A FAREWELL RECEPTION FOR SUSAN PAYNE
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.
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 LEADER SUMMIT
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, firstname.lastname@example.org or 692-6776
STRONGER FAMILIES WORKSHOP
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 HYMN SING
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.
ECOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY
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.”
ENCOUNTERING PEOPLE WITH CHALLENGING BEHAVIOR
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 TOPIC OF INTERFAITH MEETING
“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.
UPCOMING SERVICES AT ST. LUKE ORTHODOX
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
AN HOUR OF PRAYER
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.”
ICAN TO HONOR HEROES AT LUNCHEON
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.
PUBLIC INVITED TO HSU AND McM LECTURES
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.
T.B. MASTON LECTURES IN CHRISTIAN ETHICS
Brian 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.
Guest 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.
IRC COMMUNITY CONFERENCE
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, email@example.com, to register or for more information. An overview of IRC services in Abilene will begin at 8:30 a.m.
INTERFAITH COUNCIL EXPLORES BURIAL TRADITIONS
“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.
‘AWAKENING’ SERVICE AT THE MILL
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.
UPCOMING SERVICES AT ST. LUKE ORTHODOX
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 TO PERFORM AT ROUND TABLE LUNCHEON
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
PURIM AND SHABBAT AT TEMPLE MIZPAH
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.
GAME NIGHT AT SAINT LUKE
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 HOSTING SHABBAT
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.
CHURCH HOSTING CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT
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.
GRACE UMC REACHING OUT TO NEIGHBORS
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 IN CONCERT AT PIONEER DRIVE BAPTIST
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.
MUSLIM IMMIGRATION THEME OF HPU LECTURES
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 email@example.com or by phone at 325-649-8403.
Kaemingk 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.
SHABBAT SERVICE JAN. 11 AT TEMPLE MIZPAH
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.
SERVICES SET AT ST. LUKE ORTHODOX
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 PRESENTS CHRISTMAS VESPERS AT FIRST BAPTIST
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
CHRISTMAS LANE FAMILY FUN RUN
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.
HANUKKAH SERVICES AT TEMPLE MIZPAH
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
FUN IN THE ALDERSGATE COMMUNITY GARDEN
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.