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“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (2 Peter 1:5-7).

Merriam Webster defines a church as a building for public worship, especially Christian worship. But churches are often tasked with much more than just serving as a space for Christians to commune, especially in the Black community.

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Do not neglect to extend hospitality to strangers [especially among the family of believers—being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” -Hebrews 13:2 (AMP)

Kimberly Kay (Vaughn) LovelleKim Lovelle, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, passed peacefully on November 30 after a sudden and brief battle with pneumonia and sepsis. She was the daughter of Richard R. Vaughn, and Ellen and Jerry Newcomb.Kim was born in Bremerton, Washington, on August 24, 1960, and moved frequently as a child throughout Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas. She attended College High School in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and graduated from Caney Valley High School, Caney, Kansas. After classes at Coffeyville Community College, Kim began a long career in the dental field, first as a dental assistant and later as an office manager.Kim married Tom Harvey in Caney, Kansas, on February 20, 1980. They had two children, Caleb Thomas Harvey and Joshua Lee Harvey. They divorced after 10 years of marriage. Kim married Nathan (Nate) Lovelle in 1998, and until her passing they had made homes in Bartlesville, Tulsa, and Broken Arrow.Kim retired in 2007, then, through the grace of God and fine St. John physicians, won a long medical battle in 2013. Soon thereafter, Kim became known to her friends and family as their "spiritual mom." She continued professing her faith through prayer chains, homeless provision programs, and low-income outreach and assistance until her passing. She loved the unloved, the unwanted, and moms everywhere who needed a solid Christian boost when times were tough. Kim also loved spending time during the summer on the Oregon coast, a special place where she seemed most at ease.Kim was preceded in death by her mother, Ellen Kay (Williamson) Newcomb. She is survived by her husband, Nate Lovelle, Broken Arrow, son Caleb Harvey and wife, Tiffany, Edmond, Oklahoma, son Josh Harvey and wife, Denise, Edmond, Oklahoma; grandchildren, Jess Enkey, Ellington Harvey, Gabriel Harvey, and William Harvey; fathers, Richard Vaughn, Butler, Missouri, and Jerry Newcomb, Caney, Kansas; and brothers, Wayne Vaughn, Elk City, Kansas, Troy Newcomb, Caney, Kansas, and Scott Newcomb, Las Vegas, Nevada.Private family services will be held for Kim. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to causes appreciated by Kim. One-time donations to the John 3:16 Mission, at, or the International House of Prayer, at, or your local church will be matched by the family. To facilitate the matched funds, please send donation receipts, as well as cards of condolences to: Family of Kim Lovelle, 8801 S. Yale Ave, Suite 420, Tulsa, OK 74137.

Every summer, at the peak of the annual heatwave, Jews all around the world mourn the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. We fast for 25 hours from food and drink. We sit barefoot on the floors of our synagogues, holding candles, reciting the Book of Lamentations. We mourn the Temple as if it had been destroyed yesterday; when, indeed, it was destroyed for the last time in 70 CE. We mourn because we remember, but also because we want to remember, and because this way, we learn how express mourning.

Every so often, the clickbait pops up on my newsfeed or on Facebook. “Check out these celebrities when they were kids” or “Can you recognize these celebrities when they were young?” The pictures are from old grade school, junior high or high school yearbooks.

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• Strand of Lights Drive-Thru Christmas Light Show: Through Dec. 30, with timed entries at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Wind through the campus of the Smoky Mountain Event Center and be wowed by the spectacular light displays. 758 Crabtree Road, Waynesville.

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The 14th annual $5,000 Lottery Tickets Giveaway is underway at the Cigar Box in Coal Creek Commerce Center, Saint Clair. Entries are $10, offering a chance to win $5,000 in Pennsylvania Instant Lottery Tickets in addition to the holiday-themed “Bring Home the Tree” creation made of instant lottery tickets.

For a second time, Sam Missal and his wife, Kathleen Grigg, will have a newborn portraying Baby Jesus during a live nativity play at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Pierre.

If we haven’t met, I love Christmas. Everything about it. Obviously, first for the spiritual significance that it is for those who follow Jesus. But I also just adore most things Christmas.

Advent literally means the arrival or coming of a notable person, thing or event. The term comes from “adventus,” the Latin translation of the New Testament Greek term, “Parousia” which refers to the Second Coming of Christ. Thus, the Advent season is rooted in Christianity. It is most commonly referred to as the period of hopeful anticipation of the return of Christ.  The period of advent begins four Sundays before Christmas. It was originally practiced as a time of mourning and fasting somewhat like Lent and was marked with somber, prayerful anticipation and hope in the coming of the Messiah.