Vander Meulen to discuss world poverty at lecture

Huntington, Ind.—Peter Vander Meulen, co-chairman of The Micah Challenge USA, will serve as the featured speaker for the Huntington University Forester Lecture Series at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 5, 2005, in the Zurcher Auditorium of the Merallit Centre for the Arts.

Forester Lectures are free of charge and open to the public.

Vander Meulen will discuss his current work with The Micah Challenge, an international effort to mobilize Christian organizations and churches to help the United Nations meet its Millennium Development Goal of halving world poverty by 2015. The Micah Challenge offers a biblical foundation for social action, as expressed in its mission statement:

“Integral mission . . . is the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel. It is not simply that evangelism and social involvement are to be done alongside each other. Rather, in integral mission our proclamation has social consequences as we call people to love and repentance in all areas of life. And our social involvement has evangelistic consequences as we bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ. If we ignore the world we betray the word of God which sends us out to serve the world. If we ignore the word of God we have nothing to bring to the world. Justice and justification by faith, worship and political action, the spiritual and the material, personal change and structural change belong together. As in the life of Jesus, being, doing and saying are at the heart of our integral task.” [Micah Challenge, “Statement on Integral Mission,” 2001]

Following 23 years of managing community development projects in developing countries, Vander Meulen is now the coordinator for social justice and hunger action of the Christian Reformed Church denomination, and is based in Grand Rapids, Mich. His work involves intensive interaction with the agencies, congregations, and members of the Christian Reformed Church in an effort to infuse the ministries and fabric of the Christian Reformed Church with a deep concern for the poor and social justice.

He also is responsible for the denomination’s growing involvement in the ministry of advocacy with and for the poor – both to foster it at the congregational level and to represent the church at national and international levels.

The Christian Reformed Church is a denomination of approximately 280,000 communicant members in the United States and Canada. It is headquartered in Grand Rapids Mich. The denomination is very active in relief and development work through its Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, a $12 million a year organization that works in more than 20 countries.

In addition to his denominational work, Vander Meulen serves on the national board of Bread for the World, has been an elder in his local congregation, serves on the steering committee of the West Michigan Call to Renewal, on the Immigration and Refugee Committee of Church World Service, and is presently the co-chairman of the Micah Challenge USA.

Vander Meulen is married to Margaret (Peggi) MacLeod and has three children ages 25, 21, and 16.

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and in 2004 was named one of the 50 best Christian places to work by Christianity Today magazine.  


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