Churches to Obama: 'Put the Poor First'

Christian Churches Together (CCT), a three-year-old ecumenical group representing more than 100 million U.S. Christians, met with President Obama’s transition team in January to press the administration to make poverty reduction a political priority. The meeting, which included senior domestic policy advisers, focused on an economic stimulus package that would prioritize solutions to the growing poverty rate in the U.S.

The meeting was an opportunity to build relationships with the administration, reach consensus on key topics, and make a public witness for Christian concern for the poor, CCT executive administrator Richard L. Hamm told Sojourners. “We will hold [President Obama] and ourselves accountable to this commitment for the sake of the gospel mandate to care for the least of these,” Hamm said.

“We’ve heard a lot recently about Wall Street and

Main Street
,” Sharon Watkins, general minister and president of the Disciples of Christ, said at a press conference following the meeting. “Our concern is the people who live on the street or have no street address.” CCT is comprised of evangelical, Pentecostal, mainline Protes­tant, Orthodox, Catholic, and ethnic churches and organizations, including Sojourners, making it the broadest ecumenical conversation in the U.S. —Joey Ager

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