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'Harvesting Hope' forum to share responses to the economic crisis


November 6, 2008

The Wake Forest University School of Divinity will hold a forum to discuss how local churches and non-profit organizations can respond to community needs during the economic crisis.  The “Harvesting Hope” forum will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Nov. 18 in Wait Chapel.  The forum is free and open to the public.

Bill Leonard, dean of the School of Divinity, will present opening remarks, followed by a panel discussion on different approaches to the economic crisis.  Panel members include:

  • Rev. Dr. Doug Bailey, president and founder of the Center for Urban Ministries Inc. and assistant professor of urban ministry in the Wake Forest School of Divinity.
  • Rev. Linda Beale, president of the Minister’s Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity and pastor of New Liberty Baptist Ministries Inc.
  • Rev. James Dunn, professor of Christianity and public policy at the Wake Forest School of Divinity and president of the Baptist Joint Committee endowment.
  • Rev. Donald Jenkins, pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church.

Following the panel session, participants will divide into smaller groups of church or non-profit organization representatives, in order to discuss strategies based on the different types of services each provides.  “This convening of churches and non-profit organizations is an opportunity for sharing practical responses to the growing needs amid dwindling resources, and for evaluating these stresses in light of theological and social justice commitments,” says Leonard.

Leonard says the idea for the forum grew out of the “God and the New York Times” class he teaches.  “Reading the New York Times together, we realized the depth and complexity of the economic situation and the class decided to respond tangibly,” says Leonard. “It is an effort to bring together people on the ‘front lines’ of the crisis in our community, and I am very proud of our students for taking this initiative.”

Press Contacts:

Audrey Fannin
(336) 758-5237


Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237


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