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Spiritual notes

Altoona Aglow Lighthouse will meet at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at Center City Church, 801 Pleasant Valley Blvd., Altoona. Participants will study an Aglow Fireside Chat, “We Are People of Obedience.”

In addition, the group will discuss the relationship between obedience and love. Bottled water will be available. Parking and entry is at the side of the building. The group has launched a Facebook page in order to share information; search for Altoona Aglow Lighthouse.

The First Presbyterian Church, Penn and Walnut streets, Hollidaysburg, will host the Hollidaysburg Free Soup Program from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 and Feb. 15. The meal includes soup, break, butter, desserts and beverages. There is no charge; offerings will be accepted.

The meal is open to everyone.

Ham and turkey dinner will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Upper Claar Church of the Brethren, Claysburg. The meal includes all homemade trimmings. Takeouts are available; donation accepted at the door. For more information, call 239-5449.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 335 Locust Street, Johnstown, will host a Taize service at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, as part of its Community Common Prayer Series. This unique form of Christian worship was developed in 1940 by Brother Roger Schutz, founding member of the ecumenical monastic Taize community located in Taize, Saone-et-Loire, Burgundy, France.

The Taize community is composed of more than 100 brothers, from Catholic and Protestant traditions, who originate from about 30 countries across the world. The purpose of the community is service to young people and promotion of ecumenism. The community, though Western European in origin, has sought to include people and traditions worldwide. This inclusivity is most notable in their music and prayers where songs are sung in many languages and have included chants and icons from the Eastern Orthodox traditions.

The singing of distinctive and much-repeated prayer chants during candlelit prayer services is one of the Taize community’s trademarks. The music emphasizes simple phrases, usually lines from Psalms or other pieces of Scripture, repeated or sung in canon. The repetition is designed to help meditation and prayer.

The service is free. Free refreshments and conversation will be available following the service. All are welcome.

For more information about the service or St. Mark’s Community Common Prayer Series, contact the Rev. Nancy Threadgill at 535-6797 or revnancy-stmarks@atlanticbbn.net.

Grace’s Closet at Grace Lutheran Church, 1114 N. Cambria St., Bellwood, will be open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 8. All new items are available.

Anyone in need of clothing at any time can call the church office at 742-7501.

The following churches are planning special Valentine’s Day-themed events:

n Juniata United Methodist Church, 808 N. Fourth St., will host a couples night of fun, food and fellowship from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 22 at the church. The event includes a spaghetti dinner with a Valentine treat dessert, games and door prizes. Cost is $5 per couple. For tickets and reservations, contact the church by Monday,

Feb. 17, at 942-6065.

n Warriors Mark United Methodist Church will host a kid’s Valentine’s Day Bash from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. The event will kick off with a heart-shaped pizza for lunch. After lunch, there will be five different stations for kids to visit to make crafts, play bingo, create Valentine cards to be handed out to area shut-ins, take pictures with Valentine’s Day props and have their face painted.

This is a free community event. Everyone is invited.

Although an RSVP is not required, those who plan to attend are asked to email wmumc1840@gmail.com or call the church office at 632-6906 to ensure there is enough pizza and supplies for everyone.

n Champion Life Center, a nondenominational church located in downtown Altoona, will host a Sweetheart Gala on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. Tickets are $50 a couple and can be purchased at CentralPATickets.com or call the church office at 942-9400. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. following by dancing. The event, which includes a catered dinner, dancing and a silent auction, will conclude at 10 p.m.

Tickets are required and must be purchased by today, Feb. 7.

For more information or to request a dinner accommodation due to food allergies, contact the office 942-9400. The center is at 1314 12th St., Altoona.

Religious organizations are invited to submit upcoming events, special speakers and other items to be published free of charge in

Spiritual Notes. Items can be emailed to

religion@altoonamirror.com or call Holly at

946-7451. Items may also be submitted online through the Mirror’s virtual newsroom at vnr.altoonamirror.com. Deadline to submit items is one week prior to desired publication date.

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