Gay Methodist minister faces discipline, possibly defrocking, because he married a man

first_imgCourtesy David Meredith(CINCINNATI) — An openly-gay Methodist minister is waiting to learn his fate from a board of church leaders who may ultimately send his case to a church trial that could strip him of his ministry for marrying his longtime partner.The United Methodist Church’s North Central Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals met Friday as part of an ongoing process to determine whether the Rev. David Meredith will be disciplined, possibly even be defrocked, for marrying his partner while serving as a Methodist minister.Meredith has led the congregation at Clifton United Methodist Church in Cincinnati as an openly gay man since 2012. The Methodist Church pledged to welcome “all persons, regardless of sexual orientation” more than a decade earlier. Despite that pledge, the church’s “Book of Discipline,” a document that is revised every four years to reflect current realities in society still bans gay people from serving as ministers, Meredith told ABC News. The book was last revised in 2016, just days before Meredith married his longtime partner Jim Schlachter, he said.Meredith’s sexual orientation had always been a non-issue, he said, but shortly after his wedding, 10 members of the Methodist Church in the Cincinnati area sent letters to Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer of the Ohio West Area of the United Methodist Church, challenging Meredith’s fitness to be a pastor. None of those church members actually belonged to Meredith’s congregation, Meredith said.The congregants cited that section of the “Book of Discipline” that says “homosexuals” cannot serve as ministers. The section reads, “Self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers or appointed to serve in the United Methodist Church.”Meredith and his counsel (effectively his attorney for church proceedings) the Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey explained, Meredith had always been “self-avowed,” living as an openly gay man. But prior to his marriage, the church could not prove he “practiced” his homosexuality.In October 2017, the Committee on Investigation for the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church found Meredith disobeyed church law, but dismissed two of the most serious violations Meredith faced, including charges that he lived an “immoral lifestyle” and that he couldn’t be ordained as a minister, but the Counsel for the Church — effectively the Methodist Church’s prosecutor — appealed that decision, Meredith’s spokesman Nick Federinko explained.The appeal was heard Friday in Indianapolis by the Committee on Appeals for the church. The committee now has up to 20 days to decide whether the Committee on Investigation made the right decision and Meredith should only be found to have disobeyed church law or whether the Committee should take another look at the more serious charges, including ones that could possibly result in Meredith being defrocked.“They can take my credentials, but they cannot take away that I am called by God,” Meredith said. “It would break my heart, but it doesn’t change the reality.”Palmer’s office said he will issue a statement once the Committee on Appeals decides whether they will honor the decision made that Meredith simply disobeyed the church or send his case back for another look — one that could lead to a church trial and the possibility Meredith could be defrocked.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Nurses too busy to take part in stress survey

first_img Comments are closed. Nurses at West Dorset General Hospitals NHS Trust, which last year receivedan improvement notice on stress from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE),were too stressed to take part in a workplace stress survey, it has emerged. Royal College of Nursing regional officer Melanie Glover told NursingStandard magazine that nurses had been unable to find time to complete the20-minute survey. Nearly 400,000 pieces of data were collected from a trust-wide surveyconducted after the HSE issued its notice in July last year. But the lowestreturn was from the trust’s 1,250 nurses. The survey results are now being analysed by researchers at ExeterUniversity, who have drawn up an action plan for the trust to help meet HSErequirements, including how to monitor workplace stress. It has been givenuntil 15 March by the HSE to put its house in order. RCN steward Jenny Price also said the HSE had originally been called infollowing a complaint by a nurse who claimed that the trust had not dealt withher stress issue. Previous Article Next Article Nurses too busy to take part in stress surveyOn 1 Feb 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Scarborough participating interest alignment

first_img Scarborough participating interest alignment. (Credit: D Thory from Pixabay) Woodside and BHP have agreed to align their participating interests across the WA-1-R (Scarborough) and WA-62-R (North Scarborough) titles, resulting in Woodside holding a 73.5% interest and BHP holding a 26.5% interest in each title.Woodside and BHP have also agreed to apply for Production Licences in respect of both titles. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals.Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said that aligning these interests will support the development of the Scarborough field across the two titles and demonstrates the strong commitment of the joint venture to making a final investment decision this year.“This is a world-class Australian resource. The Production Licence applications are another key step to unlocking the full value of the Scarborough resource through the expansion of our existing Pluto LNG facility,” he said.The Scarborough field contains an estimated contingent resource (2C) dry gas volume of 11.1 Tcf (100%; 8.2 Tcf Woodside share, calculated using deterministic and probabilistic methods).Woodside is targeting a final investment decision in 2020 for the Scarborough development and first cargo in 2024. Source: Company Press Release Woodside and BHP have also agreed to apply for Production Licences in respect of both titleslast_img read more

