|Church and Society leader joins civil rights pilgrimage|
The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery will be joining a congressional civil rights
pilgrimage to Alabama. A UMNS file photo by Mike DuBose.
A UMNS Report
By Kathy L. Gilbert*
March 6, 2009
Jim Winkler, top executive with The United Methodist Church’s social action agency, will be joining a congressional civil rights pilgrimage to Alabama, March 6-8, sponsored by the Faith and Politics Institute.
This will be the ninth pilgrimage sponsored by the institute to sites in Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma with civil rights leaders and historians. The delegation will be led by Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.), Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and Artus Davis (D-Ala.).
Winkler serves on the board of the Faith and Politics Institute, which is a nonpartisan ministry based in the United Methodist Building in Washington. The group works to cultivate civility and respect among members of Congress, he said.
“One of the highlights of the ministry of the institute is their Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Alabama. This year, I will be joining 33 members of Congress, including Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, himself one of the most important civil rights leaders in American history.”
One purpose of the visit is to highlight the civil rights movement as a start toward a greater America, according to institute officials. Among other sites, the delegation will visit the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, where a bomb blast in 1963 killed four girls in their Sunday school class. They will have a wreath-laying ceremony at the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery and re-enact the 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.
The Rev. Jim Lawson
“I know this pilgrimage will be a spiritual mountaintop experience for me,” Winkler said. “I look forward to being with, among others, Rev. Jim Lawson and Rev. Joseph Lowery, both of whom are great United Methodist civil rights leaders.”
*Gilbert is a news writer for United Methodist News Service in Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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