Friday, July 14, 2006

Signs of Life ~ Chicago's Storefront Churches

BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: Now, a look at one of the signs of life in poor city neighborhoods -- storefront churches. As Jody Hassett Sanchez reports from Chicago, most of them do not thrive by preaching fear of hell. They preach love and gratitude, and they meet their worshippers right where they are.

JODY HASSETT SANCHEZ: Pastor Evelyn Atwood has been leading the worship for more than 20 years at Lily of the Valley Spiritual Church in one of Chicago's grittier neighborhoods. But she always had to hold down a second job during the week because the storefront church couldn't pay her a salary.

Pastor EVELYN ATWOOD (Lily of the Valley Spiritual Church, Chicago): I worked in the stockyard. I worked in the factory, which as of now I don't work, because I'm retired -- a senior citizen. I'm 81-years-old. So, you know, I'm not working nowhere now, so that's the way that goes.

SANCHEZ: Well, that's not exactly true. Pastor Atwood, who now shares the preaching duties, is still at the church several days a week doing whatever needs to be done to keep the church up and running.

Pastor ATWOOD: We're like a family. I wash dishes as much as anybody else, scrub floors, do anything else that it might be kept clean.

SANCHEZ: Churches like Lily of the Valley got the name "storefront" because they often exist in abandoned commercial strips in some of the country's toughest neighborhoods. The rent is cheap, and landlords are grateful to have church members instead of drug dealers coming and going from their property===>Click headline to access entire article . . .

• Try these keywords in the Search This Blog box above: Resource, Unity, Conference, City Impact

•Receive periodic updates on new One Great City postings: / Subject: OGC Updates

No comments: