Jacksonville Clergy Stand United for Discrimination Protection

December 3, 2015, 6:35 pm | Posted by

Here is a sample of our media hits:





December 3, 2015

Press Contact: Allison Walter (913) 375-7730

Jacksonville Clergy Stand United for Discrimination Protection

Faith Leaders Hold Press Conference in Support of Human Rights Ordinance

Jacksonville, FL – In advance of the second Community Conversation on the Human Rights Ordinance held by Mayor Curry, a diverse group of prominent Jacksonville faith leaders will stand united at a press conference tomorrow to voice their support of passing an expanded and inclusive HRO.   The group represents a growing coalition of more than 75 Jacksonville clergy and faith leaders standing strongly in support of adding protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression and identity in Jacksonville.

For Rabbi Lief of Congregation Ahavath Chesed, it’s not a question of right or wrong when it comes to homosexuality. That’s a way it’s been framed in some religious circles, he said, but it’s about discrimination. “Our community, unfortunately, sent the message last time that some people aren’t deserving of protection,” he said. “I think everyone ought to be treated fairly and decently.”

Pastor R.L. Gundy of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church has changed his mind over time, saying it’s time to “move the city forward.” These pastors and rabbis are united and ready to support city leadership in bringing about positive change that will benefit the city of Jacksonville.


Press conference in advance of mayor’s town hall


Pastor R.L Gundy – Mount Sinai Baptist Church

Rabbi Joshua Lief – Congregation Ahavath Chesed

Rev. Kyle Reese – Hendrix Avenue Baptist Church

Bishop Lorenzo Hall- Greater El-Beth-El

Rev. Linda Girouex – Riverside UCC

Dr. Parvez Ahmed – Jacksonville Human Rights Commission

Pastor Regina Jackson – Restoration of Truth Ministries

Rev. Clare Chance – Avondale UMC


Thursday, December 3rd, 2:00pm


Friendship Fountain

1015 Museum Circle

Jacksonville, FL 32207


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“The Francis Effect” Book Discussion in Cinci with John Gehring

December 3, 2015, 4:20 pm | Posted by

Wed, Dec 9, 2015, at 6:00 PM

INVITATION -”The Francis Effect” Book Discussion In Cinci w/ John Gehring 12/9

Papa Francesco

Faith in Public Life, a national strategy center for the faith community, invites you to a Book Discussion with author and nationally known Catholic commentator John Gehring. Followed by Q&A and book signing. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the Mercantile Library on Wednesday, December 9th for an enjoyable evening! Please RSVP by Friday, December 4th.

Praise for The Francis Effect

“John Gehring has created a stirring, multidimensional account of Catholicism in the twenty-first century.”

— Sister Simone Campbell, author of A Nun on the Bus

About The Francis Effect 

Pope Francis, the first Latin American pope, is shaking up a church that has been mired in scandal and demoralized by devastating headlines. His bracing critique of an out-of-touch hierarchy, pastoral style when it comes to divisive issues, and humble gestures rejecting the trappings of papal power have changed the conversation about the world’s most powerful religious institution. The Francis Effect explores how a church once known as a towering force for social justice became known for a narrow agenda most closely aligned with one political party, then looks at the opportunities for change in the “age of Francis.”

About the Author

John Gehring is Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, an advocacy group in Washington. His writing and analysis have appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, and the National Catholic Reporter, among other outlets. He is a former associate director for media relations at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and has been a staff writer at The Catholic Review, The Frederick Gazette, and Education Week. He lives in Washington, DC.

