"It is becoming most urgent for religious leaders to articulate their caring ministries for poverty in all its forms in God's world and the Millennium Development Goals are the most practical bench-marks for assessing stewardship to heal God's creation. It will be a real privilege to share the decisions made by the Anglican Communion with regards to the full implementation of the Millennium Declaration and to share the anxieties of the UN Ecumenical Working Group on such issues."
Archdeacon Taimalelagi Matalavea
The [Bush] Administration’s sudden opposition to… the international target for rich nations to contribute 0.7 percent of GNP toward poverty reduction places an unwelcome obstacle in the path toward a more stable and secure world…
I am deeply mindful of the need to use government resources to combat terrorism, but one of the most stinging lessons of our time is that the roots of terrorism and conflict most often can be found in those places where poverty and sickness abound and hope is lost…
For the U.S. to now oppose that long-held target further undermines our nation’s international credibility, weakens rather than strengthens global security, and does violence to all of our efforts to respond to God’s passionate desire for reconciliation and the well-being of all people.
The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church
Excerpted from a statement issued Aug. 25, 2005
More than 30 leaders of Christian denominations worldwide will gather at Washington National Cathedral on Sunday, Sept. 11, to affirm the UN plan to halve extreme poverty by 2015 and propose stepped up action to eradicate poverty throughout the world. Participants will call for a recommitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals as laid out by UN members in 2000.
The event, “Consultation of Religious Leaders on Global Poverty,” will open with a series of worship services and lectures in the Cathedral nave, including a 2 p.m. speech by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and special advisor to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
During a 4 p.m. interfaith service of music and prayer, featured speakers will include the Most Rev. Njongonkulu W.H. Ndungane, archbishop of Cape Town , South Africa ; and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.
All events in the Cathedral nave on Sunday, Sept. 11 are open to the public and free of charge. Media coverage is welcome.
Beginning Sunday evening, the faith leaders will enter closed consultative sessions that will extend into Tuesday, Sept. 13, after which a delegation will travel to New York to present the group's communiqué to the U.N.
Although the three-day conference's meetings will be private, the Cathedral's Office of Public Affairs will be able to arrange limited media availabilities with participants.
“On Global Poverty” is the inaugural event of the Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation, a new initiative of the Cathedral College of Washington National Cathedral. Prior to the Sept. 11 convocation's start, the Rev. Canon John L. Peterson, director of the Center, will be available for interviews and background briefings.
For a complete press kit, please click on the following link, http://www.cathdral.org/cathedral/news/050911index.shtml
Among the participants currently slated to attend:
The Rt. Rev. George Leonard Carey, the retired Archbishop of Canterbury ( United Kingdom )
The Rt. Rev. John Bryson Chane, Episcopal Bishop of Washington ( USA )
Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, Theological Advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch on Environmental Issues, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America ( USA )
Dr. Stephen Colecchi, Director, Office of International Justice and Peace, U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops ( USA )
Mr. Ray Dabrowski, Communication Director, Seventh Day Adventist Church ( USA )
The Rev. Randolph Dales, Chairman, Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace with Justice Concerns ( USA )
Ms. Marie Dennis, Director, Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns, Roman Catholic Church ( USA )
The Rev. George Freeman, General Secretary, World Methodist Council ( USA )
The Rt. Rev. Angel Furlan, former President, Iglesia Evangleica Luterana Unida ( Brazil )
The Rev. Canon Brian Grieves , Director of Peace and Justice Ministries, The Episcopal Church ( USA )
The Most Rev. Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church ( USA )
The Rt. Rev. Tord Harlin, Bishop of Uppsala , The Lutheran World Federation ( Sweden )
The Most Rev. Andrew Hutchison, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada
Ms. Wahu Kaara, Ecumenical Millenium Development Goal Programme Coordinator, All Africa Conference of Churches ( Kenya )
The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General, Anglican Communion Consultative Council, London ( Ireland )
The Rev. Dorothy Lau, Director, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council, ( Hong Kong )
The Very Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd, Dean , Washington National Cathedral ( USA )
The Rev. Canon Dr. Richard Marsh, Director of the International Education Centre, World Faiths Development Dialogue, Canterbury Cathedral ( United Kingdom )
The Rev. Ndaba Mazabane, Chair, World Evangelical Alliance ( South Africa )
Dr. Esther Mombo, Dean, St. Paul 's United Theological Seminary ( Kenya )
The Most Rev. Donald Mtetemela, Archbishop of Tanzania , The Anglican Church of Tanzania
The Rt. Rev. Trevor Mwamba, Bishop of Botswana , Diocese of Botswana ( Zambia )
The Most Rev. Njongonkulu Ndungane, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town ( South Africa )
The Rev. Canon Livingstone Ngewu, Rector, The College of the Transfiguration ( South Africa )
The Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko, General Secretary, The Lutheran World Federation ( Zimbabwe )
The Rev. Dr. Setri Nyomi, General Secretary, World Alliance of Reformed Churches ( Ghana )
Dr. Jenny Te Paa, Principal, College of Saint John the Evangelist ( New Zealand )
The Rev. Michael Perry, Consultant for Africa , Franciscans International, Roman Catholic Church ( USA )
The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson, Director, Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation, Washington National Cathedral ( USA )
The Rt. Rev. Luis Prado, Dean, Theological Provincial Seminary in Porto Alegre ( Brazil )
The Rt. Rev. Theodore F. Schneider, Bishop of Washington , Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
Mr. Michael Smitheram, International Coordinator, Micah Challenge ( United Kingdom )
Archdeacon Tai Tuatagaloa-Matalavea, Anglican Observer at the United Nations, Anglican Communion ( Samoa )
Mr. Geoff Tunicliffe, International Director, World Evangelical Alliance of Canada