Monday, August 14, 2006

Dispatch article on "We Believe"

I was wondering what was going on lately with We Believe--hadn't heard anything from them for a while. There's an article in the Columbus Dispatch about their efforts...

Congregations such as Brown’s on the Near East Side are moving beyond traditional charity work by conducting voter registration before and after Sunday services. Other churches helped collect petition signatures to place a minimum-wage initiative on Ohio’s Nov. 7 ballot.

We Believe recently agreed to support a get-out-the-vote effort targeting urban neighborhoods in Columbus, Dayton, East Cleveland and Lorain.

"There has certainly been a variety of evidence that the religious left has sought to countermobilize in response to the Christian Right," said Corwin Smidt, director of the Henry Institute and Political Science Department at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.

"It’s a little too early to tell how much effect they are likely to have."

Many congregations involved in the movement experienced declining membership in recent years while attendance at the megachurches associated with the religious right soared.

Still, leaders say they believe their message will attract those in a wide variety of denominations as well as non-churchgoers who consider themselves religious or spiritual.

"This is our moment," Ahrens said. "The vision for a Christian Ohio that the religious right has is not a vision that most Christians in Ohio have.

"Given time this will catch fire."
Click here for the rest.

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