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Minnesota religious leader on the way up organizes many faiths

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  • Minnesota religious leader on the way up organizes many faiths

    By Jeff Strickler
    Minneapolis, Minnesota (AP)

    When the I-35W bridge collapsed, the Rev. Peg Chemberlin knew what she had to do as executive director of the Minnesota Council of Churches. Working the phones at fast as she could punch in the numbers, she organized an interfaith prayer service that included a wide array of faith communities: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and American Indian.

    After the service, a member of Chemberlin’s staff was asked how she managed to pull together such a diverse group in just a couple of days. She didn’t, the staff member said. It took her years.

    Her Rolodex is the envy of every network-minded team-builder in the state. On Jan. 1, that jealousy will spread to a national level when she becomes president-elect of the National Council of Churches, the first Minnesotan to hold the post representing 45 million people from more than 100,000 congregations.

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