Class to Study Christianity Basics

St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Newbury Park begins a five-week class Sunday titled “Foundations of Faith.”

“This series on the basics of Christian faith offers a great Lenten study opportunity to explore your faith and beliefs in light of our Wesleyan heritage,” said the Rev. Lynne Austin of St. Matthew’s.

The class is open to the community and runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 498-6910. The church is at 1360 S. Wendy Drive.

Church Offers Health Screenings


* Camarillo’s United Methodist Church has established a health ministry in cooperation with the Camarillo Health Care District.

Marilyn Adams, a registered nurse and church member, coordinates the new program.

“The health ministry is to help the congregation care for one another,” Adams said, as well as “to attain and maintain the best possible whole-person health--of body, mind and spirit.”

The first Sunday of every month has been designated as Wellness Sunday. This Sunday, blood pressure and blood glucose screenings will be offered on the church grounds from 9 to 11 a.m. The public is invited to participate, Adams said.


Camarillo United Methodist is at 291 Anacapa Drive. For church information, call 482-4312.

Workshop to Focus on Sabbath

* A “World of Shabbat” workshop, sponsored by Chabad of the Conejo and the Council on Jewish Life is set for Sunday in Agoura Hills.

“The goal of the program is to focus on the elements of the Sabbath that take place in the home,” said Rabbi Yisroel Levine.

Admission, demonstrations and most crafts are free. Children and adults will learn how to make a challah cover, kiddush cup, candle holder, spice ball and havdallah candle.

The workshop will be held at Willow Elementary School, 29026 Laro Drive, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. For more information, call Chabad at (818) 991-0991.

Heschel Day School to Give Tours

* The two campuses of Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School West in Agoura will hold open house tours Sunday and March 8.


The open houses will allow prospective students and their parents to “meet our faculty, tour our facilities and get to know our families,” said Marci Robinson of the school.

Children’s Wonderland kindergarten and transitional kindergarten tours will be offered between 1 and 3 p.m. at the campus at 27400 W. Canwood in Agoura. From 3 to 5 p.m., the first- through fifth-grade campus at 29646 Agoura Road will be open to tours.

For more information about touring either campus, call (818) 707-2365.

March Sermons to Examine Faith

* “Lent, Journey of Faith” will be the March sermon series at Camarillo United Methodist Church.

“In this series, we will look at faith,” said the Rev. Jim Decker-Mahin. “Sometimes the choices we make are hard or do not bring the results we intend. Jesus models for us these choices of courage.”

Sunday services are held at 9 and 10:30 a.m.

The church is at 291 Anacapa Drive. For information, call 482-4312.


Taize-Style Service Planned

* A Taize-style ecumenical worship service of song, readings and silent prayer will be held Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ventura at 196 N. Ashwood Ave.

“Taize services originated in Taize, France, the home of an ecumenical monastic community of monks, for whom contemplative prayer is at the center of life,” said Cecil Hoffman of the Ventura Contemplative Community.

The style of worship is the “sung prayer,” or simple chants sung repeatedly. Instrumental accompaniment will be led by Ron Zell, music minister at Trinity Lutheran.

The service will begin at 6:45 p.m. For information, call 647-6831 or 642-7785.

Women’s Group Plans Seminars

* Life Design for Women will host a visitors day that will include seminars.

Beginning at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church in Ventura, at 425 S. Mills Road, the organization will offer introductory lectures and education seminars on topics ranging from career development to painting.

All programs will be free.

Life Design for Women is a personal development program that uses the Bible as its guide.

For information on the event, call 647-0313 or 659-2546.

Priest to Celebrate Healing Mass

* Father John Higson of Oxnard’s Santa Clara Church will celebrate a special healing Mass on Thursday night.

“The Lord has used Father Higson for healing of many suffering persons in his 18 years of ministry,” said Milton Rosenberg of the church’s Santa Clara Prayer Group.

“The healing Mass will deal with physical healing, emotional and mental healing, and healing of memories.”

The public is welcome to the Mass, which begins at 7 p.m. at the church at 323 South E St. For more information, call Rosenberg at 985-6024.

Interactive Workshop Scheduled

* “Have You Talked to God Today?” is an interactive workshop that will be held Friday at the Unity Center, 4373 Park Terrace Drive, at the City Hall and library in Westlake Village.

The free workshop begins at 7 p.m. and the public is welcome. Ronald Gibbons, director of Information Services for Santa Barbara Research Center, will present the workshop.

