Originally created 09/08/01

Faith digest



Habitat conference

Thirteen years ago it took Habitat for Humanity volunteers in Augusta two years to build a house. Now it takes six to eight months. "If we had the church and corporate partners, we could cut that to a shorter time," said Hugh Tarcai, executive director.

He and other Augustans - Mike Pearre, Dan Harkness, Ron Walling and Gina Cooper - hope to gain ideas on how to build better ties to partners and grow financial support in workshops at Habitat's 25th anniversary conference in Indianapolis Wednesday through Sunday, Sept. 16.

Augusta has been wonderful to Habitat - the volunteers will build their 50th house this year, Mr. Tarcai said. But "we really need to be building between 50 and 200 houses a year based on the number of people who come to our intake meetings."

Church ambassador

Dr. Gerald Chambers of Augusta will serve as a regional co-chairman for eastern Georgia, one of 95 regions in the Washington National (Episcopal) Cathedral's National Cathedral Association.

Association members are volunteer ambassadors for the cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The second-largest cathedral in the United States, it took more than 80 years to build, with construction starting in 1907 and completed in 1990.

For more information, call (800) 622-6304.

MOPS meet

Mothers of Preschoolers have their own Bible study and support group - MOPS. Moms are welcome to attend gatherings at Trinity-on-the-Hill United Methodist Church, 1330 Monte Sano Ave., from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays, beginning Sept. 17. Call 738-8822.

A second chapter meets at Town Creek Baptist Church, 570 Town Creek Road in Aiken, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on first and second Tuesdays. Call (803) 649-9792.

Volunteer workshop

St. Joseph Hospice will hold workshops for volunteers on Sept. 15 and 22.

The free workshops will be conducted at the hospice offices, 2803 Wrightsboro Road in the Daniel Village Shopping Center, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. They will cover concerns about death, dying and grief and present guidance for patient and family needs, cultural issues and therapeutic communication. Volunteers serve directly with patients and their families or in the office.

A light lunch will be served. Call 729-6328.

'Igniting' interest

The United Methodist Church this month started its first TV advertising campaign to draw new members to the Protestant denomination.

Dubbed Igniting Ministry, the campaign features ads on 15 national cable networks and CBS.

"We know that TV ads alone won't bring people to church," said the Rev. Steven Horswill-Johnston, Igniting Ministry director. "But they will support United Methodists in every community who are making a special effort to welcome people in the name of Christ."

Each TV ad tag line will invite people to visit the Web site www.unitedmethodist.org, which is aimed at nonmembers and contains descriptions of the denomination as well as a church locater.

The United Methodist General Conference has authorized about $20 million for the four-year campaign.

Local churches will build on the TV ads by advertising on billboards, in newspapers and on radio. More than 20,000 United Methodists underwent training to welcome newcomers.

With 8.4 million members, the United Methodist Church is the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States.