August means back to school and the first church sponsored festival for this year along these lines will happen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Jones Park, 7100 Jones Drive. It is sponsored by Galveston’s The Island Church.

“We have backpacks ready for the first 200 students who register with us tomorrow,” said Roland Rojas, the director of operations for the church. “We will also have free food, games and a special contest for wiener dogs at this same event, but you must register on arrival to be eligible.”

For details, call 409-770-9113.

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Most preachers prepare new material for each Sunday’s message, but some of the classics persist. Evangelist Bailey Smith will deliver his special “The wheat and the tares” sermon at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Galveston’s First Baptist Church, 822 23rd St.

Tina Griser said that Smith’s talk changed her life when she first heard it years ago in Jackson, TN.

“During Dr. Smiths message, I realized I was a ‘tare,’” she said. “I looked great on the outside but on the inside I was empty and did not have a real relationship with Christ. Had it not been for his clear and direct message that night, I don’t know what kind of a life I would have today.”

For details, call 409-763-1840.

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You don’t need to be Jewish to benefit from Amira Hemme’s Israeli Folk Dancing class which runs from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 7, 14, 21 and 28 and Sept. 11, 18 and 25 at Clear Lake’s Congregation Shaar Hashalom, 16020 El Camino Real.

“Israeli folk dancing reflects the many and varied faces of Israel,” Hemme said. “Some dances are jumpy with a defined beat, others flow. The dances are influenced by many cultures: Greek, Arabic, Eastern European — to just name a few. It is a great way to have lots of fun, learn something new and enjoy the music. The songs are typically in Hebrew and are about the love for the land of Israel.”

For class costs and other details, call 281-488-5861 or 281-922-4144.

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The Rev. Todd Cobb of Friendswood’s Trinity Fellowship will address the Friendswood Prayer Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Aug. 19 at 301 Leisure Lane on the topic of a “message from the heart.”

“Jesus was a man who prayed and pushed,” Cobb said. “He was courageous, He was bold. To Jesus, it was all about accomplishing the Father’s will. We ought to learn from His example of moving forward no matter what. So, your mission as leaders, is to reject passivity, deny yourself, and follow Jesus; the kingdom of God cannot wait.”

There’s a suggested breakfast donation of $5.

For details, call 713-408-4785.

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Update: The researchers over at The Pew Forum have rated the public’s attitude toward various institutions again. They found the following percentages for having a positive impact on society: 69 percent for churches, 55 percent for colleges, 47 percent for labor unions and a whopping 28 percent for the news media.

Events for Faith Focus should be submitted at least two weeks in advance.

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