Today was the final session of the Clergy Leadership Network’s National Gathering. The Rev. Nathan Wilson moderated the first discussion with a panel of political experts who talked about voter registration, media, and coalition building.
The second session was led by The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, one of my professors from Eden Theological Seminary, and was built around the topic of “Our Common Future.” The Rev. Dr. Frederick Streets, chaplain of Yale University, and the Rev. Dr. Robert Frankin, professor at Emory University, used the forum to share their belief that religious progressives need to do a better job of communicating our theological assumptions and political goals. A group of young faith leaders that included Josh Green (2020 Democrats), The Rev. Jennifer Kottler (Protestants for the Common Good), Greg Mancini (Sojourners intern), The Rev. Charles Christian Adams, Jr. (Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit), and John J. Davidson (Lexington Theological Seminary) offered practical ideas for how CLN can reach out to a younger generation.
The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, president of Rainbow/Push Coalition, gave the final address. He called on CLN to reach out further into minority communities. He specifically asked the organization to help fight for the assault weapons ban that is set to expire in September and to join him in an upcoming tour of poverty stricken areas in the Midwest and south. Jackson said that we need a vision that is larger than just the 2004 elections:
We need more than a new president. We need a new direction. And some new assumptions. If you change presidents and don’t change assumptions you’re not going to get to a new destination.
This afternoon and tomorrow the governing national committee of CLN will be meeting to help further set the agenda for the organization. Make sure you become a member of CLN to receive updates as the organization grows and becomes more involved in the course of the 2004 campaign.
Here are links to a few news stories about the National Gathering:
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