RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service “Souper Bowl of Caring” Organizers Continue to Help Hungry (RNS) Organizers of “Souper Bowl of Caring,” a grassroots effort to enhance care for the hungry on Super Bowl Sunday, hope more than 15,000 congregations will participate in the initiative this year. The National Football League championship game is on Sunday (Jan. 30). The effort, which began in 1990 and went nationwide in 1993, involves youth of individual congregations collecting food and cash donations for local soup kitchens.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service “Souper Bowl of Caring” Organizers Continue to Help Hungry (RNS) Organizers of “Souper Bowl of Caring,” a grassroots effort to enhance care for the hungry on Super Bowl Sunday, hope more than 15,000 congregations will participate in the initiative this year. The National Football League championship game is on Sunday (Jan. 30). The effort, which began in 1990 and went nationwide in 1993, involves youth of individual congregations collecting food and cash donations for local soup kitchens.

NEWS FEATURE: Canadian artist gives venerable liqueur logo a spiritual face-lift

c. 2000 Religion News Service VANCOUVER, British Columbia _ An eclectic Vancouver artist known as Padam has won $10,000 by creating a distinctly spiritual new face for Benedictine, the famous 500-year-old French liqueur. Padam’s multiple images of the hooded head of St. Benedict, the founder of the religious order after whom the liqueur is named, was chosen as the best of 250 submissions in a global logo-design contest sponsored by Benedictine, whose recipe was concocted by a monk during the Renaissance. “The people at Benedictine’s wanted their image of the new millennium to pertain to St.

NEWS STORY: More Layoffs, Office Closings for Promise Keepers

c. 2000 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Two years after Promise Keepers was forced to lay off much of its staff before a bailout allowed it to recall them, the men’s evangelical organization is restructuring again. The latest changes will result in the net elimination of about 30 positions from field offices and the ministry’s Denver headquarters, said Steve Chavis, Promise Keepers’ director of public affairs. As of Jan. 15, the ministry had closed its field offices, eliminating 26 positions.

NEWS STORY: More Layoffs, Office Closings for Promise Keepers

c. 2000 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Two years after Promise Keepers was forced to lay off much of its staff before a bailout allowed it to recall them, the men’s evangelical organization is restructuring again. The latest changes will result in the net elimination of about 30 positions from field offices and the ministry’s Denver headquarters, said Steve Chavis, Promise Keepers’ director of public affairs. As of Jan. 15, the ministry had closed its field offices, eliminating 26 positions.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Falwell Sues White House, FBI (RNS) In a lawsuit filed last week against the White House and the FBI, religious broadcaster Jerry Falwell claims he was denied access to information about him contained in a”secret”Justice Department database about religious and antiabortion leaders. In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Falwell claims the information about him is used for smear tactics. He said he tried to use the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to the database last summer after learning of its existence from the conservative Washington group Judicial Watch. Falwell contends that restricting his access to the information about him violates the Privacy Act, which declares the government cannot keep a file on an individual without a lawful reason.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Falwell Sues White House, FBI (RNS) In a lawsuit filed last week against the White House and the FBI, religious broadcaster Jerry Falwell claims he was denied access to information about him contained in a”secret”Justice Department database about religious and antiabortion leaders. In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Falwell claims the information about him is used for smear tactics. He said he tried to use the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to the database last summer after learning of its existence from the conservative Washington group Judicial Watch. Falwell contends that restricting his access to the information about him violates the Privacy Act, which declares the government cannot keep a file on an individual without a lawful reason.

COMMENTARY: Mega-Mergers and Greed

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Andrew M. Greeley is a Roman Catholic priest, best-selling novelist and a sociologist at the University of Chicago National Opinion Research Center. Check out his home page at http://www.agreeley.com or contact him via e-mail at agreel(at)aol.com.) UNDATED _ In media exultation of the AOL/Time-Warner mega-merger, almost no one said such mergers rarely work. Often, the much-praised synergies somehow fail to materialize. At other times, the ordinary employees, who were not consulted about the merger in the first place and whose cooperation is necessary to make the deal work, resist, drag their feet, and sometimes even sabotage the project.

