The Wilbur Daniels' Southern Gospel Sing Time is expanding to a double-concert format starting next week.
Sing Time, previously held on the third Fridays monthly, now will be presented on the third Thursdays and Fridays monthly at New Covenant Community Church, 1744 E. Nees Ave.
The first concerts under the new format are 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, featuring the California Melody Boys of Tulare, the Smith Family and Daniels' group, The Chordsmen; and Friday, Oct. 19, with the Songfellows Quartet of Nashville as well as The Chordsmen again.
Daniels, who sings tenor with The Chordsmen, has been presenting Sing Time gigs with his wife, Dena, for about 17 years. Crowds, however, didn't start flocking to them until they moved into New Covenant's large sanctuary in 2007.
Averaging more than 1,000 fans, Sing Time represents the largest Southern Gospel and quartet music fan base for a monthly event west of the Mississippi River, according to the Western States Gospel Music Association.
Details: (559) 225-2351.
Church's Pet Blessing includes an opossum
OK, the numbers are in from the Pet Blessing at Holy Family Episcopal Church on Oct. 6: Twenty-seven dogs, a cat -- and even an opossum -- were blessed by the church's pastor, the Rev. Michele Racusin.
The event is in conjunction with the Feast of St. Francis.
Stanley leaving Fresno refugee ministries
The Rev. Sharon Stanley has resigned as executive director of Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries to accept the position of director of Refugee and Immigration Ministries for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination in the United States and Canada.
Stanley is the founding director of FIRM, which offers services and programs for new Americans, including southeast Asians, as they make transitions in life. FIRM also provides spiritual direction, offering people a sense of hope. Stanley's resignation is effective Jan. 1.
Tom Sims, chairman of the FIRM board, says board members are grateful for Stanley's years of service and inspiration.
Stanley also was active in Laotian ministries at University Presbyterian Church and in the Valley's interfaith community.
With the Refugee and Immigration Ministries, Stanley will oversee the work of resettlement of refugees in cooperation with groups within the denomination as well as ecumenical organizations such as Church World Service. Refugee and Immigration Ministries has offices at National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C.
Details: firminc.org or (559) 487-1500.
Interfaith community supports hunger walk
The interfaith community is coming together for Fresno-Clovis CROP Hunger Walk 2012 on Sunday at First Congregational Church of Fresno, 2131 N. Van Ness Blvd.
The annual event raises money for food programs locally and worldwide. Event organizers say about 25% of money raised stays locally to help hunger-assistance programs. First Congregational Church of Fresno is among the top three congregations raising money.
CROP, which stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty, is a project of Church World Service, an interfaith ministry. Fresno ranks in the top 10 in the nation for money raised at CROP Hunger Walk events, organizers say.
Registration starts at 1:30 p.m., followed by the walk at 2:30 p.m. Details: churchworldservice.org or (559) 227-8489.
Faith in Community holding fundraiser
Faith in Community will hold its Heart of the City dinner fundraiser at 6 p.m. Oct. 26 at Westside Church of God, 1424 W. California Ave.
Ron Orozco covers religion for The Bee. He can be reached at (559) 441-6304 or email@example.com