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June 21, 2001, NEW YORK CITY -- Four Atlanta-area congregations that participate in a National Council of Churches (NCC) pilot project called "Micah 6" are featured in a CBS television special to be sent to affiliate stations on June 24 for airing over the next six weeks.

The NCC project, now in its third year, integrates and strengthens congregational life by encouraging churches to look at all their activities through the lens of the Bible passage Micah 6:8. In this passage, the Old Testament prophet Micah asks the question, "And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

The CBS-TV special "Answering Micah's Call" is the second of four religious specials produced by CBS this year in cooperation with the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, of which the NCC is a member. "Answering Micah’s Call" was filmed in Atlanta, offering a glimpse of ways that the four congregations interpret Micah 6 for their churches and their communities.

At Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, the Rev. James Victor, who is an associate pastor, and volunteer Anna Davenport show how faithful and committed individuals work in ministries for justice and healing, and how Ebenezer partners with other Micah 6 congregations.

The Rev. Bradley Schmeling, pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church, Atlanta, helps build relationships around advocacy work, asking the tough question, "Who's not here (around the table)?"

At First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, the Rev. George Wirth, pastor, and the Rev. Charles Black, an associate pastor, feed the hungry through a volunteer Meals on Wheels program.

The Rev. Dr. Earl McCloud, pastor of First African Methodist Episcopal Church, Atlanta, works at a prison ministry that builds relationships within the community.

All of these ministries combine the biblical mandate to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God into programs that reach into the community while at the same time building up the strength of the congregation.

Around the country, 30 congregations--including the four Atlanta churches featured in the CBS special--identify themselves as Micah 6 congregations.

With the help of planning resources offered by the National Council of Churches, these congregations are asking what God requires of them today in their communities. There is no set prescription. By looking at their church and community through the lens of Micah 6, these 30 congregations have created more than 100 programs as diverse as Bible study, English-as-a-Second-Language classes, prison ministry, housing rehab projects and much more.

Yet these projects avoid the "one-more-thing-to-do" syndrome, say participants. "They are reporting that Micah 6 integrates the life of the church, touching every aspect," according to Micah 6 National Coordinator Nancy Theoharis, of Milwaukee.

"And at the personal level, each member is challenged to find ways to incorporate all three dimensions of the Micah passage into daily life," she says. As a result, Micah 6 congregations frequently say they have been "renewed, centered and strengthened spiritually." Their creative efforts are involving the congregation, attracting new members and encouraging increased giving.

To see if "Answering Micah's Call" has been cleared in your community, go to   and click on "IBC Program Information." If you find that your local CBS station is not planning to carry this program, call them to urge that they do so -- there is a six-week "window" in which the program can be carried.  After it has been on air, the program can be ordered in VHS video format by calling 1-800-494-6007. Cost is $19.98 plus $4.95 for shipping and handling.


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