Church Community – TAC Lawna http://tac-lawna.org/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 13:00:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://tac-lawna.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-11-150x150.png Church Community – TAC Lawna http://tac-lawna.org/ 32 32 4th of July Fireworks 2022 near Falls Church https://tac-lawna.org/4th-of-july-fireworks-2022-near-falls-church/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 13:00:38 +0000 https://tac-lawna.org/4th-of-july-fireworks-2022-near-falls-church/ FALLS CHURCH, VA — Cities and counties across the country continue to bring back many of the traditional Independence Day activities that have been either canceled or modified over the past two years. The 4th of July is fast approaching so it’s time to find out what fireworks and celebrations are happening near you on […]]]>

FALLS CHURCH, VA — Cities and counties across the country continue to bring back many of the traditional Independence Day activities that have been either canceled or modified over the past two years. The 4th of July is fast approaching so it’s time to find out what fireworks and celebrations are happening near you on 4th July 2022.

We have all the fireworks shows, parades and festivals close to Falls Church so you can start planning now.

Here’s what’s in store near Falls Church on the 4th of July.

Find out what’s happening in Falls Churchwith free real-time patch updates.

Find out what’s happening in Falls Churchwith free real-time patch updates.

What: Vienna Independence Day and fireworks

Where: Yeonas Park, 1319 Ross Drive SW, Vienna, VA

When: Friday, July 1, 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., fireworks at around 9:30 p.m

The Vienna Independence Day fireworks display takes place in conjunction with the second annual Liberty Amendments Month. The event features live music from the United States Navy Concert Band, games and family fun. Food and drinks are sold at the Wiener Kleinen Bund concession stand. Alcohol, sparklers, fireworks, pets and glass containers are not permitted. Lawn chairs and blankets can be brought to the event, but chairs must be kept away from the baseball fields.

What: McLean Independence Day celebration

Where: Langley High School, 6520 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA

When: Saturday, July 2, 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m

This event features music, food trucks and fireworks. Shuttles to the event are available starting at 6:30 p.m. from McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Avenue and Churchill Elementary School, 7100 Churchill Rd and starting at 7:00 p.m. from St. Luke Church and School, 7001 Georgetown Pike.

What: Fireworks on the National Mall in DC

Where: Fireworks are launched from either side of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.

When: The 17-minute viewing will take place on Monday, July 4, starting at 9:09 p.m
There are several locations in Virginia where you can see the show including Gravelly Point, Key Bridge and the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) and Netherlands Carillon. To reach the last three lookouts, take the Metrorail to Rosslyn station and walk south to Arlington Cemetery.

One of Arlington’s premier fireworks viewing locations, the Air Force Memorial, will be closed Monday, July 4th due to the ongoing Arlington National Cemetery expansion project.

What: 42nd Annual Capitol Fourth Concert

Where: National Mall

When: The 42nd annual Capitol Fourth concert on PBS begins at 8 p.m. ET, with DC country singer and four-time Grammy nominee Mickey Guyton serving as host
Guyton will lead an all-star cast in a patriotic evening of musical performances by top stars from pop, country, R&B, classical and Broadway with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Premier Pop’s conductor Jack Everly.

The concert coverage on PBS will conclude with a live broadcast of the fireworks display on the National Mall captured by multiple cameras located around the city.

What: City of Fairfax Independence Day Parade

Where: Old Town Fairfax

When: Monday, July 4, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m

The Independence Day Parade begins at 4100 Chain Bridge Road with a route on Chain Bridge Road, Main Street, University Drive and Armstrong Street. Participants include nine high school marching bands, large inflatable parade balloons, floats and clowns.

What: City of Fairfax Independence Day evening show and fireworks

Where: Parking lot in front of Fairfax High School, 3501 Lion Run, Fairfax, VA

When: Tuesday, July 5, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m

This event features an evening show at 6:30 p.m. at Fairfax High School’s Stalnaker Stadium, followed by fireworks after dark. There will be no activities for children in 2022. Smoking, alcohol and animals (with the exception of service animals) are not permitted in the spectator area. There will be no onsite parking with limited accessible parking spaces. There will be accessible shuttle buses between Fairfax High School and Woodson High School.

What: USA/Alexandria birthday party

Where: Oronoco Bay Park, 100 Madison St, Alexandria, VA

When: Saturday, July 9, 6:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., fireworks at 9:30 p.m

This celebration marks the 273rd anniversary of Alexandria and the 246th anniversary of the United States. At 9:30pm there will be a performance by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra along with cupcakes, local vendors, live music and a fireworks display. Pets and smoking are not permitted at the event.

