How to use this column: This may be the quietest week of the year as ministries enjoy a rare pause at year’s end, so we’ll take this opportunity to encourage your faith-based group to appear in this space in 2019. Here’s how:

1. Select a unique, unusual or special activity you’d like to share with our good readers. Events that impact the community have priority over in-house ones.

2. Plan to email your event at least two weeks in advance. A month is safer, since newsprint cannot stretch to fit.

3. Include all the essential details: the event description, time, date, street address and a public contact phone number.

4. Ask anyone involved in the activity to email a fresh, colorful quote, up to a paragraph in length that goes beyond the details to challenge readers, offer hope or blessing or provides an inside peak at what you’ll be doing.

All submissions are acknowledged, so please follow up if you don’t hear back. Sometime emails can be sidelined by software and not received in a timely fashion.

We’ll kick off the new year with notes from two well-known musical groups here.

The Heavenly Tones will celebrate its 14th anniversary with a musical program at 4 p.m. on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 at Texas City’s Greater Randle’s Temple Church of God in Christ at 25 state Highway 3. Dave White and New Beginning will be the featured guests on Jan. 6.

For details, call 409-996-7685.

The Voices of the Mainland will have a program at 3 p.m. Jan. 6 at Texas City’s St. John Missionary Baptist Church at 309 S. Texas St.

“The first Sunday of every year we have a concert to kick off the new year to create funds to help us in our journey of helping others since by the end of the year we mostly have depleted our funds,” said Melvin Hudnall, the business manager for Voices. “So we are inviting all to come help us celebrate the New Year by sharing our talents, monetary needs and whatever is on the hearts of the people. We want to celebrate a new beginning of life and love for God’s people. We are also asking choirs, quartet groups, soloists and whoever else wants to participate to join us and lets start the new year off continuing in a giving spirit. The Voices are a non-profit 501c3 charity organization with a heart for serving the people.”

Donations can also be made at www.vomgs.org.

For details, call 409-682-6488 or 409-599-8847.

This just in: A new Gallup survey was taken just prior to Christmas Day. Its findings can be summarized in three sentences: Religion is important to 72 percent in U.S., including 51 percent who rate it as very important, there’s now a record-low—46 percent of folks in the U.S. who say that religion can solve all or most of the world’s problems, while 78 percent think religion is losing its influence on American life.

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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