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Published: Saturday, 8/11/2001

Murdock to sing at benefit for adoptions

BLADE STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

Shirley Murdock, gospel vocal star and former Toledoan who recorded the 1986 mainstream hit song “As We Lay,” will be the featured entertainer at the Adoption Gospel Extravaganza, 7 p.m. Aug. 18 at Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church, 1401 Hoag St.

The event, sponsored by Lucas County Children Services, will also include performances by LaShun Pace, Tim Bowman, Chris Jones and the Word of Praise, Chris Byrd and the Upton United Methodist Choir, and more.

Admission is free and the goal is to recruit adoptive families for 75 children awaiting a permanent home. Information: 213-3336.

A group of churches in Fort Wayne, Ind., will present a series of sermons on Jesus in response to a college play production that features a gay, Christ-like figure.

Pastors say the sermons will address questions such as “Who is Jesus?” and “What has he done for me?”

“Rather than being anti-anything, I just want to be pro-Jesus,” said Jim Pearson, senior pastor at Brookside Community Church. “It's important as Christians that we regularly revisit what we believe.”

A student production of the play Corpus Christi is scheduled for six performances beginning Friday at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Corpus Christi, by Terrence McNally, is about growing up gay in a Texas Gulf Coast town. It features a homosexual Christ-like figure named Joshua and 12 other male characters, most of whom bear the names of Christ's disciples.

Singers and songwriters have joined others in the entertainment industry to launch a Web site tribute to Billy Graham.

The site, “Thank You Billy Graham,” was created last month. It grew from an effort by actor and singer Pat Boone to honor the aging evangelist as he handed leadership of his ministry to his son, Franklin Graham.

Mr. Boone and David Pack, a producer and writer from the band Ambrosia, co-wrote a song called “Thank You Billy Graham,” which was recorded by country singer Billy Dean last year.

The Web site, which includes videos of singers Faith Hill and Bono, expands the tribute, asking supporters to send an e-mail to the 82-year-old Graham thanking him for his work.

The entertainers now plan to release a CD and video, and organize related events, then donate the proceeds to the international relief organizations Samaritan's Purse and Mercy Corps.

A fellowship of churches in more than 100 countries is exploring ways to protect Palestinian Christians and ease Mideast violence.

Two or three Palestinian Christian families leave the West Bank, Gaza, and east Jerusalem each week because of the fighting there, the World Council of Churches estimates.

Palestinian Christians, always a minority, now comprise barely 2 percent of the roughly 3 million Palestinians in the territories, according to Palestinian experts.



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