From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 12:55:40


                      by Jerry L. Van Marter 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) disaster relief 
officials rushed into action following the devastating terror-bombing of 
the Merrell Federal Building in Oklahoma City that has left scores dead and 
countless others injured. 
     According to Ann Brackett, acting executive presbyter of 
Oklahoma City-based Indian Nations Presbytery, no Presbyterians 
were reported killed by the blast, though the son of one 
Presbyterian elder in the city is still missing. 
     In addition, the Presbyterian Urban Mission building in 
downtown Oklahoma City did sustain some damage. 
     The Rev. David Wasserman of neighboring Eastern Oklahoma 
Presbytery was reported on his way to Oklahoma City to assist in 
Indian Nations' relief efforts. 
     Presbyterian World Service established close contact with 
Indian Nations Presbytery, and has established a relief account, 
"Oklahoma City Bombing, 9-2000120."  Individuals may give through 
their local congregations and congregations will remit 
contributions through their normal channel.  Donations may also be 
sent directly to Presbyterian World Service, 100 Witherspoon 
Street, Louisville, KY 40202. 
     Church World Service (CWS), the ecumenical relief agency of 
the National Council of Churches through which PWS channels much of 
its assistance, has dispatched disaster resource specialist Lorna 
Jarrett of Morris, Okla., to work with local faith groups in 
Oklahoma City as they seek to provide material, psychological and 
spiritual support to victims, their families and other residents of 
the city. 
     Brackett said numerous ecumenical and denominational prayer 
services have been scheduled throughout the region today and this 
evening.  Presbyterian World Service, in a communique sent to all 
presbytery and synod offices earlier today, asked all Presbyterians 
to pray for those in Oklahoma City who have been traumatized by the 
     The Oklahoma Conference of Churches is organizing a workshop 
for guiding pastors in their pastoral care of church members and 
     Concerned about a backlash in response to police reports that 
"Middle Easterners" are being sought as suspects in the bombing, 
the American Muslim Council issued a statement today "unequivocally 
denouncing the bombing...." 
     The statement, issued from the council's Washington office, 
declared, "This incident is an affront to all Americans, including 
Muslims.  Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the 
victims in this abominable incident.  Our condolences go to all 
those in the state of Oklahoma and, in particular, to the people in 
Oklahoma City. 
     "Acts of violence against innocent civilians are not a part of 
any Abrahamic religion, including Islam.  Such bombings and other 
violent crimes should not be attributed to religious teachings." 
                          # # # 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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