In addition to Oronoco Bay Park, fireworks venues include Center Canal Plaza; Rivergate Park, 2 Montgomery St.; Founder’s Park, 351 North Union St.; Waterfront Park, 1A Prince St.; Windmill Hill Park, 501 South Union St.; Ford’s Landing Promenade, 99 Franklin St.; Jones Point Park, Jones Point Dr. and George Washington Masonic Temple, 101 Callahan Dr.

Due to pandemic spikes, counties or cities may adjust or cancel events at the last minute, so check with organizers. Do you know of other events in the area? Post them to the patch calendar.


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Community Day: Local church offers free food and clothing to community | local news https://tac-lawna.org/community-day-local-church-offers-free-food-and-clothing-to-community-local-news/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 19:00:00 +0000 https://tac-lawna.org/community-day-local-church-offers-free-food-and-clothing-to-community-local-news/ In the parking lot of the Bethlehem Temple of Kenosha at 2528 Roosevelt Road, under a perfectly clear Saturday sky, Rev. Galen Nelson grilled and prepared enough ribs, sausages and hot dogs for over 130 people during the Church’s Community Day event. Guests could enjoy free dining in the shade, with games and a bouncy […]]]>

In the parking lot of the Bethlehem Temple of Kenosha at 2528 Roosevelt Road, under a perfectly clear Saturday sky, Rev. Galen Nelson grilled and prepared enough ribs, sausages and hot dogs for over 130 people during the Church’s Community Day event.

Guests could enjoy free dining in the shade, with games and a bouncy castle for families and kids. Tables with free clothing, ranging from baby clothes to women’s shoes, were also available for those in need.

Nelson, who chairs the church’s outreach and evangelism missionary team, said the event was just another part of their efforts to reach out and support the community, like the gas giveaway they hosted last month.

“People are in need, they need food, they need clothing,” Nelson said. “You have to take care of the natural needs.”

Nelson said it is important for churches to help people with their practical problems, not just spiritual ones.

“Preaching is for the inside of a church; People have problems outside the walls,” Nelson said. “Even here we can get so distracted from the sermon portion, but when people go out the door they still have problems.”

People also read…

These “outside” problems have only gotten worse as gas and food prices have risen. Nelson said they want to help out in the community in any way they can, whether that be as a gathering place for community events, a vaccination center or, since it was Saturday, a place to eat and enjoy the company of others.

“Our goal is to connect with the community,” Nelson said. “Whatever it is, we’re not just here to chat.”

The church takes a no-questions-asked approach to helping, Nelson said. Regardless of people’s motives, he promised to help anyone who asked him.

“We even feed the postman when he comes,” Nelson said, laughing.

For more information on future Church events, visit the Kenosha Bethlehem Temple Facebook page.

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Alabama shooting spree: 2 dead, 1 wounded; suspect detained https://tac-lawna.org/alabama-shooting-spree-2-dead-1-wounded-suspect-detained/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 05:19:00 +0000 https://tac-lawna.org/alabama-shooting-spree-2-dead-1-wounded-suspect-detained/ VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (AP) — A lone gunman opened fire at a church in suburban Alabama on Thursday night, killing two people and wounding a third at a small group gathering before being taken into custody, authorities said. The attack happened at St Stephen’s Episcopal Church in the Birmingham suburb of Vestavia Hills, Police Captain […]]]>

VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (AP) — A lone gunman opened fire at a church in suburban Alabama on Thursday night, killing two people and wounding a third at a small group gathering before being taken into custody, authorities said.

The attack happened at St Stephen’s Episcopal Church in the Birmingham suburb of Vestavia Hills, Police Captain Shane Ware said. He said dispatchers received a call around 6:20 p.m. reporting an active gunman there.

Ware said a suspect has been arrested and that there is “no threat to the community at this time.” Police refused to identify the suspect or victims, or give more details about the attack, and said another briefing was scheduled for Friday.

At a previous press conference, Ware said one person was killed and two others were hospitalized.

A “boomers potluck” was listed on the church’s website for Thursday night. “There will be no program, just eat and have time for community,” said the flyer.

Thursday’s shooting came just over a month after one person was killed and five others injured when a man opened fire on Taiwanese parishioners at a church in Southern California. It also comes exactly seven years to the day after an avowed white supremacist killed nine people during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

In Vestavia Hills, investigators remained at the scene hours after dark, with yellow police tape cordoning off the church complex and police and fire brigade vehicles flashing blue lights blocking the way to the church. The FBI, the US Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives dispatched agents to the scene.

