· Catasauqua Area Lions meeting – 7 p.m., Jednota Club, Fifth and Grove streets, North Catasauqua. Information: 610-264-0740.
· Duplicate Bridge, Invitational – 12:30 p.m., Lehigh County Senior Citizens Center, 1633 Elm St., Allentown. For players with 0-199 master points. Information: 610-437-3700.
· Delaware, Lehigh & Susquehanna Model Railroad Club meeting – 7-9 p.m., Coplay Borough Hall, Fourth and Center streets. Open to all model railroaders ages 14 and older. Information: Dick Lobach at 610-965-2598.
Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding at Muhlenberg College will be hosting guest speaker Rev. Peter Pettit, PH.D., from Muhlenberg College, 7- 8 p.m. Jan. 3 - Feb. 7, 2013 at The Saal, Bahnson Center, Moravian Theological Seminary, 60 West Locust St., Bethlehem.
Pettit will be discussing "New Paths: Christians Engaging Israel."
IJCU will also be hosting Roberta Meek, lecturer from the History and Media and Communication Departments at Muhlenberg College noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 4 inside Moyer Hall, Miller Forum at the college.
Church was packed Dec. 16; I'm not sure if it was because of the upcoming Christmas holiday or the overwhelming need to pray for the families affected by the shooting in Connecticut Dec. 14.
Sermons throughout our area were focused on trying to make sense of this event as well as trying to cope with the overwhelming grief all Americans feel.
Shining through the grief are the acts of heroism displayed by the first responders, staff and administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Christians are taught "all things work together for good."
This week, it's difficult to see how that can be true for the families and friends of the children and adults who died at the Sandy Hook School in Connecticut Friday.
I am the mother of five children. They are grown now, but a mother always remembers her children as they were when they were young.
When Laurie was 6 years old, she was an instant mother's helper when triplet siblings joined the family. She would come home from school, put down her book bag and happily snuggle with a baby on the sofa.
An out-of-town friend of mine recently shared the heartbreak of having another person let her down.
My friend has health issues which include severe pain. All she wanted was someone to go with her to another one of the myriad doctors of she has to see in order to get a better diagnosis and treatment. A friend of hers promised to accompany her but did not. This left my friend feeling cheated and alone.
Not long afterward, I read yet another article encouraging people to embrace the spirit of the season by giving to those less fortunate.
North Catasauqua police responded to these and other calls recently.
· Officers responded to a call about information in the 200 block of Eugene Street.
· Police responded to an alarm in the 500 block of Hunter Street.
· Officers assisted EMS in the 1200 block of Third Street.
· Police responded to a hit-and-run motor vehicle crash in the 1000 block of Howertown Road.
· Officers assisted the Coplay Police Department on North Fifth Street.
· Officers assisted EMS in the 1100 block of Second Street.
Willis "Pops" C. Strein, 78, of Whitehall, died Dec. 12, 2012. He was the husband of Martha (Burd) Strein for 58 years.
He was a 1951 graduate of Liberty High School. He graduated from Mansfield State College and earned a master's degree from Lehigh University.
He taught in the Catasauqua Area School District for 38 years until he reitred in 1993. He started and was involved with the track and field program for 30 years. Following that, he worked for VAST until 2004.
He attended Bethany Bible Fellowship Church, Whitehall.
Michele "Shelly" M. Stolz, 53, of Walnutport, died Dec. 12, 2012, at her residence. She was the wife of Jeffrey A. Stolz for 28 years.
Born in Allentown, she was a daughter of Luke Heist Sr. and Rose (Ressler) Heist of West Palm Beach, Fla.
She was a member of St. Pauls' United Church of Christ, Northampton.
She was a basket social member at Hope Lutheran Church, Cherryville, and helped with other community basket socials.
The Bosch Group has contributed $100,000 and Catholic Charities donated $20,000 to the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley to assist area residents whose homes were damaged by "Superstorm" Sandy.
Any owner-occupied home is eligible for assistance if the total household income is roughly less than double the poverty rate. Previously, only seniors and disabled heads of households were eligible.