Religion Briefs, March 15

Motivational speaker to be at Grace Baptist in Tiffin

Former Ohio State football standout Joel Penton is to speak during the 11 a.m. worship service March 23 at Grace Baptist Church, 161 N. SR 101. Anyone may attend.

Penton was a member of OSU teams that won three Big Ten championships and a national title.

In his senior year, Penton received the Wuerffel Trophy, also known as the Humanitarian Heisman. The award recognizes the college football player in the country who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. He also was a four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.

After graduating from OSU, Joel turned down an opportunity to play in the NFL to begin a career in full-time speaking. Since that time, he earned a reputation as one of the nation’s leading youth motivational speakers. As one of the top school motivational speakers, Joel has shared his school assembly programs with more than 300,000 students nationwide. He specializes in high school assemblies and middle school assemblies.

Chastity speaker to be at Calvert Monday morning

For their senior service project, four Calvert seniors are bringing Jason Evert to Tiffin for a presentation at 11:30 a.m. Monday in the school gym. A popular Catholic chastity speaker, Evert has spoken on numerous television broadcasts and at youth gatherings. His talk is free.

Class to cover biblical oils

A one-hour class on “Healing Oils of the Bible” is to be offered at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Room 22 at St. Mary School. Beverly Martin is to explain the benefits of the oils, spices and ointments that are mentioned in the bible. The class is free.

Conferences to focus on married couples

BELLEVUE – Sorrowful Mother Shrine, SR 269, south of Bellevue, is inviting married couples of all ages and all faiths to attend two marriage conferences and group discussions 1-4 p.m. March 22. One session is to deal with good communication techniques and the second is about conflict resolution. Questions are welcome. Father Harold Brown is to present the program in the Pilgrim Center at no charge. Spouses also may come alone. Advanced registration is requested by calling Brown at (419) 483-0145.

Benefit features luncheon, auction in Tiffin March 23

A Soup, Salad & Dessert Luncheon and Silent Auction is to take place March 23 in the Fellowship Hall at Faith United Methodist Church, 75 N. Sandusky St., Tiffin. This is a benefit for the Flat Rock Home’s “Race at the Rock.”

The auction is to be open 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and the luncheon is to be served from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. with different kinds of soups, salads and desserts. The cost of the luncheon is a donation. There will be information available on the “Race at the Rock” which is slated in April.

Activist to give presentations on Bethlehem, Gaza locally

Boston-based photographer Skip Schiel is coming to northern Ohio to give presentations about his excursions to the Holy Land.

* FOSTORIA – At 7 p.m. March 22, Schiel is to present “Bethlehem the Holy: The Struggle for an Ancient City,” in Hope Lutheran Church, Fostoria. His pictures document the ever-growing restrictions on travel and tourism around the birthplace of Jesus.

Bethlehem is surrounded on all sides by a 26-foot high concrete wall, with checkpoint access restricted. Thus, Palestinian Christians (population shrinking from some 30 percent 40 years ago to 2 percent) and Muslims rarely can leave or enter Bethlehem. The local economy, heavily reliant on tourism, languishes under ghetto-like restrictions.

Schiel explored this situation from November through Christmas 2008 as well as during the summer of 2009 while he lived in a nearby refugee camp. He has updated his program with new photos from spring 2013.

Visitors are welcome to attend a church service at 5 p.m. and a light supper at 6 p.m. prior to the presentation. Hope Lutheran is located at 151 W. Center St., Fostoria.

* In a new program, “Eyewitness Gaza,” Schiel concentrates on his personal experiences and its political context, five years after the devastating Israeli attacks of Operation Cast Lead. This presentation is to be given at 11 a.m. March 25 in Gundlach Theatre at Heidelberg University.

The main focus is on youth and their struggles to survive and grow amid harsh and chaotic conditions. Schiel explores the lives of people still living in tents and in recently constructed, rudimentary dwellings. A segment of the program is devoted to The American Friends Service Committee, whose efforts foster hope and resiliency.

For further information, contact