Karen Chaffin, author of the Bible study, “Heavenly Minded for Earthly Good,” will lead a session at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 1741 Sayles Blvd., on Sept. 28.

The putlic is invited to the gathering 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $30. A book signing will be held 12:45 -1:15 p.m. in The Market Place at the church. The gathering will be divided into two sessions, 10-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-3 p.m. Lunch is not included. For tickets, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/minds-set-on-heaven-gathering-tickets-65966432375


November is a long way off, but Love & Care Ministries is requesting donations and volunteers for its annual Mission: Thanksgiving, which will be held Nov. 22 in the parking lot of Arrow Ford. Donations of nonperishable food items and winter clothing and bedding are needed. Also, sponsorships are available. For more information, contact Mark Hewitt at 670-0246.


St. Luke Orthodox Christian Church, 501 Sunset Drive, will serve the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, Visitors are welcome.



Dr. Renee Collins with her new book, “Happy Thursday.” Photo courtesy Hardin-Simmons University.

A Hardin-Simmons University education professor, Renee Collins, has a new book based on emailed encouragements she has sent to students over the years.

The book is titled, “Happy Thursday” from a request from one of Collins’ students who was doing her student teaching a few years ago. “I need you to talk to me on Thursdays,” the student told Collins, to help her make to the weekend.

Collins is professor of educational studies and associate dean of the Irvin School of Education at HSU. In 2015, Collins taught an education capstone class for student teachers. The students were often in need of encouragement, so Collins started emailing them encouraging words late Wednesday nights to help them get through the rest of the week. The emails usually contained a quotation, Bible verse, and an anecdote related to the two. 

Her book, based on those emails, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


The Catholic Diocese of San Angelo is hosting a discernment retreat Aug. 2-4 for young men who might be considering a call to priesthood.

The retreat begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, at Holy Family Catholic Church, 5410 Buffalo Gap Road, and ends at noon Sunday. Registration deadline is Monday. Call 325-651-7500 send email to vocation@sanangelodiocese.org.

A fun event is scheduled 5-7 p.m. Aug. 3 at Wylie softball field, 4502 Antilley Road. A “Silly Fantastic Kick Ball” game will feature the Untamed Seminarians and Wacky Clergy against the Out of Control Youth.


Pioneer Drive Baptist Churh, 701 S. Pioneer Drive, will host the “Discover the Power of Your Leadership Voice” half-day seminar 9 a.m.-noon Aug. 8. Cost is $67, which includes a workbook and lunch.

What you will discover:

  • Your foundational Voice Order
  • Understand the Power of Your Voice
  • How to value and draw out the best form the others
  • The Art of Collaboration
  • Optimizing Team Performance
  • How to Avoid Your Kryptonite

Call the church, 325-692-6776, for more information.


July 20, 1969, is one of those dates that everyone old enough remembers. And, they remember exactly where they were when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the moon.

The phrase, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” that announced the arrival of the first humans on the moon would become immortalized. 

To mark the 50th anniversary of that historic event, The Discovery Center, 810 Butternut St., will host Moon Day 1-5 p.m. July 20. Admission is by donation. Several events are planned throughout the day, beginning at 2 p.m. with a talk by Carl Baugh, director of the Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose. 

The film, “God’s Created Cosmos,” will be shown at 3 p.m. At 4 p.m., a video filmed exclusively for The Discovery Center featuring astronaut Charles Duke will be shown. As a member of the Apollo 16 crew that followed Armstrong and Aldrin’s Apollo 11 venture, Duke was the youngest man to walk on the moon. In the video, Duke shares his testimony regarding God’s creation. 

Other activities throughout the afternoon will include a moon bounce for kids and a silent auction featuring a plaque with a sample of foil from the Apollo 11 lunar landing module, a Saturn V Lego set, and other gifts. Also, Moon Pies and Milky Way bars will be available and guests will get a sneak peak of the center’s outer space exhibit, “The Heavens Declare the Glory of God,” which will open soon to the public.


Temple Mizpah, 849 Chestnut St., will hold Shabbat services at 7 p.m. Friday, July 19, led by Dr. Marc Orner. The Women’s Auxiliary will host an Oneg Shabbat following services. For more information call 325-672-8225.


Robert Bush, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church since 1996, has been reassigned to serve two parishes in Odessa.

Bush will be parochial vicar in reduced active ministry at St. Joseph and St. Anthony parishes in Odessa, effective July 1.

