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Saddleback Church to Host Civil Forum on Orphans and Adoption, May 10

by Staff
May 11, 2010
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LAKE FOREST, Calif., ( -- Dr. Rick Warren and Saddleback Church will continue the tradition of promoting civil discourse on Monday, May 10, by hosting the Saddleback Civil Forum on Orphans and Adoption, the fifth in a series of civil forums featuring subject-matter experts and world leaders discussing current significant and urgent issues. The global orphan crisis affects 143 million children as 15,000 become parentless each day.

The panel of guests includes Dr. Susan Hillis, senior HIV scientist at the Center for Disease Control and adjunct professor for the School of Public Health at Emery University; Russell D. Moore, senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.; Mike Ryan, the director of child and family services at the Orange County Social Services Agency; and Elizabeth Styffe, the director of both the Orphan Care Initiative and HIV/AIDS Initiative at Saddleback Church.

"We have a panel of experts who are leaders in their respective fields and driven by God's call to protect the vulnerable and help the helpless," said Warren, founding pastor of the Orange County, Calif., mega church and author of the best-selling book, "The Purpose Driven Life." "The global orphan crisis is a huge issue about which we need to educate the public. This forum is about awareness and inspiration. We are facing a formidable situation but it is at the very core of what we, as Christians, are called to do."

In a dialogue moderated by Warren, Hillis, Moore, Ryan and Styffe will explore the dangers and risks facing today's ever growing population of orphans world-wide and the practical ways to provide aid and change lives by engaging this cause. The children of the global orphan crisis are in desperate need of family, love and hope, and are the responsibility of every earthly resident. Warren and his panel of cause enthusiasts present the challenge of uniting for the cause of orphans and adoptions and change the staggering statistics about the parentless children of the world.

"As an adopted child of God, it is easy for me to see how vital and necessary it is to provide these children with love and care and ensure that they are raised in a family just as I have been raised in family of the body of Christ," Warren added. "This is not a foreign issue and it is not one that can be ignored. It is far-reaching and wide-spread, and the responsibility to care and provide for these orphans falls not to one country or one agency but to one world."

The free event will be held in the main auditorium of Saddleback Church on May 10 at 7:00 p.m. PDT, and is open to the public. Tickets can be reserved at 949.609.8000 or at The event will also be webcast at

The Saddleback Civil Forums were established to promote civil discourse and the common good of all. The Saddleback Civil Forum on Orphans and Adoption will be the fifth such event hosted by Saddleback Church, following the Saddleback Civil Forum on Holocaust Survivors in April 2008; the Saddleback Civil Forum on The Presidency featuring presumptive presidential nominees Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain discussing issues of leadership, held in August 2008; and the Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health honoring President George W. Bush with the first "International Medal of PEACE, " held on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, 2008. The Saddleback Civil Forum on Reconciliation featuring Paul Kagame, president of the Republic of Rwanda, and Croatia-native Dr. Miroslav Volf, Yale professor, focused on the role of reconciliation in rebuilding nations post genocide in September 2009.

"In addition to my primary calling to proclaim the Gospel message, these Civil Forums further my three other life goals: helping individuals accept responsibility, assisting the Church in regaining credibility and encouraging our society to return to civility," Warren explained.

Founded in 1980 by the Warren and his wife Kay, Saddleback Church is located in Lake Forest, Calif. With an average weekly attendance of 22,000, it is one of the largest churches in America. For additional information about the Saddleback Civil Forums, visit

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