Convention to Highlight Diverse Faith Leaders

DENVER – In keeping with Barack Obama’s personal commitment and the commitment of the Democratic Party to put faith in action, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) and the Obama for America campaign today announced that the 2008 Democratic National Convention will recognize the tireless efforts of those in the faith community working toward the common good. “Senator Obama is a committed Christian, and he believes that people of all faiths have an important place in American life,” said Joshua Dubois, Obama For America Director of Religious Affairs. “He’s proud to work with the Democratic National Convention Committee on a Convention that fully engages people of faith in dialogue, celebration and prayer. We are honored that so many religious leaders are reaching across partisan and ideological lines in this Convention to address the values that matter to Americans.” “Democrats have been, are and will continue to be  people of faith – and this Convention will demonstrate that in an unprecedented way,” said Leah D. Daughtry, CEO of the DNCC.  “As Convention CEO and a pastor myself, I am incredibly proud that so many esteemed leaders from the faith community will be with us to celebrate this historic occasion and honor the diverse faith traditions inside the Democratic Party.” Each night of the Convention, the official program will begin with an invocation and end with a benediction delivered by a national faith leader or an individual who is active in their local faith community.  Among the group selected to deliver these opening and closing prayers are a Republican pastor of a leading Evangelical church in central Florida, a major young Evangelical leader, a nun from a diocese in Cleveland and a Methodist couple, both ordained ministers from Arvada, CO. National leaders from a range of denominations will host the Convention’s first-ever Faith Caucus meetings during the week – where they will discuss bringing people of faith together to address some of the most pressing issues of our time. On Tuesday, August 26, the Faith Caucus will hold two panel discussions – “Common Ground on Common Good,” an opportunity to discuss finding common ground on the moral issues of the day, and “Faith in 2009: How an Obama Administration will Engage People of Faith.” On Thursday, August 28, the Caucus will convene for “Moral Values Issues Abroad,” a panel on how the faith community can work together to address pressing moral issues around the world, and “Getting Out the Faith Vote,” a session on how to appropriately engage communities of faith in the 2008 election. In addition, a first-ever Democratic National Convention interfaith gathering will kick off the week, bringing delegates, elected officials, local residents, musical guests and spiritual leaders from many comm unities of faith together for a unique gathering. In addition to keynote remarks, the program will include readings from diverse religious texts, prayers and musical selections.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

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