OUSU forced to remain in “unusable space”

first_imgThe university has vetoed OUSU proposals to up shop from Bonn Square and move operations to a property on George Street, which OUSU President Stefan Baskerville claimed “would have cost less money, was in a better location and in better condition.”OUSU has argued that its present home is “ill-suited” to its purposes. Of the its three floors, only two are functional and there is no disabled access. The building, occupied by OUSU since 2002, is also highly inefficient in its energy use.A spokesperson for the University, which pays the rent on OUSU’s offices, claimed that the axing of the project was part of a moratorium on capital projects in the current financial climate. He said, “It would have required significant expenditure for OUSU to move to new premises.“The University leases its current premises from a landlord, and moving out would have required restoration of the premises to their initial state – removing many of the alterations that have been made in the meantime. The cost of this (dilapidations costs) was estimated at being at least £100,000. Removal costs and adapting the new premises for OUSU use would have cost a further £80,000.“It may have been that the rent for the new premises may have worked out a bit cheaper than the current rent for Thomas Hull House, but the expense of the other costs meant the move was not approved.”Baskerville acknowledged that the University’s moratorium had been “responsible for delaying a fair number of capital projects across the University so we were not being unusually treated in that regard.”This academic year the student union expects to expend £129,095 on building costs; in terms of their projected total expenditure, this works out at 30%.An OUSU document – ‘Urgent Challenges’ – notes, “OUSU spends an excessive proportion of its income on costs associated with its premises. Most charities would be criticised for spending such a large proportion of their income on premises.”Baskerville confirmed that moving out of OUSU Towers remains a long-term ambition for the union. “We think it is hugely important that OUSU’s building is accessible to all students, that the space is suitable, that premises costs are as low as possible, and that OUSU is better located.”It is the University’s intention to support OUSU in this. Its spokesperson stated, “Thomas Hull House is not the best premises for OUSU. The university is seeking to negotiate the shortest possible lease renewal and will continue to work with OUSU to identify suitable, accessible and less expensive alternative premises.”Brasenose JCR President Paul Gladwell said, “The refusal will certainly limit OUSU’s attempts to offer a wider array of services, with the current venue being small and decrepit with significant accessibility problems. Without larger premises, welfare or educational events numbers are naturally limited, restricting the efficiency of hosting events of these kinds.”Mae Penner, OUSU Officer for Magdalen JCR, criticised the University’s refusal to fork out on the move: “As the representative body for Oxford students, accessibility to students is vital in order for OUSU to operate effectively. Unfortunately the lack of wheelchair access and the high rent being paid for partially unusable space in the current premises have compromised OUSU’s ability to serve its members as well as it should.“Money which could be spent on students is instead being spent on unsuitable and ill-located office space. It is disappointing that the University does not seem to share OUSU’s outlook on this issue.”Baskerville, however, refuted this view, He said, “Relations between OUSU and the University are good and have improved during the course of this year, even if we disagree over the decision to keep OUSU in Thomas Hull House for the time being. The University recognises that OUSU needs to change premises, I just think it needs to be treated as a more urgent priority.”last_img read more

