By Karen Vance
DEERFIELD TWP. - Two congregations will celebrate their new Deerfield Township homes next week.
St. Margaret of York Catholic Church began in 1983 with 50 families meeting in a public school. The parish decided to build a school first on the property, 9483 Columbia Road, and has been worshipping in the school's gymnasium and cafeteria.
The more than 1,500 families in the parish will celebrate the completion of its first permanent building with a dedication Mass at 5 p.m. March 21.
"This has been such a huge parish effort. We've been trying to make every member a part of this effort," said Susan Abeln, a member of the public relations committee for the church.
That same weekend, Congregation B'nai Avraham at Northern Hills Synagogue will have its first Sabbath service in its new home, 5714 Fields Ertel Road, at 8 p.m. March 19.
"It's a major change in the congregation, possibly the biggest thing we've ever had happen," said Rabbi George Barnard.
The 165-family conservative congregation, founded in 1960, is moving from Finneytown to adjust to a shift in the Jewish population to northern suburbs. It will be the first Jewish synagogue in Warren County.
"After quite a bit of soul-searching and deliberation, we feel this is the place we belong," Barnard said of the small congregation. "We want to maintain our religious character, and not just be about the numbers. But we do want to bring our faith to more people."
The congregations have several days of activities planned. At St. Margaret of York:
Sunday: A kick-off event, ice cream/coffee bar social at 6 p.m. in the school gym.
March 20: A parish 24-hour vigil leading up to the dedication Mass.
March 21: A luminaria lighting leading up to the dedication Mass, presided over by Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, at 5 p.m.
At Northern Hills Synagogue:
Friday: A Sabbath service led by Barnard at 8 p.m. with refreshments following.
March 20: A Sabbath morning service with Rabbi Martin Pasternak, director of congregational services for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, at 9:30 a.m. There will be a gala dinner that evening.
March 21: From 1 to 3 p.m., a Torah procession, building dedication and open house, with guided tours of the new building.
SPRING MUSICAL: The Southern Baptist Church, Lexington and Reading roads, will host its annual spring musical at 6 p.m. March 21 with the choirs from the Jerriel Baptist Church in the West End and the Galilee Baptist Church in Northside. Information: 221-4333.
To submit religion news, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or send a fax to 755-4150.
Bengals vow to sue county
Medical marvel saves boy
Rescue drama in frigid creek
Ex-judge accused of sex crime
Schools pave way for future tax levies
IN THE TRISTATE
'Singin' in the Rain' has bucketfuls of comedy
Students can get grants from foundation
Cheviot crematory OK'd
At the center of furor, officer sticks to routine
Police plan for meth lab cleanup
Mental health agency turns 35
Ticket sale nets $200 fine
65 mph speed limit for trucks going nowhere
Farm rezoned to homes, business
West Chester seeks to update plan for future
Public safety briefs
What will be done about old brewery?
Faith matters: Congregations celebrating first services in new homes
Good Things Happening
Archie Fine, 97, former radiologist
Cheney gathers bucks for Bunning
Bank calls in church's $4M loan
Erlanger-Elsmere changes pay scales
Plan would tax all tobacco
Man sought in fatal shooting
Women's commission leader guiding health, job issues