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leaders declare health care reform
Washington, July 7, 2009 – Religious leaders from across the religious spectrum have joined in a strongly worded declaration that current economic conditions have made health care reform an urgent priority.
Signers of the declaration, which was drafted with the assistance of the National Council of Churches Health Task Force, are gathering in the White House today in a "Faith Leader Summit on Health Care."
The purpose of the meeting is to explore best practices, identify common ground and share hopes and expectations for health care reform legislation.
Participants, including NCC General Secretary, the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, are slated to meet with officials in the Obama administration and Congress to voice their concern for the status of health care reform and to speak in a unified moral voice in support of comprehensive reform.
Kinnamon's statement following the White House meeting is here.
The Summit is sponsored by The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and the United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society, in collaboration with Families USA and the National Coalition on Health Care.
As the debate over health care reform quickly heats up in Congress, the religious community has the opportunity to play a lead role shaping the debates over this vital issue by elevating the moral voice in public discourse, informing and mobilizing the people in the pews, and lifting up communal responsibility to care for society’s most vulnerable.Officials meeting with Summit participants throughout the day include Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) and others, along with Joshua DuBois, Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
A number of Summit participants have signed on to a faith statement of support for comprehensive health care reform that will be shared with members of the administration and Congress. (See below)
Participants in the day’s event
- Anju Bhargava, Founder, Asian Indian Women of America
- Rev. Dr. Miriam J. Burnett, Medical Director, Health Commission, African Methodist Episcopal Church
- Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director, NETWORK – A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
- Mr. John Carr, Executive Director, Department of Justice, Peace & Human Development, U.S. Catholic Bishops' Conference
- Dr. Arturo Chavez, President & CEO, Mexican American Catholic College
- Rev. Peg Chemberlin, President-Elect, National Council of Churches
- Rev. Jessica Crist, Bishop of the Montana Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Nathan Diament, Director of Public Policy, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
- Rabbi Steve Gutow, Executive Director, Jewish Council for Public Affairs
- Rev. Linda Jaramillo, Executive Minister, United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries
- Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary, National Council of Churches
- Rev. Gradye Parsons, General Assembly Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (USA)
- Rev. Dr. Tyrone Pitts, General Secretary, Progressive National Baptist Convention
- Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Founder & CEO, American Society for Muslim Advancement
- Nancy Ratzan, President, National Council of Jewish Women
- Melissa Rogers, Director, Wake Forest School of Divinity Center for Religion and Public Affairs
- Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
- Rev. William Shaw, President, National Baptist Convention, USA
- Dr. Sayyid Syeed, National Director, Office of Interfaith & Community Alliances, Islamic Society of North America
- Rev. Jim Wallis, President & Executive Director, Sojourners
- Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
- Mr. Jim Winkler, General Secretary, United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society
- Rabbi Jeffrey Wohlberg, President, Rabbinical Assembly
The full text of the statement follows:
NCC News contact: Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell) , firstname.lastname@example.org
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