Christians to Renew Anti-Hunger, Poverty Calls at Interfaith Event

Christian leaders across denominational lines will join an interfaith event in June to renew their commitment and press the U.S. government on hunger and poverty problems facing the country.

Hundreds of leaders of the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, evangelical and ecumenical Protestant denominations will join Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish traditions and other faith groups on June 11 to call on the president and Congress to renew their commitment to end hunger.

The second Interfaith Convocation on Hunger will take place at Washington's National Cathedral and is organized by the Christian anti-hunger group Bread for the World and sponsored by the Interfaith Anti-Hunger Coordinators.

"The Interfaith Convocation on Hunger will be as much about passion as pageantry," says the Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, in a statement. "People in our nation are yearning for bold leadership from both our elected representatives and the heads of our religious communities. They want to see our leaders take real action to fight hunger and poverty. The Interfaith Convocation will energize this movement."

Participants on June 11 will engage in an evening of inspirational music, solemn prayer and instruction from sacred texts on the lawn of the Washington National Cathedral.

Dr. William J. Shaw, president of the National Baptist Convention USA will be the featured preacher.

The convocation is part of Bread for the World's Gathering 2007, Sowing Seeds: Growing a Movement. The Gathering 2007 will bring together thousands of people of faith June 9-12 to participate in actions to end hunger and poverty.

The event will end with a Lobby Day on June 12 to call on members of Congress to consider issues in a farm bill that affects hungry and poor people.

"It is clear that we have the capacity to end hunger and reduce poverty in the world. The question is do we have the will?" questioned the Rev. Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

"The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is committed to being part of the growing global movement to end hunger now. The Interfaith Convocation on Hunger, June 11th, will give new energy and focus to this movement."