Ecumenical Advocacy Days 29 Jan 2017 Ralph Jones

Last Sunday Pastor Susan asked how many of us participated in the Women’s Marches. An impressive number of hands went up. Did we achieve justice for all, yet?

This morning, Good Morning America interviewed at Yale PhD. Student researching in Afghanistan and unable to come home. It occurs to me to ask how many of us have students or colleagues affected by the Executive Order? I see three or four.

We have more to do!

I can’t tell that the Publican in chief has even acknowledged the concerns of the people. (Think about it. The head of the Republican Party owns hotels and bars and is now chief tax collector.)

So, what can we do now?

In the near term, and as one meaningful step, I suggest attending Ecumenical Advocacy Days, and its pre-quell, the PC USA’s Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Day.

April 21st through 24th, more than 700 people of faith will gather in Washington DC. There will be three days of study, worship and preparation. All leading up to Monday. That’s the day we will head to the Capitol to bring our message to our electeds and their staff.

The theme this year is “Confronting Chaos, Forging Community: Challenging Racism, Materialism and Militarism.” Within that, there will be many tracks, covering events around the world, including eco-justice. J. Herbert Nelson, our Stated Clerk and former head of the Washington Office of Public Witness, will be a keynote speaker. The theme is timely, grappling with the intersectionality of racism, materialism, and militarism, and learning more about the impact they have around the world, in our communities, and in our own lives.

The Presbyterian’s Training that precedes EAD (it’s a separate registration) is for programs Friday morning and afternoon. They will look at how our church and our partners are confronting racism, materialism, and militarism, analyzing our current context and offering concrete tools for members and their congregations to address these urgent issues. This is about “forging community” amidst the current chaos in our country.

I hope many of you will join me there for BOTH EAD and the Training. Don’t delay too long thinking about this. I understand that registration is already filling up.

Our visits may not affect immediate change, but they are so important. Our legislators — and their staffs — need to know they have constituents who care. While there, we’ll also get to make and renew friendships and witness the great effort that the faith community is making.

This is a great opportunity. April 21 through 24. See me or the Hunts for details.

Remember all who need refuge. Come witness the church at prayer in action.

Additional information about the Training and EAD

Panorama of a portion of the Hartford Women’s Rally crowd.

Advocacy Training Weekend

Join us April 21 for Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington DC.  Gather with your fellow Presbyterians as we look at how our church and our partners are confronting racism, materialism, and militarism in our country and abroad.  In plenaries and workshops we will analyze our current context and offer concrete tools for members and their congregations to address these urgent issues.  We will learn how we can “forge community” amidst the current chaos in our country.

Registration Around $60.

EAD 2017:
Confronting Chaos, Forging Community

When Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. posed the question, “Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?” in his book of the same title 50 years ago, no one could have imagined that we would still be wrestling with this question today. In that same year on April 4, 1967, a year to the day before Dr. King was assassinated, he spoke at Riverside Church in New York addressing the intersectionality of “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism” as the principal challenges of the time. Five decades later, Dr. King’s prophetic insights and challenges – and the stark choice between chaos and community — are incredibly current.

Sadly, we have witnessed chaos in many of our communities, challenging us as people of faith to speak and act boldly and courageously to end racism, materialism and militarism.

Over the past year, our nation has experienced a divisive election in which racism, xenophobia, and religious bigotry were a constant. We still find racism an open wound in our nation, resulting in the disproportionate killing of black and brown bodies and stunting their lives through unjust economic and social structures. The militarization of our police is a reflection not only of broken communal values, but also a lopsided foreign policy that spends drastically more on defense than diplomacy or development. Militarism continues to be the United States’ overriding approach to resolving conflict, despite studies that show the effectiveness of peacebuilding and the power of non-violence. Extreme materialism threatens our souls and our very planet, as prosperity narratives and unchecked capitalism spreads despite overwhelming scientific evidence that our current path is unstainable. As in Dr. King’s time, we teeter precariously between chaos and community.

A new time calls for new strategies. The dynamic movement of people of faith and conscience today to challenge these “giant triplets” of chaos is taking different forms from those of the civil rights era. But the same courage and commitment to bring about national and social transformation animates the new generation of activists. This year’s EAD gathering will address racism/white privilege, economic injustice and militarization at home and abroad.

Join us in Washington for Confronting Chaos, Forging Community from April 21-24, 2017 to grapple with the intersectionality of racism, materialism, and militarism, and learn more about the impact they have around the world, in our communities, and in our own lives. Through prayer, worship, advocacy training, and networking with other Christians, we will face the current manifestations of these ‘triplets’ and together advocate for change in public policy that better reflects the Beloved Community about which Dr. King spoke. After a weekend filled with education and training, Ecumenical Advocacy Days will culminate with a Lobby Day on Monday, April 24, 2017, where participants will converge on Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress. We seek to renew this revolutionary spirit as we affirm the vision of a day when ‘Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.’” (Isa: 40:3)

There will be several focus areas around which workshops will be grouped:

  • Advocacy Skills Training
  • Africa
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Domestic U.S.
  • Eco-Justice
  • Global Economic Justice
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Middle East
  • Peace and Global Security

Additional information about workshops will be posted here as it becomes available.

Entire Event
Early Registration fee: $225 (through March 24)
Regular Registration fee: $250 (after March 24)

There is a room block at the Doubletree Hotel available for the reduced rate of $129/night. You may reserve your room in one of two ways: (1) you may make a reservation online or (2) by calling (800) 222-8733 to make guest room reservations under the name “Ecumenical Advocacy Days” and identifying the group code: “EAD.”

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Washington, D.C. – Crystal City
300 Army-Navy Dr.
Arlington, VA 22202-2891