MainStream event honors 20th anniversary of historic Rev. Meneilly sermon

On Aug. 15, 1993, Rev. Bob Meneilly delivered a sermon from the pulpit of Village Presbyterian Church that resonated around the country. It made such a powerful statement that two weeks later the New York Times printed an excerpt on its editorial page.

Rev. Robert Meneilly
Rev. Robert Meneilly

In his message, Rev. Meneilly warned about dangers of the rise of the religious right, naming its prominent spokesmen, and an agenda to break down the separation of church and state. MainStream Coalition, of which Meneilly was a founder, took up the mission of preserving that separation. Many of the issues that Rev. Meneilly touched upon are still hot button topics in today’s political discussion.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the sermon, “The Dangers of Religion,” MainStream will sponsor a “Conversation on the Changing Role of Faith in Government and Politics.” The event will be held Oct. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Village Presbyterian, 6641 Mission Rd. in Prairie Village.

The keynote speaker will be Village Presbyterian’s current pastor, Rev. Tom Are. It will include a panel discussion with Dr. Barbara Bollier, state representative from district 21, Rabbi Mark Levin of Congregation Beth Torah, Rev. Chase Peeples of Country Club United Church of Christ. The moderator will be Rev. Aaron Roberts of the Colonial Church. A dessert reception will follow the event.

The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested but not required.

By the time of the sermon, Rev. Meneilly had brought Village Church along a path from its founding to one of the largest Presbyterian congregations in the country. He is Chairman Emeritus of MainStream Coalition.