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Religion news and events, July 5 and upcoming

The Rev. Tracy Wilder and wife, Susan, look on during his retirement celebration at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church. The celebration was held June 1 at the church’s Sun City Center campus.

Courtesy of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church

The Rev. Tracy Wilder and wife, Susan, look on during his retirement celebration at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church. The celebration was held June 1 at the church’s Sun City Center campus.

St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, 1015 Del Webb Blvd., Sun City Center, recently held a retirement service for the Rev. Tracy Wilder. Doctors diagnosed Wilder, who arrived at St. John's Ruskin campus in 2001, with leukemia in September. Though hopeful his cancer will go into remission, Wilder, 67, announced his retirement in March. The bittersweet celebration drew more than 300 parishioners and well-wishers and featured live music by Ed Brown of the Tampa Bay Time Machine. Wilder sang Surfin' USA and even joined in a conga line. A parishioner posed as George Burns to offer a comical salute. A new spiritual leader has not yet been named.

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Hope Lutheran Church, 2001 N Park Road in Plant City, welcomes Brittany Arlow as its new director of Christian education and youth. Arlow, a native of Palmer, Alaska, comes to Hope through the Director of Christian Education program at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn. Arlow has completed two years of study. She will serve this year at Hope and then return to Concordia for one more year before being certified for full-time ministry.

Also at Hope Lutheran: Register now for Kingdom Rock, a vacation Bible school that beginsJuly 29. Families who register early will receive a free music CD. Register at Call (813) 752-4622.

Baylife Church, 1017 Kingsway Road, Brandon, will offer a class, Baptism: 101, from 9 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday. There will be a garden work day from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. July 13. Also, stop by for a free blood pressure screening July 14. For more information, call (813) 661-3696.

Motion Church, 7710 Old Big Bend Road, Riverview, will host Discover Motion, an introduction to the church experience, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 14. Also, Discover Your Place, a tutorial of the volunteer positions available at the church, will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. July 21. Call (813) 434-0763 for more information.

River of Life Christian Center, 6605 Krycul Ave., Riverview, will present Christian pop artists Anthem Lights and Justus in concert Aug. 16. Tickets are on sale now. To learn more, visit

First Baptist Church of Brandon, 216 N Parsons Ave., is registering kids for summer sports camps and a KidZone Summer Spectacular. For more information, call (813) 689-1204.

South Bay Church, 13498 U.S. 301, Riverview, offers a Haitian service at 1 p.m. Sundays. Counseling groups for those struggling with addiction, grief or other life crises meet at 7 p.m. Mondays. Register now for vacation Bible school, which is Aug. 5-9. For more information, call (813) 677-0721.

Legacy Church, 2702 Causeway Center Drive, will offer a couples class, Defining the Relationship, from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays beginning July 16. The cost to register is $60 per couple or $30 per individual. A workbook is included. The registration deadline is Wednesday. For more information, call (813) 770-5443.

New Hope Worship Center, 803 W Mahoney St., Plant City, hosts a Corporate Prayer Hour at 8 a.m. Saturdays. Call (813) 757-6123.

Shiloh Baptist Church, 11014 W Cason S, offers a Zumba class from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call (813) 752-8345.

Send religion news to Sarah Whitman at

Religion news and events, July 5 and upcoming 07/04/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 1:45pm]
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