The most famous Samaritan was the hero of a story Jesus told about helping someone in distress. The modern organization Samaritan’s Purse provides a number of disaster and relief services and annually, at about this time, send countless shoebox gift packs to children in need around the world. Instructions and pick-up locations are on their website, www.samaritanspurse.org. It shows two local drop-off points for the yearly collection which will run from Nov. 12-19 at United Methodist Church, 204 W. Edgewood, in Friendswood and the First Baptist Church of Alta Loma, 5400 Main St. in Santa Fe.

Samaritan’s Purse advised the media that, “Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.”

There have been times and places in American history where churches acted as if they were competing fast food franchises. That a Methodist church on one corner might trump a Baptist church catty-cornered to it. Or that family members allied with Ford or Chevy for generations couldn’t get along.

Galveston, in some ways, may be a model for cooperating denominations.

Example? Congregations from Antioch to Valiant will collect for a common service called a Night of Hope, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 at Saengerfest Park, 2302 Strand St.

“We are a collective,” said coordinator Jay Blackburn, who is an associate pastor at Galveston’s Coastal Community Church. “We are multiple churches living, serving, praying and worshiping as the Body of Christ.”

This month’s Friendswood Community Prayer Breakfast will run from 7:10 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Friendswood Church of Christ, 2051 W. Parkwood in Friendswood.

Karlie Beger, area director of Houston Bay Area Young Life, will lead in giving thanks.

“In a high tech world, Young Life offers low-tech relationships,” she told Faith Focus. “We do this by simply going to high schoolers with the message of the gospel. We are excited and thankful for all that God is doing using Young Life as an avenue to help change the hearts of high school students in our area. Would you join us to find out more?”

There’s a suggested $5 donation to cover the cost of coffee and breakfast.

For details, call 713-408-4785.

Update

If you read this column regularly, you probably voted last Tuesday. At least, that’s the probable conclusion of scholars including Corinne Straight-Reed. In her article, “The role of religion in American elections,” published at Indiana University, she wrote her findings.

“We learned that regular attendance and affiliation with the Christian religion increases the chances that someone will vote. This can be explained by a variety of factors, but most importantly, it comes down to habit. Regular attendance to a church, gym or book club will eventually become a habit.”

She concludes that church attendance has a significant impact on voter turnouts.

Events for Faith Focus should be submitted at least two weeks in advance. Rick Cousins can be reached at rick.cousins@galvnews.com

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