Church Elders Lead Thousands of Christians in Vigil to the White House
The Reclaiming Jesus service kicked off with music by the Howard Gospel Choir and opening remarks from the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry and Sojourners president Rev. Jim Wallis.
"We are not a partisan group. We are not a left-wing group. We are not a right-wing group. We are a Jesus movement." — The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry at #ReclaimJesus
Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner of the African American Clergy Network and Dr. Tony Campolo gave reflections on the Reclaiming Jesus statement, that says in part:
"We believe each human being is made in God’s image and likenes ... Therefore, we reject the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership. ...
We believe we are one body. In Christ, there is to be no oppression based on race, gender, identity, or class ... Therefore, we reject misogyny, the mistreatment, violent abuse, sexual harassment, and assault of women that has been further revealed in our culture and politics, including our churches, and the oppression of any other child of God."
Participants in the service, pictured here with other church leaders, included Rev. Stephen Gentle, Rev. Dr. Terri Hord Owens, The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Rev. Dr. Ron Sider, Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, Rev. Dr. James Forbes Jr., Rev. Jim Wallis, Fr. Richard Rohr, The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Bishop Carroll A. Baltimore, Dr. Tony Campolo, and Rev. Dr. Walter Brueggemann.
Many of the clergy pictured here were part of an Ash Wednesday gathering of nearly two-dozen elders of the church who came together to discuss the state of the church in America and ended up crafting the Reclaiming Jesus confession of faith.
Elders used Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent as a time of reflection and set their eyes to this season of Pentecost to take their faith to the streets — along with about 2,500 others who stood with them and thousands more following along online.