Thanksgiving Sunday

By Reverend Richard Reimer, American River Community Church  |  2019-11-14

Reverend Richard Reimer, American River Community Church. Courtesy ARCC

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The month of November ushers in a host of special days – Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday. What I want to direct your attention to is Thanksgiving Sunday!

Thanksgiving Sunday is the Sunday prior to the national holiday of Thanksgiving. This Sunday ought to be right up there with Christmas Eve and Easter in your family’s plans to attend your church or faith community. I will use Psalm 66 to give you a few reasons why that should be so.

The Psalmist closes his poem with these words of praise and thanksgiving. “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!”

How did this composer come to that frame of mind and heart? Let’s find the reasons in the stanzas prior to this grateful conclusion.

In verse 9 he cites the first reason. “Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of His praise be heard; He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.” The psalmist is challenging us to reflect upon the past both distant and recent to see if we can identify the rescuing intervention of supernatural power in our lives. How many miles did you drive in this past year without an accident? Or close calls, that put a lump in your throat, but nothing bad happened? Could those moments be evidence of supernatural intervention? If so, you have a reason to be thankful.

In verses 10-12 the poet writes about testing times; hard times; times of confinement or restriction like imprisonment; times of excessive burden or oppression. He looks back to a very tough season of life “we went through fire and water.” Many Californians know literally what going through fire means with all the recent wildfires. Many Texans and Southern dwellers know what devastating flooding does to individuals and communities. These phrases could also be metaphors for any intense season of suffering.

But the good news comes in these praise worthy words: “But YOU brought us to a place of abundance.” V12b. The season of suffering and destruction is over! Rescue and recovery and restoration has now taken place! Life has returned to a new normal with a new sense of well-being and purpose. What was lost is now replaced with even more than before. It’s time to give thanks!

These are the two reasons the psalmist will “come to the temple” v 13. There with the community of faith this poet will “fulfill the vows my lips promised when I was in trouble.”v14. Many people make promises to God when in the midst of suffering and trouble. Thanksgiving Sunday is a great day to make good on them!

The Psalmist shows up at the temple and gives public testimony of thanksgiving to His God with this universal invitation. V16 “Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what HE has done for me.”

Rescue, recovery, restoration demands public testimony. What better time and place to shout out your praise and thanksgiving to your God than with your faith community on Thanksgiving Sunday, November 24th!

Reverend Richard Reimer, Lead Pastor
American River Community Church
3300 Walnut Avenue ® Carmichael, CA


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Study Identifies 5 Patterns Of Gun Ownership By Motivation, Practices, Other Features

By Carole Gan, UC Davis Health  |  2019-11-14

The categories consisted of two groups of single-firearm owners and three groups of multiple-firearm owners, including a small but unique group who own high-capacity magazines and assault-type weapons and carry a loaded handgun for protection against people. MPG file photo

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - A study of 429 firearm owners who answered the 2018 California Safety and Wellbeing Survey has identified five distinct types of firearm owners – early work that may help assess risk and tailor injury prevention strategies to owners’ preferences and practices.

The categories consisted of two groups of single-firearm owners and three groups of multiple-firearm owners, including a small but unique group who own high-capacity magazines and assault-type weapons and carry a loaded handgun for protection against people. Limited prior research has linked these characteristics with higher risk of injury and crime.

The UC Davis study is the first to identify nuanced patterns of gun ownership.

“We found striking differences between the groups, which suggests one-size-fits-all approaches to preventing firearm injuries and death may be less effective than those that consider these differences,” said Julia Schleimer, VPRP researcher and study lead author. “By identifying different patterns of ownership, we hope to inform the development of public health and safety efforts that are relevant to firearm owners’ varying motivations, choices and risk.”

Schleimer believes more research on the link between these patterns of ownership and firearm violence is critical. The study did not aim to draw such conclusions about the five types, although several of the defining characteristics of these groups – storing a firearm unlocked and/or loaded, carrying a handgun and owning an assault weapon – have been the target of laws and public health campaigns to reduce firearm injury and death.

The five types of firearm owners 

The researchers distinguished the five groups by identifying common combinations of survey responses to questions about the number and types of firearms owned, primary reason for having firearms, storage practices, whether owners carried a loaded handgun and whether they owned high-capacity magazines.

