New minister welcomed at church event

Members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Verdugo Hills in La Crescenta recently welcomed their new minister, the Rev. Betty Stapleford. Stapleford is formerly of the Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and began her new duties on Wednesday.

The community can meet Stapleford at an ingathering service Sunday at the church, 4451 Dunsmore Ave., La Crescenta. It will include a traditional "water ceremony" and special activities for the children. For the water ceremony, bring a sample of water representing your summer travels or experiences.

Aside from her ministerial duties, her main interests have been in immigration reform, reproductive rights and finding a solution to homelessness. That latter commitment fits right in due to church's close ties with PATH Achieve Glendale, that tends to the homeless men, women and children of the area. Stapleford is on a task force in Conejo Valley to help the local homeless get into transitional housing, on the way to becoming self-sufficient. She is also on the board of Planned Parenthood covering Ventura, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties; and active in the New Sanctuary Movement in that area, protecting the rights of immigrants. She recently joined protestors in Phoenix in opposition to Arizona's SB 1070.

Services begin at 10:30 a.m., with religious education for the youngsters held concurrently. Childcare is also available for those younger than 6.

For more information, (818) 248-3954.


Battle of Musa Ler will be commemorated

Mousaler Assn. of California is organizing a two-day remembrance event of the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Musa Ler.

The event marks the struggle and victory of the Musa Ler people from the small Armenian villages once located in the Cilician region, now in Turkey. During the years of the Armenian Genocide, the people of Musa Ler were facing extermination. In defiance, the villagers climbed atop a local mountain, Musa Ler. They fought the advancing Turkish Army for 52 days and were finally saved by a French ship passing by on the Mediterranean Sea.

The commemoration event will be from 6 p.m. to midnight on Sept. 11 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 12 at Camp Arev, 1701 Darling Ave., Frazier Park. Admission is free.

Saturday activities include cooking of the traditional Harisa, live music and dancing. Armenian barbecued shish kebab and drinks available for purchase. Sunday activities include a Mass at 10 a.m. and blessing of the Traditional Harisa at 12:30 p.m., live music and guest speaker Abo Boghigian, chief editor of Asbarez Armenian newspaper.

For more information, call Misak Zetilyan at (626) 376-7420 or visit


Elks raise funds for school dictionaries

The Glendale Elks Lodge 1289 held its annual Thanksgiving in August dinner on Aug. 20 for the dictionary project. There were 125 guests who helped the lodge raise $2,850 toward the purchase of dictionaries.

Dignitaries in attendance and speaking were, Bob Bowers, vice president Metropolitan District and chairman of the Glendale Elks' Dictionary Project, Amy Lambert, assistant superintendent of special education, and Joylene Wagner, member of the Board of Education Glendale Unified School District.

Members of the lodge will visit 35 schools in Glendale and surrounding areas to present the 2,200 dictionaries to third-grade students.

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