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One of nation’s leading ministers to bring message of “prophetic justice” to Lehigh

The Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., senior minister of the Riverside Church in New York City, will be the featured speaker at a community “Rally for Justice” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, at Lehigh University’s Packer Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

Forbes, named one of the 12 most effective preachers in the English-speaking world by Newsweek magazine, is the first African-American to serve as senior minister of the Riverside Church. In 1991, he delivered the baccalaureate speech to Lehigh graduates and was the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.

In addition to serving one of the largest multicultural congregations in the nation, Forbes has been taking his call to action across America and has been invited to inspire and address almost every major gathering of the progressive faith community this year, including a leadership role in the National Council of Churches’ “Let Justice Roll” tour.

Forbes will be joined by clergy of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities, who will join him at the Lehigh event to encourage faithful people of all traditions to help re-connect America with its moral, spiritual, and democratic values this election year and to shine a steady light on the economic and social injustices suffered by the poor and marginalized in America and around the world. The evening will include musical guests, prayers for the nation, resources for faithful citizenship, and the opportunity to meet Forbes.

On Wednesday, Oct. 13, Forbes will also lead a “Spiritual Leaders Breakfast and Call to Action” from 7:30 to 10:00 a.m. at Iacocca Hall on Lehigh’s Mountaintop Campus. This interactive time with Forbes will focus upon prophetic preaching and teaching during this election year and beyond. Clergy and other religious leaders are invited to register with Barbara Jennings by phone, e-mail, or website at 610-826-3113.

Participants at both events will be introduced to the “Prophetic Justice Principles” developed by Forbes, which involves 10 faith-based, consciousness-raising questions against which citizens can test current and promised policies and actions by our national leaders and political candidates.

Both events are being sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Interfaith Mobilization 2004, an ecumenical group of persons from more than 15 faith communities. The non-partisan effort is encouraging people to become as informed as possible about the well-being of the nation, including impact on both American and global citizens, and to connect their voting in the upcoming election and beyond with the foundation principles of their faith.

Organizers also stress that the work of Mobilization 2004 is non-partisan and does not endorse political candidates of parties, but advocates progressive programs and policies for the relief of poverty and for racial and social justice.

For more information, click here or call Barbara Jennings of the Penn NE Conference, United Church of Christ, at 610-826-3113.

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2004

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