From around the world

Europe East Area

Priesthood training

Priesthood leaders from the Odessa District and three branches in Southern Ukraine met recently on the banks of the Black Sea for overnight priesthood leadership training. Wilfried M. Voge, president of the Ukraine Kiev Mission, presided and Vitali Chernega, president of the Odessa District, conducted.

The event provided 13 hours of leadership training in a spiritual setting. "This is the first in Ukraine," said Pres. Voge. "We are building the foundation for stakes here."

He also said the training will help prepare leadership for the Kiev Ukraine Temple, which should be built by early 2000.

The branch leaders experienced priesthood strength and unity during the two days, Pres. Voge said. "From this intensely productive time together, the brethren truly went away fed very well, both physically and spiritually," he added.

North America Southeast Area

Governor applauds Web site

Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes applauded the Church's new FamilySearch Web site as he joined Elder Monte J. Brough of the Seventy and president of the North America Southeast Area for a news conference here May 24.

During the news conference, Elder Brough showed the Church's new family history service to local media. The Atlanta event was held simultaneously with the Church's news conferences in Salt Lake City and Washington D.C., announcing the Internet service.

Elder Brough explained to Atlanta newspaper and television reporters the significance of the world's largest genealogical library going on line. He also presented the governor with a bound volume of his family history. Gov. Barnes said he intended to be among those using the FamilySearch service to expand his family tree.

North America Northwest Area

Seminary building dedicated

The first seminary building to be constructed in Alaska was dedicated May 22. More than 100 Church members attended the open-air ceremony on the grounds in front of the building, located across the street from Chugiak High School in Chugiak, a suburb of Anchorage.

The program consisted of short talks offered by local Church leaders and students. Music was provided by a 45-voice student choir.

During brief remarks, Brook Tyler, a seminary student, said the education program "helps us to be able to face the challenges of our day and gives us a break from worldly responsibilities."

Seminary principal Scott Robley called seminary a "a refuge from the violence in the world."

Before the building's completion, classes were held in Church members' homes every weekday morning before school. Students now meet in the new structure during one of the school's three lunch periods. Approximately 125 students are participating in the seminary program in the new building.