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NCC documentary highlights churches’ outreach to struggling communities

Nov. 13 special is part of NBC’s ‘Horizons of the Spirit’ series

November 2, 2011

New York

As the recent recession deepened, Episcopal and Anglican churches were among those who reached out to help struggling members of their communities.
 
The dramatic story will be told on local NBC stations beginning Nov. 13 as part of NBC’s “Horizons of the Spirit” series in a new documentary presented by the National Council of Churches with the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission (IBC), and produced by Trinity Wall Street. 
 
“Journey into Action: Helping Hands in the Economic Crisis,” spotlights a New Orleans congregation that began in an abandoned drugstore, ministering to a neighborhood still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
 
The film portrays young adults serving in schools and community food banks in Washington, and others farming in California to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to the community while advocating for the rights of migrant workers. 
 
Also depicted are visits to the Great Plains of South Dakota and the Appalachian Mountain communities of Kentucky, regions where economic distress is an enduring historical pattern and yet congregations are striving for change.
 
The filmmakers traveled to Ghana, where a church-sponsored home cares for newborn babies whose mothers died in childbirth, and where a  Ghanaian physician journeys village to village to stop the spread of malaria.
 
“What we’ve seen in producing this program has been both humbling and inspiring,” said Jim Melchiorre, senior religion correspondent for Trinity Wall Street and producer-narrator of the program. 
 
“I think once viewers see how people are able to have a real impact on their communities through their churches,  they’ll feel more positive about the future, and may decide to get involved themselves.” 
 
Viewers are encouraged to contact their local NBC affiliate to be sure “Journey into Action: Helping Hands in the Economic Crisis” will be broadcast in their area.
 
Beginning November 13, NBC affiliates will have a six month period in which to schedule broadcast of the program. View a trailer at http://www.ncccusa.org/news/111101horizons.html


Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions ― from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches ― include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

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