On April 5-8, Bill Taylor, Stein & Chris Syltevik, Peggy Taylor and Pamela Heggs attended the EAD conference in Washington DC. The theme this year was, "Troubling the Waters". The conference kicked off on Friday evening with a welcoming general session featuring Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock from Ebenezer Baptist Church. Invoking imagery from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Dr. Warnock helped us get excited for the weekend to come! Workshops throughout the weekend included topics such as:
Faith Communities and Activism: "Navigating Troubled Congregational Waters
Faith Routed Direct Activism and Community Organizing
Multi-faith Coalition-Building for Social Change
Increasing Civic Engagement: Ballot Initiatives
Advocating for Peace in a Violent World: the Global Fragility Act
The Criminalization of Poverty
Let Us Vote: Ending voter Suppression and Restoring Voters' Rights
And many, many more!
Of course the weekend included prayer, music and fellowship with cross-denominational attendees from all around the country. The mood was electrifying and God was certainly present!
The weekend culminated with a "Lobby Day" on Monday where attendees were invited to meet with their congressional representatives and senators. Luckily for the GRACE UCC attendees, we were able to meet with Representative Tom Malinowski in person along with senior staffers for Senators Booker and Menendez. Our talking points centered around voting rights and the establishment of a human rights commission within the Senate. What an adventurous day it was!
Next year's conference will be held April 17-20, again in Washington DC. Join us, won't you?