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  • By BILL TINSLEY
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It is that time of year when families gather for the annual reunion: aunts, uncles and cousins, some twice removed. They find familiar faces that frame the memories of their youth and tell stories passed down through the years, embellished with each cycle of telling. “Do you remember when …?…

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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Just a few years after the Civil War ended, Galveston’s First Union Baptist Church began. The founders hailed from Boston and were part of an interracial, anti-slavery association. The new church immediately began planting daughter churches around Texas as those freed began to form their own…

  • By RICK COUSINS
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Galveston’s Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church will honor its pastor for the last five years, the Rev. Norman Van Johnson Jr. at 11:45 a.m. Sunday and at 3 p.m. on July 30 at 2127 37th St.

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Straight Way Church will have its Vacation Bible School nightly at 6:45 p.m. through Saturday at No. 21 state Highway 3 in Texas City. Free for all ages. For information, call 409-229-6352.

  • By BILL TINSLEY
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Four years ago Rick Warren’s son, Matthew ended his life with a self-inflicted gunshot. Rick Warren is author of one of the bestselling books of all time, “The Purpose Driven Life,” with more than 20 million copies sold worldwide. Rick and his wife, Kay, have been open about their grief and …

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Neighborhood Missionary Baptist Church will have its Vacation Bible School nightly at 6 p.m. through Saturday at 1800 Neighborhood Missionary Baptist Church, 1800 Oleander St., in La Marque. For information, call 409-935-6633.

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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A quick search on the Christian scriptures for the word “blood” returns a citation sufficient to cover each day of the calendar year. Beyond that, the symbolism of blood is basic to both Christianity and Judaism. All of the major religions accept and generally encourage blood donations as an…

  • By BILL TINSLEY
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Myopia. I learned the word when I was 10 years old. The optometrist checked my eyes and told my parents that I was nearsighted. I didn’t know I was nearsighted. I thought everyone saw everything the way I saw it. Trees were green blobs, the landscape blurred into blotches of pink, green, bro…

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Overcomer’s Outreach will meet at 7 p.m. Fridays at The Salvation Army, 4210 Texas Ave., in Texas City. Call Joseph Davis, 832-820-1203.

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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Texas City’s First Baptist Church will celebrate Rev. A.L. Bell on his 11th pastoral anniversary as their shepherd at 10:15 a.m. July 16 at 2120 36th St. North with guests the Rev. Mose A. Jones and his Bethlehem Baptist Church of Houston.

  • By BILL TINSLEY
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Recently, NBC News published an article asking the question, “Is the Universe Conscious?” The article referred to a paper by Gregory Matloff, a physicist at the New York City College of Technology. Matloff is not alone. Others who support the idea that the universe is conscious of itself inc…

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Overcomer’s Outreach will meet at 7 p.m. Fridays at The Salvation Army, 4210 Texas Ave., in Texas City. Call Joseph Davis, 832-820-1203.

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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In a little noticed location, behind an unmarked glass and oak door across from the downtown League City fire station, you can find Iglesia Betania. It’s a growing, bilingual church which is seeking to welcome both locals and internationals.

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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The tropics are making news again, right on schedule with Tropical Storm Cindy. To our north, there may be some houses of worship serving as shelters, but not here in Galveston County where such might represent an unsafe practice.

  • By BILL TINSLEY
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A number of years ago I attended a conference at the Harley Davidson factory in Kansas City. A number of pastors and church leaders assembled at the factory to spend a few days touring the facilities and visiting with the administrators.

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Compton Memorial Church of God in Christ’s Chosen Ones Outreach Ministries of Galveston Inc. will offer its free Kids Café Summer Meals program from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. (breakfast), noon to 1 p.m. (lunch) and 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (snacks) weekdays through July 31 at 2628 Ball St. in Galveston…

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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Islanders now know that the Franciscan friars who have shepherded Catholics here for some 37 years are departing for other work. Diocesan priests will assume the leadership of Holy Family Parish on July 1.

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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ACTS Christian Church will host a free food distribution from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at 401 10th Ave. N. in Texas City. Identification and proof of Texas City residency are required.

  • By BILL TINSLEY
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On Father’s Day 1999, Phil Mickelson and Payne Stewart stood on the final hole of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst. Mickelson had a 25 foot birdie putt to tie for the lead. Stewart’s ball was 15 feet from the cup for par.

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Temple of Deliverance Worship Center will have a fish fry fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at 1400 Sylvia St. in La Marque. Plates will be $10 each. Delivery will be available. For information, call Bishop Aaron Johnson, 409-256-1329.

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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La Marque’s Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church will celebrate the 18th pastoral anniversary of Joyce M. Ford at 3 p.m. Sunday at 1220 state Highway 3 in La Marque.

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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Galveston wouldn’t be what it is were it not for successive waves of diverse immigration. Our island has long been a port of call for immigrants, wanderers, entrepreneurs. Some of whom decided that this was a good place to begin their legacy.

