The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 28, 2001 · Page 23
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 23

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Salina, Kansas
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Saturday, April 28, 2001
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THE SALINA JOURNAL RELIGION SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2001 P3 T PASTORS Pastors bask in glow of love Yearly, congregants shower leaders with gifts and money By JUDYTARJANYI The Toledo Blade For a handful of Sundays every year, the Rev. John Roberts gets a break from preaching at Indiana Avenue Baptist Church in Toledo, Ohio. He and his wife, Bernice, sit at the front of the church in their Sunday finery, listen to another pastor's sermon, and bask in the glow of acclaim for their devotion to the congregation. It is part of the pastoral anniversary, an entrenched tradition in African-American churches, and one that shows no signs of fading. The practice of setting aside several days each year to honor a pastor, lavish him with praise and provide him with a bonus or gift reflects the high esteem African-Americans have for their clergy said Dr. Larry Murphy, head of the Institute for Black Religious Research at Garrett Theological Seminary, Evanston, 111. "There is a real strong sense of focus on the clergy as the spiritually gifted, divinely ordained one," Dr. Murphy said. Because black pastors come from a system in which peo­ ple distinguish themselves by their spiritual gifts, when someone is recognized as having special abilities bestowed by God, he said, "you can see how this person would be elevated above the common pious individual and given a higher spiritual status." Such a position is considered worthy not only of recognition, but of monetary compensation, said Dr. Murphy, who also is a pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. "(The pastoral anniversary) is not just a kind of 'I love you' party, but a way of expressing in concrete ways the affection and loyalty of the congregation." Thanks come tn all forms Gifts can be monetary or material, such as clothing or a car, but often include some type of financial bonus ranging from $400 or $500 for a small, storefront church to $5,000 to $10,000 or more for a larger, well-established, middle-income congregation, Dr. Murphy said. Such gifts are important, he added, because the typical African-American congregation does not always have a large enough weekly offering to establish a budget that provides a reasonable salary "Pastors get their main remu­ neration other ways than just paychecks. If they had to depend on paychecks, they would be poor servants indeed." Instead, their income is bolstered by speaking engagements and special gifts on their birthdays, wedding anniversaries and pastoral anniversaries. Money for the pastor's anniversary usually is collected during the services and then given to the minister as a "love offering," said Mary Edwards, who helped plan this year's observance for Pastor Roberts. Mrs. Edwards said the church also has given the pastor's wife a gift to acknowledge her involvement in the congregation and her contribution to her husband's ministry Pastor Roberts said he remembers the pastors of his childhood in the South getting chickens or hams for their anniversaries because congregation members didn't have money to give them. Sometimes, such gifts constituted their salary as well. Mrs. Edwards said the annual pastoral anniversary is a major event of the year requiring extensive planning. "A lot goes into it. You have to have committees for publicity, flowers, and a banquet, if there is one, and it takes time to really put all that together." Extraordinary work Information also has to be collected on the pastor so that his accomplishments can be publicly proclaimed. "It's a special time and you're just really showing appreciation for what he's done. Our pastor is great about going to see the sick and with any type of problem, he is there to counsel you ... He's just an extraordinary pastor." Mary Ann Davis, who worked with Mrs. Edwards on this year's Indiana Avenue program, agreed. "He's always there, morning, noon, or night, and you really can't repay a person for that, so we do the anniversary just to say thank you." Indiana Avenue starts its observance on the third Sunday in March and continues for three more Sundays. Pastor Roberts said being on the receiving end of so much goodwill and gratitude can be unsettling. "It has given my wife and I fits for years, but we've just adjusted to it... You like to hear those things, but it still makes you uncomfortable." He said, however, he does appreciate being appreciated. "It encourages you to go on because it's not easy today to make it as a pastor. There is so much pressure." • INTERNET Internet is a door to diversity Site is a way for people to learn more about spiritual beliefs By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — From her home in Del City, Okla., Johnna Ray clicks to an Internet site and opens a church door to the world. "It's been a blessing to me," Ray said. "It's made me study the Bible a lot more and get more personal in my prayer life with God." Through the