Rally for the Common Good
Theme: Children and Poverty
This year Rally for the Common Good will be hosting two events on the issue of helping children who are trapped in poverty.
***The following event has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 17, 2013:
This event will now be on March 17, 2013 at 4:00pm at Restoration Christian Fellowship (map). The speaker for the evening will be Lillian Gitau, a Child Protection Technical Advisor for Compassion International. In addition there will be a combined children's choir from local churches, a steppers group, and a mime group.
The second event will on February 25-26, 2013, 11:00am - 12:00pm on campus at the Denver Seminary chapel. The director of Compassion International, Naomi Cramer Overton, will be speaking on Monday, and there will be a panel discussion on Tuesday.
Lillian Gitau was born in Kenya and currently serves as the Child Protection Technical Advisor for Compassion International. She is the global coordinator of Interventions related to Highly Vulnerable Children (HVC) and Child Protection for Compassion and supports the implementation of these programs in the 28 Field offices around the world where Compassion has operations.
Lillian has been with Compassion for almost 10 years, having served in the Compassion Kenya office for two years as a Program Communications Manager from 2003 to 2005. After relocating to the U.S. in the summer of 2005, she served in the role of program specialist at Compassion’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, helping to start the implementation of programs for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in Africa. The role later expanded to include child protection, where she has since served in the capacity of Child Protection Advisor. In the current role, she has successfully led efforts in the creation of a global strategy for Highly Vulnerable Children who are registered in Compassion’s programs. She has also spearheaded the development of a specialized Child Protection and Foster Care curriculum, designed for Compassion’s field office staff, church staff, registered children and their caregivers.
Before joining Compassion International, Lillian served as a deputy Marketing Manager for a large non-profit in Kenya for five years, and prior as an investment Banker for a reputable bank in Kenya for three years. It was while serving at the non-profit organization in Kenya that she felt the Lord leading her to serve children living in poverty in her country. Having been raised by her grandparents between the ages of 0-7 years, going to bed hungry, and experiencing other vulnerabilities, are just some of the few factors that ignited in her a passion to serve children living in poverty. As an advocate for children, she holds the strong conviction that no child is poor –only circumstances make them poor; that every child deserves an opportunity to be all that God made them to be and wants them to be. She is always grateful that she was given that opportunity herself as a child growing up in poverty, and believes that no barrier is insurmountable, no situation beyond redemption for any child, as long as the Lord is in it.
She received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Egerton, Kenya University in 1994, and later on received a Masters degree in Business Administration from United States International University in Africa (USIU).
She is married to Nicholas Gitau, who works for an information technology firm in Denver, Colorado. They are blessed with two children – a daughter, Pendo (4 years) and a son, Udi (2 years). The family’s heartfelt desire is to be used of the Lord in a way that glorifies Him, to make a difference in the lives of others, especially children.
Naomi Cramer Overton
“See Jesus’ love radically bless generations;” that’s Naomi Cramer Overton’s vision.
As a Jesus-‐follower, wife, mom, worker, speaker and writer, Naomi engages God’s people in bringing more justice and beauty to our families, communities and world.
Past President of MOPS International and now a Director at Compassion International, Naomi speaks from her experiences and from doctorate studies at Fuller Theological Seminary and advisory positions with The Search Institute (founder of the Developmental Assets) and other organizations.
She has written for MOPS magazines MomSense and Connections and annual theme books. Prior to that, as a news reporter and speaker her work has aired on NBC network news, ABC affiliates and she has spoken at seminary and industry events. She has taught Bible studies for groups in her community and through video curriculum reaching 100,000 influencers nationwide.
Naomi holds degrees from Stanford University and UCLA and has worked with church, Fortune 50, media, government, and nonprofit organizations.
Bringing more beauty and justice to the world begins at home and Naomi simply digs her family. Married to her college sweetheart Frank and mom of three teens, Tyler, Delaney and Katriel, you’ll find them Friday night in their basement, watching Netflix, and dropping popcorn between the cushions. Their dog Coco Loco doesn’t mind a bit!
The Rally for the Common Good hosted events in 2011 on February 20 and 21. Our guest speaker was Rev. Howard R. Brown.
