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March 11-14 Ecumenical Advocacy Days
Focus on a "More Complete Moral Vision"
Washington, D.C., January 24, 2005 -- With a new presidential term, a new Congress and a renewed interest in how faith and politics intersect, hundreds of Christians are planning to descend on Capitol Hill for the third annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice, March 11-14.
Participants will gather to assert to their representatives that it is time for a new vision of U.S. policy that includes a much more complete understanding of moral values. During the last presidential election, media attention was focused on moral issues related to abortion and same-sex marriage. This gathering affirms that moral values include building a just global community that nurtures peace, alleviates poverty, and protects the integrity of God’s creation.
“At this crossroad in our nation’s history, it is critical that we speak out as people of faith against those things that we believe are immoral and sinful. We believe that the Bible clearly mandates that we act as peacemakers, uplift those who live in poverty and take care of God’s creation,” said the Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches USA. “We will be calling on lawmakers to enact foreign and domestic policies that reflect these moral imperatives.”
The 2005 Ecumenical Advocacy Days will highlight the urgency of pursuing sensible and peaceful solutions to conflicts as well as the need for aid, debt and trade policies that benefit impoverished people worldwide. Bishop Vashti McKenzie, presiding bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the first woman to be elected to the bishop’s council, and Elder Rick Ufford-Chase, moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), are among the speakers who will address the cadre of Christian leaders and laypersons who are expected to participate in this event.
Also addressing the participants will be Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love, a professor at Catholic University of America and a U.S. foreign policy and international affairs expert; and, Baldemar Velasquez, the founder/president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, which recently settled a labor dispute with Mt. Olive Pickle Company following more than five years of public action.
This year’s theme, “Make All Things New,” is based on God’s promise, as recorded in the Bible, “See, I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5) -- and is developed in eight learning tracks.
Participants will attend workshops that examine U.S. policy, and options for renewal, regarding Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, global economic justice, global security, eco-justice and U.S. domestic issues. In 2004, more than 600 advocates representing a wide range of churches and organizations worldwide gathered for Ecumenical Advocacy Days. Because of local, national and global crises, organizers are expecting an even stronger turnout this year.
More than 30 faith-based groups (see list below) are sponsoring or supporting this year’s Ecumenical Advocacy Days, which will provide church leaders, laypersons and others interested in advocacy with a mix of worship, music, prayer, issue briefings, plenary speakers and advocacy training workshops, capped with visits to U.S. Senators and Representatives or their key staff.
Pastors, ministers, seminary students, laypersons and others in the faith community are invited to register for this exciting opportunity to connect with peers, rededicate their efforts, and hone their advocacy skills. For more information and to register, go to www.advocacydays.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 202-544-2350.
2005 Ecumenical Advocacy Days Sponsors and Supporters
Africa Faith and Justice Network
NCC Media Contact: the Rev. Leslie Tune, email@example.com; 202-544-2350 x 11
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