Friday, April 10, 2009

Faith & Family Summit

Wallace S. Hartsfield, Sr. challenged those who attended the Baptist Border Crossing to attend the Faith & Family Summit which will be held at the State Capitol in Jefferson City on April 16th. I have met with the group planning this special event over the past few days. CCO clergy and congregations in Kansas City, led by Rev. Rayfield Burns, were compelled to act on the need to further fund children's health care through the federal and state match for CHIP (child health insurance program) expansion and to support coverage for low income working adults. The group has been working to Cover All Children with health insurance for two years now. At this point while it looks like adults will be covered, children have been cut out. A decision recently by the Senate appropriations committee closed out any new funding for children's health insurance.

As people of faith, we believe that looking out for the most vulnerable among us is a moral imperative. Children and low-income adults, as well as people with disabilities and seniors deserve our protection. As people of faith, we believe that budgets are moral documents that reflect our priorities and best intentions.

On April 16th, faith leaders from across the state are gathering at the state capitol in Jefferson City to address the legislature with our concerns, our experiences and our hope.

This day will consist of three parts. First, upon arrival at the capitol we will convene an Inter-religious Healthcare Roundtable Discussion from 10:30-Noon. Here religious leaders will discuss the future of healthcare for Missourians and how the faith community can be involved in shaping that future. Second, those who have traveled to Jefferson City will meet with legislators from 12:00pm to 1:00pm to share their healthcare concerns, as well as other social determinants of health care that are impacting the members of their community such as predatory lending, lack of health related transportation and keeping families together through stopping preventable foreclosures.

The day will be centered upon the last event of the day, which is the Faith and Families Rally in the 3rd Floor Rotunda beginning at 1pm to 2pm. We will hear reflections of faith and powerful testimonies of those dealing with healthcare situations. We will also provide an opportunity for elected officials to address the religious leaders and families present regarding how they will respond to the pressures affecting our children and low-income families.

I hope you will join me and others at the Faith & Family Summit on April 16th!

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