Rev. Howard R. Brown has been serving Care of Creation Inc. since its founding in 2005. He joined Craig Sorley, who was then working with an environmental project in Kenya, to create one of the first ‘environmental missions’ organizations with a goal of mobilizing the Church toward a God-centered response to the environmental crisis.
Ed is the Director and CEO of Care of Creation, and divides his time between directing the organization, fundraising, and speaking throughout the US on the topic of Creation Care.
He has become one of the leaders of the fast-growing evangelical creation care movement, has consulted for the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and serves on a Creation Care Advisory Task Force for the Board of the National Association of Evangelicals.
Ed has authored the book, 'Our Father's World: Mobilizing the Church to Care for Creation', published in revised edition by InterVarsity Press in 2008. The book has been praised by biologist and environmentalist E. O. Wilson as “beautiful and inspiring...” and by former President of Latin America Mission David Howard as “a remarkable combination of a broad spectrum of the environmental crisis today coupled with a deep understanding of God’s desire for his creation as developed in the Scriptures…”
Ed received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Gordon College and the Master of Divinity from Gordon Conwell Seminary (Pastoral Studies). Ed served as Chief Operating Officer for Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, and has worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and as a pastor both in the US and overseas. He and Susanna, his wife, both grew up as children of missionaries in the country of Pakistan, and carry a love for that country and for overseas ministry with them. They live in Madison WI and have four grown children: Melanie, Tim, Katrina and Amy.
Theme: Thinking Christianly about Immigration
The Rally for the Common Good events were held February 21 and February 22, 2011. Noel Castellanos was the guest speaker.
Noel has worked in full-time ministry in urban communities since 1982. He has served in youth ministry, church planting, and community development in
After serving on the Board of the Christian Community Development Association for many years, he established the new CCDA Institute, which is working to equip emerging church leaders in the philosophy of Christian Community Development. Noel currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of CCDA and as a member of the President's Council on Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Theme: Justice and Health Care
The Rally for the Common Good events were held February 28 and March 1, 2010. Dr. John Perkins was our guest speaker.
At a breakfast hosted by the Institute, Dr. John Perkins shared thoughts for leaders on "The Call and the Will of God," and this presentation is available on our website in mp3 format: listen | download
In 1983, while in California, John Perkins and his wife, Vera Mae Perkins along with a few friends and other major supporters, established the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation & Development, Inc. for the sole purpose of supporting their mission of advancing the principles of Christian community development and racial reconciliation throughout the world. The Foundation is now headquartered at 1831 Robinson St. in Jackson, MS with a mission to “develop the lives of youth, leaders and the underprivileged in our community and around the world, by setting an example of God’s love to further his Kingdom.”
John M. Perkins was born a sharecropper’s son who grew up in New Hebron, Mississippi amidst dire poverty. Fleeing to California at age 17 after his older brother’s murder at the hands of a town marshal, he vowed never to return. However after converting to Christianity in 1960 he returned to Mendenhall, Mississippi to share the gospel of Christ. While in Mississippi, his outspoken nature and support and leadership in civil rights demonstrations resulted in repeated harassment, beatings and imprisonment. He again was arrested in 2005 year while protesting in Washington D.C. against U. S. Government defunding of programs aiding the poor.
In 1989, John Perkins called together a group of Christian leaders from across America that was bonded by one significant commitment—expressing the love of Christ in America’s poor communities, not at arms length, but at the grass-roots level. An association was formed and the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) held its first annual conference in Chicago in 1989. CCDA has grown from 37 founding members to 6,800 individuals and 600 churches, ministries, institutions and businesses in more than 100 cities and townships across the country.
Despite being a third grade drop-out, Perkins has been recognized for his work with ten honorary doctorates from colleges and universities across the country. He is an international speaker and teacher on racial reconciliation, leadership and the philosophy of ministry known as Christian Community Development.
Theme: Christians and Political Engagement
The Rally for the Common Good events were held February 22 and 23, 2009. Dr. Gerry O. Gallimore, Ambassador-at-Large for Youth for Christ International, was our guest speaker.