Rev. Todd Bishop Delivers Church Unleashed

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York It’s 9 a.m. on Easter Sunday, and a few hundred people are talking amongst themselves while a pair of enormous speakers pumps a raucous electronic drumbeat into the main room of Church Unleashed’s Commack campus — a not-so-typical-Sunday at a not-your-typical-church.While the smoke machines and colored lights are being tested, Rev. Todd Bishop, 45, who co-founded the congregation with his wife, Mary, in 2008, tells me in his office that he’s nervous, which is unusual for him.“There’s a lot of technical components,” he says, referring to the production he is about to pull off — an Easter spin on The Greatest Showman, with Bishop playing a priestly version of P.T. Barnum.The church is part of the Assemblies of God, under the Protestant umbrella, which touts more than 13,000 affiliated churches nationwide.A few dozen young volunteers adapted portions of the musical to mesh with Bishop’s Easter sermon. He is technically in costume from the waist up — wearing a red trench coat with gold lace and a top hat, resting his hands on a cane.His jeans are ripped at the knee and are part of his regular attire. Bishop, who was raised in Buffalo, says he felt disconnected from church as a child. His parents divorced when he was 2, and he is endearingly quick to reveal that, at times, he is still trying to please his absent father. The youngest of three boys, he says his relationship with God made him feel less alone.“I would literally be downstairs with my G.I. Joe guys, and be preachin’ to ’em,” he says with a laugh.Perched on top of a wooded hill in a residential neighborhood, with almost no front facing windows, the former site of Commack Jewish Center looks more like an abandoned warehouse from the outside. Nonetheless, people come from all over Long Island to hear Bishop preach.“When they walk in, they’re going to get an experience,” he says. “It’s gonna feel like they’re at a concert on a Friday night.”Liz Sartorio, a congregant and volunteer from Melville, says Church Unleashed is “the best-kept secret on Long Island.”Others describe it as a place to connect with other Christians — a close-knit community that is somewhat removed from the chaos of day jobs, schoolwork and traditional friendships.“It’s different than any other church I’ve ever been to, in my entire life. It’s more of a place — not only is it Bible-based — but it’s a place where you can find out who you are,” says Alex Coutrier, of Deer Park. “We’re all looking for something in life, we’re all looking to fulfill our purpose. And I feel like, here, I found out who I was.”The first church was planted in Hicksville 10 years ago. The second, in Commack, was formed two years ago, and the Bishops just announced a third, planned for Garden City. Not only is that growth unheard of for the area, but so too is the church’s popularity with young people.Part of the reason for that could be Bishop’s willingness to unpack current events occasionally during his sermons. After the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., forexample, he told the congregaion something to the effect of, “People have the right to bear arms, not arsenals.”The turnout is a testament to how much the sermons resonate with congregants.“People today are looking for spiritual leadership on some of these issues that they’re not getting,” he says.That sentiment resurfaces in his Easter opener — a pre-taped video monologue in character as “P.T. Bishop” — in which he speaks candidly about feeling inadequate, but assuring the audience that God will always satiate. The hopelessness of the times, his insecurity, his fear of failure — it is present in Bishop’s sermon, but he is sure to speak warmly to everyone, as if they’re all in on his little secret.“It’s a place to belong, much more than you have to believe,” he says of his creation. “Belief comes later.”last_img read more