Oxford town crier exposed as fraud

first_imgOxford’s town crier has resigned following revelations that he lied over his military record. It emerged over the weekend that the 62 year old town crier Anthony Church had falsified his past service with the army.Despite wearing military medals and having claimed to have served as a sergeant major, Church has never worked in the armed forces. Church purported to have fought in the Falklands War with the Coldstream Guards as a regimental sergeant major. In 2010, he told BBC Oxford, “As far as getting into town crying, I’m an ex-regimental sergeant major, so I had the voice anyway.”With a voice that can reach 118 decibels, it would seem Church is well-suited to the role.An outfit of veterans known as the ‘Walter Mitty Hunters’ exposed Church. The group is dedicated to hunting down those who lie about their military record. Church bought two war medals online, a General Service Medal, and a South Atlantic Medal, and inherited a British Empire Medal from his father, Jack Church, an RAF pilot who served with distinction in the Berlin airlift.Following questioning by a Buckingham Palace courtier, Church admitted he had not won his medals himself. Church also claimed to have been awarded an OBE.The town crier has been a regular feature of Oxford life in his 12 years in the role. In 2012, he was one of three representatives from the Guild of Town Criers selected to accompany athletes to the Olympic opening ceremony.In response to the revelations, Church has apologised for his “grave error of judgement” and resigned his membership of the Loyal Company of Town Criers. He stated to The Daily Telegraph, “I was told several years ago that as the sole-surviving son I was entitled to wear the BEM and put BEM after my name.“I also wanted, with the anniversary of the Falklands and World War One, to show my solidarity for those people who had served in these campaigns and found a place I could purchase replica medals and purchased a South Atlantic medal.”The Cowley-born crier said he removed his medals “immediately” upon realising the public assumed the Empire Medal had been earned by him, not his father. He said that lying about service with the Coldstream Guards was “a moment of madness” adding “people will probably feel, with hindsight, that I have misled them. It was never my intention to cause any distress but it has backfired and cost me everything.”Church was the town crier not only for Oxford but also for the surrounding towns of Banbury, Thame, Chipping Norton, Daventry, and Wallingford. Over the course of a decade, he has become something of a local celebrity, even starring on local television in 2010. Whilst delivering public announcements, he would routinely sport these service medals.The Secretary of The Loyal Company of Town Criers, John Theman, wrote on their Facebook page, “We wish to thank The Walter Mitty Hunters Club for outing Anthony Church. His actions are deplorable and beneath contempt.”The chairman of the Oxfordshire Royal British Legion, Jim Lewendon, commented to The Daily Mail, “Wearing the medals is an insult to the bravery of the troops who served,” but added, “I can’t believe Anthony was a pretender and I hope he can put this behind him.”last_img read more

“LEFT JAB AND RIGHT JAB” JUNE 6, 2019

first_imgFOOTNOTE: Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers “LEFT JAB AND RIGHT JAB” FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare,“LEFT JAB AND RIGHT JAB” “Right Jab And Left Jab” was created because we have two commenters that post on a daily basis either in our “IS IT TRUE” or “Readers Forum” columns concerning National or International issues.Joe Biden and Ronald Reagan’s comments are mostly about issues of national interest.  The majority of our “IS IT TRUE” columns are about local or state issues, so we have decided to give Mr. Biden and Mr. Reagan exclusive access to our newly created “LEFT JAB and RIGHT JAB”  column. They now have this post to exclusively discuss national or world issues that they feel passionate about.We shall be posting the “LEFT JAB” AND “RIGHT JAB” several times a week.  Oh, “Left Jab” is a liberal view and the “Right Jab is representative of the more conservative views. Also, any reader who would like to react to the written comments of the two gentlemen is free to do so.center_img “Right Jab And Left Jab” was created because we have two commenters that post on a daily basis either in our “IS IT TRUE” or “Readers Forum” columns concerning National or International issues.Joe Biden and Ronald Reagan’s comments are mostly about issues of national interest.  The majority of our “IS IT TRUE” columns are about local or state issues, so we have decided to give Mr. Biden and Mr. Reagan exclusive access to our newly created “LEFT JAB and RIGHT JAB”  column. They now have this post to exclusively discuss national or world issues that they feel passionate about.We shall be posting the “LEFT JAB” AND “RIGHT JAB” several times a week.  Oh, “Left Jab” is a liberal view and the “Right Jab is representative of the more conservative views. Also, any reader who would like to react to the written comments of the two gentlemen is free to do so. FOOTNOTE: Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers,“Right Jab And Left Jab” was created because we have two commenters that post on a daily basis either in our “IS IT TRUE” or “Readers Forum” columns concerning National or International issues.Joe Biden and Ronald Reagan’s comments are mostly about issues of national interest.  The majority of our “IS IT TRUE” columns are about local or state issues, so we have decided to give Mr. Biden and Mr. Reagan exclusive access to our newly created “LEFT JAB and RIGHT JAB”  column. They now have this post to exclusively discuss national or world issues that they feel passionate about.We shall be posting the “LEFT JAB” AND “RIGHT JAB” several times a week.  Oh, “Left Jab” is a liberal view and the “Right Jab is representative of the more conservative views. Also, any reader who would like to react to the written comments of the two gentlemen is free to do so.,“Right Jab And Left Jab” was created because we have two commenters that post on a daily basis either in our “IS IT TRUE” or “Readers Forum” columns concerning National or International issues.Joe Biden and Ronald Reagan’s comments are mostly about issues of national interest.  The majority of our “IS IT TRUE” columns are about local or state issues, so we have decided to give Mr. Biden and Mr. Reagan exclusive access to our newly created “LEFT JAB and RIGHT JAB”  column. They now have this post to exclusively discuss national or world issues that they feel passionate about.We shall be posting the “LEFT JAB” AND “RIGHT JAB” several times a week.  Oh, “Left Jab” is a liberal view and the “Right Jab is representative of the more conservative views. Also, any reader who would like to react to the written comments of the two gentlemen is free to do so.last_img read more

