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Micah 6 Churches 'Spiritually Enriched,' Serving Neighbors

See Related Story "New Ministry Resource for Congregations: ‘Living Micah’s Call’"

May 30, 2002, NEW YORK CITY - A program of the National Council of Churches’ Economic Justice and Domestic Hunger Program Ministry, Micah 6 began in 1999 with a pilot project engaging 37 churches of nine denominations in seven areas of the country. Thirty remain active "Micah 6 Covenant Congregations."

"Many of the churches in the Micah 6 Pilot Project have had astounding results," reports Nancy Theoharis of Fox Point, Wis., Micah 6 National Coordinator. "All have moved out into the community to meet and serve their neighbors.

"One hundred new outreach ministries have been started in these churches," she said. "Many have grown in membership and increased their stewardship for mission efforts. Most have found that the Micah 6 emphasis helped organize and integrate the many programs of their congregations. All have been spiritually enriched and many new leaders have emerged."

Micah 6 congregational reports are posted on the project’s Web site: www.micah6.org. Active Micah 6 Covenant Congregations include:

Concord United Methodist Church, Athens, W.Va., which is sponsoring and caring for a local park so the young people in the area have a safe place to go.

First African Methodist Episcopal Church, Atlanta, Ga., which helped set up and support Safehaven, a home for teenage mothers, organized a prison ministry and wrote letters to cancel the debt of poor nations, all under the Micah 6 umbrella.

Westminster Presbyterian Church, Detroit, Mich., which chose its new minister based on Micah 6 beliefs and guidelines and reports that Micah 6 has helped the congregation dive deeper into theological understanding and commitment to justice, kindness and discipleship.

All Saints Episcopal Church, Hoboken, N.J., currently working to build a community center across from the public housing buildings in their city.

In the spring of 2001, CBS-TV through the Interfaith Broadcasting Network spent a week with Micah 6 churches in Atlanta, and produced a half-hour show, "Answering Micah’s Call," that was broadcast on CBS stations throughout the United States during June and July 2001. The show is now available on video by calling 800-494-6007.

"An interesting and important spin-off of Micah 6 has been the use of Micah 6 materials in campus ministry programs to involve students with churches and the community," Theoharis said. "Rhodes College in Memphis has had a very successful Micah 6 program for several years. The Bonner Foundation has expanded the program to 10 other small colleges, with grants to each."

Independent of the pilot project, a number of ecumenical organizations and denominational judicatories have begun Micah 6 programs in their communities and denominations, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Presbytery of New York City, the new ecumenical agency Greater Dayton (Ohio) Christian Connections and an ecumenical group of a dozen churches around the University of Texas (Austin).

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has distributed Micah 6 brochures to all its resource centers throughout the country, and the United Church of Christ has listed Micah 6 resources in its "Desk Calendar," which is distributed to all clergy and churches in the denomination.

Micah 6 is rooted in Micah 6:8: "…and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God."

For more information about the Micah 6 program, contact Nancy Theoharis, National Coordinator, at 877-642-2460 (toll free) or by e-mail at natheo@execpc.com

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