You Can Order The Francis Effect Here

Mercantile Library – 414 Walnut Street. Reading Room. Cincinnati, OH 45202 - View Map

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Kansas Faith Leaders Challenge Governor’s Rejection of Refugees

December 2, 2015, 12:43 pm | Posted by
A sample of our media hits:

KS Faith Leaders Denounce Governor’s Rejection of Refugees – KSNT 12 02 2015 

KS Clergy Denounce Governor’s Rejection of Refugees – KFYR 12 03 2015 

KS Clergy Confront Governor Brownback – WIBW 12 02 2015

December 2, 2015
Contact: Rev. Kurt Rietema, Pathway Community Church (913) 219-9498

Kansas Faith Leaders Challenge Governor’s Rejection of Refugees

Clergy Deliver Letter to Governor’s Office Wednesday

Topeka, KS - Kansas clergy along with over 2,000 faith leaders nationwide have signed on to a letter adamantly rejecting the proposals of two dozen United States governors to close their states’ doors to Syrian refugees fleeing the unspeakable cruelty of ISIS.WHAT: Press conference and letter delivery to Governor Brownback WHO: 

Pastor Kurt Rietema, Pathway Community Church

Rev. David Livingston, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church

Josh Shepherd, Director of Mission House

Pastor Rick Behrens, Grandview Park Presbyterian

Pastor Kenny Clewett

Maureen Lunn, Jacob’s Well Church


Wednesday, December 2 at 2:00 PM CST


Office of Gov. Brownback

300 SW 10th St.

Topeka, KS 66612

*Faith Leaders will meet on the right side of the capitol steps.


Read the complete statement and view the list of signatories.


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2,000+ Faith Leaders Condemn Governors’ Rejection of Syrian Refugees

November 19, 2015, 5:28 pm | Posted by

November 18, 2015
Contact: Allison Walter, 913-375-7730awalter@faithinpubliclife.org 

2,000+ Faith Leaders Condemn Governors’
Rejection of Syrian Refugees
Open letter from faith community also commends leaders welcoming refugees


Washington, DC - More than 2,000 faith leaders from across the nation have adamantly rejected the proposals of two dozen United States governors to close their states’ doors to Syrian refugees fleeing the unspeakable cruelty of ISIS.

Today, Faith in Public Life released an open letter from a broad range of religious leaders  – including Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life; Bishop Mariann Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; Dr. Raphael Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta; and prominent theologian Walter Brueggemann– calling the governors to welcome refugees and reject the politics of fear and cruelty.

“The Statue of Liberty is not etched with the message ‘Christians only,’” said Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life. “Our elected officials have a responsibility to protect the nation, but turning away families who risk their lives to escape the destruction of war is unnecessary and wrong. America can prevent attacks without turning our backs on desperate refugees.”

The letter reads in part: 

As faith leaders, we seek to honor Scripture’s call to protect the refugee and the immigrant. As it is written in the Hebrew Scriptures, “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.”

These leaders also condemn in the strongest terms proposals to discriminate against refugees on the basis of religion.

Read the complete statement and view the list of signatories.


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White House names Faith in Public Life CEO chair of President’s Council

November 5, 2015, 1:56 pm | Posted by

Here’s a sample of our media hits:

Jennifer Butler becomes chair of president’s advisory council on poverty


November 5, 2015
Contact: Allison Walter – awalter@faithinpubliclife.org / (202) 499-4093

Faith in Public Life CEO Jennifer Butler Named Chair of President’s Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships


Washington, DC– Faith in Public Life is pleased to announce that Executive Director and CEO, Rev. Jennifer Butler, has been named the chair of the President’s Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Said Butler, on learning of the appointment, “I’m deeply honored to be chosen for this position and very excited about the opportunities this platform presents to move forward the faith community’s work on issues of poverty and inequality. When the faith community comes together, we really can transform society. That’s the beauty of this council.”’

The council brings together religious and secular leaders, as well as experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and community organizations. The charge for the group is to focus on steps the government should take to in partnership with faith- and community-based organizations to reduce poverty and inequality and create opportunity for all. Such steps include changes in policies, programs and practices that affect the delivery of crucial services in low-income and underserved communities.

The council also includes Dr. Stephen Schneck, Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America; Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director of the Coalition on Human Needs; Rev. David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World; and 14 other prominent faith leaders.

Rev. Butler is the founding CEO of Faith in Public Life. From 1996 to 2005, she represented the Presbyterian Church (USA) at the United Nations. She is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary. Faith in Public Life is incredibly proud of Rev. Butler and her work to advance justice, compassion and the common good.

To interview Rev. Butler, please contact Allison Walter at awalter@faithinpubliclife.org or 202-499-4093.

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