Saturday, January 31, 2004

Vance: Faith matters

Finance, relationship help being offered at churches

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

SPRINGDALE - Many local churches are offering services that go beyond spiritual growth and into the real problems of people's lives.

"We believe there's a direct correlation between our lives and our faith, and it's when we fail to see that connection that we have a real problem," said Bill Koontz, a pastor at Vineyard Community Church, 11340 Century Circle East, Springdale.

Mary Hunt, editor of Chesapeake Monthly and author of several books about personal finance and debt-free living, will speak at Vineyard services at 6:30 p.m. today and at 8:30, 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

That will be followed up by personal-finance seminars at the church on Feb. 28 and March 6.

St. Xavier Catholic Church downtown is also looking to provide people with life skills. A three-week "School of Living" on the topic of "Building and Restoring Relationships: Practical Approaches" begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday with a session on communication within families at the church, 607 Sycamore St.

Feb. 11, Cincinnati City Councilman David Crowley will talk about public service and political participation. And on Feb. 18, a three-person panel will discuss healing within the Catholic Church.

For more information on the Vineyard program, call 671-0422 or visit For more information on St. Xavier's program or to reserve a light dinner at Wednesday's program, call 721-4045.

MUSLIM PERSPECTIVE: As part of Miami University's presentation of "Islam in America," Thursday, Shakila Ahmad, coordinator of tours and talks at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, will speak on "Growing up Muslim and American: Personal and Community Reflections" at 11 a.m. in MacMillan Hall, room 212.

At 2 p.m., Farid Esack, a former South African commissioner for gender equality, will speak on "The Qur'an: Between Text, Pretext and Contexts." Omid Safi, a professor of Islamic studies at Colgate University, will speak at 3:45 p.m. on "Beyond 'Clash of Civilizations:' A Progressive Muslim Critique." For more information, call (513) 529-8309.

CATHOLIC PANEL: The Cincinnati Enquirer is seeking lay Catholics for a reader panel discussion on the Catholic Church's parishes and schools. We're looking for a group that is diverse in age, race, geography, ethnicity and gender. If you would like to participate, please send an e-mail to or write to Rebecca Goodman, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati OH 45202. Please include your name, neighborhood, day and night phone numbers, occupation and e-mail address. We also would like to know your parish or school, as well as your age, race, ethnicity and gender.


To submit religion news, e-mail or send a fax to 755-4150.

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