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Service dogs in training are part of church’s welcome

After leading the congregation in prayer, the Rev. Dr. Greg Bolt knelt next to the golden retriever in her blue and white service dog jacket. “Brinley, God has given you a calling to help a person in need with tasks of daily living, companionship and love. We give thanks for you and your willingness to serve, and to help. May your example inspire us to help and to love more in our daily lives. Brinley —” The dog placed her paw over Bolt’s arm and gave him a kiss. “You are commissioned to service.”

Sanctuaries under construction

The rooms we occupy — those places where breath is taken, words are spoken and memories are made — are often taken for granted. They have four walls and a ceiling, reflecting the personality of the occupant or the traditions of an organization. But can rooms be more?

Mental health summit starts conversation

When Laura Mitchell receives a nudge from God, she sees it through. “Sunrise of Hope,” a one-day mental health summit hosted by La Jolla Presbyterian Church in California this past spring, was one of those nudges.

Reaching our forgotten veterans

Why are 20 veterans a day taking their own lives? That’s the question the Rev. Tom Davis has been asking since August 2015, when a magazine cover on veterans’ suicides grabbed his attention. After all, he thought, aren’t these the same men and women who fought so hard to stay alive during active duty, as Davis did during his combat service in Vietnam?

The people healing the world often themselves need healing

Compassion fatigue — that malady that many pastors, first responders and others in helping professions suffer that can leave them feeling isolated, tired, trapped or worse — can be overcome, and there’s help for those who, as the Rev. Dr. Dana Sutton put it, “are healing the world and need to heal themselves.”

New Jersey church remembers war dead with ‘Field of Flags’

For five years Westminster Presbyterian Church in Middletown, New Jersey has assembled a memorable display on its Great Lawn each fall. Beginning in 2012, the church’s “Field of Flags” display has contained one American flag for every service member killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.