Inner city decay appalls leader of church council


November 11, 1993|By Reported by Frank P.L. Somerville

The general secretary of the National Council of Churches, which is meeting this week in Baltimore, described her shock yesterday at finding so near the Inner Harbor an area "where the presence of drugs, poverty and violence was a clear threat to the African-American community."

Speaking to the leaders of the New York-based ecumenical organization, the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell said she had walked out of the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel with a colleague and exclaimed, "Baltimore is beautiful."

"Just wait," the colleague cautioned before driving her to a church in a neighborhood not very far away, where the contrast was striking.

Adding to yesterday's National Council discussions about whether its member churches are doing enough to fight urban crime and violence in America, Ms. Campbell declared to applause, "We need to be about the business of saving our cities."

Earlier, the council's executive board adopted a resolution calling on "the Clinton administration to return the urban priority to its agenda for action."

Board members, who are scheduled to vote today on two lengthy policy statements criticizing the level of violence in television and movies, asked that a National Council of Churches delegation be appointed "to meet with the surgeon general and the attorney general of the United States to respond to their challenge to church leaders about violence in America today."

Outdoor procession:

The Acolyte Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland will hold its annual festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, 4 E. University Parkway.

Part of the celebration will be an outdoor procession of acolytes and a Festival Eucharist, starting at 11 a.m.

Information: 467-1399.

Adopt an animal:

Rodgers Forge United Methodist Church, at 56 Stevenson Lane, Towson, is having a Craft and Heifer Fair on Saturday and cows, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens are expected, too.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Heifer Project International will exhibit a variety of livestock and invite people to "adopt an animal" by paying to have their pictures taken with one as a way of raising money.

Proceeds will enable the organization to donate breeding stock to needy farm families in many parts of the world, the church said.

The fair will also feature food, including homemade soup and freshly baked bread, and craft booths.

& Information: 825-2715.

Three-day mission:

The Rev. Timothy P. Tighe, a Paulist priest, will conduct an evening mission open to the public on Nov. 29, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church, 4414 Frankford Ave. in Baltimore.

The theme of the preaching and discussions is "Release the Light, Disperse the Darkness."

The one-hour sessions will begin at 7:30 p.m. and be followed by refreshments.

& Information: 488-0400.

Biblical scholar:

Walter Brueggemann, an author and professor of the Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., will give two lectures Monday at St. Mary's Seminary and University, 5400 Roland Ave., Baltimore.

Registration is required for the first of the lectures at 1 p.m., when Dr. Brueggemann's subject will be "Prophetic Preaching: Miracles of Intrusion in a Settled Scheme." This presentation will follow a lunch organized by the seminary's Office of Continuing Education.

At 8 p.m., Dr. Brueggemann will give the annual Dunning Lecture, which is free and open to the public. The title of the evening presentation is "Little Words for an Alternative World." It will honor the memory of the Rev. A. Vanlier Hunter, who until his death a year ago had been professor of Scripture and associate dean of the Ecumenical Institute at St. Mary's.

Information: 323-1463.


Rabbi David Sulomm Stein, a scholar of the Reconstructionist branch of Judaism, will lead a free, public study session for adults at 7 p.m. Sunday at 5802 Roland Ave., sponsored by Baltimore's Beit Tikvah Reconstructionist Congregation.

Child care will be provided.

Rabbi Stein's subject will be "What Do We Mean by Egalitarianism?"

& Information: 560-2062.

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