World Congress of Families or…

Today, June 25, 2009, America’s first “Divorce Expo and Reception” is being held in Long Island.  Seeing that singer Billy Joel has recently announced his plans to divorce his wife, organizers of the “Divorce Expo and Reception” invited him to come celebrate with other divorcees.

In contrast, the Howard Center will host the fifth World Congress of Families, the world’s largest conference of pro-family leaders, August 10-12, 2009 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  More than 3,000 scholars, legislators, and religious leaders from more than 60 countries are expected to attend the conference in an effort to strengthen pro-family movements throughout the world.

Among the myriad experts scheduled to speak at the event are several prominent Utahns.  Elder Russell M. Nelson, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife, Wendy, a noted author, speaker, and former professor of marriage and family therapy, will represent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the conference.  Shelly Locke, an elected member of the Utah State Board of Education, will co-chair one of the conference sessions.  Sheri Dew, former second counselor in the general presidency of the LDS Relief Society and current president of Deseret Book, and Paul T. Mero, Sutherland Institute president, will co-chair the conference’s concluding plenary session in which Elder and Sister Nelson will speak.


Paul Mero coordinated the second World Congress of Families conducted in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1999.  The World Congress of Families was founded in 1995 by Dr. Alan C. Carlson, president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society, co-author with Mero of The Natural Family: A Manifesto, and director of Sutherland’s Center for Community and Economy.

Click here for an electronic flier on the conference.

Or click here to register for the conference.