Orozco: Central Valley volunteers help with Philippines relief

The Fresno BeeMay 30, 2014 

Valley volunteers with the California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Ministry have helped with the Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts in the Philippines.

A powerful typhoon slammed into the Philippines on Nov. 8, killing several thousand people and displacing thousands of others.

Valley efforts have focused on school buildings on Leyte island, helping to repair or replace classroom roofs in the Ormoc area. It is on the opposite side of the island from Tacloban, the hardest hit city.

Valley workers include Don Hargis, director of the California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Ministry; Jay York; Alfredo Chapa; Dennis Oxford; and Tammie Oxford.

Donations to disaster relief efforts can be made to: California Southern Baptist Convention, 678 E. Shaw Ave., Fresno 93710.

Details: www.csbc.com/disasterrelief or (559) 229-9533.

Nonprofit grows together at retreat

A nonprofit organization that works mainly with central San Joaquin Valley churches recently held "Staff Fun Day" at Calvin Crest Conference Center near Oakhurst, surrounded by the Sierra National Forest.

Evangelicals for Social Action/Love INC, which mobilizes Christian churches and individuals to transform lives in the name of Christ, holds an annual retreat in May that is designed for staff members to have fun in the outdoors and to better get to know each other. The ministry is based in Fresno.

While at Calvin Crest, the staff members had fun as they hiked together. Then, there was serious time. Each person talked on "My Life in 10 Minutes."

Alan Doswald, the ministry's executive director, says the stories that were told by staff members showed they have a lot in common.

"God has helped all of us and done beautiful things," he says.

Jan Fayle, executive assistant, writes in an email that she believes the staff will work together better because they know each other better.

The ministry also holds a staff retreat in the fall, featuring a guest speaker.

Details: (559) 244-0105.

Faith in Community addresses equality

Valley faith and community leaders will speak at a program on "Equality and Dignity for Everyone in Every Place" from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, May 31, in the Fresno High School auditorium, 1839 N. Echo Ave.

The program is presented by Faith in Community in a series of meetings addressing Fresno's geographic and racial divide.

Details: www.faithinfresno.org.

Jehovah's Witnesses conventions will begin

Members of more than 40 Jehovah's Witnesses congregations in Fresno recently went door to door in Fresno, inviting people to the 2014 district conventions for Jehovah's Witnesses.

Convention dates are June 6-8, June 13-15 and July 4-6, all in English, and June 20-22, July 25-27 and Aug. 1-3, all in Spanish.

All conventions will be held at Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxton Ave., in Bakersfield. This year's convention theme is "Keep Seeking First God's Kingdom."

All convention sessions are free and open to the public. No collection is taken at the events.

Details: www.jw.org or (541) 287-1518.

Center for Nonviolence will present awards

Way of Peace Awards will be presented at a Fresno Center for Nonviolence special potluck event at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 1, at College Community Congregational Church, 5550 N. Fresno St.

Award recipients are Kyla Mitchell, Gioia Frank, Glenda and David Roberts and the Eco Garden Project.

Music will be provided by Stolen Thunder, house band of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno. There also will be a silent auction.

The event marks the 22nd anniversary of the Fresno Center for Nonviolence.

Details: 237-3223.

Former Fresnan writes on Psalms, David

A former Fresno resident who lives in Austin, Texas, is the author of a new book, "I Borrowed David's Harp."

Rebecca Lamarche has written a contemporary poetry/Psalms book with vignettes that apply to everyday life. The book was released in April.

Details: www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com.

Women of Spirit meeting has speaker

A teacher at the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center in San Francisco is the speaker at the Women of Spirit meeting at 3 p.m. June 7 at 7319 N. Fourth St.

Sister Kyoko Kimura will talk on "Inner Beauty, Inner Bliss," examining how spiritual virtues are "ornaments" that make your inner beauty shine and keep you in inner bliss.

Kimura also teaches at the Anubhuti Retreat Center in Novato.

The Women of Spirit program includes an activity and guided meditation. Light refreshments will be served. The event is free. All are welcome.

Details: email, bkwsofresno@gmail.com or (559) 435-2212.

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

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