The West Memphis Three case may not stir much attention in Arkansas, but it’s still a cause on the West Coast. There’s a benefit auction at the Minna Gallery in San Francisco May 12 featuring the art of Damien Echols, sentenced to die in the slayings of three West Memphis children, and a number of other artists. You can get the details, as well as an interview with Echols, at www.skeletonkeyart.com

Let there be light

In the search for the big picture in education, we sometimes fail to shine a little light on the small stuff. That’s where Lights for Literacy comes in. The new nonprofit is working to meet some basic educational needs for Arkansas kids. How basic? Dictionaries (of which it has already distributed several hundred). Desk lamps to illuminate homework. Computers.

Interested in helping out? Write the director of the program, Jane Gray-Todd, at info@lightsforlit.org. The website is www.LightsforLit.org.

A church for working moms

It made national headlines in April 1997 when Clyde Gray, pastor of Berryville’s First Baptist Church, shut the church day care center. He said a working mother violated scripture and could transfer her affections to her boss. It was all downhill for the church from there. Many members left. The church eventually closed.

But Ginger Shiras of the Harrison Daily Times reported a happy ending recently. On Easter Sunday, the church building reopened. It had been sold by the Arkansas Baptist Convention, which took possession after the closure, to a new congregation that will adopt the name First Baptist Church.

Shiras’ article quoted a congregation founder, Dr. Eric Spann, as saying a “mother’s day out” child care program would be among the church’s first services and a day care center was part of the church’s first-year plan. Wrote Shiras: “He said Bro. Richard Hamlin of the sponsoring church had told the new church to ‘serve people where they are’ and in 2006 nobody needed support more than young mothers in the workplace.”


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