For more information, call 251-4133.

Church to Serve Fish Dinners

* A fish fry will be served each Friday evening of Lent at St. Anthony’s Church in Oxnard. Sponsored by the parents’ club, the menu will also include side dishes, punch and coffee for $5 a plate. Parishioners and friends are welcome to attend, and proceeds will benefit St. Anthony’s School.

Stations of the Cross will be held on Lenten Fridays at 1:30 and 7 p.m. in English and 8 p.m. in Spanish.

The dinners will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Fridays through April 3 at 2511 South C St. For more information, call the church office at 486-7301.

Temple Schedules Purim Events

* Ventura’s Temple Beth Torah plans a weekend of festivities for Purim.

On March 7, a wine, cheese, dessert, karaoke and costume party for adults will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Meister social hall. Tickets are $12 at the door or $10 by reserving at the temple office at 647-4181.

On March 8, a free Purim carnival will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring games, prizes and food.

Both events are on the temple grounds at 7620 Foothill Road.

Participants are asked to bring canned goods to give to families in need.

Baptists Sponsor 3-Day Conference

* A three-day evangelism conference will be hosted by Oxnard’s St. Paul Baptist Church on March 10-12. The Board of Evangelism of the Progressive National Baptist Convention will sponsor the event.

“Come prepared for an evangelistic explosion,” said the Rev. B.A. Huggins of St. Paul Baptist Church. “Each night, spirit-filled choirs will minister through songs of praise.”

A musical will precede the conference at 7 p.m. March 9. Free workshops will be held during the three days on such subjects as small-group personal evangelism, evangelizing men and teaching youths and college students. Preregistration is advised.

Evangelistic preaching begins at 8 p.m. March 10, with Carrol A. Baltimore Sr. The Rev. Terry Streeter will be featured March 11, and Bennett W. Smith Sr. is the March 12 minister.

St. Paul Baptist is at 1354 South C St. For information or preregistration, call 487-2015.

Chabad to Host Weekend Retreat

* Chabad of the Conejo will host a Shabbaton retreat at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Ventura March 13-15. Rabbi Manis Friedman, a lecturer and author, will speak.

“Rabbi Friedman is known for his thoroughly comprehensible insights into the most complex questions regarding Judaism and the universe at large,” said Rabbi Yitzchak Sapochkinsky of Chabad.

The weekend will feature Glatt Kosher meals, entertainment, a children’s program and baby-sitting service. For a brochure, call (818) 991-0991.

Temple Fair to Celebrate Purim

* Temple Beth Haverim will hold an all-day Purim Carnival on March 15 at Willow Elementary School in Agoura Hills.

Attractions include rides, games, prizes, food, a petting zoo and musical entertainment, said Bobbi Rubinstein of the temple.

Cantor Kenny Ellis and Cindy Paley will perform “Di Gantze Megillah” and tell the Purim story.

Admission is free to the event, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

The school’s address is 29026 Laro Drive. The conservative Temple Beth Haverim’s address is 5126 Clareton Drive. For more information, call Pam Katz at (818) 889-2501.

Church Follows Sicilian Tradition

* “St. Joseph’s Table,” a Sicilian tradition, will be the centerpiece of a St. Joseph’s Day celebration at St. Paschal Baylon Church in Thousand Oaks on March 22.

The day’s festivities will begin with a bake sale from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., a children’s procession from the church to the hall and a 9:15 Mass, followed by a blessing of the baked goods at 10:15 a.m. An Italian dinner, served by the Italian Catholic Federation, will be offered from 4 to 7 p.m. Entertainment will be featured.

Proceeds from the dinner, which costs $7 for adults and $3.50 for children, will support the needy in Thousand Oaks.

The festival is offered in honor of St. Joseph for favors received through the intercession of the foster father of Jesus, said Frank Saglime, president of the Italian Catholic Federation.

The custom of St. Joseph’s Table began in the Middle Ages, when Sicily suffered a drought and famine. Sicilians prayed to St. Joseph, promising that each succeeding generation would honor St. Joseph on his feast day if God would send them rain. The story goes that at the stroke of midnight, the land turned green and fish became abundant.

“St. Joseph’s Table is an opportunity for people of all cultures and faiths to come together to share one of the Italian community’s cherished customs,” Saglime said. “It’s one way we give back to the community.”

To purchase tickets, call Frank Caso at 492-4290. The church is at 155 E. Janss Road.