2013-11-21 / Faith Community


Salvation Army Hires Outreach Organizer

The Salvation Army has announced that Julia Merkel has joined their team as Community Outreach Organizer to help the organization fulfill its mission of meeting human needs without discrimination. “After a long search to fill this position, we feel we are blessed to have found a perfect fit,” says Lt. Helen Johnson, who with her husband, Kevin, runs The Salvation Army in Newport.

“Julia’s mission is to assist individuals in crisis to reach long-term goals and stability. In addition to helping individuals in emergency situations, Julia’s work will include organizing community services and educational workshops through The Salvation Army, as well as providing referrals to other community agencies. The more we work together to provide a comprehensive set of services for those in need, the more we are able to cut down on people receiving the same assistance from multiple locations,” said Johnson.

Merkel comes to The Salvation Army after working as director of admissions at The New England School of English. She is proficient in Spanish and has traveled to Honduras on multiple occasions as a volunteer doing medical translation work, offering empowerment classes for women, and providing nutrition assistance for the sick.

The Army is gearing up for its busiest season with the Red Kettle Bell Ringing fundraiser, Thanksgiving food and holiday toy distribution, plus the regular year-round services. “The food pantry and soup kitchen don’t stop,” Lt. Kevin Johnson said. “Julia has joined us just in time; we need all the help we can get.”

For more information about The Salvation Army or to volunteer, call 401-846-3234 or email denise.howard@ use.salvationarmy.org.

Red Bell Ringers Sought

The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to help ring the fundraising kettle bells this holiday season. The signature red bells will be located around the island and ringers are needed for one-time or ongoing commitments. This is the Salvation Army’s largest fundraiser of the year and runs through Dec. 24. For more information, call Lt. Helen Johnson at 401-846-3234.

Touro Rededication

In honor of its 250th anniversary, Touro Synagogue will hold a rededication of the synagogue on Sunday, Dec. 1, the fourth day of Hanukkah, at 2 p.m. The synagogue was originally dedicated on Hanukkah in 1763.

Rabbi Marc Mandel, Touro’s spiritual leader, will lead the ceremony. The keynote speaker will be Morris Offit, vice chair of the United Jewish Communities (UJC) Board of Trustees and chair of the UJC Center for Jewish Philanthropy.

A Hanukkah party will follow the rededication. Admission to the program is free, but reservations are required. Reserve at rsvp@tourosynagogue.org.

Sheets Needed at Shelter

The McKinney Shelter is putting out a call to the community for twin sheets. Demand for space at the shelter is high in the cold weather. Clean twin sheets, new or used, are welcome. Contact Ken Robinson, 401-846-6385, for more information.

Trinity Adult Forum

On Sunday, Nov. 24, the Rev. Canon Anne Marie Richards, rector of Trinity Church, will present a program on “The Lessons of Advent,” focusing on the Advent Liturgy and the significance of each week’s services. The program will be held in Honyman Hall from 9-9:45 a.m. All are welcome for coffee and conversation. For more information, contact the office at 401-846-0660.

St. Barnabas Bible Study

St. Barnabas Church, 1697 East Main Rd., Portsmouth offers Bible study every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. in the parish center library. All are welcome.

Singing for Shelter

Local Newport musicians will hold the sixth annual Singing for Shelter acoustic concert to benefit the McKinney Shelter and Lucy’s Hearth on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at Channing Church. The concert begins at 7 p.m. at 135 Pelham St. and tickets are $15. Tickets will be available at the door or in advance at 401-849- 4250 or mgorman20@cox.net.

Channing Global Forum

The Learning Center at Channing Memorial Church is presenting the Channing Global Issues Forum, a series of talks on democracy, human rights, politics, security and conservation to be held in the Program Room at the Newport Public Library. The series is free and open to the public.

The next presentation will be “China: Competition or Cooperation,” on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. Speaker Dr. Henry Rosemont Jr. is a distinguished professor of liberal arts emeritus at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and is currently a visiting professor and scholar of religious studies at Brown University.

To register, contact the church office at 401-846-0643 or office@channingchurch.org.

Thanksgiving Services

. The 39th annual communitywide Interfaith Service of Thanksgiving will be held Wednesday, Nov. 27 at Temple Shalom 223 Valley Rd., Middletown at 7:30 p.m. Clergy and laity from houses of worship across the island will participate, as will various choirs. A free will offering will be collected to benefit the Emergency Fund of the Aquidneck Island Clergy Association. Attendees are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item to be donated to local food pantries. . Thanksgiving Eve Service, Wednesday, Nov. 27, Trinity Church, Queen Anne Square, 7 p.m. . Thanksgiving Day Service, Thursday, Nov. 28, Emmanuel Church, 42 Dearborn St., 10 a.m. . Thanksgiving Day Service, Thursday, Nov. 28, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 324 East Main Rd., Portsmouth, 9 a.m.

Seamen’s Thanksgiving Dinner

The Seaman’s Church Institute will host its annual community Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 28 at 11 a.m. All are welcome to attend.

UCC Happy Bookers

The next meeting of the Happy Bookers group will take place on Monday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Manchester Room at the United Congregational Church, 524 Valley Rd., Middletown. The book discussed will be “Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light,” by Jane Brox. For more information, call 401- 849- 5444. All are welcome.

UCC Puppet Show

The United Congregational Church, 524 Valley Rd., Middletown, will hold a Christmas Puppet Show Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 4-6 at 7 p.m. The story of the Nativity will be told using life-size puppets. Refreshments will be served after the performance and children can “meet” the puppets.

This community event is free but the free will offering will go to a family in need. For information, call 401-849-5444.

St. Mary’s Christmas Cards

Christmas cards showing St. Mary’s sanctuary at Christmas are available in the parish office, 12 Williams St. The cost of a pack of twenty cards is $10. The office is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

St Mary’s Youth Music

Cody Mead, St. Mary’s Catholic Church director of liturgical music, invites all parish youth to participate in a Christmas Eve singing group. Four rehearsals will be held immediately following the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass on Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22. The group will sing at the 5 p.m. Mass on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. For more information, contact cw.mead@yahoo.com or 401-847-0475.

Advent Evening of Prayer

St. Lucy’s Annual Advent Evening of Prayer will be held on Thursday, Dec. 5 in the parish center, 909 West Main Rd., Middletown, from 6-9 p.m. led by Fr. Gene McKenna.

Homework Help

Emmanuel Church offers Homework Help Nights every Monday from 6-8 p.m. for students who desire assistance with their schoolwork. Students are invited to bring projects and problems they are working on in school. At least one parent or legal guardian of each student is asked to remain on the Emmanuel campus during the time the child is receiving help with homework. All teachers have in-classroom experience and are from Emmanuel Church. For more information, call 401-847-0675.

Local Author at Emmanuel

Newport author Michael Dutton will present a talk at Emmanuel Church on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. on “Themes of Faith, Hope and Love in the Christmasville Trilogy.” Dutton will speak on the first two books in his trilogy, “Christmasville” and “Finding Christmasville.”

He is currently writing the third novel of the trilogy, as well as a contemporary historical novella for children, “A Little Tale of the Tall Ship, Oliver Hazard Perry,” a fictional dramatization of the construction and launching of Rhode Island’s own SSV Oliver Hazard Perry. For more information, call the church office at 401-847-0675.

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