Religious Freedom Conference

By Gary Zavoral  |  2018-12-22

From left, Associate Justice George Nicholson of the Third District Court of Appeals; Dr. John Mark Reynolds, a Houston Christian college administrator and popular Evangelical speaker; Elder Paul Watkins of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Dr. John Jackson, president of William Jessup University in Rocklin.

Area Christians Counseled to Be Civil When Debating Religious Freedom

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - About 600 Christians who gathered Friday, Nov. 16, to learn how to help preserve religious freedom in America were told to boldly declare their beliefs, but to debate civilly.

“And why must we do it civilly? Because the alternative is civil war,” said Dr. John Mark Reynolds, a Houston Christian college administrator and popular Evangelical speaker. “Not a shooting war, but a civil war of the soul, where we tear apart people … because we cannot compromise, because we cannot speak civilly, because we cannot just agree to disagree, but to boldly disagree.”

Reynolds, an expert on culture, society and philosophy, was the featured speaker in the first of three conferences bringing people of different faiths together to learn how to work side by side to preserve religious freedom. The series is presented by the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, Rocklin’s William Jessup University and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This first conference was held at The Church of Jesus Christ’s Chapel on Temple Hill in Rancho Cordova.

To show how far the United States has come in its intolerance of religious views, Reynolds quoted former U.S. Pres. Teddy Roosevelt, who said at a national convention at the turn of the 20th century, “We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord.”

“Can you imagine what the Washington Post would do to the presidential candidate who would dare to say that today?” Reynolds asked.

Reynolds drew from history – especially the Bolshevik revolution in Russia – to show the result of what happens to a culture and even entire nations when a society blocks religious rights.

“A culture will die when religious freedom dies,” he said, “because religious freedom is the first freedom.”

He told about his great-great-grandfather leaving his family and farm to volunteer to fight for “Mr. Lincoln and liberty” in the Civil War.

“When I am told that religious people should be quiet about their religious beliefs, I point out that my great-great-grandfather did not leave to fight for a secular state. But instead he marched to a song that said, ‘In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in His figure that transfigures you and me, as He died to make men holy, let us’ – in the version I was taught – ‘die to make men free,  His truth is marching on.’ … His motivation was purely religious.”

Asked how we can effectively engage in a discussion about religious freedom among our neighbors in California, where there are so many voices wanting to squelch these freedoms and often are uncivil in their tone, he told of the four-fold lesson he learned from his mother, who loved to debate:

  1. If you lose your temper, you lose. He said to follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, no matter how unpleasant others may be.
  2. Some people aren’t going to like you, even if you’re nice. “You can’t be so nice that you won’t have enemies.” After all, he said, “They killed Jesus, and you can’t get nicer than Jesus. I’m not trying to be flippant, but if you state your views clearly and you’re totally nice, there are still people who won’t like you.”
  3. Love your enemies. “Our Savior believed that you had to love your enemies, which means that Christians must be capable of making enemies. And some people are so nice that they’re incapable of making enemies. That’s not called being nice, that’s called being spineless.”
  4. Sometimes shut up. “When somebody is really suffering or hurting on an issue,” he said, “they come to you and say, for example, ‘Look, this sexual identity is central to my life and you disagree with me,’ just sit and listen. You’re probably not going to change anyone’s mind.” Reynolds said when he has had such disagreements, even with some in his own family, he tells them, “Here’s what I think, and I’ll tell you when I change my mind. … Because there’s more to life than this and we’ve clearly expressed our views, and we should just move on.” The relationship with family and friends is more important than the issue, he reminded the audience.

In closing, Reynolds told how Daniel of the Old Testament endured 70 years in Babylon, thanks in part to three or four miracles, but mostly because he was smart and cagey, having learned how to live among the Babylonians without having to compromise his core values and beliefs.

Emphasizing the need for civility in our conversations and debates, Reynolds said, “Some of us are so obnoxious that we need the miracle ratio to be daily, not one every 20 years. But if you’re getting yourself thrown into a lion’s den every day, you’re doomed.”

The next conference in this “Preserving Religious Freedom” series is planned for March 2019. For more on the series, including videos from local leaders on the importance of religious freedom, go to http://jessup.edu/religious-freedoms-with-a-civil-voice/.

