The next Cafe Conversation will be held 7-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, at Mezamiz Coffeehouse. South Seventh and Leggett streets.

Topic will be religious experience and conversion. Sample questions include “What counts for religious experience?” “Are there different types of religious experience according to different traditions?” and “Is religious experience required for being religious?”

Cafe conversations are a spinoff of the Abilene Interfaith Council. Everyone is invited to the free discussions. Meetings are held once a month.


New Beginnings-Big Country will hosts its annual fundraising luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 6 in Hunter Welcome Center at Abilene Christian University.
Various levels of sponsorship are available.
“Hear how God is transforming lives,” Missy Denard, executive director, said in the NB-BC newsletter. “We will have personal testimonies of how God has released women from the bondage of drugs, alcohol, and abusive situations.”
For more information or to volunteer to help, call Becky Nail at 325-668-0026 or email her at beckynail@aol.com


Scott Dettra, former principal organist at the Washington National Cathedral, will present a concert at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, at the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, 602 Meander.


Scott Dettra

The public is invited to the free concert. The concert is part of the church’s Chamber Music Concert Series. Dettra is one of the leading American concert organists of his generation. He combines an active performance schedule with his post as director of music and organist at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas.

Dettra’s playing is known for its poetry, rhythmic intensity, and musical elegance, and has been widely acclaimed. Of his solo recital at the 2014 national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Boston, The American Organist described it as “music making of absolute authority and sophisticated expression, one of the week’s high points.”

Among Dettra’s performance venues are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Houston, San Diego, Phoenix, Kansas City, Barbados, Canada, and Germany.

For more information, go to www.heavenlyrestabilene.org or call 677-2091.–Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest news release


By Grace Mitchell, Hardin-Simmons University staff writer

The annual George Knight Lectures will be held at Logsdon School of Theology Oct. 16-17. This year’s topic is “Themes from the Gospel of John” by Dr. R. Alan Culpepper.

The first lecture, titled “Creation Ethics in the Gospel of John,” will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, in Logsdon Chapel, followed by a reception. On Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 9:30 a.m., Culpepper will be holding a dialogue in the Logsdon reception room.


Alan Culpepper

Lunch will be served at noon in the Johnson Building Multipurpose room,  followed by the second lecture: “The Knowledge of God: Prophetic Vision and Johannine Theme” at 12:45 p.m.

Culpepper served as dean of the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University in Georgia from its founding in 1994 until 2015. He received a bachelor of arts degree in 1967 from Baylor University, his master of divinity degree in 1970 from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his doctorate in 1974 from Duke University.

Before going to McAfee, Culpepper taught in the Religion Department at Baylor University. In addition to administrative work, he teaches one course each semester at McAfee, a New Testament elective in the fall and the Capstone course in the spring.

Outside of life at McAfee,  Culpepper is the New Testament editor for the Smyth and Helwys Bible Commentary and for the Biblical Interpretation Series published by E.J. Brill, and is on the editorial board from the Library of New Testament Studies. He has published nine books and several articles, curricula, and book reviews, including “Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel,” “John the Son of Zebedee,” The Gospel of Luke in “The New Interpreters’ Bible,” and Mark in the Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary. His next commentary project will be Matthew for the New Testament Library published by Westminster John Knox.

In addition, Culpepper is a member of the Society for New Testament Studies, is a member of Smoke Rise Baptist Church, and enjoys sailing the 19-foot sailboat that he built.

The George Knight Lectures are held annually in the fall and bring to campus noted biblical scholars to address themes promoting biblical scholarship in the church.

Dr. George W. Knight came to Hardin-Simmons University in 1976 from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he had served as instructor of New Testament and Greek. He was subsequently appointed as the first Cook-Derrick Chair of Bible and Greek at HSU. Knight retired from the HSU faculty in 2002.



Anton Vrame

Abilene Christian University is hosting two forums are open to the public, one on Oct. 12 and the other on Nov. 14.
Both forums are free and open to the public. Both will be held 4-5:30 p.m. in the Chapel on the Hill in the Biblical Studies Building at ACU. A reception will follow both presentations.
The first forum, set for Thursday, Oct. 12, is titled, “What Makes Us Orthodox” by Rev. Dr. Anton Vrame, director of the Department of Religious Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Following his presentation, Vrame will interact with Doug Foster, director of the Center for Restoration Studies and professor of church history in ACU’s Graduate School of Theology, and then the audience, about the core identifying beliefs, practices, and characteristics that identify an individual or community as “Greek Orthodox.”
He will also address how Orthodoxy in America is changing and how other Christian traditions might learn from the ways Orthodox Christians are seeking to maintain a healthy Orthodox identity.
The second event, on Nov. 14, is a conversation between John Armstrong, an ecumenist and historian, and Ryan Rojo, parochial vicar of the Cathedral Church of the Sacred Heart in San Angelo.
Armstrong was involved in the production of the new documentary about the Protestant Reformation, “This Changed Everything.”
Foster will give a response and the audience will be invited to interact.–Abilene Christian University news release


