North American Scene

William Howard, the black American Baptist pastor who was recently elected president of the National Council of Churches, called for a redistribution of wealth in the United States. Speaking at the annual prayer breakfast sponsored by California governor Jerry Brown, Howard said his solution to the disparity between rich and poor was not necessarily Marxist, but one that could be worked out in church forums. Speakers in previous years at Brown’s nontraditional prayer breakfasts have been Martin Luther King, Sr., Brazilian archbishop and human rights activist Dom Helder Camara, and anthropologist Gregory Bateson.

The United States membership in the Salvation Army increased by 60 percent over the last twenty years, according to retiring national commissioner Paul S. Kaiser. There were 400,000 U.S. members and 2.5 million worldwide in 1977. Kaiser said that Army growth has been greatest in Africa, Indonesia, and South Korea.

Carmino de Cantazaro, who was elected the first Canadian bishop of the fledgling Anglican Church of North America, now has rejected the post—saying he would not be consecrated. He was one of the first priests to resign from the Anglican Church of Canada to join the new denomination, which was organized by Episcopalians upset by their parent church’s approval of women priests and modernization of the Book of Common Prayer (Nov. 17, 1978, issue, p. 40). A “high” vs. “low” church controversy, which erupted at the formative convention last October, reportedly continues among constituents.

The U.S. Catholic Bishops, who recently approved a special offering for church media work, organized four public hearings this month: Catholic parishioners will set priorities on how the $7 million collection will be spent. Half of the funds will be spent on a national level, and half will remain with the dioceses. Input has been requested for this project since, according to one Catholic official, “there are lots of definitions of evangelism.”

The Episcopal Church has joined other religious groups now providing help for resettlement of Indochinese refugees in the U.S. John A. Huston, refugee officer for the Washington (state) Association of Churches, has agreed to serve as a consultant to the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief, in its efforts to find placement for 1,000 refugees by April.


In the religious census of Congress that appeared in the December 1, 1978, issue, Gephart (D-Mo.) should have been listed as a Baptist.

Citing health reasons, Cecil Todd has resigned as director of Revival Fires Ministries, a television ministry based in Joplin, Missouri. Todd, who was director for fourteen years, will stay active in evangelistic outreach programs. His successor is Reggie Thomas, a member of the organization’s original board of directors.

Harold A. Sevener has been named president of the American Board of Missions to the Jews. He replaces Daniel Fuchs, who has become chairman of the board of directors. Sevener, an ABMJ staff member since 1965, did graduate work at San Francisco Seminary and at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.


JOHN A. TOEWS, 66, moderator of the Mennonite Brethren Churches of North America (Canadian Conference) and past president of Mennonite Brethren Bible College in Winnipeg; on January 13, in Winnipeg, of a heart attack.

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