Single-firearm owners differed from each other in the type of firearm owned, primary reason for ownership and how the firearm was stored:

First group (26% of owners): Members were likely to own one long gun for a reason other than protection against people, such as hunting or sport shooting;

Second group (21% of owners): Members commonly owned one handgun primarily for protection against people and stored it in a moderately secure manner. This group was most common among women.

The authors found substantial variability among those who owned more than one firearm. In fact, owning multiple firearms was the only characteristic that these three groups had in common:

Third group (31% of owners): Members commonly owned five or more firearms, owned both handguns and long guns (but not assault-type weapons), owned primarily for a reason other than protection against people and stored all firearms in the most secure manner (locked and unloaded);

Fourth group (14% of owners): Members were likely to own two to four firearms, including handguns and long guns, primarily for protection against people. They also stored at least one firearm unlocked and loaded;

Fifth group (9% of owners): Members were uniquely likely to own high-capacity magazines and assault-type weapons and to carry a loaded handgun for protection against people. Members of this group also commonly owned five or more firearms (14 on average), owned for protection against people and stored a firearm in the least secure manner (loaded and unlocked).

Co-authors of the study “Firearm Ownership in California: A Latent Class Analysis” include Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, Rocco Pallin, Amanda Charbonneau, Shani Buggs and Garen Wintemute, all of UC Davis Health. (Injury Prevention DOI:

This research was supported by the University of Calfornia Firearm Violence Research Center with funds from the state of California, the California Wellness foundation (2014-255), Heising-Simons Foundation (2017-0447), Langeloth Foundation (award no. 1824).

The UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) is a multi-disciplinary program of research and policy development focused on the causes, consequences and prevention of violence. Studies assess firearm violence and the connections between violence, substance abuse and mental illness. VPRP is home to the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center, which launched in 2017 with a $5 million appropriation from the state of California to fund and conduct leading-edge research on firearm violence and its prevention.

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Wall of Honor Tributes Recall Community’s Finest

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-11-07

Patriots Park was the scene of remembrances last weekend. Located on the Carmichael, Citrus Heights and Fair Oaks border, the reserve contains a monument for fallen community heroes.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Carmichael and Fair Oaks stalwarts gathered last weekend to recall fallen heroes of nation and community. The annual “Wall of Honor” ceremony was observed at Patriots Park.

Built in 2008, the reserve’s stone monument is dedicated to 14 local men – from military, police, CHP and fire-fighting forces – who died serving nation or neighborhood during Carmichael Park District’s 57-year existence.  The community pays tribute to the heroes each November. From the 1960s through to 2017 – from Vietnam battlefields to California highways – the heroes fell while protecting American values. Space remains on the wall for plaque additions and the park district annually considers nominations.

Last Saturday’s ceremony attendees included bereaved families; elected representatives and park district leaders. Congressman Ami Bera and County Supervisor Susan Peters were among speakers. Dr. Bera said the nation should “pause and consider values that bring us all together.”

Supervisor Peters noted that the 12-year-old park’s landscaping was maturing and its masonry was gathering the patina of age. “This park is more than a recreational gathering spot,” she said. “Patriots Park serves a deeper meaning. The individuals listed on this wall remind us how grateful we are to men and women who wear different uniforms but have a common bond in putting service above self. Regardless of whether they wore a Sheriff’s uniform or that of the Highway Patrol or a branch of the armed services or of fire protection, each was dedicated to the common good. They believed in serving us. It is fitting that we continue to remember each honoree.”

“We recognize the passage of time does not shield you from the emptiness you feel,” Peters told families of the fallen.  “We nevertheless hope Patriots Park is a source of comfort and pride in remembering your loved ones. Whatever uniform your loved one wore, we will be forever grateful for their dedication, commitment and service. The community will never forget them.”

Patriots Park monument honors the following heroes:

Deputy Robert French.

Deputy Danny P. Oliver.

CHP Officer Ronald E. Davis.

Army Specialist James E. Schlottman.

Army Leiutenant Robert S. Byrnes.

Airforce Captain Olin E. Gilbert Jnr.