Bush, 75, celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood in a Mass on June 5 at Sacred Heart. Bishop Michael Sis of the Diocese of San Angelo was celebrant.

Albert Ezeanya, currently serving St. Charles Parish in Eden, will become the new pastor at Sacred Heart in July. He will be installed in a ceremony at the church at 5:30 p.m. July 6, with Sis presiding.


Members of First Christian Church are saying goodbye Sunday to interim pastor Susan Payne, who will be heading back to her home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A reception will be held at the church, 1420 N. Third St., following the 11 a.m. traditional worship service. Payne will be replaced temporarily by Tom Reeder, a Disciples of Christ transitional minister from the Dallas area. He will preach his first sermon June 9.


Susan Payne

Payne has helped First Christian through the first stage of a process to relocate the congregation to a new site. The church has sold its property to First Baptist Church. Payne began her interim in February 2018 has been appreciated by the First Christian congregation and others in town who have worked with her.

“We’ve been blessed to have Susan at our helm,” said Jane Hurley, who served as chair of the search committee to find both Payne and Reeder.



100X (1)


Ticket sales end Wednesday, May 15, for the 100X Leader Summit that will be held May 18 at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, 701 S. Pioneer Drive.

Cost is $39. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. and the program begins at 9 a.m.

The program explores the life and leadership of a sherpa, using the analogy of climbing Mt. Everest. A three-hour event that previously was recorded before a live audience will be broadcast, followed by networking and heavy appetizers, 12-1 p.m.

Ticket price includes the 100X Leader Book. For more information, contact John Whitten at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, jwhitten@pioneerdrive.org or 692-6776


Oldham Lane Church of Christ, 5049 Oldham Lane, will be the site of “Trey & Lea’s Stronger Families Workshop” on May 18.

The program, which is free to the public, will be from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and will include breakfast and lunch. Childcare will be provided. To register or for more information, go to, http://www.olcoc.com/families


Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, 701 S. Pioneer Drive, will host a hymn sing beginning at 7 p.m. May 17. Cost is $10. An offering will be taken for the Gospel Music Hymn Sing Foundation. The foundation bills itself as “Preserving and Promoting the value of Congregational Hymn Singing.” The foundation is located in Morristown, Tennessee.


Temple Mizpah, 849 Chestnut St., will hold Shabbat services at 7 p.m. Friday, June 7, led by Cantor Monica O’Desky. The Women’s Auxiliary will host an Oneg Shabbat following services. For more information call 325-672-8225.


The emerging adult class at First Baptist Church will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lake Kirby Nature Park for a guided nature walk and spiritual reflection.

The program is a collaboration between Matthew Broyles, minister to emerging adults at the church, and Rick Hammer, a church member and associate professor of biology at Hardin-Simmons University. The program is co-sponsored by First Baptist and Hammer, who is president of the Friends of Lake Kirby.

The event will start with Hammer leading a nature walk along the Kirby boardwalk. He will talk about plants and animals and offer interesting bits of information about the ecology. Following the walk, the group will gather under the pavillion for a time of reflection and discussion about the experience.

For Hammer, the special program is part of his personal ministry of reconciliation of God’s creation. He previously guest taught a First Baptist Church Sunday school class that included how Kirby is a daily focal point of both his secular and spiritual work. The title of the Sunday school lesson is, “Kingdom Building with Christ: I won’t fly away and other tales of restoration, reconciliation, and reconnecting with God’s Creation.”


Resolution Solutions is hosting a workshop April 30 for clergy, staff, and volunteers who interact with members of the public who live in traumatic circumstances such as the homeless or people encountered during outreach ministries.

The workshop will be held in Gerhart Hall at the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, 602 Meader St. The workshop, 12:30-3:30 p.m., is free and includes lunch. Resolution Solutions is a communications, conflict resolution, and mediation company serving the Big Country. Call the church at 677-2091 to reserve a space.


“Anti-Semitism: The Old and the New” will be the topic for the April meeting of the Abilene Interfaith Council. The meeting will begin at noon Saturday, April 13, in the auditorium of the downtown Abilene Public Library. The meetings are free and open to the public. Guest speaker will be Anne Epstein, a physician and Jewish liaison of the Lubbock Interfaith Association. She will discuss the long history of anti-Semitism and the forms it takes today.


