Local/National Faith Briefs

Swedish meatball supper is Oct. 22 at Hope Lutheran

A Swedish meatball supper will be offered from 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, at Hope Lutheran Church in Minneota. Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied carrots, dessert, lefse will be offered for $10 for adults and $5 for youth, 4-10 years. A barbecue meal will also be available. A bake sale and silent auction will take place. All are welcome.

Oklahoma man seeks to construct Ten Commandments statue

MCALESTER, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma county has denied a man’s request to build a Ten Commandments statue outside the local courthouse.

Contractor Tim Mitchell requested to place the religious statue outside the Pittsburg County Courthouse during a meeting on Monday of county commissioners, the McAlester News-Capital reported. He also told commissioners he would fund the statue’s construction.

District Attorney Chuck Sullivan told Mitchell and commissioners that the Oklahoma Constitution bars public money or property from being used to support or benefit “directly or indirectly” any sect, church denomination or system of religion. Sullivan also noted past state Supreme Court rulings.

Voters declined to change the law in 2016, which would’ve allowed state money and property to be used for religious purposes. Nearly 60 percent of voters were against amending the Oklahoma Constitution to make the change.

Mitchell asked the district attorney for suggestions for buying property for the monument, but Sullivan said he couldn’t give him legal advice. Sullivan suggested he get advice from an outside attorney.

Mitchell said he plans to continue to search for alternatives to create the statue, including purchasing property for the county. He said other options could result in a monument on some nearby property.

Historic St. Johnsbury church to be donated to school

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — A historic church in the Vermont town of St. Johnsbury is being donated to a private school.

The Caledonian-Record reported the United Community Church’s properties committee announced on Tuesday the motion to gift the South Congregational Church to St. Johnsbury Academy was being finalized.

Committee member David Brown said the group wanted the South Church to be used to its full potential and remain available to community organizations. Brown says the committee decided not to sell the church because they wanted a say in what group got the church.

St. Johnsbury Academy headmaster Tom Lovett said the school will continue to maintain the historic structure and help contribute to the community.

The South Church has served as a focal point of St. Johnsbury since 1852.

Indonesian man, told to leave US, seeks sanctuary in church

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) — A former Fulbright scholar has taken sanctuary inside a Connecticut church rather than be deported to his native Indonesia.

Sujitno Sajuti had been ordered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to board a plane Tuesday. He instead entered Meriden’s Unitarian Universalist Church.

The 68-year-old West Hartford resident came to the United States in 1981 on a Fulbright Scholarship, earning advanced degrees from Columbia University and the University of Connecticut. He overstayed his student visa and remained in the United States.

He said he considers the U.S. home and would be a stranger in Indonesia. He says he’s registered with immigration officials since 2001.

He’s the third person to seek sanctuary this year inside a Connecticut church to avoid deportation.

President Donald Trump has taken a tough stance against illegal immigration, saying he needs to keep the country safe.

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