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The Evangelical Free Church of America will hold a youth challenge conference from July 6 to 10 in Kansas City, Mo. Nearly 5,500 youth are expected to attend. About 5 percent of the total attendees are expected to be from the Kansas City area. They have scheduled volunteer work while here.

Grandview Christian Church, 8550 Parallel Parkway, is collecting canned goods for Help 3:17, a local food pantry.

Grinter Chapel United Methodist Church Annual Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. June 28 at 7819 Swartz Road. The meal includes all-you-can-eat spaghetti, salad, bread, drink and dessert: Adults, $8; kids under 10, $4.

The International Body of the Church of God in Christ, headquartered in Memphis, will hold its Auxiliaries in Ministry convention June 30-July 4 in the Kansas City Convention Center, Kansas City, Mo. The convention will draw delegates from outside the region as well as church members from Kansas City, Kan., and Mo.

“Scripture Study, Bible Sharing and Reflection, Lectio and Journaling,” a regular weekly series facilitated by pastoral minister, Heather Neds, is offered from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesdays at Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan. This weekly Bible study group is based on the upcoming scripture readings from the Common Lectionary. There will be time for reflection, sharing and journaling. Call 913-906-8990 to register.

Living Water United Methodist Church, 3001 N. 115th St., plans an evening Vacation Bible School July 13-17 for preschool through fifth grade children. The theme is “Weird Animals.” To enroll, visit or call 913-400-7203.

Stony Point Christian Church, 149 S. 78th, is planning a rummage sale July 16-19. The sale may include clothing, household items and tools.

An Italian dinner will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 28, at St. Patrick Catholic Church parish center, 94th and State Avenue. The dinner is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Salad, lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs, homemade Italian cookies with coffee, tea and lemonade will be available. Donations are $9, adults; $6, children under 10.

Members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1300 N. 18th St., will observe the third Sunday after Pentecost June 29. Services in English will be at 10 a.m. with services in Spanish at 1:30 p.m. Members will be urged to invite guests using social media.

How to get energy to beat summer fatigue

by Ashlee Lamar
Drained by the summer heat? Experiencing a 3 o’clock slump? As tempting as it is to crack open an energy drink or to grab a sugary snack, these items provide a quick boost, also known as a “sugar high” and then quickly leave you feeling more sluggish than before.

What you put into your body affects the way you feel. Choosing the right foods will provide you with sustaining energy throughout the day. Here’s some tips to beat fatigue:

1. Avoid foods loaded with sugar or made with white flour
– Eating ‘simple carbohydrates’ causes your blood sugar levels to quickly spike, and then drop, leaving you tired and hungry. These foods include white pasta, white bread, packaged snacks and crackers, sugary sodas, energy drinks and desserts. Foods made with complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains, whole wheat bread, and steel cut oats) take longer for your body to break down and digest. This will leave you with increased energy and prevent blood sugar spikes.

2. Include protein at all meals
– Protein helps to prevent the rapid spikes of blood sugar and provides a satiety effect. Protein also helps to preserve lean muscle mass. Good sources of protein include baked or grilled chicken breast, turkey, egg whites, lean ground beef, fish, beans, almonds or walnuts.

3. Drink green tea instead of soda
– Green tea is a good source of caffeine, provides zero calories, and aides with hydration. Green tea is filled with powerful disease fighting antioxidants called catechins. Studies have found this can even aide in lowering LDL cholesterol. (Journal of American Dietetic Association, Nov 2011).

4. Eat 5-6 small meals a day
– Start with breakfast, the most important meal of the day. This jumpstarts your metabolism after a long night’s sleep. Eating a small meal or snack every 4-6 hours helps to keep blood sugar levels stable and prevents the draining effect of going without food for too long.

Ashlee Lamar is a registered dietitian at Providence Medical Center.

Whole Wheat Blueberry crumble bars

• 1 1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ cup packed light brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons butter, softened
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blueberry Filling
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• ¼ cup orange juice
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
• 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 8×12 inch pan.
2. Whisk together 1 1/3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Beat together brown sugar, butter, oil, egg and vanilla in another large bowl with electric mixer until smooth.
4. Add the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until blended.
5. Layer 2/3 of dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish.
6. Bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes.
7. Gradually work remaining 3 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour into the remaining dough-mixture will be crumbly.
8. Stir together sugar, orange juice all-purpose flour and lemon zest in a small bowl.
9. Combine blueberries and lemon juice in a medium saucepan; cook, stirring, over medium heat until the berries begin to exude juice. Add the sugar mixture and stir until the filling reaches a simmer and thickens.
10. Push down the higher outside edges of the baked crust with a wooden spoon; pour the hot filling over it and spread all the way to the sides of the dish. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the top. Bake until the topping is golden, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
11. Let cool.

Serves: 15
Recipe adapted from

KCK church addresses AIDS with innovative program

LaTrischa Miles, left, and Yvonne Richmond are two organizers of the Taking it to the Pews AIDS awareness project at Mt. Carmel Church of God in Christ in Kansas City, Kan. (Photo by Mike Sherry, KHI News Service)

by Mike Sherry, KHI News Service

When activists worldwide marked three decades since the emergence of a mysterious immune disease, Kansas City, Kan., participants posted a timeline of key events in the fight against the AIDS pandemic in a building foyer in their community.