Jakarta secretary Saefullah latest high-ranking official to die of COVID-19

first_img“Today, the Jakarta administration lost one of its best leaders […] Pak Saefullah was a good man, a hard-worker, someone who always prioritized completing the tasks assigned to him,” Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said at Saefullah’s wake at Jakarta’s City Hall on Wednesday.Prior to his passing, Saefullah had been on the frontline, day and night, in the city’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Anies said. He even attended meetings with the governor almost every day.Read also: Indonesia’s latest official COVID-19 figuresAnies said that on Monday last week, the secretary had to excuse himself from a plenary session with the Jakarta Legislative Council (DPRD) for the first time, saying that he did not feel well, before he was eventually taken to a hospital a few days later. Indonesia has lost yet another senior government official to COVID-19 following the passing of the Jakarta administration’s secretary Saefullah, who has spent the last 36 years of his life working for the capital.Saefullah died at age 56 from irreversible septic shock and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to COVID-19 at 12:55 p.m. on Wednesday at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) in Central Jakarta.The COVID-19 transmission led to a severe infection of his lung tissue and his whole bodily system, causing irreversible respiratory failure and inadequate oxygen absorption, according to details from the administration. The senior city official had previously received treatment at the MMC hospital in South Jakarta since Sept. 8 before he was transferred to the city’s COVID-19 referral hospital, Gatot Subroto Hospital, on Sunday. Saefullah was buried with COVID-19 protocols at the Rorotan cemetery in North Jakarta on Wednesday. He is survived by his wife and four children.”He was the most active in providing supplements to his colleagues so they remained healthy. The person who always thought of other people’s well-being, is now laid to rest,” Anies said.Saefullah, a Betawi native, was born in North Jakarta on Feb. 11, 1964. He started serving the city in 1984 as a teacher, before rising to become the deputy head of Jakarta’s elementary education agency in 2008 and the head of the city’s sports and youth agency in 2009.He was Central Jakarta mayor from 2010 to 2014 prior to taking the role of the capital’s regional secretary from 2014, serving under three different governors: current President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, his replacement Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and current Governor Anies Baswedan.President Jokowi, formerly Jakarta’s governor from 2012 until he was elected president in 2014, conveyed his condolences on Wednesday in a statement issued by a spokesperson, saying that Saefullah had been “a close friend and colleague”.Ahok, who was previously the deputy governor to Jokowi and took over the governorship from 2014 to 2017, also offered his deep condolences on his official Twitter account on Wednesday, saying that Saefullah had been someone who was “diligent and fast in his work”.Home Minister Tito Karnavian expressed his sympathies on Saefullah’s passing in a statement, which described the latter as not only a good and hard-working man but also a “role model for ASN [civil servants] at the Jakarta provincial administration”.Read also: Office workers unconvinced of stricter curbsHis passing also marked a loss for Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama; Saefullah had chaired the tanfidziyah (executive board) of its Jakarta branch.NU secretary-general Helmy Faishal Zaini said Saefullah had always campaigned for religious tolerance, including through deradicalization measures, as well as mainstreaming wasathiyah (moderate Islam).Saefullah, Helmy said, had been among the few initiators of the first city-owned grand mosque, KH Hasyim Asy’ari Grand Mosque, which is named after the NU founder, in hopes of promoting Islam Nusantara, or Islam of the Archipelago.It was also evident when the city was embroiled in identity politics following the 2017 Jakarta Gubernatorial election.”His [consistency] throughout the administrations of Jokowi, Ahok and Anies showed that, even though [they were] quote, unquote in two opposing camps, he was well-versed in positioning himself,” he said.Indonesia has lost a handful of high-ranking officials to COVID-19, among them mayors and regents, according to various reports, as the disease does not differentiate. Others infected include former and current ministers.Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo is reportedly infected while former deputy minister Dino Patti Djalal has tested positive for the disease. The latter is currently undergoing intensive treatment in hospital.Read also: Former deputy foreign minister Dino Patti Djalal tests positive for COVID-19The Health Ministry reported 3,963 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, a new record high, and 135 new deaths on Wednesday, bringing the tally to a total of 228,993 confirmed cases, 164,101 recoveries and 9,100 deaths.Jakarta, which has seen its new daily cases reaching over 1,000 lately and hospital beds almost fully occupied, has reimposed the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) starting on Monday for at least two weeks.Anies also said the administration would close down a building at the City Hall complex for three days starting on Thursday, after at least two of its workers – one of them in middle management – tested positive, while the others were still awaiting their test results. This protocol follows the city’s PSBB regulation.”I’ve always said to never see COVID-19 deaths merely as statistics and percentages. These are human beings; the husbands, wives, children and fathers to someone,” he said.”I hope that all Jakartans can see this as a lesson that the situation has truly become worrying […] The situation is not one to be underestimated. Someone who’s been on the front line, who always followed the protocols and reminded others to do so, has faced the biggest risk of it [that is death],” Anies said.Topics :last_img read more

