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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 21, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 8 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Saturday, Dectmber 21, 1974 BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH 716 23 Street North 327-1464) Morning Service Church of the Nazarene 9th A.e Lethbndge R G 327 4786 A99isi Pallor larr, Spicei Phono 328-0130 School Service Pastor Larry speaking "BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL" 7-00 p m Choir presents Cantata "BORN A KING" 11-00 a CHRISTMAS MORNING SERVICE with Rev. Bob Wiens Welcome Awaits You The Lethbridge Christian Reformed Church invites you TO THE ANNUAL CHRISTMAS SERVICE at 10 a.m. DECEMBER 25th in Southminster United Church Rev. L. Mulder will present the sermon LET US CELEBRATE! Greta de Jong will direct the girls' choir. Organist is Mr. Mient Visser. Carol singing by the congregation will start at a.m. You are cordially invited to join us then! The Lethbridge Christian Reformed Church has collected the sum of for the hungry peo- ple of Bangladesh. The money will be sent to the Christian World Relief Committee and the Men- nonite Central committee. These agencies dis- tribute food to the hungry in the Name of Christ the Savior. Lethbridge Christian Reformed Church Invites you to listen to the Back to God Hour every Sun- day night at p.m. over CHEC Radio. JESUS IMMANUEL shows the coming of Christ is God's great testimony of love. The program features outstanding Christian music. Would you like to prepare for a happy holiday? LISTEN IN TO THIS PROGRAM'! The Christian Reformed Church is located at 1807 2nd Ave. "A" North in the City. Services at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. YOU ARE INVITED CORDIALLY! THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA A UNION OF PRESBYTERIAN, METHODIST AND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES Moderator: RIGHT REV. WILBUR K. HOWARD President of Conference: Dr. Nelson R. Mercer Chairman of Presbytery: Rev. T. Medicine Hat SOUTHMINSTER 4th 11th Street South REV. KENNETH W. MORRIS, B.Sc., 8.D. REV. WILLIAM CALDERWOOD, M.A. Director of Music: MR. WILFRED WOOLHOUSE Organist Emeritus: MR. A. K. RUTLAND SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22 FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT Worship Sermon: "THE WONDER OF CHRISTMAS" Rev. Kenneth Morris Anthems: "As I Walked in Bethlehem" (Anderson) "Before Thy Cradle Here Stand" (Bach) Solo: "Night of Nights" (Van de Water) Soloist: Mrs. Renate MacMillan NURSERY AVAILABLE CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE Service" conducted by the Calderwood Family Sanctuary SERVICE" in Buchanan Chapel McKILLOP UNITED CHURCH Serving Southeast Lethbridge from 15th Ave. 24th St. S. MINISTER REV. BLAKE ANDERSON ASSOCIATE MINISTER MR. WILLIAM TMWING Choir Director: Mr. H. Van Egteren Organist: Mrs. C. Greene SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22 and Lesson Service All choirs participating NO SUNDAY SCHOOL Tues. (Dec. 24) Eve Service Conducted by Hi-C FIRST UNITED CHURCH Corner of 5th Avenue and 13th Street North Minister: REV. KEN JORDAN, B.A., 8.0. Allyn Mills Choir Barbara SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22 Worship Service SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER The Three Choirs in Attendance WONDERFUL WORLD OF CHRISTMAS" (by the Choirs) Special Guests: Judy Forward Sister Lorette Father Ken Forester CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE of Candlelight and Carols Service SOUTHERN ALBERTA JAPANESE UNITED CHURCH Corner ol 9th tth Street North Minister: REV. BEN MURATA, B.D. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22 Worship Service School TABER CONGREGATION Worship Service The Religion Associated Press religion writer, George Cornell appraises the celebration of Christ's birth and provides thoughtful meditations relating the Bible message to a hungry world PARTNER OF THE POOR God "stands at the right hand of the scripture declares. "Maintain the right of the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy." It's a constant biblical theme. "He who oppresses a poor man insults his Maker." Yet in the modern world of great wealth and skills, the poor face gathering disaster. Already a billion of them, nearly a third of the planet's population, suffer continuous, crippling hunger, and die each week of malnutrition or starvation. Under new pressures of contorted world economics, increasing pop- ulations and climatic shifts, the poor are threatened by worsening famine. An "explosive global catast- rophe" is in the making, con- cluded a June, 1974, confer- ence of economists, agricul- turalists and specialists in re- lief efforts in the poor regions of the earth. United Nations Secretary- General Kurt Waldheim says: "Whole peoples and coun- tries could disappear from the map." As U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger put it in con- nection with November's