Orozco: Prayer event will use labyrinth, plus other faith news from around the Valley

The Fresno BeeDecember 27, 2013 

Participants in Taizé Prayer Weekend 2014 will be among the first to use a new labyrinth in Fresno.

The annual event is scheduled Jan. 24 and 25 at Holy Family Episcopal Church, 1135 E. Alluvial Ave., where an outdoor labyrinth is set to open.

Taizé Prayer Weekend is an ecumenical event that is designed for participants to reflect on the value of prayer and different prayer forms. Eleven churches in the central San Joaquin Valley are sponsoring the event.

The 2014 theme is "People of Prayer: Affirming Sacred Space."

The labyrinth will be used as an important part of the weekend events, says Sandy De Graff, a member of the Taizé Weekend planning committee. Event organizers hoped the labyrinth would be completed this week.

The 2014 event will feature general prayer sessions, led by area church leaders, and several prayer-form workshops. Participants also will worship together in the form of Taizé prayer four times during the weekend. One, a service at 8 p.m. Jan. 24, is open to the public.

Cost is $25 before Jan. 17, or $30 after. The cost includes lunch on Jan. 25.

Details: email, elizn@csufresno.edu or (559) 431-2630.

Dinuba ministry sending food to Israel

Gleanings for the Hungry, a Christian nonprofit organization in Dinuba, recently prepared containers of food for the first time for the needy and hungry in Israel.

More than 2 million servings of food were placed in two container loads Dec. 17. Volunteers also packed quilts into the containers that they put together. The quilts are specifically for Holocaust survivors.

Gleanings for the Hungry partners with other mission organizations in approximately 40 nations by providing food products to distribute along with the message of the Gospel.

Gleanings for the Hungry is at 43029 Road 104, Dinuba. Details: (559) 591-5009.

Clovis mayor talks to graduates about faith

Clovis Mayor Lynne Ashbeck gave the fall commencement speech at Fresno Pacific University this month, encouraging graduates to apply their faith in the community.

Fresno Pacific is affiliated with the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.

"Not just any action, not just occasional action, but daily acts, large and small, defined by principled choices," said Ashbeck, who earned a master's in peacemaking and conflict studies at Fresno Pacific in 2012. "It may be the congruence between our words and our actions that is the true measure of our faith and our FPU experience.

"What you have achieved honors you and your professors. How you have achieved it honors God and your families. I look forward to the difference we will make in our communities, together, in the light of Christ and through the lessons from Fresno Pacific University."

The class included 131 graduates of the bachelor's degree completion program, 74 graduate students, 45 from the traditional undergraduate program and one from Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary. The ceremony was held Dec. 14 in the Special Events Center at Fresno Pacific.

Assistant lay minister writes book

An assistant lay minister at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in northwest Fresno is the author of a new book, "Heaven is Amazing" (Xulon Press).

Carolyn T. Linn, a retired Fresnan, writes about the descriptions of people who have had near-death experiences or other opportunities to glimpse heaven. The book, she says, provides an organized, enlightened picture of "our eternal home."

Linn had a career in education and banking.

The book is available at local bookstores and online. Details: xulonpress.com/bookstore.

Church says farewell to interim pastor

A farewell appreciation reception for the Rev. Paul R. Irwin is scheduled at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29, at First Armenian Presbyterian Church, 430 S. First St.

Irwin is leaving the church after completing a one-year interim senior pastorate.

Irwin's wife, Annie, also will be honored at the reception. The public is welcome.

Details: (559) 237-6638.

Concert benefits Merced Rescue Mission

A gospel concert that benefits the Merced Rescue Mission is scheduled at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29, at Christian Life Center, 650 E. Olive Ave., Merced.

People are asked to take two nonperishable food items to the event as donation to the Merced Rescue Mission food pantry.

The concert is part of the Julie Eichelberger quarterly gospel concert series, Julie-N-Friends. Among the performers are the Merced Trio, Bridge of Grace, Annette Macias, the Modesto-based Brighton group and the Merced Rescue Mission men's choir.

Details: (559) 304-1102.


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

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