Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Faith and politics

In an effort to hear from all facets of the community, U.S. Sen. David Vitter met with about 10 local pastors this morning for breakfast at Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal. The meeting and place was requested by Vitter.

SBCR spokesman David Westerfield said the conversation ranged from international conflicts such as Iraq, Israel and Darfuf to more local trends like keeping young adults here in Shreveport. In talking about hurricane recovery, the pastors reminded Vitter that the churches opened their doors and got involved before government showed up. Westerfield said Vitter mostly just listened and then encouraged the pastors to challenge their members to get involved in the community and do something about the concerns they see.

Those attending the hour-long meeting included many of the elite clergy from a pretty good mix of congregations: The Rev. Fred Lowery of First Baptist - Bossier, Bishop Larry Brandon of Praise Temple Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral, the Rev. Ken Irby of Broadmoor United Methodist, the Rev. M.L. Agnew of St. Mark's Cathedral and others. Westerfield said the men were pretty quiet at first, and I'm guessing that's because a lot of these guys rarely sit in the same room.

"Part of the idea (of Community Renewal) is to bring people together," Westerfield said.

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