Army Sergeant Larry H. Morford.

Firefighter Dean W. Rhoades.

US Navy pilot Lieutenant  J. G. David A Warne.

Marine and firefighter Sergeant Brian E. Dunlap.

Deputies Kevin P. Blount and Joseph M. Kievernagel.

Army Sergeant Ronald L. Coffelt..

Army Specialist Raymond N. Spencer Jnr.

Anyone may visit the Wall of Honor. Patriots Park is located at 6825 Palm Avenue, Fair Oaks. Those who wish to nominate a candidate for inclusion on the monument should contact the Carmichael Park District. 


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Colorful Service Will Bless Clan Regalia

Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-11-07

Scottish music will accompany colorful celtic ceremonies at St Michael’s Episcopal Church on November 23.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - As bagpipes skirl, families will present clan regalia for sanctification at St Michael's Episcopal Church (Carmichael) on November 23. In a pageant that celebrates most things Scottish, Pastors will bless kilts, shawls -- even plaid ties – with a laying on of hands. Sacramento Daughters of Scotia annually hosts the event.

“Kirkin’” (blessing) services for tartans were popular fundraisers for British war efforts during WW II and American Celtic organizations still stage the festivals. Armed Forces and Firefighter representatives last year joined 25 families in presenting tartans for sanctification. “There’s a great hungering in the Scottish community to celebrate our heritage in this way,” says Daughters of Scotia member Kathy Hanson. Hymns and prayers complete the service; an afternoon tea and Highland dancing will follow.

Anyone may attend. A procession of tartans begins at 1 pm at St Michael’s Episcopal Church, 2140 Mission Avenue Carmichael. Collection Donations will benefit the Sacramento Food bank.

Daughters of Scotia membership is open to women of Scottish ancestry, including those married to Scots. For information, visit:

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Playmakers Hosts Youth Basketball Game

Story and photo by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-11-07

Playmakers founder Coach Greg Roeszler.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Local non-profit The Playmakers Organization is hosting a basketball game for special needs and at-risk kids at Oak Hills Church (1100 Blue Ravine Rd. in Folsom). Playmakers is partnering with the Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and UCP of Sacramento and Northern California (which provides programs and services for people with developmental disabilities).

Playmakers founder Greg Roeszler explained that at-risk kids have a 40% chance of living in a single-parent home, and the risk is increased for special needs kids. Playmakers is working to provide support networks for these parents to help their children thrive. “We’re really pleased with how we’re beginning to work together with other agencies toward the same goal,” said Roeszler.

Roeszler said, “We’re converting Oaks Hills Church into the Golden1 Center with a DJ, music, and a great deal of fun. Our desire is that this is the first of ongoing Playmakers events partnering with these agencies to create more fun activities and resources for kids and their families.”

The game will be held on Saturday, November 16, and it will kick off at 9:00 AM with a breakfast catered by the Burgess Brothers BBQ & Burgers, who will be serving their special ChurWaffles.

The game is scheduled from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and the participating kids will be assisted by the Folsom High School freshman football team. “It’s a very inclusive event,” said Roeszler.

Roeszler spent years coaching football, so Playmakers events usually focus on his favorite sport. But Roeszler is excited to be expanding into basketball because it is not dependent on the weather and can be played indoors year-round — so they can offer more frequent events for the kids.

Roeszler said Playmakers is grateful to be working with a group of “wonderful Corporate partners” for the event: Mortgage Consultant Group, FitGuard, Asher College, Republic Services, Palm Tile, Go Forth Coaching, and Serenity Spa — which will be offering massages at the game.

The public is invited to attend the game and there is no cost to attend. Roeszler said, “We’re hoping for wonderful attendance. Come and cheer and have fun, eat waffles, and meet our partners.”

There is still space available for more game participants, and kids can be signed up at

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Carmichael Toastmasters Celebrates 63 Years

By Jennifer Harris, Carmichael Toastmasters  |  2019-11-07

Carmichael Toastmasters club members are well into their 63rd year. Photo courtesy LaWanna Parker, Carmichael Toastmasters

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Carmichael Toastmasters kicked off its 63rd year as a public speaking club with an open house celebration attended by a diversity of attendees including decades-long members, new members, guests, and Toastmasters District 39 dignitaries.

