Bishop opposes requiring jobs for welfare mothersAuxiliary...

RELIGION NOTES

September 02, 1993|By Reported by Frank P.L. Somerville

Bishop opposes requiring jobs for welfare mothers

Auxiliary Bishop John H. Ricard of Baltimore, speaking for the Roman Catholic hierarchy of the United States, has told a presidential task force on welfare reform that "caring for one's own children is work that is just as important and valuable to society as paid employment."

He was referring to proposals "to increase genuine work and training opportunities for welfare recipients" -- proposals that the Catholic Church supports for the most part, he said.

However, he warned against requiring mothers on welfare to take jobs outside the home.

Bishop Ricard is chairman of the Domestic Policy Committee of the U.S. Catholic Conference. His recent report was to the Working Group on Welfare Reform, Family Support and Independence, which was appointed by President Clinton.

"While the trend is clearly toward mothers of young children working at least part time," the Baltimore churchman told the group, "we question whether the government should degrade the value of maternal care by a policy that requires mothers of young children to take jobs outside the home."

He urged the presidential task force, which is charged with developing a national plan for welfare reform, not to accept the view that "parents' primary responsibility is to provide for material needs rather than emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs."

He also told the group that "the central problem in America is not welfare but poverty" because "our economy is not producing the jobs and opportunities we need to use the talents and energies of all people."

Methodist volunteers:

Two Marylanders are among 40 young adults recently commissioned by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries to perform two years of volunteer missionary work.

Commissioned following three weeks of theological and practical training were Elizabeth Boyd Piel of Baltimore, who graduated this year from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Steve Douglas Baliko of Fallston, a 1993 graduate of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. Both were assigned to a facility for emotionally disturbed children in Anchorage, Alaska.

The church program for which they signed up is called US-2 because it is based on two-year commitments to various forms of Christian service in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It is open to men and women between the ages of 20 and 30.

'Information: 1-800-654-5929.

Rally Day

Sept. 12 is Rally Day for local Lutheran churches, the traditional start of their Sunday School classes and other programs for children in the academic year ahead.

At Trinity Lutheran Church, 1100 Philadelphia Road in Joppa, the day's celebrations will include a dramatic presentation, "Living the Christian Life," by the Covenant Players, an international repertory theater company, at the 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship services.

Rally Day at Trinity will also feature choir performances and conclude at 7 p.m. with a concert of contemporary music by a group called Lost & Found. Information: 679-4000.

Another congregation that has invited the public to take part in its celebration of Rally Day is St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church at Liberty and Rolling roads in Rockdale. Information about classes and times there: 922-3137.

Jewish education:

Fran Davis has been asked by the local Council on Jewish Educational Services to organize a series of programs for students in congregational and day schools to consider social issues from a Jewish perspective.

Among the subjects to be addressed by Ms. Davis, in her new job as the council's assistant director of secondary education, are anti-Semitism, the dating of non-Jews by Jewish teen-agers, AIDS, chemical dependency, teen suicide and Jewish immigration.

& Information: 727-4828.

Men's fund-raiser:

The Men's Auxiliary of First St. Stephen's Baptist Church will present its traditional "Fish and Chicken Fry" beginning at 11 a.m. tomorrow and Saturday at 4651 Pimlico Road. The men's group will make deliveries of five or more food orders. Information: 664-7625.

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