Centennial today and Sunday
Augsburg Lutheran Church will not age before its time. Last week's article on the church's 100th anniversary got the celebration dates wrong. The big event is this weekend, with a dinner today at 6 p.m. at the church, 1342 W. Sylvania Ave. The Sunday service will be held at 10:30 a.m. along with the congregations of Bethany and Reformation Lutheran churches, and the three churches' choirs combined, worshiping at Augsburg.
Organizing faith for equality
Equality Ohio has named Suzanne Ujvagi its first full-time faith organizer. She started Feb. 1 and will be responsible for building support within faith communities for the Equal Housing and Fair Employment Act, which would bar discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy is based in Columbus, but Ms. Ujvagi will work in Toledo. The daughter of former Toledo state representative Peter Ujvagi, now chief of public policy and legislative affairs for the Lucas County Board of Commissioners, she grew up in Birmingham in East Toledo. She is returning to Ohio after living in New York City for the past five years while earning master's degrees in divinity from Union Theological Seminary, and in social work from Hunter College.
Putting the fun in funeral
Stealing Home, a family-friendly comic play by Pat Cook, is being staged by Theater-for-the-World and the Waterville United Methodist Church for three shows on Friday, March 1, and March 2 at the church, 102 N. Fifth St., Waterville. The Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday matinee is at 1:30 p.m. The play is set in a funeral home and features con men, eccentric characters in the burial business, police, and questions about family ties. Listen for accents and one-liners. No admission will be charged. However, a freewill offering will be collected, and theatergoers may also bring canned goods and other nonperishable items for donation at the door. Fifteen percent of the cash donations will go to the church's fund to dig a well in Africa, and the rest of the money and donated items will help three local food pantries. This is the ninth co-production of the church and Theater-for-the-World; previous plays have brought in a total of about $18,000 and almost 700 bags of groceries.
Snake-handler dies from bite
Pastor Jamie Coots, 42, a snake-handling preacher from Kentucky on the National Geographic Channel reality show Snake Salvation, died after being bitten by a venomous serpent during a church service Feb. 15. His family reported that he refused medical attention. Pastor Coots' unfaltering dedication to his faith was often tested by health and legal risks. National Geographic Channel aired a special episode of Snake Salvation on Pastor Coots' life, titled “Going Home,” on Feb. 20. It will repeat Thursday at 6 p.m.
Nun sentenced for peace protest
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — An 84-year-old nun has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for breaking into and defacing a storage bunker holding bomb-grade uranium in a peace protest at a Tennessee weapons plant. Sister Megan Rice was sentenced Tuesday along with two men who were each sentenced to more than five years in prison. The three activists cut through three fences on July 28, 2012, and reached a storage bunker that holds the nation’s primary supply of bomb-grade uranium. They painted messages, hung banners, and threw blood on the bunker wall. While officials claimed there was never any danger of the protesters reaching materials that could be detonated or used to assemble a dirty bomb, the break-in raised serious questions about security.