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February - March 2009

Elmhurst, Lifelink offer scholarship

Elmhurst College has announced the creation of a scholarship for students. Established this winter with an initial funding gift of $102,000, the new Lifelink-Katzberg Endowed Scholarship is the result of the generosity of Lifelink Corporation, a Bensenville, Ill.-based human service organization.

The Lifelink-Katzberg Endowed Scholarship will benefit Elmhurst sophomores, juniors and seniors from Protestant denominations who are in financial need. Students must demonstrate a commitment to academic achievement, maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average, and exhibit willingness to discuss and accept, if appropriate, an internship in the form of community service at Lifelink or a local UCC.

This renewable scholarship is available beginning in the 2009-2010 academic year in the amount of $4,000. It was established to honor the intentions of William J. and Ida Katzberg, who created a loan fund with Lifelink in 1963 to benefit Protestant students.

LifeLink is a member ministry of the UCC’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (CHHSM). CHHSM is a self-governed association of 75 UCC-related corporations that operate more than 370 institutions and programs that annually serve more than 1 million children, youth, families, the aging and persons with disabilities.

Founded in 1871 in metropolitan Chicago, Elmhurst College is affiliated with the UCC. For 138 years, it has sought to prepare students for their first jobs as well as lifetimes of personal and professional fulfillment.

For more information, visit www.elmhurst.edu or call 630-617-3033.

Romero lectures highlight border activism

"The Politics of Crossing Borders: Borderlands, Culture and Traditions" is the theme of the first Annual Romero Lecture Series, an event examining issues concerning the civic activism role of the church in the United States and in the world.

The Daniel F. Romero Border Ministry Center - commonly known as Centro Romero - is a joint border-immersion ministry of Justice and Witness Ministries and the Southern California Nevada Conference of the UCC. It has secured distinguished and prominent scholars, community leaders, community activists, ministers and educators to deliver the annual lectures.

Areas of interests are in the fields of theology; environment; public health; immigration; worker's rights; exploitation of women; children’s rights; border’s faith and spirituality; and culture and public ritual. The event provides the opportunity to raise awareness, promote justice and educate.

The keynote speaker is Robert C. Orr, Assistant Secretary General for Strategic Planning and Policy Coordination in the Executive Office of the Secretary General, United Nations. Orr’s responsibilities include advising the Secretary General on a full range of strategic issues, running the Secretary General’s Policy Committee.

In addition, two awards will be presented: The Daniel F. Romero Community Leadership Award and the Justice Champion Award. The Daniel F. Romero Community Leadership Award honors individuals demonstrating distinguished work and tireless efforts to promote the well-being, rights and dignity of communities and/or individuals on either side of the border.

The Justice Champion Award honors individuals, churches and agencies involved in the promotion and/or establishment of community initiatives in pursuit of justice on either side of the border.

The recipients are nominated by churches, community-based groups and agencies, and community leaders.

Participants will have the opportunity to take part in a border-immersion experience by meeting maquiladora (factory) workers; newly arrived migrants from southern Mexico and Central America; and government immigration-enforcement officials on both sides of the border.

Housed in a former UCC church, Centro Romero provides opportunities for groups to experience life on the border and reflect theologically on immigration issues.

'No Child Left Behind' event planned

All are invited to Washington, D.C., to discuss justice in education prior to Ecumenical Advocacy Days in March. The National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and Literacy will sponsor a pre-Ecumenical Advocacy Days Event, Transforming No Child Left Behind, on Fri., March 13.

The Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now called the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), was scheduled for its five-year reauthorization in 2007, but that reauthorization has not been completed.

Faithful advocates for education reform can learn how to press President Barack Obama and Congress to uphold high expectations for children and teachers, but at the same time honor their accomplishments; shift the focus from punishing public schools to strengthening them; expand real opportunity for vulnerable children through better funding; and reduce standardized testing.

For more information or to receive information about this event, please e-mail Jan Resseger ressegerj@ucc.org or call 216/736-3711. Some scholarship assistance is available; first come, first served.

NCC Ecumenical Advocacy Days

A new Congress and a new administration will be grappling with the toughest issues in decades March 13-16, when more than 700 persons of faith arrive from around the country to press their views on peace, justice, the environment and economic fairness.

The seventh annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days, meeting at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center under the theme "Enough for All Creation," will gather religious persons from a wide range of faith groups and traditions to carry their witness to the halls of the 111th Congress.

Founded by the National Council of Churches USA in 2001, Ecumenical Advocacy Days is now supported by 45 communions, religious societies and groups. The conference coordinator for Ecumenical Advocacy Days is Molly Keane.

Speakers and preachers will include the Rev. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches; the Rev. John McCullough, Executive Director of Church World Service; and Gear ó id Francisco O’Conaire, OFM, Executive Secretary of the JPIC Commission of the Union of Superiors General of men and women religious institutions (IUSC/UISG).

On the final day of the conference, participants will be bused to Capitol Hill where they will meet with their Congressional representatives and staffs to discuss ways of addressing these concerns through legislation or allocations.

The early registration fee is $160 prior to Feb. 13, and $175 thereafter. The registration form can be downloaded at www.advocacydays.org/registration. Student scholarships are available. 

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