World Food Conference in Rome: "A condition in which one billion people suffer from malnutrition is consistent with no concept of justice." The offence of it cuts against the entire fabric of biblical demands for human decency. Over and over again, throughout both the Old Testa- ment and the New, scripture hammers away at society's obligation to brace up the poor, to protect the weak, relieve the suffering and stop the exploitation of the downtrodden. God is regularly portrayed as a partisan of the poor. "The Bible is on the side of the poor, the impecunious and the said the late scriptural scholar Karl Barth. "God in no wise takes up a neutral position between the poor man and the rich man. The rich may take care of their own future; He is on the side of the poor." However, at Christmas, 1974, in the richer countries of Europe and North America, in the predominant areas of professed Christianity and Judaism, the people consume a mounting proportion of the world's goods and grapple for more. Across the borders in poorer lands, millions go un- derfed and enfeebled beneath a lowering cloud of mass star- vation. Authorities differ on when the crisis will take on calami- tous in 1975 or as late as they agree that conditions are accumulating toward an im- minent tragedy of world-wide magnitude. A variety of causes are blamed for the grim prospect, including: Newly apparent scarcities in basic raw materials, pas- sions among affluent nations for ever greater consumption, their pre-eminent tech- nologies, the comparatively meagre purchasing power of poorer countries in inter- national trade, swelling in- flation, burgeoning popu- lations, twists of nature. As the prosperous countries sharpen their scramble for the earth's limited resources, resulting in bloated costs, many poorer countries are largely squeezed out of the market, unable to afford pro- ductive necessities of fertili- zer, fuel and equipment to feed surging populations. For example, North American lawns and golf courses ab- sorbed enough fertilizer to meet the 1974 shortage of it in India. Changing weather patterns have thrown a widening belt of drought across the poorer countries around the globe, withering crops and grass, decimating livestock and people. The climatic distress has stretched around the earth, bringing destructive floods in Bangladesh, Pakistan and In- donesia, droughts in Africa, India and across Latin Amer- ica. Altogether about 40 of the poorest countries involving 900 million people already are suffering general malnutri- tion damaging to body and brain. Another billion people in poor lands are deficient in proteins and other dietary needs. A warning from the prophet Isaiah The temple bells rang. The believers assembled. The choirs gave forth their hymns and the musicians their me- lodies. Incense floated through the magnificent sanc- tuary. The neat, respectable people had fasted, made of- ferings and prostrated them- selves and they gathered in prayer and adoration. But it didn't please the Lord. the devout congre- gation :sked. "Why have we fasted ...nd Thou seest it not? Why t.ave we humbled our- selves and Thou takest no knowledge of Back came the answer, hurled by the great prophet Isaiah: "Behold, in the day of your ast you seek your own pleas- re and oppress all your workers. Fasting like yours will not make your voice heard on high." Upholding God's purposes, the prophet went on, is not in bowing and ritual but in breaking the yokes of in- justice, sheltering the aban- doned and afflicted, sustain- ing the poor. He said true worship is "to share your bread with the hungry and bring the home- less poor into your house." In the scriptural per- spective, religion is not just inward piety but is explicitly directed toward renewing society, righting wrongs and relieving poverty. It expressly involves economics and mu- tual responsibility for the low- liest and neediest. In the contemporary world of unbalanced economic dis- tribution, with a third of the human race weakened by malnutrition, with 300 million of its children being maimed for life by lack of food, with the spectre of devastating starvation hanging over the poorer countries while neigh- boring states bulge with af- fluence, the economic aspects of faith take on stark dimen- sions. Jesus had staked his des- tiny on the side of the poor, the captives, the sick and abused. But the reputable, substantial citizenry had thrown Him out. His outlook was too drastic, too challeng- ing to the status quo. The modern scope of that rejection echoes in the in- creasingly yawning chasms between the prosperous coun- tries and the poor of central Africa, Latin America and southern Asia. The richer countries make up only a fifth of the world's people but control four-fifths of its wealth. They take a third of their industrial raw materials from the poor lands, whose underfed work- ers usually die before 40, while their children either perish in infancy or grow up scarred by malnutrition. "The great scandal of the world today is that