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By Frank P. L. Somerville and Frank P. L. Somerville,Religion Editor | November 9, 1993
The new president of the National Council of Churches wants it to broaden its ecumenical horizons to embrace Roman Catholics, conservative evangelical Protestants and Pentacostalists who have never been part of the group's membership.The Rev. Gordon L. Sommers, leader of the small Moravian Church in America, will be installed as head of the council, the nation's largest ecumenical organization, in a ceremony tomorrow evening at West Baltimore's Bethel A.M.E. Church.Dr. Sommers, 58, of Bethlehem, Pa., will be the 17th president -- and the first from the 56,000-member American Moravian Church founded by missionaries from central Europe in the 18th century.
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NEWS
By Rona Marech and Rona Marech,Sun reporter | October 4, 2007
HAGERSTOWN -- Mukhabbat Gilmanova picked plastic honey bottles off the assembly line and placed them, still warm, in a cardboard box. Gilmanova, a Russian Turkish refugee with a shy smile, might seem an anomaly in this Western Maryland city that's not exactly known for its international population. But another Meskhetian Turk works beside Gilmanova at Parker Plastics. Other packers on the shift hail from Haiti and the Ivory Coast. They are refugees, too. In the past several years, more than 200 people, largely from countries in Africa and the former Soviet Union, have quietly landed in Hagerstown, population roughly 37,000.
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NEWS
By Frank P. L. Somerville and Frank P. L. Somerville,Staff Writer | November 11, 1993
When the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell concluded the general secretary's annual report to the National Council of Churches yesterday, shouts of "Shame! Shame!" could be heard above the applause.It was one more reminder during the council's meeting this week in Baltimore that, while the purpose of the 43-year-old ecumenical organization is Christian unity, its efforts are beset by Christian disunity.The shouts came from a row of about 15 clergy and lay people standing against the back wall of the ballroom in the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel.
NEWS
By Liz F. Kay and Liz F. Kay,SUN REPORTER | July 11, 2007
Pope Benedict XVI asserted yesterday that the Roman Catholic Church is the "one church" that Christ "established here on Earth" and that other Christian denominations "cannot be called `churches' in the proper sense" - a statement that prompted condemnation and confusion as well as expressions of understanding from Protestants and Orthodox Christians. "We are not the ones to whom this document is addressed. It is addressed to Catholics," said Ann Riggs, an associate general secretary of the National Council of Churches USA, which comprises most major American Orthodox and Protestant faith groups.
NEWS
By Frank P. L. Somerville and Frank P. L. Somerville,Staff Writer | November 7, 1993
The National Council of Churches, at a meeting scheduled this week in Baltimore, is expected to condemn the violence on television and in movies and criticize the communications media for global marketing of American values to the exclusion of other cultures.The mostly Protestant, mostly liberal council, the country's largest ecumenical organization, has already stirred controversy in religious circles with its proposed policy statement on global communications.Some critics see that statement as too vague, as tolerant of repressive Third World governments and as a simplistic adaptation of Marxist liberation theology.
NEWS
By Frank P. L. Somerville and Frank P. L. Somerville,Staff Writer | November 12, 1993
The National Council of Churches strongly condemned yesterday what it called increasingly pervasive "glamorous violence" in television and movies and vowed to bring pressure on the U.S. government and the entertainment industry to root it out."If we take this as seriously as we did the issue of apartheid in South Africa, we can wield considerable influence," said John Peterson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, one of the NCC's 32 member denominations.The assertion that TV and movies have contributed to "a climate of violence" and rising crime rates is the result of several years of study by the religious leaders.
NEWS
December 30, 1990
Gilbert Lindsay, 90, Los Angeles' first black city councilman who played an instrumental role in shaping the modern skyline of Los Angeles, died Friday of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles. He had been hospitalized for four months by a stroke. Lindsay had served on the council since January 1963.The Rev. Roswell P. Barnes, 89, a pioneer ecumenist and former chief of the U.S. conference of the World Council of Churches, died Dec. 21 of a heart attack in Doylestown, Pa., where he lived. Mr. Barnes, a Presbyterian, was a foremost church statesman and member of a dedicated generation of Christian ecumenical architects that brought the world organization of Protestant and Eastern Orthodox churches to life.
NEWS
July 5, 1991
A memorial service for the Rev. John T. Middaugh, a proponent of ecumenism and civil rights who was pastor of Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church from 1957 until 1967, will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Edwards Congregational Church in Northampton, Mass.Dr. Middaugh, who was 77, died June 26 at a nursing home in Northampton after a series of strokes.He left the Baltimore church in 1967 to become president of Carroll College in Waukesha, Wis., and retired from that post three years later.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF | February 18, 1997
Over the years, a Carroll County-based ministry has battled the destruction of hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. Now its volunteers will tackle a man-made calamity: a South Carolina church gutted by arson.Members of the local Disaster Response Program, a Church of the Brethren project, came from across the nation to attend a three-day conference in New Windsor. The 82 volunteers made plans to rebuild the Butler Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church on the outskirts of Orangeburg, a small town south of Columbia, the state capital.
