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The Observer paper 04/29/16

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HIGHLIGHTS: First Christian Church celebrates pastor’s ministry

Pastor Don Dunn’s message, “Encouragement in Christ,” will be based on Philippians 2:1-13 at the 10 a.m. service at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in La Grande. During the service, the Children’s Choir and Stacy Webster will sing.

This will be Pastor Don’s last Sunday with the congregation. Friends are invited to a reception celebrating the ministry of Pastor Don and his wife, Bobbi, at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the fellowship hall of the church.

At 150 years old, the La Grande Wesleyan Church returns to its roots

Pastor Steve Wolff poses in front of the La Grande United Methodist Church’s organ. (Will Bowman photo)
Just in front of the Oregon capital building in Salem, stands an iron gray statue: a man in a cape on a horse, hair parted down the middle, left hand firmly on his reins, his right holding up a Bible, a book into which he buries his head and reads as he rides. 


REAL PEOPLE: Former teacher, family, friends celebrate full life

Neva Neill celebrates her 100th birthday Saturday surrounded by family, including great-niece Kim Hilton, friends and former students. The wall of birthday cards celebrating the centenarian were sent from people all over the country. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
The oldest resident at Grande Ronde Retirement Residence turned 100 years old on Saturday, and naturally a celebration ensued in honor of this centenarian. 

Neva Neill has seen and accomplished many things in her long life. Surrounded by family, friends and students from decades past, Neill blew out her three candles in the large room with nothing but standing room only.


REAL PEOPLE: Finding a new passion in life

Leather designer Amanda Waller of Diamond A Cowboy is custom designing and assembling serapes for next year’s Cheney Rodeo parade. (Trish Yerges/For The Observer)
This year’s Elgin Stampede royalty court and their mounts never looked more fashionable than when they were outfitted with designer leather by artist Amanda Waller. 

Waller won the bid to create the royalty court clothing and gear, including color-coordinated chaps and belts as well as tack with stylish colored inlays in a stamped croc pattern and pink fringe on their horses’ breastcollars for the theme “Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night.”


Church turns 100: Celebration unfolds Aug. 9

Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church has been a La Grande institution for 100 years. (Will Bowman photo)
Sanctuary: a long straight aisle parts pews like the Red Sea. Two stairs. An altar draped in white. Sacrosanct statuettes of Christ, his disciples and Theotokos: Mary, mother of God, the church’s namesake.



HIGHLIGHTS: Bowman shows video ‘The Son’

Bowman shows video ‘The Son’ 

Zion Lutheran Church will celebrate the sixth Sunday after Pentecost. The 9:30 a.m. worship service is followed by fellowship at 10:30 a.m.

During the 11 a.m. class/forum time, Zion Lutheran has invited representatives from various local organizations that are supported by Zion.

HIGHLIGHTS: MEGA Sports Camp starts Monday

MEGA Sports Camp starts Monday 

If parents want to drop a ton of fun into their child’s summer, then MEGA Sports Camp is right for them.

Valley Fellowship in La Grande is offering kids in kindergarten through sixth grades three days to learn more about sports, discover character-building concepts and have fun.

Dancing stress, pounds away

Annelies De Vriendt leads a Zumba class in her dance studio on the second floor of 1315 Adams Ave. De Vriendt teaches Zumba classes at her studio as well as the Grande Ronde Fitness Center in La Grande. (TRISH YERGES photo)

Zumba dance-fitness parties are gaining popularity in Union County, as their exotic Latino drum beats irresistibly draw participants to the La Grande dance studio of Belgium born instructor Annelies De Vriendt. 

Zumba is a Latin-based dance workout led by an instructor, who guides students through dance steps that strengthen and tone muscles. It’s so fun that most students don’t consider it exercise because of its appealing and soul-stirring music. Whether it’s cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, riggaeton, soca, samba, hip-hop, axe music or tango, Zumba helps dance away the calories. 

Test proves timing is everything

Jill Layton, left, an occupational therapist at St. Alphonsus Rehabilitation Services in Baker City, helps Trinity Harrell, 5, use an interactive metronome. The device helps improve a patient’s timing, fine and gross motor coordination, and in gait training. (LISA BRITTON/WesCom News Service)

How hard can it be to keep a beat?

That’s what I’m thinking as I slip on the headphones. My left hand is strapped with a button I am supposed to hit in time with the beeps I hear.

When I’m ready, Jill Layton starts the interactive metronome.

My task is to hit the button at the exact same time the beep sounds. 

CHURCH HIGHLIGHTS: Fourth Sunday after Pentecost celebrated

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost celebrated 

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church will observe the fourth Sunday after Pentecost with Holy Eucharist at 9 a.m. The Rev. Kathryn Macek will preside and preach. The office will be closed and there will be no midweek services next week while the rector is serving at Beginners Camp at Ascension School in Cove.

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