From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Episcopal News Service Briefs
16 Feb 2001 13:31:48
National Council survey finds deepening hunger in U.S.
(NCC) A survey of faith-based providers of social services by the National
Council of Churches (NCC) finds that more Americans may be working but they still
don't make ends meet. Respondents to the survey of the council's 36 Protestant
and Orthodox members said that working families are the fastest growing category
of people in need. More and more of them are coming to faith-based organizations
for food and help with housing, child care, job training and placement.
Results of the survey will help the NCC determine its advocacy role in the
future, part of its broad 10-year effort to mobilize churches against poverty.
Under the 1996 legislation on welfare reform, people are often forced to
take any job that is available, without regard to their family needs, the survey
concluded. And in many states they lose Medicaid, food stamps, child care and
housing subsidies when they get a job. "The result is they are poorer working
than they were when they were on welfare," according to Mary Cooper of the NCC
Washington Office, who tallied the results. "Respondents were nearly unanimous
that the time limits for getting off welfare are too short and the sanctions too
Welfare reform works best, the survey found, where states provide
significant literacy and job training and continue supportive services. "People
leaving welfare need supportive experience to be phased out very carefully and
gradually so they are better off at the end of it," Cooper said. As people are
being pushed off welfare, the survey noted, their care is being shifted away from
government agencies to the non-profit sector which has a limited capacity to meet
Activist priest arrested at Delaware poultry plant
(AP) An activist Episcopal priest, the Rev. Jim Lewis, was arrested February
13 for trespassing at a poultry plant in Shelbyville, Delaware, as employees
prepared to vote on whether to keep their union. Lewis said that he was trying to
hold a prayer vigil and wanted to talk with employees and executives.
In December, some workers at the plant petitioned the National Labor
Relations Board, seeking a vote on whether to decertify the union which has
represented them for nearly 30 years. Some workers complained to the union that
they were receiving threats and other forms of intimidation from their
supervisors at the plant.
Lewis is completing a seven-year mission from the Diocese of Delaware
seeking to improve the lives of the poor in the southern part of the state.
Some are charging that the workers are among the most abused and oppressed
in the nation and that the industry has polluted the environment and used harsh
measures to prevent workers from organizing--or staying organized.
Church and Adams Mark Hotel going to court
(Episcopal Life) The Episcopal Church and the Adams Mark Hotel in Denver
have "agreed to disagree" about the church's liability for pulling out of the
hotel before last year's General Convention.
A trial date will be set soon on the hotel's suit against the church for
$900,000, its penalty for canceling its contract.
The Executive Council voted in 2000 to cancel its contract with the hotel
after civil rights charges were filed against the St. Louis-based chain. The
hotel later settled with the federal government. The Adams Mark would have been
the primary convention hotel.
Treasurer Stephen Duggan told Executive Council during its February meeting
in New Jersey that Episcopal Church Center officials met with hotel management in
Denver to try to negotiate a settlement. The original cancellation penalty of
$1.2 million had been reduced to $900,000, mostly because of rooms the hotel was
able to let during convention, which cut its losses.
Duggan said the church took responsibility for canceling its contract, but
told Adams Mark officials that "they also had to bear a part of the
responsibility because it was actions on their part that made the hotel
unsuitable for our purposes." Duggan told council that "we have agreed to
disagree" about each party's share of the financial liability.
McDonald's at church
(Miami Herald) The 7,000 parishioners at Brentwood Baptist Church in
Houston, Texas, won't have to venture far for a burger, once a McDonald's opens
in the church's community center in July.
"A lot of us have children," said Derrick Cyprian, chairman of Brentwood's
deacon board. "When we have different meetings and functions at the church, a lot
of times you don't get to stop and get something to eat. This will make it more
The fast-food restaurant, complete with drive-through window, will be co-
owned by the church and one of its members, Ernest Redmond, who has six
McDonald's franchises in Houston.
McDonald's spokesman Rick Nance said the new franchise is the first he knows
of to be attached to a church.
First Lutheran chapter for Daughters of the King
(ENS) The Order of the Daughters of the King instituted its first Lutheran
chapter in a historic service on February 4 at Zion Lutheran Church in Akron,
This chapter, the first in the order's 116 year history, was made possible
by the recent agreement between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America, "Called to Common Mission," which formally states both
churches' cooperation in a variety of ministries.
Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold, of the Episcopal Church said, "I am delighted
to see that the Call to Common Mission has allowed this chapter to be instituted. I…send
my blessings for the first of what I hope will become many such occasions."
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