Religion Briefs March 9, 2013

By NEMS Daily Journal

Empty Bowls event tickets on sale
TUPELO – Tickets for the Salvation Army’s 15th annual Empty Bowls event are now on sale for $15 each.
They may be obtained by contacting the Army’s headquarters at (662) 842-9222. Tickets will also be sold at the Fairpark Salon, Reed’s Gift Shop, Midnite Pottery, Way-Fil Jewelry, and Stone’s Jewelry.
Unlike previous years, the event will take place on March 27 at the Tupelo Furniture Market’s Building V. At the event, attendees will sample soups from 70 local restaurants and walk away with a souvenir bowl from the Army’s women’s auxiliary or local potters.

Catholic schools see future in Latino students
In a survey by the conservative think tank Lexington Institute, the majority of Spanish-speaking churchgoers with children believed Catholic school was “elite” and unaffordable. For many, including the 28 percent of U.S. Latinos who live in poverty, it is, but the Catholic school system is working to change those perspectives.
Latinos now make up nearly 40 percent of all U.S. Catholics, but represent less than 14 percent of students at Catholic schools, according to the National Catholic Educational Association.
In the past decade, 16 percent of U.S. Catholic schools have closed, dropping from 8,114 to 6,841. Enrollment nationwide has declined 23 percent – driven by competition from charter schools, fallout from the church’s sex abuse scandals and changing demographics.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called on its schools to increase Latino outreach in a 2005 statement. Since then, dioceses around the country – including Boston, Cincinnati and Phoenix – have launched initiatives.

Gospel musician jailed for Ponzi scheme
DETROIT – A judge sentenced Michael Winans Jr. of gospel music’s Winans family to nearly 14 years in prison on Feb. 27 for an $8 million financial scam that was promoted in church pulpits.
A trait of a classic Ponzi scheme, Winans relied on unwitting friends to round up investors on the premise of selling Arabian oil bonds, then used the money for personal expenses or to pay off earlier investors. Winans attracted more than 1,000 investors in 2007 and 2008. About 600 people are still owed $4.7 million.
Two of Michael Winans Jr.’s victims spoke in federal court, telling a judge that the scheme robbed some people of their life savings, caused divorces and fractured many families.
“Fraud on good, decent church-going people – that was very, very troubling to me,” Cox said, noting that Winans made his pitch from church pulpits.

This week’s answer
Q. WHAT KIND of man cannot be found upon the earth?
A. A RIGHTEOUS MAN who does what is right and never sins (Ecclesiastes 7:20)

This week’s question
Q. What did the Lord use to part the Red Sea to make dry ground for the children of Israel to cross?
QUESTIONS by Claude Wilemon