The Steubenville Kiwanis Club moves into a new year with plans in the works for its third-annual trivia competition fundraiser on the calendar and teams being recruited to participate.
It will be held March 9 in the Steubenville High School Commons beginning at 7 p.m.
Teams will compete for cash prizes and bragging rights as participants test their knowledge and have fun in the process.
Tom Timmons, left, program chair for December, with the Rev. Philip Makari of Starkdale Presbyterian Church, guest speaker
-- Janice R. Kiaski
Anyone interested can organize a team of 10 or less to participate. The cost is $100 for a team no matter its size, whether it's two or three members or the maximum 10. There will be no concessions available this time around, but teams are at liberty to bring their own snacks.
The event also will include a 50-50 and a Chinese auction.
Anyone interested can contact Tom Timmons by phone at (740) 314-9574 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the subject of trivia, Timmons offered a little himself to his fellow club members at the Dec. 18 meeting - that Paul Brandt became a member of Kiwanis on Dec. 17, 1968, hitting the 44-year membership mark.
The club, which meets every Tuesday for a noon luncheon meeting and brief program at the YWCA in Steubenville, has a lineup of January programs planned by Larry Coleman, who is serving as program chair for January.
On Tuesday at noon, the club will hear from David Ferroni, president of the Jefferson Kiwanis Youth Soccer Club; on the 15th, it's Eric Timmons, the Kiwanis Lt. Gov. from Division 12; Jan. 22 will feature a representative of the Steubenville Visitors Center; and on Jan. 29, Mark Nelson will welcome club members to his business at Nelson Fine Art and Gifts in Steubenville located in what used to be Lincoln Elementary School on Sinclair Avenue. Club members will tour the facilities.
The club's Dec. 18 luncheon meeting, its final one of 2012, included Christmas selections by Steubenville High School choir members under the direction of Scott Wolodkin.
Guests at the luncheon included two Catholic Central High School Key Club representatives - Michael Barber and Gino Taglione, who were introduced by Kiwanis member Phyllis Riccadonna.
As the program, a message was shared by the Rev. Philip Makari of Starkdale Presbyterian Church in Steubenville.
Makari told the Kiwanians that Egypt, his native land, is a country where the majority of its inhabitants are Muslims and "if you are following the news today very carefully, you will know the Christian community is not having a safe time with the new government of Egypt, but even when I was growing up, the Christians did not have the freedom that they were supposed to have, and at the same time they were not persecuted as they are persecuted today."
Makari said that growing up in Egypt, "it was very, very difficult to grow up a Christian, and there was a time in my life when I began to question whether Christianity is the true religion."
He said he had wondered how could 93 percent of the people, Muslims, be wrong and just 7 percent, the Christians, be right. "Usually you come to the conclusion that the majority cannot be wrong," he said.
Makari challenged himself, however, "to see if the Christian faith is the true faith that God intended for the human race." He asked serious questions of missionaries, pastors and leaders from the Muslim community.
He said he came to the conclusion that there are 22 major differences between Christianity and any other religion on the face of the Earth.
"In fact, if you put all the religions that are in existence in one column, you'll find out that they all have everything in common and Christianity is exactly the opposite of every one of them," he said.
He cited several examples, including that Christianity says "God searches for us and finds us, and the big proof of that is that God himself came down to Earth in Jesus Christ searching for those who are lost."
He said, too, other religions are "religions of works, working on how to be saved and how to be accepted by God. In Christianity, you are saved by the grace of God, not by anything you do. If there is any work, there is the work Jesus did on the cross to save you. No matter how much you try, you are never going to be good enough or do enough good to be saved," he said.
Yet another example he cited is that in other religions, "people are saved over and over again, but in Christianity, you are saved once and for all. It is a done deed. You don't have to keep saving yourself because Jesus saved you once and for all," Makari told the Kiwanians.
"I became very convinced the Christian faith really made a huge difference in the lives of people more than any other religion on the face of the Earth," Makari said, emphasizing that "God came to us as one of us (in Jesus)."
Makari said mankind has three major problems: Satan, sin and death.
"There is no answer in the human hand for these three problems. You cannot save yourself from the devil, save yourself from sin, and you can't save yourself from dying. Jesus got involved in that, and only God can deal with these three enemies. On the cross, Jesus took care of the three enemies - Satan, sin and death," he said.
Makari said Christianity "is the only religion that speaks of God as over us, as with us and inside of us. No other religion on the planet believes that. It is not three gods. It is one God to us three different ways - as the father over us, the son with us and as the holy spirit inside of us."