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(POSTPONED -- NEW DATE TBA)

Oct. 22-23 Toledo Events Focus on Protecting Great Lakes

October 5, 2004, Toledo, Ohio -- In response to the growing environmental threat on waters in the Great Lakes region, the National Council of Churches USA, in partnership with local faith-based organizations including the Ohio Council of Churches, has organized a training event in Toledo, Ohio, to help local church leaders learn how they can help safeguard precious water resources.

On Friday, October 22, a reception at Sylvania United Church of Christ will kick off the Toledo event and include interactive activities and a screening of the movie "Thirst!," a documentary about water privatization.

Clergy and lay leaders from around the Ohio and Michigan area will attend "Living Waters," a full-day program at Sylvania United Church of Christ on Saturday, October 23. The program will begin at 9 a.m. and include basic information about water issues in the Great Lakes region and how to motivate and inspire congregations to take action.

The training, which is based upon a theological framework for understanding the importance of preserving water resources, includes lunch, workshops, hands-on demonstration projects, fellowship and a worship service.

"As members of the Christian community we are called to protect God's gift of water," said Cassandra Carmichael, NCC Director of Eco-Justice Programs, Washington, D.C. "These training events will help empower clergy and lay leaders to heed this call to preserve and protect the waters of the Great Lakes Region."

The NCC's focus on water grew out of a survey conducted in 2003 at NCC's bi-annual Eco-Justice Conference in Seattle. Overwhelmingly, at a ratio of 2:1, participants in the Seattle conference said the most important environmental issue for them -- and the one that resonates the most within their congregations -- is water. The training events were developed to respond to this congregational need.

There will be on-site registration. For more information about training events or how to register, contact Cassandra Carmichael at cassandra@toad.net, 443-822-3720 or download the brochure at http://www.toad.net/~cassandra/water.htm

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Media coverage is welcome (registration fees will be waived). Media contact: Leslie Tune, 202-544-2350 x 11; ltune@ncccusa.org


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