Shirer 2

Priscilla Shirer, founder of Going Beyond Ministries, will appear via simulcast April 28 at Southern Hills Church of Christ.

The event will be held 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets, which cost $10, are available at sohillschurch.org/priscilla. Or call 695-8438 for more information.

Shirer will  be speaking live at that time in Florida and Southern Hills will be one of the simulcast sites.  Shirer, a speaker, actress, and author, plays a music teacher in the movie, “I Can Only Imagine,” and was the main actress in the movie, “War Room.” Shirer has written numerous Bible studies, such as “Discerning the Voice of God:” and “The Armor of God.”

According to her website, Shirer holds a master’s degree in biblical studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. For more about her Going Beyond Ministries, go to www.goingbeyond.com.


NicoleJohnsonNicole Johnson will be guest speaker for the Call Her Blessed luncheon benefiting Christian Homes & Family Services. The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Abilene Convention Center. Johnson is the author of “Fresh Brewed Life: A Stirring Invitation to Wake Up Your Soul.” She will speak on “It’s Never Too Late to Wake Up.”

Johnson’s website says, “Her unique ability to blend humor with compassion as she captures the inner-most feelings of women facing life’s daily struggles, has enabled her to create a unique sense of community for women of all ages.” For tables and ticket information, go to christianhomes.com or call 677-2205. Individual tickets are $45.


A protest in support of the National Day of Protest against Planned Parenthood will be held noon-1 p.m. Saturday, April 28, in front of the downtown Post Office.

The local event  will be in conjunction with protests nationally. Local event sponsors are the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of the Abilene Deanery and Abilene Catholic Student Association, with chapters at Abilene Christian, Hardin-Simmons, and McMurry universities and Cisco College. For more information, contact Jim Sulliman,  325-692-4976, Marian B. Boecking, 325-793-2789, or Elyssa Molina, 832-556-3297.


New Beginnings Big Country will hold its annual fundraiser garage sale May 3-5 at 1502 S. Treadaway Blvd. Hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 3-4, and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 5. New Beginnings provides transitional housing for women who have been incarcerated. For more information or to donate items, email newbeginningsabilene@hotmail.com


Loretta Fulton, longtime religion writer for the Abilene Reporter-News and creator and editor of Spirit of Abilene, will be guest speaker for the April 10 meeting of the Abilene Interfaith Council.

LorettaMay2017The meeting, which is open to the public, will begin at noon, at the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, 602 Meander St. Potluck lunch or pizza will be available by donation. Fulton was the religion and higher education writer for the Reporter-News from 1997 to 2004 and continues writing for the newspaper, including for the Spiritual Life section, as a freelance writer.


The following services are scheduled for St. Luke Orthodox Christian Church, 501 Sunset Drive. Orthodox Easter occurs on April 8, one week later than Western Christian observances.

April 1: 9 a.m. Palm Sunday Matins; 10 a.m.Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom for Palm Sunday6 p.m., Bridegroom Matins

April 2: 6 p.m. Holy Monday Bridegroom Matins

4-3: 6 p.m. Holy Tuesday Bridegroom Matins

April 4: 6 p.m. Holy Wednesday Service of Holy Unction

April 5: 6 p.m. Holy Thursday Service of the Twelve Passion Gospels

April 6: 10 a.m. Holy Friday Royal Hours of Holy Friday3:30 p.m. Great Vespers of Holy Friday6 p.m. Matins with Lamentations at the Tomb

April 7: 10 a.m. Holy Saturday Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great for Holy Saturday; 11 p.m. Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom [This is the main service for Orthodox Easter.]

April 8: Noon Pascha (Easter) Agape Vespers


Pulitzer Prize winner Tyehimba Jess will read his poetry at the Lawrence Clayton Poets & Writers Speaker Series on April 6 at Hardin-Simmons University. Jess will hold a question and answer session at 3:30 p.m., a poetry reading at 7:30 p.m. with a reception and book signing to follow. All events are free and open to the public.


Tyehimba Jess

Jess’s book “Olio” was the winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the 2017 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry, and several other awards. The Pulitzer Prize citation called Olio “a distinctive work that melds performance art with the deeper art of poetry to explore collective memory and challenge contemporary notions of race and identity.”

