From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
PLANS FIRMED UP FOR SELF-DEVELOPMENT
05 May 1996 07:32:50
95018 PLANS FIRMED UP FOR SELF-DEVELOPMENT
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 PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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