Nearby people crowded and prayed.

Rev. Kelley Hudlow, an episcopal priest in the diocese of Alabama, told WBRC that the shooting stunned the church and community at large.

“It is shocking. Saint Stephen’s is a community built on love, prayer and grace, and they will come together,” she said in a live interview with the network. “People of all faiths come together to pray and hope for healing.”

She said messages of support were coming from all parts of the US and around the world. “We need everyone out there. Pray, think, meditate and send love to this community as we will need everything,” she said.

There were several high-profile shootings throughout May and June, beginning with a racist attack on May 14 that killed 10 black people at a convenience store in Buffalo, New York. The following week, a gunman massacred 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Thousands of people demonstrated across the United States and on the National Mall in Washington, DC on Saturday to renew their calls for stricter gun control measures. Survivors of mass shootings and other gun violence incidents lobbied lawmakers and testified on Capitol Hill earlier this month.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement late Thursday lamenting the shocking and tragic loss of life at the church. Though she said she was glad to hear the suspect was in custody, she wrote, “This should never happen — in a church, in a store, in town, or anywhere.”

Vestavia Hills is a residential community southeast of Birmingham, one of Alabama’s two most populous cities.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

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Cambridge’s Safer Homes, Safer Community gun event gift cards are raising a record number of unwanted firearms https://tac-lawna.org/cambridges-safer-homes-safer-community-gun-event-gift-cards-are-raising-a-record-number-of-unwanted-firearms/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 14:00:33 +0000 https://tac-lawna.org/cambridges-safer-homes-safer-community-gun-event-gift-cards-are-raising-a-record-number-of-unwanted-firearms/ A record 245 unwanted weapons were safely surrendered at the seventh annual Cambridge Safer Homes, Safer Community Gift Cards for Guns event on Saturday 11th June at Reservoir Church and Margaret Fuller House. The firearms surrendered included pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles, BB guns that appeared to be 9mm pistols, and a toy gun. Residents from […]]]>

A record 245 unwanted weapons were safely surrendered at the seventh annual Cambridge Safer Homes, Safer Community Gift Cards for Guns event on Saturday 11th June at Reservoir Church and Margaret Fuller House. The firearms surrendered included pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles, BB guns that appeared to be 9mm pistols, and a toy gun. Residents from Cambridge and far-flung New Hampshire also brought ammunition and various gun parts. This year’s turnout surpassed last year’s record of more than 150 guns collected. Public safety officers and community volunteers have now collected more than 560 firearms at events in Cambridge, handed out gun safety locks and shared extensive information on suicide prevention and gun safety.

The Cambridge Gift Cards for Guns – part of the city‘s initiative to reduce home accidental injuries and the risk of suicide, domestic violence and street crime – are a collaboration between the City of Cambridge, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office and more than 60 faiths – and community-based organizations and businesses. Since 2013, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office has assisted 15 towns and cities across the county and more than 1,890 unwanted guns have been turned in.

For Cambridge residents who were unable to attend last weekend and still wish to dispose of unwanted guns in their homes, please contact 617-349-6009. Appointments scheduled through Thursday, June 30, 2022 are still eligible for $50-$200 in grocery vouchers.

Attendees cited a variety of reasons for attending this year’s event. A father said that after witnessing the recent shootings across the country, he wanted to make sure his son didn’t have access to a firearm in his home. A widow said she found a gun in a bag while clearing out her late husband’s belongings and wanted it removed from her home. An elderly man said he had owned a pistol for decades but never used it and would certainly have it destroyed.

In all, more than 60 organizations helped make this weekend’s events possible through planning, participation, support and donations. The following Cambridge interfaith organizations and church partners have collaborated on this important initiative: A Place to Heal Ministries, Abundant Life Church, Calvary Praise and Worship Center, Cambridgeport Baptist Church, Cambridge Community Fellowship Church, Christian Mission Holiness Church, Congregation Eitz Chayim, Christ Church , First Baptist Church, First Church in Cambridge Congregational, First Parish Cambridge, Friends Meeting Cambridge, Harvard Epworth United Methodist Church, Harvard Memorial Church, Islamic Society of Boston (ISB Cambridge), Journey Church, Kingdom Empowerment Center, Massachusetts Avenue Baptist Church , Saint Paul Parish, Pentecostal Tabernacle, Reservoir Church, Rush AME Zion Church, Salvation Army, Cambridge Citadel, St James Episcopal Church, St Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Temple Beth Shalom, Union Baptist Church, Western Avenue Baptist Church, Cambridge Community Foundation, Cambri dge Community Center, Cambridge Women’s Center, Cambridge YWCA, Community Art Center, East End House, Many Helping Hands, Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, My Brother’s Keeper Cambridge, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, The Loop Lab, Transition House, Tutoring Plus, YWCA Cambridge, CambridgeSide , Central Square BID, Harvard Square Business Association, Middle East Restaurant, Pemberton Market, Star Market/Shaw’s, Toscanini’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market, Cambridge Arts Council, Cambridge Council on Aging, Cambridge Domestic & Gender-Based Violence Prevention Initiative, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge Human Service Programs, Cambridge Peace Commission, Cambridge Police Department, Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge Public Works, Cambridge Veterans Services, The Office of Massachusetts State Representative Marjorie Decker, Massachusetts State Police and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office .

