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Largest United Methodist Church in the US Builds New $90 Million Sanctuary to Expand Its 20K Membership

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 3:04pm
A Kansas-based megachurch congregation that already boasts of being equal to the size of 150 United Methodist churches combined, is constructing a new $90 million sanctuary that will hold 3,500 people for each of its six Sunday services and will be adorned with a large stained glass structure to illustrate stories from the Bible.
Categories: Christian Post

Gas severance tax

WGRC News - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 1:54pm

The battle is on in the Wolf administration over the Governor’s proposed gas severance tax. A coalition of more than a dozen business groups clashed with Wolf yesterday over the proposed tax saying that the national gas industry has already created about 200,000 jobs, and paid more than $2 billion dollars in various state taxes since 2008 and reduced energy costs. Wolf says that the businesses are putting gas and oil interests ahead of schools and children who he says will benefit from his plan.

Categories: Local News

RV accident claims life of Bucks County woman

WGRC News - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 1:53pm

A 20 year old Bucks County woman died in a crash on Interstate 80 in Columbia County yesterday. The woman was driving westbound on 80 near the Mifflinville exit yesterday afternoon when for an unknown reason her car veered across the median into oncoming traffic. She was struck by an RV and died at the scene. Those inside the RV suffered minor injuries. The accident remains under investigation.

Categories: Local News

Restoration, Not Condemnation

Christian Post - Living - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 10:18am
The way some people behave, you would think that the Bible says, "If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should first gloat about it and make sure that you condemn him or her for it. Then proceed to tell as many people as possible."
Categories: Christian Post

Spirit-Empowered Leaders Gather for What Could Be Largest Christian Pentecost Celebration in Israel's Modern History

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 7:28am
At the 11,600-seater Jerusalem Pais Arena in Israel Monday morning, workers here were busy trying to get the brand new 40,000-square-meter facility ready for what could be the largest Christian Pentecost Sunday celebration in the Jewish nation's modern history.
Categories: Christian Post

Partners launches Rohingya rescue

Mission Network News - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Partners)

SE Asia (MNN) -- As governments talk, one group is rushing to the aid of Rohingya refugees in Southeast Asia. An estimated 6,000 to 20,000 Rohingya from Myanmar/Burma took to the sea months ago to escape severe ethnic persecution. Now, countries in Southeastern Asia refuse to let them in, and time is running out. In Jesus' name, Partners Relief and Development is bringing food, water, and other relief supplies to refugees stranded at sea. The back-story Hundreds of Rohingya families took to the sea months ago to escape dire circumstances in Myanmar. When their typical escape route was cut off by Thai officials, the Rohingyas' only option was to flee to the Andaman Ocean or Malacca Straits.

This mother is suffering from tuberculosis and without medical intervention is likely to die.
(Image, caption courtesy Partners)

"Muslims in Burma's westernmost state of Rakhine face such extreme oppression that they feel they have no other option but to leave--in many cases by any means necessary," Chris Lewa, Deputy-Chair of the Asia-Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) told the BBC. As previously noted by Partners, the Rohingya have needed help for quite awhile. Yet time and time again, precious few take action. Why is Partners helping? Through holistic action, Partners demonstrates God’s love to children and communities made vulnerable by war in Burma. Learn more about their work here. They've been coming alongside the Rohingya, an especially-oppressed people group, for the past three years. Partners has increased their efforts as Myanmar's government did whatever they could to eliminate the Rohingya. As Partners workers care for the Rohingya, doors open to talk about where that unconditional love comes from: Jesus. What YOU can do about it

(Image courtesy Partners)

In a recent e-mail, Partners co-founder Oddny Gumaer asked supporters for help. "We need your prayerful support now more than ever," she wrote. "Please join us in our mission to let the Rohingya people know that they are loved and not forgotten." You can pray using the points listed at the right-side of this page, and support Partners' response to the crisis here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Praising God amid rising persecution in India

Mission Network News - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 5:00am

Child in India. (Mission India photo)

USA (MNN) -- Persecution in India is on the rise. And yet, God is at work. "We are in a time that is unprecedented in history for what the Holy Spirit is doing in India," said President of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India, Todd VanEk, at a recent two-day event. "The Gospel is doing so many amazing things, and many people are coming to know Jesus Christ." Persecution in India On Open Doors USA's 2015 World Watch List, persecution in India is classified as a "severe." As stated online, India's new government "is radicalizing society," and hardline Hindus are making life difficult for believers. However, as shared by Voice of the Martyrs USA last month, believers are holding fast to their faith. As they do, the Lord works through them to bring the spiritually lost to His side. God at work According to the latest International Mission Board update, India is home to some 1,200 unreached people groups--approximately one million people.

(Map courtesy of Mission India)

But between 2010 and 2014, Mission India reports, the presence of evangelical Christians increased dramatically. Persecution in India may be growing, but so is the Body of Christ. "The Holy Spirit is using Indian Christians to start churches, to transform their cities, their neighborhoods, their villages, and the entire nation of India," said VanEk.   What it means to YOU Thanking God for His goodness amid increasingly-difficult circumstances in India wasn't the only goal of Mission India's 2015 Banquet of Praise. Leaders also hoped to stir guests to action. "God is calling us," said VanEk. "His call on all of our lives…is to see that everyone in this world comes to know who Jesus Christ is." MNN was at the event and got the reaction of some guests afterwards.

