Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Register Now for Ecumenical Advocacy Days! Discounted Room Rate Ends March 2!

Is THIS the Fast I Seek?
Economy, Livelihood and Our National Priorities
(Isaiah 58)

March 23 – 26, 2012 | Washington, DC

Click here to register  

In this era of economic and political urgency, as critical decisions are being made about U.S. federal budget priorities and as national elections are fast approaching, Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) asks,

"Is This the Fast I Seek?"

Come to the 10th annual EAD, March 23-26, 2012, in Washington, DC, where we will explore economy, livelihood and our national priorities through the lens of Isaiah 58. Join other Christians in seeking a global economy and a national budget that break the yokes of injustice, poverty, hunger and unemployment throughout the world — heeding Isaiah's call to become "repairers of the breach and restorers of streets to live in."

In a global economy based on scarcity, corporate greed, and individualism, we will seek God's alternative vision for global community: one that breaks the chains of injustice and creates the possibility of a sustainable livelihood with dignity for all, thus living into a reality of God's abundance.

Through Isaiah, God challenges a nation that on the one hand professes a delight in seeking God and knowing God's ways, yet serves self interests, oppresses workers, neglects poor and hungry people and quarrels to no good end. Isaiah calls the nation to a righteous practice that loosens the bonds of injustice, lets the oppressed go free, and breaks every yoke. As Christian disciples, EAD participants will attempt to live into Christ's fulfillment of Isaiah's prophetic witness (Luke 4).

Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Come to "Is This the Fast I Seek?", EAD's Tenth Anniversary Celebration, March 23-26, 2012 in Washington, DC and help shape our national priorities!
Click here to register  

And don't forget Presbyterian events surrounded EAD -- Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Day, and the Saturday Evening Boat Ride on the Potomac!

CPJ Workshop Leader Highlights

March 23: Compassion, Peace, and Justice Training Day
'Presbyterians and Economic Justice'
New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C.

Discounted tickets for students and EAD participants!

Join the Office of Public witness and all the ministries of Compassion, Peace and Justice for a training day in Washington, D.C. Participants will have a full day of practical, church-based training and investigate the role Christians must play in today’s changing society, particularly on issues of economic justice. Plenaries and workshops on faith-based community organizing, practical tools for simple living, justice as discipleship-making, social responsibility through investing and many more!

Workshop Leader Highlights:

The Rev. W. Mark Koenig
Director, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

The Economic Implications of Occupation

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has repeatedly called for an end to the occupation of the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. What are the economic implications of the occupation – for Palestinians, for Israelis, for the United States? How can we respond?

Cynthia E. White
Director, Self-Development of People

Self-Development of People: Voices of the Poor and Oppressed

Self-Development of People will provide an opportunity to listen to and learn from groups of economically poor and oppressed people who have organized to address issues impacting them and their community.   Learn more about the issues, how communities are coming together, and how you can help.   Hear how Self-Development of People, through its many Committees across the country, is engaged with communities of need and how you can become involved in this ministry.

Your're Invited: Evening Cruise on the Virginia's Jewel

Presbyterian Boat Ride on the Potomac at Ecumenical Advocacy Days
March 24th, 2012
Tickets Going Fast!!

On Saturday evening, March 24, Presbyterians attending Ecumenical Advocacy Days will be joined by others from the Washington area to celebrate the work of the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness in Washington, DC. The festivities will take place on the lovely boat, Virginia's Jewel, on the beautiful Potomac River. The event will include music, a delicious meal, and the opportunity to see our Nation’s Capital in all its glory during the early days of the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Attendees will be transported to the dinner from the Ecumenical Advocacy Days hotel and returned there at the end of the evening. The cost is $75 per person.

Register at   

Friday, February 17, 2012

Speaker Highlights

Ecumenical Advocacy Days March 23-26!
Compassion, Peace, and Justice Training Day March 23!

 Ecumenical Advocacy Days
Crystal City Double Tree Hotel
"Is This the Fast I Seek?"
March 23rd – March 26th 2012
For more information and to register go to

Presbyterian Leadership at Ecumenical Advocacy Days:

Friday Evening Opening Celebration
Dr. Margaret Aymer 
Associate Professor of New Testament, Interdenominational Theological Center

Dr. Margaret Aymer teaches courses on the New Testament and has a special interest in biblical hermeneutics, particularly how African diasporic communities signify the Bible as "scripture." Some of her most significant publications are "Teaching Christians to 'Read': Theological Education and the Church"; "Empire, Alter-empire and the Twenty-first Century"; "What Do the Gospels Say about Sex and the Church?" in Frequently Asked Questions about Sexuality, the Bible, and the Church; First Pure, Then Peaceable: Frederick Douglass Reads James and a forthcoming book, African American Biblical Interpretation: An Introduction with co-author, Randall C. Bailey.

