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The Buffalo Christian Center, 512 Pearl St., has received a $50,000 grant from the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation for improvements to its Forbes Theatre.

The grant will be used for stage expansion, a new lighting system and other technical improvements to the theater, which is available to local and traveling theater groups whose productions uphold Christian values.

The center is seeking an additional $550,000 for other theater improvements, including new seating, heating and air conditioning.

Temple, church to recall King

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of racial justice and harmony will be celebrated during a Shabbat Service at 8 p.m. Friday in Temple Beth Zion, 805 Delaware Ave.

Both Rabbi Ronne Friedman of Temple Beth Zion and the Rev. Troy A. Bronner of Calvary Baptist Church will speak during the service commemorating King's death. Cantor David Goldstein and the Temple Choir and Calvary's Traveling Choir will provide music. The service is open to everyone.

Rev. Tiegreen is interim pastor

The Rev. Nancy Fox Tiegreen, who has been serving as a pastor in Lingle, Wyo., has been called as interim pastor of Central Presbyterian Church effective Wednesday.

A graduate of San Francisco Theological Seminary, she will succeed the Rev. Dr. Lerold W. Chase, who left in September after 12 years as pastor to become a consultant for churches and foundations.

Conference on family planning

The Natural Family Planning Office of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese will sponsor an all-day conference, an awards dinner and a Mass in April.

The conference on "The Life-Changing Nature of Natural Family Planning" will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 18 at Canisius College. Details are available by calling 847-5533.

A Mass for families and friends of the office will be celebrated by Bishop Henry J. Mansell at 10 a.m. Palm Sunday in St. Joseph's Cathedral, 50 Franklin St. The awards dinner, with reservations due Friday, will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 17 in Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora.

Choir to perform 'Messiah'

The Chancel Choir of St. James United Church of Christ, 76 Main St., Hamburg, will present portions of Handel's "Messiah" during the worship service at 10 a.m. Sunday.

The performance will be directed by Margaret Bukkosy, director of music, and accompanied by organ and a string quartet consisting of members of the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra. All are welcome.

Lenten Day of Reflection

The Catholic Biblical Studies Program and Mount St. Mary Academy will present a Lenten Day of Reflection from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. next Saturday in the school, 3756 Delaware Ave., Town of Tonawanda.

The Rev. Leslie Hoppe, a professor of Old Testament studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, will conduct the program, focusing on "Who Is This Man Jesus?" To register, call Barbara Shanahan, director of the biblical program, at 674-6772 or 871-9180.

Renewal Service Sunday

"The Newness That Faith Brings" will be the theme of a Renewal Service at 10:15 a.m. Sunday in Faith United Church of Christ, Hopkins and Maple roads, Amherst.

Guest speaker will be the Rev. Robert S. Hallett of TLC Ministries, Dillsboro, Ind., who helped the congregation conduct a campaign to raise money for a $750,000 building project. A reception will follow the service.

Bishop to honor Scouts

Bishop Henry J. Mansell of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese will present special awards to more than 100 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts during a religious recognition awards ceremony at 11 a.m. next Saturday in St. Joseph's Cathedral, 50 Franklin St.

The Scouts will be honored for completing a diocesan religious emblems project that complements existing religious education programs. The project helps Scouts develop a deeper understanding of their faith and its relationship to Scouting and everyday life.

Bishop Mansell also will present Service to Youth Awards to adult guides.

Christian Education Institute

St. John Baptist Church will conduct its annual Institute of Christian Education April 6-10 at the church, 184 Goodell St.

Sponsored by the church's Board of Christian Education, the institute will begin with worship services at 6:30 each evening. The services will feature guest choirs and ministers.

The free courses, which will run until 9:30 p.m., are designed for all age groups. They will include the New Testament, Christian Stewardship, Christian Evangelism, the Black Family and Developing Christian Character.

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