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Christian Churches Together meets in Indianapolis for annual forum

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Christian churches and organizations gathered in Indianapolis for their yearly Christian Churches Together Forum from Oct. 4-7.

The forum began with a prayer and keynote speech by Adelle Banks from Religion News Service. The topic of this year’s forum was “Who does Jesus call our Christian churches to be in a polarized society?”

Representatives from Roman Catholic, Orthodox, historic Black, Evangelical/Pentecostal and mainline Protestant denominations across the U.S. were in attendance.

“We came here because Indianapolis has a lot to say about the middle of America,” said Angelique Walker-Smith, the newly elected president of the World Council of Churches for North America.

Downtown at Monument Circle, Walker-Smith performed a libation ceremony — a ritual of pouring water to give homage to predecessors — in remembrance of the people, including the Native and enslaved people, who came before them.

“Even in the midst of what can be an uncomfortable monument, it’s just a reminder that we are a part of the transformation,” said Brenda Girton-Mitchell, representative from Progressive National Baptist Church.

Girton-Mitchell is from Indianapolis, but she has been living in Washington, D.C., for the past 35 years. She said was happy to be back home to attend this year’s Christian Churches Together event.

Christian Churches Together forum ended Oct. 7 with prayers and reflections.

“The hope is in us,” Walker-Smith said at the end of the libation ceremony. “Thank you for being a symbol of hope.”

Contact religion reporter Abriana Herron at 317-924-5243 or email abrianah@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @Abri_onyai. Herron is a Report for America corps member and writes about the role of Black churches in the community.

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