Originally created 12/17/05

Faith digest



Special service

The Longest Night, a service for those suffering a blue Christmas over loss of a loved one, illness or stress, will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday at Trinity-on-the-Hill United Methodist Church, 1330 Monte Sano Ave.

Skate party

Jingle Bell Jam, a hip-hop Gospel family skate night, will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday at Red Wing Roller Way, 3065 Washington Road. The cost is $4. Proceeds benefit Safe Homes Augusta.

Carols for Brass

The Crescent Brass and organist Jim Garvey , of Knoxville, Tenn., will team with the St. John Choir to present Carols for Brass and John Rutter's Gloria at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. John United Methodist Church, 736 Greene St. A collection will be taken for the Ronald McDonald House. A nursery will be provided.

Piano Christmas

Dr. Timothy Owings will play Christmas favorites at the piano at 7 p.m. Monday at First Baptist Church, 602 Georgia Ave., North Augusta.

Bible study OK'd

MADISON, Wis. -- The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has suspended its ban against dormitory Bible studies led by resident assistants in their rooms after protests from politicians and conservative groups who said the policy violated religious freedom.

Interim Chancellor Vicki Lord Larson said the unwritten policy, which also banned political activities and sales events in assistants' dorm rooms, was poorly communicated and inconsistently enforced.

She announced the suspension, pending recommendations on resident assistant policies by a committee from the University of Wisconsin system. The assistants receive stipends and free room and board, so are considered state employees.

Resident assistant Lance Steiger had sued the university with support from the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund. He said he was warned he could face discipline if he continued Bible studies in his room, so his group met in the basement instead.

Budget opposition

Five leaders of U.S. Protestant denominations are urging Congress to defeat the proposed federal budget "once and for all."

Joining the appeal were the chief executives of the Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and United Church of Christ, along with the social-issues executive of the United Methodist Church.

Saying their churches represent nearly 20 million followers, the five said the Republican Congress "continues to make decisions which benefit the rich but are paid for by the poor and most vulnerable."

REACH US

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