Washigton, DC - On Thursday, May 24th from 7-10pm, a group of multiracial elders from many Christian traditions—including representation from evangelical, mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, and African American churches—will lead a church service, procession to deliver declaration to the White House, and silent candlelight vigil in response to the moral and political crises at the highest levels of political leadership that are putting both the soul of the nation and the integrity of Christian faith at stake.
The Christian church will not accept America’s growing political amorality as normal. The Reclaiming Jesus declaration offers a powerful alternative to racial bigotry and white nationalism, the mistreatment of women, the rejection of immigrants and refugees, the abandonment of the poor, the denial of truth, and alarming moves to replace public service with autocracy. These dangers are more than political—they are theological issues which pose urgent questions to authentic Christian faith.
“The astonishing response to the elders’ video calling for ‘Reclaiming Jesus’ shows how many Christians in America have felt unheard in this crisis, how many hunger to come back to Jesus from partisan politics, how many believe that both the soul of the nation and the integrity of our faith is really at stake. People of faith want to respond and not just react—I find that deeply encouraging and very hopeful,” said Jim Wallis, president and founder of Sojourners.
Bishop Michael B Curry stated, “This weekend I spoke about the way of love. As elders, we view bringing the Reclaiming Jesus declaration to the public square as a tangible example of how to live out that way of love. We are Christian leaders bearing moral witness to the teachings of our faith in the public square. As citizens we want our government to reflect our values. As a Bishop I believe we should follow the teachings of Jesus - who taught us to love God and love our neighbor."
What: National, multi-denominational faith elders will lead a church service, procession to the White House, and silent candlelight vigil at the White House to deliver the Reclaiming Jesus Declaration to the Trump Administration, serving as a witness to the world that the church will not stay silent as the Christian message is corrupted and misappropriated by those seeking political power. Expected crowd of 1000 attendees.
When: Thursday, May 24, 2018, from 7pm-10pm
7:00pm-8:30 Church Service | 8:30-8:45 Procession to White House| 8:45-10:00 Silent Candlelight Vigil
Where: National City Christian Church at 5 Thomas Circle NW and White House at Lafayette Park
Entire event will be livestreamed via facebook at: www.facebook.com/SojournersMagazine/ or online at www.livestream.com/accounts/12656718/events/8197951
Who: Confirmed elders attending the event include:
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
Rev. Jim Wallis, President and Founder, Sojourners
Rev. Dr. Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary
Dr. Tony Campolo, Co-Founder, Red Letter Christians
Rev. Dr. James Forbes, President and Founder, Healing of the Nations Foundation and Preaching Professor at Union Theological Seminary
Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary Emeritus, Reformed Church in America
Rev. Dr. Richard Hamm, former General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Fr. Richard Rohr, Founder, Center for Action and Contemplation
Dr. Ron Sider, President Emeritus, Evangelicals for Social Action
Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, Director, NCC Truth and Racial Justice Initiative
Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Co-Convener, National African American Clergy Network; President, Skinner Leadership Institute
(Note: the full list of authoring elders is available online at www.reclaimingjesus.org)
Visuals: Faith elders wearing clerical attire hosting church service with gospel choir. Estimated crowd of 1000+ attendees will be holding candles and processing from National City Christian Church to the White House (rolling street blockade on Vermont Ave starting at 8:30 for procession to Lafayette Park) culminating in a moving picket in front of the White House on Pennsylvania Ave.
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Follow Up: There will be an event at the National Press Club Zenger Room on May 25th from 9am to 10:30 for the press with a brief overview of the vigil and open time to conduct interviews with prominent elders about the historical convening resulting in the Reclaiming Jesus Declaration, how the declaration is relevant to the daily news cycle, and stories about churches already engaging in using the declaration to impact their congregations.
Read the Reclaiming Jesus Declaration at www.reclaimingjesus.org .