COMMENTARY: Mega-Mergers and Greed

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Andrew M. Greeley is a Roman Catholic priest, best-selling novelist and a sociologist at the University of Chicago National Opinion Research Center. Check out his home page at http://www.agreeley.com or contact him via e-mail at agreel(at)aol.com.) UNDATED _ In media exultation of the AOL/Time-Warner mega-merger, almost no one said such mergers rarely work. Often, the much-praised synergies somehow fail to materialize. At other times, the ordinary employees, who were not consulted about the merger in the first place and whose cooperation is necessary to make the deal work, resist, drag their feet, and sometimes even sabotage the project.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Elian’s Grandmothers Plead Boy’s Case on U.S. Soil (RNS) The grandmothers of Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy caught in a custody battle between U.S. and Cuban relatives, arrived in New York Friday (Jan. 21) accompanied by a delegation from the National Council of Churches. They plan to encourage his return to his father in Cuba.”Nobody has the right to make him an American citizen,”said Mariela Quintana, Elian’s paternal grandmother.”He is a Cuban.” Raquel Rodriguez, Elian’s maternal grandmother told a news conference at Kennedy Airport in New York that the family in Cuba spoke with the 6-year-old boy every day by telephone.”The child say to me and to his father (that) he want to return.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Elian’s Grandmothers Plead Boy’s Case on U.S. Soil (RNS) The grandmothers of Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy caught in a custody battle between U.S. and Cuban relatives, arrived in New York Friday (Jan. 21) accompanied by a delegation from the National Council of Churches. They plan to encourage his return to his father in Cuba.”Nobody has the right to make him an American citizen,”said Mariela Quintana, Elian’s paternal grandmother.”He is a Cuban.” Raquel Rodriguez, Elian’s maternal grandmother told a news conference at Kennedy Airport in New York that the family in Cuba spoke with the 6-year-old boy every day by telephone.”The child say to me and to his father (that) he want to return.

COMMENTARY: The Real Millennial Challenge

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Judith Plaskow is professor of religious studies at Manhattan College and a Jewish feminist theologian.) UNDATED _ Now that the millennial moment has passed without the massive disruptions of public services predicted and feared by many, it is time to turn to the real breakdown confronting U.S. society: the breakdown of values signaled by growing economic inequality. The wealth gap in this country, which has been increasing for 25 years, was especially vivid at holiday time, when the newspapers were filled with sharply contrasting images of excess and need. Advertisements for extravagant gifts, stories about pets with their own limousines and people who surprised their grandchildren by spending thousands of dollars to have their backyards filled with artificial snow at Christmastime, competed for space with articles about those for whom new welfare regulations meant increasing misery. Families approached the holidays in danger of being evicted from homeless shelters and separated from each other, because the mothers had not fulfilled new”workfare”rules.

COMMENTARY: The Real Millennial Challenge

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Judith Plaskow is professor of religious studies at Manhattan College and a Jewish feminist theologian.) UNDATED _ Now that the millennial moment has passed without the massive disruptions of public services predicted and feared by many, it is time to turn to the real breakdown confronting U.S. society: the breakdown of values signaled by growing economic inequality. The wealth gap in this country, which has been increasing for 25 years, was especially vivid at holiday time, when the newspapers were filled with sharply contrasting images of excess and need. Advertisements for extravagant gifts, stories about pets with their own limousines and people who surprised their grandchildren by spending thousands of dollars to have their backyards filled with artificial snow at Christmastime, competed for space with articles about those for whom new welfare regulations meant increasing misery. Families approached the holidays in danger of being evicted from homeless shelters and separated from each other, because the mothers had not fulfilled new”workfare”rules.

COMMENTARY: The Latest Miserable Trend

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Dale Hanson Bourke is publisher of RNS.) UNDATED _ Just remember, you heard it here first. When you and your friends are chatting about how pink is”out”and green is”in,”when you are talking about being tired of Jennifer Lopez and platform shoes, when everyone is trying to prove how”with it”they are, you can be the one with the ultimate trend. Pain and suffering are in. Really.

COMMENTARY: The Latest Miserable Trend

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Dale Hanson Bourke is publisher of RNS.) UNDATED _ Just remember, you heard it here first. When you and your friends are chatting about how pink is”out”and green is”in,”when you are talking about being tired of Jennifer Lopez and platform shoes, when everyone is trying to prove how”with it”they are, you can be the one with the ultimate trend. Pain and suffering are in. Really.