'The Bus' presented
YOUNGSTOWN -- The drama department of the Bethel Church of God in Christ, 3147 Glenwood Ave., will present "The Bus," a black history play directed by Minister Guy Barney of True Vine Ministry, Sunday at 6 p.m. The public is invited. For more information, call (330) 783-3433.
World Day of Prayer
COLUMBIANA -- St. Jude Parish, 180 Seventh St., will host a World Day of Prayer ecumenical service at 1 p.m. Friday in the sanctuary. The theme of the reflective program, "Let our Light Shine," is designed to encourage all to share their talents and gifts and be a light to the world as Jesus Christ was to the world. The World Day of Prayer is in an ecumenical service sponsored by Church Women United, a movement reaching 25 million Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and other Christian women in the United States and Puerto Rico. For more information, call the church at (330) 482-2351 or Ruth Mitchell at (330) 482-2839.
Singers to perform
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Wade Raridon Singers will perform classical and traditional music of the Lenten and spring season at Christ Church Presbyterian, 1933 Canfield Road, at 3 p.m. March 6. Raridon, a retired professor of music at Youngstown State University and the former longtime choir director at Christ Church, is the founder of the group. Many members of the Wade Raridon Singers are also former members of the YSU Dana Madrigal Singers and Dana Chorale, which have performed around the nation and abroad. One of the two accompanists of the group, Sarah Phillips, is a former organist of the church. There is no admission charge for the concert, but a free-will offering will be received. For more information, call (330) 782-2611.
Children's fair planned
LIBERTY -- Church Hill United Methodist Church at 189 Churchill-Hubbard Road is holding its annual Children's Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 5. A reasonably priced lunch menu includes pizza, hot dogs, chips, brownies and a beverage. Please call the church at (330) 759-0118 for information.
Evangelist to speak
YOUNGSTOWN -- Greater Mount Zion Pentecostal Church will be hosting a revival at 7 p.m. March 9-11 at Mount Olive FBH Church, 124 W. Marion Ave. The revival will be conducted by evangelist Teresa Calvin of Buffalo, N.Y. For more information, call (330) 782-5074 or (330) 788-6074.
Reflections on Christ
McDONALD -- Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 618 Ohio Ave., will host an evening of reflection on "The Hard Teachings of Christ," from the gospel of Matthew, presented by the Rev. James Walker, from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Refreshments will be served in the church after the session.
Synagogue offers $150to those who take classes
MILWAUKEE -- An Orthodox synagogue is offering $150 to young Jewish adults to take classes about Judaism.
The money was promised to nine students who signed up for Lake Park Synagogue's "Learn, Earn, and Lead" program if they attend five Friday night sessions.
It includes the regular Shabbat, or Sabbath, service in the sanctuary, a dinner and a discussion and guest speaker on topics like spirituality in the Sabbath observance, meaningful Jewish prayer, atheism and what happens after death.
David Ostrow, 18, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee freshman who grew up in Israel and moved to the area two years ago, said the stipend didn't persuade him to participate.
"I'd do it anyway," said Ostrow, who attended an Orthodox school in Israel and observes the full Sabbath, from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. "I live around here and so, since I keep Shabbos, it wasn't a big deal for me to walk there."
But, without the stipend, "I wouldn't feel as obligated to stay through the whole thing," he said.
Offering money to attend religious education or services is part of a trend in which Orthodox Jewish religious leaders and educators liken the payments to scholarships. They are striving to deepen knowledge, answer questions, explore issues, and counter the loss of religious and cultural identity that causes young Jews to assimilate into the general culture.
Iowa challenges group
DES MOINES, Iowa -- The state is seeking to overturn a 1974 federal court ruling that gave formal religious status to a prison group that officials say is nothing more than a front for a white-supremacist group.
Iowa attorneys have filed court papers seeking to revisit whether the Church of the New Song deserves constitutional protection as a religion.
State lawyers, citing evidence that has not yet been made public, contend that the prison religion is a security threat and that "regular meetings of CONS have been used to plan bad acts, including assaults."
Patrick Ingram, an Iowa City attorney appointed to represent the prisoners, said state authorities "can't point to anything and say, 'This is that part that's white supremacist."'
Vindicator staff/wire reports