People of Faith offer their State of the State Address
On Monday, Jan. 16, people of faith and conscience will gather in the rotunda of the Roundhouse for the 6th Annual “Witness for the People.” This event was created by Interfaith Worker Justice – NM as an opportunity for faith leaders to proclaim their priorities for the state legislative sessions. This year’s 60-day session is of particular concern because the budget will be determined. As people of faith we believe that budgets are moral documents that reflect the values of the governing bodies that shape and approve them, and should benefit the Common Good rather than special interests.
For the second year, the New Mexico Peace Choir, under the direction of Christy Conduff, will perform four pieces and lead the audience in the closing song “Come and Go Me to that Land” a traditional gospel blues song which has become of theme song. Members of the seventy (70) voice choir are from faith communities in the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area.
The event will open with the blowing of the shofar and a statement of purpose by Rabbi Ben Morrow with Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe. A blessing will be offered by Kathy Wanpovi Sanchez with Tewa Women United and a member of the San Ildefonso Pueblo. Speakers will include Sr. Joan Brown, director of NM Interfaith Power and Light, and the Reverend Harry Eberts, Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church in Santa Fe. Rev. Eberts will speak in support of legislation that seeks to reduce gun-related violence in New Mexico. He is one of the founders of New Mexicans Against Gun Violence. Other priorities for the session that will be addressed are efforts to cap interest rates on non-bank loans, and eliminating the use of solitary confinement with juveniles and the mentally ill in all NM correction facilities.
Interfaith Worker Justice – New Mexico is the statewide affiliate of Interfaith Worker Justice with national offices at the Edgewater Presbyterian Church in Chicago. IWJ includes interfaith groups and more than two dozen worker centers. Interfaith Worker Justice http://www.iwj.org has been organizing, educating and advocating on the sacred link between faith and labor since 1996.