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Holiday concert with the CNY Flute Choir coming Dec. 7

A holiday concert featuring the CNY Flute Choir will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, at Manlius United Methodist Church. The program will include selected music from Handel's “Messiah,” familiar Christmas music including “Carol of the Bells” and “Silver Bells,” Ricky Lombardo's jazzy “Christmas Fantasy,” and more.

United Church of Fayetteville hires new director of music ministries

Jared Shepard to begin his duties Nov. 24

After an extensive search process, The United Church of Fayetteville has hired Jared Shepard to play the organ and be the director of music ministries.

Good Shepherd Church raising money for In My Father’s Kitchen

It started when Good Shepherd Lutheran Church invited John and Leigh-Ann Tumino, founders of In My Father’s Kitchen (IMFK), to speak at a forum about their outreach to those living outdoors. They didn’t just feed the audience’s spirit with stories of one-on-one connections made with the homeless—they fed them Nutella-drenched crepes, as well. Dozens from the church left with full bellies along with a commitment to help this small but powerful non-profit organization that feeds people “spirit, soul and body by using food to open the door to people’s hearts.”

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The joy of the season

St. Matthew’s to celebrate Holy Week with a mix of tradition and faith

More than one billion Catholics across the world are in the midst of observing Holy Week, which began with a Palm Sunday service and will conclude with a final mass on Easter. Holy Week, the last week of Lent, is an deeply spiritual time of year for the Catholic Church – it begins with a celebration on Palm Sunday, then turns into a solemn observance of Jesus Christ’s death and ends with an elaborate, joyful celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter.

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Zimbabwean gospel singer brings music, joy to Cazenovia

On his first visit to the United States, in the midst of an East Coast tour, international gospel sensation and social activist Tembalami is spending some of his time in Cazenovia and performing three concerts in the village this week. Tembalami Tagwirei— who is typically known simply as “Tembalami” — is a gospel musician from Zimbabwe with a passion for inspiring, motivating and educating the current as well as the next generation.

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Temple Beth El Community Room opens at Menorah Park

Menorah Park of CNY dedicated the Temple Beth El Community Room, a public space containing artifacts from the former temple on Feb. 16. An overflow crowd of community and religious leaders, along with people affiliated with the former Temple Beth-El congregation, were present.

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A bear-y merry Christmas

East Syracuse fifth grader donates Build-A-Bears to children in need

When Kamrin Eischen had to go the hospital for surgery last summer, he was scared – until he received a Build-A-Bear on his hospital bed, and he immediately felt a little less nervous. “I was kind of scared, and then when I saw the bear, it made me a little less scared - a little happier,” Eischen said. “And I thought since I liked it, other kids would like it too.”

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The spirit of Christmas

Tillie’s Touch and St. Matthew’s Church provides food, clothes and toys to families in need

When Dale Johnson was a kid growing up in East Syracuse, he remembers Christmas time was a lot different from what he saw on TV and in the movies. “Christmases were difficult times in my house,” said Johnson, the president of Tillie’s Touch, a not-for-profit which is hosting its second official Adopt-A-Child for Christmas event this year. “I used to watch my mom struggle, my dad was very stingy when it came to giving her money for anything. When it came to Christmas, it was very tough around the house – a lot of fighting and arguing. So I wanted to do something for a child who may be going through the same hardships.”

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Large community turnout at prayer vigil service for hospitalized Cazenovia boy

Local 10-year-old continues to improve after falling down a well on Oct. 26

Approximately 200 members of the Cazenovia community attended a prayer service and candlelight vigil last week for Charlie Thompson, the 10-year-old boy who remains in stable but critical condition in Golisano Children’s Hospital after falling down a well on Oct. 26. Family, friends and supporters of Charlie of all ages — including many of his classmates and teachers from Cazenovia Middle School — turned out to the service, which was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Cazenovia and led by Thompson family friend Rev. Ethan Worthington, Cazenovia regional minister for Eastern Hills Bible Church in Manlius.

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Prayer vigil service tonight for hospitalized Cazenovia boy

Local 10-year-old who fell down a well last week continues to improve

Family, friends and supporters of 10-year-old Charlie Thompson will hold a prayer service and candlelight vigil from 6 to 6:30 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the First Presbyterian Church of Cazenovia, located at 27 Albany St.

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Local youth learn about violent history in El Salvador on pilgrimage

Six local girls share their stories after visiting memorials to genocide victims in El Salvador on an Episcopal church youth pilgrimage.

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Not your average ordinaries

East Syracuse church performs traditional Gregorian chant with a twist

Jared Shepard isn’t afraid to go against the norm. When he was hired as the Minster of Music and Organist at St. Matthew’s Church in East Syracuse two years ago, he was already experienced as a classical musician, having studied with pupils of legendary Juilliard pianists Irwin Freundlich and Eduard Steuermann. Though his experience in sacred music was limited, in the two years he’s been developing the music program, he has successfully made St. Matthews different from nearly all other churches in Central New York by performing Gregorian chant: a type of music that was once a staple in the Catholic Church, but is now rarely performed.

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St. Anne’s Church to sponsor a refugee family through Northside CYO

Members are working to furnish an apartment by April 27

The average stay in a refugee camp is 17 years, and members of St. Anne’s Church in Manlius are doing their part to bring that number down. The Refugee Project Committee at the church has been working since January to collect everything from tissues, to sofas to silverware to furnish an apartment on Syracuse’s North Side for a refugee family to move in by early May.

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Central New York residents to celebrate Persian New Year

Wishes for a happy new year may be three months in the past for many, but for the Persian community, that celebration is just around the corner. This year, not only does March 20 mark the first day of spring, but also the Persian new year, 1392. An estimated 300 residents in Central New York, according to Mehrzad Boroujerdi, professor of political science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, will celebrate Nowruz, the name for the holiday. Boroujerdi, also director of the Middle Eastern studies program at Syracuse University, is the organizer of this year’s local Persian New Year party.

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Fayetteville church gives time, resources to Rescue Mission and refugees

During the Christmas season, churches often seek additional ways to reach out to the community with kind acts and support. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Fayetteville decided to take an inter-generational approach to spreading useful cheer during the season of Advent.

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