  • By BILL TINSLEY
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Twenty-five years ago we took our children on one of those vacations of a lifetime to Disneyland in Los Angeles. We bought a used van for the summer and coaxed it across the desert to the West Coast. When we took the kids to the beach we were unable to see the surf on the horizon because of …

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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There may be no more pressing problem for pastors these days than how to attract and retain youth. The headlines run like this recent note in Christianity Today magazine:

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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Galveston’s St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church will celebrate the 18th anniversary of their pastor, the Rev. Louis Simpson, nightly at 7 p.m. June 6 through June 8 at 2917 Sealy St. in Galveston. Speakers will include the Revs. Vernon Baines, James Carrington and David Everson. The anniver…

  • By BILL TINSLEY
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In the movie “Gravity,” astronaut Ryan Stone, played by Sandra Bullock, has found her way aboard the Soyuz space craft.

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Overcomer’s Outreach will meet at 7 p.m. Fridays at The Salvation Army, 4210 Texas Ave., in Texas City. Call Joseph Davis, 832-820-1203.

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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The Rev. Nathan Mahand, minister of outreach and education at Galveston’s First Baptist Church, isn’t BOI, or born on the island, but arrived here some three years ago. Even so, he’s learned to turn a weather eye toward the Gulf this time each year. If he needs a reminder, he only needs walk…

  • By BILL TINSLEY
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A few years ago we adopted a dog. Well, I guess “I” adopted a dog. My wife finally gave in. But he won her over and now he is “our” dog. He has traveled thousands of miles with us, and introduced us to strangers from around the world.

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The Church Women United will have its May Friendship Day Celebration at 11 a.m. today at Carter Temple C.M.E. Church, 3901 Sealy St., in Galveston. Lunch will be served afterward. “Kindling New Fires of Love” is the theme. All churches are invited. For information, email lillieandlarry@yahoo…

  • By RICK COUSINS
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Compton Memorial Church of God in Christ and The Chosen Ones Outreach Ministries of Galveston Inc. will be giving away senior food boxes from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at 2628 Ball St. in Galveston.

  • By BILL TINSLEY
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Last week we drove my old pickup from Colorado to Texas. After 15 years and 155,000 miles, it is still going strong, or so we thought.

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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Galveston’s St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church will hold its annual pre-Mother’s Day prayer breakfast program at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at 1301 Ave. L. A voluntary donation of $5 per person is requested.

  • By BILL TINSLEY
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This week, husbands, sons and daughters will elbow their way to the greeting card displays in search of the perfect card to celebrate Mother’s Day. Florists will put on extra staff to handle the demand. Restaurants brace for business.

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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The national and international media have run a series of heart-rending images of refugees. They depict people desperately fleeing the multi-sided, violent and seemingly hopeless conflict in Syria. Tragic, but seemingly distant, these pictures have been sent from half a world away. Until the…

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God’s Household of Faith will conclude its spring revival at 7 p.m. today at 2308 22nd St. in Dickinson. The Rev. Russell Hutchison will be the evangelist. For information, call 832-457-9144.

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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It’s hard not to have a somewhat staid image of an overseas missionary. Something that might include a pith helmet, white tropical suit or, perhaps, a medical kit, along with the requisite Bible. There was a time most missionaries were preachers and teachers with a sprinkling of linguists an…

  • BY RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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The second annual Blessed Girls United Women’s Event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at CrossPointe Community Church, 722 3rd Ave. N., in Texas City.

  • By BILL TINSLEY
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Did Jesus do dishes? The very question sounds sacrilegious. That might be the point. Sometimes our “religion” prism causes us to miss the real miracle about Jesus. The whole idea of “religion” tends to confine our thinking to “church” related activities and theological conversations. To most…

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Chosen Ones Outreach Ministries of Galveston will have a clothing giveaway from noon to 1 p.m. today at Compton Memorial Church of God in Christ, 2628 Ball Ave., in Galveston. A complimentary lunch also will be provided. For information, call the Rev. Edward Lawson, 409-497-2138.

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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When it comes to surveys and statistics, there’s no doubt that the females of our species are more likely to believe in God, pray and attend services regularly. Some suggest that for every four men to venture through the doors of a church, six women do. So growing churches tend to cultivate men.

  • By RICK COUSINS Correspondent
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Texas City’s St. John Missionary Baptist Church will hold its second annual mission program at 3 p.m. Sunday at 309 Texas St. with Lisa Kelly-Jones, from the Greater House of Love, as the guest speaker.

  • By BILL TINSLEY
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Last week, Dyen returned from her home in Indonesia where she spent four months as an intern with the United Nations working with refugees. Next month she will graduate with a Master’s degree in social work from Baylor University. She is a remarkable Christian, always bubbling with life, ene…

  • By RICK COUSINS
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Less than one in 10 Americans will donate blood this year. Of course, blood types are independent of denomination or faith tradition. League City’s OakCreek Bible Church is one of a number of local churches that are seeking to make it easy to give with an on-site blood drive from 9 a.m. to 1…

  • By BILL TINSLEY
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I like to watch young people falling in love and getting married. I like to watch them strolling arm and arm, pushing a stroller, spreading a blanket on the beach and listening to the waves. Love is always new. For thousands of years it has remained the fresh and vibrant theme of novels, mov…