From the Worldwide Faith News archives

NCC delegation heads to Rome

From "NewsDesk" <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Tue, 25 Feb 2003 15:01:30 -0600

Feb. 25, 2003	News media contact: Linda Bloom7(212)870-38037New York

NOTE: Head-and-shoulders photographs of Bishop William Boyd Grove, the Rev.
Robert Edgar and Bishop Beverly Shamana are available at

NEW YORK (UMNS) - A National Council of Churches delegation going to Rome
will tell Pope John Paul II that it supports a request that he visit the
United Nations to address the U.N. Security Council about the situation in

The delegation, which will include United Methodist Bishop William Boyd Grove
of Charleston, W. Va., will arrive Feb. 26 in Rome and proceed immediately to
the Vatican to be part of a papal audience.

During its Feb. 24-25 meeting, the NCC's executive board agreed the
delegation should lend its support to a Feb. 18 letter from Pax Christi USA
to the pope, asking for his presence at the United Nations.

"Both media and governmental leaders here (in the United States) have been
dismissive of the expressions of anti-war sentiment from countries around the
world, instead reinforcing the insulation of U.S. policy-making from outside
critique," wrote Dave Robinson, national coordinator for Pax Christi USA, a
Catholic peace movement. "Your moral voice and presence here could break
through. You could bring the desperately needed wisdom on how the U.S. could
be a world leader, without the dependence on military might and policies of
global dominance."

The Rome trip is the fourth NCC-sponsored delegation to European capitals,
part of an effort by U.S. religious leaders to spread a message of peace and
forestall military action against Iraq. The group members, led by the Rev.
Eileen Lindner, a Presbyterian and NCC executive, will express their concerns
to Italian government leaders.

Other members of the Feb. 26-28 Rome delegation are the Rev. Tyrone Pitts,
Progressive National Baptist Convention; the Rev. Victor Makari, Presbyterian
Church USA; the Rev. Gwynne Guibord, Episcopal Church; and the Rev. Joseph
Nangle, Pax Christi.

The emphasis on peace also is being carried over into the NCC's focus on
poverty in March, beginning with a March 2 event in San Francisco. "We're
going to connect our peace work with our poverty work," the Rev. Robert
Edgar, a United Methodist and the NCC's chief executive, told executive board

The March 2 "Poverty March for Peace" will highlight the connections between
poverty and war. Among the participants in a 3 p.m. interfaith prayer service
at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco will be United Methodist Bishop Beverly
Shamana; Marian Wright Edelman, Children's Defense Fund; Jim Wallis,
Sojourners; Rabbi Stephen Pearce, Congregation Emanu-el; and Omar Ahmad,
Council on American-Islamic Relations.

After the service, worshippers will march through some of the poor
neighborhoods of San Francisco, Edgar added.

The NCC's second annual "Poverty March" is a month-long initiative
highlighting the work of faith communities in overcoming poverty. Beginning
March 1, the NCC's Web site,, will have a special section
offering fact sheets and information for each week's topic. The topics
throughout March are jobs and income, health care, hunger, and housing and

Special events include a series of national and local activities during
"Cover the Uninsured Week," March 10-16, co-sponsored by the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation, faith groups and other organizations; a congress on urban
ministry in Chicago; and a seminar on sustainable rural communities in
Waveland, Miss.

Worship resources for the first four Sundays in Lent also are available.
Visit for more information. 

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United Methodist News Service
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