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Violet L. Fisher made history when she recently was installed as the United Methodist Church resident bishop of the New York West Area.

Fisher became the first black woman elected in the Northeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church and the third in the history of the denomination.

The New York West Area includes churches in the north, central and western portions of the state, including Buffalo, Rochester, Niagara Falls and Lackawanna.

Fisher will introduce herself to a Buffalo congregation at 11 a.m. Sunday when she speaks in Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church, 641 Masten Ave.

Prior to her installation as bishop, Fisher served as district superintendent of the Mary McLeod Bethune District of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and as the dean of her Cabinet.

She was ordained in 1975 and served a number of congregations.

AME Zion groups to meet

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church's Connectional Council and the Board of Bishops will meet from Tuesday through Saturday in St. Luke AME Zion Church, 314 E. Ferry St. The pastor of the church, the Rev. Robert L. Graham, will be host of the event. Worship services will begin at 7:30 each evening.

AME Zion's 12 active and 12 retired bishops, along with hundreds of participants from all over the country, will attend.

Jubilee Mass at Chautauqua

Bishop Henry J. Mansell of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo will celebrate a Jubilee Mass at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution.

The host of the special Mass will be the Catholic churches of Chautauqua County. The pastors of those parishes will concelebrate the Mass with the bishop.

A youth rally will be held at 1 p.m. in the amphitheater.

Spiritual retreat scheduled

The fourth annual spiritual retreat sponsored by Women United of New Hope Baptist Church, 543 Richmond Ave., will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. next Saturday.

The theme of the retreat is "Equipping God's People to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century." The Rev. Palma Bray Wilson of Friendship Baptist Church will be the keynote speaker.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. and is $10.

Jubilee Mass in Lancaster

St. Mary's of the Assumption Catholic Church, 1 St. Mary's Place, Lancaster, will celebrate the Jubilee of Our Lord Mass at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The Rev. Berard Pulikooti will be the celebrant. The Rosary will be recited at 6:25 p.m.

Blessing of the animals set

The Rev. J. Michael Garrison, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York, will preside over St. Paul's Cathedral's second annual blessing of the animals at 3 p.m. Sunday in the church, 128 Pearl St.

Household pets and some exotic animals, including llamas, are expected to join their caretakers in the service.

The ancient tradition honors St. Francis of Assisi, who is remembered for his love of animals. The service is ecumenical.

Three days of prayer offered

St. Bernadette's Parish, 5930 S. Abbott Road, Orchard Park, will celebrate three days of prayer in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary from Wednesday to Friday.

Each evening will begin with the Holy Rosary at 6:30. A Holy Mass will follow, with confessions at the end of each evening.

Friday, Ivan Dragecivic, a visionary from Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, will give an update on his reported daily apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the messages he says he has received from her after Mass.

Quixote Center leader to talk

Sister Maureen Fiedler, co-director of Quixote Center, a national peace and justice center in Brentwood, Md., will speak about "Matters of Faith" and "Church Reform: Then, Now and Tomorrow" at 2 p.m. next Saturday in Daemen College's Schenck Auditorium, 4380 Main St., Snyder.

The presentation will be based on a book she edited, "Rome Has Spoken: A guide to Forgotten Papal Statements and How They Have Changed Through Centuries."

The event, which is open to the public, is the second in the "Speakers Along the Thruway Series." The series is sponsored by Western New York Call to Action.

Fiedler is the host of "Faith Matters," an hourlong interfaith radio talk show that's broadcast in six markets. She is also a commentator on National Public Radio.

Evangelistic meetings slated

BRADFORD, Pa. -- Evangelistic meetings will be held from Sunday to Friday in New Life Christ Church, 1291 Main St., starting at 7 p.m. daily.

The Rev. Wallace J. Mapes, a Mohawk Native American, will be the featured speaker.

He is a graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College near Rochester, N.Y., and joined the Free Methodist Church in 1986. He was ordained as an elder in 1994.

For more information, contact the Rev. Cecelia Dickerson at (814) 698-2349.

One-day retreat planned

Sister Karen Allen, a Sister of St. Francis, will conduct a one-day retreat on "Understanding and Meditating With the Labyrinth" from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Center of Renewal, 4421 Lower River Road, Lewiston.

Allen develops and presents programs and retreat experiences for adults.

She will give a brief history and introduction of meditation and use of a labyrinth, and there will be time to reflect and share with others. Allen designed and built Stella Niagara's labyrinth, which is modeled after the one at Chartres Cathedral in France.

The cost of the retreat is $15, and it includes a buffet lunch. For registration information, call Allen at 754-7376 or 754-4388.

Three-day revival scheduled

The Rev. Betty Harriston of Columbus, Ohio, will be the guest speaker during End-Time Revival Center's three-day revival, "Take Your Faith to the Next Level," being held from Wednesday to Friday in the church, located at 1565 E. Delavan Ave., Cheektowaga.

'The Grief Process' is topic

The St. John the Baptist Catholic Church's Parish Bereavement Committee will sponsor "The Grief Process" at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the church's Klauder Hall, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.

Thomas Franz, a University at Buffalo professor of counseling and educational psychology and the associate dean of the Graduate School of Education, will be the guest speaker.

Adult retreat will be held

Kenmore Baptist Church and Cheektowaga Baptist Church are holding an adult retreat at Camp Pioneer, 9324 Lake Shore Road, Angola-On-Lake, Thursday and Friday.

The theme is "Turning Points for Growth and Wholeness." The retreat was organized to provide an opportunity for inspiration and fellowship.

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