The Latest: NHL teams likely to have 28-player rosters

first_imgThe final Asian qualifying place for the women’s soccer tournament at the Tokyo Olympics is set to be decided in February.The Asian Football Confederation says the postponed two-leg series between China and South Korea will be played Feb. 19 and 24. No venues for the games were announced.The games were previously postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed for one year.The 12-team women’s tournament is scheduled to start in Japan ahead of the Olympic opening ceremony on July 23, 2021.___ ___The Kontinental Hockey League says it plans to return on Sept. 2 to open the 2020-21 season.The last KHL game was played on March 12. The season was then suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.The KHL is widely considered to be the strongest hockey league outside the NHL. It ended its 2019-20 season part-way through the playoffs without declaring a champion.The league says Sept. 2 is a preliminary date which could be subject to “necessary corrections” depending on how the coronavirus situation develops. Some assistant coaches and sports department support staff will lose their jobs as Youngstown State University eliminates 22 positions as part of budget cuts related to the coronavirus pandemic.Athletic director Ron Stollo said about half of the 22 are coaching positions. The school has 21 intercollegiate sports, and none are being eliminated.Strollo said as an enrollment-boosting measure the school had added men’s swimming and women’s lacrosse and doubled the size of the men’s and women’s cross-country teams before the pandemic and uncertainty about the future adversely affected revenue.The personnel cuts and other moves in the sports department are expected to save $2 million, said Strollo, who along with coaches took pay cuts ranging from 6% to 10%.New football coach Doug Phillips was in the process of hiring his coaching staff when the school was forced to shut down. Four positions in the football program will be eliminated, Strollo said, but they don’t include any on-field coaching personnel. The FFF says that “the two relegations for the 2019-20 season are maintained and the second division will remain at 20 clubs for the 2020-21 season.”The French government ordered soccer and rugby leagues to be canceled at the end of April because of the coronavirus pandemic.___Bologna says a member of its staff may have coronavirus and if it is confirmed the entire squad will go into quarantine.Bologna says the latest series of tests revealed “a suspected positive case for COVID-19.” ___The Premier League says four people from three clubs have tested positive for the coronavirus in the third round of testing in the last 10 days as teams return to training.The league did not identify whether the people infected with COVID-19 are players or club staff. There were tests on 1,008 people.English soccer was suspended in March and hopes to restart next month.___ ___The NHL’s Vancouver Canucks are considering moving training camp to the United States because of Canada’s 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement for those arriving in the country.Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the team is still in the early stages of that possibility. He said he has talked to colleagues with other Canadian teams about the quarantine regulation and how it might put them at a competitive disadvantage.The NHL on Tuesday unveiled a 24-team playoff format if it can return this summer but said camps aren’t expected to begin before July 1.___ May 27, 2020 International travel restrictions became a problem for KHL teams. The league has teams in six countries but most are in Russia.The projected Sept. 2 start date is broadly in line with other recent KHL seasons.___The French soccer federation has rejected the league’s bid for a 22-team second division next season to save clubs from being relegated.The French league voted last week to allow Le Mans and Orléans to stay in the second division while Pau and Dunkerque were promoted from the third division. But the executive committee of French soccer’s governing body has overruled that decision. The league says players are now able to train as a group and “engage in tackling while minimizing any unnecessary close contact.”Play has been suspended in the world’s richest league since March 13.The league says “discussions are ongoing as work continues toward resuming the season.”Players returned to training last week and have been practicing in small groups with social distancing maintained.___ The club says that as a precaution the team will train individually on Thursday.It would be the first positive case in Serie A since the teams started training in groups if it is confirmed.Serie A has been suspended since March 9 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league is hoping to restart on June 13.___The Spanish soccer federation says it will allow games to be played on Mondays and Fridays until the end of the season even though a judge has denied the Spanish league’s official request to play on those days. A 16-player team tennis event featuring Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu will take part at the LTP Daniel Island in Charleston, South Carolina, next month. The Credit One Bank Invitation will also include Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys. It will be played from June 23-28.Organizers say the event will be conducted without fans. The facility had been scheduled to host the Volvo Car Open this past April, but the tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event will work with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) to ensure safety and health protocols are adhered to. To minimize people necessary on site, players will call their own lines and get assistance from only one ball person and one official on court.