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Registration is open for Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Day

Annual conference to take up racism, militarism and materialism

by Rick Jones | Presbyterian News Service

Open panel discussion at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church during 2016 CPJ Day. (Photo by Paul Olson)

LOUISVILLE – With an emotionally charged 2016 behind us, Presbyterian leaders are seeking new ways to address many of the issues that took center stage in the previous year. Advocacy Training Weekend, which includes Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Day and Ecumenical Advocacy Days, is scheduled for April 21-24, in Washington, D.C.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Confronting Chaos, Forging Community – Racism, Militarism and Materialism.”

“Given the current state of our nation where racism, religious bigotry and xenophobia are rearing their heads out of the shadows once again, where militarization of our police and our foreign policy causes us to look to violence as a solution to our conflicts both at home and abroad, we felt these were the issues we are called to address at this most critical time in our country’s political life,” said Catherine Gordon, representative for International Issues with the Office of Public Witness.

As in the past, CPJ Training Day will be held at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington. Several keynote speakers are scheduled to appear including the Rev. Kevin Johnson, pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church in Detroit, Michigan, the Rev. Floretta Watkins, the first African American female chaplain with the United States Air Force National Guard and Amal Nassar from the West Bank farm, Tent of Nations in Palestine.

Gordon says this is an important theme for the church and is hopeful other Presbyterians will participate.

“The biblical message of love, to counter the voices of hatred, violence and greed is more important than ever,” she said. “The unique voice of the church is needed in the halls of Congress, the White House and in communities around the country.”

Gordon says the conference will include plenaries and workshops analyzing the current context and offer concrete tools for members and congregations to address these urgent issues.

CPJ Day will be followed by Ecumenical Advocacy Days at the DoubleTree Crystal City Hotel. More than a thousand Christian advocates gather for a weekend of workshops and lectures followed by a lobby day on Monday, April 24, where attendees head for Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers.

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For more information and links to registration for both Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Day, the Presbyterian pre-event and for Ecumenical Advocacy Days, click here.


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