RELIGION NEWS BRIEFS

Churches team up for Mother’s Day baby shower

Posted April 28, 2011, at 5:49 p.m.

Churches in Old Town and Hampden will team up on Mother’s Day to collect baby items for the Indian Women’s Mission Center on Indian Island.

St. James’ Episcopal Church, 149 Center St. in Old Town, and Hampden Highlands United Methodist Church, 44 Kennebec Road in Hampden, will hold separate baby showers at their respective 10 a.m. services Sunday, May 8.

Baby items needed include diapers, training pants, formula, wipes, cereal, shampoo, powder, lotion and diaper rash cream. Donations will be accepted between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. at both churches.

Indian Women’s Mission serves 400 families that live on Indian Island and the Old Town area through its food pantry. Many of the families are single mothers with babies and toddlers.

Freethinkers to discuss teaching morality

ELLSWORTH — Downeast Humanists and Freethinkers will meet at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7, upstairs at the Maine Grind, 192 Main St.

The discussion topic for the monthly meeting will be “Teaching Children Morality Without Religion.”

For information, visit www.meetup.com/DowneastHumanistsandFreethinkers.

Maine Catholics raise $174,000 for aid in Japan

PORTLAND — Catholics in Maine raised $174,652 to aid earthquake victims and communities affected in northern Japan, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced last week.

“I am always impressed and overwhelmed by the generosity of the Catholic family in Maine,” Bishop Richard J. Malone said in a press release. “The contributions show the willingness of parishioners to sacrifice in order to help their brothers and sisters around the world who face incredible hardship.”

The money was raised through direct donations and from a special collection taken at every Catholic church in the state during Lent, along with other donations. The money will be forwarded to Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore, Md., then turned over to Caritas Japan, the social service arm of the Catholic Church in that region of Asia.

CRS is funded in part through collections taken by Catholic churches around the world and by individual donations made directly to the charity, according to the press release. The agency works in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Malone serves on the CRS board.

Donations to CRS may be mailed to: Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 11559, Portland, Maine 04104-7559; or to the national office at P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, Md.  21203-7090. “Japan earthquake” should be written in the memo line.

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