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The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a civil rights activist who worked closely with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., will be guest evangelist during the worship service at 9 a.m. Sunday in St. John Baptist Church, 184 Goodell St.

A longtime friend and associate of the Rev. Bennett W. Smith Sr., pastor of St. John, Shuttlesworth is pastor of Greater New Light Baptist Church in Cincinnati. He will salute Smith for his long and faithful service to the church and for developing a $4 million family life center scheduled to be completed this summer.

Smith and Shuttlesworth were among the ministers active in King's efforts during the early days of the civil rights movement.

Meeting to plan labyrinth

A meeting to discuss and plan an outdoor labyrinth will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Unity Church of Practical Christianity, 1243 Delaware Ave.

The Rev. Brunetta Winthers, the church's minister, said a Cretan or seven circuit labyrinth, open to the community, will be developed on the Linwood Avenue side of the church property, near Millard Fillmore Hospital. A labyrinth, a geometrically balanced figure, consists of a winding pathway that meanders, twists and turns, eventually leading to the center and serving as an aid for quiet prayer and meditation.

Episcopalians make grants

The National Episcopal Relief and Development Fund has awarded grants totaling $55,000 to two area organizations for their work with refugees.

The fund, formerly known as the Presiding Bishop's Fund for World Relief, has given $40,000 to Vive, an agency that aids refugees seeking asylum in Canada. The money will be used to improve essential services such as nutrition, medical care and conditions at the Vive shelter.

The fund also has awarded $15,000 to the Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project to provide legal services to detained immigrants.

Columban Center retreats

Beginning next Saturday, the St. Columban Center, 6892 Lake Shore Road, Derby, will offer several weeklong contemplative retreats.

Sister Julie LeVeque, a staff member of the Sisters of St. Joseph Spirituality Center, Rochester, will lead a retreat titled "Awakening to God's Gracious Presence: Practical Spirituality for Daily Life" from 7 p.m. next Saturday to noon July 6.

Also: Rev. John Mergenhagen, a veteran retreat director, will conduct a contemplative retreat July 22-28; the center staff will conduct directed retreats Aug. 1-8; and Mergenhagen will conduct a retreat titled "Eye of the Heart" Aug. 20- 26.

For registration and fee information, call the center at 947-4708.

Healing Mass scheduled

A Healing Mass in honor of St. Peregrine, the patron saint of cancer patients, will be offered at 7 p.m. Thursday in St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, 800 Niagara Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda.

The celebrant will be the Rev. James G. Judge, pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, North Collins, who will administer the sacrament of the sick to anyone with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.

Chautauqua to open season

The Rev. Fred B. Craddock will serve as chaplain, and the Rev. C. Welton Gaddy will be the lecturer for the religions department's first-week program of the season Sunday through June 30 at the Chautauqua Institution.

Craddock, a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), is professor emeritus of Preaching and New Testament at the Chandler School of Theology in Atlanta. He will conduct worship services at 10:45 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday and at 9:15 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Gaddy, the author of more than 20 books, including "Faith and Politics," is executive director of the Interfaith Alliance, a national, non-partisan grass-roots and educational organization based in Washington, D.C. He will lecture at 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Ex-area woman to speak

Sharon Echols Kelly, a Buffalo native and daughter of a local minister, will be guest speaker for the annual Women's Day Celebration during the worship service at 11 a.m. Sunday in Pilgrim Baptist Church, 665 Michigan Ave.

The daughter of the late Rev. Elijah J. Echols Jr., longtime pastor of First Shiloh Baptist Church, Kelly is an active member of Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church, Los Angeles. She heads her own financial services consulting firm. The theme of the service will be "Women! We Must Be a Light in a Dark World."

Awards for deacons, others

Two permanent deacons, a deacon and his wife, the widow of a deacon and a nun who works with the diaconate program will be honored during the St. Stephen's Dinner at 6 p.m. Sunday at Christ the King Seminary, Town of Aurora.

The following awards will be presented: the St. Francis Award to Deacon Joseph J. Gill for 40 years of service to the St. Vincent de Paul Society and 30 years of service to Roswell Park Cancer Institute; the Bishop Edward D. Head Award to Deacon Frank Krahling for 23 years of service to the diaconate formation program; and the Phoebe Award to Isuara Campos, widow of Deacon Modesto Campos, for work in the Hispanic community and pro-life ministry.

Also: the Prisca and Aquila Award to Deacon Donald Radlinski and his wife, Jane, for service at St. Patrick's Parish, Limestone; and the Long Standing Service Award from the National Association of Deacon Directors to Felician Sister Mary Charlene Nowak for her role in establishing diaconal policies and programs on the national and local levels.

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