Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Justice in the Balance Liturgy Weighs Power, Justice

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Justice in the Balance Liturgy Weighs Power, Justice

Article excerpt

The Rev. Kevin Fleming, pastor of Evansville's First Presbyterian Church, challenged local attorneys, government officials and others Friday to find a connection between faith and justice. "Whenever we're about the work of bringing people together, lifting people out of oppression and making the world what God created it to be, we are in one way or another about the business, the God-given business, of doing justice," Fleming said.

Approximately 50 people attended the midday service, a Liturgy of the Law Celebration that continued a tradition of judges, lawyers, law enforcement officers, elected and appointed officials and students of all faiths gathering and requesting God's blessing and guidance in the administration of justice.

A spring tradition organized by the St. Thomas More Society of Southwestern Indiana, an association of Catholic lawyers, the observance was moved to the Presbyterian church this year. The move was made after the Most Rev. Charles C. Thompson, bishop of the Diocese of Evansville, objected to non-Catholic attorneys presenting readings in the Mass.

Thompson had offered to conduct an ecumenical service and celebrate Mass on the same day.

But in a statement in March, the bishop said his desire was "to be ecumenically sensitive to non-Catholics while preserving the integrity of the Eucharist as a sign of Catholic unity."

Sue Ann Hartig, staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society, explained since this year's service wasn't in a Catholic church, the name needed to be changed.

"It's the first time at this church; it's the first time with this title, but we just didn't want to let that tradition die," Hartig said.

The St. Thomas More Society held a luncheon in the church Fellowship Hall after the service.

Fleming noted in Friday's service that the First Presbyterian congregation was the oldest established in Evansville. He expressed hope that participants would find the service to be a time of empowerment, reflection and hopefully a confidence builder for the work they do. …

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