St. James Episcopal in College Hill, Kansas, has hosted a community fundraiser for the past four years: Chili for Choice. The menu, not unusual in church fundraisers. The beneficiary – Planned Parenthood – more so. This year, for reasons not entirely known, anti-abortion protestors took notice. Deb Gruver reports on public reaction to the event in The Wichita Eagle.
Reverend Dawn Frankfurt, St. James’ rector since 2011: “The Episcopal church says you can form your own opinion about reproductive justice and you can be against it or for it. There’s room for everybody in the Episcopal church to come together and worship God.”
The rector had to shut down comments on the parish Facebook page, whose reach increased to around 18,000, she said. Planned Parenthood is providing security for the January 22 event, scheduled on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and for the Sunday following, when anti-abortion protestors are expected at church.
College Hill United Methodist Church is also supporting the event. Dean Wolfe, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, voiced support of St. James’ sponsorship:
“‘Faithful churches take risks to help people in need,’ he said in an e-mail to The Eagle. ‘Saint James Episcopal Church has been serving people in need in the Wichita community since it was founded in 1920.'”
Posted by Cara Modisett