One of the area's smallest congregations is preparing to celebrate its centennial.
Calwa United Methodist Church in southeast Fresno, which averages about 30 people, will present a special 100th anniversary service at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at the church, 2540 S. 10th St.
The church started in the summer of 1913 after the Santa Fe Railroad moved its yard to a location outside of Fresno, the community of Calwa.
Congregants and others also will gather at a potluck luncheon at noon Sunday. Various items will be on display chronicling the past 100 years. People also are encouraged to share stories about church history.
As the community changed over the years, the church has been challenged to bring in new members. They are mainly children and youths for the Sunday school program and Kids for Christ meetings on Monday nights.
Lay ministers Ron Priest, Don Heffernan and Sam Gizerian lead the congregation. A visiting minister comes to the church on the first Sundays of the month to serve communion, welcome any new members and counsel congregants.
Church member Barbara Owens says the public is welcome to attend the special events.
Details: (559) 255-9390 or 251-1273.
Catholic diocese will celebrate Blue Mass
A Blue Mass in honor of members of law enforcement, fire and emergency services will be celebrated at 12:10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at St. John's Cathedral, 2814 Mariposa St.
The Blue Mass is a tradition in many Roman Catholic dioceses throughout the nation, where emergency first responders gather for a special Mass of celebration, appreciation and blessing of their service on behalf of the community.
It also provides opportunity for the community to remember fallen law enforcement, fire and emergency service personnel and to offer support to their survivors.
The Blue Mass is the first for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno. A reception will follow at Singleton Hall from 12:45-1:30 p.m.
Details: (559) 488-7400.
Buddhists to gather for Fall Ohigan Lecture
The minister of Senshin Buddhist Temple in south-central Los Angeles is the lecturer at the 2013 Fall Ohigan Lecture, which is 9:30 a.m. to noon today (Saturday, Sept. 14) at the Fresno Buddhist Dharma Center, 2690 E. Alluvial Ave.
The Rev. Masao Kodani is speaking on "Past and Future of Jodo Shinshu in America." He is retiring in October, after more than 35 years as a native Californian Jodo Shinshu minister.
The Fall Ohigan Lecture is presented by the Yamaguchi family and the Fresno Betsuin Temple education and propagation committee.
The lecture is free and open to the public.
Also, Kodani is speaking at the Ohigan and Shotsuki services Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in Japanese and 10 a.m. in English.
Details for the lecture and services: fresnobuddhisttemple.org or (559) 442-4054.
Yoga practitioner to speak at church
A practitioner of Raja Yoga meditation for 40 years will give a talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at College Community Congregational Church, 5550 N. Fresno St. (Story changed to correct address)
Sister Denise Lawrence will speak on "Living Through Change and Uncertainty," which addresses how people overcome the "anxiety of uncertainty" and provides tools for them to face change with courage and confidence.
She has served as a coordinator of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization centers in Germany, Canada and the United States. She also developed textbooks for the diploma program in education and values/ spirituality for Indian Universities in India.
The event is free.
Details: BKWSOfresno@gmail.com or (559) 435-2212.
Reasons to Believe group study to begin
An eight-week group study of the DVD "If God Made the Universe ... Why Is It the Way It Is?" begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in Peoples Church's Building 6, 7172 N. Cedar Ave.
The DVD is by Hugh Ross, an astrophysicist, Christian apologist and prominent creationist.
The study is presented by the Fresno chapter of Reasons to Believe, an apologetic ministry supporting the integration of science and faith.
The DVD presentations will be followed by group discussion, led by Reasons to Believe apologist Alan Graas.
Details: (559) 582-0919.
Author to speak at book ministry event
An author who wrote about being in his office at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, will be the speaker at the Choice Books of West Coast annual dinner fundraiser at 6:15 p.m. Sept. 26 at Wedgewood Banquet Hall, 4584 W. Jacquelyn Ave.
Blind since birth, Michael Hughson wrote the book "Thunder Dog," which is about the strong bond and trust he had in his guide dog, Roselle, who led him safely out of the World Trade Center. The book is a New York Times bestseller.
Choice Books of West Coast, a nonprofit organization in Reedley, offers inspirational and wholesome books that are sold in the general marketplace and hospital gift shops.
Reservations to the dinner are needed.
Details: (559) 638-1745.
Dinner/dance benefits St. John's
The 43rd annual Baile Ranchero dinner/dance is at 6 p.m. today (Saturday, Sept. 14) in Singleton Hall at St. John's Cathedral, 2814 Mariposa St.
Music will be provided by Mark Lozada. The event is for adults only.
Cost is $20. Proceeds benefit the St. John's Guadalupe Society.
Details: (559) 999-5671 or 477-5103.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6304 or firstname.lastname@example.org.