Thursday, August 25, 2005

Cool DC-area Event


Former Senator and UN Ambassador John Danforth and noted Evangelical author Jim Wallis will headline “Values, Vision and the Via Media”, the October 13-15 conference set for the Washington National Cathedral. This national gathering of progressive Christians will “initiate a path to reclaim the moral values debate from the Religious Right,” according to Every Voice Network, which is sponsoring the event.

“Danforth and Wallis are two of the most influential voices speaking today in opposition to the hijacking of “Christian Values” in the service of a radically conservative political agenda,” said the Reverend Susan Russell, one of the conference organizers. “We are thrilled to be able to add their witness to this groundbreaking gathering of Christian activists.”

The conference program will outline practical Christian approaches to topics ranging from economics, consumerism, and the environment to peacemaking and family values. Participants include Christian leaders from across the country representing a wide spectrum of interests and sharing a commitment to the values held by the majority of moderate Americans, Republican and Democrat alike. Danforth will be part of the opening plenary session of the conference to be held in the nave of the National Cathedral on Thursday evening, Oct. 13, while Wallis will address the conference as the keynote speaker at the Friday, Oct. 14, banquet.

Other confirmed speakers include journalist and Brookings Institute fellow E.J. Dionne, a regular commentator on National Public Radio programs; American historians David Hollinger and Michael Kazin; and political writer Amy Sullivan, who will discuss the tradition of progressive Christianity in America, the representation of Christianity in the media, and the organization necessary for long-term social change. Also speaking will be Jane Tully, the founder of Clergy Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (CFLAG), a national network of clergy families with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender children and other family members. The mother of a gay son and wife of an Episcopal priest, Jane became active in the New York City chapter of Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays after Matthew Shepard's murder, and served as its co-president in 2001-02. She was a member of the team selected by Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold to represent the national Episcopal Church’s perspective at the June 2005 meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council, .

“The goal of this interdisciplinary values conference is far more than talk,” said Kevin Jones, coordinator of the conference’s economic track. “It’s to work together to find a path to faithful action personally, locally and globally on the issues confronting 21st century American Christians.”

Detailed program and registration information is available online at:

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