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Inside NCR

Things to do, places to write

Christians and others have been scrambling for a way to stop the war and atrocities in Kosovo and Serbia; for a way to help those in terrible need; for understanding of what is going on and its awful implications.

Sojourners has announced a resource that ought to be helpful to many: Christians in Solidarity With the People of Kosovo: A Kosovo Organizing Packet for the Churches. This resource includes:

  • How to organize a public witness or demonstration;
  • How to promote peace through a letter-writing campaign;
  • How to aid victims of war through church relief organizations;
  • How to incorporate prayers for Kosovo into worship.

The packet also includes editorials and educational aids, including: “What is Moral About This War?” by Jim Wallis; “Adding Fuel to the Fire,” by Gerald Shenk; “A Cure for Kosovo?” by Rose Marie Berger; “A Brief History of Yugoslavia: A Balkan Primer,” by Rose Marie Berger.

Christians in Solidarity With the People of Kosovo is available through the Sojourners Web site at www.sojourners.com or by phone at 1-800-714-7474.

The story on Old Catholics is not intended to lure anyone away from the mainline church. On the other hand, even the pope might agree it would be better to spend quality time at an Old Catholic liturgy than no liturgy at all.

Old Catholics are so fragmented, making contact with them might not always be easy. But St. Matthew Church -- an Ecumenical Old Catholic Community, as it calls itself -- can be reached at 1111 Town and Country Road, #16, Orange CA 92868-4615; phone (714) 647-1770; E-mail stmattchur@aol.com

Since Arthur Jones began writing articles full of suggestions about where vacationers and other pilgrims could find a friendly church and good liturgy, readers occasionally write with further suggestions. Thus Gemma Fastiggi of New York: “The great liturgical experience in Lower Manhattan is St. Joseph’s at 371 6th Ave. Here you get beautiful liturgy with outstanding music in a truly wonderful space. ... I look forward to greeting NCR readers at future liturgies.”

Just ask for Gemma.

For some readers of the cover story, the name Briggs may raise a warning flag. The international corporation Briggs & Stratton sued NCR for $30 million in a dispute over an article in our pages about their labor practices. This nuisance suit hung over us for three years and cost us a lot of money before a judge threw it out in 1998.

The Briggses of this week’s story had nothing to do with that. Stephen Briggs wrote to NCR: “My grandfather, one of the founders, left the company over 50 years ago. Personally, I have had no connection with Briggs & Stratton.”

-- Michael Farrell

National Catholic Reporter, April 23, 1999