St. Luke Orthodox Christian Church, 501 Sunset Drive, will offer the following services in the coming week:

April 14 10 a.m. The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great for the fiftth Sunday of Great Lent with Commemoration of St. Mary of Egypt

April 17 6 p.m. The Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

April 19 6 p.m. Little Compline with the Canon for St. Lazarus

April 20 9 a.m.  Divine Liturgy for St. Lazarus; 5:30 p.m. Great Vespers 

April 21 9 a.m. Palm Sunday; Matins; 10 a.m. Liturgy for Palm Sunday; 6 p.m., Bridegroom Matins

April 22 6 p.m. Holy Monday Bridegroom Matins 

April 23 6 p.m., Holy Tuesday Bridegroom Matins 

April 24 6 p.m. Holy Wednesday Service of Holy Unction 

April 25 6 p.m. 4-25 Holy Thursday Service of the Twelve Passion Gospels 

April 29 10 a.m. Holy Friday Royal Hours; 3:30 p.m., Great Vespers of Taking Down from the Cross; 6 p.m., Lamentations at the Tomb

April 27 10 a.m. Holy Saturday Vesperal Divine Liturgy; 11 pm, Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy

April 28, Noon, Agape Vespers


Grace United Methodist Church, 1402 Grape St., has a new ministry called “An Hour of Prayer.” The sanctuary will be open  11 a.m.-noon each Tuesday to the public. The church is enouragiing people to pray for the city, state, and nation “that we may turn back to God and that he will continue to bless us.”


Two top city officials, the mayor and the police chief, will be honored as ICAN Heroes at a luncheon Thursday, April 4.

The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Abilene Convention Center. Honorees are Mayor Anthony Williams and Police Chief Stan Standridge. Guest speaker will be Jerry Taylor, a religion professor and director of the Carl Spain Center on Race Studies & Spiritual Action at Abilene Christian University.

Tickets are $30, with proceeds benefiting Interested Citizens of Abilene North in its efforts to “maintain, restore, and enhance the Carver Neighborhood in the heart of Abilene.” For tickets, call 428-9035 or 701-7804.


Hardin-Simmons and McMurry universities will host lecture series this week that are free and open to the public.

The T.B. Maston Lectures in Christian Ethics will be held Monday evening and Tuesday at Hardin-Simmons. The Sikes-Melugin Lectures will be held Thursday at McMurry.


BrianBantumBrian Bantum, associate professor of theology at Seattle Pacific University, will be featured speaker for the Maston lectures. The first will be held at 7 p.m. Monday in Logsdon Chapel on the HSU campus. A reception will follow.

The second lecture will begin at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in Behrens Chapel, also on the HSU campus. Overall theme is “Christianity & Race.” Bantum writes and teaches on the intersections of theology and embodiment, particularly on questions of race and identity. He is a regular contributor to Christian Century and has published two books. 


KendraDeanGuest lecturer for this year’s Sikes-Melugin Lecture at McMurry University is Kenda Creasy Dean, professor of youth, church, and culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. She will speak at 3:30 and 8 p.m. Thursday, March 28, Matthews Auditorium in McMurry’s Old Main.

Dean is an ordained United Methodist pastor in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. Dean is the author of numerous books on youth, church and culture, including her latest, “Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church. Dean also currently is the project director and senior strategist for The Zoe Project, an Lilly Endowment initiative designed to foster innovation in congregations around young adults.


The local office of the International Rescue Committee will host a refugee community conference 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday at Highland Church of Christ. Registration fee is $25, which covers a light breakfast, material, and lunch. The conference is for employers, social service providers, medical providers, school administrators, law enforcement, faith-based groups and IRC partners. Email Susanna Lubanga, susanna.lubanga@rescue.org, to register or for more information. An overview of IRC services in Abilene will begin at 8:30 a.m.


“Burial Traditions of Different Faiths” will be the topic for the March meeting of the Abilene Interfaith Council. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the fellowship hall of First Central Presbyterian Church, 400 Orange St. Presenters will be Mike Kelly, Archana Patel, Omer Hancock, and Luke Lunn. The panel will discuss tradtions in various faiths, including Baha’i Faith, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. The public is invited to the free program.


The public is invited to Awakening, a contemplative service that will be held at The Mill, 239 Locust St. at 6 p.m. April 2.

The service will include a theological reflection by Matthew Broyles, pastor for emerging adults at First Baptist Church, acoustic music, imaginative Scripture reading, and prayers.


