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300 members join interfaith effort

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Some 300 Latter-day Saints here joined in a community interfaith effort in January that attracted more than 2,000 people to the downtown Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach, Calif. Called "The Procession of Light — 2000," the event included nine choirs, 18 faith leaders, five musical ensembles and was sponsored by the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council.

Members of the Huntington Beach California and Huntington Beach California North stakes participated in the event that was staged to unify citizens of diverse backgrounds through prayer, song and light. A 130-voice choir (the largest on the program) and a small orchestra from the Huntington Beach stake performed "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing," directed by Brett Stewart of the Huntington Beach 4th Ward. All the other choirs and performers joined with the LDS choir in a concluding selection, "God Bless America," arranged by Brother Stewart. The audience spontaneously stood and joined in singing the anthem.

Offering their services during the activity were 36 full-time missionaries from the California Long Beach Mission, and mission President Grant Pullan and his wife, Sister Sharlene Pullan. The Interfaith Council organizing committee specifically requested the assistance of the "Mormon missionaries," based on the service the missionaries gave at an interfaith prayer breakfast in May.

"Sister Pullan and I were impressed with the tremendous show of unity, peace and hope for the new millennium by the many faiths of the Huntington Beach community. We are grateful our missionaries were able to be of service," he said.

Culminating the evening, a 14-piece bagpipe band played "Amazing Grace" while nearly 1,000 people walked behind for a light procession, led by missionaries with flashlight candles, on the quarter-mile-long pier.

Huntington Beach and Huntington Beach North Stake presidents Bruce E. Miller and R. Marshall Tanner serve on the interfaith council. Huntington Beach North stake community relations director Carolyn S. Allen is the council's secretary.

LDS musicians win national award

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador — A professional musician and one of the first bishops in Ecuador, Gustavo Maruri Cede┬Ło, and his son, Roy, were recently awarded first place in a national music festival for a song they wrote, "I Sing for You, for Love." Brother Maruri wrote the words and his son composed the music. The song was performed by a vocalist, Danilo Rosero, the son of an elected official, Deputy Fernando Rosero.

The contest, Festival OTI, annually attracts a great deal of national interest, said Humberto Mancero of the Ecuador public affairs committee.

Brother Maruri, who was baptized in 1973, is a high councilor in the Guayaquil Ecuador Alborada Stake. A professional musician, he has led his own orchestra for 25 years, and has been a choral director of several locally known company-sponsored choirs, and has led a number of prominent Church choirs. He is well-known for his work and has performed on television in neighboring Venezuela and Colombia as well.

Tabernacle part of Winterfest celebration

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — During the past three months, members living here have joined with the community to celebrate the Council Bluffs Winterfest.

As part of the celebration, the Kanesville Tabernacle was included with other historical locations on an "Ollie the Trolley" tour. Participants dressed in pioneer costume and demonstrated wheat grinding, butter churning, quilting and yarn spinning. Visitors were offered samples of homemade whole wheat bread and fresh churned butter. They were then encouraged to try their hand at grinding wheat on a hand grinder and turning the handle to churn the butter. The hands-on displays proved to be of interest, especially to the young.

Readers from around the world are invited to submit news items and photos for this feature on Church events worldwide. Submissions should include a telephone number of someone who can be contacted for additional information. Items should be mailed to Church News, "From Around the World," attention Sarah Jane Weaver, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84110. Fax number: (801) 237-2524. Internet E-mail: [email protected]

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