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NCC offers free download
of 'Love for the Poor' Study Guide

Washington, D.C., September 19 -- Hurricane Katrina will perhaps forever be remembered for having shined an unflattering spotlight on racial and class disparities in the United States. In an effort to help the nation move forward, the National Council of Churches USA is releasing, “Love for the Poor: God’s Love for the Poor and the Church’s Witness to It,” a 40-page booklet that seeks to help churches engage more fully in prayer, reflection and shared action on behalf of the poor.

Download the booklet here.

“When we act to care for the poor, it is a way of bearing witness to the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ,” said Ann Riggs, NCC’s associate general secretary for Faith & Order who prepared the text with five faculty members from the Washington Theological Consortium. The other authors are Shaun Casey and Beverly Mitchell, Wesley Theological Seminary; John Crossin, OSFS, Washington Theological Consortium; Eric H. Crump, Gettysburg Theological Seminary; and, A. Katherine Grieb, Virginia Theological Seminary.

“The Church has wisdom about what to do to address poverty, not just what to feel about it,” said Riggs. “Christians are not just to worry about the poor but we must also have some concrete things to do together,” she said.

According to NCC’s President, Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr., and General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar, “Love for the Poor” is both timely and urgent following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. “The Gospel directs us to show loving care for those among us who are poor, and the member churches of the NCC USA and our partner Christian communities have much work ahead in carrying out this principal Gospel task, and in urging one another and the wider community of persons of goodwill in our nation to respond wisely and generously to the needs of our day,” they noted in the foreword of the booklet.

R. Keelon Downton, a post-doctoral fellow in NCC’s Faith & Order Office said, “This booklet is important because it challenges the individualistic, spiritualized conceptions of love and is a reminder that if as Christians, we ignore the poor during our time, we are in fact breaking with historic Christianity.”

Copies of “Love for the Poor” can be downloaded free of charge here, or by contacting Friendship Press, 7820 Reading Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45237, 1-800-889-5733 or via email at Rbray@gbgm-umc.org. The booklet will be expanded and printed in book form next year by Paulist Press.

The National Council of Churches is composed of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, historic African American and peace communions representing 45 million Christians in 100,000 local congregations in the United States.

CONTACT NCC News, Leslie Tune, 202-544-2350; Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2252.


 

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