St. Luke Orthodox Christian Church, 501 Sunset Drive, will offer the following services in the coming week:

  • The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great with Veneration of the Cross at 10 a.m. March 31. Lunch and a viewing of the film “Athos” will follow the service.
  • The Divine Liturgy of the Prescanctified Gifts at 6 p.m. April 3
  • Little Compline with the Akathist Hymn to the Most Holy Theotokos  at 6 p.m. April 5

Visitors are welcome at all services.


Janet Paschal, inspirational singer, songwriter, author. and talk show host, will be featured speaker for the ninth annual Round Table Scholarship Luncheon, hosted by Hardin-Simmons University.

This year’s event will be held 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. March 21 at the Abilene Country Club ballroom, 4039 Treadaway Blvd. Individual tickets are $35. Ticket deadline has passed, but for information regarding the waiting list, contact Jana Campbell at jana.campbell@hsutx.edu.

Main purpose of the annual luncheon is to award a scholarship to a female student and to build the scholarship endowment. The Virtue Award will be presented to a “woman who represents Christian values and beliefs foundational to to HSU” and who is a leader in her sphere of influence.

Paschal grew up in a musical family. Her dad and brothers played bluegrass instruments and sang in churches. She got her start in her grandfather’s church in Reidsville, North Carolina. Paschal has more than 20 recordings to her credit, including her latest release, “Beginnings.” Her recordings have earned numerous Grammy and Dove Award nominations, and she consistently is named among gospel music’s favorite soloists by the top trade magazines.

She has sung with the Rex Nelon Singers and has sung solo with televangelist Jimmy Swaggart’s international crusades. In 1986, Paschal began touring as a soloist. Shortly afterward, she was invited to tour with Bill and Gloria Gaither, becoming a featured artist on the Homecoming Tour.

In 1999, she met her future husband, John, an airline pilot. After battling breast cancer in 2005, Paschal resumed her touring schedule, including concerts, women’s conferences, and cancer awareness events. In November 2008, she released a book, “Treasures in the Snow,” which chronicled her battle with cancer as well as stories from three decades in gospel music.

Paschal has traveled the world, performing in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and the Sydney Opera House. In 2017, Paschal realized a lifelong dream when she earned a master’s degree with honors in accounting from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. She was inducted into the university’s chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, an international society for college business students.

In May, Paschal will be inducted into the Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame in Nashville.


Temple Mizpah, 849 Chestnut, will celebrate Purim and Shabbat services at 7 p.m. Friday, March 22, led by Cantor Monica O’Desky. The Women’s Auxiliary will host an Oneg Shabbat following services. For more information call 325-672-8225.


Saint Luke Orthodox Church, 501 Sunset Drive, will sponsor a Neighborhood Game Night in the church hall 6:30-8:30 pm on Saturday, March 2.  Pizza will be provided.

Neighbors are encouraged to bring a board game. For more information, call the church office at (325) 675-9922.


Temple Mizpah, 849 Chestnut, will have Shabbat services on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m., led by Dr. Marc Orner. The Women’s Auxiliary will host an Oneg Shabbat following services. For more information call 325-672-8225.


The Key City Winds Artists-In-Residence will present a concert at 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, 602 Meader St.

Guest composer is Chelsea Komschlies, winner of the inaugural Key City Winds Composition Contest. The concert will include music by Hildegard von Bingen, Amy Beach, Yvonne Desportes, and Jennifer Higdon.

The concert is free and childcare will be available. For more information, go to www.heavenlyrestabilene.org or call 677-2091.


Members of Grace United Methodist are looking for ways to be a good neighbor and invite anyone interested to a meeting at the church, 1402 Grape St., at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Police Chief Stan Standridge, City Manager Robert Hanna, and Mayor Anthony Williams have been invited, along with anyone interested in the neighborhood. The church is looking for things it can do to be a good neighbor.

“We feel like there are needs in our area that are going unmet, and we want to help if we can,” a publicity letter states.



Greater Vision will present a free gospel music concert Jan. 24 at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, 701 S. Pioneer Drive.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7. An offering will be taken. Singing News magazine and the Southern Gospel Music Association have named Greater Vision Gospel Music’s favorite trio. The group also has received numerrous honors for Song of the Year, A;lbum of the Year, Video of the Year and Artist of the Year.

