The Common Good

Sojourners and Cedar Ridge Community Church Convene FIVE Sundays of Worship in the Spirit of Justice: An Initiative to End the Genocide in Darfur

Source: Sojourners
Date: June 17, 2005

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jack Pannell, Press Secretary (202) 328-8842, x. 214 or (202) 285-1899
Friday, June 17, 2005

Media Advisory

Sojourners and Cedar Ridge Community Church
Convene FIVE Sundays of Worship in the Spirit of Justice:
An Initiative to End the Genocide in Darfur

What:

"Worship in the Spirit of Justice," an initiative to mobilize people of faith in MD, VA, and DC for five Sundays of public worship and political witness around the theme of justice and peace in Africa, especially in Darfur, Sudan. On July 10th, the pivotal worship service will call for action in front of the White House, and will include concurrent vigils and worship services around the country. This week's public worship event will target members of Congress, who will be urged to take action to stop the genocide in Darfur.

Who: Jim Wallis, author of God's Politics, editor of Sojourners and Convener of Call to Renewal, Rev. Brian McLaren, founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church, and Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reformed Judiasm, among others.

When: Sunday, June 19, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. and every Sunday through July 10th

Where: Reflecting Pool in front of the U.S. Capitol, (3rd St. NW & the Capitol Mall), Washington, D.C.

Background:

"Worship in the Spirit of Justice" will take place for five consecutive Sundays at symbolic locations throughout the city. The first worship event took place last Sunday, June 12. Over 250 people from various faith traditions raised their voices in prayer and witness for those being systematically killed in the Darfur region of Sudan. The public worship events continue this Sunday, June 19th through Sunday, July 10th. Growing by the hundreds from Sunday to Sunday, people of faith will come together for worship, prayer, political witness, singing, Scripture reading and the taking of an offering (all of which will go to aid people suffering in Darfur). The public worship services are being organized by Sojourners and its partners with four goals in mind: to pray for God's justice and mercy for those suffering in Darfur; to urge the media to increase their coverage of the conflict; to urge the United States government to use its influence to deploy an expanded international peacekeeping force with a mandate to protect civilian lives; and to call on the church in America to remember the poor and oppressed – especially those in Africa - and to make those who suffer from poverty and injustice a greater priority in prayers, preaching and action whenever people gather to worship in churches, synagogues and mosques throughout the nation. Sojourners is joined in this initiative by African Action, Cedar Ridge Community Church, Genocide Intervention Fund and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. For more information visit www.worship4justice.org.

Event Schedule and Locations

All of the events will start at 1 p.m. and take place in five locations in Washington, DC, with special significance.

Sunday, June 12: Lincoln Memorial
The kick-off event at the Lincoln Memorial drew over 250 worshipers and paid homage to Abraham Lincoln's concern for liberation and justice. Main Speaker: The Rev. Brian McLaren, Cedar Ridge Community Church.

Sunday, June 19: Capitol Reflecting Pool: Congress

During a public worship service near the steps leading to the U.S. Capitol, people of faith will call on Congress to make an end to genocide in Darfur a top priority. Hundreds of worshipers will identify specific actions the U.S. can take to help bring about change in Darfur. Main speaker: Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reformed Judaism.

Sunday, June 26: Freedom Plaza:National Press Club
Turning to the media, people of faith will pray for and call on journalists and national and international media organizations to investigate and report on the tragedy in Darfur. With widespread public support building for the endangered people of Darfur, the media is being called on to acknowledge the degree of this public support and report on all the actions being taken by concerned citizens in the country. Main Speaker: Rev. Wallace Charles Smith, Shiloh Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.

Sunday, July 3: Sheridan Circle: Sudanese Embassy
With growing crowds of the faithful praying in front of the Sudanese Embassy, Worship in the Spirit of Justice will focus this Sunday on the government of Sudan, urging its leaders to protect the defenseless in Darfur. Main Speaker: Rev. Rich Cizik, National Association of Evangelicals.

Sunday, July 10: Lafayette Park: White House


During the final and pivotal public worship service, a broad collection of people of faith will pray for President Bush in front of the White House, urging him to provide moral leadership toward ending the killing of innocent men, women and children in Darfur. This event will be expanded by concurrent worship services and vigils nationally. We will challenge President Bush not to let the genocide in Darfur continue on his watch. Main Speaker: Rev. Jim Wallis, Sojourners and Call To Renewal.

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About Sojourners: Founded in 1971 as a faith-based organization, Sojourners provides an alternative perspective on faith, politics, and culture through its award-winning monthly magazine, e-mail services, Web site, media commentaries, and public events. Ecumenical and progressive, Sojourners lifts up the biblical connection between social justice and spiritual renewal and nurtures community by bringing together people from the various traditions and streams of the church. Sojourners also hosts an annual program of voluntary service now in its 21st year.