From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 07:32:50


                      25TH ANNIVERSARY FETE 
                     by Jerry L. Van Marter 
ATLANTA--The Self-Development of People Committee (SDOP) will 
celebrate 25 years of partnerships with poor, oppressed and 
disadvantaged communities around the world at "Journey to Justice," 
a 25th anniversary convocation scheduled for April 21-23 at the 
Chicago O'Hare Marriott Hotel. 
     Community activist James Foreman and General Assembly 
moderator the Rev. Robert W. Bohl will keynote the event.   
     Foreman's fiery speech to the 1969 General Assembly demanding 
"reparations" for the "self-development" of African Americans and 
Hispanic Americans led to the creation of the SDOP program of the 
Presbyterian Church in 1970.  His address will be entitled "The 
Black Manifesto: Then and Now."  
     Worship will be led by renowned singers/songwriters Avery and 
Marsh.  Presbyterian hymnologist Jane Parker Huber has written a 
special hymn for the convocation. 
     Workshops will be led by representatives of SDOP-funded 
projects, who will offer models for self-development.  Other 
sessions will provide training for synod and presbytery SDOP 
committees and prospective projects.  Crafts produced by funded 
projects will be for sale at the convocation. 
     Workshop topics include "I Am Somebody"; "Shattering the Myths 
of Poverty"; "Community Empowerment for Environmental Justice"; 
"Taking Care of Yourself: Issues in Health Care"; "Taking Back Our 
Communities"; "The Economics of Welfare Rights"; and a discussion 
of international development. 
     "According to promotional material for the convocation, the 
Self-Development of People program is a ministry of the 
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that unites faith and action in 
affirming God's concern for humankind.    SDOP, through its grants 
to projects, creates partnerships designed to change the structures 
that perpetuate injustice and enables people to take control of 
their own lives."  Presbyterians participate in the program through 
the One Great Hour of Sharing. 
     Registration information for the 25th anniversary convocation 
is available from the SDOP office in Louisville at (502) 569-5791. 
(Information for this article furnished by Betsy Alden, chair, SDOP 
Promotion, Education and Interpretation Committee, and Elinor 
Hopkins, chair of the Convocation Planning Committee.) 
                  "Justice Is A Journey Onward" 
                      by Jane Parker Huber 
               written for the 25th anniversary of 
                   Self-Development of People 
(Tune: "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken") 
Justice is a journey onward, 
     upward even through the pain. 
Journeys have their hills and valleys, 
     still the dreams and goals remain. 
We are people freed from bondage 
     by our Maker's will and power. 
We must now respond with action, 
     in this place and in this hour. 
When we hear a cry for justice 
     from the depths of human need, 
Our response puts love in action, 
     following our Savior's lead. 
Where we see oppressive systems, 
     people hungry, crushed by fear, 
We must be the voice of justice 
     and the hand to help and cheer. 
Empathy, without firm action, 
     turns to empty sentiment. 
But the call to free God's people 
     leads to self-development. 
When the structures need re-shaping 
     or our neighbor is downcast, 
Let us seek a brighter future, 
     fairer than the days gone past. 
Justice is a journey onward, 
     upward, outward, spreading still. 
Christ has set us on this journey, 
     claiming us for God's own will. 
Let us share our neighbor's burdens 
     far away or face to face 
So may we, by taking action, 
     be a partner through God's grace. 
                   # # # 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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