* Actor Meshach Taylor of the TV series “Designing Women,” currently co-starring in the movie “Dave’s World,” is the featured guest of honor at Scott United Methodist Church’s fund-raiser fashion luncheon, “Role Models for Male Youth,” to be held at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 13 at the Doubletree Hotel in Pasadena. For reservations, phone (818) 795-7511.

* Agencies serving the homeless, the hungry, and abused children will receive proceeds from Westwood Presbyterian Church’s Benefit Jazz Festival at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Jeremy Pelt’s Jazz Quintet headlines the event, which will raise money for People Assisting the Homeless, providing housing, retraining and support; Child S.H.A.R.E., an agency that provides temporary foster care in Christian homes for abused and neglected children, and the Westside Food Bank, the distribution point for donations to many local agencies. Admission is free, but a donation of at least $10 is requested by the church. The afternoon’s activities include refreshments, a magic show, clowns, balloons and an Astro Jump for children. 10822 Wilshire Blvd. For tickets and information, phone (310) 474-4535.

* The author of “How to Rescue the Earth Without Worshipping Nature,” Tony Campolo, will speak on environmentalism at a luncheon at 12:15 p.m. Thursday in the Sunset Room of the Santa Anita Golf Club House in Arcadia. The event is sponsored by Floresta, a Christian environmental agency dedicated to assisting poor subsistence farmers in gaining economic stability by using new methods of agro-forestry. Admission is $15 and reservations must be received by Tuesday. (909) 599-8955.


* Conversational Yiddish is among the weekly adult education classes to be offered this fall by Temple Akiba in Culver City. Others are Adult Hebrew, Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Israeli Dance. For complete schedules and fees, phone (310) 398-5783.

* The Native American Ministry Project invites choirs, quartets, duets, solos and all who love to sing to its “5th Sunday Singing” at Lakewood Christ Presbyterian Church on Sunday. Festivities begin with a potluck lunch at noon, followed by singing from 1 to 5 p.m. The day culminates in a potluck dinner. 5225 Hayter Ave., Lakewood. For information, phone the Rev. Buddy Monahan at (310) 643-5793.

* Photographer and visual artist Eric Lawton, who has taken his art to 70 countries, demonstrates how to use color, light and form to discover the unique spiritual qualities of many different places in his presentation, “The Soul of the World,” at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Philosophical Research Society. Admission is $5. Lawton’s book of the same name will be available for purchase and autographing; 3910 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 663-2167.

* “Explosion ’94 Concert” featuring the Rev. Cheviene Jones will be held at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Special guests are singers Blanche Laws-McConnel and Anna Moore. Admission is $15. 7900 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 750-3240.

* The Center for Spiritual Development in Orange offers a holistic retreat from 7 p.m. Friday to 11 a.m. Aug. 12. Using meditation, music and ritual as aids to prayer, participants will heighten their awareness of the connection between spiritual, aesthetic and physical reality. Liturgy and sacrament of reconciliation will be included. For registration information, phone (714) 744-3175.

* The Serra Club of Orange County meets the first and third Thursdays of each month for lunch in Tustin. The club encourages vocations and knowledge of Catholic doctrine. For information, phone (714) 963-7703.



* San Fernando Valley residents Patt and Jack Shea recently received the 1994 Daniel J. Kane Award from the University of Dayton’s Center for Religious Communication. The Sheas, who founded Catholics in Media Associates for people in the entertainment industry, have served on the U.S. Bishops Communications Committee. Last year, she wrote and he directed an anti-abortion video, “The Right Choice,” sponsored by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Activities Committee.

* The Skirball Institute on American Values of the American Jewish Committee has named as its new project consultant Eugene S. Mornell, formerly the executive director of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission and assistant staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights . . . Carol Plotkin, former associate director of the American Jewish Congress, Pacific Southwest Region, has been named director of the organization.

* Antonio D. Le Mons, director of Faith United Church’s Imani Unidos AIDS Project Food Distribution Center in South-Central Los Angeles, is one of two Californians awarded full scholarships to attend the 10th International Conference on AIDS/International Conference on STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) in Yokohama, Japan Aug. 7-12, by the National Assn. of People with AIDS in collaboration with the Office of AIDS Research and National Institutes of Health.

* Beginning Aug. 1, Richard Schwartz will be cantor of Temple Beth Ohr in La Mirada . . . Nissim Elbaz has been appointed director of education for Sinai Temple in Westwood.

* The School of Theology at Claremont welcomed Marvin A. Sweeney July 1 as a professor of Hebrew. Sweeney is known for his studies on the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and succeeds Rolf P. Knierim, who retires as editor of the “Forms of Old Testament Theology,” a series of books.

* Wilfred Tyrrell was ordained a Catholic priest on June 25 at Graymoor, the Garrison, New York, headquarters of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, which has pastoral, social and ecumenical ministries around the world. Since September, Tyrrell has been assigned to St. Odilia’s Parish in Los Angeles, where a Hispanic youth group, Los Santos Mundanos, is among his responsibilities.


* Nine youths from Faith United Methodist Church were among 36 Los Angeles youths, ages 9-15, who received the first Medallions of Excellence awarded by the Awareness Foundation on July 16. The children photographed something beautiful or pleasant in their communities and wrote a story, poem, song or other expression about the photograph. Their work will be exhibited and sold, with proceeds put into an education savings account set up by the foundation. Those who participated through Faith United are: Ali Ferrell-Bonds, Charell Ferrell-Bonds, Deris Henderson, Starlat Jearman, Jeannel Phillips, Rekela Ross, Raven Ross, Donia Sharp and Kamar White.