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Forty religious leaders and lay persons gathered in New Orleans for two days of provocative sessions inspiring action in areas of civil discourse, racial reconciliation, the Bread or Stones children's anti-poverty initiative, criminal justice, disaster/flood relief and more. 

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Our thanks to Rev. Callie Crawford and the staff at Rayne Memorial UMC for their kind hospitality in hosting us!

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  And while the Presidential debate and the Saints hometown game certainly drew crowds to watch those respective areas, many others chose to join us for the Monday evening Ecumenical Worship Service at the historic St. Mary's Assumption Catholic Church of St. Alphonsus Parish, New Orleans.  Thanks to all who chose to come to pray and worship with us!

Bishop Mike Rinehart (ELCA - TX/LA Gulf Coast Synod) gave the homily, with various leaders from other Traditions participating as well.  Bishop Rinehart quoted the scripture: "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world," and said that Christians never have to fear death. He gave a detailed history of Fr. Francis Xavier Seelos, who passed up being a Bishop because he wanted to serve instead, and came to St. Mary's during an epidemic of yellow fever in New Orleans, knowing he would very likely succumb to it as well.  He inspired many by his life and in his death.

Clergy who participated in the evening service (left to right): Fr. Buddy Noel, Fr. Richard Thibodeau (host pastor), Rev. Lindy Broderick, Bp Mike Rinehart, Bp Cynthia Harvey, Fr. Dan Krutz, and LIC President, Rev. C. S. Gordon, Jr.  We also had several lay leaders who are not pictured above.

Mrs. Ann Romero, a lay leader from the Lake Charles Catholic Diocese, provided the Old Testament reading from Micah 4.

Ann was elected as a Board Member at Large in March. 

Welcome, Ann!

Some Business Session

Highlights:

A Statement of Civility and Tolerance was approved by the Board calling all candidates for office (and media) to refrain from utilizing speech that reflects hatred of others and results in the division of society as a way to promote their candidacies.  

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:  The Catholic Dioceses are being asked to take the lead in planning the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity services around the state.

A Declaration on Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform outlining the goals of LIC and the LIC Commission on Criminal Justice was affirmed by the group.

Dr. Cory Sparks, Chair of the Stewardship of the Environment Commission included information in his report on an upcoming event on October 29th for the New Orleans area, a day highlighting Coastal Care in honor of St. Francis of Assisi day.  As always, we are all encouraged to protect and care for our environment in any way possible.

Ms. Jessica Vermilyea provide updates on resources available after the Great Flood of August 2016.  She told of people still in shelters who are in need host families.  The shelters will all be closing soon.

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Samuel Rottman was introduced to all as the new Coordinator of the Bread or Stones Anti-Poverty Initiative for Children.

The program is now in full swing - time to get on board!

Find out more about the Bread or Stones program here.

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Click Here for More Photos and Info. from the Fall Board Meeting!

 

Link to get Flash Paper by Adobe

 

"Civility in Public Discourse"

was the theme of the LIC

Fall Board Meeting held

September 26-27, 2016

at Rayne United Methodist Church

in New Orleans

On Monday, 9/26, Keynote Speaker, Rev. Lindy Broderick, CCE, presented on “Speak your Peace”, based upon the publication ‘Choosing Civility’ by author P. M. Forni.  Rev. Broderick has made similar presentations around the country.  She currently works with the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce with a specialized ministry of Peace and Justice, to encourage a more civil discourse in the business community and in the legislative arena.  Rev. Lindy is also a fairly new LIC Board Member.

Rev. Lindy Broderick

Click here for Rev. Broderick's Power Point Presentation

Lindy included a YouTube video in her presentation called Politicians Fight Compilation” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V5On2HhIh0 (“I need a Hero” – music plays in background on video).   This is a short clip from YouTube - introduces what’s happening, not only in our communities, our states and our nation but throughout the world as politicians and others get into actual physical brawls.

Click here for a Guest Editorial Lindy gave regarding civility on KSLA Channel 12 News in Shreveport (a 2-minute movie clip).

Lindy encouraged all to adopt a 'common resolution' such as the one shown in this Video Link where the City Council of Bainbridge Island (a small city in the state of Washington) unanimously approved a Resolution in 2007 "For Bainbridge Island to become recognized as one of the (perhaps the) most civil and best mannered communities in the nation."

 

Lindy also provided all with wallet cards listing

nine practices of civility to follow, saying,

Today, I Will:

(see next column)

1. Pay Attention.

2. Listen.

3. Be Inclusive.

4. Not Gossip.

5. Show Respect.

6. Be Agreeable.

7. Apologize.

8. Give Constructive Criticism.

9. Take Responsibility.

Also see:  LIC statement on Civility as approved by the Board

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Rev. Mallery Callahan (President of the Louisiana Home and Foreign Mission Baptist State Convention), gave the Tuesday morning Meditation. 

The scripture text was 2nd Corinthians 5:16-21.  Rev. Callahan noted that the renewed man acts on new principals as a new creation with a new heart, and that 'new' man now loves the Savior with ALL his heart.

Tuesday began with Morning Prayer in the Chapel of Rayne Memorial UMC.  Rev. Callahan led the meditation, with Rev. Annie Etheredge officiating.

A 'new' man loves Jesus with ALL his heart.

After Morning Prayer, meeting participants were treated to WARM BEIGNETS with plenty of powdered sugar - after all, this is New Orleans!  (Our many thanks to Board Member at Large, Mrs. Ann Ball, for delivering these.)

A nice way to start off the next Speaker session!

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On Tuesday, 9/27, Speaker, Fr. Fred Kammer, S.J., J.D., captivated the listeners with a presentation titled: "On Racial Reconciliation and Solidarity" 

which included many of his own real-life experiences.  Fr. Kammer is a Roman Catholic priest, an attorney, and a member of the Southern Province of the Jesuits.  He has been director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute since March of 2009.

Fr. Fred Kammer, S.J., Ph.D.

Fr. Fred Kammer

Additional resources Fr. Kammer provided::

Click here for the JustSouth Index State Report Card for Louisiana (2 page PDF file), listing such stats such as listing Louisiana as 50 out of 51 in the poverty dimension and 49 out of 51 in the racial disparity dimension.

 

Click here for a 2 page PDF on Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and Racism  

Click here for a 1 page flyer on CST and Social Structures     

Table discussions followed the speaker presentations - a great time for fellowship and brainstorming!

Guest Presenters

Court Watch NOLA  Volunteer Coordinator, Lerin Amos, and Executive Director, Simone Levine.  Mission:

To promote greater efficiency, transparency and procedural fairness in Louisiana criminal courts through citizen involvement and courtroom observation.

On Tuesday, representatives from Court Watch NOLA (New Orleans, LA) provided a brief introduction to their organization and its activities. Court Watch NOLA was founded in 2007 by the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, Common Good, and Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans as a grassroots volunteer effort to bring greater transparency and efficiency to our criminal courts. Since then, CWN has recruited, trained, and supported volunteers in observing and reporting on whether our judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and other public servants are doing their jobs professionally, transparently, and without wasting taxpayer resources. CWN volunteers track hundreds of felony cases, and their daily and visible presence in the courtroom helps identify systemic problems while sending the message that our community cares about making the courts more accountable and just.

Find out more at:  http://www.courtwatchnola.org/

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Click Here for More Photos and Info. from the Fall Board Meeting!

 

Thanks to all who attended!

 

The next Board Meeting will be the

Annual Assembly in Monroe

March 6 - 7, 2017

See you there!

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