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SHIAWASSEE COUNTY — The state-ordered “stay home, stay safe” order by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak isn’t stopping many area churches from holding services — online, that is.

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OWOSSO — St. Phillip Lutheran Church is canceling its Easter Bake Sale, originally scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 4, due to the coronavirus.

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LANSING — The Catholic Diocese of Lansing is suspending public services and events at all of its parishes through April 8 amid coronavirus concerns, the diocese said in a press release.

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OWOSSO — Due to the continued concern over the coronavirus, the Owosso Area Ministerial Association is canceling all community Lenten services.

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Those of us who write and speak need to remember the importance of brevity. Larry King, known for his television and radio interviews, reminded us in one of his books about Abraham Lincoln, who knew when to stop talking. His Gettysburg Address lasted less than five minutes.

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Typically, when you walk into a Catholic Church there is a font for holy water. It’s a sacramental, sacred sign meant to remind us of baptism. But one recent weekday, I dipped my hand into a familiar font in a prominent church in our nation’s capital before morning Mass, and encountered it e…

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OVID — The United Church of Ovid is hosting a chili cookoff at 4 p.m. March 21.

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Darcy Olsen’s motivation in life is the babies in America crying not for the normal reasons that babies cry, but because they are born addicted to meth, inheriting that addiction from their mother. Olsen wants states to protect those babies from their parents instead of putting them in foste…

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Remember the little engine that could? I don’t know the origin of the story, but it first appeared in print in the early 1900s as part of a sermon.

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DURAND — Christ-based nondenominational programs Trail Life USA and American Heritage Girl will meet from 6:45 to 8 p.m. Monday nights at the Durand Church of the Nazarene, 9725 E. Monroe Road.

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OWOSSO — Women from First Church of Christ, 585 E. North St., welcome other women from the community to their annual women’s celebration March 28.

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OWOSSO — Karl Manke’s new novel, “Hope From Heaven,” takes a deep dive into the themes of forgiveness, redemption and life after death.

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OWOSSO — The 133rd meeting of the Shrove Tuesday Club took place Tuesday at the Wrought Iron Grill.

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He killed his grandmother. And he did so brutally, dumping her in the water before she was even dead, if the coroner is correct that her cause of death was drowning. He killed two others — all evil acts. And then once in prison, he managed to kill a fellow inmate. So, I get why the governor …

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SHIAWASSEE COUNTY — A series of community Lenten services are slated for 7 p.m. each Wednesday this month.

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Rachel weeps. That biblical mother weeping for her children is all I could think of when I heard that that a California woman named Michelle Reaves had died in childbirth. She had been serving for the second time as a surrogate for a family. And while the baby was born, Reaves, a wife and mo…

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SHIAWASSEE TWP. — Cal Emerson has kept busy since retiring as the pastor at Northgate Wesleyan Church in 2012, penning five books with spiritual themes.

As a teenager, Trey Smith kept praying that he would reach 6-foot-5 — the right height for a blue-chip lineman coming out of high school, and then a college star who would rise high in the National Football League draft.

He killed his grandmother. And he did so brutally, dumping her in the water before she was even dead, if the coroner is correct that her cause of death was drowning. He killed two others — all evil acts. And then once in prison, he managed to kill a fellow inmate. So, I get why the governor …

SHIAWASSEE COUNTY — A series of community Lenten services are slated for 7 p.m. each Wednesday this month.

Everyone is made in the image and likeness of God. Every person has a purpose on this Earth. Do we believe this?

CHESANING — ProPublica, a nonprofit national online news site, this week released what it calls the only national database that attempts to list every Catholic priest credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Rachel weeps. That biblical mother weeping for her children is all I could think of when I heard that that a California woman named Michelle Reaves had died in childbirth. She had been serving for the second time as a surrogate for a family. And while the baby was born, Reaves, a wife and mo…

SHIAWASSEE TWP. — Cal Emerson has kept busy since retiring as the pastor at Northgate Wesleyan Church in 2012, penning five books with spiritual themes.

Ray Ortlund Sr. told a great story about a family of raccoons that found their way into his backyard every springtime. These funny animals at mealtimes would wash their food in the Ortlunds’ swimming pool. The Ortlunds’ young son was amazed and at the same time was learning some truths in Su…

The scene during the Vatican’s Christmas concert was simple and even childlike, as a young woman from Latin America instructed participants — including smiling cardinals — to fold their arms over their chests.

“This time, with freedom!” Sisters Mary Karen and Mary Gabriel implored. It was a rare day for Sisters of Life from different convents to get to be together at the religious order’s motherhouse in the suburbs of New York. There, they gathered around an outdoor Nativity scene with fire for wa…

It was a week before Christmas, and I found myself anxious and angry. I was paying more attention to minute-by-minute politics than I had on any other day of the year.

During a dozen years of ministry, the Rev. Ted Giese estimates that he has performed 200 funerals and made 1,000 hospital visits to the sick and the dying. He also spends many hours in theaters, working on his movie reviews featured at The Canadian Lutheran website.

BENNINGTON TWP. — The Pittsburg United Methodist Church, at M-52 and Grand River Road, is hosting a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. Dec. 24.

CORUNNA — Christian musicians Mike Reath and Lynn Webster will share a potpourri of gospel classics and original songs at 5 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Corunna Church of the Nazarene, 230 N. Woodworth St.

VENICE TWP. — The Northwest Venice United Methodist Church at the corner of Geeck and Wilkinson roads is conducting its annual program at 7 p.m. Dec. 22.

The 1989 Cher song “If I Could Turn Back Time” comes to mind when I think about the end of the Kamala Harris’s campaign to be the Democratic candidate for president. Maybe you remember the song — “If I could turn back time/if I could find a way/I’d take back those words that’ve hurt you and …

OWOSSO — St. Paul Catholic School will move to the former St. Joseph School for the fall of 2020, but will still carry the same name, school officials announced Friday afternoon via press release.

SHIAWASSEE COUNTY — The Owosso Salvation Army’s ongoing annual Red Kettle Drive appears to have been targeted by thieves, impairing the charity’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

VENICE TWP. — The Northwest Venice United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Geeck and Wilkinson roads, is having its annual Christmas Fellowship Supper at 7 p.m. Dec. 6.

OWOSSO — Area residents will be able to watch the story of the first Christmas come to life, thanks to a reenactment of the birth of Jesus presented by the Owosso First United Methodist Church.

OVID — A children’s Christmas musical, “The Present Is The Future,” will be performed at United Church of Ovid, 131 W. Front St., at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 8.

BANCROFT — The 2019 Christmas Sing Along is slated for 5 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Bancroft United Methodist Church, 101 S. Beach St.

OWOSSO TWP. — Santa Claus will stop at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 2510 N. M-52, Dec. 15 for Supper with Santa.