Fresno’s The Bridge Church helps Haiti

News of the earthquake’s devastation in Haiti has saddened the area’s faith community, including The Bridge Church in Fresno.

The Bridge, at 3438 E. Ashlan Ave., has been sending church members on short-term mission trips to Haiti since 2001. The congregation raised $133,000 in February for various projects there, including building an orphanage, The Bridge Church Christian Children’s Home, in Pignon. That’s about 60 miles northeast of Port-au-Prince, where much of the devastation occurred.

The Bridge, which partners with Christian Fellowship Ministries overseas, also bought farm equipment, irrigation pumps and 700 pairs of shoes that were scheduled to arrive by sea crates early this week.

Church leaders have spent a lot of time praying and checking on their friends in Haiti. They’re also trying to determine their role in relief efforts for the victims.The church’s director of external focus, Stephanie German, says, “Obviously, we want to do something.”

Details: (559) 226-4100.

* For Haiti relief efforts, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno will take special collections at its 88 parishes during services today and Sunday. Details: (559) 488-7400.

Interfaith event

Sacred Sufi, Hebrew devotional and Christian-Armenian music will be performed at the Concert for Unity at 7 p.m. next Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, 2672 E. Alluvial Ave., Clovis.

The event will feature the Yuval Ron Ensemble.

Cost is $25. Proceeds will benefit the Interfaith Youth Alliance outreach programs.

Details: (559) 244-9360.

Catholics celebrate family, life

A Family Life Faire, featuring family-oriented ministries within the Diocese of Fresno, will be held at 1 p.m. today at St. John’s Cathedral basement, 2814 Mariposa St.

The organizations include Catholic Engaged Encounter, St. Joseph Counseling Center, Infant of Prague and Latinos4Life.

The event is presented by the diocese’s Family Life Ministries on a weekend promoting families and life. A special Respect Life Mass will be celebrated at 4:15 p.m. Sunday at St. John’s Cathedral.

Details: (559) 488-7474, ext. 106.

Christian nation?

A Christian scholar/author will examine the idea of the United States as a Christian nation in a talk at Fresno Pacific University.

Richard T. Hughes, professor of religion and senior fellow in the Ernest L. Boyer Center at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Ashley Auditorium, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave. His most recent book is “Christian America and the Kingdom of God.”The event is free.

Details: (559) 453-2226.

Unity Church offers events on love

A special service and workshop on “An Integral Journey in the Service of Love” will be presented Jan. 24 at Unity Church of Fresno, 315 W. Shields Ave.

Pat Reeves will speak at the service at 11 a.m., followed by the workshop at 1 p.m.Details: (559) 227-1889.

Former Fresnan heads missions group

Former Fresnan Levon Filian has been named executive director of the Armenian Missionary Association of America, which serves Armenian evangelical churches in North America.

The Armenian Missionary Association of America is based in Paramus, N.J.

Ron Orozco covers religion for The Bee. He can be reached at rorozco@fresnobee.comor (559) 441-6304.