For more information on the Cambridge Safer Homes, Safer Community initiative go to camb.ma/GiftCardsforGuns. If you or your organization are interested in getting involved with a future event (e.g., donate gift certificates, volunteer at the event, or help release flyers leading up to an event), or if you are in live in a community that may be interested in submitting a request. Please email Lori Lander at Many Helping Hands (lorilander@manyhelpinghands365.org), Jeremy Warnick of the Cambridge Police Department (jwarnick@cambridgepolice.org) or Kevin Maccioli of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (kmaccioli@sdm.state.ma.us).

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Community contribution wanted on church arson for a dance project https://tac-lawna.org/community-contribution-wanted-on-church-arson-for-a-dance-project/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 21:48:18 +0000 https://tac-lawna.org/community-contribution-wanted-on-church-arson-for-a-dance-project/ Two public meetings are scheduled this week to discuss a new dance/music project created to discuss the arson attacks that destroyed three black churches in 2019. The three churches, all located in St. Landry Parish, were burned down by a man who has since pleaded guilty to federal and state criminal charges in the case. […]]]>

Two public meetings are scheduled this week to discuss a new dance/music project created to discuss the arson attacks that destroyed three black churches in 2019.

The three churches, all located in St. Landry Parish, were burned down by a man who has since pleaded guilty to federal and state criminal charges in the case. He is serving a 25-year sentence. To read about it click here.

The Performing Arts Society of Acadiana is collaborating with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra to bring the project, entitled “Sacred Space?” It will be a new dance work that would “reflect on the impact of acts of hate against places of worship, including bombings, fires, hostage-taking and other acts of violence.”

The two public meetings will be hosted by Theodore Foster, Ph.D. , an assistant professor of history at UL in African American history, civil rights memory, and Black Studies.

Also participating in the discussions are Cleo Parker Robinson, Artistic Director of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance in Denver, and Adonis Rose, Artistic Director of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

The first event will be held at 6pm on Monday 13 June in the Fellowship Hall of St Mary Missionary Baptist Church, 103 Saquette Road, Port Barre.

The second event will take place on Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in downtown Lafayette.

“The artists want to hear from the people in the communities and the community. They want to know how you felt when the churches were burned and how you feel now,” the collaboration group said in a statement. “How do you feel about other similar attacks?

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Site of the destroyed church sanctuary, now a community garden https://tac-lawna.org/site-of-the-destroyed-church-sanctuary-now-a-community-garden/ Sun, 12 Jun 2022 05:04:01 +0000 https://tac-lawna.org/site-of-the-destroyed-church-sanctuary-now-a-community-garden/ LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) – Members of St. Paul Lutheran Church have found a silver lining since the devastation caused by Hurricane Laura nearly two years ago by discovering a way to nourish both the souls and bodies in their congregation. Rev. Tim Norris said on the remains of what was the sanctuary of their […]]]>

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) – Members of St. Paul Lutheran Church have found a silver lining since the devastation caused by Hurricane Laura nearly two years ago by discovering a way to nourish both the souls and bodies in their congregation.

Rev. Tim Norris said on the remains of what was the sanctuary of their church are now the beginnings of a community garden as well as a small red pantry.

“We have five acres that need mowing and that turns a liability into an asset,” Norris said, laughing.

The trio, cared for by Norris and two other parishioners, already have tomatoes, zucchini, yellow summer squash, eggplant, okra and peppers taking root.


“Right now we’re keeping it in a 15-by-15-foot space, but we’re hoping later that others will want to come along and learn how to garden and help us make it thrive,” Norris said.

Next to the vegetable garden is a separate flower garden designed to attract pollinating insects.

