The area's Sikh community will distribute free cold drinks to the public Saturday, June 14, to commemorate the anniversary of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Sikhism's fifth guru.
The cold water and other soft drinks will be handed out from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the Sam's Club store at 7663 N. Blackstone Ave. and the Walmart store at 5125 E. Kings Canyon Road, as well as the entrances at Woodward Park and Roeding Park.
Some central San Joaquin Valley stores that are owned and operated by Sikhs also will distribute free drinks to mark the occasion.
Sikhism teaches Guru Arjan Dev Ji was martyred for fighting for religious freedom and human rights for all ethnic and religious groups in India. In Punjab, Sikhs have commemorated the martyrdom in June since 1606.
Ike Grewal, a Valley Sikh community activist, says this is the first time the drink distribution will take place in Fresno.
The distribution also is designed to raise awareness of Sikhs and their beliefs, including the commitment to peace and harmony for all people in the world.
In March, a Sikh Coalition survey reported many Sikh students living in Fresno County say they are bullied at school and educators do nothing about it when it is reported. In April, Valley Sikh leaders and Fresno County educators at a public forum addressing the bullying said they will work together to resolve the problem.
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Fresno mosque undergoes remodeling
Masjid Fresno is undergoing a remodeling project.
The two-story mosque across Shaw Avenue from Fresno State is creating more classrooms through the remodeling project and adding a bathroom.
Officials wanted the work to be completed for Ramadan, which this year begins June 28. But they say the project likely will take longer.
Masjid Fresno was first established in 1979. Through donations from Muslims all over the world, the existing building was completed in 1989.
Episcopal priest on leave for pilgrimage
The Rev. Michele Racusin, pastor of Holy Family Episcopal Church in northeast Fresno, is on sabbatical for eight weeks.
With encouragement from the vestry, she has been accumulating her vacation time to make a pilgrimage, walking the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James).
There is a network of pilgrimage routes to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried.
Holy Family Episcopal Church will have substitute clergy available during Racusin's absence.
The church is at 1135 E. Alluvial Ave.
Details: (559) 439-5011.
Chapel hosts concert for U.S. military
A concert featuring a Christian alternative rock band will be held 7 p.m. Monday, June 16, at the Lemoore Naval Air Station chapel as part of a fellowship event for members of the U.S. military, their families and guests.
The Starship Renegade of Salem, Ore., will perform.
The group says it seeks through its music to create a more personal and honest relationship between churches and the individuals they serve. Group members have backgrounds as youth leaders and worship administrators in Salem, Ore.
Starship Renegade's LNAS stop is part of a tour of the Southwest to promote its latest CD, "Reckless."
The chapel is at 810 Avenger Ave., Lemoore.
Details: (559) 998-0100.
Christian Music HOF inductee to perform
Christian Music Hall of Fame inductee Bryan Duncan will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave.
He was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2007 along with Amy Grant and Al Green.
As a contemporary Christian music artist, Duncan's recordings have earned four Dove Awards and a Grammy.
He is promoting his latest album, "Conversations." It is his 14th album, including seven with the Sweet Comfort Band and three with the NeHoSoul Band.
Special guest is the Geoff Thurman Band.
Cost is $10-$30.50.
Details: www.towertheatrefresno.com or (559) 485-9050.
Churches join for celebration
An outreach event — "A Kingdom Celebration" — will be held noon-6 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at McDermont Field House and Sport Center, 365 N. Sweetbriar Ave., Lindsay.
The event is presented by The Spirit and Bride Kingdom Coalition, which involves South Valley church members that represent more than 30 denominations.
The event will feature a children's puppet show, face-painting, fair booths, bounce houses, live entertainment and food.
Details: (559) 303-3917.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6304, firstname.lastname@example.org or @ronorozco_bee on Twitter.