Story by Andre Hastick
Late spring 10 Chesapeake Conference pastors joined other clergy in attending a conversation session with U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (Md.) for interfaith religious leaders. Held in the Member’s Room of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., additional pastors from the Columbia Union Conference and leadership from the North American Division (NAD) Public Affairs and Religious Liberty and Presidential departments also attended.
During his remarks, Cardin affirmed the priority of religious freedom and the importance of not allowing politics to compromise faith-based values. Senator Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer (Md., 5th Congressional District) also addressed the audience, both encouraging the faith community to stay vigilant and engaged in civic dialogue and care for their respective communities.
Patrick Reynolds, pastor of the Grasonville (Md.) and MOT church district in Delaware, saw this as a unique event he wanted to attend. “My motivation to be here was to see how the religious community is seen from the political realm. … I thought this was a good opportunity to converse with the politicians,” he says.
Senate Chaplain Barry Black concluded the gathering with a message encouraging faith-based leaders to be devoted to their work, letting excellence in leadership be a witness to the world. “If we will make a commitment to integrity ... people will have to acknowledge there is something about this man or woman that reminds me of the Transcendent. Then we will accomplish, even in this crazy world, more than we can ask or imagine,” says Black.