statue went on display behind the altar, and some of the children in the congregation couldn’t help but touch the white art work.
Church spokesman Per Wilder said the statue at the Onsta Gryta church in the central Swedish city of Vasteras is a copy of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen’s “Christus” statue on display in Copenhagen.
He also said that even though the statue is all white on the outside, many of the donated Legos that the church received were of other colors and were placed inside.
Read more and see another picture: Swedish parishioners unveil Lego statue of Jesus
Very interesting story and idea.
Many people spend their Sundays going to the church of their choice, but have you ever thought about attending a church service at a bar? One Little Rock Church is promoting its upcoming Easter service at a popular River Market hang out.
Just call it the Bar Church. That’s how a new church called “The River” is advertising itself. Not only will its Easter service be held at The Rev Room, the church is holding Good Friday service this week in the River Market as well.
Many churches are advertising Good Friday and Easter services, but most of them will take place in traditional settings.
“Well, we’re meeting at a bar,” says Shane Montgomery, Pastor of The River Church. He says he’s trying something different. “If you’re going to church somewhere, you probably don’t need to come down on Easter Sunday because you might feel a little uncomfortable,” Montgomery said.
By breaking away from the norm, he hopes to attract a new audience.
“It made sense to me,” the pastor said. “How do you get people that don’t go to church to go to church? You do that by going to a place and removing obstacles that are intimidating and church is intimidating sometimes.”
A few non church-goers had mixed reactions about the whole idea.
Joe Carter liked the idea, “because it kind of joins two worlds together.”
“I don’t know about having Easter Sunday at a bar,” said Aaron Adams. “That’s just the way I grew up and you don’t associate drinking with going to church.”
Pastor Montgomery says he anticipated negative reactions, but it’s not overshadowed by the positive impact he hopes his church will leave behind. “We choose to listen to the people that Jesus called us to reach,” he said.
If you’re thinking about coming, leave the dressy outfits and suits at home. Montgomery says they’re not allowed.
Read more and watch this story: Little Rock church holding Easter service at bar
Photo: From Flickr user Magic Bullet Theory
This is a remarkable young girl who is shining in the face of a major tragedy. This story is heart-wrenching, but there is something strangely inspirational about it.
If you can… please take the time to buy a stack of cards or donate to the family. I know that I will!
Watch this story with some tissue near by.
It would be hard to say no to Reese Schroeder, a beautiful 5-year-old girl with a big smile and her father’s green eyes. But it would be impossible to turn her away from your doorstep once you hear why she wants to sell her cards.
“Because I wanted to raise money for my dad because he’s in the hospital. But now, he’s not in the hospital anymore because he died,” she said.
Jon Schroeder died early Tuesday morning months after he’d been admitted to the hospital for pneumonia. He was 29 years old.
While at the hospital, he suffered a collapsed lung and was diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), a rare and almost fatal disease.
During her father’s long stay at the hospital, Reese’s kindergarten art teacher decided an art project might help. She kept Reese after kindergarten for two weeks and helped her draw pictures of animals that would be printed on cards.
Julie Bauman didn’t even know the Schroeders but knew she wanted to do something to help.
“Stacie (Reese’s mom) is now a single mom with little three kids and I just knew there would be a lot of possible expenses to keep the house going, I just figured anything we could do to help,” Bauman said.
Bauman got a local printer to donate the card printing and then recruited volunteers to put the packets of cards together. She also brought Reese to her Monticello neighborhood to sell the cards to her neighbors.
“I think it’s really sweet, really sweet of her teacher and it’s really sweet that she’s able to go out and do that for her dad,” said Stacie Schroeder. “He would have been so proud of her.”
Jon never saw all of the cards while he was in the hospital because he was too sick. But he’ll be buried with them with a special note from Reese.
“I feel kind of happy that he chose to go with Jesus, but I do feel kind of sad that he’s not with us,” she said.
You can make a donation to the Jon Schroeder Benefit Account at:
Wells Fargo Bank
12916 Main St
Rogers, MN 55374
You can also buy Reese’s card from the Albertville Primary School, 763-497-2688. They are $10 for a pack of 6. The money will go to help Stacie Schroeder raise her three kids.
Watch this story: Girl Makes Special Greeting Cards For Sick Dad
A physical-education teacher at A.K. Suter Elementary School in Pensacola is being called a hero after he was struck by a car this morning near the school while he protected children.
Patrick Judd was transported to Baptist Hospital. Colleen Kirsch, spokeswoman for the hospital, said Judd was in good condition this morning.
Deputy Superintendent Norm Ross said witnesses saw Judd push a mother and her two children out of the path of an oncoming car.
By doing so, Judd took the brunt of the hit and suffered a leg injury.
District officials applauded Judd’s selfless actions Friday.
Laura Richards, 37, dropped off 6-year-old Abigail for school this morning and was crossing the street while talking with Judd.
She had 2-year old Laura Sophia sitting on her hip and 4-year-old Isabella holding her hand as she walked.
“He jumped back to take the full impact,” Richards said of Judd. “I don’t really know what happened. It happened so quickly but when it was all said and done we were safe on the side of the road and my daughters’ flip flops were still on the pavement.”
Richards said she know Judd because she sees him every morning and afternoon doing crossing guard duty. The last day of school before Christmas break, Richards said, Judd wears a Santa Claus costume while guiding traffic.
“We’re so grateful,” she said. “We pray for him and that he’ll be alright. If if he hadn’t been there it would have been us. My two little girls are so tiny.”
“The incident this morning was certainly an act of heroism,” Ross said. “It doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s been a longtime employee and has demonstrated throughout his career his dedication to students and the school.”
Superintendent Malcolm Thomas said he was proud of Judd’s service to the schools.
“This is just another example of the dedication of our employees in this district,” Thomas said.
