Hillary Clinton to talk faith instead of politics

ADAM BEAM Associated Press Published:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is showcasing her Methodist roots in a speech to about 7,000 members of the United Methodist Church.

Clinton, a former U.S. senator for New York and the wife of former President Bill Clinton, has been brandishing her foreign policy experience with a recent address at the University of Connecticut and by promoting the upcoming release of her book, "Hard Choices."

The United Methodist Women Assembly in Louisville this weekend offers Clinton a chance to talk about her faith in a personal way to women from across the U.S. as she prepares for a possible run for president in 2016. She is scheduled to give the gathering's keynote address Saturday morning.

"Her appearance here transcends politics," says Selby Ewing, communications director for United Methodist Women. "Our tagline is putting faith, hope and love into action."

Clinton appears to be trying to avoid sending any overt political messages during her visit to Kentucky. She did not schedule public events with Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, whose family is close to the Clintons. Just last month, the former president spoke at a Grimes fundraiser in Louisville.

Hillary Clinton was born and raised a United Methodist in her home state of Illinois, and she credited a youth minister with having a major influence on her development.

The assembly's theme is "Make it Happen," focusing on the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with just loaves of bread and two fish.

United Methodist Women is the denomination's 800,000-member women's mission group, with a special focus on women, children and youth.

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