Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the White House Easter Prayer Breakfast. President Obama invited 150 religious leaders to join him for a prayer service and breakfast buffet. I was so moved to be included and to represent our network of almost 20,000 people of faith. It felt like you were with me.
The Spirit was present as clergy across the theological spectrum worshiped and broke bread together. I was reminded that we need not think alike to pray together and bind ourselves to the work of justice. Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., a pioneer of the civil rights movement, offered the most stirring Holy Week sermon. He weaved Anne Frank, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Easter into a narrative that reminded us that â€œresurrection is not an annual event.â€ Murmurs of â€œamenâ€ filled the room, as we all knew in our hearts that survival and rebirth is an ongoing human struggle.
I had the opportunity to meet the President, sit with the Honorable Tina Tchen, Mrs. Obamaâ€™s chief of staff, and catch up with Religious Institute colleagues such as Rev. Geoffrey Black, the President of the United Church of Christ, Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop elected in the Episcopal Church, and Rev. Richard Cizik, the President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good. I also had the opportunity to meet such inspirational church leaders as Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the first woman Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Rev. Joel and Becky Hunter, Northland, A Church Distributed, and tell them about our new safer congregations initiative.
I would not have been at the White House without your support. It is you, the members of the Religious Institute network of faithful voices on religion and sexuality that make our ministry on sexual justice possible. Please consider making your annual donation today to assure that we can continue to bring your faithful voice to Washington and around the country.
Thank you so much for standing with us as we advocate for sexual justice in faith communities and society.
Blessings for Passover and Easter to all who celebrate.
Rev. Debra W. Haffner
P.S. Your generous donation will help us continue to represent your progressive religious views on sexuality issues from congregations to seminaries to denominations to the White House. Please consider making your 2014 annual gift today or becoming a monthly donor. Thank you!