Yet this was no ordinary foyer; it was the main entrance to Mt. Carmel Church of God in Christ at 2025 N. 12th St. Not only that, but the display in the African-American church went up right around Christmastime to coincide with World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

“That was the first thing that you saw when you came through the front door of the church – was this huge bulletin board. So that was paramount, because it was not just Mt. Carmel folks who were seeing this,” says church member LaTrischa Miles, who helped coordinate the 2011 display.

Visiting churches were coming through at the time, mixing with Mt. Carmel congregants.

It was all part of a project known as Taking it to the Pews, a project spearheaded by Jannette Berkley-Patton, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. One of her main partners is the Rev. Eric Williams, pastor of Calvary Temple Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo.

Church power
Years in the making, the project aims to leverage the credibility of the church in the black community to attack a disease that disproportionately affects African-Americans. A key component in helping to eliminate the stigma is making HIV testing available to the congregation during services – oftentimes with the pastor and his wife leading by example from the pulpit.

And now, Berkely-Patton and her colleagues are poised to take what could be the final step in what may become a tool for black churches across the country to address AIDS – as well as exploring whether the TIPS model can help reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases within the black community.

With a new five-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, project organizers are putting together a full clinical trial expected to include up to 14 churches across the metropolitan area. Researchers aim to engage about 1,500 adult African Americans.

“We will be knocking on a bunch of doors trying to get new churches involved,” Berkely-Patton says.

According to the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, AIDS affects blacks more than any other racial-ethnic group. Citing data from 2010, the CDC says:

• African-Americans accounted for an estimated 44 percent of all new HIV infections among adults and adolescents (aged 13 years or older), despite representing only 12 percent of the U.S. population.

• African American women accounted for nearly a third (29 percent) of the estimated new HIV infections among all adult and adolescent African Americans. The estimated rate of new HIV infections for African-American women (38.1/100,000 population) was 20 times that of white women and almost five times that of Hispanic-Latino women.

• The greater number of people living with HIV in African-American communities and the tendency of African-Americans to have sex with partners of the same race-ethnicity means that they face a greater risk of HIV infection with each new sexual encounter.

Early in the AIDS pandemic, Williams recognized that black clergy were inadvertently contributing to the fear and stigma surrounding the disease by demonizing it from the pulpit. A defining moment for Williams came, he said, when a family could not find anyone to conduct the funeral of their gay son who had died from AIDS.

Touchy subject
“Most of our colleagues, if you were to ask them if they wanted to relieve human suffering, hands down, they would, ‘Yes, we believe the church should be equipped to relieve human suffering,’” Williams said. “Until you start talking about HIV. Then the waters start getting a little fuzzier.”

By the mid-1990s, though, Williams said, attitudes among black clergy began to soften as they witnessed the effects of the disease on sufferers and their families within their congregations.

Then, in 2005, Berkley-Patton arrived at UMKC as an adjunct faculty member.
A product of Kansas City’s urban core who grew up attending Second Baptist Church at 39th Street and Monroe Avenue, Berkley-Patton had left a job in the aerospace industry to earn a doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Kansas.

Upon her return to the city, Berkley-Patton became active with the Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS in Kansas City.

Her involvement came as Williams and others involved with a sister organization of his church, Calvary Community Outreach Network, were growing frustrated that clergy had not progressed on AIDS education initiatives suggested through the Black Church Week of Prayer. The clergy had not done much, he says, mainly because they didn’t know where to start or how to convey the information.

That formed the seeds of TIPS, which launched in 2006 with some local grants. It began with a series of focus groups and planning sessions involving about a dozen churches in the metropolitan area.

Patton then got an initial National Institutes of Health grant to conduct a four-church pilot, along with the outreach network, in 2011-2012. Mt. Carmel was one of the churches in the pilot, which showed promise in getting people tested.

Mt. Carmel experience
Mt. Carmel performed 179 tests during the pilot, Miles said. That’s a significant amount, given that community outreach events typically log no more than 10 or 15 tests.

Church leaders committed to holding at least two events per month, Miles said – whether youth activities, responsive readings, rallies or testimonials.
Medical staff only tested individuals between the ages of 18 and 64, but conversations were not limited to those age groups, said Stephanie Kimbrough, another church member involved with the pilot.

Kimbrough says it certainly opened lines of communication between her and her daughter, who was 12 years old at the time. The pilot also engaged older congregants as well, she says.

“Imagine talking to an 80-year-old woman about anal sex,” Kimbrough said. “That’s not always easy. Sometimes they didn’t understand. You had to explain what this was.”

Transferable process?
Berkley-Patton is hoping TIPS strategies work for other conditions afflicting the black community, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

She has termed that initiative Faith Influencing Transformation, an eight-month project scheduled to begin this fall with an $850,000 grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Berkley-Patton is working with the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies to perhaps have FIT provide hands-on experience to undergraduate health sciences students as preparation for public health careers.

At Mt. Carmel, Miles said, addressing other health issues might seem like a piece of cake after the discussion within the congregation about AIDS.

“If we could organize around an issue as complex as this, with the stigma and the lack of education,” she said, “then I think we can tackle anything.”

The KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute. It is supported in part by a variety of underwriters. The News Service is committed to timely, objective and in-depth coverage of health issues and the policy-making environment. More about the News Service is at or contact 785- 233-5443.