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Sacramento Self-Help Housing Presents First-Ever Drive

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - On Saturday, December 15, 2018, Sacramento Self-Help Housing (SSHH) will host its first-ever “Housewarming for the Homeless” winter donation drive at the Cal Expo main gate loop from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. To make it as easy as possible for the community to participate, SSHH staff and dedicated volunteers will be on-hand to collect linens (such as blankets, single and double bed sheets and towels), small appliances (such as microwaves, toasters and coffee makers) and kitchenware to be distributed to hundreds of recently homeless individuals in Sacramento County.

Sacramento Self-Help Housing is a non-profit 501(c)3 agency dedicated to assist those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to find and retain stable and affordable housing. With significant support provided by Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance, SSHH successfully opened 30+ transitional and permanent supportive houses for the most vulnerable in our community in 2018. Looking forward to 2019, SSHH expects to do the same. In response to this rapid growth and as a result of the ever-increasing number of homeless men, women and families in Sacramento County, SSHH is garnering donations to assist with the transition of their clients from the street and onto a path of sustainable independent permanent housing.

The “Housewarming for the Homeless” needs list includes the following: Linens: bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths, single and twin bed sheets, blankets, bed pillows, dish towels; Appliances: microwaves, toasters, coffee pots; Kitchenware: dishes, pots, pans, silverware

Each donation, big or small, will go directly to furnishing a home for a recently homeless individual or family in our community. For more information about Sacramento Self-Help Housing, please call 916-341-0593 or visit www.sacselfhelp.org

Sacramento Self-Help Housing assists local homeless individuals and families worried about losing their housing to find and retain stable and affordable housing. The not-for-profit organization provides resources such as an updated housing database on the website along with shared housing options for those without sufficient income to rent a unit by themselves. In addition, Sacramento Self-Help Housing reaches out to local homeless men and women living in camps in local communities to assess their needs and, whenever possible, refer them to available mental health services, medical care, financial aid, and shelter and housing options. For more, visit www.sacselfhelp.org or call 916-341-0593.

Source: T-Rock Communications

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InSight Now On Mars

Ashley Gudzak, Aerojet Rocketdyne  |  2018-12-02

NASA’s InSight Mars lander successfully touched down on the red planet with assistance of
Aerojet Rocketdyne descent and landing propulsion. Credit: Lockheed Martin

Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion Delivers to Planet’s Surface

REDMOND, WA (MPG)  – Using sophisticated propulsion devices provided by Aerojet Rocketdyne, NASA’s Mars InSight lander successfully touched down on the surface of the red planet Nov. 26.

The final phase of lnSight’s descent was powered by 12 Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-107N 50 lbf engines, providing variable pounds of pulsed thrust throughout its descent, which began firing after the lander jettisoned its parachute and heat shield. The engines maneuvered the craft clear of the falling parachute before bringing it gently to the Martian surface, where it will gather data on the planet’s seismology, rotation and internal temperature.

“We provided propulsion for every phase of this important NASA mission, from launch to landing,” said Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president. “A mission like this leaves no margin for error and our systems successfully performed their critical roles as expected.”

Mars InSight began its journey May 5 with its launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Aerojet Rocketdyne supplied the RL10C-1 main engine and 12 MR-106 reaction control thrusters for the rocket’s Centaur upper stage, as well as helium pressurization tanks for the vehicle’s first and second stages.

During InSight’s roughly six-month cruise to Mars, four Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-106B thrusters, each generating four pounds of thrust, kept the probe on target via five trajectory correction maneuvers. Meanwhile, four MR-111C thrusters, each generating one pound of thrust, kept the craft stable and pointed in the right direction.

These same thrusters provided the final trajectory and pointing adjustments as the lander approached the Martian atmosphere. Aerojet Rocketdyne also supplied two helium pressurization tanks on the lander.

Mars InSight will study the deep interior of Mars, examining in depth its crust, mantle, and core. Aerojet Rocketdyne engines have flown aboard every successful U.S. Mars mission, including orbiters and landers. Additionally, Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion systems have taken NASA probes to every planet in the solar system and even beyond. The agency’s two Voyager probes, which launched in 1977, are equipped with Aerojet Rocketdyne thrusters. Voyager 1 is in interstellar space, while Voyager 2 is in the heliosheath, the outermost layer of the heliosphere.

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Hot Hits for Heroes

Story and picture by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2018-12-02

Singer and keyboard player Mary Maguire led Lady and the Tramps during a free concert at Sacramento Veterans Hospital, Mather.