Carmichael Toastmasters exists to provide a supportive, instructive place to practice public speaking skills and to learn leadership by doing. No previous experience or affiliation is required to join. Most members initially visit or join a club to conquer the fear of public speaking or to fix a habit of using crutch words such as “you know” or “um” or to learn how to run a vibrant, productive meeting that doesn’t waste time.

Carmichael Toastmasters originated as an outgrowth of the Pacific Bell (now ATT) office complex on Watt Avenue near Marconi Avenue. Dorothy Smith, a former PacBell employee and currently the most longstanding member of the club, was named “Queen of Carmichael Toastmasters” and accepted a commemorative certificate on behalf of the Club. Longtime member Bill Weir was named Carmichael Toastmaster of the Year. Among his contributions to the club are a captivating storytelling style and expertise in grammar.

Club Treasurer Susan George gave a speech remembering Carmichael Toastmaster legends Tom Ralph, Buz Dunbar, and Gurdon Smith, to name a few. Caryl Netzley spoke about joining Toastmasters to get rid of her crutch word “like” and explained “WIIFM” (What’s In It For Me) for those considering joining.

Representing District 39 leadership were Program Quality Director Kristi Beres and Area 81 Director Reham Nawar. The name “Toastmasters” comes from a person’s mastery of giving a toast at a banquet, wedding, or other social environment.

Carmichael Toastmasters is an early morning club that meets every Monday from 6:30am-7:30am at Denny’s at Watt Avenue and Auburn Boulevard.

Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., the organization's membership exceeds 357,000 in more than 16,600 clubs in 143 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit

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Love Packed in a Shoebox: Operation Christmas Child

By Mila Popov, Samaritan’s Purse International Relief  |  2019-11-07

Children around the world celebrate the holidays but many families live in bleak poverty. You can change that with Operation Christmas Child. Photo courtesy Operation Christmas Child

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - It’s that time, when colorful leaves cover the ground, and the aroma of pumpkin pie and spices are everywhere. Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are just around the corner. This is that joyful time of the year when we count our blessings around the Thanksgiving table, and enjoy the spirit of Christmas with family and friends as we unwrap beautiful carefully packed gifts.

Did you know that there are many children around the world, who have never received a gift in their life time? Did you know that there are children who are not able to go to school because they do not have their own pencil or notebook? Going to school means a lot more than getting an education. Often it means getting a meal at least once a day. The life of a child who had never experienced such blessings as having a new toy, their own drinking cup or even a toothbrush, is very difficult.

Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is one of many projects of the Samaritan’s Purse organization that delivers the Good News and Great Joy to children around the world. Simple shoebox gifts have life changing impact. Every child deserves to experience Christmas at least once in their lifetime.

In 2018 over 10.6 million shoeboxes were delivered to over 160 countries to the neediest children impacted by extreme poverty due to war, natural disasters and famine. These children live in homes with their family or in orphanages, from small villages to large cities.

By packing simple items such as toys, art and school supplies, and personal hygiene items, you can impact a child’s life and give hope to children in hopeless life conditions. Would you join us in packing one shoebox for a boy and/or one for a girl? 

Here is how you can pack a shoebox: (1) Start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. If you want to wrap it, cover the box and lid separately. (2) Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy, in the age category: 2–4 years, 5–9 years, or 10–14 years. (3) Select a medium to large “wow” item such as a soccer ball with pump, a doll or stuffed animal, then fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and art and school supplies. Dollar stores, Walmart and Target have many inexpensive items.

If you wish, include a personal note with a family picture and words of encouragement. (4) Donate $9 online and receive a label to Follow Your Box and discover the country destination of your shoebox gift. (5) Take your shoebox gift(s) to a local drop-off location during National Collection Week, Nov. 18–25, 2019. 

Drop off locations are: Fair Oaks Presbyterian; Bayside Life Rancho Cordova; Metro Calvary, Roseville; Bayside Church Folsom and Second Slavic Baptist, North Highlands.  For address and drop off times go to:  

For more information contact Mila 916-308-8360 or

Thank you for making a Big Impact on a child's life! Happy Holidays! 

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