A year-old boycott against products of the J.P. Stevens Textile Co. organized by the Amalgamted Clothing and Textile Workers Union as part of a labour dispute received a boost from natoinal church groups this week.
Representatives of the United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Catholic Church signed a statement calling on "persons of good faith" to support the boycott.
The group said of complaints against the company's Boylston, Ala. plant: "We have learned first hand that the abuses, documented in court records, are continuing."
A new group has been formed within the United Church of Christ to oppose any effort within the church to ordain homosexuals.
Meeting in Philadelphia, the group called themselves "United Church People for Biblical Witness." The 110 people come from 18 of the church's 40 regional conferences.
The group was apparently moved by the recently published UCC document "Human Sexuality: A Preliminary Study" that proposed homsexual ordination and other items disturbing to the group.
In response to tourists and elderly persons asking for an evening mass, Arlington's St. Charles Borromeo Church, on N. Washington Blvd. near Clarendon, will offer a weekly 5 p.m. Saturday mass celebrated by Pastor Thomas A Casey in Rosslyn. The mass will be held at the Arlington Temple, a United Methodist Church.
Approved by Bishop Thomas Welsh of the Diocese of Arlington, the masses will begin May 6 and continue through Sept. 2, at which time "if attendance warrants it, this schedule will be continued," according to the bishop's office.
The personal jet plane of Elvis Presley will be taken on tour to benefit an unusual business combination of a Texas millionaire and an Illinois church in $1 million debt from a building project.
The "Lisa Marie" a Convair 880 Presley named for his daughter, will tour 48 states pricking up donations for tours of the plane for the Rev. J. Lloyd Tomer's First Church of God, and selling gasoline and oil additives put out by Superior Lubricant Company.
Reuter News Service reported that the church paid $3 million for the plane, much of the money borrowed or put up by Superior's president, Robert Philpot.
The University of Notre Dame's Laetare Meda, given annually to a Catholic who makes an outstanding contribution to the nation's life will be given for 1978 to Msgr. John Tracy Ellis, a well-known historian.
Dr. Larry L. Rasmussen of Wesley Theolgical Seminary, on the campus of American University, has been named among the first group of scholars to receive Maryknoll fellowships. Formally called Mission Study Fellowships of the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of American (Maryknoll), the grants provide individual stipends of up to $20,000. Rasmussen, professor of Christian Social Ethics at the seminary, may use the money to study American and Tanzanian Christian perpectives on wealth, povetry, humanity and nature.
Bishop Benard J. Topel, who made national news when he sold his church-provided residence to buy a small $4,000 house to live "closer to the poor," has had his request for retirement accepted by Pope Paul, effective May 31. Topel, 75, has been head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Wash. since 1955 . . . Evangelist Billy Graham will conduct a Christian crusade in Poland this fall, appearing in Oslo and Stockholm en route . . . The Church of the Nazarene in Gaithersburg has welcomed the Rev. Paul Wehr of Binghamton, N.Y. as its new pastor.