Originally created 05/17/03

Faith digest



Good Shepherd to mark renovation

Members of The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 2230 Walton Way, will sit down at 5:30 p.m. Sunday to the parish hall's last supper before ground-breaking for a $3.85-million renovation.

Part of the staff offices will move to the Appleby Library, 2260 Walton Way, until work is completed in about a year. For more information, call 738-3386.

Center sponsors Israel Experience

Falafel and ice cream will be on the menu for the Israel Experience between 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday at the Augusta Jewish Community Center, 898 Weinberger Way in Evans.

Israeli dancing, arts and crafts, and avideo on Israel will give patrons a taste of the country. For more information, call 228-3636.

Music department will stress gospel

MOBILE, Ala. - Gospel singer Roger Breland will head the new performing arts center at the Baptist-affiliated University of Mobile and will help the center develop music for evangelical churches.

Mark Foley, president of the university, said Mr. Breland, a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, will expand the department's offerings.

The school will continue to teach a wide range of musical styles, from classical to jazz to opera, but under Mr. Breland's leadership there will be a new emphasis on contemporary Christian music, Mr. Foley said last week.

"We'll expose students to professionals in both the sacred and secular music industry in the areas of performance, business, production and other roles," Mr. Breland said.

Mr. Breland is the founder of the contemporary Christian group TRUTH, which disbanded last year.

Bishops' approval seen dropping

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Approval ratings for America's Roman Catholic bishops have declined over the past 18 months, likely over how they handled priests who sexually abused children, a new survey has found.

The poll of U.S. Catholics released May 9 found 59 percent strongly or somewhat agreed that the prelates were doing a good job leading the church, compared to 83 percent in the fall of 2001.

Nearly all of the respondents to the survey - conducted by Le Moyne College, a Jesuit school in Syracuse, N.Y., and the research firm Zogby International - wanted Pope John Paul II to discipline bishops who failed to remove offenders from church work.

The abuse crisis erupted in January 2002 in the Archdiocese of Boston and quickly spread throughout the United States, revealing that many bishops had failed to discipline guilty priests and had kept them in parish jobs where they had access to children.

Regarding the pope, more than 80 percent of respondents gave him high marks for job performance. Fifty-three percent agreed with his opposition to the U.S.-led war on Iraq.

The poll of 1,500 American Catholics was conducted April 23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percent.

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Contact Tharon Giddens, features editor, at (706) 823-3347 or tharon.giddens@augustachronicle.com.