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Renewal weekend in Fort Smith

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services
Monday, March 12, 2007

FORT SMITH - Two churches have joined forces for Fort Smith's first-ever Community Renewal Weekend.

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Parish and St. John's Anglican Parish are working in what's called a spiritual partnership for a series of events March 16 to 18.

"This weekend will renew and strengthen our faith," wrote Frieda Martselos, chair of the Community Renewal Weekend Committee, in a news release. "We hope to inspire community fellowship by building positive partnerships and strengthen community wellness."

Workshops will examine several issues, including ethical values and decision making, grieving and addictions.

"Our collective efforts will give us an overview on how to begin our journey to finding solutions for dealing with addictions within all of our communities," Martselos wrote.

The workshops are free and open to everyone.

The church services during the renewal weekend will be led by Bishop Denis Croteau of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mackenzie and Rev. Ann Bush of St. John's Anglican Church.

Special guests will be Father Jim Holland and the choir of Sacred Heart Church in Edmonton.

Aside from the workshops and church services, the renewal weekend will also feature a community supper and silent auction, a pancake breakfast, and a community concert in St. Joseph's Cathedral, featuring The Fort Smith Community Choir, the Sacred Heart Church Choir, the Down East Band, Heather Allen and Karen Zaidan. The weekend of activities will conclude Sunday afternoon with an ecumenical spiritual renewal celebration for the entire community at St. Joseph's Cathedral.