Valley Forge, Pa. -- Women religious leaders from across the U.S. will gather at the Willard International Hotel in Washington D.C. on Jan. 29 for the first national prayer breakfast organized by women. The event, sponsored by the Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders, is planned as a call to prayer following the final report on weapons inspection in Iraq scheduled to be delivered to the United Nations on Jan. 28.
Women leaders from all the major faith traditions will lead a one-hour session of prayer and reflection for the nation and the world, beginning at 7:30 a.m. A breakfast will follow, with presentations on peace-building efforts by women and ways women from government, business and religion can collaborate. As chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders, the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, an ordained American Baptist and former general secretary of the National Council of Churches, will open the ceremonies and preside at the prayer breakfast.
American Baptist women will be represented at the event. "I am encouraged by this historic occasion to gather with other women of faith to tangibly express our deep desire for peaceful resolution of conflicts in our world," said Virginia Holmstrom, executive director of American Baptist Women's Ministries, who encourages American Baptist women to join her at the event. "We need to be in prayer during the critical days during which governments will form responses to the Iraq weapons inspection report to the United Nations," she said. "Women everywhere are touched by the effects of war-women of war-torn countries struggle to provide for their families, and women watch their loved ones being called to war. Women also can have a role in the prevention, resolution and healing of conflict. This is our call to prayer."