___ The Latest: NHL teams likely to have 28-player rosters Keeneland canceled its 16-day spring meet in March amid public health concerns because of the coronavirus outbreak. That initially eliminated the $600,000 Grade 2 Blue Grass and $400,000 Grade 1 Ashland, which award points toward the Derby and its sister race for fillies, Oaks. The track last week requested the special meet, which the KHRC granted after Ellis Park made the dates available.The Ashland and Blue Grass are now back in play for the Oaks and Derby, which are set for Sept. 4-5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville.“Keeneland appreciates the quick response of the Commission to our request, and we applaud all their work on behalf of Kentucky racing during these unprecedented times,” said Keeneland President/CEO Bill Thomason, who also thanked Ellis Park in a news release.Added Ellis Park general manager Jeffrey Inman, “We are all in this together, and Ellis Park is pleased to work with Keeneland on a plan that benefits our horsemen and Kentucky racing.”Keeneland plans to run at least nine races each day and will feature 10 graded stakes events. The Blue Jackets had a group of veterans sidelined and were patching together lines with rookies when the season was halted in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.Now with plans for the playoffs moving forward for this summer, Columbus is expected to be at near full strength, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a conference call Wednesday with reporters.That includes star defenseman Seth Jones and the team’s leading scorer, Oliver Bjorkstrand, both of whom had broken a foot. And goalies Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins will be healthy simultaneously for the time since late December.In the 24-team playoff plan announced by the NHL on Tuesday, the Blue Jackets will play the Toronto Maple Leafs in a best-of-five qualifying series.“Now it’s time to put what we learned this year to good use and make sure it’s not wasted,” Columbus captain Nick Foligno said. “If we’re going to get healthier, then the bar gets raised.” Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has announced a multimillion-dollar commitment through the team’s foundation to provide jobs and food during the coronavirus pandemic.Starting Monday at the Dolphins’ stadium, the initiative will give out a minimum of 1,000 meals each weekday for up to 12 months. On Sundays, the Dolphins will work with churches and community groups to purchase food from restaurants to provide a minimum of 1,000 meals.The team said Ross will invest at least $2 million, and with matching donations the goal is a $4 million total impact. The program will generate jobs and revenue for the restaurant industry, and employ guest services and security staff at the stadium, the Dolphins said.___The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has approved Keeneland’s request for a five-day, spectator-free meet July 8-12 that will allow the running of marquee prep races for the rescheduled Kentucky Derby and Oaks. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The NHL has advised its teams to prepare for a roster of 28 players and an unlimited amount of goaltenders for training camp and the playoffs if it can return this summer. Several general managers on Wednesday said they were told that would be the anticipated roster limit. Each team is limited to 50 personnel of any kind in one of the two cities that would host games.The league says training camp isn’t expected to begin before early July. If the NHL goes ahead with its 24-team playoff format, games could begin in late July or early August.___Houston Texans superstar J.J. Watt hopes there are fans in the stands when the NFL season kicks off this fall.“We love our fans and (having their) energy, the excitement, the adrenaline, it makes it what it is,” Watt said Wednesday. But if fans aren’t allowed in stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic, it won’t change anything about how the defensive end plays.“As an athlete, as a competitor you can play in front of no fans,” Watt said. “We want to go out there and compete. It doesn’t matter if it’s a practice against another team, it doesn’t matter if it’s a practice against our own team, it doesn’t matter if it’s in the weight room against yourself, you’re always looking to compete.”The NFL season is scheduled to open Sept. 10 when the Texans travel to face the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Watt said he doesn’t have any inside information as to whether the season will begin as planned amid the pandemic, but he’s working on the assumption that it will.___The pause in the NHL season has allowed the hard-luck Columbus Blue Jackets to get healthy again. Associated Press League president Javier Tebas has said he wants matches to be played every day but the federation had been against the idea.The federation says it “wants to clearly show its good will” and is also willing to extend the exception into the beginning of next season depending on how the pandemic progresses and if games will continue to be played without fans.The league says it will appeal the judge’s decision. It says it jeopardizes the soccer industry in Spain. The league was not able to schedule matches on Mondays before the competition was suspended in mid-March.___Premier League clubs have voted unanimously to resume contact training in the latest step toward restarting the soccer season amid the coronavirus pandemic. More AP sports: and,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