Warrens crowns Young Budding Baker of the Year

first_imgWarrens Bakery has named a 17-year-old from Chichester as its first ever Young Budding Baker of the Year.Florrie Smith, 17 (pictured right), was selected from thousands of entries across the UK and competed against four other regional finalists in a live final that took place at Nisbet’s National Catering Equipment Centre in Bristol this month. The other finalists were: Talia Cohen, 16, from Borehamwood; Sara Holly Grabham, 16, from London; Claudia Edyvean, 16, from St Austell; and Alfie Joliffe, 16, from Gosport.The finalists were first tasked to show their ‘Baking Wizardry’ by creating a plaited bread, which would be judged on skills, flavour, appearance and texture. Then came the Pasty Challenge, which saw them create their own signature sweet or savoury pastry. Flavours included Marmite and cheese, curried cauliflower, and apple & cinnamon with a side of Cornish clotted cream.In the third and final round, called ‘Get Creative’, the five teenagers had to transform a sponge cake into a centrepiece for a special occasion, with the judges looking for an excellent finish, exciting flavours and skilful technique, while showcasing their personality.Winner Florrie Smith created a rainbow cake representing Pride events around the UK. Her prize includes a trip to Cornwall to visit Warrens Bakery at St Just to help develop a new bake to sell across the artisan bakery’s stores, and a one-to-one meeting with former Bake Off contestant and Waitrose columnist Martha Collison.“This has been a day to remember. It proves to me that the craft of baking is alive and well, and that we have a generation of youngsters coming up who will take it bravely into the future. I can honestly say that every one of our finalists shows real promise, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we hear more about these talented teenagers in years to come,” said Warrens head baker Jason Jobling.He judged the competition with Dean Starling, brand sales development chef for the National Catering Equipment Centre.last_img read more

CES receives gift to establish the Özyeğin Forum on Modern Turkey

Read Full Story Harvard University’s Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES) today announced a gift by the family of Hüsnü Özyeğin, a leading Turkish entrepreneur, highly esteemed philanthropist, and HBS graduate (M.B.A. 1969), to establish the Özyeğin Forum on Modern Turkey. The Özyeğin Forum will provide CES new opportunities to incorporate the study of Turkey and its relationship with Europe in its diverse programmatic activities. The new program will include lectures, conferences, and cultural events.“This is a visionary gift, and we are honored to receive it from the Özyeğin family, whose commitment to advancing education is exemplary,” said Professor Grzegorz Ekiert, director of the Center for European Studies. “The establishment of this new program at CES is an important signal that understanding Turkey is fundamental to the study of contemporary Europe.”The forum has two components: the Hüsnü Özyeğin Annual Lecture, a high-profile public event and the Özyeğin Speaker Series, which will support inclusion of themes related to Turkey and Europe in seminars and workshops at CES throughout the academic year. The Özyeğin Speaker Series will commence on April 27 at CES with a talk by MIT Professor Daron Acemoğlu titled “Turkey: Growing Pains Under History’s Long Shadow.” Özyeğin, founder of Fiba Holding, will offer introductory remarks. The first Hüsnü Özyeğin Annual Lecture will be delivered in the fall by Nobel Laureate and former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari.To attend the inaugural event, complete the RSVP request form by April 17.  For more information, see the event details. read more