NEWS
By Reported by Frank P. L. Somerville | September 2, 1995
The Presbytery of Baltimore and its longtime executive presbyter, the Rev. Herbert D. Valentine, are catalysts in the growing human rights involvement of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Guatemala.They have called for investigations of the torture and murder of several church members there and are protesting terrorist threats against dozens of others.Over the last five years, about 30 Presbyterian ministers and lay people from Maryland have made annual visits to Guatemala, assisting with projects to aid the poor and developing what is now a formal partnership with the Kaqchiquel Presbytery in the Central American nation, Mr. Valentine said.
NEWS
By CAL THOMAS | February 15, 2006
ARLINGTON, VA. -- What is it with evangelical Christians that so many of them need a cause beyond the commission they've been given? Having witnessed the damage to the church's fundamental message of redemption from a too-close association with the "kingdom of this world" - first in the liberal National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches, and more recently with various conservative religious-political movements - some evangelicals have...
NEWS
September 7, 2004
Sir Alastair Morton, 66, who played a key role in the building of the English Channel tunnel between England and France, died Wednesday of a heart attack. He became co-chairman of Eurotunnel in 1987 and served as group chief executive from 1990 until 1994, when the undersea link opened. He brought a sharp mind and an explosive temper to a task that many thought would be impossible: to complete the 31-mile tunnel entirely with private funding, as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher insisted.
NEWS
By John Rivera and John Rivera,SUN STAFF | March 2, 2003
Facing the downtown entrance to the Jones Falls Expressway, a huge banner on the whitewashed wall of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church confronts thousands of commuters with its urgent message: "War is not the answer." At the other end of the JFX, cloistered nuns in a Lutherville monastery sit Tuesday nights in silence, praying for peace. A Lutheran church in Pimlico charters buses to anti-war marches. A peace candle burns night and day in an Episcopal church in Bolton Hill. Through social and spiritual action, in sermons and statements, leaders of many mainline denominations are mobilizing a vocal religious movement against a possible war in Iraq.
NEWS
By John Rivera and John Rivera,SUN STAFF | January 25, 2001
Between Wheaton, Ill., and Hollywood, Calif., lie 1,724 miles and a cultural divide. Wheaton is the locale for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Wheaton College, traditionally considered the intellectual center of American evangelical Christianity, earning the town the nickname of "the evangelical Vatican." For half a century, it was also the home of the National Association of Evangelicals, an organization representing 51 denominations, which have 45,000 churches with a membership of about 30 million people.
NEWS
By John Rivera and John Rivera,SUN STAFF | April 19, 1998
In the midst of the Great and Holy Saturday liturgy at St. Andrew's Orthodox Church in America near Patterson Park, the Rev. Michael Roshak went behind the icon screen, shed his dark robes of Lent and emerged in resplendent gold and white Easter vestments.Carrying a book of Gospels, he stood before the shrouded Tomb of Christ that was surrounded by a white floral bouquet and proclaimed the Resurrection, anticipating the "feast of feasts" that would begin in a few hours.For the 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, including their 35,000 counterparts in Maryland, today is Pascha, the celebration of Easter.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF | February 18, 1997
Over the years, a Carroll County-based ministry has battled the destruction of hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. Now its volunteers will tackle a man-made calamity: a South Carolina church gutted by arson.Members of the local Disaster Response Program, a Church of the Brethren project, came from across the nation to attend a three-day conference in New Windsor. The 82 volunteers made plans to rebuild the Butler Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church on the outskirts of Orangeburg, a small town south of Columbia, the state capital.
NEWS
January 20, 1993
* Beth Robertson Cosnow, 70, a longtime community leader in New York City, died of lung cancer Saturday at Lenox Hill Hospital. Mrs. Cosnow, a co-founder of the First Women's Bank in Manhattan, also served in the 1960s as president of Friendly Visitors Inc., a women's volunteer group that provided social and recreational services to inmates of the city's Women's House of Detention in Manhattan. She was appointed an air-and-noise pollution ombudsman in the city's Department of Environmental Protection by Mayors Edward I. Koch and David N. Dinkins.
NEWS
By Reported by Frank P.L. Somerville | June 2, 1994
"Up Against the Wall!" is the title of a church-sponsored program set for Saturday morning at the Cross Keys Inn, 5100 Falls Road in Baltimore, and intended to "explore the tense relationship between black men and the police."Advance registration is required for the 9:30 a.m. breakfast and panel discussion, said the Rev. Ronald E. Braxton, pastor of the sponsoring church, Waters African Methodist Episcopal, at 417 Aisquith St. in East Baltimore.He said panelists will include Charles J. Ware, a Columbia lawyer who has represented several people who have charged that they were victims of police brutality.
NEWS
By KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | July 14, 1996
BOLIGEE, Ala. -- Mud wasps whirled at his feet, but Henry Smith, the Scriptures on his knee, lingered in the shade on the bTC hilltop and recalled the January night when the church that baptized him crumbled to the ground in flames."
NEWS
By Carl M. Cannon and Carl M. Cannon,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 8, 1996
WASHINGTON -- Alarmed by the latest burning of an African-American church in the South, President Clinton has decided to unveil a series of steps today to try to capture those responsible and to protect other black churches."
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