“The three of us have enough to keep us busy,” Norris said of the first phase of the planting, which he hopes will eventually yield enough bounty to feed the neighborhood and fill the shelves along the United Way of Southwest Louisiana and Abraham’s tent.

“We want to get the community involved and interested and get other churches involved and interested, and maybe in a couple of years we’ll have an urban farm between all of us,” he said. “I have to do some homework because I want to be realistic.”

Norris said a feasibility study showed it would cost about $300 for $100 worth of vegetables the church is initially producing.

“But it’s worth it,” he added.

The garden is in the former corner of the chancel where the organist, pianist and keyboardist sat during Sunday services. The building was demolished shortly after the storm and the church has since met in its parish hall, which required only minor repairs and served as a distribution point for food and supplies when residents returned home following mandatory evacuation orders.

Norris said the space can feel a little cramped at times, but her plan is to wait another two or three years — as more contractors become available — before they start rebuilding. They are also considering building a multi-purpose building that would serve as both a sanctuary, protection from hurricanes, and a meeting place for community members.

“It was pretty hard to see the sanctuary being destroyed,” he said. “It was a very, very beautiful sanctuary and to see it destroyed was heartbreaking. A lot of people didn’t realize how bad it was.”

He said a former member of her church, who was driving through town after Hurricane Laura, stopped on site to mourn the building that was the site of so many of her childhood memories.

“She grew up here and had a lot of memories and it was hard for her – and for a lot of other people too – to see that the building is gone now. She just sat in the parking lot and cried,” he said. “But we now have a clean slate, a blank canvas and we will start something new.”

Norris said he spent time with community leaders about the need for such a garden before turning the dirt.

“Quite consistently, they talked about food shortage issues in that area, if not a food desert,” he said. “It’s one way to counter that. It’s just a start, but hopefully things go well and we can start planning for expansion.”

Norris said he plans to apply for grants that would allow him to do just that.

“Our faith community has some special tools to further explore this and shape our mission and ministry to meet the needs of the community,” he said.

The small red church pantry was also placed in the church parking lot to help those “who fall through the cracks.”

“It’s for the transient, the homeless, or those who need a few things to provide their family with dinner when the food stamps run out,” he said. “He is there for people to help themselves. We also have people coming over and putting things in, and we’ve put tomatoes in and they don’t last long before they’re gone.”

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Church gives away lunch | News, Sports, Jobs https://tac-lawna.org/church-gives-away-lunch-news-sports-jobs/ Fri, 10 Jun 2022 05:59:17 +0000 https://tac-lawna.org/church-gives-away-lunch-news-sports-jobs/ WARREN EVENT: Central Christian Church, 2051 E. Market St., Warren, is hosting a free drive-through packed lunch Saturday at 11:30 am in the church parking lot. Anyone who needs lunch can come by and lunch will be served until it’s gone. RIBBON CUTTING: The Geauga-Trumbull Solid Waste Management District will host a ribbon […]]]>

WARREN EVENT: Central Christian Church, 2051 E. Market St., Warren, is hosting a free drive-through packed lunch Saturday at 11:30 am in the church parking lot. Anyone who needs lunch can come by and lunch will be served until it’s gone.

RIBBON CUTTING: The Geauga-Trumbull Solid Waste Management District will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:00 am today for the new Geauga collection facility in Chardon. The new facility will enable residents of Geauga and Trumbull counties to responsibly dispose of electronic equipment, household appliances and household hazardous waste year-round. The facility at 12685 Merritt Road, Chardon, officially opened on June 2nd. To preregister to drop off items and reduce wait times, visit www.tinyurl.com/Geauga-Facility.

The $1.4 million project was given to Cavanaugh Building Corp. awarded. The new building was financed from fees already collected through waste disposal contracts with landfills and transfer stations.

IDA MCKINLEY: The McKinley Birthplace Home and National McKinley Birthplace Museum, 40 N. Main St., Niles, will celebrate Ida McKinley’s birthday Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The public can learn about William and Ida McKinley, enjoy refreshments and participate in a scavenger hunt to win a prize.

MOSS HOUSE: The Moss Ancestral Home, 1499 Burnett St., Mineral Ridge will be hosting an open house on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. A representative from the Daughters of the American Revolution will be present. The DAR is a service group of women descended from patriots or soldiers who served or fought for independence during the American Revolution. They promote monument preservation, education and patriotism.

RIVERFEST: Riverfest 2022 will be held Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Spring Commons Park / B&O Station, 530 Mahoning Ave., Youngstown. Riverfest is a free, family-friendly event. Participants will have the opportunity to experience river kayaking, free entertainment, youth activities and enter a kayak fishing raffle.

