RCC NY Chapter meets with Wilbur award-winning documentarian

"Rainbow Town: The Documentary" - a true story of a Liberian Orphanage - won a 2011 Wilbur Award. Two of the children adopted from the Liberian Orphanage attended the Wilbur Awards Banquet.

Left to right: Amy Elrod, Lauren Selmon Roberts, Adam Selmon, Christiana Selmon.

Photo by George Conklin

The September 2011 New York City chapter speaker, Lauren Selmon Roberts, was first introduced to the RCC in April, when she nabbed a Wilbur Award for her feature documentary Rainbow Town, which tells the story of a courageous woman named Ma Feeta who saved over 200 children during the civil war in Liberia.

Roberts began working with Liberian children as a Samaritan's Purse volunteer in college. She shot the film as part of her master’s thesis. She has since graduated and the film has gone on to win numerous awards, including the 2010 Directors Guild of America Student Film Award.

Roberts lives in New York and continues her filmmaking and promoting Rainbow Town. Roberts has six siblings, three of whom were adopted from Liberia.


RCC Nashville Chapter Takes Pledge

Members of the RCC Nashville Chapter gathered Sept. 21, 2011 to recite and take a pledge to follow the RCC Code of Ethics.

Brian Fesler, President of the Nashville Chapter, is at left.

Royya James, third from left, gave a program on the Code of Ethics.


CBS special highlights role of faith communities in resettling refugees


The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that in 2010 more than 43 million people were forcibly displaced by conflicts.

By Jerry Van Marter

"Refugee Resettlement: Faith Communities Making A Difference," a CBS Television religion special about refugees who resettle in the United States, will be broadcast Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011 on the CBS Television Network.

John P. Blessington is the executive producer and Liz Kineke, recipient of a 2010 Wilbur Award, is the producer of the special. Carol Fouke, RCC member with Church World Service, assisted with finding program segments. The program is produced in cooperation with the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, including the National Council of Churches and a consortium of Roman Catholic organizations, The Islamic Society of North America, The Union of Reform Judaism and the New York Board of Rabbis.


When the Cross and the Crescent Meet: Opening doors to Muslim neighbors

By Cecile S. Holmes

When Irshad Learning Center, a Muslim congregation in Illinois, asked to use Woodridge United Methodist Church facilities for fellowship and worship, it didn't take long for the church to say yes.

"They came knocking on our door saying they were looking for space," says the Rev. Dave Buerstetta, a pastor at the church. Woodridge is a Chicago suburb in DuPage County. Zoning officials had denied the Muslims' request to use property they had purchased for a worship center and school, and the congregation had been kicked out of another place.

Soon after Woodridge's trustees approved Irshad's request to use the church, the group of international and American-born Muslims began meeting there Thursdays and some holidays. That was nearly two years ago, and Irshad still uses Woodridge's kitchen, fellowship hall and classrooms.


Religion communicators call for civil discourse about 9/11

RCC board urges responsible coverage of faith angles in 10th anniversary stories

A religion communicators group called Aug. 7 for responsible discussion of faith groups in news coverage of 9/11's 10th anniversary.

The Religion Communicators Council urged journalists and bloggers to "pursue accuracy, respect and understanding of people of all faiths and faith communities." The statement was in a resolution adopted in Philadelphia by the board of governors for the 400-member interfaith council.

The 17-member board called "for responsible discussion of religion and of all faith groups, seeking the understanding and acceptance of religious communities."

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