One member, Rodney Griffin, has been named Songwriter of the Year every year since 1998 and Favorite Baritone multiple times. Gerald Wolfe has beern named Favorite Male Vocalist seven times.


currie strickland logo


Howard Payne University’s 12th annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics will feature guest speaker Dr. Matthew Kaemingk, assistant professor of Christian ethics and associate dean for Fuller Texas at Fuller Seminary. The lectures, which are free and open to the public, will be held Thursday and Friday, Feb. 7-8.

Admission is free but reservations are requested. For reservations or more information, contact HPU’s School of Christian Studies by e-mail at currie-strickland@hputx.edu or by phone at 325-649-8403.

dr. matthew kaemingkKaemingk will focus on the theme “Muslim Immigration: Following Christ Through the Debate.” Thursday’s lecture, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., is titled “Muslim Immigration and Christ’s Crown.” Friday morning at 10 a.m., Kaemingk will speak on “Muslim Immigration and Christ’s Cross.” Both discussions will take place in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of HPU’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

In addition to his roles at Fuller Seminary, Kaemingk is a scholar-in-residence for the Max De Pree Center for Christian Leadership. He also serves as a fellow for the Center for Public Justice. His research and teaching focus on Islam and political ethics, faith and the workplace, theology and culture, and Reformed public theology. His book on Christian political ethics, titled “Christian Hospitality and Muslim Immigration in an Age of Fear,” was published by Eerdmans in 2018.

From 2013 to 2017, Kaemingk served as executive director of the Fuller Institute for Theology and Northwest Culture in Seattle, Washington. Founding the institute in 2013, he helped to launch three innovative theological initiatives with the help of two major grants from the Murdock Charitable Trust. These new initiatives were designed to equip regional churches to engage the arts, marketplace and culture of the Pacific Northwest.

He earned his master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and holds doctoral degrees in systematic theology from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and in Christian Ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary. In 2011, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to go to Amsterdam to study political theology and the European conflict over Muslim immigration. An ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church, Kaemingk lives in Houston with his wife, Heather, and their three sons, Calvin, Kees and Caedmon.

The Currie-Strickland lecture series is made possible through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Gary Elliston and was established to honor the life of Dr. David R. Currie, retired executive director of Texas Baptists Committed, and the memory of Phil Strickland, who dedicated nearly 40 years of ministry to the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission.


Temple Mizpah, 849 Chestnut, will have Shabbat services at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, led by

Cantor Monica O’Desky. The Women’s Auxiliary will host an Oneg following services. For

more information call 325-672-8225.


On Dec. 30, Saint Luke Orthodox Christian Church, 501 Sunset Drive, will offer the Divine

Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom for the Sunday After the Nativity of Christ at 10 a.m. On

Jan. 6, the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great for the Feast of Theophany (Epiphany)


with the Great Sanctification of Water at will begin at 10 a.m.

Visitors are welcome to attend both services.


ACU’s Department of Music will present its annual Christmas Vespers, “On This Day

Earth Shall Ring,” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at First Baptist Church Abilene. Two hundred

student musicians from the A Cappella Chorus, University Chorale, chamber ensembles,

and the ACU Chamber Orchestra will combine to offer one of the most anticipated

holiday events of the season. Heavenly Rest Parishioner Dr. Jon Camp will serve as one of

the liturgists.


Circle Thursday, Dec. 6, on your calendar. That’s the date of the Christmas Lane Family

Fun Run 5K benefiting the Abilene State Supported Living Center.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $30 per single entry and $65 per family of two adults

and two children under the age of 14. No pets are allowed except service animals.

Prices increase by $5 per category after Nov. 20. For more information, go to

http://www.5kchristmaslanefunrun.org or call 795-3547.

Pre-event packet pickup will be 4-7 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Shirley’s Cinema/Lone Star Coffee

House on the living center grounds, 2501 Maple St.


Temple Mizpah, 849 Chestnut St., will celebrate Hanukkah with a dinner and services on

Friday, Dec. 7.

The dinner will start at 6 p.m., with services to follow at approximately 7 p.m. Cost is $5.

Call 325-572-3037 to make a dinner reservation. Services will be led by Cantor Monica



Aldersgate United Methodist Church is hosting three events in their community garden this fall for church members and the public.

The garden is located at the corner of South 19th and Amarillo streets. A Pumpkin Patch will open at 10 a.m. Oct. 20, a Thanksgiving potluck will be held on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22) and a Community Christmas Tree Lighting will be held Dec. 9.

The Pumpkin Patch will serve as an opportunity for people to take pictures in the spirit of the season. Free popcorn and apple cider will be provided.