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La Crescenta Presbyterian Church will be presenting the Dominican Republic merengue band Maranatha on Saturday at 7: 30 p.m. Maranatha, a nine piece band featuring lively percussion and brass instruments, is currently touring the United States on their 2007 benefit tour.

Admission is free, but a free will offering will be taken to benefit a new hospital in La Romana in the Dominican Republic that serves people in a poor section of the city.

Funds raised will also go to help provide medical care to the Haitian migrant workers who live in small villages in the sugar cane fields with no running water or electricity.

Says Pastor Andy Wilson “I have known the Maranatha band members for many years now and every time we hear them in concert on our D.R. mission trips, they blow us away. This is high energy music with a positive message.”

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For more information please contact the church office at (818) 249-6137 or visit the website at www.lcpc.net. La Crescenta Presbyterian Church is located at 2902 Montrose Avenue in La Cresecenta.

Lock-up, lock-in, lock-down . . . chances are you will experience at least one of these if you attend “Freedom Quest,” this year’s Vacation Bible School at La Cañada United Methodist Church. The class begins on Friday evening and continues through Sept. 1.

“Freedom Quest” will lead participants on a journey at a place called “Reformation Station” (conveniently located on the church campus), whether one is a youth participant playing the role of a criminal, a middle elementary student playing the role of a guard, an adult acting as a volunteer seeking to help rehabilitate the “prisoners,” or a young child participating in games and activities that illustrate Biblical principles.

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Participants will find themselves working and playing together and searching scripture for answers to life’s challenges.

They will also learn about a program that helps the families of prisoners from the director of that program, Mary Weaver, who will be the special guest speaker on Saturday.

Additionally, the program will prepare for a meaningful service project. The church’s Vacation Bible School is for people of all ages and open to all who are interested.

RSVP by calling (818) 236-2838. There is a registration fee for individuals or for family groups.

Dennis Prager, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and instructor at the University of Judaism, will be conducting Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services locally in September.

Prager, who recently relocated to La Cañada, is interested in drawing together the foothills Jewish community and is looking forward to the opportunity to conduct the holy day services.

He said that he is passionate about wanting to offer “a meaningful service at the very least and hopes to establish a local place” for the foothill Jewish population to meet.

For more information, call (800) 657-5093.

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After one year without a senior pastor, First Baptist Church of La Crescenta this week welcomed Dr. David Beckwith as the church’s interim pastor.

Beckwith replaces Rick Derbyshire, who moved on to pastor a church in Colorado.

John Wells, the church’s pastor of worship arts, said he’s glad to have Beckwith take on the assignment.

“I was really impressed with [Beckwith] when he came and answered questions for our board ,” Wells said.

In addition to inspirational speaking nationally and internationally, Beckwith is the author of several articles and periodicals and is currently completing a book on dealing with “the giants in your life.”

Beckwith said he’s excited to begin his ministry here.


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