Tickets for two separate Kayak Raffles can be purchased in advance at https://friendsofthemahon ingriver.org. Event providers participating in Riverfest include community groups, government agencies and non-governmental organizations focused on the Mahoning River. Vendors can register on Eventbrite.

In addition to Riverfest, the Artists of the Rust Belt will host an art exhibition at the B&O Station from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission to the art exhibition is $1.

Riverfest is sponsored by the Friends of the Mahoning River, Inc. Information is available at https://friendsofthemahoningriver.org.



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Puget Sound Energy spent nearly $1 million on solar projects in Western WA this year. This is what one looks like https://tac-lawna.org/puget-sound-energy-spent-nearly-1-million-on-solar-projects-in-western-wa-this-year-this-is-what-one-looks-like/ Wed, 08 Jun 2022 13:00:00 +0000 https://tac-lawna.org/puget-sound-energy-spent-nearly-1-million-on-solar-projects-in-western-wa-this-year-this-is-what-one-looks-like/ KENT — Fleeting sunlight offered a brief dose of warmth — and energy — just as the final solar panels were being installed on the Kent United Methodist Church this spring. Children running across the parking lot below watched electricians heave panels onto the roof. Her mother craned her neck as she pushed a stroller, […]]]>

KENT — Fleeting sunlight offered a brief dose of warmth — and energy — just as the final solar panels were being installed on the Kent United Methodist Church this spring. Children running across the parking lot below watched electricians heave panels onto the roof. Her mother craned her neck as she pushed a stroller, also intrigued.

When complete, the array is expected to offset three quarters of the church’s annual energy use.

The project was made possible by a $102,000 grant from Puget Sound Energy. Overall, more than $954,000 was awarded this year to 13 nonprofits, tribes and other community groups – including Kent UMC – to promote solar energy to organizations that serve low-income, Black or Indigenous and people of color.

Officials and PSE representatives joined community members on Sunday to celebrate the successful installation of the solar panel array.

“We can take those savings and invest right back into the community outside the walls of our church,” Pastor Jim Head-Corliss said during Sunday’s event.

According to PSE, the 40-kilowatt plant, now at Kent UMC, is estimated to produce in excess of 41,000 kilowatt-hours per year.

Kent UMC partnered with Mad Energy NW, an Auburn-based solar energy company, to install the panels.

Shifting away from fossil fuels, which are warming the planet, and toward cleaner forms of energy like solar power is critical as Washington State works to achieve net-zero carbon emissions within the next few decades.

While large, regional energy companies and public utilities like PSE will need to phase out fossil fuels to meet this goal, expanding the use of renewable energy at the community level is also critical and could rather accelerate the clean energy transition.

A recent example of such a shift is the proliferation of community solar systems across the US states — also known as split solar systems or solar gardens — which refers to a project or program in which solar energy flows from one source to multiple customers in a single community .

Community solar systems can help provide clean energy to people whose property, location, or money would make it impossible to install a full solar system on their own.

During the state’s last biennial term, which ended in March, lawmakers passed legislation providing an incentive program to fund the installation of solar panels in certain buildings in low-income communities.

While subsidies and tax incentives can pave the way for equitable access to solar energy, the conversation often begins among neighbors, through word of mouth.

“We are clearly visible from the road,” Kent UMC spokesman Pat Gray said last month as he stood in the church parking lot as the final panels were carried onto the roof for installation.

While the solar power generated by Kent UMC will only be used to power the church, Gray and others hope it will draw attention to community solar and other forms of clean energy.

Installing the equipment needed to harness solar energy can be expensive for homeowners and nearly impossible for renters. While community solar can be much more accessible, the trend is still young. In many cases, demand exceeds supply and eager prospects have no choice but to waitlist, give up, or look elsewhere.

But Gray believes Community Solar is gaining momentum. “People have been very supportive here and very excited.”

PSE grantees this year included Child Care Action Council, Medicine Creek Enterprise Corporation, Quixote Communities and Thurston County Food Bank in Thurston County; Ferndale Food Bank, Lydia Place, the Nooksack Indian Tribe and the Whatcom Center for Early Learning at Whatcom; Kent UMC in King; Kitsap Community Resources and the Suquamish Tribe in Kitsap; the Samish Indian Nation in Skagit; and Sumner Community Food Bank in Pierce.

Solar systems at these 13 locations will generate around 514,000 kilowatt hours per year. According to PSE, this would power more than 50 average homes per year.

The utility has awarded more than $3 million to 48 projects over the past five years.