Trojans compete on both east and west coast over weekend

first_imgSunday was a day of championship matches on both the East and West Coasts for the USC men’s tennis team.No. 7 seed junior Steve Johnson fell short in his bid to repeat as champion of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in Flushing, N.Y., to Tennessee’s sophomore Rhyne Williams. Williams defeated Johnson in the Round of 16 of the NCAA singles competition in May.After winning the first set 6-1, Johnson was not able to pull off the victory, falling short 1-6, 4-6 in the final two sets.“I came out to a really good start,” Johnson said. “The second set got away from me a bit, and I had chances in the third set, but I just didn’t capitalize.”Johnson was ahead 4-3 in the third set with a couple chances to break Williams’ serve. Williams broke in the next game at 4-4, for the decisive advantage.“It was a bit unfortunate for Steve,” associate head coach George Husack said. “He fended off one match point but could not hold off Williams.”Overall, Johnson’s performance in the tournament solidified his status as a force to be reckoned with in college tennis.“Steve was on his game,” said Husack of his play throughout the weekend. “He proved he is one of the best players in the country, but he also proved that his is not invincible. For him, last year [winning the tournament] was unexpected. This year, he was expected to compete, and that brings about more pressure. He did a great job all week, but he had a couple of bad breaks at the end.”Even with the disappointing end to his tournament, Johnson relished the opportunity to play at Flushing Meadows.“It’s fantastic. New York is a great environment for tennis,” Johnson said. “It is kind of an honor to play at the site of the U.S. Open.”Senior Jaak Poldma and sophomore JT Sundling also had busy days with two matches to decide championships at the Southern California Intercollegiate Championships at the Los Angeles Tennis Center in Westwood, Calif.No. 2 Poldma and Sundling won 8-5 in the doubles main draw final against No. 1-seeded Hugh Clarke and Alex Llompart of Pepperdine to start off the day.Poldma continued his winning ways in the championship match of the singles main draw against UCLA’s Maxime Tabatruong in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.Sundling barely lost in the singles consolation final against freshman Daniel Kosakowski of UCLA in a third set super tie break 3-6, 6-4, 10-8.“It’s always fun to go to UCLA and win,” coach Peter Smith said. “We played some good tennis, and we have been doing the right thing. Thursday we had some tough matches, but it was great to see Jaak get his name in the record books with two wins.”Poldma has not always achieved success during the fall season, but Smith mentioned he gave a tough and opportunistic effort that provided a good example for the rest of his teammates.The pair of Sundling and Poldma provide Smith with an option that combines the best talents of each individual.“It’s a team I’ve always liked,” said Smith. “They are different players who can help each other. JT is strong at the net, while Jaak has an intensity that JT can feed off of.“last_img read more

It’s Vin Scully’s final week at Dodger Stadium. Here’s how to watch and listen

first_imgThe Dodgers are honoring Vin Scully this week during the final seven home games of the 2016 regular season. Here are some of the highlights to tune in for:Tuesday7:10 p.m. vs. San FranciscoA Scully bobblehead giveaway, featuring a pose of him with his hands over his heart accepting applause from the fans on Opening Day 2016. TV: SportsNet LA. Radio: KLAC-AM (570).Wednesday7:10 p.m. vs. San FranciscoESPN has decided to make this a national broadcast.TV: Also SportsNet LA. Radio: KLAC-AM (570). Thursday7:10 p.m., vs. ColoradoA Tommy Lasorda Pin Series giveaway. Scully and Lasorda, who was born just two months before Scully, are celebrating their 89th birthday this fall. Both been with the Dodgers organization longer than any employee.TV: SportsNet LA. Radio: KLAC-AM (570).Friday7:10 p.m. vs. Colorado“Vin Scully Appreciation Day” includes an extended pregame ceremony starting at 6:30 p.m., with a postgame fireworks show dedicated to his most famous calls. The team will also reveal the results of a season-long fan poll of his favorite calls.TV: KTLA-Channel 5 and SportsNet LA. Radio: KLAC-AM (570).Saturday6:10 p.m. vs. ColoradoA limited edition commemorative bronze coin will be given out to fans.TV: KTLA-Channel 5 and SportsNet LA. Radio: KLAC-AM (570).Sunday1:10 p.m. vs. Colorado“Fan Appreciation Day” will be Scully’s last game at Dodger Stadium.TV: KTLA-Channel 5 and SportsNet LA. Radio: KLAC-AM (570).Note: The broadcast plan for now is for Scully to call the first three innings simulcast on radio and TV, with the conclusion of the game on TV only. The Dodgers conclude the season with three games in San Diego (Sept. 27-29) and Scully will call the last three in San Francisco (Sept. 30-Oct. 2) on KTLA-Channel 5 and SportsNet LA. He has announced he will not call any playoff games. — Tom Hoffarthcenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more