Lutherans to mark Reformation date
JESSUP -- In a sense, every Protestant in the county has cause to celebrate with the 17 Anne Arundel County Lutheran churches holding a Festival Reformation Service Sunday night.
The service, which includes an orchestra, a choir with bells and a children's choir, marks the anniversary of the day on Oct. 31, 1517, when Augustinian monk Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the doors of the Castle Church at Wittenberg, sparking the Reformation.
The county's Lutherans will celebrate their history and their current mission as Lutherans at Sunday's event, said the Rev. David Asplin, one of the festival coordinators. Officiating over the festival, which includes several contemporary choirs as well as the classical musicians, will be the Rev. Mark Chavez of Peace Lutheran Church in Ferndale.
The Rev. Rick Hase, pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Glen Burnie and the former director of ministries for the Baltimore Urban Ministries Coalition, will preach.
The festival, set for 7:30 p.m. at Jessup Elementary School, will reflect Luther's theological concept of salvation by faith alone, apart from human good works, said Mr. Asplin.
Ex-embassy employee admits importing ivory
BALTIMORE -- A U.S. State Department employee yesterday admitted to illegally importing African elephant ivory, and federal prosecutors say the conviction is the first under a 1989 law.
Kenneth Loff, 49, of Stafford, Va., pleaded guilty before Magistrate Judge Daniel E. Klein in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to a misdemeanor count of violating the African Elephant Conservation Act.
Speaking softly in reply to a question from Magistrate Judge Klein, Mr. Loff said he had arranged for the shipment of nearly 1,000 pieces of ivory. Included were 10 tusks, as well as carvings, beads and jewelry made from ivory. Customs officials estimated the commercial value at $65,000.
The crime carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Mr. Loff reached a plea bargain with federal prosecutors, who agreed to recommend a sentence that carries a maximum jail term of six months. Mr. Loff was released on his own recognizance.
Mayor of Jerusalem, Schmoke given awards
BALTIMORE -- Two mayors, and two awards: Teddy Kollek, mayor of Jerusalem for the last 26 years, and Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, were given "Menorah Awards" last night by the Menorah Lodge of B'nai B'rith for their contributions to Jewish causes.
Mr. Kollek, 81, who walked with a cane because of a recent leg injury, recalled his first visit to Baltimore, in 1951, when he was traveling with Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. Then, as now, Mr. Kollek was engaged in raising money.
As head of the Jerusalem Foundation, Mr. Kollek has raised money in the United States and other nations to pay for parks, museums and other civic projects throughout Jerusalem. "We have many friends here who are helping us," he said.
In the Arab-Israeli peace talks, the future status of Jerusalem has not yet been discussed.
Israel captured the city's eastern half during fighting in 1967 and later formally annexed that territory.
He said he expected the city's Palestinian population eventually to be given greater autonomy, but without having the city formally redivided.
"Your government and ours decided to leave that to the end," Mr. Kollek said. "We meanwhile have to teach people to live together."