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Dozens feared dead after deadly terrorist attack on church in south-west Nigeria https://tac-lawna.org/dozens-feared-dead-after-deadly-terrorist-attack-on-church-in-south-west-nigeria/ Mon, 06 Jun 2022 21:29:34 +0000 https://tac-lawna.org/dozens-feared-dead-after-deadly-terrorist-attack-on-church-in-south-west-nigeria/ Placeholder when loading item promotions DAKAR, Senegal – The first shots were fired as mass ended in the small church in the Nigerian town of Owo. “The bomb went off and we were surrounded everywhere — they surrounded the church,” said Shalom, 50, who was among worshipers at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church on Sunday […]]]>
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DAKAR, Senegal – The first shots were fired as mass ended in the small church in the Nigerian town of Owo.

“The bomb went off and we were surrounded everywhere — they surrounded the church,” said Shalom, 50, who was among worshipers at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church on Sunday when it was stormed by gunmen who opened fire panicked crowd and detonated explosives. She did not want to give her last name for fear of reprisals.

“I managed to escape and didn’t see their faces. It was horrible,” she added, saying she lost the death count while scrambling to safety.

Dozens were killed and dozens wounded in the attack in southwestern Ondo state, where religious violence is rare. Illustrative videos from the scene show bloodied bodies on the ground, including women and children.

Local media put the death toll at up to 50, but police have yet to confirm the number or release full details of the attack. Neither group has claimed responsibility.

Most of the violence in Nigeria takes place in the north-east, where Boko Haram has been waging an Islamist insurgency for more than a decade, regularly attacking churches and kidnapping schoolchildren. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the region and millions displaced. In contrast, violence in the southwest was dominated by kidnappings for ransom and conflicts between farmers and pastoralists of the Yoruba ethnic group.

Security was visibly tighter across Ondo state Monday, witnesses told the Washington Post. “All hands are on deck to prevent a similar attack in any part of the state,” an Ondo police spokesman said in a statement.

Rev. Augustine Ikwu, communications director for Ondo Diocese, denied reports that the attackers kidnapped a priest and members of the congregation and said Nigerian security forces had been deployed to Owo.

“All the priests in the community are safe and none have been kidnapped,” Ikwu said in a statement quoted by Vatican News. “The bishop of the diocese is also with them at this difficult time.”

The Vatican said Pope Francis is “praying for the victims and the country, which is grieved at a time of celebration.” Sunday was the Christian holiday of Pentecost.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari promised to address the security crisis when he was elected in 2015 but has made efforts to end the violence. “No matter what happens, this country will never give in to evil and evil people, and the darkness will never overcome the light,” he said Monday. “Nigeria will eventually win.”

Though the attack was the first of its kind in Ondo state, it fits into a larger pattern of communal violence across Nigeria, according to Ebenezer Obadare, a senior fellow in African studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.

“Whoever orchestrated this wanted to send a religious message,” he said. While he doubted that Boko Haram was responsible, he said it was worrying that other groups might try to use the same tactics to terrorize the country’s Christian community. “When we say this isn’t Boko Haram, we can’t say it doesn’t have a religious connotation.”

Wroughton reported from Cape Town, South Africa.

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Mexican megachurch leader pleads guilty to sex abuse in LA https://tac-lawna.org/mexican-megachurch-leader-pleads-guilty-to-sex-abuse-in-la/ Sun, 05 Jun 2022 04:59:51 +0000 https://tac-lawna.org/mexican-megachurch-leader-pleads-guilty-to-sex-abuse-in-la/ FILE – Naasón Joaquín García, leader of the La Luz del Mundo fundamentalist church based in Guadalajara, Mexico, appears in Los Angeles County Superior Court on June 5, 2019. Naasón Joaquín García, leader of Mexico’s La Luz del Mundo megachurch, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three girls on Friday, June 3, 2022, California prosecutors said. […]]]>

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FILE – Naasón Joaquín García, leader of the La Luz del Mundo fundamentalist church based in Guadalajara, Mexico, appears in Los Angeles County Superior Court on June 5, 2019. Naasón Joaquín García, leader of Mexico’s La Luz del Mundo megachurch, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three girls on Friday, June 3, 2022, California prosecutors said. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file)

AP

Naasón Joaquín García, the leader of Mexico’s megachurch La Luz del Mundo, who has been charged with child rape and other charges, admitted to sexually abusing three girls days before the trial, California prosecutors said.

García, 53, pleaded guilty Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court to two counts of violent oral copulation with a minor and one count of indecent assault on a 15-year-old child and human trafficking for the production of child pornography.

