Consistent Life 25th Anniversary Conference

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March 9-11, 2012, 4-H Youth Conference Center, Chevy Chase, MD

Going from 4-H Center to the Public Witness

Some going to the Conference have come or are coming early and staying at the 4-H Center. Some people coming in on Friday might want to come to the Center in the morning, leave their stuff and/or car, and go down to the public witness.  We could go down together.

I expect to get to the Center no later than 10:30 AM Friday. I have a few things to drop off and the CL banner to pick up. I am leaving my car at the Center and going by public transportation to get to the public witness, which starts at the White House at noon.  I would love to go with whomever is at the Center or for whom that would be convenient.

The public transportation route starts right in front of  the Center on Connecticut Ave., where there is a bus stop.  Metrobus route L8 and Ride-on buses 1 and 11 from there go to the Friendship Heights Metrorail station, which is their terminus. From there, one can either get on Metrorail and go to the Farragut North station, or get on Metrobus route 36 or 32, and get off at H St. & Madison Place.  Metrobus gets you a couple of blocks closer, but takes a lot (c. 35 minutes) longer.  At Farragut North station you want to go out the K Street exit.  You will see Farragut Square across from the exit.  Go through Farragut Square diagonally, which will get you to 17th and I.  Go to your left one block to 16th St., and then turn right and you will see ahead of you just one short block Lafayette Square. The White House is on the far side of Lafayette Square.

-Bill Samuel, CL President, 301-943-6406

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Worship Opportunities Set

We have arranged to hold Catholic and Protestant worship services at 9:30 on the Sunday morning of our Conference at the Conference site, the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. These services will be open to the general public without paying a registration fee. Due to Center policy, those not registered will need to stop by the Center main desk for a name badge, so attenders sh0uld allow time for that.

Fr. Jim Noonan, M.M. will celebrate Catholic mass in the Minnesota Room. He is a member of the Assisi Community in Washington, DC. The Assisi Community is a monastic-style community where the majority of members are not part of religious orders. The Community emphasizes a simple lifestyle and work for social change.

Rob Arner will give the message at the Protestant service. Rob is a member of the Consistent Life Board, a seminarian studying for his doctorate, and the author of Consistently Pro-Life: The Ethics of Bloodshed in Ancient Christianity. He is a Mennonite.

For Conference participants who are of other religions or no faith tradition, or simply would prefer not to attend one of the services, the Schruben Room will be available during the services for informal discussion.

At 10:45 AM, after the services, all are welcome to attend a session in the Minnesota Room where participants will share their reasons for supporting the Consistent Life Ethic. Consistent Life co-founder and current Treasurer Mary Rider will moderate this session.

To defray the additional costs of providing on-site religious services, we will have a free will offering at each of the religious services.

For those who want to stay for lunch in the Center cafeteria after the morning activities and are not registered, a limited number of lunch tickets will be available for $14 at the main desk. Lunch is served buffet style, and will include vegan and vegetarian (lacto-ovo) options.

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Serrin Foster added as Conference speaker

Serrin Foster

We have added an additional plenary speaker, who will be our Saturday dinner speaker.

Serrin Foster has led Feminists for Life, a CL member group, since 1994. Under her leadership FFL successfully advocated benefits for poor and pregnant women through the State Child Health Insurance Program, defeated the mandatory “family cap” and other punitive child exclusion provisions in welfare reform, and worked to prevent poverty and coerced abortions due to threats to withhold child support through passage of the Enhanced Child Support Act of 1995.

Serrin served on the National Taskforce Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, which worked to pass the Violence Against Women Act. In 2003, Serrin testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in support of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also known as “Laci and Conner’s Law.”

The creator of the Women Deserve Better® campaign has been an outspoken opponent of pregnancy discrimination and has focused on developing on-campus resources and support for underserved pregnant and parenting students.

Feminists for Life has been leading a revolution on campus to educate students at highest risk of abortion about our rich pro-life feminist heritage and redirect the debate toward woman-centered solutions. Serrin’s landmark speech, “The Feminist Case Against Abortion,” has been recognized as one of the “Great Speeches in History” in an anthology on Women’s Rights.

In 1997, Serrin moderated the first Pregnancy Resource Forum in the country at Georgetown University. FFL’s Pregnancy Resource Forums became a model for the country and have helped to redirect the debate toward woman-centered solutions. In 2010 FFL’s Pregnancy Resource Forums became the basis for Pregnancy Assistance Fund grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that will put into hyper-drive new pro-woman solutions on campus.

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Public witness plans set for Friday, March 9

We have been indicating that there would be a CLE public witness opportunity on the afternoon of March 9. We have now developed those plans.

Our member group Dorothy Day Catholic Worker is holding a liturgy in front of the White House each Friday during Lent from 12 Noon to 1 PM. So we will start our public witness with that event. Following the White House liturgy, we will walk to the military recruiting office at 14th and L Sts. NW. After spending some time there, we will walk to Planned Parenthood, 1108 16th St. NW, where we will take the 2-3 PM shift of the 40 Days for Life witness there. All aspects of the public witness are fully legal.

We will have the Consistent Life banner and some CLE signs. Feel free to bring your own sign if you wish. We invite you to come for all or a portion of the public witness, whether or not you are able to attend the Conference.

Member group Dorothy Day Catholic Worker (DDCW) is doing much for the work for the public witness. For more information, contact Kevin Mason by email or by phone at DDCW at 202-882-9649.

Planned Parenthood is about 2 blocks from the Farragut North Metro Station. To get to the 4-H Center for the Conference after the public witness, take the Red Line from Farragut North to Friendship Heights, and then take the L8 Metrobus (marked Aspen Hill) or Ride-On bus 1 or 11.

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Conference schedule available

A detailed draft conference schedule is now available in PDF. There will still be some adjustments before the Conference, but this schedule will show you most of what will be going on at the Conference.

GitHub: Software description: a mobile friendly conference schedule (Python).

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