Oakhurst Lutheran Church is doing much more this year with its observance of Flag Day, which is Friday.
The congregation has held Flag Day celebrations for the past three years. This year, a short program honoring the American flag begins at 6 p.m. Then, officials will dedicate a newly erected Veteran's Memorial Monument. The church is at 39255 Black Road, Oakhurst.
The Flag Day festivities will include giving the first 300 children free American flags, provided by the Oakhurst Lions Club. Music will be provided by Hailey and Delaney Beyers and their instructor Tim Johnson.
The Veteran's Memorial Monument, made out of granite, has been a big project for the church.
The memorial, weighing nearly two tons, is from Raymond Granite Co. The work was done by Meachum's Memorials in Clovis.
The memorial includes a bronze plaque with the engraving: "All Gave Some — Some Gave All, dedicated to the memory of all who proudly served and protected their country."
Much of the memorial features etchings from two Bible passages — Psalm 23 and Isaiah 40:31.
At the event, children also will receive free hot dogs, chips and sodas.
The Oakhurst Lutheran men's ministry will sell tri-tip sandwiches, chips and beverages as a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and transition to civilian life. The meal costs $6.
"This should be a wonderful community celebration with many from the community's veterans' organizations in attendance," says the church's pastor, the Rev. David Sebastian. "All are welcome."
Details: oakhurstlutheranchurch.org or (559) 683-4673.
Church offers Friday alternative
A Clovis congregation has begun opening its doors at 7 p.m. Friday nights for college-age people to hang out as an alternative to the party scene.
The Well Community Church's Clovis campus, which is at 284 W. Shaw Ave., started the new program Friday. It will continue through Aug. 2.
Details: (559) 326-5100.
Baptism service is today at Millerton Lake
A baptism service and picnic is at 11 a.m. today at the La Playa day-use picnic area at Millerton Lake.
Feed My Sheep Ministries of Fresno presents the annual event.
"When you mention baptism, it turns on a green light in the minds of people, even those who don't go to church," says the Rev. Bruce Hood, pastor of Feed My Sheep Ministries.
Feed My Sheep Ministries holds services at 11 a.m. Sundays at 117 E. Lemon St. and provides a shelter for women and children as well as a residential home for alcohol/drug rehabilitation.
The church also hosts food distributions at 1:30 p.m. Fridays. Details: (559) 978-5469.
Worship in Park in Oakhurst
Worship in the Park services have begun at 6 p.m. Saturdays at Community Park on Civic Circle Drive in Oakhurst.
The services are presented June through August.
The Mountain Ministerial Association and Friends in the Park present the Christian services. Pastors and worship bands from various churches rotate leading them.
Worshippers can bring their own meals as well as blankets or lawn chairs. Details: (408) 832-4581.
Mosque holds food distributions
The Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno has begun its food distribution program in June at Valley sites.
The distributions began Wednesday in Firebaugh.
Remaining distributions are:
Monday at John Palacios Community Center, 16856 Fourth St., Huron.
Thursday at Veterans Memorial Hall, 22001 W. Manning Ave., San Joaquin.
June 19 at Chapel Grace Church, 120 E. Hawthorne St., Coalinga.
All distributions are 9 a.m. to noon. Details: icfresno.org or (559) 297-9535.
Church holds patriotic celebration
A Big Red, White and Blue patriotic celebration is June 15 at First Congregational Church of Fresno, 2131 N. Van Ness Blvd.
The annual event starts at 5:30 p.m. with a barbecue dinner of chicken and beef kebobs, rice pilaf, roasted vegetables and salad.
A concert begins at 7 p.m., featuring patriotic songs and marches from the pre-Revolutionary War era to the 20th century. They will be performed by Scott Horton on the church's pipe organ, as well as by the church's chancel choir, handbell group and the women's and men's choruses.
The event is designed to honor the current and past service of men and women from all the branches of the military.
Cost in advance is $25 for adults or $15 for students. Cost is $30 at the door. Proceeds go toward the church's organ restoration project. Details: pipesonvanness.org or (559) 227-8489.
Fresno Pacific hosts peace event
A Global Anabaptist Peacebuilders Institute will be held Thursday through June 21 at Fresno Pacific University, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave.
The event offers classes that are designed for young people who want to experience the diverse opinions and backgrounds of other participants, spiritual concepts and the study of peace and justice.
Fresno Pacific and the West Coast Mennonite Central Committee are co-sponsoring the event. Details: westcoast.mcc.org/gap-institute or (559) 453-3669.
Ron Orozco covers religion for The Bee. He can be reached at (559) 441-6304 or email@example.com.