The Patriarch of Antioch, Ignatius IV, is scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on Tuesday in his second visit to the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America since his ascension to the patriarchate in 1979.
The patriarch leads one of the oldest Christian churches. Acts 11:26 refers to Antioch as the place where followers of Jesus Christ were first called Christians, and the first bishop of Antioch is traditionally believed to have been the apostle Peter.
There are estimated to be about 8 million adherents of the faith worldwide, with about 1 million in North America.
On Aug. 8, Ignatius will preside over the Orthodox patriarchal divine liturgy at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Cathedral in Los Angeles. All 17 Southern California churches will be closed to celebrate the divine liturgy. The cathedral is at 2300 W. 3rd St. (213) 382-6269.
The district convention of Jehovah's Witnesses, with a theme of "God's Prophetic Word," will continue today and Sunday at the Long Beach Convention Center. A baptism and ordination ceremony will take place today at 11:30 a.m. On the schedule Sunday are a symposium on Bible prophecies, "Prophetic Words for the Appointed Time," at 10 a.m. and a biblical drama, "Appreciating Our Spiritual Heritage," at 11:10 a.m. David Thomas, former local district overseer of Jehovah's Witnesses, will discuss "Making All Things New--As Foretold" at 1:50 p.m. (562) 499-7674.
The third Sephardic Arts Festival will be held at the Skirball Cultural Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The term "Sephardic," derived from the Hebrew word for Spain, refers to Jews whose origins can be traced to Spain and Portugal and more generally to Jews from the lands of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The day will feature the traditions of this ancient heritage with presentations of music, dance, Sephardic and Middle Eastern food, arts and crafts for children, exhibitions and films. General admission is $8. (310) 440-4500.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will present a five-day institute, "Building Inclusive Communities," for diocesan, parish and community leaders Aug. 9-13. The Rev. Eric Law, an Anglican priest noted for his books on spirituality and development of multicultural community, the Rev. Virgilio Elizondo, founder of the Mexican American Cultural Center, and Sister Eva Lumas, assistant professor of religious education and culture at the Franciscan School of Theology, will be among the speakers. (213) 637-7669 or (213) 637-7359.
* The Rev. Duane Cox will discuss "New Thought, an American Tradition" and the benefits and dangers of spiritual growth at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Philosophical Research Society, 3910 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles. Suggested donation is $5. (323) 663-2167.
The Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Theological Seminary recently announced the appointment of the Rev. David T. Tomlinson as vice president for the Southern California campus and professor of ministry. The Southern California campus program prepares pastors for ministries in an urban context.
* The Pomona-Inland Valley Council of Churches has appointed Victoria Gordon Findlay executive director. Findlay, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, will begin her service Sunday.
* David L. Wheeler launches his tenure as senior minister at First Baptist Church of Los Angeles on Aug. 8. Wheeler most recently was an adjunct professor at Montclair State College in New Jersey. He has served as pastor of urban congregations in Kansas City, New Jersey and San Francisco and as visiting professor at theological schools in El Salvador, Russia and Colombia.
First Southern Baptist Church of Whittier, 14631 Leffingwell Road, will continue its summer concert series with a performance by InJoy on Aug. 7 at 5 p.m. There will also be discussion of the role of the family in today's society. (562) 944-9954.
* The fourth annual Gospel Brunch, sponsored by the Women of Hope and featuring the New City Parish Gospel Choir, will take place at Hope Lutheran Church, 6720 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, on Sunday at 11:45 a.m., followed by a brunch at 12:40 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 12. (323) 938-9135.
* The Westside Jewish Community Center, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, will present a concert by Wendy Becker of contemporary music, Yiddish songs and show tunes on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cost is $5 for members, $7 for nonmembers. (323) 938-2531, Ext. 2225.
* The Cathedral Choir of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, 540 S. Commonwealth Ave., will tour Britain for two weeks beginning Thursday. The singers will perform at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford and St. Andrew's and St. George's churches in Edinburgh. The choir will present a preview of its tour repertory Sunday at 4 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Church. (213) 385-1345.
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