2013 Opening Celebration: The Bible & Food Justice for a Healthy World
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Dr. Kathryn Mary Lohre, President of the National Council of Churches, USA and Fr. Aniedi Okure of Africa Faith and Justice Network welcomed everyone to the opening of EAD 2013. Rev. Dr. Barbara Lundblad of Union Theological Seminary preached on passages from the Book of Exodus and the Gospel of Luke related to the theme of food justice.
Dr. Kathryn Mary Lohre, President, National Council of Churches USA
Kathryn Lohre is the President of the National Council of the Churches of Christ USA and the Director of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations in the Office of the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She was installed November 8, 2011 as the 26th President of the National Council of Churches.
The installation took place during the Council’s Governing Board meeting at the ELCA Churchwide Office in Chicago. Lohre will serve her two year term from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013.
Lohre, who had been serving as NCC President Elect, succeeds the Rev. Canon Peg Chemberlin, who will now serve as immediate past president of the Council. This is the first time in the history of the NCC that a woman succeeds a woman in the role.
Kathryn Lohre was assistant director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard from 2005 to 2011, serving with project director Dr. Diana Eck, a member of the NCC Governing Board and chair of the NCC’s Interfaith Relations Commission.
Lohre is a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches. She previously served on the ELCA Bishop’s Global, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relationships Roundtable, the Commission for Women Steering Committee and as an assistant to the ELCA Youth Gathering (2000).
Lohre is a summa cum laude graduate of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., and earned the Master of Divinity degree at Harvard Divinity School. In May 2011, the Graduate Theological Foundation, Mishawaka, Ind., conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity to Lohre, “in recognition of her election as president-elect of the National Council of Churches and also in recognition of her contributions to women’s interfaith issues and pluralism.”
At 34, Lohre is the first Lutheran and the second youngest president of the Council. The Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, an American Baptist, became president in 1979 at the age of 33.
Fr. Aniedi Okure, OP, Executive Director, Africa Faith & Justice Network
Aniedi Okure is Executive Director of the Africa Faith and Justice Network. He is a member of the Order of Preachers; Dominican Province of St. Joseph the Worker (Nigeria-Ghana). He has served in various pastoral capacities in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the United States, including associate director of campus ministry at the University of Ife, associate at St. Ambrose Parish Boston, St. James Church Davis and chaplain at Geisinger Hospital Danville, Pennsylvania. From 1995 to 2001, he was the Coordinator of Ethnic Ministries at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and served as co-chair for the breakout sessions of Encuentro 2000, the millennium celebration of diversity in the church. While at the USCCB, he brought together African priests and religious to form the coalition of African Conference of Catholic Clergy and Religious in the United States.
Since 2003, he has contributed to research projects at Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research including the study of the movements of international priests and religious and their impact on local church communities, African and Caribbean-born in the United States, and cultural diversity in the Church. With Dean Hoge, he co-authored International Priests in America: Challenges and Opportunities (2006), and African and Caribbean Catholics in the United States (2008). He is a frequently invited speaker on international priests and cultural diversity. He studied at the Dominican Institute Ibadan, Les Facultés Catholique Kinshasa; University of Ife; Boston University and The Catholic University of America. He has taught at The Catholic University of America, The George Washington University, the University of California Davis and the University of Ife, Nigeria. He holds a doctorate degree in sociology from the Catholic University of America.
Rev. Dr. Barbara Lundblad , Joe R. Engle Professor of Preaching, Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY
Barbara Kay Lundblad is one of the U.S.’s leading ecumenical preachers, teachers, and inspirational speakers. She is the Joe. R. Engle Preaching Professor at Union Theological Seminary in NYC where her teaching interests include preaching in partnership with the congregation, preaching and social transformation, new forms of preaching, and preaching as an integral part of worship.
For over twenty years Dr. Lundblad she has been a popular preacher on the radio program “Day 1” (formerly “The Protestant Hour”). A pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and member of the Pastoral Team at Advent Lutheran Church in Manhattan, she has preached in hundreds of congregations across the United States and has given lectures at many seminaries in this country and Canada, as well as a Lutheran World Federation conference in Buenos Aires. A frequent speaker at the Festival of Homiletics, her 2008 lecture, “Jeremiah, Martin and Me,” challenged preachers to confront the realities of racism in the US, especially in this election year.
Dr. Lundblad is the author of two books Transforming the Stone: Preaching through Resistance to Change and most recently, Marking Time: Preaching Biblical Stories in Present Tense. This recent book is based on the Beecher Lectures which she gave at Yale Divinity School. In addition she has published articles in journals such as Currents in Theology and Mission, Word and World, Journal of Preaching, and The Living Pulpit.
Last year, Dr. Lundblad published several sermons in the journal Lectionary Homiletics, and “Prologue, ‘Down by the Riverside,’” in Women’s Voices and Visions of the Church: Reflections from North America (2005); her essays on “Narrative Theory” and “Feminism” were accepted for publication by The New Interpreter’s Bible Encyclopedia of Preaching.
During her sabbatical in 2004, Prof. Lundblad participated in a study trip to Israel and Palestine, sponsored by the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. Her “journey though that beautiful, troubled land marked by many clashing images” and her “deeply moving visits with people in Israel and the West Bank” have undoubtedly only served to enhance the quality of her preaching and teaching.
Dr. Lundbald received a B.A. in English from Augustana College (1966), the M.Div. from Yale Divinity School (1979), and the D.D. from Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. She served 16 years as a parish pastor in New York City, as well as campus pastor at Lehman College and New York University. She has taught preaching at Yale Divinity School, Princeton Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College, and in the D.Min. program of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools. In 2007, she served as president of the Academy of Homiletics. Dr. Lundblad’s ongoing leadership in the Union community has included being a preacher and worship leader in James Chapel, a member of the Seminary Choir, a participant in the Academic Affairs Committee, an advisor to Lutheran students, and a Faculty liaison to the Poverty Initiative planning group and Advisory Committee. In her leadership beyond Union, she is currently serving as the President of the Academy of Homiletics and is on the Board of the Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn.