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Across the Nation, May 2011

SEARCY — In 2007, David Mathews, pulpit minister of the Downtown Church of Christ, and his wife, Debbie, were heartbroken as they watched their son Adam and his wife, Rebekka, grieve the loss of their newborn son, Josiah.
Having spent 35 years in ministry working with those in crisis, the Mathews were determined to find a way to help.
They have teamed up with a Houston businessman, Roger Thiltgen and his wife, Sarah, to create The Spark of Life Foundation, designed to instill hope after loss.
For more details, see www.sparkoflife.org.

PALO ALTO — The Palo Alto Church of Christ recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, capping five decades that saw it overcome a devastating fire and other challenges, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
The church wrapped up its monthlong “Jubilee” celebration with a sermon by former minister Les Bennett on “Trusting God with the Future” and a potluck lunch.

HOLLYWOOD — The Pembroke Park Church of Christ is enjoying spiritual and physical growth, leaders said.
The congregation has added more than 150 converts in the past year, said Larry Barnard, who works with the church’s benevolence, education and finance ministries.
“We are in the middle of a multi-million-dollar building campaign and are very active in our community,” Barnard said.

COUNCIL BLUFFS — “Keep the Son in Your Eyes” served as the theme of a recent youth rally hosted by the Council Bluffs Church of Christ.
Despite snow and poor road conditions, 70 teens plus sponsors participated, Council Bluffs elder Bill Leinen said.
Youth groups from Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska attended. Terry Seufferlein, minister of the Central Church of Christ in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, spoke. Carson Tuttle, a sophomore at York College in Nebraska, led singing.

OLIVE BRANCH — For the roughly 180 people at the Friendship Church of Christ on a recent Sunday, the worship assembly was a little different.
The congregation sang, praised God and partook of the Lord’s Supper, as usual. But rather than listen to stories of Jesus Christ’s goodwill, members took to the streets to spread their own, The Commercial Appeal reported.
“The whole purpose was to serve without any ulterior motives,” preaching minister Daniel Overton said of the “We Are the Sermon” program.

KIRKSVILLE — Young people at the Kirksville Church of Christ put on a weekly radio show.
“The Ekklesia A Cappella Hour” airs from 8 to 9 a.m. Sundays on the campus radio station at Truman State University, church elder Barry Poyner said.
“They mix Scripture reading with songs and make announcements for our church and our campus ministry,” Poyner said.
Youths involved with the show include Landon Anderson, Aaron Kusmic, Emily Mahnken and Cole Poyner.

HEREFORD — Who will be the 2012 Republican nominee for president?
Sarah Palin? Mitt Romney? Newt Gingrich? How about Jared Blankenship, a deacon and Bible class teacher at the Central Church of Christ in Hereford?
The 1993 graduate of Abilene Christian University in Texas has declared his candidacy for president. He outlines his reasons on his website at www.jaredblankenship.com.
“Many will ask why a former schoolteacher and unknown farmer from Texas would run for president,” he says on a YouTube video. “Perhaps the better question is, why are more Americans not standing in line to do so?”

SEATTLE — Churches of Christ in the Pacific Northwest are fewer and farther between than in the Bible Belt.
The Legacy Conference 2011 aims to bring together women and girls in that region. It’s scheduled for July 29-31.
“This promises to be an amazing conference for women and girls in Churches of Christ in the Northwest and is already bringing women together from all over … to work in planning,” said Nancy McLean, who served on the steering committee until recently moving to York, Neb.
The conference, under the oversight of the Holgate Street Church of Christ in Seattle, is directed by LaConya Maxwell.
For more information, see legacyconferencenw.com.

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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