Mormons in the media: YSAs in Chicago, a reward in the Wash. chapel fire, Day of Service

By Christine Rappleye

Mormon Times

Published: Tuesday, April 26 2011 6:00 a.m. MDT

Connect trackingYoung single adults wards in Utah weren't the only ones to make headlines last week when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the changes to the structure of YSA and student wards.

YSAs in Chicago were also in the news with this Chicago Tribune article "Single and spiritual: Youth branch provides a gathering place for Chicago-area Mormons" about the singles branch there.

RMs and football

Returned missionaries who play football don't only end up at BYU. Stephan Atrice has returned to the Air Force Academy after a two-year mission in Puerto Rico and other areas in the Caribbean.

“I wasn’t curing leprosy or anything like that, but with the struggle and how downtrodden life is, what the Savior did is he uplifted people,” Atrice said in an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette. “If people were willing to let us uplift them we did. I can’t describe how many smiles I saw and how many lives I’ve been able to help.”

Former University of Southern California quarterback Brad Otton has opened a pizzeria in Nevada and Salt Lake City and a third location in Pasadena, Calif. He served a mission in southern Italy where “he fell in love with Neapolitan-style thin-crust pizza," according to this feature in the L.A. Times.

LDS chapels

The ATF is now offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the arson at an LDS chapel in Mukilteo, Wash., last fall, reports the Herald Net in Everett, Wash., the Seattle Times and at KMNOnews.com.

Ground has been broken on a new chapel.

A chapel in Palm Desert, Calif., has recently opened, and this article on mydesert.com has several photos of both the interior and exterior of the building.

The local wards in Annapolis, Md., were mentioned in this roundup of local churches.

Easter

A "Walk with Christ" event in Pocatello, Idaho, at the Alameda Stake Center was covered by the Idaho State Journal. The hour-long event included events from the life of Jesus Christ, including his birth, ministry, sentencing and death.

In a different type of Easter activity, more than 300 youths from Southern California helped out at Lake Elsinore's annual children's faith and Easter egg hunt as part of their youth conference.

In Lompoc, Calif., young men and young women got their hands dirty this weekend as they helped build a garden for a local shelter.

Interfaith

"Mormon Night" is usually at a professional sporting event. However, this particular one highlighted by Mark Paredes was at a Jewish synagogue.

In Melbourne, Australia, a Mormon and a member of the Baha'i faith have started an interfaith network "aimed to bring faith groups together and learn about other religions," reported the Melbourne Leader.

Service

With the upcoming April 30 "Day of Service" in California in the Southeastern U.S. there are more stories about service projects with the invite for anyone in the community to attend.

In Camarillo and Oxnard, Calif., and in Lodi, Calif., they are planning to spruce up parks. In Half Moon Bay, Calif., they are planning to tackle graffiti on bridges, walls and benches.

A designated day hasn't stopped Mormons in other areas from serving.

In Snow Hill, N.C., nearly 200 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers helped clean up tornado-damaged parks there.

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