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News Headlines: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference Sues City Over Religious Freedom (and more!)


Arkansas-Louisiana Conference Sues City Over Religious Freedom. The Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and two church members filed a federal lawsuit against White Hall, Arkansas, because the city requires a group to apply and receive a permit to go door-to-door evangelizing and seeking donations. Representatives of the Literature Evangelism Program at the Adventist-affiliated Ouachita Hills College were told by city officials that they would need a permit for their outreach to residents last month. The group rescheduled the outreach effort but asked city officials to reconsider its stance. Tom Owens, the city’s attorney, had not responded to the group’s e-mails and phone calls. From The Kansas City Star, "Seventh-day Adventists sue over Arkansas city's permit rule."

Bahamian Pastor Opens Biblical Theme Park. Pastor Jeremiah Duncombe has opened the first phase of the Bahamas Holy Land Experience, an eco-adventure religious theme park in Andros, Bahamas.  On completion, the park will offer 49 Holy Land biblical replicas including the Jordon River Bridge, the Sea of Galilee, the Upper Room, the Well of Samaria, the Tomb of Jesus, and a Prayer Grotto. The park will also offer nature trail walks, fishing, corn roasting, story-telling, cooking, and opportunities to view ecological and geological sites which include a variety of birds and animals in their natural habitat, natural rock caves, flat and hilly terrain, and species of tropical and medicinal plants. From The Bahamas Weekly, "Holy Land Park Opened in South Andros."

Hendersonville Adventist Church Offers a Daniel Fast to Community. The North Carolina Hendersonville Seventh-Day Adventist is sponsoring a Daniel Fast, based on the fasting experiences of the prophet Daniel and Jewish fasting principles. For 21 days, participants will eat only fruits and vegetables and drink only water.  Other activities will include a three-day prayer seminar and a Steps to Christ morning devotion.  From Blue Ridge Now, "Church Invites Community to Join in Daniel Fast."

Homeless Shelter Opens at Lakeport Community Church. On January 4, the Lakeport Community Seventh-day Adventist Church near Ukiah, California, with a coalition of area churches, has opened a warming shelter with space for 24 people.  During their stay, guests receive dinner and a breakfast-to-go along with access to restrooms and showers. The food is donated by members of six churches.  Located at the SDA church, the center represents the culmination of 15 years of work by the local churches to open a permanent homeless shelter in the county, according to president Pastor Shannon Kimbell-Auth of the United Christian Parish. From Record-Bee, "New Center Warms Bodies and Hearts."

Judge Grants Arbitration Hearings in Sex-abuse Case. A Kings County, California judge has ruled that two female employees of the Adventist Medical Center in Hanford must take sexual harassment claims to a binding arbitration hearing. The two employees had brought a lawsuit against the medical center, alleging sexual harassment and retaliation by two male workers, whom the hospital has argued were contract workers, not hospital employees. The lawyer for the plaintiffs decided to take the lawsuit public after the hospital reminded the employees that they had signed papers compelling them to seek arbitration in lieu of filing a lawsuit. The case is now in arbitration. From The Fresno Bee, "Nurse fondled himself in Hanford operating room, says co-worker's sexual harassment lawsuit," and "Judge rules in favor of Hanford hospital in sexual harassment case."


Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Redlands, California.

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