Churches respond to California fires

When fires swept through Harbison Canyon near San Diego on October 25 and 26, they destroyed almost half of the roughly 450 homes in the community. Though the fire destroyed his own home, pastor Mark Mueller of Emmanuel Christian Church, the canyon's only church, worked with community leaders to counsel people, provide temporary shelter, and help people rebuild their lives.

Although 9 of the congregation's 25 families lost their homes, Emmanuel joined Skyline Wesleyan Church to set up a relief camp and provide food and water. Several larger churches, including Shadow Mountain Community Church, adopted other area communities and committed to rebuilding Emmanuel Christian's chapel.

The assistance has been an opportunity for evangelism. "The fact that the larger body of Christ came in and lent so much help is showing people the side of Christianity some of them didn't know about," Mueller said.

First Baptist Church of Mira Mesa saw flames as close as a half-mile away. On October 29, between the first and second service, church members took food planned for a pastor appreciation lunch to the Mira Mesa shelter.

The wildfires across Southern California killed 22 people, destroyed more than 3,600 homes, and left charred an area comparable in size to Rhode Island.

'Ten Commandments judge' ousted

Roy Moore, the Alabama chief justice who defied a court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument in the state court building rotunda, has been removed from office.

On November 13 Alabama's Court of the Judiciary voted Moore out after weighing ethics charges argued by Attorney General Bill Pryor, who prosecuted Moore. "I did my duty," said Pryor, whose nomination to a federal judgeship is stalled by Senate ...

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