3,500 Christian Leaders from 48 States to Protest War at National Cathedral, Risk Arrest at White House

March 13, 2007, 6:11 pm | Posted by

Tele-press conference Thursday, Event on Friday

(Washington, DC) – Christian Peace Witness for Iraq will begin with a worship service on Friday, March 16 at Washington National Cathedral to be attended by more than 3,500 Christians from 48 states, followed by a candlelight procession through the center of our nation’s capital, where thousands of Christians will surround the White House bearing the light of peace, and 700 will risk arrest by remaining in prayer in front of the White House. The service begins at 7 p.m., and the White House vigil will begin at 10:30 p.m. It will be the largest Christian peace demonstration, as well as the largest single civil disobedience action at the White House, since the beginning of the Iraq war four years ago.

Prominent participants in Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, including Jim Wallis, Taylor Branch, Bernice Powell Jackson, and Rick Ufford Chase will hold a pre-action tele-press conference on Thursday, March 15 at 10 a.m. to discuss their plans and make a united Christian call for peace to Iraq. To join the tele-press conference, dial in 1-800-909-7113 / password: PEACE.

WHAT: Christian Peace Witness National Cathedral Worship Service, Procession and Action at White House

WHEN: Friday Event: March 16, 2007 at 7pm

Thursday Tele-Press Conference: March 15, 2007 at 10 am

WHERE: The National Cathedral

Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, NW

Washington, D.C. 20016-5098

WHO: Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal and author of God’s Politics

Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of America in the King Years and a Presbyterian Elder.

Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson, President of the North American Conference of the World Council of Churches.

Rick Ufford Chase, convener of Christian Peace Witness for Iraq’s steering committee and former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church.

Celeste Zappala, a United Methodist and founding member of Gold Start Families Speak Out, whose son was killed in Iraq in April 2004

SPONSOR ORGANIZATIONS: Adventist Peace Fellowship, American Friends Service Committee, Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, Brethren Witness, Catholic Peace Fellowship, Christian Alliance for Progress, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Declaration of Peace, Disciples Justice Action Network, Disciples Peace Fellowship, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Every Church a Peace Church, Faith in Public Life; Kairos: A Time to Speak, A Time to Act; Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Lutheran Peace Fellowship, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Church USA, National Council of Churches, No2Torture, On Earth Peace, Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, Pax Christi USA, Pentecostal Charismatic Peace Fellowship, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, Protestants for the Common Good, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, Sojourners/Call to Renewal.

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We Believe Ohio Clergy Call for Civility in Budget Process, Announce Day of Prayer in Action

March 13, 2007, 10:57 am | Posted by

(Columbus, OH and Cleveland, OH) – Just two days before the release of Governor Strickland’s proposed budget, Columbus and Cleveland clergy leaders of We Believe Ohio today called on both the administration and the State Assembly to maintain civility in the budget negotiation process, and to keep the focus on the poor. In a teleconference with reporters, We Believe Ohio also announced plans for the “We Believe Ohio Day of Prayer in Action,” on May 3, 2007, the National Day of Prayer.

“Today we are speaking out, on the one year anniversary of our launch in 2006, because We Believe our state budget is a moral document. The values of all Ohioans will not be reflected in this budget if the process is sidetracked by partisan gamesmanship,” We Believe Ohio co-founder Rev. Tim Ahrens, Senior Pastor, First Congregational Church, Columbus said. “We saw terrible incivility in the 2006 campaign season and we have seen the gridlock that happens when partisanship consumes the legislative process. With a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion and a Republican-led State assembly, it is more important than ever to maintain a civil process.”

Rev. Felix Carrion, Senior Pastor of Euclid Avenue Congregational Church in Cleveland spoke of We Believe’s vision of prosperity for all people, especially the “least of these.” “We are not sentimental about poverty. Instead, we are outraged by its force to disintegrate community, the social bounds of covenant. Working together we can shine; together we can make a better life for all our people and secure a lasting promise of well-being for our state.”

In announcing the “We Believe Ohio Day of Prayer in Action” — when clergy and lay leaders from across the state will descend on Columbus to lobby the administration and the legislature — We Believe Ohio co-founder Cantor Jack Chomsky of Tifereth Israel in Columbus said, “We Believe that God is watching. We Believe that Moses, Jesus and Muhammed have taught us what to do. We will be watching. We will be listening. And we will not remain silent.”

Clergy leaders of We Believe Ohio also specifically called on the administration and State Assembly to work together to expand health care coverage for the more and one million uninsured Ohioans and to comply with the Supreme Court’s mandates on public education. “People before things, and people before pork,” Rev. Eric Brown, Senior Pastor of Woodland Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Columbus, proclaimed.

“The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled four times that the school-funding setup violates the state constitution. But so far, Ohio’s public officials have failed our children—and local taxpayers—by refusing to set aside partisan differences and find a funding solution for our public education system,” The Very Rev. Tracey Lind, Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland and Convener of We Believe Ohio in Greater Cleveland, said. “We call Governor Strickland and state legislators from both parties to work cooperatively together to find a solution for public education funding. The future of our children, and our state, depend on it.”

