Writers conference

The Black Diamond Writers Network will conduct the region's second Write It Right writers' conference on April 16, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Genetti's Best Western Inn, Hazleton.

Keynote speaker will be Maria V. Snyder, a New York Times best selling author. She will share tips on the "path to publication."

Day-long events will include workshops on writing-related topics as well as an author book fair.

For more information, contact Kathy Ruff at (570) 645-3059 or visit the online blog at http://blackdiamondwriters.blogspot.com.

Tax exemptions

The Tamaqua Area School District is accepting Assessed Occupation Tax exemption applications for the 2011-2012 school year. This will cover the 2011 calendar year. This year's forms are blue.

Retired persons and housewives with no earned income, who have previously been exempted, do not need to file again unless their status has changed and they are now earning income. Also, those who are disabled or at least 75 years of age, who have been specifically notified of their exemption by the district, need not file an application.

Students who reach the age of 18 by June 30, 2011, will be responsible for paying the tax unless exempt by application.

Requests for exemption must be filed with the district by March 1, 2011. Application forms are available at the following locations: school district administration building; local tax collectors' offices; the Tamaqua Public Library; Tamaqua Borough Hall; local post offices; and all local bank branches.

Bethany EC

The Rev. Kevin Roberts will officiate at the 10:30 a.m. worship service this Sunday in Bethany Evangelical Congregational Church. Nursery care is provided. Sunday school for all ages is held at 9:30 a.m. The service will be followed by a congregational meeting, at 11:30 a.m.

Also on Sunday, The CareNet Steering Committee will meet at 2 p.m. and a worship service will be held at the Hometown Nursing Center at 2:30 p.m.

Activities for next week will include: Monday, Arcadia Hospice In Service at 6 p.m.; Tuesday, prayer time at 8:30 a.m., Men's Fraternity meets at 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday, adult Bible study and Tamaqua Youth Ministry meet at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, hoagie making begins at 7 a.m., Musician rehearsal at 9 a.m., praise practice at 9:30 a.m., quilters meet at 10:30 a.m.

St. John UCC

The Rev. Kevin Duffy Guy will officiate at the 9:30 a.m. worship service this Sunday in St. John United Church of Christ. The service will be followed by a time of fellowship. Sunday school classes for all ages will be held at 11 a.m. The weekly radio program will be aired on WLSH - AM1410, at 11:30 a.m.

Also on Sunday, the Confirmation class will meet at 6 p.m.

The Spiritual Council will meet Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Choir rehearsals are held Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

First Methodist

The Rev. James Cavallero will officiate at two worship services Sunday: 9:30 a.m. at Salem United Methodist, and 10:45 a.m. at First United Methodist Church.

First Methodist activities for next week include: Monday, Board of Trustees meeting at 6 p.m., Administrative Board meeting at 7 p.m.; Tuesday, quilters meet at 9:30 a.m.; Wednesday, senior choir rehearsal at 7:30 p.m.

The churches have combined forces to offer a new program, the Methodist Outreach Ministry, with Phyllis Carter serving as chairwoman. Several community programs are being planned.

Also, a Lenten Christian Development Series, "God Is Closer Than You Think," will begin March 13 and run for six consecutive weeks. The 6 p.m. workshops will be preceded by covered dish socials.

First Church is now on Facebook. Church news, schedule changes and motivational thoughts will be available.

Plans are underway for the annual Tamaqua-Panther Valley Welsh Songfest, scheduled for March 13, 2 p.m. The event is sponsored annually by First Church.

The Herald Biblical Theater Company will present "His Last Days" at First Church on April 8, at 8 p.m.