Concert Entertains at Mather VA Hospital

MATHER, CA (MPG) - While hospital visits aren’t often music for outpatient ears, veterans recently enjoyed three hours of classic rock at Sacramento VA Medical Center, Mather. Sponsored by the Home of the Campaign, the event continued veteran week celebrations with free 340 pizza lunches, tee shirts and patient visits.

Volunteers from Hewlett Packard Enterprise led a volunteer force for the outreach.

Lady and the Tramps’ concert was originally planned for outdoors but poor air quality nudged activities into the hospital lobby. Unfazed, the group performed classic rock tunes for a mobile but appreciative audience.

Home of the Brave was Established in 2012 by Hewlett Packard employees in in Houston TX and Herndon VA. The group later partnered with Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service; the VA Homeless Program and Soldiers Angels. Corporate contributors include Perspecta, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Micro Focus. The campaign’s mission to honor and support veterans has created giving events all over America, with volunteer activities such as patient visits at health centers. Fundraising and sponsor donations provide hats, blankets, water bottles and backpacks to thousands of veterans in 42 states, and in Washington DC and Puerto Rico.

Learn about Home of the Brave at www.homeofthebravecampaign.com

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Jingle Bell Run Honors Local Arthritis Warrior

By Carol Chamberlain  |  2018-12-02

Jeremy with his mom. Photo courtesy 3fold Communications

Six-year-old fights juvenile arthritis every day

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - In a Carmichael home where a family with three boys under 10 live, super heroes are widely respected, and even part of the décor.  Breakfast is served on top of Avenger placemats and Superman and Thor are nearby. Ironically, the kid eating his cereal from a bowl placed on top of Black Panther (his favorite) is a superhero in his own right. He is sharing his own battle with juvenile arthritis to bring awareness to the disease.

Six-year-old Jeremy Kelley will leave Black Panther behind and don a reindeer suit for a day the whole family is celebrating. Jeremy will be leading the Reindeer Games and Kid Run at the Arthritis Foundation’s 2018 Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis, supported by Sutter Health (where Jeremy’s mom works). The race takes place on December 9.

“Our honorees and volunteers are what make this event memorable every year, and this year we’re humbled to honor Jeremy Kelley who, along with his parents, is a true arthritis warrior,” says Heather Funk, the Arthritis Foundations’ Pacific Southwest region development director. “We are all pulling for him to be able to finish the Kid Run.”

Jeremy’s warrior-status journey started right before his third birthday. He was simply doing what kids do when they are three, but had a decidedly different outcome.

“Jeremy jumped off the couch in the living room and onto a beanbag chair,” his mother, Jaime Kelley says.  In a few days, his leg was swollen to triple its size. X-rays didn’t show any damage, but Jeremy didn’t improve over time. Clearly, jumping off the couch was not the issue.

The Kelleys went to their own pediatrician, were referred to Shriners Hospital and got an appointment several months later. By that time both knees and an ankle were severely swollen, and Jeremy was back to crawling. Doctors there did testing, but were also stumped by Jeremy’s severe symptoms. Shriner Hospital suggested taking Jeremy to UC San Francisco, where doctors there gave him aggressive joint injections.  They worked.

“He started running around like crazy, the previous six months seemed like a bad dream,” Jaime Kelley remembers. “We couldn’t believe we had Jeremy back.”

Unfortunately, the “miracle” really wasn’t. Despite Jeremy’s new-found mobility, the disease wasn’t subsiding.  More shots followed, and injecting the medicine was up to mom. Jeremy developed a bad case of shot anxiety, turning the household into turmoil when it was time for yet another one. Knowing the injection routine was impacting the family and hoping the disease was in remission, the doctors decided to give Jeremy a break from the rigid shot regime. The symptoms returned.

So now the Kelleys are in management mode, continuing with the injections sometimes, seeing a therapist for the shot trauma — and coping. Pain is still prevalent, and doctors say the remedy is harsh:  push through it.

“It’s something we will just have to deal with,” says Jaime, “Right now we are trying yoga.” Grateful for the help she received from the Foundation, Jaime is now an Arthritis Foundation activist who mentors— and learns from — other parents and the staff and board of the Foundation.

