Religion: Churches on the Air

The lonesome whoo-whoo of a train whistle wailed through the rushing chug-a-chug of a locomotive. Then a cowboy guitar picked up the forlorn rhythm of "I'm a-goin' where the climate fits my clothes" to introduce the treacly resonance of a radio announcer. In the oak-paneled commons room of Chicago Theological Seminary last week, 39 Protestant ministers and religious workers listened intently to the transcribed radio show that followed, How Christmas Came to Maggie Martin.

It was, as one Episcopal minister said, "15 minutes of unabashed tearjerking." Maggie, the daughter of an itinerant beanpicker, was rescued from social ostracism by the beautiful...

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