A Muslim organization is reaching out to help central San Joaquin Valley residents with health needs.
The Muslim Society of Central California will hold a free Family Health Fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at Manchester Center, 1901 E. Shields Ave.
The fair will provide information and services in 14 specialty areas — asthma, cardiac education, dental exams, diabetic education, dermatology, electrocardiograms, eye exams/glaucoma testing, hearing, internal medicine, lab (blood sugar, cholesterol and hemoglobin), nutrition counseling, pediatrics/school physicals, podiatry, and women's health.
Doctors, dentists and other health workers are providing their services free of charge. People won't be asked if they have health insurance, says Hamid Akbar, president of the Muslim Society of Central California.
The fair will be held next to the Manchester Center carousel near the southwest entrance. People can sign up for services until 3 p.m.
Clinica Sierra Vista also will be available for health care referrals. Clinica Sierra Vista operates health centers in Fresno and Bakersfield.
Details: (559) 673-2259 or 227-1901.
Parish priest leaving Armenian church
The parish priest at St. Paul Armenian Church in west-central Fresno is retiring.
The Rev. Arshen Aivazian, 69, who served 14 years at the church, will be honored at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at a farewell luncheon, hosted by the parish council. His last sermon will be May 11.
Aivazian and his wife, Sirarpi, have sold their Fresno home and plan to move to Fair Lawn, N.J., where they lived before coming to Fresno.
A successor has not been named. Until then, St. Paul Armenian Church plans to use interim clergy members from the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church or from the central San Joaquin Valley.
The church is at 3767 N. First St.
Details: (559) 226-6343.
Sikh youths traveling to El Paso for cause
Twelve young Sikh-Americans left Fresno on Friday on a caravan to El Paso, Texas, in support of the 37 Punjabi migrants from India who are being held at the El Paso Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center.
The detainees, who are seeking political asylum, have been held since June.
The caravan is hosted by a Fresno-based Sikh youth organization, the Jakara Movement. The youths will hold events at stops en route to El Paso — Bakersfield, Pacoima, Hollywood, Riverside and Phoenix and Tempe, Ariz., — to raise awareness.
Details: www.jakara.org or (888) 525-2721.
Synagogue talk is on Dead Sea Scrolls
The chairwoman of the religious studies program at Patten University in Oakland is the speaker at a special event at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Temple Beth Israel, 6622 N. Maroa Ave.
Hannah Harrington will talk on "Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls & the Birth of a Nation."
The event is in conjunction with an art exhibit — "Israel: A Light on the Land" — that is on display through May 10 at Temple Beth Israel. The exhibit opened March 22.
The event is presented by the Jewish Federation of Central California.
Admission is free. There also will be a wine-and-cheese event, hosted by Lightning International.
Details: (559) 432-2162.
Ministry hosts outreach at Fresno City
Feed My Sheep Ministries will present its Say No to Drugs and Embrace Education outreach and custom car/bike show at 10 a.m. May 3 in the Fresno City College parking lot on McKinley Avenue.
The event also features talks by Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer and Council Member Oliver Baines.
There also will be free food and drinks as well as live music.
Details: (559) 978-5469.
Armenian church to sell meals, goods
The annual Merchant Lunch, Dinner and Country Store will be Friday, May 2, at Pilgrim Armenian Congregational Church, 3673 N. First St.
Lunch is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinner is 5-8 p.m. The church's popular Losh Kebab meal costs $15.
The Country Store will feature fresh bread, cakes and jams, prepared by members of the church's Dorcas Guild.
Details: www.pilgrimchurch.com or (559) 229-2915.
Gospel groups will perform in Visalia
Some of the nation's top gospel groups will perform at the Great Western Fan Festival, which is Thursday, Friday and next Saturday, May 1-3, at the Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave.
The lineup features The Hoppers, Triumphant Quartet, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Greater Vision, Legacy Five, The Martins, The Browns, Tim Lovelace, Kim Hopper, TaRanda Greene, RSV, California Melody Boys and Liberty Quartet.
The festival features evening concerts each day, from 6-10 p.m. There also are special events Friday and next Saturday, starting at 11:30 a.m.
Details: www.fanfestivals.com or (800) 965-9324.
Ministry founder given honorary degree
The Rev. Jose Pacheco, who founded New Life for Girls in Fresno more than 30 years ago, is recipient of an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Trinity Bible College.
New Life for Girls is a faith-based rehabilitation program for those who are struggling with life-controlling problems, such as drug and alcohol addiction.
Pacheco is now the executive director of New Life for Girls, which has headquarters in Dover, Penn. He received the honorary degree Friday at an alumni service at Trinity Bible College.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6304, firstname.lastname@example.org or @ronorozco_bee on Twitter.