Md. churchwomen to join in prayer for Mideast peace

RELIGION NOTES

February 24, 1994|By Reported by Frank P. L. Somerville

Churchwomen in Maryland will join men and women in Protestant, Anglican, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox congregations around the world next week in a day of prayer for the success of peace efforts in the Middle East.

The annual World Day of Prayer, sponsored locally by Church Women United of Greater Baltimore, will be observed at various times from morning to evening on March 4 in more than 30 churches and chapels in the city and surrounding counties.

This year's theme for the ecumenical religious services uniting Christians in 170 nations or regions is hope for peace with justice between Israel and the Palestinians. Prayers and study materials for the March 4 observances were written by Christian women who live in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza.

"While acknowledging the inherent sensitivity of the political situation in the Middle East, participating World Day of Prayer communities see the service as an opportunity to engage in further study and dialogue while working toward a lasting peace," said Kay Turner, president of Church Women United of Greater Baltimore.

The first of the services in Maryland will be at 10 a.m., and the last at 7:30 p.m. The locations include Catholic churches in Baynesville, Linthicum, Catonsville, Edgemere and Relay; United Methodist churches in Pikesville, Fork, Parkton, Severn and Baldwin; and Lutheran churches in Aberdeen, Bel Air and Fullerton, as well as churches of all three denominations in Baltimore.

Several Episcopal, Presbyterian and Baptist churches in the metropolitan area are also taking part.

The World Day of Prayer has been celebrated annually for 107 years, and the Church Women United organization nationally has been its sponsor for 53 years.

Among the purposes of the women's group, Mrs. Turner said, is "to use, responsibly and creatively, the resources of intelligence, time, energy and money which God has entrusted to us to deepen our understanding of what it means to be Christian women of faith in today's world."

She said the group's current priorities include problems of health care and poverty, especially as they affect women.

The various times and places for the March 4 prayer services include these in Baltimore: 10:30 a.m. at St. William of York Roman Catholic Church, 600 Cooks Lane; 11 a.m. at Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, 2200 St. Paul St.; 1 p.m. at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 6400 Belair Road; 2 p.m. at Fulton Baptist Church, 1630 W. North Ave., and 7:30 p.m. at St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 36th Street and Chestnut Avenue.

Further information: 825-9384.

Judaism for Jews:

The Jewish Community Center is planning to offer a 20-week introductory course on Jewish history, ethics and religious observance, largely for Jews not affiliated with a synagogue.

Rabbi Seymour Essrog, who will teach the classes, wants to interview prospective participants before enrollment. For information, call Eileen Berman at 356-5200, Ext. 324.

Dedication service:

St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church at 810 N. Carrollton Ave. will celebrate the completion of the first phase of a major renovation with a service of dedication at 4 p.m. Sunday. Bishop Frederick Calhoun James will speak. The public is invited.

Biblical history:

First Philadelphia Baptist Church at 2120 Greenmount Ave. is sponsoring a prayer breakfast, to be followed by a seminar on the role of blacks in the Bible, on Saturday at the Cross Keys Inn, 5100 Falls Road.

The three-hour program is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Information: 243-5625.

Presbyterians and crime:

"The Poor and the Criminal Justice System" is the subject for discussion Sunday by all congregations of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Criminal Justice Sunday is observed once a year by the denomination.

Children and families:

Robert Hill, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, will speak at a national meeting of Roman Catholic social ministry leaders Saturday through Wednesday in Washington. Among children's issues to be discussed are welfare and health care reform. Information: (202) 541-3200.

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