NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged the positive impact of the Movement Day Global Cities Christian initiative on the city and the world Thursday when he issued a proclamation officially declaring Oct. 27, 2016 "Movement Day."
The document was delivered at the Jacob Javits Center Thursday morning at the start of the final day of the global conference by Jonathan Soto, a preacher's son who works as senior community liaison in the community affairs unit of the mayor's office.
"My background is a bit interesting, I actually grew up a PK, a preacher's kid," Soto told the audience as he briefly referenced his Pentecostal upbringing.
"We've adopted a theme and my theme is found in Jeremiah 29 where we see that the people of Israel…were taken away from their land but they had a loyalty not to their soil but to their spirit. And as we see, the prophet Jeremiah told them very specifically you may be in this different context, you may be battling with an inability to call home while you're here but I ask you to have kids, I ask you to buy houses, I ask you to put roots in this city because the degree to which this city prospers so shall you," said Soto.
"So my message [is]that in this city, and as a representative of Mayor Bill de Blasio, he's been working very, very diligently to include the faith community in very important decision making processes in this city. And one of the persons who have really worked very hard with me is your very own Pastor Adam Durso who is part of the mayor's Clergy Advisory Council. And through his leadership and the leadership of many we've been able to do great change," he added before reading the declaration to the attendees of the conference.
The proclamation read:
On behalf of our administration which is committed to doing all we can to create a city where all of our residents can rise together and this vision is shared by a solid foundation for spiritual growth, Movement Day Global Cities attendees are helping to address challenges and providing steadfast guidance and support in order to make a positive difference in the lives of many in the five boroughs and around the world. So now therefore, I Mayor Bill de Blasio, mayor of the City of New York do hereby proclaim Thursday October 27, 2016, in the City of New York as Movement Day.
Mayor de Blasio formed the city's Clergy Advisory Council in 2015 to improve outreach and community engagement work and fostering relationships with communities of faith across New York City.
"Clergy leaders and communities of faith are essential to the lives of so many New Yorkers, and it's critical that City Hall maintains a close and direct relationship with them to ensure City policy and services reflect the needs of the community. That's why we created the Clergy Advisory Council Mayor de Blasio said last summer.
The closing ceremony for "Movement Day Global Cities" will start at 7 p.m. Thursday and will featured renowned speakers such as Luis Palau, Pastor A.R. Bernard of Brooklyn's Christian Cultural Center, Bob Doll, and Dr. Mac Pier. This portion of the gathering will be open to the public.
Some 3,000 attendees from 95 countries have been engaging each other since Monday Oct. 24 on issues related to ministering the Gospel in cities and how God is disrupting cities around the world with the Gospel.