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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FILE

Variety of Faiths Raise Money to Assist Hurricane Victims

November 14, 1998|LARRY STAMMER

In the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, which left about 10,000 people dead as it cut a devastating swath through Central America, faith-based relief agencies in Southern California and across the nation are pressing appeals for financial support.

Roman Catholics in Southern California were raising funds on several fronts, including a direct appeal to the Los Angeles archdiocese's 285 parishes for cash to be sent directly to Central American bishops who direct the aid to where it is most needed. In addition, efforts by Catholic Relief Services are continuing.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, through the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, is asking synagogues and temples to help purchase food, water, medicine, medical equipment, clothing and blankets.

The Redlands-based Mission Aviation Fellowship reported that by this weekend five volunteer bush pilots will fan out across the stricken region, delivering supplies flown in by transports from the United States. The ministry's airlift costs about $100,000 a month, spokesman Ron Wormser said.

Getting the goods to Central America is posing a major logistical problem, said the Rev. Frank Alton of Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. Still awaiting transport, he said, are 100 tons of food, clothing and medicine that have been collected in the Mid-Wilshire district.

The church, which has an active ministry among Central Americans, plans a band concert Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. to raise funds. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door; 3300 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, the United Methodist Church Center in Pasadena, Lutheran World Relief headquarters in New York, and the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Grand Rapids, Mich., are continuing their fund-raising efforts. The Lutheran relief organization is acting on behalf of both the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod.

Contributions can be sent to the following organizations:

Hurricane Mitch Relief (Catholic)

3424 Wilshire Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241

United Methodist Church Center

110 S. Euclid Ave.

Pasadena, CA 91102

(626) 568-7300

American Jewish World Service

989 Avenue of the Americas, 10th floor

New York, NY 10018

Mission Aviation Fellowship

World Crisis Fund

P.O. Box 3202

Redlands, CA 92373-0998

(800) 359-7623

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee

Hurricane Mitch Response

2850 Kalamazoo SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49506

(800) 552-7972

MUSIC

The fourth annual Thanksgiving interfaith choir festival will present "With Grateful Hearts" at 7 p.m. Sunday. Sponsored by the Newport Mesa Irvine Interfaith Council, the performance features Cantor Shula Kalir-Merton of Temple Beth El and 200 voices of the combined choirs. Participating choirs include St. Simon and Jude Roman Catholic Church, the Asian Children's Choir, Buddhist-SGI, Episcopal Church of the Messiah, and the Hispanic Choir from the Santa Ana South Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Other faiths represented as speakers and participants will be Sikh, Seventh-day Adventists, Islam, Hindu and Bahai. The concert will be held in the auditorium at 15th Street and Irvine Avenue, Newport Beach. Admission is free, but attendees are asked to bring two cans of food to be distributed to the needy at Thanksgiving. Call (949) 660-8665, Ext. 3.

* "Words of Albert Schweitzer and the Music of Bach" will be presented Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at St. Luke's Episcopal Church at Atlantic Avenue and 7th Street in Long Beach. Admission is $6. (562) 436-4047.

PEOPLE

The Rev. Natalie K. Houghtby-Haddon, a United Methodist clergywoman, has been sworn in as president of a college with roots in the Roman Catholic Church--the Immaculate Heart College Center of Los Angeles. An ordained United Methodist clergywoman for more than 13 years who now serves on the Catholic institution's board, Houghtby-Haddon said she will work to continue the college center's emphasis on a feminist and nondenominational perspective to religion and theology. The center's predecessor, Immaculate Heart College, severed its ties with the Roman Catholic Church in 1970.

* Darrell Johnson has been appointed chapel director at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. Johnson serves as senior pastor at Glendale Presbyterian Church and teaches preaching at Fuller's doctor of ministry program.

EVENTS

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, is scheduled to become the city's first Catholic archbishop to officially address the Board of Rabbis of Southern California. Mahony will speak Nov. 24 on Catholic-Jewish relations in the 21st century.

* The Rev. Jimmy Creech, the United Methodist minister who lost his Omaha, Neb. church because he blessed a same-sex union, will speak at West Hollywood Presbyterian Church Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. as part of the congregation's 85th anniversary celebration. The church has an active ministry to gay men and lesbians. Admission is $20. Call (323) 874-6646.

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