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Church leaders discuss anti-poverty goals

ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson and Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold presented a joint pastoral letter, titled “That All May be One,” to U.N. leaders Sept. 15.

The two met in New York with Mark Malloch Brown, U.N. deputy secretary general, and Richard Miller, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Economic and Social Council. Hanson said he and Griswold emphasized both churches’ willingness to partner with the U.S. “to take a stronger lead globally in working toward the [Millennium Development Goals].”

The goals, adopted by the U.S. and all U.N. members in 2000, are to:

• Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

• Achieve universal primary education.

• Promote gender equality and empower women.

• Reduce child mortality.

• Improve maternal health.

• Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

• Ensure environmental sustainability.

• Create a global partnership for development.

In a sermon following the meeting, Griswold said the goals “invite our nation to relate itself to the world in a very different way. ... We’re not going to stamp out terrorism with force alone. ... The MDGs are an invitation to the nation and its leaders to become not only a superpower but also a super-servant.”

Hanson urged church members to participate in the ONE campaign, saying: “If we are to be a truly global church, we need to accompany developing nations.”


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