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Queens Federation of Churches providing for borough since ‘31

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The group’s Ecumenical Ministry in Queens was organized in 1931, and it has for years crossed lines of denomination and faith to embrace all religions as holy.

The following is a brief explanation of the federation’s ministry as explained on the group’s Web site.

The vision of the Oikoumene, the inhabited earth, as the Household of God establishes the fundamental relationship among all of God’s children who live in it was members of a common family. This understanding provides the foundation for the various ministries of pastoral care, human outreach and theological understanding which comprise our Ecumenical Ministry in Queens.

The Queens Federation of Churches opened its first Emergency Food Service pantry (since the Depression!) in 1976 to serve the hungry in Queens. At the time, it was the only emergency food program in New York City aimed at an entire borough. As the crisis of hunger and homelessness exploded in the 1980s, the federation was instrumental in forming the Queens Interfaith Hunger Network to coordinate the efforts of over 115 pantries and soup kitchens that had opened in the various neighborhoods of Queens.

The pantries related to the network provide more than 7 million meals annually to the hungry in Queens. Contributions of non perishable food are encouraged.

Since 1982, the QFC has sponsored a vital campus ministry at York College, a 4-year college of the City University of New York located in Jamaica. Our campus minister, the Rev. Dr. Hortense Merritt, provides leadership for Bible study, workshops and seminars on ethics and values, and many hours of counseling with students, staff and faculty. While there are many ministries sponsored by individual denominations, the federation’s Campus Ministry at York College is the only ecumenically sponsored campus ministry with staff on any of the CUNY campuses.

Religious liberty is this nation’s “First Freedom.” Not only is it sequentially first in the Bill of Rights, but it is foundationally first as the platform on which all other liberties may be secured. Through the worldwide reach of the ecumenical movement, the Queens Federation of Churches has taken a leadership role in protecting religious freedom in the United States and internationally. Its defense of religious liberty for minority religious traditions in western Europe has earned recognition and respect in many nations.

At home, the federation has long led the crusade to end government usurpation of religious resources through confiscatory landmark regulations and its pilfering of the church’s offering plate through hidden and improper taxes.

The Nexus of Queens is the official newspaper of the Queens Federation of Churches. It began tri-weekly publication on Easter Sunday 2000, with distribution in churches throughout the borough. It has been well received throughout Queens and has drawn high praise from denominational and ecumenical leaders throughout the United States. The Nexus concentrates on important news within God’s Household that often goes unreported or even misreported by the general media and it seeks to set that news in context for the people of God. It continues as an online newspaper here at the federation’s Web site.

The Federation encourages ministry to the youth of Queens through the Scouting movement. Annually, the federation sponsors a Ten Commandment Hike which brings Scouts and Sunday School students to 10 Queens houses of worship of different Christian denominations and non-Christian faiths, for the purpose of acquainting them with the different faith and worship traditions and to emphasize the fundamental moral code embodied by the Ten Commandments.

The federation’s Committee on Youth Ministry and Scouting also provides resources for the various religious badges and awards in Scouting and sponsors retreats and religious emphasis days for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

Each year, the federation recognizes adult scout leaders with the Shepherd Emblem, the Interfaith Leadership Award, and with the Scout Leader of the Year Award.

As an integral part of its ecumenical ministry, the Queens Federation of Churches each year recognizes two dozen local church leaders, who are each nominated by his or her pastor, with the Citation for Faithful Service.

At its annual Celebration of Ecumenical Ministry in Queens, it presents distinguished citizens of our Borough with the Grant F. Anderson Citation for Meritorious Ministry and the Award for Outstanding Leadership in Queens.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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