Mission India's 2015 Banquet of Praise
(Photo cred: MNN/Katey Hearth)

"When John [DeVries] organized Mission India, we heard about it, and I went on the first Pastors' trip with him. Mission India does not send missionaries; they use people in India. That's one of the [group's] strong points." -- Arthur Besteman, long-time banquet attendee "I think it's more than worthwhile to support. I most certainly will be back (next year), and I might even sponsor my own whole table!" -- Nancy Aukeman, first-time banquet attendee "I can't think of any better way to spread the Word [of God] than using the people from India. It was definitely a gift of the Holy Spirit that led us to go for this, and we have been supporting them for years. As a matter of fact, we've got them in our will!" --Cindy Herweyer, first-time banquet attendee/long-time supporter Find out how a single dollar becomes a turning point for eternity here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Suffering for Christ: unfortunate or opportune?

Mission Network News - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

Ethiopia (MNN) -- If you were unjustly thrown in jail, would you cry out and ask God why He was doing this to you? Or would you see it as an opportunity to share Christ in a new environment? Seven Ethiopian Christians chose the second option, and Open Doors USA encouraged them to stay strong in the midst of suffering for Christ. Open Doors UK reported three leaders and four church members were arrested on April 25 during a baptism for 40 new believers. The believers were accused of holding illegal meetings in secret locations,  which the church denied. Though Ethiopia’s constitution gives people freedom of religion, the law requires churches and Christian groups to have written permission to meet. An anonymous source told Open Doors UK, “They have informed government officials about their ministry and their meetings both orally and in writing.” Nevertheless, the seven believers were thrown in jail. The source said, “The overall situation in the prison is very difficult. More than 168 inmates are stuffed into one small space. The Christians each have just enough space to lie on their sides at night. One of them has to sleep in the area they use as a toilet.” For nine days, they endured these conditions before their first hearing on May 4. At the hearing, the police asked for an extension for their investigation, and the judge granted one week. Despite injustice, persecution, and filthy conditions, these believers trusted God and spoke of Christ while they were in the prison. The leader of the group told Open Doors UK, “God is in control. We consider ourselves lucky to suffer for Christ in this way. We have not faced death, like many others have. We maintain our peace and will remain calm. We are at work.” Open Doors USA encouraged them and reported many outside the prison were praying fervently for them as well. “It was as if you were jailed with us,” the leader said. A second hearing was held on May 11, and the police asked for a second extension to gather information. However, the judge denied the request, saying they had enough time to investigate already. By God's grace, the seven believers have been released! “Please tell those who prayed for us that we have overcome the bigger enemy now,” the leader told Open Doors USA. “Satan wanted to frighten us, but we came out stronger from jail than when we entered. We are also happy to know that there are people surrounding us to pray and encourage us.” Pray For: • These Christians to inspire others to stay strong in their faith. • Fellow inmates who heard the Gospel in prison to come to Christ.
Categories: Mission Network News

Montoursville Area School District receives grant money

WGRC News - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 2:03pm

The state has awarded the Montoursville Area School District a grant in the amount of $2 million dollars. The funds will help to reduce the tax burden on residents and expand the installation of energy efficient building systems to the high school project– resulting in significant savings for the District for years to come.

Categories: Local News

U.S. Economy

WGRC News - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 2:02pm

It’s going to be a key week for Wall Street investors and the U.S. economy. Wal Mart, the nation’s biggest retailer set to report earnings. Profit is expected to fall 4.5%. What happens at Wal-Mart is key. Wal Mart accounts for 26% of all the revenue reported by all the retailers in the S&P 1500 index. Target is also reporting its results — on Wednesday. Investors want to see signs of better growth there, too. Target’s adjusted profit is expected to jump 47% for the first quarter. It’s not just big retailers. There are things to watch for too. Data on housing starts and building permits are due Tuesday. Analysts are calling for slight increases in activity. And then on Friday, the big number is out: inflation.

Categories: Local News

EMS Week Kickoff Event

WGRC News - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 3:57pm

State Representative Jeff Wheeland will host the annual EMS Week Kickoff event which will be held Saturday from 10am to 2pm outside Susquehanna Bank Park at Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport. The free event features many vendors, the Life Flight Helicopter will be on hand, as well as a number of EMS vehicles and personnel and food and refreshments. Wheeland says he and his staff will be on hand to assist with a variety of state related programs as well.

Categories: Local News

Unpaid business privilege Taxes

WGRC News - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 3:56pm

Williamsport City Council last night gave the okay for a tax collection agency out of Pittsburgh to go after businesses that aren’t paying the city business privilege taxes. Turnkey Taxes Incorporated has assured the city they can collect at least $150,000 dollars in business privilege taxes annually for the city or the company isn’t paid. According to the agreement, if they can reach that number, they will be paid 20 percent of what they collect.

Categories: Local News