Five months after 20,000 youthful advocates of sexual abstinence for the unmarried rallied on the Mall in Washington, Baltimore-area Baptists are planning a teen-agers' convention in Towson to reinforce the "True Love Waits" message.
About 500 teen leaders are expected to take part in the all-day meeting Feb. 4 on the Towson State University campus. "Ultimate Reality: True Love Living in the Real World" is the subject of the conference, sponsored by Southern Baptist congregations.
The virginity movement among adolescents in the United States gained momentum in 1993 with the launching of the "True Love Waits" campaign by the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination.
The Baptists' national effort to sign up teen-agers began in April of that year, and by October 10,000 teens had formally pledged to remain "sexually pure" until marriage.
The campaign has attracted increasing numbers of adherents in other Christian denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church. During the interfaith youth rally in Washington last July, more than 211,000 "True Love Waits" pledge cards were placed on the Mall.
The signed pledges read: "Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, those I date, my future mate, and my future children to be sexually pure until the day I enter a covenant marriage relationship."
Christian musicians Steve Fitzhugh and Mark Cable are scheduled to take part in the Feb. 4 assembly at Towson State.
"We're hoping to provide a program that helps [teen leaders] go into their homes, schools and churches to make a difference," Katie Grogan, local Southern Baptist family ministry director, said. "We felt a need to give encouragement and support to these young people."
Sessions will begin at 10 a.m. and cover such subjects as peer counseling, relationships, violence and stress. A $10 registration fee will include lunch. Information: 290-5290.
"Together We Can Make It," a support group for newly separated, divorced or widowed men and women organized by Sister of Mercy M. Joannes Clifford, is planning several series of eight weekly discussion sessions led by trained facilitators.
The programs are sponsored by the Single Again Council, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Mercy order of sisters, which paid for the training of group leaders. A $25 fee is charged for participation in the eight-week series.
& Information: 547-5422.
For interfaith parents:
Rabbi Andrew Bossov and social worker Beth Land Hecht will lead a discussion of "Raising Jewish Children in an Interfaith Family" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.
It is one in a series of occasional programs for interfaith couples sponsored by the Baltimore Board of Rabbis and Jewish Family Services. Admission is free, but advance registration is required. Information: 466-9200, Ext. 381.
The Missionary Society of Fulton Baptist Church will present a concert by the Metropolitanaires at 4 p.m. Jan. 29 at the church, 1630 W. North Ave.
& Information: 669-2082.
More than 60 religious congregations in the Baltimore area are backing a "Buckle Up Sabbath Weekend" today through Sunday to encourage motorists to use car seat belts and child safety seats, the Maryland Committee for Safety Belt Use has announced.
"Leaders of all faiths in our community have embraced the idea that the act of fastening a safety belt, or securing a child in a car seat, is an acknowledgment that each of us has the will to preserve and protect life," said Barbara W. Beckett, coordinator of the Buckle Up Baltimore Campaign.
Staff support for the "Buckle Up Sabbath Weekend" came from the office of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, the Baltimore Department of Public Works and the Maryland State Highway Administration's Office of Traffic and Safety.
& Information: 787-5893.
Lunchtime lectures on Judaism for downtown Baltimore office workers are planned by the Young Adult Division of the Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. For subjects, times and locations: 727-4828, Ext. 251.