We Believe Ohio is a coalition of hundreds of diverse clergy and lay religious voices united to achieve social justice. We Believe Ohio provides a positive voice of faith in Ohio that respects and reflects the diverse religious traditions across the great State of Ohio. We Believe is committed to acting and speaking in public ways on behalf of the poor, the voiceless, and the unrepresented.

www.webelieveohio.org

We are called as people of faith and loyal Americans to be united in dialogue and action to say:

YES to justice for all; NO to prosperity for only a few; YES to diverse religious expression; NO to self-righteous certainty; YES to the common good; NO to discrimination against any of God’s people; YES to the voice of religious traditions informing public policy; NO to crossing the lines that separate the institutions of Religion and Government.

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Faith in Public Life is a communications and organizing resource center for faith leaders sharing a call to pursue justice and the common good. Faith in Public Life is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization.

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Congressional Briefing: Rethinking U.S. Trade Policy for the Common Good

March 12, 2007, 5:18 pm | Posted by

Briefing Hosted By Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC), Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and Interfaith Working Group on Trade

(Washington, DC)—U.S. Reps. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), in collaboration with Interfaith Working Group on Trade and Investment (IWG) will host a Congressional briefing entitled “Rethinking U.S. Trade Policy for the Common Good,” tomorrow, Tuesday, March 13, from 8:00am until 2:30pm in Rayburn Congressional Building Room B369.

The briefing follows last week’s reemergence of the bipartisan, bicameral coalition, which first formed during the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) debate. Led by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Reps. Mike Michaud (D-ME), Walter B. Jones (R-NC) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA), and the IWG, the coalition’s priorities for the 2007 trade agenda are:

Reduce manufacturing job loss

Re-evaluate fast track

Integrate enforceable labor standards and national security requirements in trade deals

Combat currency manipulation; and

Improve workforce competitiveness.

Speakers at the briefing will include U.S. Representatives from both sides of the aisle, academics, religious leaders, and elected officials and activists from the Global South who will share stories about the negative effects CAFTA and other trade agreements are already having on the people of their countries. The briefing will also raise the issue of the role trade agreements have played and will play continue to play in state and local governments in the U.S.

With the goal of persuading members of Congress to think beyond the issues of jobs and the environment to embrace a broader, moral, ethical vision, the briefing will explore three areas:

Trading Away Livelihoods: The current US trade agenda has resulted in job loss, rural dislocation, and increased migration. To be consistent with American values, trade agreements should enable people to have well-paying, safe employment to support their families.

Trading Away Democracy in the U.S. and in State and Local Governments: The “one-size-fits-all” trade model has resulted in a loss of sovereignty for signatory countries, including the U.S. Moreover, an increasing number of states are demanding to be excluded from trade agreements as they discover local policies, such as food safety protections and land use, zoning, environmental and local tax laws can be challenged through trade agreements.

Trade Away Food Security: Farmers and food workers in impoverished countries seek food sovereignty, which respects the right of every country and region to establish food and farm policies based on needs, conservation of natural resources, distribution of economic opportunities and the right of producers to serve local markets at fair prices.

In addition to Reps. Jones and Kaptur, speakers include:

Erika Duenas, Embassy of Bolivia, Economic Adviser

Francis Ng’ambi, Economic Justice Network of the Southern Africa Conference of Churches

Leslie Hossfeld, Assistant Professor of Public Sociology, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Manual Montes, Chief, Policy Analysis and Development Branch at Financing for Development Office of UNDESA, (from the Philippines)

James Hug, SJ, President of the Center of Concern

Robert K. Stumberg, Professor of Law and Director, Harrison Institute for Public Policy, Georgetown University Law Center

Angela Wayue, Food Rights Coordinator, ActionAid Kenya

Victor Quintana, Via Campesiana Mexico

Larry Mitchell, CEO, American Corn Growers Association

The Interfaith Working Group on Trade and Investment (IWG) is a group comprised of religious congregations and faith-based organizations who have long spoken out for trade rules that promote the common good – here in the U.S. and for our trading partners.

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Faith in Public Life is a communications and organizing resource center for faith leaders sharing a call to pursue justice and the common good. Faith in Public Life is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization.

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Tele-Press Conference Tuesday: We Believe Ohio Calls for Civility in Budget Process, Focus on the Poor

March 8, 2007, 4:59 pm | Posted by

We Believe Ohio Announces Day of Prayer in Action

Just two days before the release of Governor Strickland’s proposed budget, We Believe Ohio will hold a press teleconference to call on both the administration and the State Assembly to maintain civility in the budget negotiation process, and to keep the focus on the most vulnerable citizens in our state. We Believe Ohio will also announce plans for clergy and lay leaders from across the state to lobby the administration and the legislature on May 3, 2007, the National Day of Prayer, for the “We Believe Ohio Day of Prayer in Action.”

