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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended April 23, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 26Apr00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Mormon Congregation Relies On All-Volunteer Clergy
Syracuse NY Post-Standard pg7 20Apr00 D1

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK -- The Post-Standard introduced a new feature focusing on a different religious congregation each week, choosing to focus on the LDS Church's Syracuse Ward during the first week. The newspaper interviewed Bishop John P. Rutkowski, asking about the Ward, its history and about Bishop Rutkowski himself.

Rutkowski has been bishop of the Syracuse Ward for more than six years, presiding over a congregation with attendance of 200 each week and including French, Spanish and Vietnamese speaking members. The Ward was established in the 1950s, meeting first in the local YMCA before building the current meetinghouse in the early 1960s. Recently, according to Rutkowski, the Ward has participated with the building of the new Palmyra New York Temple, dedicated on April 6th.

The bishop says that the greatest challenges facing the Church are those that come from its growth and the lay clergy used. "No one is paid for their service. It is all volunteer. We work together in service so that many great effects on individuals and families can come to pass," says Rutkowski.

Rutkowski also answered questions on the Church's beliefs. He cited 2 Nephi 25:26 as his favorite scripture, and told the Post-Standard that the most difficult thing about being a bishop is "Counseling those who struggle spiritually by the teachings of Christ. Watching them not follow the example or teaching of Christ and still struggle."


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