Briefly, July 12

Founding pastor to speak

Grace Pentecostal Church, formerly Tiffin Apostolic Church, is to host a guest speaker, founding pastor the Rev. Larry L. Wagner, during its 10 a.m. service Sunday at the church, 235 3rd Ave., Tiffin. The host pastor is the Rev. D.B. Wagner. For more information, call (419) 447-3211.

VBS next week at The Journey

The Journey, 2531 S. SR 100, Tiffin, is to host a vacation Bible school Monday through Friday. Classes are planned for children 4 years old up to those who have completed fifth grade.

Children can enjoy singing, Bible stories, craft time, games, mission stories and snacks from 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. each day. For more information, call (419) 448-6655.

Catholic Kids Camp set for July 29-Aug. 1 at St. Mary

St. Mary and St. Joseph churches are taking registrations for Catholic Kids Camp 9 a.m.-noon July 29-Aug. 1 at St. Mary School. The theme for 2014 is “Parade Around the Our Father.”

Registration forms are available at both churches and can be returned to either parish office. There is no cost to attend, but donations are accepted. For questions, call (419) 447-2087.

Adoption workshop planned

TOLEDO – Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo is to host a workshop on openness in adoption 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Catholic Charities, 1933 Spielbusch Ave., Toledo.

Linda Schellentrager, an adoptive mom and communications manager of Adoption Network Cleveland, is to present Embracing Openness for a Lifetime.

Schellentrager and her husband, Marty, enjoy an open adoption relationship with the birth family of their son Eric, who was adopted as an infant and is now a U.S. Marine. She gives presentations at Adoption Network’s Adoption 101 workshop, speaks at local agencies, teaches adoption assessor trainings and educates master’s level social workers at Case Western Reserve University.

The workshop is intended for adoptive families, birth parents, social workers and those interested in learning more about adoption. A donation of $20 would be given to Adoption Network Cleveland. Register in advance to Elyse Stirton at or (419) 244-6711, ext. 226.

House votes to reauthorize international religious freedom commission

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has approved a five-year reauthorization of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The independent government agency reports on violations of religious rights abroad and recommends actions the U.S. could take against countries that persecute or fail to prevent persecution of people of faith.

Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf said, “Without this commission, there would be nobody around to point out what is taking place to these groups.”

USCIRF commissioners are appointed by Congress and the White House.

The five-year reauthorization was approved by a voice vote in the House. New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith said he hopes the Senate promptly will agree to extend the life of the commission.

Hispanic evangelicals address immigration crisis

SACRAMENTO, California (AP) – A Hispanic evangelical leader says most of the unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border would be better off with their parents and should be sent home.

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez said those without parents in the U.S. could fall victim to the same drug gangs in American cities that threaten their lives in Central America.

Rodriguez is president of NHCLC/Conela, which represents more than 40,000 Hispanic evangelical churches in the U.S. and 500,000 worldwide.

NHCLC/Conela plans to broadcast public service announcements in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala discouraging parents from sending their children on the dangerous trek to the U.S. border, and is urging Central American pastors to spread that message throughout their communities.

Pope asks sex abuse victims for forgiveness, vows to hold bishops accountable

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis is promising to hold bishops accountable for the protection of minors. The pledge came as the pope celebrated a Mass with six victims of clergy sex abuse, and begged for their forgiveness.

In his homily, the pope didn’t spell out just how he would hold bishops accountable – and whether that would include firing bishops and other church leaders who systematically moved pedophile priests from parish to parish to avoid bringing shame upon the Catholic Church.