PITTSBURGH - State House officials say they have been inundated with protests about a policy that barred a clergyman from using the word "Jesus" in a prayer that was to open one of the lawmakers' daily sessions.
The Rev. Gerry Stoltzfoos, of the Freedom Valley Worship Center in Gettysburg, had planned to end his recent prayer with "In Jesus' name, Amen." Under the policy then in effect, he was asked by House Speaker Keith McCall's office to submit the planned prayer in writing and to make sure it was nondenominational.
He said he decided not to say the prayer at all rather than omit the name of Jesus.
House officials say use of "God" or "Father" is permissible, but they do not want mentions of specific religious figures such as Jesus, Muhammad, or Buddha.
A Polka Mass will be celebrated at 4 p.m. today at All Saints Catholic Church, 628 Lime City Rd., Rossford.
The polka band, which consists of parishioners, features seven accordionists plus clarinet, drums, and piano.
The group began after All Saints' pastor, the Rev. Kent Kaufman, began taking accordion lessons and invited novice and skilled "squeezebox" players to join him at practice sessions.
The polka band will be making its debut during the All Saints Parish Festival.
"The American Mission," a four-week class using material compiled by Dave Zanotti and the American Policy Roundtable, will be taught at 7 Monday nights beginning Aug. 10 at Calvary Assembly of God, 5025 Glendale Ave.
The course will include studies of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and the Judeo-Christian principles on which the nation was founded.
For information or registration contact Cher Goeder at 419-381-0254, ext. 315, or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship will hold its State of Ohio Conference 2009 Thursday through Aug. 1 at Friendship Baptist Church, 5301 Nebraska Ave.
Speakers will include Bishop Simon Gordon at 7 p.m. Thursday and Bishop Edword Cook at 7 p.m. Friday.
Bishop Duance Tisdale, pastor of Friendship Baptist, will speak at 11 a.m. Aug. 1.
In addition, the church will hold an Evangelism Ministry Community Awareness Day from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the church. Information: 419-531-3242.
Toledo's African-American community is being asked to contribute blood during a blood drive set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 1 at Friendship Baptist Church, 5301 Nebraska Ave.
The American Red Cross is teaming with the NAACP, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, and the A. Philip Randolph Institute to collect blood and raise awareness of the need for blood supplies in the African-American community.
Information and appointments are available by calling the Red Cross at 1-800-448-3453 or online at givelife.org.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has voted to continue work on the English translation of the new Roman Missal for use in the United States.
The bishops approved four liturgical item actions for the translations of the Order of Mass II; the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions; the rituals for the Votive Masses and Masses for the Dead; and the text for Ritual Masses.
"This vote marks a steady and sure movement toward the translation of the Roman Missal," said Msgr. Anthony Sherman, executive director of the Secretariat for Divine Worship.
Further reviews are scheduled in the fall.
Former Detroit Tigers slugger Willie Horton will be among the speakers who talk about their faith at Home Plate 2009, starting at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at Fifth Third Field.
Also scheduled for the program, which is sponsored by the YES-FM Christian radio (89.3) are Mud Hens players Mike Hessman, Don Kelly, Brent Clvelen, Jeff Larrish, and Eddie Bonine.
Tickets are $14 and include seats for the 6:30 p.m. game against the Buffalo Bisons, with fireworks after the ballgame. Information: mudhens.com/homeplate or 419-389-0893.
Metaphysical Matters Workshop will feature free spiritual teachings by Luanna Myers, Kimmie Rose Zapf and Sharon Kay, Steven Glasgow, and John Miller from 3 to 8:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Bedford Library, 8575 Jackman Rd., Temperance, Mich.
The workshop, sponsored by Toledo Lightworkers Co-op, will cover such topics as applying Chi energy in a positive way; core health healing; DNA implantation; the spiritual dimensions of peace, and discovering past lives.
Information is available by calling 734-888-2600 or by email, email@example.com.
HARRISONBURG, Va. - A business group that floated the idea of preventing churches from moving into a three-block stretch of the town of Broadway's Main Street has been told such a proposal would be illegal.
Some merchants worried about the impact of churches among storefronts, so they asked the Town Council to look into a ban on houses of worship in their retail area. They said more churches could put a crimp on commerce.
Many residents disagreed. Some were concerned the restriction might be sacrilegious, or at least be perceived as such.
Town Manager Kyle O'Brien said attorneys advised him it would be illegal under federal law. He cited the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
SALT LAKE CITY - Mormons struggling with doubt or disaffection can find themselves with a difficult choice: Stay in the church or abandon the faith?
Now, they can go online for advice from a community of Mormons who at some point have suffered a personal crisis of faith, teetered on the edge of quitting, and then found a way to remain active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"You are not alone," an introduction page at StayLDS.com reads. "We are here to listen and offer advice. We openly discuss problems in history, doctrine, practice, and culture. We also openly discuss solutions that have helped people in the community reconcile themselves, and find a new, personal path of active faith within our rich LDS tradition."
The Web site is not sanctioned or endorsed by Mormon church, nor is it staffed by experts in religion, psychology, or communications. Instead it's run by and used by Latter-day Saints trying to provide comfort and support for the disillusioned.