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One day about a year ago Todd Mock was jogging along the Columbia River when he felt divinely guided to go toward a pile of big rocks under The Dalles bridge. There, he saw smoke from a warming fire and things strewn about. He ran off to buy a sandwich and came back to the bridge, saying to the pile of rocks: “’I was sent from the Lord. I’ve got a sandwich for you.’”

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More than 25 community members ventured out in blustery conditions to attend the “Light Up a Life” event at Celilo Chapel in downtown The Dalles the evening of Dec. 11.

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Pastor David Woodruff is taking some guff from his congregation about having to compete with a breathtaking view from the sanctuary of the new Seventh-day Adventist Church being built.

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Sister Patricia Pfenning doesn’t look 78, and she certainly doesn’t act it. A 20-year fixture in Dufur who is leaving soon, she quietly goes about finding help for those in need. But she is outspoken in every other regard.

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To celebrate the 180th year since the founding of the Methodist Mission in The Dalles, the Masonic Lodge and the First United Methodist Church will hold an Easter sunrise service at Pulpit Rock. The service at Pulpit Rock — 12th and Court streets, immediately south of The Dalles High School — begins at 6:30 a.m. on April 1. The public is welcome to attend, and other local congregations and United Methodist churches throughout the area have been invited.

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Following a somewhat rocky dress-rehearsal, Last Supper director Erich Dorzab told the Last Days of Jesus cast, “even if it’s not in the script, the Holy Spirit will give you the words to say.” As the Last Days of Jesus pageant celebrates its 40th anniversary, the cast and crew reflect on how the four-day pageant depicting the last week of Jesus’ life has impacted their own lives in remarkable ways.

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St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is offering Taizé prayer services during Lent on Sundays at 7 p.m. in the chapel at Fifth and Union streets. Lent, a preparation period in the Christian liturgical calendar leading up to Easter Sunday, is used as a time of prayer, penance and fasting for Christian communities to prepare for the celebration of Easter.

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Cornerstone Church, at 1313 Mt. Hood St., has again created its Christmas light display that is set to music.

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“Everybody has scars and you will remember exactly how you got them, even though the wound has healed over,” said Tim Willis, pastor, celebrant speaker and “general problem fixer” for Celilo Chapel in The Dalles. “My father died in 2000 and every Christmas I get a little sad about it.” He invites people who want to honor lost friends and family to attend the “Tree of Remembrance Memorial” at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, at the chapel, 202 E. Fourth St.

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Gigi Siekkenen, the new part-time intern pastor at First United Methodist Church in The Dalles, came to seminary as a second career — an ever more common path to the pulpit.

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Hundreds are expected at a once-in-a-lifetime event, when a world-famous religious statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be on display at St. Peter Catholic Church in The Dalles Aug. 3-4 as part of a national tour of peace.

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Sonrise Academy students participate May 4 in a local worship service tied to the National Day of Prayer, an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May.

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To celebrate the 179th year since the founding of the Methodist Mission in The Dalles, the First United Methodist Church and Zion Lutheran Church are hosting a worship service this Sunday at Pulpit Rock.

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Since the early 1960s, Zion Lutheran Church has celebrated Easter by erecting a stark wooden cross on its lawn at the beginning of Lent, and then decorating it with a riot of flowers the day before Easter.

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The 39th annual Last Days of Jesus pageant takes place over three days this week at several locations in and near downtown The Dalles.

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If you contact Concordia Lutheran Church in Hood River or Bethany Lutheran Church in The Dalles and ask for “Pastor Jesse,” you’ll now need to get a bit more specific. The dual parish is happy to announce the arrival of Pastor Jesse DeDeyne, who will be formally installed in a special service at Concordia Lutheran on Sunday, Oct. 23. He joins Pastor Jesse Jacobsen, who has shepherded the parish since 2006.

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“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

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Pam Tebow visited The Dalles last week to speak about “Timmy,” her son who is widely known as Tim Tebow, a football quarterback who earned the Heisman trophy — college’s most prestigious award — in 2007.

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Pat Van Eaton has taught Sunday school to Kindergartners through second graders in the same room at First Christian Church for more than 15 years, trying to bring the stories in the Bible to life. Thanks to a new collection of murals painted by one of the church’s members, that’s easier now.

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A little over five years ago when Deb Allen became the first woman pastor at the United Church of Christ, which has been in The Dalles for more than 150 years, she didn’t think it was a big deal. Allen had already blazed the same trail at UCC churches in Wisconsin and Washington.

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For six years, members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in The Dalles have been taking mission trips to Haiti. On Saturday, May 7, the community will have the opportunity to meet the man the parish has supported, as Father Noe and his wife Sherly Bernier will be in town.

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The 90-minute documentary “This Changes Everything” will screen in The Dalles Friday, April 22, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, downstairs in Tayler Hall, for free.

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If Tyler Beane, 31, and Adam Jenkins, 27, even went to church, they would clearly be in the minority. The fact that both are pastors is even more extraordinary.

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Columbia Lutheran School Principal Jesse Jacobsen had to say goodbye to a rising fifth grade student last year but that won’t be the case much longer as the school is expanding through the eighth grade, beginning in August.

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While attending a Christ in Youth Conference last summer, Quinn Hanson received a kingdom card that challenged the First Christian youth to donate all of his clothes but 10 outfits.

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There is a growing cancer in our nation, in the form of authoritarian, hateful rhetoric, crime and behavior. And it has spread to our gorge community.

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The Gathering, a more casual church service for those who can’t make or don’t feel comfortable attending on Sundays, is back after taking a break for the winter.

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Tim Roosenberg, an author and pastor for 25 years, has delivered his Islam and Christianity in Bible Prophecy seminar all over the country and even the world. Starting today and running through Sunday, March 6, he’ll be at The Dalles Adventist School to give a free prophecy presentation that Roosenberg said is “unlike any they’ve ever seen before.”

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A recent guest columnist in The Dalles Chronicle maintained that restricting pot sales in The Dalles will not solve problems, saying that, “Churches and pastor are the problem. They are the root of our immoral problems.” I am not willing to let that statement go unchallenged and I will stand up and state that it is patently false and backwards.

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When Fr. Joseph Levine became the priest of St. Peter Catholic Church in The Dalles more than three years ago, he realized there were many families in the parish who couldn’t afford to send their kids to the Catholic school across the street.

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“I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go. I will advise you and keep my eye on you. Do not be like the senseless horse and the mule whose movements must be controlled by bit and bridle. No. Don’t be anything like that, for the pain of the wicked is severe. But faithful love surrounds the one who trusts the Lord. You, who are righteous, rejoice in the Lord always and be glad! All you whose hearts are right, sing out in joy!” These verses from Psalm 32 lift me up and help me sustain an “attitude of gratitude” and confidence in the face of adversity. But I do need to pay attention, to be patient, and to listen for God’s guidance.

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Rev. Richard “Red” Stevens, the new Priest-in-Charge at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in The Dalles, credits Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas for pushing him into the ministry.