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December 29, 2012

A look back at 2012, bittersweet for some area congregations


New England Bible Church in Andover celebrated its 30th anniversary. The church began in 1982 by Tyler’s father, the Rev. Chip Thompson, as an independent non-denominational church. The older Thompson is now in Daytona Beach, Fla. Before the church was built, services were held at an apartment club house, a function hall and restored mill buildings.

Catholics celebrated the opening of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. From 1962 to 1965, more than 2,000 bishops from the world met over the course of four sessions, producing 16 documents. The meetings made significant changes and reforms in the Catholic Church including celebrating Mass in native languages instead of Latin, emphasizing the Eucharist as the source of the faith, establishing a relationship with Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindus, and giving the laity a bigger role in the church.

Temple Emanuel at 7 Haggetts Pond Road, Andover welcomed Rabbi Miriam Philips and Jodi Blankstein, to its pastoral team along with Rabbi Robert Goldstein and Cantor Idan Irelander.

At the temple, Philips works as director of Life Long Learning whose primary responsibility is the religious school program, as well as leading adult education classes and parallel education for parents of children in the religious school. Blankstein, cantorial soloist.

Notre Dame High School in Lawrence welcomed Thomas Arria as its new principal. He replaces Tom Ryan, who led the school for four years. The school was also renamed Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School strengthening its relationship with the Cristo Rey network, of which there are 25 schools across the country.

An educator for 30 years, Arria served as an administrator at Malden Catholic High School, Pope John XXIII High School in Everett and Cathedral High School Boston. He also taught at St. Anthony School in Brighton/Allston and Cathedral High School. He was at Malden Catholic for 30 years where he became the first lay headmaster.

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