An international committee met Jan. 27-29 to plan the fifth annual World Congress of Families, which will be held in Amsterdam August 10-12, 2009. Dorothy Patterson, first lady at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, was part of the 16-member committee that made preparations for this year’s meeting, themed “Family: More Than Only the Sum of the Parts.”

“World Congress of Families V is all about children and what is best for them,” says Lawrence Jacobs, vice president of the World Congress of Families. “We want to discuss solutions to society’s problems and show people the proof that supporting the ‘natural family’ is the best solution for children, is the best policy for society and is the best strategic plan for the future of all nations.”

The World Congress of Families promotes societal importance the “natural family” as defined by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states “the family is the natural fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.”

Patterson expressed enthusiasm about the August conference. “The Congress for the Families seems to be the most strategic international organization for protecting the natural family unit--whether upholding sanctity of life, maintaining the Judeo-Christian heritage of God's plan for marriage, or simply enriching the family through its traditions and commitments.

“While preserving life and family are important in themselves, one cannot lose sight of the overwhelmingly strategic role of the family unit in society. Indeed God began in a garden with one man and one woman before there was ever a synagogue or church or religious gathering or any form of government. The natural family is the most basic unit from which all else comes and is strengthened or, in its absence, weakened to the point of destruction. God grant that all of us--whatever our religious or political commitments--support this effort to strengthen and enrich families worldwide."