POSTED: Saturday, March 14, 2009

Parties celebrate past generosity

The afterglow of Christmas giving will be celebrated at parties tomorrow and Monday for local families and organizations who participated in the annual Operation Christmas Child shoe box project.

More than 8,000 shoe boxes packed with school supplies, hygiene items, clothing and toys were collected on Oahu last fall for distribution to children in countries undergoing war or other upheavals.

Participants will hear about where their gifts were sent at the parties at 6 p.m. tomorrow at Kailua Community Church, 459B Keaniani St., and 6:30 p.m. Monday at Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St.

Scott Evans, West Coast regional manager of Operation Christmas Child, will speak.

Local organizer Rene Morgan said many different religious communities participated, as did students from kindergarten through college. “;The Girl Scouts made a huge impact.”; Contributions on Oahu increased by 53 percent over the 5,335 shoe boxes given in 2007.

“;Anyone who made a shoe box and anyone interested in joining the project for this year is welcome,”; Morgan said. “;We're celebrating how generous and thoughtful people are.”;

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization.


'Bachanalia' at Lutheran Church

A free March 22 concert will celebrate the 324th birthday of Johan Sebastian Bach with performances of his compositions for organ, orchestra and choristers.

The “;Bachanalia”; event at Lutheran Church of Honolulu, 1730 Punahou St., will begin with a 2:30 p.m. Organ Marathon with 11 local organists performing.

The music will continue at 5:15 p.m. with Bach Vespers for Lent by the church choir and Bach Chamber Orchestra conducted by Carl Crosier.

A catered “;Bach's Lunch”; will be available during the interval between performances. The cost is $10. Monday is the deadline for reservations. Call the church office, 941-2566.


Expert shares coping skills

Louis LaGrand, a well-known author and speaker on grief counseling, will present a free Honolulu workshop on “;Nine Proven Survival Skills for Coping with Loss and Change.”;

The workshop from 9 a.m. to noon March 31 at Borthwick Mortuary will be co-sponsored by St. Francis Hospice and the Hawaii chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. March 24 is the deadline for registration. Call 547-8145 or send an e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

LaGrand, former professor at the State University of New York, Potsdam, is the author of eight books, including “;Love Lives On”; and “;Gifts from the Unknown.”;


Temple hosts talks on Israel

A series of talks with the theme “;Israel Experience”; will continue next week at Temple Emanu-El, 2550 Pali Highway.

A workshop at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday will feature Rabbi Peter Schaktman speaking on the history of Israel “;From the War of Attrition to the War in Lebanon.”;

On Friday, George Hudes will speak on “;Dvar Acher: A Different Point of View, Tough-loving Israel.”; The talk at 7:30 p.m. will follow the Shabbat service. Hudes, a member of Congregation Sof Ma'arav, is active in organizations that are critical of actions taken by Israel's government against Palestinians.

Both talks are open to the public.