Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
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Hundreds of Faith Leaders to Help Launch Renewed Movement to End Hunger and Poverty

May 2, 2007

WASHINGTON—Hundreds of national and regional leaders from major faith traditions will join representatives of the millions of volunteers who fight hunger on June 11, at 6:00 p.m. at Washington's National Cathedral for the second Interfaith Convocation on Hunger. Organized by Bread for the World and sponsored by the Interfaith Anti-Hunger Coordinators, the event will bring together leaders of Roman Catholic, Orthodox, evangelical and ecumenical Protestant denominations, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, and Jewish traditions, and other faith groups to call on the president and Congress to renew their commitment to end hunger. Dr. William J. Shaw, President of the National Baptist Convention, USA will be the featured preacher.

"The Interfaith Convocation on Hunger will be as much about passion as pageantry," says Rev. David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World. "People in our nation are yearning for bold leadership from both our elected representatives and the heads of our religious communities. They want to see our leaders take real action to fight hunger and poverty. The Interfaith Convocation will energize this movement."

A celebration on the great lawn of the Washington National Cathedral will prepare participants for an evening of inspirational music, solemn prayer and instruction from sacred texts. All those in attendance—old and young, experienced anti-hunger leaders and those new to the movement—will be commissioned to carry on this work from this day forward.

The convocation is part of Bread for the World's Gathering 2007, Sowing Seeds: Growing A Movement.   From June 9-12, The Gathering 2007 will bring together thousands of people of faith to participate in God's liberating action to end hunger and poverty. Through the presentations from cutting-edge thinkers and theologians and interaction with one another, participants will develop the skills they need to be powerful advocates for hungry and poor people.  The event will culminate with a Lobby Day on Tuesday, June 12 to call the attention of members of Congress to issues in the farm bill that affect hungry and poor people (For more Gathering information, visit www.bread.org/gathering2007).

Quotations by Heads of Faith Communities on their Participation at the Interfaith Convocation

"In Jesus Christ, Christians find the bread of life. In our gratitude for this gift, we are moved to respond to make sure that all our brothers and sisters have God's good gift of bread. At the Interfaith Convocation, we will use our collective voice as a broad community of faith to urge our elected officials to join us in the work to end hunger in this country and around the world." Dr. William J. Shaw, President of the National Baptist Convention, USA

"Hunger and poverty are not isolated issues.  Rather, they are deeply connected to the values we espouse and the simple choices we make each day.  It is the responsibility of all of us to work for right relationships in all places and for all peoples—always remembering that it is God who gathers us and God who compels us to sow seeds of justice that will produce Bread for the World." Sister Mary Dacey SSJ, President, Leadership Conference of Women Religious

"Doing justice and loving mercy are among the mandates central to our faith.  That makes The Gathering 2007 and Interfaith Convocation wonderful opportunities for spiritual growth as well as service and fellowship.  I hope the Covenant will be well represented." Dr. Glenn R. Palmberg, President, Evangelical Covenant Church

"In every period of Jewish history we have been instructed to care for the hungry.  In our day and age, the collective weight of our individual obligations to ease the suffering of the hungry includes the communal obligation to end hunger; the local is also global.  American Jews have an opportunity to be a part of a movement that includes the very best of what our tradition teaches about justice and compassion.  We should sow seeds along with our partners in diverse faith communities." Rabbi Jack Moline, Chair, Interfaith Alliance and Social Action Chair, The Rabbinical Assembly

"It is clear that we have the capacity to end hunger and reduce poverty in the world. The question is do we have the will? The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is committed to being part of the growing global movement to end hunger now. The Interfaith Convocation on Hunger, June 11th, will give new energy and focus to this movement." Rev. Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 

Participating Heads of Faith Communities

the 2007 Interfaith Convocation on Hunger

Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)

Rev. Arnetta McNeese-Bailey, Executive Director, Women of the Church of God

Rabbi Alvin Berkun, President, The Rabbinical Assembly

The Right Rev. John Bryson Chane, D.D., Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington

Rev. Richard Cizik, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals

Sister Mary Dacey SSJ, President, Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Ven Bhante M.Dhammasiri, President, Buddhist Vihara, Washington, DC

The Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, General Secretary, National Council of Churches USA

Rabbi Jerome M. Epstein, Executive Vice President, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism

Mrs. Jamesina Evans, National President, Women's Missionary Society, African Methodist Episcopal Church

Mr. Joseph Flannigan, National President, Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Commissioner Israel L. Gaither, National Commander, The Salvation Army

Bishop William H. Graves Sr., Senior Bishop, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Dr. Elnora P. Hamb, President, Women's Missionary Council, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Rev. Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 

Ms. Virginia Holmstrom, Executive Director, American Baptist Women's Ministries

Rev. Dr. Cliff Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk, General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Mr. Bert Lobe, Interim Executive Director, Mennonite Central Committee

Rev. Dr. Leonard Lovett, Director of Ecumenical Affairs, Church of God in Christ

Rev. John L. McCullough, Executive Director, Church World Service

Rev. Brian D. McLaren, Pastor, Emergent Village

Rev. A. Roy Medley, General Secretary, American Baptist Churches, USA

Rev. Belita D. Mitchell, Moderator, Church of the Brethren

Rabbi Jack Moline, Chair, The Interfaith Alliance & Social Action Chair, The Rabbinical Assembly

Mr. Paul Montacute, Director, Baptist World Aid

Dr. Nicku Kyungu Mordi, President, International Outreach Ministries, Inc.

Dr. Stanley J. Noffsinger, General Secretary, Church of the Brethren

Dr. Glenn Palmberg, President, Evangelical Covenant Church

Ms. Ann Pickett, President, International Disciples Women's Ministries

Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick III, 5th Episcopal District, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr. , 2nd Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church

Bishop James C. Richardson, Presiding Bishop, Mt. Sinai Apostle Church of Christ in God

Bishop Roy Sano, Executive Committee, Council of Bishops, United Methodist Church

Presiding Bishop Monroe R. Saunders, Jr., D.Min, The United Churches of Jesus Christ, Apostolic

Dr. Barbara L. Shaw, General President, Women's Home and Overseas Missionary Society, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

Bishop James Shaw, Sr., Presiding Bishop, The United Way of the Cross Churches of Christ

Rev. William J. Shaw, President, The National Baptist Convention, USA

Rev. William G Sinkford, President, Unitarian-Universalist Association

Ms. Roberta  Spivek, National Representative for Economic Justice, American Friends Service Committee

Rev. Dr.  Stephen J. Thurston, President, National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.

Dr. Daniel Vestal, Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

The Rt. Rev. Elijah Williams, President, The United Holy Church of America

Rabbi Shawn Zevit, Senior Consultant, Director of Outreach & External Affiliations, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation

Other Delegates

The Right Rev. George E. Councell, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey

Sr. Beatrice Eichten, Past President Elect, Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Rev. LaSimba Gray, Jr., Pastor, New Sardis Baptist Church

Mr. Jeff Haggray, Executive Director/Minister, District of Columbia Baptist Convention

Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim Chaplain, Georgetown University

Ms. Susie Johnson, Director, Washington Office, United Methodist Women's Division

Rabbi Jan Caryl Kaufman, Director of Special Projects, The Rabbinical Assembly

Ms. Ev Penzel, Social Advocacy, International Disciples Women's Ministries

Mr. Obadiah Smith, Coordinator, Compassionate Ministries (Church of God)

Bishop Richard Keith Thompson, Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

Mr. Reid Trulson, Executive Director, International Ministries, American Baptist Churches, USA

Ms. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III, Executive Director, National Ministries, American Baptist Churches, USA

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Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

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