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Sex appeal and the single church-goer

Please mark the following 10 statements True or False.

1. People tend to be their most attractive at worship services because they are dressed up and generally looking their best.

2. Dressed up? Not in 2011. Not in Spokane. Not at this time of year.

3. OK, maybe not totally spiffed up. But at least some people do try to look presentable and reasonably modest at church.

4. If the sermon just isn't grabbing you, it's natural to look around and, well, let the mind wander.

5. Young single adults have been known to let their minds wander in a particular direction.

6. Even if you are the epitome of broad-minded, you have to admit that there's something about seeing someone in a serious context that makes that individual seem appealing in a way that, say, wearing a tank top and tossing back a draft beer might not.

7. People go to church for a lot of reasons, some having more to do with habit than inspiration. But the idea that someone might be trying to be a better person tends to make that individual attractive.

8. Going to church with the primary goal of meeting people you might date probably isn't a perfect plan.

9. Being even slightly dressed up can send a signal that wearing a baseball cap backward does not.

10. Fragrance overkill is a big, big turnoff. 

Church burglaries lead to 23 felonies

A series of church burglaries last year has led to 23 felony charges against four suspects. 

The burglaries, which police say began when the main suspect and his mother stole a purse from a Mormon church, were done to feed the man's OxyContin addiction, according to court documents.

That man, Andy W. Hoke, 25, (pictured) appeared in Spokane County Superior Court today on 13 charges of second-degree theft, one count of second-degree identity theft and six counts of first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

Hoke told police he burglarized the churches and exchanged stolen goods to Steven D. Kinard, 51, for drugs, according to court documents. Kinard is charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance, clonazepam, cocaine and hydrocodone.

Hoke's older brother, Jeremiah L. Hoke, 28, is charged with second-degree theft for allegedly stealing a debit card for a church patron on May 4, 2010. A fourth suspect, Daniel I. Heinzen, is charged with six counts of first-degree trafficking in stolen property for allegedly helping Andy Hoke trade stolen property to Kinard.

Victimized churches include Valley Bible Church, Whitworth Presbyterian Church, Intersection Church, Indian Trail Church, First Church of Nazarene and Turning Point Open Bible Church.

Police searched two locations associated with Kinard last year - 16 S. Fiske St. and 2503 E. Seventh Ave. (The Seventh Avenue home is where a judge was to allow Kinard's brother, T-Baby, to spend Thanksgiving during a during a five-hour jail furlough.) Heinzen’s home at 1016 E. Montgomery also was searched

According to the search warrant, Hoke “admitted that he had done several church thefts with his mother until the last month or so when he began doing them on his own.”

The scheme fell apart when employees at Mt. Spokane Church called police May 5 and said they’d caught Hoke in the church and believed he was planning a theft.

Hoke was sentenced to 14 months in prison in an unrelated case in April.

He returned to the Spokane County Jail this week to face the new charges.

Kinard posted $2,500 after his arrest last year has been summoned to court. Heinzen and Jeremiah Hoke have also been summoned.

Hedberg: Good Place To Catch A Cold

You can wash your hands until your skin peels, tank up on vitamin C, avoid closed spaces with other infected human beings and, to the best of your ability, live an antiseptic life. But no matter how hard you try, if there is a cold germ in the vicinity with your name on it, you're going to get sick. I caught mine in church, which is an indication that even God himself is not going to protect you from a cold germ. I was minding my own business, praying to the Lord for goodness and world peace and stuff like that when I noticed out of the corner of my eye a little girl in the row next to me who kept sniffling and snuffling and wiping her runny nose with her hands and then wiping her hands on the sides of her dress/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: I caught a bad cold as the season was kicking in gear last fall. Then, I received a flu shot at Fred Meyer. And didn't catch a cold or the flu afterward. How about you? How many times were you sick this flu season?

Electronics stolen from Valley church

Here's a news release from Sgt. Dave Reagan:  

A thief broke into a Spokane Valley church sometime between Wednesday night and 5 p.m. Saturday and stole several thousand dollars worth of electronic equipment.

The pastor at Valley Landmark Mission, 9021 E. Boone, told Officer Mark Benner that the congregation held a service Wednesday night and that all of the stolen property was stored in the electronic storage room that night.

When a cleaning crew arrived about 5 p.m. Saturday, they discovered the room pillaged and several items missing.  The stolen property included a Canon HD camcorder, an Acer laptop computer and two Phillips portable DVD players.

Benner found that the point of entry appeared to be a narrow window.  Anyone with information regarding the break-in is encouraged to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Church looking for Perry District artists

Emmaus Church is moving into the church building located at 1317 E. 12th Avenue - just off Perry Street. Pastor David Von said the congregation has been working hard to get ready for its first service on Sept. 12 at 10:03 a.m.
“We have spent a lot of time getting the place into shape, after we recently purchased the building,” said Von. The church is a plant from New Community which is a non-denominational church currently located at Hamilton and Trent.
Why 10:03 a.m.?
Von laughs: “I spent a lot of time as a youth pastor and I know an unusual time will make it easier for people to remember when the service starts.”
Von explains that it’s the church’s goal to create a community of people who will serve and give in the Perry-area.
“One of the things we’d like to do is hang local art in the church, and we’re looking for artists in the Perry District,” said Von. “We’d be open to hosting a show and it’s okay with us if there are price tags on the paintings.” Interested artists can contact Von via e-mail at: david@emmausspokane.com

State tax officials: Churches hosting farmers markets in their parking lots must pay property tax on the land…

I had this story in the morning paper:

OLYMPIA – State tax officials recently gave several Spokane-area churches an ultimatum: Stop running farmers markets in your parking lots or start paying tax on that land.

“We have no choice here. The law is really clear,” said Mike Gowrylow, a spokesman for the state Department of Revenue. “When you’ve got a commercial business – no matter how small or homegrown – operating on tax-exempt property, then it runs afoul of the law.”

Two of the farmers markets – one in Millwood and the one in downtown Spokane – will stay where they are, according to the Rev. Craig Goodwin, of Millwood Community Presbyterian Church.

He said his church will pay the $700 or so in taxes on its parking lot to enable the farmers market to continue.

“I’m familiar with the Bible passage ‘Pay unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,’ and we’re willing to do that,” he said. But he said the markets are a crucial community asset that should be exempt.

House approves bill giving church-based tent cities broader protection from “unreasonable” city regulations…

Washington’s House of Representatives today approved House Bill 1956, which would give churches and other religious organizations broad authority to shelter homeless people.

Local governments couldn’t “unreasonably interfere” with tent cities or other homeless housing at churches.

Prime Sponsor Rep. Brendan Williams, D-Olympia, said a few cities are imposing too many conditions in an effort to prevent faith-based groups from helping the homeless.

“I don’t need Big Brother dictating to the members of my congregation how we respond to urgent societal needs,” he said. And churches shouldn’t have to tap the collection plate “in order to challenge the tyranny of those local governments” in court, he said.

Cities and counties oppose the bill, saying it’s heavy handed and ignores health and safety concerns with homeless camps set up in neighborhoods.

“From the big brothers here in Olympia, this is an interesting piece of legislation,” said Rep. Doug Ericksen, R-Bellingham. “This is an issue for city councils. The people who are closest to this particular issue are the ones who should be making the decision.”

The bill passed, 56-41.