Episcopalians from the Diocese of Northwest Texas will hold their annual conference in Abilene Oct. 12-14.
Events will be held at the Church of the Heavenly Rest, 602 Meander St., and at the Abilene Convention Center, 1100 N. Sixth St. Bishop Scott Mayer, former longtime rector of Heavenly Rest, will preside.
The conference will begin with Evensong at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at Heavenly Rest. Theme for the conference will be “I Love To Tell the Story,” with professional storyteller Kathy Culmer, as guest speaker.
Opening session will begin at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at the Convention Center. Business meetings and programs will be held throughout the day. A social hour will begin at 6 p.m. at the church, followed by dinner, music, and dancing.
The convention will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Convention Center and will conclude at noon.



A global Catholic initiative called “Share the Journey” kicks off Sept. 27, including a Mass at Holy Family Catholic Church, 5410 Buffalo Gap Road.

Pope Francis will announce the campaign and Catholics around the world will join in.

“Together, you and Pope Francis can lead the world in helping migrants and refugees,” a promotional flier says.

The program at Holy Family will begin at 7 p.m. Bishop Michael Sis of the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo will open the service with a presentation and explanation of “Share the Journey.”

The service also will include scripture readings, an international rosary with the first part of the Hail Mary said in different languages and the second part in English, and a Marian hymn for the procession.

A reception in the parish hall will following the service. Ballet Folklorico from St. Vincent Pallotti Catholic Church in Abilene, will perform during the reception.

The church has refugees attending from Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, and Nigeria. Members also are natives of the Philippines and Mexico.

The launch on Sept. 27 is sponsored by the Vatican, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Caritas International, a global confederation of 165 national development agencies. After the official launch on Sept. 27, “Share the Journey” will continue with a week of prayer and action across the United States, Oct. 7-13; Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec. 12; International Migrants Day, Dec. 18; and National Migration Week, Jan. 1-13. Other events will be scheduled throughout the two-year “journey,” which ends in September 2019.

For more information, go to https://justiceforimmigrants.org/caritas-share-the-journey-campaign/





Thrift House, a clothing ministry of the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, will celebrate 65 years of service with a customer appreciation day Sept. 14.

Thrift House, 761 Walnut St., actually opened on Sept. 15, 1952, but the ladies who run the store selected a Thursday for the celebration, which will feature ice cream, cake, and other refreshments all day, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Regular store hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and if enough volunteers are available, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Thrift House opened in a two-story house on South First Street in 1952 and moved to its present location in 1954. Since then, the store size has doubled. Fresh paint and new lighting make it a sparkling, fun place to shop for bargains in clothing, jewelry, furniture, home decor, and more. For more information, go to www.heavenlyrestabilene.org or see the Thrift House page on Facebook.


American Heritage Girls help serve ice cream at Lytle South Baptist Church during a recent signup social. Lytle South Baptist Church


Beginning this fall, Lytle South Baptist Church, 1125 E. Industrial Blvd., will be sponsoring chapters of American Heritage Girls and Trial Life USA (boys) at the church. Membership is open to children in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Their families do not have to be members of Lytle South, said the pastor, Rodney Watson. The groups will meet simultaneously at the church on Friday nights during the school year.

Watson said he was approached about the church sponsoring the two groups by members of chapters that were meeting in a church in Tye. They were looking for a church in the city, he said.

“The church voted unanimously to go ahead and charter them and be their sponsor,” Watson said.

The church has never sponsored a Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop but has allowed Cub Scouts to meet at the church in the past, Watson said. If a Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop wanted to meet at the church, their leader would need to approach the church, like the American Heritage Girls and Trail Life USA leaders did, Watson said. A decision would be made on a case-by-case basis.

The decision to sponsor American Heritage Girls and Trail Life USA chapters, Watson said, had nothing to do with policies of the national Boy Scouts concerning sexuality issues. Some people have expressed unhappiness, and even left the Boy Scouts, over the national policies.

According to promotional material, American Heritage Girl and Trail Life USA are “the premier Christ-centered character, leadership, and adventure organizations for girls and boys.” For more information, call the church, 695-6533. Girls’ leader is Amy Songer, 714-504-6629. Boys’ leader is Nick Early, 817-909-6258.


Omer Hancock, a retired Hardin-Simmons University religion professor, is leading GriefShare at his church, Pioneer Drive Baptist, 701 S. Pioneer Drive, on Tuesdays through Nov. 14

Classes will be held 6-8 p.m. Cost is $15, which covers the cost of a workbook for the sessions. The classes are for adult men and women who have lost a loved one to death, Hancock said. They are open to anyone, not just members of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church.

The first session was held Aug. 22, but people can come and go at any time, Hancock said.  Enter the church on the north side. Classes are in Room. 114. For more information or to register, call the church at 692-6776.