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9/3/2013 3:16:00 PM
Oregon religious leaders will convene against death penalty
Catholic Sentinel photo by Bob Kerns
Archbishop Alexander Sample
Catholic Sentinel photo by Bob Kerns
Archbishop Alexander Sample

Religious leaders and members of Oregon’s faith groups will gather Wednesday, Oct. 16 in a show of opposition to the death penalty.

Archbishop Alexander Sample will be among attendees at the public dinner, to take place at Portland’s First United Methodist Church.

The dinner is sponsored by Oregonians for Alternatives to Death Penalty, an organization that includes leaders of the Archdiocese of Portland and has the support of a broad array of religious believers.    

On hand will be bishops, executive ministers, rabbis and other faith leaders representing the Catholic Church, the Episcopalian Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Church of Christ, Church of the Brethren, American Baptist Church, United Methodist Church, Jewish, Mennonite, Muslim, Sikh, Unitarian Universalist, Disciples of Christ, Buddhist and Quakers.

Leaders will offer statements and explanations in opposition to capital punishment and attendees can learn how they and their congregations and faith communities can become involved in organizing around the issue.

“In the six states that have repealed their death penalty in the past six years, people of faith have played leading roles in those efforts," says Ron Steiner, a member of Queen of Peace Parish in Salem and an organizer of Oregonians for Alternatives to Death Penalty. He helped lead a successful campaign to abolish the death penalty in New Mexico in 2009. Steiner says the gathering may help future legislative efforts and initiatives.

“An interfaith gathering of this type in support of the abolition of the death penalty makes public an important moral position held in common by many religious movements and traditions in this country," says David Leslie, executive director of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, one of the evening’s co-sponsors. "This gathering offers an unprecedented opportunity to network with Oregon’s religious leadership and strengthen our common mission to end the use of capital punishment in Oregon.”     

The evening begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception. Reserved tables of eight are available for $320 and individual tickets are $40. For more information or to reserve a table, call (503) 990-7060 or email [email protected]  

To learn more about Oregonians Against the Death Penalty, visit www.oadp.org.


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