In 1999 Judd won the Elementary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award from the county.
Read more and see the family he saved: ‘An act of heroism’
“I thank God that I was able to get the lady out of the house.” said Bobbie Wright, who spends most of her time helping people. She seats and watches over physically challenged kids on the school bus and when she and her co-worker passed by a home on fire, they had to help save a life.
“I told Bobbie, I said Bobbie she’s trying to get out, there’s someone trapped inside and then Bobbie said ‘Open the door, let me out’ and I opened the door and she RAN out.” said bus driver Stephanie Bayless.
Firefighters believe the fire probably started in the living room area where 65-year-old Jimmy Wayne McKnight was bedridden in a hospital bed.
His caregiver Louise Pinkston heard the smoke alarm and told firefighters what happened next. “She attempted to go to the living room area where Mr. McKnight was at and it’s my understanding at that point she could not get to him or get him out” said Horn Lake Fire Chief David Linville.
Pinkston’s attempts at putting out the fire also failed. The only thing she could do was escape.
When Firefighters arrived they found smoke pouring form over opening of the house, and flames shooting out the living room and kitchen windows.
Ms. Pinkston managed to get to the other end of the house and out a small bathroom window.
That’s when Wright and Bayless passed by, and jumped into action. “She was hollering and so she was trying to lift the window up but she couldn’t get it up so I lift the window up, pushed the window up and got her out the fire,” explained Wright.
Wright herself tried to put out the fire, first by breaking a front window with an landscape timber, then with a garden hose.
Ms. Pinkston suffered heavy smoke inhilation, singed hair and minor burns.
As to why she felt compelled to help, Wright says the answer is simple. “I would want someone to do that for me or do that for my family if something like that happened, so that’s what I did, I just react.” she smiled.
Read more and watch this story: School Bus Crew Saves Woman From Burning House
Photo: From Flickr user hotonpictures
Here’s a great story that reminds us that good things sometimes happen out of the blue!
The woman seemed to appear out of nowhere. One minute, Justine Parnell was in the parking lot, sobbing a howl reserved for life-breaking moments.
And then there she was. Thin and fierce, a buzz-cut of shocking blond hair, deep hollowed blue eyes. She asked gently:
And Parnell told her. The puppy she had given her best friend — Tammy Horsley, who is dying from cancer — had Parvo, a deadly and contagious disease. The emergency animal hospital wanted $800 up front to treat him. So Zeus, the tiny Shih Tzu-poodle mix, was going to be euthanized.
Before Parnell could tell the woman any more — that they had been there for six hours, calling everyone they knew who might have some extra money — the woman was running through the hospital door.
Zeus’ leg had already been shaved to administer the lethal injection. But the woman found a vet tech and said Zeus was not going to be put down.
“I’m paying the bill,” she said.
Theresa FairLady is opening an insurance business next door to the animal hospital and was walking to her car for mouse pads on Sunday when she saw the woman crying. She knew she had to help her, but she can’t explain why.
Horsley hasn’t believed in people for a long time, much less guardian angels. As a teen in church, she asked questions that were always answered with “have faith” and it annoyed her.
The 39-year-old has been married and divorced three times, accumulating tattoos, piercings and a distrust of humanity. Her two boys live with their dad. She said one fiance died in a freak go-cart accident and the other was murdered in Las Vegas. She was in jail on drug charges when her mother passed away. A few years ago, she came home to Port Richey to take care of her ailing father. Parnell helped her get off drugs. Her life seemed to be getting better.
Then she found the lump in her breast.
Doctors told her the cancer had spread to her bones. It was stage four. Terminal.
If there is a God, she thought, he surely hates me.
She says she has stayed clean since the diagnosis. She gets chemotherapy treatments once a month, she said.
Parnell gave her Zeus because Horsley needed someone in her life to love her no matter what. Horsley can’t believe FairLady saved Zeus. “I’ve had so many creeps in my life,” Horsley said, “My first thought was, ‘Okay, what does she want?’ ”
But she didn’t want anything.
“I just knew that dog couldn’t die,” said FairLady, 48, who is beginning a new chapter of her life. She used to be a professional baseball umpire and then opened an animal clinic in New Port Richey with her partner of 17 years. Together, she thinks, they rescued more than 5,000 animals, spending their weekends at shelters saving pets slated to die. But then they broke up.
“It was devastating,” FairLady said. They sold the clinic. Her name used to be Theresa Cox but she changed it to FairLady last fall. She says it’s what people called her on the field, The Fair Lady.
She stopped rescuing animals because it reminded her too much of her ex.
But then there was Zeus.
“He’s a miracle puppy,” FairLady said.
Amazing story of being at the right place at the right time.
Two men are being hailed as heroes by police for catching a toddler who fell 30 feet from a third-story window.
Robert Lemire of Methuen says that he was talking on his cell phone on Sunday evening outside a pizza shop when he saw the toddler dangling from a third-story window in a home across the street.
“I heard some commotion across the street. I saw some toys go out the window,” he said.
“A couple of minutes later, I heard a baby cry and I thought right away – I looked across and there was a baby hanging from the window sill.”
The toddler was being held by two other children.
The 45-year-old father of two bolted across a busy street and was nearly hit by a car.
“I didn’t even look, I just ran across the street,” Lemire said.
He met 23-year-old Alex Day, who had been inside the home at a Bible study meeting on the first floor.
Together, they caught 18-month-old Caliah Clark before she hit the ground.
“The baby basically fell about two seconds after we got there,” Day said.
“He got the top half, I pretty much got the bottom half,” said Lemire.
The child was taken to a hospital and is OK.
The toddler’s father was taking care of a newborn at the time.
Read more and watch this story: Men Catch Toddler In 30-Foot Fall In Lawrence