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Across the nation: Pssst!

What’s the big secret? Ryan Theis struggles to find out – and to appear uninterested – as Rachel Young whispers to Morgan Casteel during the opening night of Summer in the Son at Morning Star Ranch in Florence, Kan. Organizers of the annual youth camp, sponsored by the Overland Park, Kan., church, transformed parts of the campground into the world of Narnia, using C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as their inspiration.
For the fifth year in a row, area Churches of Christ came together to offer a free festival for Searcy residents. Funfest drew hundreds of people June 10.
“The purpose of the carnival is to provide a morning of fun and fellowship with no strings attached,” Todd Miller, youth minister at the Dowtown church, told The Daily Citizen. “It is to plant a seed of love in the community.”
Canyon View church members recently competed in an Iron Chef competition modeled after the popular Food Network cooking show. The secret ingredient in the day’s cooking competition: “Beef Tri-Tip,” which consists of filets and sirloins.
“Iron Chef is simply a semi-organized potluck with a specified food item provided to certain members,” church member Lois Heath said. “Any size congregation can host an Iron Chef. All it takes is enthusiasm and people with kitchens to cook in — or bring grills to the parking lot!”
Marlin Coats, a 29-year-old member of the Uptown church who lost his life helping save two boys off Ocean Beach, was given a hero’s farewell recently at the church, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“It was no surprise he did what he did. He didn’t even hesitate. He went out there and held those children up,” family friend Lonnie Pitts said at the funeral. “A hero has gone home to God.”
Coats was at a family gathering at the San Francisco beach when he spotted 11- and 14-year-old brothers struggling in the surf. He reached them but was caught in a riptide and apparently drowned, the newspaper reported. Park Service rescuers reached the boys.
Students at Middle Georgia Christian School recently dedicated a new flagpole in memory of Buddy and Nancy Wilburn, who were described as the backbone of the small Christian school.
The Wilburns were devoted members of the Thomastan Road church next door to the school. They lived on the church’s property and served as its caretakers.
They died last year in a car wreck.
Forty women recently attended the second annual Conference for Women in Ministry, hosted by Rochester College.
With the theme “My Soul Thirsts,” the conference featured speaker Jackie Halstead, an associate professor of psychology at Abilene Christian University in Texas. Halstead addressed the topic “Quenched by God.”
Other speakers included Sara Barton, Candace Cain, D’Esta Love, Jeanine Reese, Charme Robarts, Amy Bost Henegar and Linda Emerson.

The Oregon City church has begun a weekly worship service in Spanish. The congregation initiated the new ministry with a special bilingual worship service June 4. Ken Hines began leading weekly Spanish services June 11.

Dewayne Bryant, a member of the Concord Road church, recently helped with an archaeological find in Egypt that uncovered five ounces of 28 carat gold and two bodies buried some 3,000 years ago, minister Phil Sanders reported.
“We made some very nice discoveries,” said Bryant, who has a master’s degree in Near Eastern Archaeology and served as a field assistant for the dig.

About 2,000 people attending a recent Wednesday night service at the Richland Hills Church of Christ held their hands in the direction of a beleaguered Baptist church and asked God to help their neighbor overcome financial problems.
Afterward, Richland Hills members Bob Ash and Jack Drain decided to organize a fund-raising effort to help the Harvest Church in nearby Watauga, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The Baptist church defaulted on $7.5 million in bonds in April and is trying to repay the debt.
“It’s one thing to pray for people, and it’s another to do something physical,” Drain told the newspaper.

The Olympia church has a heart for babies.
The congregation’s Baby Bank accepts donations of infant and toddler clothes, strollers, high chairs, bouncy seats and just about any other type of baby gear, except used car seats.
The program passes baby items on to low-income families who need them, church secretary Denise Best told The Olympian newspaper.
“We work with social service agencies in the area that refer clients to us,” Best said.

Ten-year-old member Hanna Seidel sported a milk mustache and held a balloon that also had one while riding on the Marshfield church’s float in the Dairyfest parade. The event was June 3 in Marshfield.
July 1, 2006

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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