Conference Music Minister
Dr. Patrick Evans
Associate Professor of Sacred Music, Yale Divinity School and Institue of Sacred Music
Artist in Residence Broadway Presbyterian Church, New York, NY

Patrick is committed to the reclaiming and renewal of congregational song. As Director of Music for the daily ecumenical worship in Marquand Chapel at Yale University, he works with the Dean of Chapel, student chapel ministers and musicians, and a wide range of students, faculty, and guests from varied denominational backgrounds and musical traditions. He recently joined a team of church musician/teachers convened by the United Methodist Church General Board of Global Missions, spending two weeks in Uganda, teaching and learning from church musicians and pastors from that country, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Sudan. He has also been on the faculties of the Montreat and Westminster Conferences on Music and Worship, and was Director of Music for Seattle University 2007 Summer Institute for Liturgy and Worship.

As a singer, he has been a Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, the Cleveland Art Song Festival, and the Pacific Music Festival, Sapporo, Japan. He has appeared regularly in opera, oratorio, and recital performances, and has sung All the Way through Evening: Songs from the AIDS Quilt Songbook throughout the United States. During a recent sabbatical year, he served as artist-in-residence at Union Theological Seminary, and he currently serves in the same capacity at Broadway Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. Minister of music for ten years at Hanover Street Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware, Mr. Evans was previously associate professor of music at the University of Delaware, where he chaired the voice faculty and directed the opera program.


Compassion, Peace, and Justice Training Day
New York Avenue Presbyterian Church
“Presbyterians and Economic Justice”
8:30 – 5:00 March 23rd, 2012

For more information and to register go to
We are offering a discounted ticket for those attending Ecumenical Advocacy Days!
Featured Panelists:

Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo
Pastor, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church
Director of Colombia Programs, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship

Shannan Vance-Ocampo serves as Pastor at the Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth Presbytery (NJ).  She is also the Director of Colombia Programs for the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship which is a volunteer position helping manage and oversee the Colombia Accompaniment Program and faith-based advocacy related to Colombia.    Her husband Juan Gabriel Ocampo Valle is a native of Bogotá, Colombia and was educated at the Colegio Americano in Bogotá, which is part of the network of Presbyterian private education in Colombia.   This winter she co-led a PPF delegation to visit the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia (IPC) and two of their Presbyteries (Urubá and Bogotá).  In 2010 she was a participant in the joint IPC/PC(U.S.A.) delegation to evaluate the Accompaniment Program and also in a Witness for Peace/Fellowship of Reconciliation delegation to visit the sites of proposed US military bases in Colombia.  She has been travelling to Colombia since 1999 and is a member of the PC(U.S.A.) Colombia Mission Network.    She was ordained to ministry in 2001.  

Valery Nodem
Associate for International Hunger
PCUSA Hunger Program

Valéry Nodem is the Associate for International Hunger at the Presbyterian Hunger Program. Previously Nodem served as coordinator of the Joining Hands network, RELUFA, a network of church, ecumenical and non-profit organizations that focus on common strategies to address hunger, poverty and socio-economic and environmental injustice in Cameroon.  Under his leadership, RELUFA was successful in working towards the food sovereignty and self-development of impoverished Cameroonians by implementing community owned and managed grain banks in drought prone areas of northern Cameroon as well as providing those populations with micro-finance opportunities through the Credit Against Poverty (CAP) initiative.

RELUFA has also worked for equity and transparency in the extractive industries. Nodem was instrumental in RELUFA’s participation in the Publish What You Pay Coalition (PWYP) to promote transparency in the extractive industries to ensure that oil, gas and mineral wealth contributes to development and poverty alleviation.  In July 2010, Congress passed the U.S. Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which requires all U.S. and foreign companies registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to publicly report how much they pay governments for access to their oil, gas and minerals.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Children are not a Revenue Source
Tell Congress to Protect the Child Tax Credit

Negotiations are currently underway to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance benefits for long-term unemployed workers -- an important measure to protect American families and to prevent the recovery from stalling out.

However, one proposed “pay-for” in this debate will directly attack low-income, immigrant children. This proposal would restrict eligibility for the Child Tax Credit, denying the credit to nearly 5 million children in low-income, tax-paying immigrant families.

The Child Tax Credit's purpose is to reduce child poverty - in 2009 alone, the CTC kept 1.3 million children out of poverty. Making eligibility changes to this valuable program would take money away from many poor immigrant families - thus undermining the CTC's central purpose of poverty reduction.

Click here to tell Congress that children are not a "pay-for."