Roman Catholic Bishop Carroll T. Dozier of Memphis received the Joseph B. Collins award here recently for his contributions to religious education. The award was presented to him at the East Coast Conference of Religious Education.

In his address to the conference, Bishop Dozier challenged the 1,500 priests, sisters and lay persons attending to continually renew their vision of the Christian faith, but always in accord with scriptural teachings.

Two years, ago, Bishop Dozier stirred controversy in the Catholic Church by his adaptation of the church's rite of reconciliation, in an effort to reach Catholics who, for whatever reasons, had dropped out of the church. In two separate rites, several thousand persons in a mass ceremony confessed their sins, received absolution and took communion.

Subsequent studies indicated renewed spiritual vigor and activity in the diocess following the rites.

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The American Bible Society says portions of the Bible now are available in 1,631 languages, the number spoken by 98 percent of the world's population. The complete Bible is available in 266 languages and the New Testment in 420, the group says.

Two of the three convicted kidnapers of a bus driver and 26 school children in Chowchilla, Calif., claim to have become "born again" Christians while in jail. James Schoenfeld, 26, and his brother Richard, 23, are said to have converted under the guidance of a church-supported Baptist prison chaplain.

The World Council of Churches may have to change the site of its world headquarters in the wake of a reported $2 million loss because of the decline in value of the U.S. dollar and German mark at Swiss exchange rates. WCC general secretary Philip Potter is to ask authorities in Zurich whether relief can be granted to the group until a decision can be made about whether and where to relocate at its next meeting in September.

An allergist in Asheville, N.C., got an idea while riding with a Bible-toting cabbie in Chicago - give away scriptures to taxi riders. He has talked the American Bible Society into starting a pilot project in Asheville, placing Bibles in cabs, much as the Giedeons place them in hotel rooms. "People read newspapers in cabs. Why shouldn't they read the Bible" asked allergisa Claude A. Frazier.

In 1972, Doris McDaniel was discharged by the Essex Wire Co. after the International Association of Machinists refused her offer to pay dues money to a charity. She contended that joining or financially supporting a labor union violated her religious convictions and hte teachings of her church.

The appeals court said the case had been wrongfully dismissed and told the lower court to hear the facts of the case to determine whether reasonable accommodation can be made.

In a related development, a bill that passed the House of Representatives last November allowing workers to refuse union membership on religious grounds is to come before the Senate in this term.

The films, "Harlam County, U.S.A." "Jacob the Liar" and "Julia," received Christopher Awards for "contributions to the portrayal of the highest values of the human spirit through their work" in 1977.

The awards were established in 1949 by The Christopher founder, the Rev. James Keller, who died last year. Televised specials winning the bronze medallions were, "The Human Body: The Miracle Months" on CBS "Georgia O'Keefe" on PBS, "The Hobbit" on NBC and "The Gathering" on ABC.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has directed a lower court to reconsider a case involving a Seventh-day Adventist in Lansing, Mich., who was dismissed from her job for refusing to pay union dues.

The World Council of Churches meeting in Zurich, Switzerland recently named Dr. Keith R. Birdston, of Pacific Lutheran Seminary in Berkley, Calif., as executive secretary of its U.S. conference . . . The Rev. Forester Church, son of Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) has been called as pastor of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York, effective in September.

. . . Dr A. Michael Ramsey, retired archibishop of Canterbury, will teach at the Episcopal seminary in Delafield, Wis. called Nashotah House starting with the spring semester . . . Dr. Robert McAfee Brown, professor of ecumenics and world Christianity and known for his "liberation theology," has resigned his position at Union Theological Seminary in New York, effective June 1979. . . . "The Jane Gallagher Award," in honor of the Washington-born woman who spent most of her life working with the National Conference of Catholic Charities, has been established by that organization. It will honor a woman "demonstrating the same spirit of service above and beyond the call of duty as that exemplified by Miss Gallagher."