the richer nations impose structures of dependency on poorer na- Panama's Roman Catholic Archbishop Marcos McGrath told a conference on the subject. Yet the present economic- technological imbalances are heavily entrenched, predi- cated on profit, locked in pat- terns of production, .process- ing and purchasing power which the rich countries largely dominate. Those fac- tors impinge directly on per- sonal lives in a world that has become increasingly an inter- woven, interdependent com- munity. "If one begins with the Bible, it becomes imme- diately clear that poverty is not simply a question of eco- nomics but one of says Rev. Eugene Carson Blake, retired general secre- tary of the World Council of Churches and now head of an educational agency, Bread for the World. More than 500 verses of the Jesus indicts a minority gorging on calories A leading citizen of Perea came to Jesus and; with di- rect, businesslike efficiency, came straight to the point: "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal The breezy, complimentary greeting carried a subtly pa- tronizing note, and Jesus look- ed at the man speculatively for a moment. He wore expen- sive linen, edged with the pur- ple hem of the wealthy. His beard was smoothly brushed and oiled, and jewelled rings glistened on his fingers. "Why do you call Me Jesus said. "No one is good but God alone." The man nodded his ready agreement to dispense with that issue and arched his brows, waiting for the answer to his question. "You know the command- Jesus said, noting the flicker both of impatience and anxiety in the man's eyes. "Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness. Honor your father and mother." The man nodded. "All these I have observed from my youth." Jesus understood the man, knew his problem, saw his overwhelming concern with the holdings, prestige and comfort that enslaved him, distorted his authentic values and left him discontented. "One thing you still Jesus told him. "Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treas- ure in heaven, and come, fol- low me." The man paled. He stared incredulously at Jesus for a moment, made a small ges- ture of futility with his hands and silently, sadly turned and walked away. Jesus watched him go with a pang of sympathy. The man was bright, capable, prac- tical, but he couldn't see the danger, the corrosive, domi- nating and finally defeating effect of obsession with wealth. "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of He re- marked to His apostles. "For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." His observation has not been regarded as a blanket condemnation of wealth if used for public good, but hu- man concentration on amass- ing wealth was consistently denounced by Jesus. It is unfashionable doctrine in today's affluent societies, where making money is gen- erally considered the badge of success and a small per- centage of the population owns an increasing proportion Theologian suggests interdependence 'only A small, blue-green planet called the earth hurtles through space and time, its resources vast yet finite, its creatures numerous and mul- tiplying. Yet a few grasped most of the planet's goods, while the majority hungered. The eternal Creator and As- sayer of the planet's potential growth toward maturity saw the dangerously unbalanced condition of His creatures. Sustaining "the least" of them was necessary to serve the whole. He concluded. As the weakest are helped, so the benefit is felt by all, by creat- ive being itself. "As you did it to one of the least of these, My brethren, you did it to Me." It is an instructive image for a planet swept by shadows of scarcities, flaring with a sudden buying rush on its lim- ited resources, a rush ruled by those most able to pay, the wealthiest. And left behind is the ravenously hungry, mul- tiplying horde of the poor. International experts see the situation as highly vol- atile, crackling with in- stabilities. "Interdependence, not inde- pendence, is the only way for- ward for the whole of civ- ilization and all its parts, in- cluding the says Lu- theran theologian Carl E. Braatan. British economist Barbara Ward suggests that the richer countries give a third of their annual increase in gross na- tional product toward devel- oping poor nations. This would mean the rich still would be getting richer, only more slowly, she said, and at the same time would blunt the impact of widening starvation. Hard times generate neighborly sympathy They are the many, the le- gions of the wretched. They are ragged, gaunt, hollow- eyed, wracked by scurvy and beriberi. They swarm the ref- ugee camps, shantytowns, back alleys and garbage dumps of the earth. They are the poor, unloved by the world and unlovely. Yet Jesus said, "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." It is a strange appraisal, echoed throughout biblical teachings and reflected in the observations of modern schol- there is something heroic and revealing in the poor that can elevate the hu- man race. Yet in the