Beliefnet.com site come Christians, Jews, atheists, seekers, doubters — people of differing beliefs and distant nations. They are at the site, which is unaffiliated with any organized religion, to join in a crosscul- tural conversation about God. Ray primarily visits the site because it is nondenominational. Unaffiliated sites operate as independents — Beliefnet is one — or as click-ons in search engines such as Yahoo !'s Clubs or MSN's Communities. Denominations commonly have their own chatrooms, and congregants chat with each other after services, just like at a real church. But Web visitors say they feel more free to explore ideas when they venture outside their doctrinal niche. "They don't have to be afraid, 'My girlfriends wouldn't understand that I have an interest in this,' " Ray said. "I get to talk to other people and share what 1 believe, and I get to hear what they believe, , but I'm more interested in • sharing what I believe," said '< Ray. She describes her chats as i faith-strengthening. "I think you see the next great ; evolution, from people being • consumers of spirituality to • people being creators of spirituality" said Rabbi Brad Hershfield, a specialist in leadership and community involvement at the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, or CLAL, in New York City "The thing I learned from Be­ liefnet is to widen my view of what's out there," said Derek Flood, an American working in computer animation who lives in Munich, Germany. Flood's chats with members of other religions help him to see those faiths' worth, he said. "1 like the idea that the world is a big, crazy wild, nongridded place," he said. "That makes God worth following." Others use the Net to promote their own brand of high-tech evangelism — and realize the unaffiliated sites attract visitors open to exploring ideas. BRIEFLY Pentacostal church to change name The United Pentacostal Church in Salina has split from its denomination and will take a new name. The church left the United Pentacostal denomination and wants the name to reflect the change, said Sarilda Carroll, wife of Pastor John D. Carroll. Members chose from three names, including First Penta­ costal Church. The majority voted for Calvary Apostolic Church. The sign outside the church at 1440 W. Republic wiU be changed sometime this weekend, CarroU said. Carroll didn't want to say publicly the reasons the church broke from the United Penta­ costal denomination. She said the church is doing well and growing. Members will stay with the church. The CarroUs came to the church four years ago at the request of its 10 members. Attendance has grown to 75 to 80. "We're planning on accumulating a lot more members," Car­ roU said. The now independent church will celebrate the name change and the Carrolls' fourth anniver­ sary at the church May 6. Preacher Terry Harmon, Okmulgee, Okla., wUl lead services at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Brookvilie church marks 125 years BROOKVILLE - Brookvilie United Methodist Church wUl celebrate its 125th anniversary Sunday with dinner and an afternoon program and reception. The Rev. Steve Rankin, an El Dorado minister and son of a former BrookviUe minister, wUl preach at the 10 a.m. worship service Sunday, and performers from Southwestern CoUege wUl sing. At 11:45 a.m., a catered chicken dinner wiU be served. The Rev. Mark Conard, superintendent of the Salina district of the Methodist church, wiU speak at a program at 1 p.m. Theora Phelps, the church's lay leader, said the church was constructed in 1876. The land on which the church was buUt was purchased from the Union Pacific RaUroad for $10 in 1884. The first minister was the Rev. S.B. Woolpert. The buUding has been added onto through the years — Sunday school rooms were added in 1955, and a feUowship haU was added last year. John Boyle is pastor of the church, which has about 85 members. Average Sunday service attendance is about 50. White City church marks centennial WHITE CITY — There wUl be a free Old-Fashioned Carnival & Magic Show on May 5 as part of the White City Christian Church centennial celebration. The event begins at 11 a.m. in the church yard. Carnival activities include greased-pig catching, hog-caU- ing, cow-chip throwing, a petting zoo, horse-and-buggy rides. Model T rides, food, game booths, prizes and music. Meals are $3 a plate. A magic and a ventrUoquism show, featuring Mike and Glenda Mann, wiU begm at 2 p.m. The church's 100th anniversary celebration wiU be May 6 at the church, beginning at 9:45 a.m. with Bible school. The worship service'is set for 10:45 a.m. Former ministers and church members wiU attend and share memories. The public is invited. Call Loraine Wey at (785) 349-2283. He Has Taken the Sting... SPECIAL EVENTS • A pancake feed, garage sale and car wash are planned from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 743 E. Magnolia. The cost of the pancake feed is $3.50 for adults, $1.50 for children 5-15 and free for children under 5. Proceeds will benefit local and church activities. • The Singles Christian Fellowship will meet at 7:30 p.m. today at First Church of the Nazarene, 1425 S. Ohio, for table games and snacks. • The Youth Group at First Presbyterian Church, 308 S. Eighth, wiU