Press Release: Challenging Diverse Christians to Engage Politically
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications
Littleton, CO, FEBRUARY 10, 2009 - "What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility-a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task." - President Barack Obama
With the echo of President Obama's inaugural address still lingering in the ears of Americans and the world-wide community, people of faith are finding themselves confronted with a fresh challenge of political engagement. It is in this same vein that the Vernon Grounds Institute of Public Ethics is hosting the Rally for the Common Good.
While many believe that Christians should refrain from any level of political engagement, the director of the Grounds Institute, Dr. Dieumeme Noelliste, argues that political engagement is necessary for Christians in pursuing and promoting the public good. He states: "As a major sector within the broader public domain, with so pervasive and powerful an influence on our common life, political engagement must be a field of interest to Christians-flaws and pitfalls notwithstanding."
In considering the "Golden Rule" and the call Christians have to take care of the widow, the orphan, the prisoner and those who are sick and hungry, Noelliste continues: "Taking for granted the propriety of the involvement of Christians in the political arena, the Rally for the Common Good will endeavor to suggest how such an engagement can occur in a manner that contributes to the redemption of the sector itself, and in so doing enhance its contribution to the promotion of the common good."
To those who might suggest that Christians are already too politically involved, Noelliste stresses that political engagement by Christians needs to be broader than what has occurred in recent history: "The Rally takes the view that redemptive engagement is much broader than the seeking and securing of elective political office. It believes that there are things that every Christian can do to exert an influence on the political domain and thus serve the common good."
The Rally for the Common Good will feature Dr. Gerry O. Gallimore who will speak and lead discussions over the course of the two day event. This event is designed to inspire and instruct Christians of various ethnic backgrounds and theological persuasions in the ways they can contribute to solving social issues. All are invited to the discussion that kicks off Sunday, February 22, 2009 and concludes with a brown bag lunch on Monday, February 23, 2009.
The two day event schedule is as follows:
Sunday, February 22, 2009, 4:00-6:00 pm: Presentation by Dr. Gallimore at Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church, 1500 S. Dayton Street, Denver, CO 80247.
Monday, February 23, 2009, 12:00-1:00 pm: Brown bag lunch and Q&A session with Dr. Gallimore at Denver Seminary, Classroom 100, 6399 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, CO 80120. Phone: 303-761-2482 (Participants should bring their own lunch.)
Dr. Gallimore is Jamaican by birth and for the past 16 years has served in multiple leadership roles for Youth For Christ (YFC) and Youth For Christ International (YFCI) ministries. Dr. Gallimore currently serves as Ambassador-at-Large for YFCI.
For more information about this event and speaker Dr. Gerry O. Gallimore, visit http://www.denverseminary.edu/rally/ or contact the Vernon Grounds Institute of Public Ethics at 303-357-5803.
About the Vernon Grounds Institute of Public Ethics - A service of Denver Seminary, the Vernon Grounds Institute of Public Ethics provides environments and resources to educate, facilitate and train Seminary students, members of Christian leadership and the Christian community as a whole in the area of social ethics. Its aim is to empower Christians to fulfill the biblical injunction to be "salt and light" and to "shine like stars" in a dark and depraved world (Matthew 5, Philippians 2:14,15). The Institute endeavors to partner and network with other, like-minded institutions, agencies and organizations on the national and global scene which are concerned about a comprehensive, cutting edge and robust evangelical witness to the public square. For more information, please visit the website at www.denverseminary.edu/grounds-institute/.
Neither Denver Seminary nor the Vernon Grounds Institute of Public Ethics endorse or condone specific candidates or political policies, and neither have ties or affiliations with any political party or institution. The theme of the Rally for the Common Good in no ways suggests any affiliation with parties, candidates or lobbying agencies, and is simply meant to raise awareness and open conversation about the political engagement of Christians.