August 1, 2014

Valley religion news: Feed My Sheep Ministries plans Night Out event, Interfaith Alliance holds peace vigil

A Fresno ministry known for holding neighborhood marches against crime and drugs is helping to present a National Night Out event in Fresno.

A Fresno ministry known for holding neighborhood marches against crime and drugs is helping to present a National Night Out event in Fresno.

Feed My Sheep Ministries is partnering with the Neighborhood Watch Association to offer a National Night Out gathering 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5, at Quigley Playground in west-central Fresno.

The National Association of Town Watch founded National Night Out in 1984 to create awareness about police/community partnerships. National Night Out events — known as "America's Night Out Against Crime" — are held annually on the first Tuesday in August.

The Rev. Bruce Hood, founder/pastor of Feed My Sheep Ministries, says the Fresno event is designed to bring community members together so they can become familiar with police programs and work together against crime in their area. Hood also is a former Fresno police chaplain.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer will talk. The event also will feature a car/bicycle show, dance contest, live music, children's carnival games, a basketball tournament, bounce houses and a water slide. There also will be a bicycle repair station.

Hood says more than 1,200 people are expected to attend.

Details: (559) 978-5469.

Interfaith group will hold prayer vigil

The Interfaith Alliance of Central California will hold a prayer vigil for peace at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, at Eaton Plaza, 2400 Fresno St.

The gathering is designed for people to pray for all the areas of the world suffering through armed violence.

The Interfaith Alliance of Central California is comprised of people from diverse religious backgrounds. They work together to fulfill the group's core values: affirming religious pluralism and celebrating difference; protecting minority rights; defending the separation of church and state; and encouraging civility in public debate.


Buddhist ceremony will honor ancestors

An ancient Buddhist ceremony dating to the 7th century will be presented at 7 p.m. Aug. 9 at the lake area at Woodward Park.

The Toro Nagashi floating lanterns ceremony is traditionally associated with the Obon season in Japan. Obon festivals are held throughout the world to welcome back ancestral spirits to earth.

The Toro Nagashi ceremony is held at the close of the Obon season when loved ones set the lighted lanterns into the water to lead the ancestral spirits back to their homes.

Lanterns can be purchased through the Shinzen Japanese Garden. Cost is $15 in advance by mail. The deadline is Tuesday.

The Shinzen Japanese Garden address is: P.O. Box 16178, Fresno 93755-6178. Cost is $20 at the event.

Details: (559) 840-1264.

Mental health project seeks church help

A kickoff event for a Mental Health Friendly Communities project in Fresno will be held 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at Westside Church of God, 1422 W. California Ave.

Mental Health Friendly Communities seeks to enhance mental health in African-American communities through churches nationwide.

The Fresno event will feature training for providers to better understand the role that faith plays as a mental wellness tool for African-Americans.

Officials plan to select four central San Joaquin Valley churches to participate in the Mental Health Friendly Communities project.

The event begins with registration and continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. The program starts at 9 a.m.

Details: email, or call, (510) 552-5284.

Church will start 'Preaching Series'

The 2014 Summer Preaching Series at First Armenian Presbyterian Church will begin at the 11 a.m. service Sunday, Aug. 3, at the church, 430 S. First St.

The series theme — "What a Bunch of Characters!" — will explore the life of an Old Testament person each week. The people are: Job, on Sunday; Balaam, on Aug. 10; Ruth, on Aug. 17; and Jonah, on Aug. 24.

The public is welcome.

Details: email, or call, (559) 237-6638.

Celebrant Singers will perform in concert

The 37th edition of the Celebrant Singers Grand Homecoming Concert is scheduled at 7 p.m. Aug. 9 at L.J. Williams Theater in Visalia, 1001 W. Main St.

Members of the Visalia-based ministry also will tell stories about their recent tour in France, Guatemala and the United States.

The event is free. An offering will be taken.


Also, a WorldTouch Partner's banquet to benefit the Celebrant Singers will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave. The group also will perform songs and tell stories about its travels.

Reservations are needed.

Details: (559) 740-4000.

Faith in Community has new office

A grand opening recently was held at the Faith in Community new office, 546 N. Fulton St.

Faith in Community is a coalition of faith institutions working toward a more just, compassionate, equitable and thriving city of Fresno.


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