Central San Joaquin Valley Muslims are preparing for a busy first week of Ramadan, which starts tonight.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year, a period of daily fasting for 29 to 30 days from sunrise to sunset.
During the first week, Muslims will gather with other community members at the Ramadan Night of Spirituality event at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, 2111 E. Nees Ave.
The annual event features the presentation of the Spirit of Abraham awards to organizations and/or individuals who contribute toward enhancing the understanding of Islam and Muslims. Recipients this year are the Henry Madden Library at Fresno State and the seventh-grade teaching staff at Sierra Junior High in Tollhouse.
A Spirit of Abraham committee is recognizing the Henry Madden Library for presenting the "Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys" program, which familiarizes the campus community with the people, history, faith and cultures of Muslims.
The library program originated through a grant jointly received by the Henry Madden Library and the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno through the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.
The Spirit of Abraham committee also is recognizing the seventh-grade teacher staff at Sierra Junior High for organizing cultural tours for students, where they visit various places of worship, including the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno.
Also, an interfaith quilt — made of 28 pieces of fabric — will be on display at the Ramadan Night of Spirituality event. Youths have written a verse by Persian mystic poet Rumi in a different language on each piece of fabric.
Details: www.icfresno.org or (559) 297-9535.
Clovis church offers tri-tip lunch fundraiser
A tri-tip lunch fundraiser to help send youths to summer camp will be Sunday at Faith Summit Church in Clovis, 980 E. Gettysburg Ave.
The lunch, including pilaf and salad, costs $10 for adults or $5 for kids.
Faith Summit Church is planning a summer camp for youths at Rock-N-Water Christian Adventure Camps in July.
The fundraiser will be held after the church's 11 a.m. service.
Details: www.faithtoday.com or (559) 298-9840.
Merced church hosts gospel concert
A Julie-N-Friends gospel concert will be presented at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Christian Life Center, 650 E. Olive Ave., Merced.
The concert features Gaither Homecoming artist Lisa Daggs of Sacramento and the Regents Quartet of Bakersfield.
Daggs has been named Country Artist of the Year by the Gospel Voice Magazine's Diamond Awards in a category that included Charlie Daniels, LeAnn Rimes, Ricky Skaggs and Marty Raybon.
The Regents Quartet, featuring the Rev. Billy Brisendine as lead singer, will celebrate its 44th anniversary this year. Other performers are Jennifer Whitlock and Erin Cordova of the Johnson Family, Bridge of Grace, the One Accord Quartet of Merced, and Peggy Huie.
The event is presented by Julie Eichelberger. Admission is free. An offering will be taken.
Details: (559) 304-1102.
Retired teacher writes book on faith
A retired Reedley teacher is the author of a new book, "Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen" (WestBow Press, $9.95).
Terry Lane, who taught eighth-grade science, writes about his journey to welcoming God's presence in his life and the "amazing events he faces along the way."
Lane also is a member of Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church.
Clovis pastor receives ordination
Akiko Miyake-Stoner, a pastor at United Japanese Christian Church in Clovis, received ordination at the California Nevada Conference of United Methodist Church's 2014 annual conference in Burlingame.
Miyake-Stoner was one of eight people ordained as a full pastor June 20 at the conference.
United Japanese Christian Church is led by the Rev. Kathryn Schreiber, the senior interim pastor.
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