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Across the nation: From military service to Christian service, retreat draws fam

Military personnel and families gather in early July at the first U.S. AMEN (American Military Evangelizing Nations) Ministry and Chaplains Family Retreat in Spruce Pine, N.C. Several participants had returned recently from Iraq. The retreat was co-sponsored by the AMEN Ministry of the White’s Ferry Road church, West Monroe, La., and the Chaplains Ministry of the Fairfax, Va., church.

To help keep boys and men ages 12 to 25 off the streets and out of trouble, the Northside church sponsored an eight-week Night Basketball League this summer.
Besides the chance to shoot hoops, each person signing up for the league was required to attend workshops on conflict resolution, self-discipline and taking responsibility.
“Here at Northside we have witnessed serious things in our community,” church youth director Philip Mobley told The Florida Times-Union. “We’ve had tragedy happen in our family.” The basketball league was the church’s way of doing something about it, he said.


The Campus church helps fill the void for hungry children when school is out, offering free lunches through its Project Kids Eat. “The program isn’t some ruse to proselytize or pad church rolls,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “A Scripture that’s placed in each sack lunch is as preachy as it gets.”


The winning bid: $750.
That’s how much Steve Shaner paid to throw out the first pitch at a recent Chicago Cubs game.
The diehard Cubs fan was happy to do it. Not only did he get to step foot on his beloved Wrigley Field, the Cubs donated the money to Shults-Lewis Child & Family Services, a Church of Christ ministry in Valparaiso, Ind. Shaner, who does public relations work for Shults-Lewis, is a member of the Naperville, Ill., church.


The first two episodes of a series called The Church were filmed recently at the Westminister church after the congregation agreed to let director Robert Christie use its facilities.
Keith Ward, who created the series and wrote the scripts, established a production company to film the show about a church in a typical American city. He hopes to sell it online and maybe later move to a network. The Carroll County Times featured the project in a Page 1 story.
“It’s turning out to be a much bigger deal than we thought it would be,” Westminster minister Gary Pearson said.


The 70-member Endwell church began handing out food and cleanup kits to flood victims July 2, member Dave Halligan said. The congregation began the distribution after receiving a shipment from Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort, based in Nashville, Tenn.
Volunteers with a separate organization, the Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team, sponsored by the Somerset, Ohio, church, also worked to help flood victims.


May the Force be with you.
Make that, “May the Spirit be with you.”
More than 250 volunteers transformed the Quail Springs church into a scene out of Star Wars for a Vacation Bible School based on the popular sci-fi movie series.
“We’ve learned how this thing they call the Spirit is even stronger than the force,” Luke Skywalker told the hundreds of young people one evening. The VBS theme was based on 2 Corinthians 13:14: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Weekly attendance at the Southwest church has increased to about 850. That’s up from 650 when the congregation moved into its new auditorium a year and a half ago, church leaders said.

A judge July 7 gave Mary Winkler — the minister’s wife charged with slaying her husband — a chance to get out of jail until her scheduled Oct. 30 trial. In a written order, Judge Weber McCraw of McNairy County Circuit Court set bond for the 32-year-old mother of three at $750,000. However, her attorneys asked the judge July 14 to reduce that amount to a $300,000 property bond. No decision had been announced at press time. Winkler has been jailed since her March 23 arrest in the shooting death the previous day of Matthew Winkler, 31, minister of the Fourth Street church.
In a statement given to authorities, Mary Winkler said the couple argued about finances the night before the shooting. Fourth Street members have consistently and publicly supported Mary Winkler since their minister’s slaying. Many have visited Winkler or sent personal items -— including a study Bible -— to the McNairy County Jail.


Sixty-nine campaigners from the Northwest church, Lawton, Okla., and local church members knocked every door in Sherman in a recent campaign.
The “Back to the Bible Campaign” in this city of about 35,000 resulted in 23 baptisms and five restorations, Northwest minister Monte Ginnings said.
2-6    Woodlawn Forrest Church of Christ, Valdosta, Ga.
Honoring Leroy Butler  Jr. for his 25 years of service as minister with an Aug. 5 banquet.  Call (229) 242-7628.

5-6    Westside Church of Christ,  Fort Dodge, Iowa.
50th Anniversary. Call (515) 576-0798.
August 1, 2006

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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