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Inner-city church leaders are closer to turning...

Inner-city church leaders are closer to turning their goals into reality, thanks to a community development training program sponsored by World Vision.

Eighteen leaders from urban Los Angeles churches participated in the six-month training program, “Vision to Reality,” which taught leaders effective methods of fund-raising, soliciting grants, developing and organizing projects and managing programs.

The program was funded by World Vision, an international Christian relief and development organization, and the Los-Angeles based Bresee Institute, which focuses on community development in the inner city. Organizers hope to make the program a national model for training inner-city church leaders.

“We wanted to bring grass-roots leaders through this training program to show them how to put their ideas about helping their communities into some kind of project,” said Bonnie Sedwick, program administrator for World Vision.

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Those who completed the training included ministers and leaders from the African-American, Korean, Latino and Anglo communities, all of whom are concerned with the needs of the inner city in post riot Los Angeles.

“I thought it was a tremendous program, geared toward empowering agencies in terms of church-based community development,” said Rev. Curtis Morris Sr., pastor of Joyland Baptist Church. Joyland has recently purchased a building that it hopes to convert to a youth center. The program showed Morris how to apply for grant money and the merits of hiring an executive director to run the center.

The program also showed participants ways to meet the needs of diverse ethnic groups. Most graduates plan to develop programs that will provide employment training and low-income housing.

“We provided basic information for ministries that have been doing something little in the community, but who are motivated to move on to the next step, to be a much larger light into the community,” Sedwick said.

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Jay Sanders of the Hollywood Urban Project, a nonprofit corporation formed through the First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, agreed the training was helpful. The organization hopes to start an English-as-a-second-language program for the community, where the Latino and Armenian populations have grown in recent years.

“We’ve been around long enough to know what kind of work we need to do in the community,” Sanders said. “This program gave us specific tools to use to meet our goals, and showed us how we can work with people in the community, help the people tell us what they need, instead of dictating to them what happens.”

APPOINTMENTS

* Greek Orthodox layman Nicholas Royce of North Hollywood, a leading advocate for public awareness and recognition of Eastern Orthodoxy for almost 25 years, has been elected president of the Religious Public Relations Council. The Council, which has about 500 members nationwide, includes Roman Catholics, United Methodists, Mormons, Presbyterians and members of the Bahai faith.

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* Hollywood Temple Beth El has appointed Frances Linsk as its president. She is the first woman to serve as president in the 71-year history of the temple. She has been vice president of the executive board of the temple and past president of the temple’s Sisterhood.

SHOWS

* A new work by California-based painter, illustrator and former professor DeWitt Whistler Jayne, 82, is now on display in Santa Barbara at the Samarkand, a covenant retirement community. The 40-by-60-inch oil painting entitled “And He Was Transfigured Before Them” was commissioned by the Samarkand, and depicts the appearance of Christ before three of the disciples. 2550 Treasure Dr. (805) 687-0701.

* Composer Randall Leonard will perform in concert at the Church of Today in Miramar at 2 p.m. Sunday. Leonard, known for his work in the field of “healing the heart with music,” will play selections from his acoustic piano recordings “Angels in the Rain,” “Flutterbys” and “Melting Snow/Thirsty Flowers.” The concert will also feature flutist Dana DeLong. Admission is $10. Leonard will also be the musical guest during the church’s 9 and 11 a.m. services. 8999 Activity Rd. (619) 689-6500.

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* Sheila Walsh, former host of the “700 Club” and a top contemporary Christian music artist, will perform at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Admission is free. 3800 S. Fairview Rd., Santa Ana.(714) 979-4422.

OUTREACH

* Little Crow, a Dakota/Lakota poet, educator and lecturer, discusses spirituality and the purpose of life from 9:30 to 11 a.m. every Sunday at the Gathering, also known as the American Indian Unity Church in Garden Grove. Little Crow recently published a book entitled “From the Gathering,” which contains quotes from his weekly messages to the Gathering over a two-year period beginning in 1990. 13671 Glendora St. (714) 638-8116.

* The Bishop’s Commission of AIDS Ministry in the Episcopal Diocese is sponsoring a “Book of Remembrance,” a hand-crafted work established as a memorial to those who have died of AIDS. Anyone who has died of the disease may be included in the book. For information call (213) 461-4251.

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* Chinmaya Mission West presents H. H. Swami Chinmayananda, who will give daily discourses 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. today through Monday at Pomona College in Claremont. Chinmayananda will discuss the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter VII. (310) 402-8156, (818) 990-8236.

* The Federation of Christian Ministries will hold its 25th annual national assembly in Los Angeles today and Sunday at the Holiday Inn International Airport. The theme of the assembly is “The Dance of Life,” and will focus on personal growth, urban renewal and spirituality. The assembly is open to the public. Registration is $30. 9901 La Cienega Blvd. (310) 322-7983.

* Clyde Narramore, a Christian psychologist and host of the national radio show “Psychology for Living,” will speak at Bethany Baptist Church at 6 p.m. Sunday. His topic will be “The Emotionally Healthy Family” and will be followed by questions and answers. 763 N. Sunset Ave., West Covina. (818) 962-8501.

Notices may be sent to Southern California File by mail or c/o Religion Editor, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, Calif. 90053, or by fax to (213) 237-4712. Items must be brief and arrive at least three weeks in advance of the event announced. Include a phone number, date, time and full address.

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