Andrew Pete, service line director for Perioperative Services at Sutter Medical Center Sacramento, is the Northern California Arthritis Foundation chair. He is one of many Sutter Health community volunteers who donate expertise and services to nonprofits throughout the region.  

“People assume that arthritis is a condition you get when you get old,” Pete says. “But our Arthritis Warrior Jeremy confirms that kids get arthritis too. We want people to know the symptoms and get help because there are treatments available.”

Juvenile arthritis affects more than 300,000 children in the U.S., a figure experts consider on the low side. Considering the obstacles and determination parents must endure to convince their medical provider that the symptoms are more than just kids being kids, the disease is underreported and appallingly undertreated.

The Arthritis Foundation is trying to change the trajectory of misdiagnosis by funding cutting-edge research for new treatments and discovering a cure, advocating for health care access, and offering support to victims of the disease.

The Jingle Bell Run is part of that strategy. It is a holiday event where at least 1,000 people will gather at Sacramento’s Crocker Park to join the movement to conquer the disease. The 5K run encourages participants to dress in festive costumes and get moving to raise awareness and funds to cure America’s #1 cause of disability. To register, visit,  www.jbr.org/Sacramento 

Meanwhile, Jeremy loves to escape his trials and play Pie Face, a game-in-a-box with rules that dictate that if you are the unlucky opponent, a lever slaps whip cream all over your face. Jeremy thinks it’s hilarious.

Source: 3fold Communications

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Cordova High Students Participate in Forestry Challenge

By Diane Dealey Neill, Founder and Coordinator Forestry Challenge  |  2018-12-02

Cordova High School students studied timber harvest economics at Leoni Meadows Camp at the 2018 El Dorado Forestry Challenge. Left to right: Andrew Garnett, Charlie Budge, Logan Lammi, Giselle Johnston, Bret Harnden (advisor). Photo courtesy Forestry Challenge

Grizzly Flats, CA (MPG) - Four students from Cordova High School participated recently in the 2018 El Dorado Forestry Challenge, one group of a total of 103 high school students from 11 schools from the Sacramento area and central California.  The event was October 24 to 27 at Leoni Meadows Camp, near Grizzly Flats, California. 

One of the highlights for the students this year was the opportunity to assess available timber that could be harvested at Leoni Meadows and, using current information on lumber prices and logging/hauling costs, determine whether Leoni Meadows would meet its financial goals if they harvest in today’s market.  During the Challenge, teams of students also completed field training, followed by a field test, to assess their technical forestry knowledge and data collecting skills.

“This is the ultimate event for students to gain technical skills and network with professionals in the forestry industry,” said Cordova High School teacher Bret Harnden.  Charlie Budge, a sophomore at Cordova, summed it up as follows:  “It was a fun time and was educational. It was cool being able to learn about the forest, while actually in the forest.”

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Railroad Museum CEO Cheryl Marcell to Serve on Prestigious HeritageRail Alliance

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack   |  2018-11-25

Railroad Museum CEO Cheryl Marcell. Photo courtesy Sacramento Railroad Museum.

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – California State Railroad Museum Foundation President & CEO Cheryl Marcell has been named to serve on the prestigious board of directors for the HeritageRail Alliance, a nationwide organization dedicated to promoting the common interest of entities engaged in the business of tourist, scenic, historic or excursion railroading, railway and trolley museums. The official announcement was made at the HeritageRail conference held last week in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Marcell will serve on the board for a three-year term ending in 2021. 

With an impressive and expansive background in business development and the airport industry, Marcell joined the California State Railroad Museum Foundation in April 2015 where she has been instrumental in helping to reinvigorate and pave exciting new paths for the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento and Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown. 

Marcell’s new role on the board of directors comes at an important time for the rail industry. May 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad when, along with the rest of the country, the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation plan to present a series of exciting events, activities and exhibits to commemorate the historic achievement that helped to shape and connect the nation. For more information about the California State Railroad Museum Foundation, please visit www.californiarailroad.museumand for information the HeritageRail Alliance, please visit www.atrrm.org.

The mission of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation (CSRMF) is to generate revenue and awareness on behalf of its destinations, while supporting the preservation, interpretation and promotion of our railroad heritage. The Foundation provides funding for ongoing support of numerous programs, both at the museum's Old Sacramento location and at the historic park in Jamestown, Calif. For more information, please visit www.californiarailroad.museum.

Source: T-Rock Communications

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