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Published: Saturday, 5/24/2008

Offerings

FROM BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

Central United Methodist Church will be moving from its location at 701 West Central Ave. at the end of May and will begin meeting in a renovated theater in Collingwood Presbyterian Church.

Central UM was founded in 1897 and has been at the same inner-city site since 1913.

With membership declining from a peak of 750 in 1925 to about 80 today, Central has been struggling to find ways to continue its ministries in a building that is expensive to maintain, the Rev. Cheri Holdridge, pastor, said.

Rather than closing and moving to the suburbs, the congregation's leaders decided to share space with another inner-city church that is committed to staying in the Old West End.

Tabernacle of Faith, whose Detroit Avenue building was destroyed by fire in January, 2007, will be handed the keys to Central's building.

The final service for Central UM in its West Central Avenue site will be at 10:40 a.m. tomorrow, and its first public service in Lincoln Hall at Collingwood Presbyterian Church, 2108 Collingwood Blvd., will be at 10:45 a.m. June 1.

A workshop to help churches establish "small faith groups" for men will be held May 31 from 9 a.m. to noon at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 8330 Lewis Ave., Temperance.

Organizers say these small faith groups help men discuss the problems they face, talk openly with each other, and feel secure in knowing that their conversations will not be discussed outside the group.

The organizational workshop will be divided into three sessions: The Vision and Spirituality of Men's Groups, Foundational Commitments, and Leadership and Moving Forward.

A $5 donation per person is asked to cover expenses. Reservations are available by calling Tadhg Farrell, 419-478-7667, or Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 734-847-2805.

Recording artist Ron Moore will be featured in "An Evening of Worship, Music, Humor, and Conversation" at 7 p.m. Friday at St. George Orthodox Cathedral in Rossford.

Mr. Moore's poetic sensibility and broad worldview were fostered by growing up as a missionary's kid in Korea. He has recorded 13 albums and performed throughout the United States and around the world, including Bulgaria, Korea, and Ecuador.

The evening will start with Great Vespers at 6 p.m. followed by Moore's concert, after which a question and answer session, with refreshments, is scheduled in the fellowship hall of the cathedral, 738 Glenwood Rd., Rossford. Information: 419-662-3922.

Sister June Marshall, a Toledo native and member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate in Joliet, Ill., will celebrate her 50th anniversary jubilee as a nun next month.

The daughter of the late Eleanore and Joseph Marshall, Sister June enterted the Joliet Franciscans from her home parish of Immaculate Conception, Toledo, in 1951.

She attended Immaculate Conception School and Central Catholic High School in Toledo before entering St. Francis Academy in Joliet as an aspirant, where she earned a bachelor's degree.

She lives and volunteers at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home in Joliet.

PITTSBURGH - A religious group plans to distribute 250,000 Pittsburgh-themed copies of the New Testament in advertising pouches delivered with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper.

CityReachers Pittsburgh, a program of the International Bible Society in Colorado Springs, Colo., is set to send the books Sept. 7 subscribers in Allegheny County and some border communities. The Post-Gazette is owned by Block Communications, Inc., which also owns The Blade.

The IBS has delivered custom-designed Bibles to newspaper subscribers in several other cities across the country. Last month, it distributed 140,000 copies in the Philadelphia area.

In Pittsburgh, the New Testament copies will have a front cover showing the city's Golden Triangle, where the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers form the Ohio River, and a photograph of Steelers football players kneeling in prayer on the back cover.

So far, the organization has raised just $350,000 of the $625,000 needed to distribute the publications. It has until May 31 to raise the remaining money to meet a printing deadline.

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia is aiming to become a worldwide hub for food and other products prepared according to Islamic religious rules by offering new tax exemptions to investors in the industry, the prime minister said.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced the plan at the recent World Halal Forum.

A halal designation means a product complies with Islamic principles of hygiene and humane treatment of animals, along with other rules involving production.

The government is seeking growth in halal processed foods, cosmetics and personal care, pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, livestock, and meat products, he said. State-backed halal industry parks have been set up in key states to help investors.

Mr. Abdullah said worldwide halal trading in products and services was already estimated to be in the trillions of U.S. dollars and has significant growth potential.

Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud of eastern Sarawak state told reporters that Taiwanese and Middle East investors have proposed investing $436 million in the East Malaysian Halal Park.

The park, which is among four halal parks nationwide, focuses on prawn, eel and marine fish farming, poultry, agriculture and processing industries.



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