When two Catholic bishops, two Episcopal bishops, one Methodist bishop, one Lutheran bishop and one AME Zion bishop gather in one room, what do you get?
Add to the conclave a Catholic sister who has appeared recently on both “The Colbert Report” and “The O’Reilly Factor.”
Include a national Baptist leader, a local Presbyter, a host of pastors from across the denominational waterfront.
Hold the gathering in a Catholic church for a Baptist Center for Ethics-sponsored event for a documentary funded mostly by a United Methodist foundation.
What do you get?
Oh. One more thing. The conclave is being held during a political convention that is held every four years. But the national political party leadership isn’t supporting, backing, funding or endorsing the event.
The answer: One gets a gathering of saints in a ship of salvation in the secular sea.
OK, the saints and secular sea imagery might be a little hyperbolic.
Without exaggeration, however, what one gets is a collaborative, ecumenical effort of Christians who are reaching across theological and organizational boundaries to advance the common good on a singular front.
That singular front is the issue of immigration.
The singular focus of the event is on faith leaders speaking to political leaders about the moral imperative to address the plight of the undocumented.
The event takes place at Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in downtown Charlotte, N.C., from 2-4 p.m. Sept. 4 during the Democratic National Convention. It involves a screening of “Gospel Without Borders” – followed by a panel of bishops.
The event is one of the few – very few – authentic faith events during the Democrats’ convention where all the program leaders are faith leaders.
In addition to some 50 clergy, registrants include Democratic delegates and officeholders from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas – many of whom have identified their church affiliation.
To learn more about the upcoming event, click here. Given the limited parking, this page includes information about the Charlotte light rail line. The final stop into the city is only two blocks from Saint Peter’s.
If you are interested in attending, register online here – pronto. Only a handful of tickets remain.
Know also that the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina is hosting another faith and immigration event from 7-8:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at Park Road Baptist Church.
For information about this CBFNC-sponsored event, click here.
Stephen Copley, a United Methodist Church pastor and director of Justice for Our Neighbors in Arkansas, and William Gregg, assistant bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, are confirmed program leaders.
We will be tweeting from both events using the Twitter hashtag #FaithDNC. The Twitter feed is available on the front page of EthicsDaily.com. We will also post photographs later in the week on EthicsDaily.com’s Facebook page.
Robert Parham is executive editor of EthicsDaily.com and executive director of its parent organization, the Baptist Center for Ethics. Follow him on Twitter at RobertParham1 and friend him on Facebook.