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Christmas prayer tours of state Capitol set, signups underway

ATLANTA, Ga. – Decking the halls in Georgia’s state Capitol involves lots of garlands, bows, Poinsettias and an enormous evergreen sparkling with thousands of lights.
COVID variant spreads to more countries as world on alert
LONDON (AP) — The new potentially more contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus popped up in more European countries on Saturday, just days after being identified in South Africa, leaving governments around the world scrambling to stop the spread.
SBC churches becoming prolific reproducers of new congregations
LAS VEGAS (BP) – Churches within the Southern Baptist Convention have become prolific reproducers of new congregations, Outreach Magazine reported in its September/October issue.
World races to contain new COVID threat, the omicron variant
BRUSSELS (AP) — Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the world raced Friday to contain a new coronavirus variant potentially more dangerous than the one that has fueled relentless waves of infection on nearly every continent.
Mississippi church provides community Thanksgiving dinner, with a side of sweet faith
PONTOTOC, Miss. (BP) – Going back at least a quarter-century, First Baptist Church has called on its people to deliver a Thanksgiving meal for those unable to be with family or cook one on their own. From Day 1, however, church members have been required to contribute a staple from their own kitchen.
Both the church and government have role in increasing adoptions
NASHVILLE (BP) – Caring for orphans and vulnerable children in the United States and around the world calls for multi-faceted ministry by followers of Jesus and helpful public policies amid the dramatic decline in adoptions by Americans, says a leading child-welfare advocate.
Baptist Life

Georgia pastor joins other clergy urging peace after high-profile murder trial

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (BP) – A Southern Baptist pastor recently joined other area clergy representing “the rich diversity in our community” and calling for peace in a video as the trial over the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery approaches a verdict.
DALLAS (BP) – With food supplies falling as low as 11 percent below last year, church-based feeding programs are finding it more difficult to provide traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners this holiday season.
“Imagine if your boss called you and said you had one day to pack a bag and head to the airport to fly to another country. Your family had to leave most of your belongings behind, and you couldn’t say goodbye to anyone. That’s what we have endured.”
Shorter University’s School of Education earned top marks in the state according to Program Effectiveness Measures released this week by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.
CLEVELAND, Ga. – Chaplains working with police departments across the country could receive their training through Truett McConnell University under an arrangement announced Thursday.
Georgia
Georgia couple gives $5M to health system for hospice house

BRASELTON, Ga. (AP) — A new $10 million hospice house planned for the Northeast Georgia Health System was inspired by the Community Hospice House in Merrimack, New Hampshire, where Diane Stephens’ father received his end-of-life care.

Disabled combat veteran opens pecan business in Georgia BYRON, Ga. (AP) — When Tim Williams purchased his home in Kewanee Farms in Byron in the late summer of 2020, starting a pecan processing facility and opening a storefront wasn’t something he’d ever imagined doing.
All 3 men charged in Arbery's death convicted of murder BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Jurors on Wednesday convicted the three white men charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, the Black man who was chased and fatally shot while running through their neighborhood in an attack that became part of the larger national reckoning on racial injustice.
Ahmaud Arbery case goes to jury after 13-day trial BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The case of three white men charged with murder in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery went to a jury Tuesday after a 13-day trial in which prosecutors argued the defendants provoked a confrontation with the 25-year-old Black man and defense attorneys said their clients acted in self-defense.
Nation
Flood watches issued in Northwest as some urged to evacuate

Residents in Washington state were preparing for possible flooding as “atmospheric rivers” once again threatened parts of the Northwest, which saw heavy damage from extreme weather earlier this month.

Skeptic to advocate: Man survives scary bout of COVID-19 MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. (AP) — Howard Breidenbach thought it was all a big conspiracy. The government using a so-called “coronavirus” to control the people. Feeding drama. Making up numbers. …
Report outlines rising costs, benefits of college degree SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Cory Britton doesn’t need a public policy institute report to fully appreciate the costs and benefits of a college education. He knows what it’s like to try to make …
The Santa experience this year is a mix of laps, distancing NEW YORK (AP) — Santa is back this year, but he pleads caution as he continues to tiptoe through the pandemic.
World
Mob attacks Pakistan police, fails to grab blasphemy suspect

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A Muslim mob burned a police station and four police posts overnight in northwest Pakistan after officers refused to hand over a mentally unstable man accused of …

Israel tightens travel restrictions over new COVID variant JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel on Sunday approved barring entry to foreign nationals and the use of controversial technology for contact tracing as part of its efforts to clamp down on a new coronavirus …
Kyrgyzstan's parliamentary vote to boost president's clout MOSCOW (AP) — Voters in Kyrgyzstan cast ballots in a parliamentary election Sunday that comes just over a year after a forceful change of government in the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation. …
Honduran election could oust long-ruling National party TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Hondurans will choose a successor to deeply unpopular President Juan Orlando Hernández on Sunday in elections that could oust his National Party after 12 years in …
Perspectives
EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) – One snowy day in the 1940s, Robert White was working as a bellhop in the Grand Hotel in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, when a stranger showed up.
Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman, who fought an extended and high-profile legal battle over religious liberty, has settled her case and is moving into retirement. What follows is a letter she shared through Alliance Defending Freedom, the organization that represented her in court.
My recent vision trip to Colombia was a trip that I will never forget because of a certain scripture that really pressed on my heart. It was the scripture that speaks into the life of those who are followers of Jesus Christ.
The headlines are not encouraging:   “Thanksgiving Turkey Prices May Be More Expensive and Birds Harder to Find.”
 If you could go back in time to one event in history what would that be? Undoubtedly, for most Christians it would be the morning of the resurrection ... although ... we were there.
Business
Japan PM vows to step up defense amid China, NK threats

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, at his first troop review Saturday, renewed his pledge to consider “all options,” including acquiring enemy base strike capability, and vowed …

French fishermen temporarily block ports in spat with UK CALAIS, France (AP) — French fishing crews temporarily blocked French ports and ferry traffic across the English Channel on Friday to disrupt the flow of goods to the U.K., a symbolic riposte in a …
Holiday season moves into high gear but challenges remain NEW YORK (AP) — Buoyed by solid hiring, healthy pay gains and substantial savings, shoppers are returning to stores and splurging on all types of items.
Coal mine fire in Russia's Siberia kills 11, dozens trapped MOSCOW (AP) — A fire at a coal mine in Russia's Siberia killed 11 people and injured more than 40 others on Thursday, with dozens of others still trapped, authorities said. The blaze took place …
EXPLAINER: What is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? NEW YORK (AP) — When President Joe Biden ordered the release of 50 million barrels of oil from America’s strategic reserve to help reduce energy costs, he was taking aim at a growing burden for …
Sports
Georgia's Smart dismisses 6-game losing streak against Tide

ATLANTA (AP) — Even with Georgia undefeated in 2021 and unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 for the eighth consecutive week, Nick Saban and Alabama still cast a shadow over the Bulldogs' season.

Falcons take advantage of Jaguars' mistakes in 21-14 victory JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Cordarrelle Patterson scored twice in his return from an ankle injury, and the Atlanta Falcons found the end zone and the win column for the first time in three weeks in a 21-14 victory over woeful Jacksonville on Sunday.
Pitts returns to site of vicious hit as Falcons play at Jags JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Kyle Pitts’ last trip to Jacksonville ended in painful fashion.
Devoe rallies Georgia Tech past Georgia Southern 61-59 ATLANTA (AP) — Michael Devoe scored 15 of his 26 points in the second half and Georgia Tech rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to defeat Georgia Southern 61-59 on Friday.