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Published: Saturday, 11/23/2002

Ex-religion reporter to give speech


Peggy Wehmeyer, former religion correspondent for ABC's World News Tonight, will speak in Toledo tonight at the fall fund-raising dinner for Toledo Christian Schools.

Ms. Wehmeyer, who became the first full-time religion reporter on an American TV network evening news show in 1994, will speak during a 7 p.m. dinner in Gladieux Meadows, preceded by a reception beginning at 6:15 p.m.

A former religion reporter for WFAA-TV in Dallas, Ms. Wehmeyer left ABC late last year when the network let her go because of budget cuts. She now travels and speaks on college campuses and at special events.

During her tenure with ABC, Ms. Wehmeyer produced shows for 20/20 and Good Morning America. She has interviewed President Bush and former President Bill Clinton about their faith and also did an exclusive interview with the parents of Cassie Bernall, one of the students slain in the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colo.

Members of the local Jewish community will try to set a world record for spinning the most dreidels at the same time during a pre-Hanukkah celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. tomorrow in the Jewish Community Center of Toledo, 6465 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania.

The current record for spinning dreidels is 536, set by Congregation Shaar Hashomayim and Temple Emanu-El Shalom of Westmount, Que., in Canada, Dec. 9, 2001. Plans are to spin 1,000 of the tops, which feature a Hebrew letter on each of the four sides and are used for games during Hanukkah.

Also during the celebration, latkes, or potato pancakes, will be served and a hanukkiah, an eight-candle menorah, will be lit.

Hanukkah, which recalls the Maccabean victory over the Syrians and the subsequent rededication of the temple, begins at sundown Friday and continues for eight days. The holiday is usually celebrated by the giving and receiving of gifts each night.

WASHINGTON - The newly elected 108th Congress will be made up of at least 149 Catholics, 70 Baptists, and 61 Methodists, according to a report from Americans for Religious Liberty.

The organization also says there will be 49 Presbyterians, 44 Episcopalians, 38 Jews, 24 nondenominational Protestants, 23 Lutherans, 15 Mormons, and 11 nondenominational Christians in the new Congress.

Other religious affiliations identified by members of the new Congress include United Church of Christ (8); Christian Science (5); Assembly of God and Disciples of Christ (4 each); African Methodist Episcopal, Unitarian-Universalist, and Eastern Orthodox (3 each); Christian Reformed and Seventh-day Adventist (2 each), and Quakers, Church of Christ, Congregational-Baptist, Reorganized Mormons, Evangelical Methodist, and Evangelical (1 each).

Americans for Religious Liberty says the report indicates Congress has changed little in religious affiliation in two years. Episcopalians, Lutherans, and nondenominational Christians each gained three members.

Streaming video of last week's meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will be available on the group's Web site (www.usccb.org) through Jan. 3, 2003.

The video includes excerpts from presentations, press conferences, and interviews with participants.

Among the interviewees available are Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington and Bishop Arthur Tafoya of Pueblo, Colo..

Bishops at the meeting approved norms in canon law governing policies dealing with allegations of sexual abuse of minors and revised their Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

They also decided to hold meetings over the next two years to decide whether to convene an extraordinary council on the state of the U.S. church. The bishops will discuss the proposal at their next meeting in June.

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