modern world, they are rejected and denied. They are a bony mother in Bombay, gnawing at roots, a baby tugging at her dry breasts a spindle-legged Cambodian boy, his stomach swollen, his breathing la- bored, as kwashiorkor, caused by lack of protein, gradually kills him. They are an emaciated Af- rican tribesman, rocking to and fro, murmuring names of his favorite cattle dead from drought a skeletal pack of humanity in Bangladesh, struggling in a feeding line for a cup of gruel... a small Boli- vian girl, puffy faced and sca- ly skinned, digging through trash crawling with flies, hunting scraps. The specified urgency is not just that the rich should help the poor, but that doing so is the only way to save them- selves. "I will spew you out of my the Holy Voice says to the greedy in the Book of Revelation. "For you say, 'I am rich, I have prospered, and I need not know- ing that you are wretched, pi- tiable, poor, blind and naked." It is an ominous note for a world in which an affluent one-fifth of its people devour 80 per cent of its goods, ma- noeuvring to shore up their holdings, engaging in nuclear rivalry to their predominance. But what, apart from a more balanced, caring inter- national order, can the poor do for the rich? Perhaps a suggestion might be found in memories of the Depression, when hard times generated neighborly sympa- thies, when shared trouble drew people closer together and made for deeper loyal- ties. Perhaps a fifth-century Ro- man nobleman, a non-Chris- tian defending Christians be- fore Emperor Hadrian, gave a clue to it in describing their behavior: Total world food reserves, which amounted to enough for 69 days as recently as 1970, have shrunk rapidly with re- serves in 1974 down to enough only for 26 or 27 days, the lowest in a quarter-century. Half the world's population limps along on only eight per cent of the world's income. Approximately a fifth of the world's people consumes four- fifths of the world's total out- put. Nevertheless, aid from the richest country, the United States, has gone down during recent years, despite er- roneous impressions of sur- passing generosity. Actually, the country ranks 14th among the 16 better-off nations in aid to poor areas, as measured by percentage of gross national product. U.S. aid amounts to only one 10th of what it was 25 years ago, less than one per cent of the budget. New Testament, one of 16 verses, concerns wealth and poverty. Jesus talks more about this issue than almost any other, more than about heaven, hell, sexual immoral- ity or violence. An apostle, in James 2, up- braids the congregation that fawns on the rich and neg- lects the poor or that merely preaches to the poor and fails to act to provide their bodily needs. The same insistence on helping the poor runs through the Old Testament. The de- mand is not just for com- passion but for tangible ac- food, clothing, shel- ter, financial assistance. "He who closes his ear to the cry of the poor will him- self cry out and not be declares Proverbs of personal wealth while mil- lions subsist in grinding pov- erty. It was not that Jesus be- littled productivity. Many of His parables stress the impor- tance of fruitful enterprise, reliable workmanship, sound planning and abundant har- vests but he excoriated hoard- ing and waste. His .stance presents a blunt indictment of a world in which a small minority gorges itself with excess calories and com- modities while a majority verges on starvation. Church World Service, the Protestant-Orthodox relief agency, has suggested that the United States set a tithe on its foreign food exports, with a minimum 10 per cent being given to hungry lands, rather than continuing to shift it from relief to commercial profits because of market de- mand. "If they see a stranger, they take him home as though he were a real brother. K one is poor and there isn't enough food to go around, they fast several days to give him the food he needs.... This is really a new kind of person. There is something divine in them." It is a mystery, a strange upside-down quality in life which Jesus couched in an in- triguing image: "Many that are first will be last, and the last first." NORBRIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH School Message School Christmas Concert and a Play The Evengelical Church In 1402-1 Ave. N. E. SIPE Everyone is Welcome CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS Everyone Wvlcome FIRST, SECOND and SEVENTH WARDS: 1912-10th Avenue South THIRD and FOURTH WARDS: 28th Street South and Scenic Drive FIFTH and SIXTH WARDS: 2223-6th Avenue 'A' North STUDENT BRANCH: 28th Street South PLEASE PHONE 328-8305 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD (Affiliated with Ambassador College) SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28.1974 to p.m. LETHBRIDGE COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE LARGE LECTURE THEATRE 5th Ave. 11th 91. South Mlnwer: CECIL MARANVILLE, Ph. 345-4705 (Collect) Listen to GARNER TED ARMSTRONG ON CFCN RADIO and TELEVISION ;