Annual event invites Christians to worship, strategize, lobby online, April 18-21
Christian activists gather once a year to worship, strategize and lobby Congress. This year they’ll do it virtually.
People can still register for Ecumenical Advocacy Days, to be held April 18-21. The cost is $35, or $15 for students. A $50 rate, including a donation, is also available.
Climate justice will be the focus. The event’s theme is “Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored.” The schedule is here.
Organizers see the event as supporting “communities most vulnerable to climate impacts due to historic racial and colonial inequities.”
Featured speakers include the following (all times are EDT):
- Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of The Episcopal Church. He will preach at a 10 a.m. worship service Sunday, April 18.
- The Rev. Miriama White-Hammond, founding pastor of New Roots AME Church, Dorchester, Mass. She will keynote EAD’s April 18 opening gathering.
- Jacqueline Patterson, who leads the NAACP‘s climate justice work. She will deliver a 1 p.m. keynote Tuesday, April 20, during EAD’s plenary session focusing on “legislative asks.”
- Keya Chatterjee, leader of the U.S. Climate Action Network. She will keynote an 11 a.m. plenary Thursday, April 21. That session will be a send-off to participants who will make online lobbying visits to members of Congress that day.
The United Church of Christ has taken part annually since the first EAD in 2003. This year, UCC ministers and lay leaders will play key roles as presenters and behind the scenes.
- UCC and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) participants will share a denominational breakout time at 1 p.m. Monday, April 19. Sandy Sorensen, who leads Justice and Local Church Ministries advocacy staff in Washington, D.C., will offer a welcome. The Rev. Brooks Berndt, minister of environmental justice, will report on his work.
- On Tuesday, April 20, the Rev. Michael Neuroth of the D.C. staff will moderate a panel on nuclear weapons and climate change. Also that day, two Global Ministries area executives will help lead workshops: Derek Duncan, on the Philippines, and Peter Makari on Israel and Palestine.
- These have roles in the April 18 opening worship service:
- The Rev. Sheila Harvey Guillaume, senior pastor of Union Congregational UCC, West Palm Beach, Fla.
- The Rev. Linda Jaramillo of Portland, Ore., a retired UCC national officer.
- Mark A. Miller, minister of music at Christ Church UCC, Summit, N.J., via his hymn, “God Has Work for Us To Do.”
- The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson (UCC) and Julia Brown Karimu (Disciples), co-executives of Global Ministries.
- Makari and Rebekah Choate of the Global Ministries staff.
In addition, Neuroth, Choate and Global Ministries staffer Krista Johnson helped plan the entire conference and its worship. Neuroth and Choate helped staff the conference. The Rev. Amber Neuroth of Hope UCC, Alexandria, Va., also contributed to the opening liturgy.
A video of the opening EAD worship service is already available here. Organizers have encouraged local congregations to use all or part of it, even if they are unable to take part in the event.
People who do register for the conference will “delve deeply into the pressing issues of the day, and lift our voices by speaking truth to power on Capitol Hill,” organizers said. “Together, we will passionately advocate and reimagine a world that lives out the values of justice, equity and the beloved community.”
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