News Briefs: Church Fire, Student Honored, Romanian Relief

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (June 20, 2011) – A fire last Tuesday caused $600,000 in damage to a church building that at one time served as home to Mission Covenant Church.

Officials believe a bird nest built in the attic next to a light fixture is the likely cause of a fire at Our Lady of Aglona church.

According to WOOD-TV Channel 8 news, the 116-year-old building generally held up well, including a large, stained-glass window on the west wall, which is the worst-damaged wall as a result of the fire. The wall was installed in the late 1940s, says Karl Lundeen.

Lundeen was born into the church family in 1934 when the historic building housed Mission Covenant. He was married in the church in 1959. The building was sold about one month ago to Grace Legacy Builders’ Pastor Bruce Kuiper, who said he plans to continue renovations despite Tuesday’s blaze.

Student Honored for Playwriting, Academics and Volunteer Work

THOMASTON, CT – The Rotary Club of Thomaston has selected Covenanter Curtis Dunn as the club’s final Student of the Month honoree for the current school year.

Dunn, whose family attends Thomaston Covenant Church, has won three consecutive first-place prizes at the Young Connecticut Playwrights Festival and taken part in 34 productions in his life.

His first acting role came when he was only three years old. His parents, Sandra and Jeff, the former executive director of the Thomaston Opera House, introduced him to acting.

Dunn also was honored for his academic record and work in the community. He has competed on the High School Academic Bowl team and is a member of the National Honor Society.

Dunn also participated in Students Advocating for a Greener Earth and has volunteered at the Thomaston Food Pantry and at Thomaston Covenant Church.

He will pursue a double major in theatre and mathematics when he attends Adelphi University in New York.

Church, Community Assisting Romanian Children

SAMMAMISH, WA – Volunteers from Pine Lake Covenant Church recently packed nearly 600 boxes of supplies destined for an impoverished area of Romania, filling a 40-foot semi-truck trailer.

The church had gathered the roughly 11,000 pounds of clothing, school supplies, household goods and other essentials from community donations. They spent 45 days gathering the items.

The church also raised the $11,000 it took to ship the donations to Targu jiu, Romania. The Sammamish community had a send-off party June 12.

Church members focused much of their giving on school supplies. Some of the poorest children in Targu jiu are home-schooled because they don’t have jackets or shoes to wear to public school. So Pine Lake Covenant is providing parents with supplies to teach at home.

A Romanian social assistance organization, which the church has previously worked with, will distribute the supplies among some of the most needy families in the area.

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