PASTOR RESIGNS: The Rev. John Moody, pastor...

PASTOR RESIGNS: The Rev. John Moody, pastor of a church that lost its main worship building to damage caused by the Northridge earthquake, has resigned from North Hollywood Presbyterian Church to become a pastor in Salem, Ore.

Moody, 43, who came to North Hollywood Presbyterian in 1984, will lead his last Sunday service Nov. 19 at the church’s fellowship hall, where the congregation has held services since the city-condemned sanctuary was demolished about a year ago.

In a letter of resignation to the congregation, Moody said that he had decided to seek a new position before the quake occurred on Jan. 17, 1994.

“Following the earthquake, I put that search on hold to provide the pastoral leadership that I felt was needed,” Moody wrote. “As time progressed, I realized that I was not the pastor to lead this congregation into the future.”


Earlier this year, the senior and the associate pastors resigned from Tarzana’s St. James Presbyterian Church, which is scheduled to be torn down because of earthquake damage, in order to take church positions in other states.

MITZVAH DAY: More than 1,000 people from 30 synagogues and other Jewish institutions are expected to volunteer their time on Sunday to help others in the San Fernando, Conejo, Simi, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.

Called Mitzvah Day by the sponsoring Valley Alliance of the Jewish Federation Council’s Community Relations Committee, the volunteers will feed the hungry, install computers, paint over graffiti and donate blood through the Red Cross, among other activities. The Hebrew word mitzvah means “commandment,” but its usage in this manner indicates the doing of good deeds.

“Judaism teaches that we must take an active role in assuring the well-being of the broader community,” said Mark Novak, who is co-chairing the event.

Reform, Conservative and Orthodox congregations are involved, a spokesman said.

VORSPAN TALK: Albert Vorspan, the former longtime director of Reform Judaism’s nationwide social action commission based in New York City, will speak at 7 p.m. Sunday at Temple Judea, 5429 Lindley Ave., Tarzana, on “Dilemmas for American Jews in the Current Political Scene at Home and in Israel.” The appearance is in connection with Mitzvah Day.

THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION: The eighth annual Celebration of Thanksgiving, a free musical event sponsored by Glendale Adventist Medical Center and local churches, will be held Nov. 17 at Glendale Presbyterian Church with evangelical author Lewis Smedes as the main speaker.

Veteran organist Ladd Thomas and the Cambridge Singers are on the musical program. Smedes formerly taught ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary.

The program usually draws the maximum crowd of more than 1,000, but spokeswoman Alicia Gonzalez said this week that tickets were still available. Information is available at (818) 409-8100 on weekdays.

GANG COUNSELOR: The Rev. Lawrence Hernandez, a Christian gang counselor and founder of a group that seeks to mediate street-gang disputes, will be the speaker at the monthly lunch Wednesday of the Clergy Network at Woodland Care Center, 7120 Corbin Ave., Reseda.

The complimentary meal and talk, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., is sponsored by Summit Care Corp. For reservations, call (800) 707-2224.

COMPOSERS SALUTE: Adat Ari El Synagogue will honor composers within its membership Friday night in a musical program that includes Jud Friedman, who composed the Grammy-nominated “Run to You” and James Ingram’s hit song “I Don’t Have the Heart.”

Also participating in the 8 p.m. program at the synagogue, 12020 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, are George Wyle, musical director for many TV specials; “Mission Bells” composer Danny Gould ,and children’s entertainer Craig Tubman.

Ira S. Bigeleisen, who is Adat Ari El’s cantor, and Senior Rabbi Moshe Rothblum, a composer of Jewish liturgical works, are also featured. Information: (818) 766-9426.

CHURCH DUO: Jim and Jean Strathdee, contemporary Christian musicians, will perform at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Reseda United Methodist Church, 18120 Saticoy St. A $2 donation will be collected at the door.

KUSHNER TALK: Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” will discuss “Adding Jewish Spiritual Dimensions to Each Day You Exist” in a public talk at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Adat Ari El Synagogue, 12020 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Admission is $15 and includes dessert. Information: (818) 766-9426.