Religious Leaders Teleconference to Urge Majority Leader Frist Not to Legitimate the Message of “Justice Sunday”
>Listen to audio from the call (MP3 file)
>View Statements from:
Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of
Washington, DC – Friday, April 22, 2005 at 11:00 am major religious
leaders from across denominational lines hosted a conference call to discuss
their joint concerns regarding Senator Frist’s planned participation in the
Family Research Council’s (FRC) Sunday, April 24 “Justice Sunday: Stop the
Filibuster Against People of Faith” telecast.
Friday’s call provided a forum for major religious leaders to comment, as
people of faith, on Senator Frist’s participation in the “Justice Sunday”
event. Speakers included:
Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, General
Secretary of the National Council of Churches (NCC)
Bishop Mark Hansen,
presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly Presbyterian
Bishop Vashti McKenzie, first female bishop of the African
Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church
Rabbi David Saperstein,
Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
About the Speakers:
Rev. Dr. Robert Edgar is general secretary of the National Council of the
Churches of Christ in the USA, the leading U.S. organization in the movement for
Christian unity. Thirty-six Protestant, Anglican, and Orthodox member
communions, to which approximately 50 million congregants belong, work together
in the Council to promote unity and to serve churches and people worldwide.
Bishop Mark Hanson is the presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America (ELCA). In 2003, Hanson was elected president of the Lutheran World
Federation, a role which he serves concurrently with his role as ELCA presiding
bishop. He serves on the executive council on the executive board of the
National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Hanson is author of
Faithful Yet Changing: The Church in Challenging Times.
Rev. Dr. Clifton
Kirkpatrick is the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.). The Stated Clerk is the senior continuing officer of the General
Assembly charged with communicating the actions of the Assembly, representing
that body in a wide variety of settings both within and beyond the church, and
giving overall leadership for the spiritual well being of the church.
Bishop Vashti McKenzie is a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal
(A.M.E.) Church. Her historic election in the year 2000 represents the
first time in the over 200-year history of the A.M.E. Church in which a woman
has obtained the level of Episcopal office. This year, she again made history as
the first woman to become the titular head of the denomination, as the president
of the Council of Bishops, making her the highest-ranking woman in the
predominately Black Methodist denominations.
Rabbi David Saperstein
directs the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the Washington, D.C.
office of the Union for Reform Judaism whose 900 congregations encompass 1.5
million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose
membership includes more than 1,800 Rabbis. Rabbi Saperstein also holds a
degree in Law and instructs courses on Jewish Law and the Separation of Church
and State at Georgetown University Law Center.