"Reaching People on the Secular Landscape," a Christian Communication Network seminar, will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. July 20 at Elim Baptist Church.

The seminar will feature Mark Mittelberg, author of "Building a Contagious Church" and executive director of evangelism for the Willow Creek Association. Cost of the seminar is $5. Call Elim Baptist at 289-8596 or visit for more information. The church is located at 1815 38th St. N.W.


A program on world famine will be held at 10:45 a.m. Sunday at Christ United Methodist Church. David Paxson, president of World Population Balance, will speak at the program. The church is located at 400 Fifth Ave. S.W.



St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Rochester recently received a $6,000 grant from the Minneapolis-based Sheltering Arms Foundation. The church plans to use the money to expand the Reach High program for at-risk elementary students in grades 2-5, especially for students for whom English isn't their primary language. Reach High was one of 38 Minnesota programs serving families and children that received a total of $470,000 in grants.


After 146 years in LeRoy, First Baptist Church will close on Sept. 28. Declining membership and an aging congregation contributed to the closing, according to the Rev. Eugene Slagstad.


A recreation of Jesus' hometown, Nazareth, will be part of vacation Bible school from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. July 14-18 at Rochester Church of the Nazarene.

Marketplace activities include sandal-making, pottery, spices, basket-weaving, mosaics and masonry. Tents, the aroma of baking bread, the bleating of sheep and goats and period costumes will provide the atmosphere for Jesus to share his parables. The church is located at 1200 East Circle Drive. To register, call 285-5035.


LOS ANGELES -- A victims' advocacy group has called on California's 12 bishops to offer rewards for information about Roman Catholic priests who commit sexual abuse.


The rewards would signal the church's commitment to stopping child sex abuse after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could result in the dismissal of hundreds of California molestation cases, said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

The proposal, detailed in a letter to Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, asks church leaders to help establish a fund supporting payments for information that leads to the successful conviction of priests who have abused children.

"Many times other church employees, both clerical and lay people, have suspicions or evidence that ... can help win convictions," Clohessy said. "But people need to be invited and prodded and rewarded for coming forward."

Additional details such as who would operate the fund were undetermined, and the group views the proposal only as a rough outline. The group said the fund could provide a blueprint for other states.

News items for Faith Focus are due by Wednesday noon prior to the Saturday publication. You may e-mail information to or mail to Faith Focus, Lifestyle section, 18 First Ave. S.E., Rochester MN 55904.

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