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Eileen Lindner named first Dean
of Riggio Lynch Interfaith Chapel

New York, May 17, 2006 -- The Rev. Dr. Eileen W. Lindner, Deputy General Secretary for Research and Planning at the National Council of Churches USA, has been named as the first Dean of the Riggio Lynch Interfaith Chapel at the Children’s Defense Fund’s Alex Haley Farm, beginning May 17.

The deanship of the Riggio Lynch Chapel is a rotating position lasting three months. 

CDF’s Alex Haley Farm, in Clinton, Tennessee, serves as the spiritual home of the children’s movement, where people of all ages come for spiritual renewal, character and leadership development, intergenerational mentoring, and interracial, interfaith, and interdisciplinary communication.   

“Eileen is an extraordinary pastor, preacher, theologian, and child advocate,” commented Marian Wright Edelman, CDF founder and president.  “I can think of no one better to serve as the inaugural Dean of the chapel and set the tone for what we trust will be a fruitful succession of deans who will enrich the spiritual life of child advocates who come to Haley for leadership development and spiritual renewal while the deans deepen their own study and faith-based work on behalf of children.”  

Adds NCC General Secretary, the Rev. Dr. Robert C. Edgar, “The National Council of Churches and the Children’s Defense Fund have long been partners in the vocation of child advocacy.  The naming of a senior NCC staff person to the inaugural Deanship of the Riggio Lynch Chapel deepens our mutual commitment to ministry to all God's children.  Because of her many years in ecumenical work and with the National Council of Churches, Eileen is also the virtual dean of our staff. Her experience, her keen insights and her candor are indispensable contributions to our work. Eileen sets the spiritual and intellectual tone wherever she is, and she will endow this new position with great honor.” 

Thousands of leaders attend Haley training and networking seminars each year, including hundreds of college-age students who prepare each June to teach in CDF Freedom Schools and hundreds of religious leaders, educators, seminarians, and lay leaders who attend the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry in July.  

The Dean of the Chapel will lead worship and provide pastoral care to those at the Farm, while pursuing study, reflection, and writing on projects related to theology and child advocacy.    

Lindner is a long-time child advocate instrumental in the leadership of CDF’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry for more than a decade.  Her deanship at Haley coincides with the publication of her book, Thus Far On the Way: Toward a Theology of Child Advocacy (Louisville, KY:  Presbyterian Publishing) based on her sermons and speeches at the Institute. 

The 11th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry will be held July 17-21, 2006, during Lindner’s service as dean.  For more information call (865) 457-6466. 

NCC Contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228
CDF Contact:  Jodi Reid (202) 662-3602   


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