Disability ministry raises funds, awareness

The Fresno BeeAugust 23, 2013 

A Valley ministry reaching out to people affected by disabilities is holding an event at Chukchansi Park.

Joni and Friends Central California will host its first Walk 'N' Roll fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at the downtown stadium. Registration begins at 8:30.

Walkers and rollers seek to raise awareness about disabilities and offer financial support for Joni and Friends Central California. There will be food, water, snacks, games and music for the participants and their families.

Joni and Friends Central California is a chapter of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, which was founded by Joni Eareckson Tada in 1977.

The Valley ministry works with local churches and organizations to provide outreach programs that communicate hope and the message of Christ to those who face the daily challenges of life with a disability.

The programs include family retreats, respites for families exhausted and in need of care for their children, pampering days and education for churches.

The day after the Walk 'N' Roll event is Joni and Friends Night at the Grizzlies game. The team plays the Colorado Sky Sox at 6:05 p.m. Sept. 1 at Chukchansi Park. Tickets cost $11. From tickets sold by Joni and Friends, a portion of the sales benefits the organization, which is at 770 E. Shaw Ave., Suite 127.

Details: joniandfriends.org/church-relations/wnr/ or (559) 227-5664.

Hindu faithful to gather for celebration

A celebration marking the birth anniversary of important Hindu god Krishna will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, 1425 W. Pine Ave.

Krishna is considered the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, one of the three major Hindu gods.

The celebration, known as Janmashtami, will feature Hindu chanting and singing of the names of Hindu gods and goddesses (kirtans) and spiritual talks as well as dramas and dances performed by the temple's children and youth.

A dinner (mahaprasad) will be provided.

Also, a Janmashtami Celebration for Women will be at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir.

Details for both Janmashtami events: (559) 264-1001.

Church breaks ground for columbarium

A groundbreaking for a new columbarium at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was held Sunday, Aug. 18, at the church, 5140 N. Fruit Ave.

The Good Shepherd Memorial Garden Columbarium will house 192 niches and space for plaques to memorialize and honor loved ones. A memorial fountain and benches for reflection and prayer also are planned.

Church pastor the Rev. Ted Niemi dedicated the groundbreaking with a liturgical blessing and prayer. He also joined some members of the Memorial Garden Committee to turn the first shovel of dirt.

The groundbreaking ended on a spirited note when Niemi led congregants in the singing of an American gospel hymn, "When the Saints Go Marching In."

Details: (559) 225-2092.

Church holds birthday bash for disabled

A birthday bash for members of Bethesda Lutheran Communities is at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1084 W. Bullard Ave.

Bethesda Lutheran Communities provides homes in the Valley to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through services that share the message of Jesus Christ.

The birthday event with dinner and music is presented by the Bethesda Lutheran Disability Ministry at Redeemer Lutheran Church.

The ministry encourages full participation for all people with disabilities and their families in the life of Christ.

Redeemer Lutheran also offers a service at 10 a.m. Sundays to meet the needs of those with disabilities. Details: (559) 439-8500.

Hindu prayer opens Dos Palos meeting

A Hindu invocation opened the Dos Palos City Council meeting Tuesday, Aug. 20, apparently marking the first time ancient Sanskrit scriptures were used at a Dos Palos council meeting. The city was incorporated in 1935.

Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, gave the invocation.

He has been offering Hindu prayers at Valley council meetings and other California towns for several years.


The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6304 or rorozco@fresnobee.com.

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