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Church and Society Conference: “Building Connections for Social Justice”

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September 29 @ 8:30 am - 3:30 pm


September 29, 2018 at West Lawn UMC, 15 Woodside Ave., Reading, PA from 8:30 am-3:30 pm

Opening devotion: Bishop Peggy Johnson

Keynote address: “Living Social Justice” by Rev. Dr. Clayton Childers, Director of Annual Conference Relations for the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society for 17 years. Childers is a Christian educator committed to connecting faith with positive social transformation, having led training events in 45 conferences in the United States and in 25 countries beyond the US.

Attendees at the conference will be able to participate in two workshops:

Morning Workshops:

  1. “Our Social Principles: Guide to the Church, Witness to the World.”  Led by Rev. Dr. Clayton Childers, Director of Conference Relations for the General Board of Church and Society.
  2. “The Church’s Response to Gun Violence”. Led by Bryan Miller, Executive Director of Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence.
  3. “Suicide: A Social Justice Issue”.  Inadequate mental health care contributes to suicide being the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.   Learn the warning signs and how to offer hope and help in order to save a life.  Led by Rachel Manson, a licensed, certified QPR instructor (Question, Persuade, and Refer) and member of UM Church of the Open Door, Kennett Square.
  4. “Health Care: Ancient Vision, Modern Imperative”.   A biblical and theological roadmap for discussing health care in our increasingly politicized environment.  Led by Rev. Cynthia J. Abrams, Director for Health and Wholeness and Special Advisor on White House and Congressional Affairs at the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society.
  5. “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” presents a real-life look into the experiences of inmates in the current prison system and their families, and shares how the church can support these people while working to make needed changes in local and state institutions.  Led by Elaine Spangler, a member of Grandview UMC and Have a Heart, an advocacy group working to improve prison systems in Lancaster County.
  6. “Bridges Out of Poverty”.  Led by Melanie Weiler, Executive Director of Kennett Area Community Service, leading the fight against hunger and homelessness in Southern Chester County.  Bridges Out of Poverty is a program used in many communities to move individuals from poverty to self-sufficiency while enhancing economic development of the community.
  7. “The Cycle of Abuse and Strategies for Intervention”.  What is domestic violence, how you can recognize it, and how you can intervene and support the survivor.  Led by Kimberly Dent, a volunteer counselor/advocate with the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, and a member of U.M. Church of the Open Door in Kennett Square.

Afternoon Workshops:

  1. “Our Social Principles: Guide to the Church, Witness to the World”.  Led by Rev. Dr. Clayton Childers, Director of Conference Relations for the General Board of Church and Society.
  2. “Healing Relationships in a World of Conflict”.  Explore tools to promote restorative justice for victims, offenders, and the community.  Co-led by Scott Johnson, a Certified Lay Minister, attorney, volunteer in Kairos Prison Ministry, and member of Royersford UMC; and Deacon Marilyn Schneider, serving at Grove UMC, and Conference Coordinator for Prison Ministry and Restorative Justice.
  3. “Dare to Care: The Role of the Church in Preventing Child Sexual Abuse”.  Led by Elaine Spangler, a member of Grandview UMC in Lancaster, this workshop will include myths vs. facts, red flag behaviors, and prevention efforts.
  4. “Standing Up For Standing Rock—no matter where it is”.  The Standing Rock Sioux Tribes of South Dakota garnered world-wide support for their efforts to save their sacred sites and their water.  Standing Rock is a catalyst to inspire us to work for justice.  Led by members of EPA CoNAM, Sandra Cianciulli, Verna Colliver, and Rev. Gary Jacabella, the workshop will explore the Biblical mandate that led the 2012 General Conference to launch the “Journey Toward Healing and Wholeness with Native American People” and will provide guidelines and resources for fulfilling the vows taken at the Act of Repentance at Annual Conference in 2016.
  5. “How to Talk About Race in Your Congregation”.  Led by Rev. Tracy Duncan, pastor of Eastwick UMC, and Deacon Diana Esposito.  Racial justice is difficult to discuss in practical terms.  How  you can participate in a meaningful and productive discussion.
  6. “United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania”. Led by Rev. Dai Morgan, coordinator of the organized efforts of the three United Methodist Annual Conferences in PA to have a voice in Harrisburg.  Learn how you can get involved in advocating for state legislation that supports our United Methodist Social Principles.
  7. “Becoming a Sanctuary Church”. How we can respond to the immigrants among us in a supportive way.  Is the Sanctuary Movement the way for your church?  Led by Rebecca Cole, Director of Grassroots Organizing for the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society.

Details

Date:
September 29
Time:
8:30 am - 3:30 pm

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