The Door, a Christian ministry in East Baltimore that blends a conservative biblical faith with social activism, is sponsoring a series of public forums on street violence, poverty and educational issues as they affect children.
James W. Skillen, director of the Center for Public Justice, a national research and advocacy group based in Annapolis, is the main speaker and moderator for three Monday evening programs at three Baltimore churches that began this week and will conclude Oct. 10.
"The problems facing children today are so vast that most people don't even know what to think, much less how to act on these issues," said Kim Turner, who helped organize the series.
She said the seminars are intended to "help people who feel overwhelmed by these problems to assess them and become advocates for our children."
The programs are free and the public is invited. Each begins at 7:30 p.m.
The first of the discussions was conducted at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 3900 Roland Ave., where Mr. Skillen and Vincent DeMarco, executive director of Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse, addressed the subject of "Children and Street Violence."
On Monday, the forum's subject will be "Children and Poverty." The location is Word and Faith Fellowship, 2908 Hamilton Ave.
The Oct. 10 discussion will be at Faith Christian Fellowship, 505 E. 42nd St., where the subject is "Children and Quality Education."
Mr. Skillen, the author, co-author or editor of 10 books, is a Colorado native who was educated in the Netherlands and at Duke University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and earned his doctorate in political science.
He is an advocate of state funding for public and private education.
The Door, at 219 N. Chester St., was founded in 1986 by the Rev. Joseph C. Ehrmann Jr., a former NFL Baltimore Colts defensive linebacker. It has a staff, but much of its work is done by volunteers.
The mission of The Door is to promote racial reconciliation, community renewal and stability by providing for the social, economic, physical, educational and spiritual needs of changing Baltimore neighborhoods.
The ministry's Project Justice, which focuses on family disintegration, child and youth advocacy, poverty and racism, is the sponsor of the current series of programs.
For church historians:
Baltimore's Genealogical Publishing Co. has reprinted a 1923 volume that provides many facts about Maryland's Anglican parishes before and after 1692, when the Church of England became the official religion of the colony founded by Roman Catholics in 1634.
Written by Percy G. Skirven and thoroughly indexed, it is "The First Parishes of the Province of Maryland."
& Information: 837-8271.
The Rev. Willie A. Lucas, who has been clinical supervisor of Jail Addiction Service for Montgomery County, is joining the staff of Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown, where he will direct its recovery and treatment program.
Mr. Lucas will be a link between the large congregation at 4619 Old Court Road and area schools as he implements an addiction-treatment project and works to prevent drug use among high-risk teen-agers.
He is a graduate of Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Miss., and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
& Information: 655-1080.
The symbolism and language of desire and wisdom in the writings of St. John of the Cross, with particular relevance to feminist spirituality, are being explored by Sister Constance Fitzgerald in a fall lecture series at the Carmelite Monastery, 1318 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson.
The programs on "The Subversive Character of Sophia in Contemplation" will continue Tuesday., Oct. 18, Nov. 8, Nov. 22, Dec. 6 and Dec. 13. from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
?3 Further information and registration: 823-7415.
A day-long program, "Sisters In Touch -- Building, Bonding, Blossoming In Spirit," will begin at 7:45 a.m. tomorrow at Union Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 8615 Church Lane, Randallstown.
& Information: 922-3286.