present Airband at 5:30 p.m. Sunday in Blair HaU. A potluck dinner also is planned. The cost is $3, and proceeds will help with the summer youth mission trip. T RELIGION AND POLITICS • Uplink 2001, a youth event in conjunction with National Day of Prayer, wiU be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Sam's Chapel at Kansas Wesleyan University. The event will feature a pizza dinner and concert by SateUite Soul. • Frankie Valens and his wife, Phyllis, will perform Christian and pop music for the Mother-Daughter Tea at 7 p.m. Wednesday at United Methodist Church, Solomon. Tickets are $2. To order, caU Gwen at (785) 655-3881 or Ernestine at (785) 655-3939. • Salina Prayer Breakfast wiU be from 7 to 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the Bicentennial Center as part of National Day of Prayer activities. The featured speaker is Joe White of Promise Keepers, whose books include "Faith Training" and "Pure Excitement." Tickets are $9. • Mother's Hour will feature Karen Guggisberg, Wichita, who will speak about "Prayer, the Vital Life" from 9:15 to 10:45 a.m. Thursday at First Covenant Church, Cloud and Roach. Attendance and child care are free. • A National Day of Prayer service will be at noon Thursday at Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, southwest of Abilene. • The public is invited to a prayer, praise and worship session from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Evangelical Free Church, Ellsworth. The session is an observation of the National Day of Prayer. Capitol Hill fired up over religion plan Lawmakers get to the details of Bush's faith-based proposal By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Members of Congress have begun wading through the tricky details of sending tax doUars to religious groups, as supporters and opponents of the plan stepped up their lobbying efforts. Republican backers of President Bush's plan were meeting with hand-picked supporters from around the country in a closed-door "summit" this past week meant to plotstrategy and fire up the troops. And private, anonymous donors are pledging $250,000 for a lobbying campaign including a new TV commercial supporting the plan. A day earlier, opponents delivered a petition signed by 850 re­ ligious leaders arguing against mixing church and state. "The flow of government dollars and the accountability for how those funds are used will inevitably undermine the independence and integrity of houses of worship," the petition said. The heart of the Bush plan would expand "charitable choice," a provision that allows religious groups that run both secular and religious programs to compete for government grants. It's already law for welfare, drug treatment and community development programs, and Bush wants to extend it to programs across government. The effort is rolling in the House, where a Judiciary subcommittee held the first hearing this past Tuesday The deep divisions on the matter were plain from the start, when the panel's chair­ man, Rep. Steve Chabot, R Ohio, asserted that every returning member of the subcommittee had voted for charitable choice in the past. Several Democrats immediately objected, saying that the issue had been buried inside larger pieces of legislation. "I have grave concerns about the constitutionality of charitable choice," said Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y "Religion has never needed government, and it doesn't need it now." Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., a longtime opponent of charitable choice, asked a series of questions to a pair of witnesses testifying about welfare programs their churches run. It soon appeared clear that these programs could qualify for government money even without charitable choice, because neither one incorporates religion into its core. "Mom, why is Kendall crying?", exclaimed Kyle, as his four-year-old twin brother jumped up and down, tears streaming onto his scarlet cheeks. "A honey-bee stung Kendell, but he will be all right soon," assured Mom as she tried to soothe her distressed victim. "Where is the bee? Will it sting me too?", shrieked Kyle as he began to run for the house. "Wait Kyle" said Mom. "don't be afraid. Your brother took the sting. That bee has no stinger. It cannot harm you now." Christ took the sting for us when he died on the Cross. We read in 1 Corinthians 15:55... "O death , where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" When we believe that Christ died to atone for our sins that we might have eternal life, death has no victory... no sting. Rejoice as you worship this week, for Christ has taken the sting for you. ay "Riesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Satmday er 1 Peter 1 Peter 1 Peter Revelation Revelation 7 3:8 -22 4:1-19 5:1-14 1:1-20 • 19-1-10 Scriptures Selected by the American Bibie Society Copyright 2000, Kelster-Wiliiams Newspaper Services, P.O. Box 8005, Charlottesville. VA 22906. ivivw.fcivneyys.com Both your FAITH and your CHURCH GROW through REGULAR CHURCH AHENDANCE OVER 37YEARS OF QUALITY SERVICE BYTHEHA8SMAN FAMILY HASSMAN Termite & Pest Control, Inc. Teny Burger & Associates Ralph & Jeff Bennett MEMORIAL ART COMPANY, INC. 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