7960487055?profile=original

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori (left) and the Rev. Andrew Sherman

participate in a baptism ceremony with Mazie Baker, 1, who was

accompanied by her parents, Jonny and Sember Baker.

Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star

INSET BELOW: The Rev. Pam Cahoon

 

By Tim Pallesen

    Katharine Jefferts Schori has weathered the storms as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in America.

    But the sun was shining bright Dec. 7 when she stepped into the ocean off Boca Raton for baptisms during the 60th anniversary celebration at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church.

    “I came when there was wretched conflict and departures from the church,” Schori said. “We’re done with that.”

    She assumed her post in 2006, when it would have been impossible not to makes enemies on the issues of sexuality and theology. Church conservatives fought her because she supported marriage and ordination for gay men and lesbians.

    She has taken a hard line against dissenting dioceses. Under her leadership, the Episcopal Church has spent millions in legal fees to keep the church buildings of congregations that broke away.

    But St. Gregory’s has always been peaceful. And so it was during the anniversary weekend that culminated with a gala jubilee luncheon at the Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club after Sunday worship.

    Mia Kain, a Boca Raton High School student studying journalism, asked Schori the first question at a news conference.

    “How do you feel being the first female leader of the church?” she asked.

    “Some have objected to me being bishop,” Schori replied. “They have been polite to my face. But the conversation on blogs isn’t always social.” 

                                  

    “Pray for Delray” is the theme for the city’s annual prayer breakfast, set for Jan. 14 at Pompey Park.

    Speakers include the Rev. Casey Cleveland of The Avenue Church, the host of the event. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Karen Granger will be the emcee.

    Entertainers include Mary Gaines Bernard, the sister of the late Donna Summer; Tony LeBron, the latest winner of the Gospel Dream television show; and the Rev. Daniel Williams of the Redemption Church.

    Tickets for the 7 a.m. breakfast are $25. Contact Sarah Vallely at 279-0907.

    Proceeds benefit City House, a faith-based temporary home for single mothers with children. See www.cityhousedelraybeach.com.  

                                  

7960486499?profile=original    The Rev. Pam Cahoon is retiring after 35 years as Palm Beach County’s top crusader to end hunger.

    Christians Reaching Out to Society Ministries has 3,000 volunteers operating six food pantries, the Caring Kitchen in Delray Beach, plus gleaning and social service programs.

    With Cahoon as executive director, CROS has given food from its pantries to 556,000 people and served 1,172,000 hot meals at the Caring Kitchen since 1978. Gleaners harvested 1,354,000 pounds of produce.

    Cahoon also brought Habitat for Humanity to the county and was first president of the Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, which established Children’s Place as a shelter. 

    She will be replaced as CROS executive director by Ruth Magaria, a 12-year staff member who in 2010 returned to her native Kenya to mobilize Nairobi Chapel’s Social Justice Ministry.   

                                  

    Archbishop Demetrios, the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, will baptize the sanctuary at St. Mark Church in an ancient ceremony on Feb. 22.

    “This is the crown jewel for an orthodox church,” said the Rev. Mark Leondis, the pastor of the Boca Raton congregation. “It means we will remain a church forever.”

    The archbishop will place holy relics of three martyrs in the altar, sealing them with waxes and myrrh so they can never be opened again. The ceremony dates back to the fourth century, when liturgies were performed over the tombs of martyrs in the catacombs.

    St. Mark Greek Orthodox Church began 34 years ago. Its sanctuary was built in 1998. 

                                 

    Cardinal Timothy Dolan will review 50 years of Catholicism on Jan. 16 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary.

    Dolan, archbishop of New York, recently served as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    Widely known for his conservative values and charismatic personality, he was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time magazine in 2012.

    The 7:30 p.m. presentation is open to the public. Call 732-4424 for reservations.

                                 

    Watch for Lego sculptures to blossom at St. Vincent Ferrer Church and School in Delray Beach this year.

    Legos are a craze among children. So stewardship director Julie Ott created the Lego Challenge to raise money to buy new iPads and computers at St. Vincent’s.

    Schoolteachers assembled the first Lego creation Dec. 8 to demonstrate how much fun participating students will have this year. Any child whose family contributes money will be given a Lego to help build their classroom Lego sculpture.   

    “There’s a lot of energy here,” Ott said. “We’re helping people find that stewardship brings joy and peace to their hearts.”

                                 

    Calvary United Methodist Church in Lake Worth has closed less than a year after celebrating its 100th anniversary.

    Declining membership and lack of money were to blame. The congregation was thriving with 1,400 members when it moved into its distinctive A-frame sanctuary in 1968.

    But with changing demographics in downtown Lake Worth, the congregation shrank to 289 members with 95 attending church.

    The congregation voted to close by a 25-12 vote on Dec. 2.

    Methodists in Lake Worth date back to April 1912 — the same day that the Titanic sank — when a Methodist pastor came to town to perform the first Methodist baptism.

    Worship services began in January 1913 at a home. Church women painted coconuts to raise money to build a church, which was completed in April 1913.

    In recent years, Calvary leased space to four Hispanic and Haitian congregations and six drug and alcohol recovery groups to pay the bills.

    The congregation, knowing the end was near, celebrated its centennial by baptizing descendants of its charter members during its anniversary.

Tim Pallesen writes about people of faith, their congregations, causes and community events. Email him at tcpallesen@aol.com.

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