Laura Madden's Blog

Stories of change

My New Audience

with 2 comments

My family and friends know me for stints on award-winning documentaries and critically acclaimed reality TV shows. This summer, however, I wrote an article for the United Church of Christ about its commitment to help Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). “The Jesus crowd is your new audience?” I’ve been asked. “How’s that going?”

With years of Catholic school as my point of reference for the Christian community, I was thrilled to learn about the UCC’s practical approach to modern life. Not only do they believe in distributing condoms as an effective means to safe and healthy sex, but the UCC has affirmed since 1971 that “access to safe and legal abortion is consistent with a woman’s right to follow the dictates of her own faith and beliefs in determining when and if she should have children.” Also an open and affirming organization, in 1969 the UCC declared its opposition “to all laws which make private homosexual relations between consenting adults a crime and thus urges their repeal.”

And the war in Iraq? They’re against it, and have been since the beginning. In 2007, the UCC even called itself out for merely “bearing silent witness” to the war. Mobilizing its more than one million members, the UCC raised US$200,000 which was sent as aid for IDP camps in Iraq. Back in the US, church members started resettlement committees for Iraqi refugees, volunteering in the short and long term to help Iraqi refugees get on their feet fast.

Turns out the Jesus crowd is pretty inspiring. You can read more about it all here.

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2 Responses

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  1. Laura, so neat to read of you & your journies & your life journey. parallel to your nickname, I’m often called the irreverent rev because of my perspectives on life/death and non-church language. My daughter spent a semester in Mumbai teaching english in an orphanage to young adults with hiv/aids..she’s off in Feb w/ Peacecorps to Namibia, was in cleveland at ucc in hiv/aids/wellness internship. I visited her in Mumbai & we toured s. india. I felt such a heartfelt link with the people & spirit there.

    David Proctor

    December 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    • Hi Irrev David — thanks so much for reading and commenting. Your daughter sounds like a woman after my own heart — my best wishes to her on her journey to Namibia! I’ve only had second-hand experience with the Peace Corps. (Mom, dad, bro and an uncle are all returned volunteers.) I’m sure she will love it!

      India is great so far — I’m in the north now, and probably headed further north shortly.

      Laura Madden

      December 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm


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