Submitted by Kevin Zeese on Sat, 01/28/2012 - 14:00
Tale of Two Breakfasts and How Religious Leaders Are Joining the Struggle for Economic Justice
While the 1% attend the National Prayer Breakfast for the Rich and Famous, the 99% Will Pray, Reflect and Draw Attention to the Marginalization of Millions Suffering Economic Despair.
Washington, DC, January 28, 2012 - As plans are being made at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Dupont Circle for the elaborate invitation only National Prayer Breakfast, organized by The Fellowship Foundation, a conservative Christian organization more widely known as "The Family", just a few blocks away a humble gathering of interfaith clergy, lay leaders, faith-based social justice advocates and members of the Occupy Movement are simultaneously finalizing their plans for an alternative interfaith People's Prayer Breakfast.
Coincidently, both are being held on the very day that the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week begins, Thursday-February 2, 2012, marking the beginning of a special week set aside by the UN to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people.
Counter to the lavish National Prayer Breakfast held at the Washington Hilton, the People's Prayer Breakfast will offer simplicity and a model of GREEN in its use of environmentally friendly paper products and recycling efforts, pledging not to use plastic bottles-only pitchers of water to accompany a modest continental breakfast.
Though the names of the guest speaker and guest musician for the National Prayer Breakfast is usually kept secret until a few days before the breakfast, Occupy Faith DC is openly announcing that, spicing up the morning's prayerful program with fitting socially conscious music, will be Dr. Ysaye Barnwell from the internationally acclaimed, "Sweet Honey In the Rock".
"This breakfast is open to everyone and is both a call to prayer and a call to action." says James Lee, Coordinator and one of the founding members of Occupy Faith DC (OFDC), an interfaith coalition supporting the non-violent social action of the Occupy Movement in the National Capital Region. Continues Lee, "We are gathering to tell the political, business, and media leaders in our nation that, “There is enough for everyone!” in our society, and that this current crisis is not only about "jobs", but about our national priorities."
"We must remember", states Rev. Brian Merritt, Pastor of the Palisades Community Church in Washington,DC, also a founding member of Occupy Faith DC that, "Prayer is a sacred act that connects us to something greater than ourselves and moves us to action in transforming the world."
This newly formed interfaith coalition of Occupy Faith DC has attracted both clergy, lay leaders and members from mosques, temples, churches, and synagogues, as well as from interfaith and ecumenical bodies, and other faith-based organizations who have come together to provide material and spiritual support for the efforts and ideals of those in the Occupy Movement whom they feel are sacrificing their comfort, bearing the harsh weather conditions, and persevering in order to raise the important issues of concern surrounding the great economic disparity which, in their opinion, is the greatest challenge in our society today.
“Occupy Faith DC also wants the voices of the children to be heard.”, says Annie Storr, Associate Professor of Education Studies Corcoran College of Art and Design and artistic and educational consultant for the People’s Prayer Breakfast Children’s Art Project entitled, “Enough For Everyone! Youth and Children’s Visions and Prayers For the Future of Our Nation.” The children’s artwork will be carried in silent witness across from the National Prayer Breakfast by members of Occupy Faith DC , then displayed on the internet; and 24 works of art or images will be exhibited at different places of worship after Feb.15, 2012.
The People's Prayer Breakfast will be held on Thursday, February 2nd at the Church of the Pilgrims, 2201 P St.NW Washington, DC.20037 beginning at 7:30am. A strategizing session and dialogue are planned to follow the breakfast.
For more details, reference their website at occupyfaithdc.org and, though free to the public, free-will donations would be appreciated and can be given by accessing their peoplesprayerbreakfast.org website.
A Press Conference will be held Monday, January 30th at 1pm in front of Luther's Place, 1226 Vermont Avenue NW.to announce plans for the breakfast and to issue a call for people of faith from across the region to join them in unison, with members of the Occupy movement, in prayer and reflection on the economic suffering and marginalization of millions of US citizens.
Present, as speakers for Occupy Faith DC will be Rev.Graylan Hagler of the Plymouth Congregational Church, Rev.Dr.E.Gail Anderson Holness of Christ Our Redeemer AME Church & President of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington (IFC),Rev. Brian Merritt of The Palisades Community Church and Imam Johari Malik of the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center. More TBA. All media are requested to meet in front of the Martin Luther Statue.
For more information, contact: Rev.Brian Merritt 202-966-7929 (Office)
Contact Name: Rev. Brian Merritt
5200 Cathedral Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016
Phone Number: 202-966-7929
About Occupy Faith DC: Occupy Faith DC is an Interfaith coalition supporting the non-violent social action of the Occupy Movement in the National Capital Region. The coalition includes both clergy and members from mosques, temples, churches, and synagogues as well as interfaith and ecumenical bodies, and other faith-based organizations. We have come together to support the efforts and ideals of the Occupy Movement promoting inclusion, economic justice, peaceful coexistence, and the brotherhood of mankind.