Tuesday, March 03, 2009

An interfaith alliance to fight poverty forms in Delaware

A new interfaith alliance has formed in the state of Delaware to join people together to fight poverty. The alliance is beginning to bring people together by having a series of worship services designed to educate about the problems of the world.

From the Cape Gazette, writer Tom Walsh attended the first service.

When a service began the evening of Sunday, Feb. 22, at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Rehoboth Beach, parishioners sat quietly in worship and lamentation. As candles were lit throughout the partially darkened room, one church member rose silently and took the pulpit.

“I work at home and my husband [works] in a factory,” said the parishioner. “We are raising four children who are the orphans of my husband’s sister. She died of AIDS, as have so many in our nation of Zambia. Between my husband’s job and what I am able to contribute, we average less than $1 a day. Life is very hard for us in Zambia. I do not know how we will make it.”

As the testimony continued, parishioners learned the hard reality of what life is like for millions of people living throughout poverty-stricken areas of the world. Although the gloomy tale painted a bleak picture of worldwide conditions for many, it served as an appropriate beginning for a new mission centered at local churches.

The first of many services to be held throughout the year, the evening of worship was the official kickoff of the Progressive Interfaith Alliance in 2009. After gathering last year with a mission to foster understanding and share in prayer and fellowship, the group has grown with every meeting. Current members are All Saints’ Episcopal Church, St. George’s Chapel, Epworth United Methodist Church, Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church, Seaside Jewish Community and Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware.

The Rev. Max Wolf, pastor of All Saints’, explained that while the Interfaith Alliance holds members of many faiths, all the group members have devoted themselves to a common goal.

With a motive to follow the millennium development goals set forth by the United Nations at the turn of the century, the Interfaith Alliance has strived to do its part, one step at a time.

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