Gospel singers are invited to audition for a gospel show at 6 p.m. April 12 at Dickinson’s Faith United Methodist Church, 2205 Ave. G.

“We’d encourage anyone who can sing any type of gospel music to come to our a cappella auditions,” said co-organizer George Taylor. “We’ll have three jurors. Contestants can pick one of five songs to audition: ‘Amazing Grace,’ ‘I Know Who Holds Tomorrow,’ ‘Blessed Assurance,’ ‘I Surrender All’ or ‘’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.’ The top 20 finalists will compete at our May event.”

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top vocalists at the showcase event May 24.

For details, call 713-553-8021 or 281-337-3194.

Clear Lake’s Congregation Shaar Hashalom will celebrate its golden anniversary at 6:30 p.m. April 12 at the Bay Area Community Center, 5002 E. NASA Pkwy, in Seabrook.

“When I first came to Shaar Hashalom in 1995, it was already a vibrant congregation,” Rabbi Stuart Federow said. “There were about 120 kids in our Religious School and Hebrew School; we also had about 120 member families. Now we have about 160 families.

“So, we have seen a lot of growth, but, at heart, we remain a small congregation with a big heart.”

The synagogue began in 1964 with six families.

Congregation Shaar Hashalom is at 16020 El Camino Real in Houston.

Wendy Kane, a Clear Lake-area resident since 1968, remembers the early days of Congregation Shaar Hashalom as dynamic, energy packed and super flexible.

“Since we did not have our own building to hold services, we floated between various locations including the basement of First State Bank, the Webster Civic Center, local day care centers and the wonderful House of Prayer Lutheran Church,” she said.

For details, call 281-488-5861.

Galveston Island’s fourth annual A Bark in the Park dog show will include a blessing of the animals by the Rev. Serge Veselinovich, rector of the island’s Saints Constantine and Helen Serbian Orthodox Church, at 10 a.m. April 26 in Kempner Park, 27th Street and Avenue O.

Both public and private blessings for dogs will be available.

“God loves animals,” Veselinovich said. “He created them, and they are part of our family. They were present at Christ’s birth, and heroes of the Bible cared for animals, as did many of the saints.”

For details, call 409-771-1747 or visit www.galvestonislanddogshow.com

Update: Has the modern church gone the way of corporate fast food with microwave sermons, easy in-and-out and consumer-oriented presentations and marketing?

A new book from InterVarsity press by C. Christopher Smith and John Pattison argues for a “slow church” movement along the lines of the popular “slow food” drive. The book, “Slow Church,” argues against what they term the “McDonaldization” of Christianity.

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

Faith Focus

Rick Cousins’ Faith Focus column appears each Saturday. Have a unique or unusual event? Email details to rick.cousins@galvnews.com at least two weeks in advance.

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