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Prayer Breakfast Attendees Encouraged to become €A Relevant Voice€

Ed Laiscell | 9/30/2009, 7:31 p.m.

Bishop Richard Franklin Norris, Presiding Bishop of the First Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, encouraged guests at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation€s 39th Annual Legislative Conference€s annual prayer breakfast Sat., Sept. 26 to be a relevant voice during these difficult times.

€It is a strange time when those who have reached a point no longer understand the driving force that has made this nation what it is,€ Norris said. €The words of our forefathers were perhaps as conclusive as they could and should have been; yet there is a foundation that declares that it is God who is the Creator and God who is the maker of all things.€

Norris was invited to be the keynote speaker by Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.). During the introduction, Rep. Fattah recalled a time in 1994 when he first heard the Bishop preach. He remembered the relevancy of his message. He told the crowd assembled inside the Washington Convention Center in Northwest that the Bishop€s words encouraged him to continue his quest for public office.

€God is calling on all of us to have a relevant voice, one that will make a difference in the life of our nation and of our people,€ Norris said. €I don€t know how many of you have experienced the impact of this economy, but I€ve come by to give you some good news. The good news is that God is the provider of every good and perfect gift.€

Norris also challenged the audience to encourage young people to attend college. He said that 25 percent of the economic resources of the AME Church go to support colleges and universities.

€In these economic times I have seen the bombardment of attacks on historically Black colleges and universities. I would ask those of us in this room who are alumni of our Black colleges and universities, [not to] forget how you got to where you are.€

On the matter of health care, Norris congratulated President Barack Obama supporters.

€Some of us need to cry aloud. We need to be a relevant voice in the communities where we live and work. € Health care impacts all of us and everybody has a right to a doctor and everybody has a right to health care,€ he said.

€On this day, God calls on the Congressional Black Caucus to continue to be the voice of reason on the cutting edge of change. If this nation is going to be what God wants it to be, it is going to need focused voices who understand what it is to be all inclusive,€ Norris said.