Diocese, Catholic Charities, statement about shootings
From the Diocese: “Once again, our community is touched by darkness. Family, friends, neighbors and the vast multitude of good and caring people in our community must now decide, once again, how we will respond to this senseless tragedy. We must reflect on what we have experienced and how we feel about it. Anger and outrage are certainly a natural reaction; yet, these feelings must also be experienced as an invitation to prayerful reflection so that our raw feelings do not take hold and lead us into the very darkness we abhor. Let us seize this moment as an opportunity to live as people of light, not darkness, by rejecting the temptation to hate the hater and embracing the gift of grace that opens hearts to choose love which conquers all evil.”
From Kelly Lilles, executive director of Catholic Charities: “It’s important for the community to know that we will not let this darkness overshadow the light. Where there is light, there is hope. And that’s what we do here at Catholic Charities – we provide hope to those most vulnerable. As the first responders in helping our neighbors with food, clothing and other basic necessities, Catholic Charities is and always will be a safe harbor to those in need.”
Islamic center statement about shootings
“Today, violence hits us close to home. A man, who claimed to follow our faith of peace and compassion, committed terrible acts of violence in downtown Fresno. We pray for the victims, their families and friends and the organizations targeted.
“The phrase Allahu Akbar, or God is Great, is a prayer of peace for 1.8 billion Muslims around the world. It is a recognition of our role as a part in the creation of the Most Merciful God and our duty to see ourselves humbly in relation to God as just a part in the creation. When someone utters these beautiful words and commits violent acts, it brings pain to our community and crushes our hearts.
“We condemn the acts of this criminal in the strongest terms and we stand with our community and city in support and brotherhood. Additionally, today’s crime represents nothing to do with our faith, our community, our center or our people. We call upon our law enforcement agencies and officials to properly investigate the motives of this man and hold him accountable accordingly. Again, we lift in our prayers the victims and their families, and pray that our community rises above correlating these acts with our faith.”
A Vaisakhi Fair celebrating the Sikh New Year will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at 2025 W. Clemenceau Ave., Caruthers. The fair will include cultural activities, games, rides, food, crafts, turban competition, tug-of-war, face painting, food stalls, depiction of traditional villages in Punjab, and a free medical booth. The event includes free admission, parking and medical services.
Last weekend, the Sikh community held its annual Sikh Day Nagar Kirtan Parade in Selma. The Sikh Council of Central California and the Selma Sikh Temple estimated that thousands of Sikhs from around California attended the event. Sikh leaders hope the events help to educate others about their beliefs.
“The Sikhs cherish the American dream and firmly believe in the U.S. Constitution: First Amendment – religion and expression supporting unity in diversity,” said Ike Grewal with the Sikh Council of Central California. “The Sikhs are a peace-loving people. They have a rich and inspiring history of struggle and sacrifices for social justice, freedom of religion, spiritual, economic and political uplifting of all mankind.”
He added that most people who wear turbans in the U.S. are Sikh, not Muslim: “The turban worn in America is almost all by Sikh men and women, which represents respect for the equal rights of all and rejection of religious intolerance and violence against humanity.”
Faith in the Valley gathering
Faith in the Valley, representing more than 120 congregations, gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno on Thursday evening to highlight policies the group wants elected officials to support to protect immigrants and vulnerable communities.
Faith in the Valley leaders are pushing for a city-supported legal defense fund in Fresno and the creation of an Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs; asking Assemblymembers Joaquin Arambula and Jim Patterson to support Senate Bill 54 (California Values Act) to prevent local law enforcement from collaborating with immigration agents for deportations; asking Rep. Devin Nunes to support relief for young adult recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals through the proposed BRIDGE Act (Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream of Growing Our Economy); oppose legislation that would “strip lifesaving health coverage from his own constituents;” and to “actually meet with and hear from families and communities most directly impacted by these life-or-death policy decisions.”
Faith in the Valley says the gathering was a “springboard towards a series of local congregation-based community actions over the summer that reinforce and strengthen the ‘People’s Covenant’ launched by Faith in the Valley congregations and partners last September.”
