President to Be at 9-11 Prayer Service; Irene Kills Holocaust Su - South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

President to Be at 9-11 Prayer Service; Irene Kills Holocaust Survivor; Church Fire at a Funeral;

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Obama to speak at prayer service on Sept. 11

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obama

will speak at a Washington National Cathedral concert the evening

of Sept. 11 to mark the 10-year anniversary of the terror attacks.

The concert will be the final event of the cathedral's Sept. 11

commemorative weekend, when the building will reopen after being

damaged by last week's earthquake.

Ten years ago, the Rev. Billy Graham led worship at the

cathedral as the nation was reeling from the terror attacks.

Cathedral Dean the Rev. Sam Lloyd says he hopes this year's

commemoration moves the nation "further down the path toward


On the morning before the concert, Washington National Cathedral

will host a memorial service led by Christian, Jewish, Muslim,

Hindu and Buddhist clerics.



Elderly NY Irene victim had survived Holocaust

NEW YORK (AP) - A Hasidic community leader in Brooklyn says the

82-year-old woman who drowned in the Catskills during Tropical

Storm Irene had survived the Holocaust.

State police in Delaware County said Rozalia Gluck of Brooklyn was vacationing in the village of Fleischmanns

when the cabin where she was staying was swamped by flooding Sunday


Advocate Isaac Abraham says Gluck was born in Krasna, Romania

and spent time in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. She

had five children, about 45 grand-children and a number of


He says Gluck was buried Sunday night in Kiryas Joel (KEER'-uhs



Disaffected Presbyterians forming new fellowship

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) - Theological conservatives in the

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are moving to organize what could

become a breakaway denomination.

The new Fellowship of Presbyterians aims to support hundreds of

local congregations opposed to the PCUSA's acceptance of gay

ordination. Nearly 2,000 disaffected Presbyterians from around the

country met last week in Bloomington, Minn., to strategize and


The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reports that a local pastor, the

Rev. John Crosby, called for a "newly reformed body," with a

January vote on a constitution and core beliefs.

The Rev. Gradye Parsons, the PCUSA's highest elected official,

said he hopes those who attended last week's conference will stay

in the denomination and work to make it better.


Mexican Presbyterians break with PCUSA over gay clergy

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AP) - Presbyterians in Mexico are breaking

ties with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) because of differences

over homosexuality.

The theologically conservative National Presbyterian Church of

Mexico voted to stop working with the U.S. denomination.

The PCUSA voted in May to remove barriers for ordaining people

in same-sex relationships. The U.S. and Mexican churches share a

139-year history and a network of social service ministries.

Presbyterian leaders in the United States said they're saddened

by the decision and hope to find a way they can continue helping

the needy in Mexico and along the border.


Mourners evacuate, coffin saved, amid church fire

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - A Texas fire chief says his firefighters

respectfully removed a coffin and helped mourners evacuate when

fire broke out at a church during a funeral.

Galveston Fire Department Chief Jeff Smith says an electrical

fire cut power to Wesley Tabernacle United Methodist Church. The

small fire was in an area where power lines connect to the


Smith told The Galveston County Daily News that an elevator to

an upper floor, where about 80 people were attending the funeral,

was inoperable due to lack of electricity.

He said firefighters carried the coffin downstairs for transport

to a funeral home where the funeral continued. Smith says the

firefighters showed respect for relatives of the deceased.

The Rev. Steffon Arrington says the fire did not damage the

interior of the church.


Atheists say they get kudos for church billboard

MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio atheist group says it's been

commended by people for a billboard that actually was put up by a

church pastor.

The road sign in Mansfield features the statement "There is no

God" in capital letters. Below that, it says, "Don't believe

everything you hear."

Pastor Frank Moore of McElroy (MAK'-ul-roy) Road Church of

Christ told the Mansfield News Journal that he wanted to honor God

with an ad that would get people thinking. Moore says his parents

taught him not to believe everything people told him.

The Mid Ohio Atheists say they've been contacted by people

commending them for the billboard. The group says it wants to thank

the church for, as the atheists say, "advertising our thoughts."


Philly area Catholic teachers rally for contract

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The union for teachers at Philadelphia-area

Roman Catholic high schools has called for mediation in a contract

dispute that threatens next week's first day of class.

More than 100 members of the local chapter of the Association of

Catholic Teachers demonstrated at the Philadelphia archdiocese

offices on Tuesday -- the day before their current contract


Church officials say they're surprised by the request for a

mediator, but would consider it.

The two sides say they're far apart on issues like staffing,

tenure and educational initiatives.

The archdiocese has 17 high schools in Philadelphia and its four

surrounding counties. The schools serve more than 16,000 students.


Ore. judge to decide who pays girl's medical bills

OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon judge will decide who should

pay about $26,000 in medical bills that piled up after the state

took custody of the baby of two members of a faith-healing church.

After taking custody of Timothy and Rebecca Wyland's daughter,

state officials took her to pediatric specialists for treatment of

an abnormal growth of blood vessels that had engulfed her left eye.

The Wylands are members of the Followers of Christ church, which

practices faith healing. They were convicted in June of criminal

mistreatment for failing to get medical care for their daughter.

They were sentenced to 90 days in jail.

A judge required the couple to purchase health insurance for

Alayna. The Oregonian reports the couple's lawyers argue that the

insurer should pay some of the expenses.


Appeals court reviews La. prison newspaper ban

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A lawyer for the state of Louisiana says its

prisons should be allowed to ban inmates from receiving copies of a

newspaper published by the Nation of Islam.

Kyle Duncan of the state Attorney General's office told a

federal appeals court panel that The Final Call contains racist

rhetoric that could provoke an outbreak of violence.

He asked the panel to overturn a ruling that the newspaper must

be delivered to Henry Leonard, a convicted murderer who claims the

prison violated his right to free exercise of religion.

A lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana

said the ban is unconstitutional and the state hasn't produced any

evidence that The Final Call poses a threat.


Syrian security forces kill 7 as holy month ends

BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian activists say security forces killed at

least seven people, including a 13-year-old boy, as thousands of

protesters poured out of mosques and marched through cemeteries

Tuesday at the start of Eid al-Fitr, a holiday when pious Muslims

traditionally visit graves and pray for the dead.

The three-day holiday marks the end of the holy month of

Ramadan, a time of introspection that many protesters had hoped

would become a turning point in the 5-month-old uprising. Instead,

the government crackdown on dissent intensified and the conflict

has become a bloody stalemate.

In Washington, the Obama administration announced a new set of

sanctions on Syria.


(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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