Dr. Robert Fink, the Bond Professor of English and Creative Writing at Hardin-Simmons University, who plans the yearly Lawrence Clayton Poets & Writers Series, praised Jess’s writing and particularly his deep characters,

“Olio, Tyehimba Jess’s uniquely orchestrated Pulitzer-Prize-winning collection of persona poems, introduces us to a cast of reconstructed historical characters who, through Jess’s loving, sensitive depictions, no longer risk caricature, but ‘have depth,’ ‘multiple dimensions,’ ‘multiple sides of their humanity.’* All of these characters—the singers, the artists, the performers, the poets, offer their stories, inviting us to enter their paradoxical, painful and joyful world of displaced, creative individuals celebrating what it means to be human, flawed and beautiful.”

Tyehimba Jess, a Detroit native, currently lives in New York where he is an Associate Professor of English at CUNY College of Staten Island. He has previously taught at the Julliard School and at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His bachelor’s degree is from the University of Chicago, where he studied public policy. His master of fine arts degree is from New York University.

Jess is the poetry and fiction editor of the AAR /African American Review (A Johns Hopkins University Press publication). He is a two-time member of the Chicago Green Mill Slam poetry team, a former artist-in-residence with Cave Canem, Chicago’s Poetry Ambassador to Accra, Ghana, and he exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TEDxNashville Conference.

For more information on Tyehimba Jess or the Lawrence Clayton Poets & Writers Speaker Series, contact Dr. Robert Fink at (325) 670-1214.


New Hope Church, 3122 S. Clack St., will host training April 7-8 for a fall event called reviveTX: Big Country. The fall event will be held Sept. 7-15.

Training will be held 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 7 and 2:30-6:30 p.m. April 8. Saturday’s training consists of worship and vision casting.’

On Sunday, training includes prayer and worship at 2:30 p.m., followed by training at 3, organizing and going out at 3:30 p.m., testimonies and discipleship training at 5:30 p.m. and conclusion at 6:30.

reviveTEXAS:Big Country is a gathering of churches and believers in the Abilene area who desire to see their lives, congregations, and communities revived by embracing Jesus Christ and making disciples. For more information, go to http://www.revivetx.org/about


The Global Regional Interfaith Conference will be held April 21 in the Clarion Grand Park Hotel and Conference Center, 3201 South Loop 289, Lubbock.

Pre-conference events will begin with a sermon and prayer at 2 p.m. April 20 at the Islamic Center of the South Plains, 3419 LaSallle Ave., Lubbock. A tour of the center will begin at 2:50 p.m. Evening prayer will begin at 10 p.m. Congregation Shaareth Israel, 6928 83rd St., will host evening Shabbat services at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, April 21, registration begins at 9 a.m. Opening session will be at 10 a.m., followed by a full day of speakers and interest sessions. The day will conclude with a Unity Celebration at 3:15 p.m.

The opening keynote address will begin at 10:15 a.m., featuring the Rev. Dirk Ficca, International Director, Twin-Cities Social Cohesion Initiative. Ficca has been involved in the global interfaith movement for more than 20 years, including his tenure as executive director of the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Pre-registration fee, due by March 17, is $30. On-site registration will be $40. Both fees include lunch. Pre-registration check can be mailed to Lubbock Interfaith Association, Box 16947, Lubbock, TX 79490.

“A Bird’s-eye and God’s-eye View of Creation: Sandhill Cranes, Whooping Cranes, and the Book of Job” will be the topic of a presentation at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, in Room 308 of the education building at First Baptist Church. Presenter will be Rick Hammer, associate professor of biology and environmental science at Hardin-Simmons University. Beginning Wednesday, March 21, Hammer and Dan Stiver, a professor of theology at HSU, will present a seven-week discussion on faith and science at First Baptist Church.

Josh Niles of Boise, Idaho, a Christian Science Board of Lectureship, will present “The Law of Harmony and Christian Science Healing” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8, at the South Branch of the Abilene Public Library at the Mall of Abilene.


Josh Niles

The talk will focus on universal healing precepts found in the Holy Bible, especially in Jesus’ life and teachings, and show how they are available for anyone to understand and experience. Niles also will introduce concepts from a book that explains the practicality of God’s love to today’s pressing issues: “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science. The presentation is free and open to the public.