Labyrinth under construction
A labyrinth is now under construction in front of Saint Agnes Medical Center and should be completed within a month thanks to recent donations. Kelley Sanchez, director of corporate communications for the hospital, said the aim is that the labyrinth will be a place “where patients, families, staff and doctors could go to quiet and center themselves, meditate and find peace.”
Eighth annual James Credo Golf Tournament, fundraiser for St. Helen’s School in Fresno, Riverside Golf Course, 7492 N. Riverside Drive, Fresno, 559-970-4997, register at JamesCredoGolfTournament.com, $75 per player or $300 for a team, April 22.
St. Anthony’s Church, 5770 N. Maroa Ave., Fresno, 4-7 p.m. April 22 and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. April 23.
Blessing of the Animals
Outdoor service in Robinson Park behind Community United Church of Christ, 5550 N. Fresno St., Fresno, free, 10:30 a.m. (will reschedule if it rains) April 23.
Living the Questions, Community United Church of Christ, 5550 N. Fresno St., Fresno, 9 a.m. April 23.
World Meditation Day
“Awakening the Spirit with Stories of the Spiritual Pilgrimage” with reflections from Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization sisters, 7319 N. Fourth St., Fresno, 559-435-2212, 3-5:30 p.m. April 23.
Honoring Paul and Valarie Binion; worship with guest Paul Sheppard, Westside Church of God, 1424 W. California Ave., Fresno, 559-237-1444, 9 a.m. April 23.
Empowerment Bible Study
Young vets event
Hosted by Christian Business Men’s Connection, Clovis Veterans Memorial District, 808 Fourth St., Clovis, noon to 1:30 p.m. April 25.
Catholic Charities neighborhood market
In partnership with Community Food Bank, volunteers expect to give away 20,000 to 40,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables. Catholic Charities, 149 N. Fulton St., Fresno, 559-237-0851, ccdof.org, 8:30 a.m. April 27.
Unsealing Daniel’s Mysteries, Fresno Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2980 E. Yale Ave., Fresno, 559-549-4349, free, 6:30-8 p.m. April 28-30.
Cinco de Mayo
Celebration with mariachi band, piñatas, Mexican dinner and raffle. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 5140 N. Fruit Ave., Fresno, for tickets call 559-225-2092 or 559-449-0129, $25 or $50 for a family of four, proceeds benefit church’s memorial garden columbarium, 6 p.m. April 29.
Evening of Praise and Worship
Butler Church, 4884 E. Butler Ave., Fresno, 559-252-3741, free, 7:30 p.m. April 29.
Sacred Heart Church, 2140 N. Cedar Ave., Fresno, 559-237-4121, free, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. April 30.
National Day of Prayer
Zumwalt Park, 429 E. Tulare Ave., Fresno, 559-688-7196, 6:30-7:30 p.m. May 4.
International Agri-Center, 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare, 559-688-2900, $20, 6:30-8:30 a.m. May 4.
Soli Deo Gloria presents “Spark and Spice – Flavors of the Americas,” College Community Church Mennonite Brethren, 2529 Willow Ave., Clovis, 559-473-6486, www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2893509, $20 or $15 in advance, $10 students, 7 p.m. May 5.
Cornelia Southern Baptist Church, 2405 N. Cornelia Ave., Fresno, 559-277-1533, free, 6 p.m. April 24.
Southpoint Church, 5391 E. Tulare Ave., Fresno, 559-455-1119, free, 6-8 p.m. April 24.
Kerman Covenant Church, 15495 W. Whites Bridge Ave., Kerman, 559-846-8114, free, 7-8:30 p.m. April 24.
Northwest Church, 5415 N. West Ave., Fresno, 559-435-3300, 6:30 p.m. April 24.
Clovis Hills Community Church, 10590 N. Willow Ave., Clovis, 559-297-2600, $20, 1-3 p.m. April 26.
The Faith & Values report is compiled by Bee staff. To submit an item for consideration, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Mark your item “Faith & Values.”