Writing black lives

first_imgConstance Baker Motley, a pioneering lawyer, politician, activist, and the first black woman appointed to the federal judiciary, “is one of the legal architects of postwar, Civil Rights-era America who made it possible for us to be here today,” said Tomiko Brown-Nagin at a recent Radcliffe discussion.But Motley is hardly a household name, even though she argued the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education case before the Supreme Court along with Thurgood Marshall, and represented Freedom Riders and Martin Luther King Jr., among other accomplishments. With her latest book project, Brown-Nagin, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, is hoping to change that.“Motley certainly deserves a full biography,” said Brown-Nagin, who moderated “Writing Black Lives,” a talk by three biographers that explored how the life and work of Motley, playwright Lorraine Hansberry, and author James Baldwin have helped shape the contemporary conversation around black politics, community, identity, and life. “She was amazing; she was complicated, including because of the way in which she experienced and represented her gender. So there is so much to learn from Motley, and from all of these wonderful African American figures.”As part of their research, Brown-Nagin, Imani Perry, Princeton professor in African American studies and author of “Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry,” and Harvard’s Robert Reid-Pharr, who is working on a Baldwin biography, have spent countless hours poring through archives. Last week they produced some of their finds, letters and notes that highlighted the character and conviction of their subjects, as well as the challenging political and social context of their times.Judges tend to avoid keeping papers or correspondence that might “reveal their thought process,” said Brown-Nagin, who is also a professor of history in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Still, Motley, who died in 2005, saved a number of “gems” such as notes from activists Pauli Murray and King, who congratulated her on being appointed to the federal bench in 1966. “And then there are different kinds of letters,” said Brown-Nagin. She read the words of a white woman angry with Motley’s position and pay: “Very soon negroes are the masters of white Americans. Negroes even want to be president of the United States … No nation on earth can live in peace with two different colors, black and white.”Such letters, said Brown-Nagin, help reinforce the notion that, “Even as we are writing about a person, we are writing about a public, and the African American and American experience.”Much the same could be said for chronicling the life of Hansberry. The writer who penned “A Raisin in the Sun,” the first play by an African American woman to appear on Broadway, changed the course of the nation’s theater history by introducing audiences to “representations of black Americans that are serious, that are nuanced,” Perry said. Hansberry, a driven Civil Rights activist who “pursued her life, her creativity in an unapologetic fashion and also stayed committed to her politics,” reminds us of the “kind of people we are supposed to be.” “Even as we are writing about a person, we are writing about a public, and the African American and American experience.” — Radcliffe Dean Tomiko Brown-Nagin Light, camera, access Through careful, close examination of Hansberry’s letters, diaries, memos to herself, even something as simple as a calendar entry for a dinner engagement, “a life emerges,” said Perry.For Reid-Pharr, a professor of studies of women, gender, and sexuality and of African and African American studies, fascination with Baldwin’s life began in 1979 when he picked up the writer’s controversial second novel, “Giovanni’s Room.” Reid-Pharr was 14, and it was the first time he’d seen a book with a black face on the cover. Soon he’d read everything by Baldwin, including reflections on his Pentecostal background — a background they shared. It was another first for Reid-Pharr, who had never seen his world rendered in such detail and suddenly understood “the world in which I lived was a world that could be written about.”Baldwin’s work, he added, “changed who I was as a human being. It got me on a path to being a person interested in literature and turning toward a literary critic.”But writing a Baldwin biography hasn’t been easy. The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture houses the official Baldwin archive, 30 linear feet and hundreds of thousands of pages of material that can’t be photographed or photocopied. (After more than two years of work Reid-Pharr has 700 transcribed pages.) It’s been a time-consuming process, but it’s also been enlightening, he said, bringing him closer to the true nature of the literary icon and social critic.Reid-Pharr said it felt like a privilege to have “the materials of the maestro in your hand,” and that Baldwin is one of the intellectual giants of the American 20th century. But his research has also revealed the artist’s flaws. In today’s video-obsessed culture it’s easy to get a “YouTube version of Baldwin,” said Reid-Pharr. With his book he hopes to offer a more complicated, “grittier” version of the author and activist, one that examines his struggles with fame, celebrity, sexuality, and the responsibility of representing his race, one that can be “more useful to what we are going through now.”Reflecting on the genre, Perry said she sees the biography as a chance to blend history with creativity.“I, as a writer and a scholar, have been interested in how does one transition from a style of writing that’s primarily devoted to making people think to one that is also devoted to making people feel?” she said. “And there is something about the examination of a life on a material level that opens up that kind of space for emotional relevance.” Taking it all personally In 1932, this opera was a hit. Why has no one seen it since? The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. At Radcliffe, dreams of revival for African-American composer’s ‘Tom-Tom’ center_img Related Two-day conference explores the nexus of art, race, laws, and norms Picturing vision and justice Brickson Diamond’s mission: To promote African American writers, producers, directors, and executives in the film and television industries Carpenter Center show reflects racial disparities that helped fuel James Baldwin’s writing last_img read more