Garcia, leader of a church founded by his grandfather with 5 million followers worldwide, was considered the “apostle” of Jesus Christ who could lead worshipers to salvation. Prosecutors said he used his spiritual influence to have sex with several female followers.

“García used his power to take advantage of children,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “He relied on his surroundings to nurture community members for sexual assault. Today’s sentencing can never undo the damage, but it will help protect future generations.”

The guilty plea was an abrupt turn of events due to the strong denials of his lawyers and the passionate support of the Guadalajara-based church, also known by its English name The Light of the World. The church and Garcia’s attorneys did not immediately comment on the guilty plea.

Garcia faces up to 16 years and eight months in prison at his sentencing on Wednesday. He remains incarcerated on $90 million bail.

Garcia was arrested in 2019 and charged alongside two female supporters accused of facilitating the abuse.

Garcia not only faced his accusers in court, but also the prospect of having to challenge one of his accomplices.

Alondra Ocampo, who pleaded guilty and admitted helping to locate his victims and being involved in the abuse, was ready to testify against him.

Attorney Fred Thiagarajah, representing the former church youth group leader, said Ocampo would have been the star witness who could corroborate the victims’ statements and provide context for the prosecutor’s case.

“She actively recruited and nursed girls for him,” Thiagarajah said. “She would target girls and put them in his inner fold. She was tasked with sexualizing these girls and facilitating their abuse.”

Ocampo told the girls that if they rejected the “apostle’s” desires and desires, they would turn against God, according to the indictment.

She encouraged girls to wear skimpy outfits and dance for Garcia, who then “gave them a speech about a king who has mistresses and explained that an apostle of God can never be judged for his actions,” according to the indictment .

Ocampo told three girls that Garcia would be happy to receive nude selfies from them, and she even orchestrated pornographic photo shoots where they touched each other, which she said would be sent to Garcia.

According to court documents, Garcia thanked the girls for the photos.

Another female co-defendant who was a member of the Church, Susana Medina Oaxaca, 27, pleaded guilty Friday to committing an assault likely to cause grievous bodily harm, a misdemeanor.

Attorney Pat Carey said Oaxaca faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted in court and that the guilty plea was in their best interests.

“It was also a relief to get out of a three-year trial instead of enduring a lengthy jury trial, 98% of which involved evidence unrelated to her,” Carey said in an email.

Garcia previously pleaded not guilty to 19 counts, including violent rape of a minor and unlawful sex. A judge had dropped four counts of racketeering and increased sentences for aggravated assault due to lack of evidence.

Ocampo, 39, was charged with many of the same charges as Garcia – plus additional charges. She pled guilty to three counts of contact with a minor for a sex offense and one count of violent sexual penetration with four accusers. She will serve four years in prison as part of the deal with prosecutors, Thiagarajah said.

Defense attorneys have said prosecutors are operating on a far-fetched legal theory that Garcia uses spiritual coercion for sexual pleasure.

“Prosecutors have repeated ad nauseam their novel theory that the majority of the crimes charged in this case were committed not because of physical restraint, physical violence, or fear of physical violence, but because the plaintiff witnesses had no choice but to comply because they were under the complete mental and spiritual slave of Mr. Garcia and the La Luz Del Mundo Church,” defense attorney Alan Jackson wrote in a court filing. “It’s a fantasy seemingly invented from a piece of cloth.”

Prosecutors said the victims were essentially brainwashed by Garcia and felt they would be ostracized by the island church community if they did not comply with his wishes. Denying a defense motion to dismiss the case, a judge said Garcia used religion as “invisible handcuffs” to exploit his victims.

Garcia’s grandfather founded the Guadalajara-based Fundamentalist Christian Church in 1926.

The church has attempted to maintain a law-abiding, hard-working image in Mexico, where it has about 1.8 million followers. Its male members prefer suits and short hair, and female members wear veils that cover their hair and modest dresses. There are about 1 million US members.

Garcia took over the office of “apostle” after his father, Samuel Joaquín Flores, died in 2014.

Flores was also the subject of allegations of child sexual abuse in 1997, but Mexican authorities have never filed criminal charges.

Ocampo said she was sexually abused by Flores, Thiagarajah said.

Ocampo faced a lot of pressure from the church community and her own family when she turned against Garcia, Thiagarajah said. Ocampo’s mother said she didn’t believe her and accused her of working for Satan.

“This church is a very dark institution,” Thiagarajah said. “The level of abuse this guy committed against women and children is staggering and has lasted for generations.”

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