Local/National Faith Briefs

Greathouse to serve Winds of the Prairie

Winds of the Prairie Ministries (Bethany Lutheran Church, Arco, and Bethany-Elim Lutheran Church, Ivanhoe) announced it has received a settled pastor, the Rev. Jeff Greathouse, who started Nov. 1.

Greathouse grew up in New Cumberland, W.V. He obtained a bachelor’s of arts in Christian education from Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, Ill., in 1994. He received his master’s from Cincinnati Christian University, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1996. He also has a bachelor’s in organizational leadership development from Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling,W.V. He received his TEEM Certificate in 2018 from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He has worked in multiple churches in multiple states over the last 20 years, mostly in youth, children and family ministry. Outside of ministry he has worked part time or seasonal jobs in retail and industry.

He has been married to Stacey for 24 years. They have three children: Isaiah (University of South Dakota), Jacob (University of Minnesota, TC), and Bethany (Marshall High School). Along with his current position at WOTP, he will work at Lutheran Campus Ministry on the campus of SMSU.

Bethany Arco worship is Wednesdays with a potluck meal at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. worship. Bethany-Elim, Ivanhoe worship is Sundays at 9 a.m. with coffee afterward.

Danebod Christmas is Dec. 8 in Tyler

The Danebod Lutheran Church W-ELCA, Tyler will be the host of its annual “Sharing Christmas Traditions at Danebod” on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Danebod Complex in Tyler. From 3-5 p.m. will be Christmas shoppes, which include Danish coffee cake and other baked goods. From 4-6 p.m. is the three meat supper with roast pork, meatballs and sausage. At 6 p.m. will be musical entertainment including a song fest and dancing around the tree.

Meredith Andrews to perform Dec. 1

Christian artist Meredith Andrews will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Lake Sarah Baptist Church, which is nine miles north of Slayton on U.S. Highway 59.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Purchase tickets online at lakesarahbaptistchurch.org or call 507-763-3477.

Ultra-Orthodox schools could face pressure under new rules

NEW YORK (AP) — Private and religious schools that don’t provide instruction substantially equivalent to New York state’s public schools will be threatened with loss of funding for textbooks, transportation and other services under new state Education Department rules released Tuesday.

The guidelines released Tuesday apply to all private schools but could have the greatest impact on ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools, called yeshivas, that critics have accused of providing little or no instruction in secular subjects like English and math.

“Although we are still reviewing NYSED’s guidelines, we have always believed that updated guidelines are an important step toward bringing about useful oversight of secular instruction at ultra-Orthodox yeshivas in New York,” said Naftuli Moster, the founder of Young Advocates for Fair Education, or YAFFED, a group that advocates for improved secular education at yeshivas.

The pro-yeshiva group Parents for Educational and Religious Liberty in Schools said it worries local school districts may use these guidelines “as license to intrude into the fundamental working and mission of religious schools.”

The group said in a statement, “Any attempt to impose uniformity on the almost 1,800 nonpublic schools in New York State, however well-intentioned, is only going to succeed if it appropriately accounts for the uniqueness of our schools and our educational system.”

Under the guidelines, staff members from local school districts will visit each nonpublic school once every five years and will determine whether the schools are providing enough instruction in required subjects including English, math, social studies and science.

A bill passed pushed through the state legislature last spring by state Sen. Simcha Felder, a Democrat who has caucused with Republicans, puts ultra-Orthodox yeshivas under the authority of the state rather than local education officials.

Yeshiva critics say the law waters down enforcement, but state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said local education officials will still be charged with visiting the schools that are subject to the so-called Felder amendment and will pass on their findings to the state.

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