To mark the first anniversary Tuesday of the Northridge earthquake, tiny Christ the King Lutheran Church in Van Nuys is opening its doors to the community at large with a series of free post-earthquake seminars.
The church is one of many religious organizations taking time during a rain-soaked season to observe the anniversary of the devastating jolt.
Now repaired, painted and prettied up with help from the national office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the 85-member church will offer three Tuesday evening sessions devoted to answering questions about various aspects of recovery from the earthquake.
On Tuesday, Mario R. De Salvo, a licensed family therapist and adjunct professor at Pepperdine University, will address the question, “How do we face the stresses of the earthquake’s anniversary?” On Jan. 24, his topic will be, “How do we recover emotionally from the earthquake?” On Jan. 31, the Rev. Ann Tiemeyer, the church’s pastor, will reflect on the question “How do we talk to a God who shakes our earth?” A portion of that evening will be devoted to instruction on preparing an earthquake kit, delivered by geologist Matt Hacker, whose earlier talk was canceled because of rainstorms. All the seminars begin at 7:30 p.m.
A graduate of Yale Divinity School, Tiemeyer concluded her first assignment in Fairview, N.J., in late 1993 and had been working at Christ the King for only six weeks when the quake hit, she recalled.
“They say that you’re not somebody’s pastor until they have a crisis,” she said. “My whole congregation had one at once.” Tiemeyer was unable to live in her apartment for three days and took the opportunity to drive around and visit her congregants--a few families with young children and many retirees whose children had left the neighborhood.
“The opportunity for relationship-building--not only between me and my new congregants, but between the older and younger church members--was tremendous,” she said. “It was like accomplishing 10 years’ work in one.”
The church is located at 17400 Vanowen St., Van Nuys. (818) 342-0302.
* More than $1 million for victims of the Northridge earthquake was raised during 1994 by members of the national Aid Assn. for Lutherans--a fraternal benefit society not affiliated with the church. The group says it will continue to hold earthquake relief fund-raisers this year.
The organization was founded in 1902 to enable Lutherans and their families to help themselves and others, a spokeswoman said. The group raises money by selling life insurance and other types of insurance to members and by such events as spaghetti dinners, bake sales and auctions. Funds raised at local “branch” events are supplemented by the national organization, based in Appleton, Wis.
A breakfast hosted by a Canyon County branch helped 10 local families, six of whom were left homeless by the quake. An Agoura Hills branch held a combination rummage sale, bake sale and barbecue to assist an elderly Woodland Hills couple whose home sustained damage.
Similar events were held as far away as Seaford, Del.--where a branch held a walkathon for Southland earthquake victims
* Knollwood United Methodist Church in Granada Hills will hold an evening of music, prayer and rejoicing to celebrate “new life following the earthquake” at 7 p.m. Tuesday. 12121 Balboa Blvd. (818) 360-8111.
* Pilgrim Congregational Church in Pomona will rededicate its sanctuary during 10 a.m. worship services on Sunday, Jan. 22, marking completion of a $700,000 retrofitting project. 600 N. Garey Ave. (909) 622-1373
* Because the headquarters of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church was severely damaged by the earthquake, the Lincy Foundation, founded by investor Kirk Kerkorian, has donated $500,000 toward the purchase of new diocesan headquarters in Burbank.
Please telephone to ascertain whether scheduled events have been canceled due to flood conditions.
* St. Augustine Parish, established in 1919 in La Ballona Valley (now known as Culver City) celebrates its diamond jubilee with an open house from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, featuring special tours of its American Gothic-style church, rebuilt in 1936. St. Augustine Catholic Church is located at 3850 Jasmine Ave. (310) 838-2477.
* Tikkun magazine editor and author Michael Lerner, who coined the phrase “the politics of meaning,” will speak on “A Jewish Approach to Multiculturalism” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at Temple Solel in Encinitas. Admission is $14, with free admission for high school students and discounts for college students and temple members. (619) 436-0654.
* Chung Hyun Kyung, an internationally recognized expert on Asian Feminist Liberation Theology, will present a public lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday as an introduction to a graduate course she will teach from Thursday through Sunday in the Feminist Spirituality program of Immaculate Heart College Center. The course is entitled “Who is Jesus Christ for Today’s Asian Woman?” Admission to the lecture is $10; reservations requested. The lecture is at Immaculate Heart High School, at Western and Franklin avenues in Los Angeles. For information about the location and registration fees for the four-day course, phone (213) 386-3116.
* Father Ken McGuire, a Paulist priest and cultural anthropologist, will discuss “Search for Intelligent Signs: The New Catechism,” from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on three Thursdays: Jan. 19, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9. The discussion will take place at St. Paul the Apostle Parish, 10750 Ohio Ave., Westwood. Admission is $5 per session. (310) 474-1527.
* Oswald Fredericks, known as White Bear among members of the Hopi Nation, will speak at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles about the “Hopi Prophecy of the Fourth World.” Admission is $5. 3910 Los Feliz Blvd. (213) 663-2167.
* Elderly people of any faith who are isolated or frail, have difficulty leaving their homes or are in the first stages of memory loss, may apply to the Senior Adult Day Care Center, open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Westside Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles. The program is socially oriented and includes discussions of current events, exercise, meals and some intergenerational activities. Admission is by interview only. For information, including fees and availability of financial aid, phone (213) 938-2531, ext. 2229.
* The International Buddhist Meditation Center in Los Angeles holds talks at 11 a.m. each Sunday in January. This week, Sister Suvarma Upeksha Sarika, speaks on “Money: Not Good . . . Not Bad.” 928 S. New Hampshire Ave. (213) 384-0850.
* The Rt. Rev. Robert Anderson, the retired Episcopal bishop of Minnesota, has joined the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese as assistant bishop. Anderson’s new assignment is part of a plan by Bishop Frederick H. Borsch to organize the six-county diocese into regional areas known as deaneries. Anderson will assist Borsch in deaneries covering Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. With Anderson’s appointment by Borsch there will be three bishops in the diocese. Also assisting Borsch is Suffragan Bishop Chester L. Talton.
* Rabbi Arnold Rachlis of University Synagogue, Irvine, attended the recent Renaissance Weekend in Hilton Head, S.C., with President and Mrs. Clinton, where he made presentations to the conference on the issues of ethics and hunger. Rachlis also led the first Jewish Sabbath service ever held during a Renaissance Weekend.
* The Mark Taper Forum’s artistic director, Gordon Davidson, will be honored at the Multicultural Awards Luncheon of Los Angeles Clergy Network on Wednesday.
* The Rev. Cheviene Jones of Bethel AME Church and Joseph Moss, president of Men of Bethel, were saluted for their positive influence on the Los Angeles community at a Dec. 31 luncheon hosted by the church.
* The Society for Humanistic Judaism holds free monthly meetings. At 7:45 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, H. James Horwitz of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting will speak.(310) 891-4303.
* Temple Beth Hillel in Valley Village offers a women’s spirituality group and courses in Yiddish, philosophy and Jewish law. (818) 763-9148.
* Temple Beth Israel in Pomona offers free adult education classes and a series of Friday night sermons on contemporary religious issues. (909) 626-1277.
Southern California File welcomes submissions by mail c/o Religion Editor, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, or by fax to (213) 237-4712. Items must be brief and arrive at least three weeks in advance of the event announced. Please include a phone number, date, time and full address.