Clergy leaders of We Believe Ohio will also specifically call on the administration and State Assembly to work together to expand health care coverage for the more and one million uninsured Ohioans and to comply with the Supreme Court’s mandates on public education.

WHO: Statewide Clergy Leaders of We Believe Ohio:

Rev. Tim Ahrens, Senior Pastor, First Congregational Church, Columbus

Cantor Jack Chomsky, Tifereth Israel, Columbus

Rev. Tracey Lind, Trinity Episcopal, Cleveland

Rev. Eric Brown, Woodland Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Columbus

Rev. Felix Carrion, Euclid Avenue Congregational Church, Cleveland

WHEN: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 at 11:00 AM

WHERE: Call-in number: 1-800-658-0035

Password: We Believe

Recognizing both the fiscal and moral crises Ohio faces, with a growing number of children and adults falling into poverty — needing health care, more affordable housing, and better access to a quality education — We Believe Ohio believes that all state officials must set aside partisan sniping and political gamesmanship, and focus on the critical issues for the common good.

We Believe Ohio is a coalition of clergy and lay leaders that launched in 2006 to unite diverse religious voices to achieve social justice.

www.webelieveohio.org

We are called as people of faith and loyal Americans to be united in dialogue and action to say:

YES to justice for all; NO to prosperity for only a few; YES to diverse religious expression; NO to self-righteous certainty; YES to the common good; NO to discrimination against any of God’s people; YES to the voice of religious traditions informing public policy; NO to crossing the lines that separate the institutions of Religion and Government.

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Faith in Public Life is a communications and organizing resource center for faith leaders sharing a call to pursue justice and the common good. Faith in Public Life is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization.

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Tele-Press Conference: Prominent Religious Leaders to Discuss Christian Peace Witness

March 8, 2007, 4:54 pm | Posted by

3,000 Christian from Across America Coming to D.C. to Worship and Protest to End Iraq War

Washington, D.C. – Nationally prominent peace activists and faith leaders from the Baptist, Episcopal, Mennonite, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic churches will hold a press teleconference on Monday, March 12 at 2 p.m to discuss what is expected to be the largest expressly Christian war protest to take place since the War in Iraq began four years ago.

More than 3,000 Christians from across the country are coming to DC next Friday for the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq: an ecumenical worship at Washington National Cathedral, followed by a candlelight procession to the White House, where hundreds of Christians will participate in a massive act of civil disobedience and thousands of Christians will surround the White House with the light of peace.

Rick Ufford-Chase, Bishop Gabino Zavala, Marie Dennis, Daryl Byler, Evelyn Hanneman, and Bishop Michael Curry will draw on the lessons of Scripture to lift up a prophetic Christian call to end the occupation, improve and internationalize reconstruction, end torture, and provide support for our veteran and troops. The President and Congress have not heeded the will of the people on these matters, and Christians are uniting to say that escalation, exploitation and human rights abuse flout the teachings of Christ and the prophets. They will also speak about the extraordinary collaboration of more than 25 Christian groups to create the Christian Peace Witness.

What: Teleconference with prominent faith leaders on Christian Peace Witness for Iraq; each will address aspects of Iraq policy that must change.

Who:

Rick Ufford Chase, convener of Christian Peace Witness for Iraq’s steering committee and former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, will moderate the discussion.

Bishop Gabino Zavala, president of Pax Christi USA and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, will discuss the need for an end to the occupation of Iraq.

Marie Dennis, Director of Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, will discuss real support for the troops.

Daryl Byler, director of the Mennonite Central Committee’s Washington, DC office, will discuss the rebuilding of Iraq.

Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Church, will discuss America’s use of torture.

Evelyn Hanneman, Interim Coordinating Director of Baptist Peace Fellowship, will discuss the unjust use of resources caused by the war.

WHEN: Monday, March 12, 2007 at 2 p.m. Eastern

WHERE: Call-in number: 1-641-297-5800, Password: 31207

SPONSOR ORGANIZATIONS: Adventist Peace Fellowship, American Friends Service Committee, Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, Brethren Witness, Catholic Peace Fellowship, Christian Alliance for Progress, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Disciples Justice Action Network, Disciples Peace Fellowship, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Every Church a Peace Church, Faith in Public Life; Kairos: A Time to Speak, A Time to Act; Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Lutheran Peace Fellowship, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Church USA, National Council of Churches, No2Torture, On Earth Peace, Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, Pax Christi USA, Pentecostal Charismatic Peace Fellowship, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, Protestants for the Common Good, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, Sojourners/Call to Renewal.

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Please visit Christian Peace Witness for Iraq for more information

Faith in Public Life is a communications and organizing resource center for faith leaders sharing a call to pursue justice and the common good. Faith in Public Life is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization.

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