Choir closes tour with concert at College

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s College Women’s Choir will conclude its spring tour where it began, on the College’s campus tonight at 7:30 p.m., in the Church of Loretto. Dr. Nancy Menk, director of the Women’s Choir, said the group is made up of 41 students.  Sophomore Claire Stewart said the group enjoys performing for an audience, which pushes them through the physical demands of singing and touring. “We love to perform,” Stewart said. “We live for that intimate interaction with the audience. It brings us tremendous joy and keeps us going through sickness, exhaustion and sore vocal chords.” Stewart said the songs in tonight’s concert will span a variety of genres and even languages. “We sing in four languages – English, Latin, Spanish and Korean, and the songs are about everything from war to spiritual Gospel messages to heartbreak,” she said. “So, no matter what style of music you like, we are bound to sing something that you’ll enjoy.” The group’s performance tonight will feature choral music by both American and international composers, including Spain’s Eva Ugalde, Korea’s Tae Kyun Ham and Americans Guy Forbes and Gwyneth Walker, Menk said. Menk said the choir recently returned from a tour of the southeastern United States, traveling to Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville and Atlanta, and finishing the trip in Fort Lauderdale.  The group visited various female high school and church choirs and also performed its tour songs for these choirs, she said. Sophomore Nia Parillo said after traveling around the Southeast, she is glad the choir will be singing for the Saint Mary’s campus and the South Bend community. “Since we were able to show people across the country all of our hard work and how dedicated we are to our talents, we would love to show the students, the staff, and the families of our community what the choir is all about,” Parillo said. “Music means a lot to all of us, and it would be awesome if we could share that with others right here in South Bend.” Parillo said she could tell they became role-models in the eyes of the girls they visited. “We were seen as role models for the girls we visited, and it was a great feeling to know that you may have changed a girl’s life by furthering her interest in women’s choirs and music in general.  All of the choirs welcomed us with open arms, and it was an amazing experience,” Parillo said. The choir stayed with host families during the tour, many of which had Saint Mary’s College alumnae or Notre Dame alumni among them, Menk said.  She said the choir members enjoyed sharing stories of their college experiences, especially their experiences with the choir. Freshman Nina Martinez said the trip was full of music and brought the group closer together. “The trip was a non-stop adventure,” Martinez said. “Whether we were on the bus belting out the latest hits from ‘Pitch Perfect’ or serenading the audiences with our sentimental a cappella arrangement of the Irish Blessing, our mutual love of music brought us closer together with each other, with our audiences and with the host families.” Menk said the group visited the headquarters of CNN, the Florida Everglades, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Derby Museum. The choir began rehearsing their tour songs in the beginning of the fall semester, Menk said. Stewart said after the tour they reached a point where they knew their songs backward and forward. Parillo said because of the year-long rehearsals, she and other choir members who were abroad in the fall had to work hard to catch up with the rest of the group when they returned in January. “Some of the women, like myself, were abroad last semester, so we had to put in extra hours of work to make sure the songs were ready for performances,” she said.  Parillo said the group as a whole was pleased with its tour performances. “We are very proud of the results of all of our hard-work and especially thankful for Dr. Menk’s dedication to making sure our songs are spotless,” she said. The Saint Mary’s College Bellacappella group will also perform at the concert, Menk said. Bellacappella is a smaller group than the Women’s Choir and the only a cappella group at Saint Mary’s. Menk said tickets for Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame students are free with a College or University ID, and tickets for both faculty and staff are discounted.last_img read more