Advocacy for Social Justice News Archives
Alabama Judge named top Status and Role of Women exec
Dawn Wiggins Hare, an Alabama circuit court judge who was honored in this year for leadership in her Alabama-West Florida Annual (regional) Conference, has been named the top executive of the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women.
The commission’s board elected Hare, of Monroeville, Ala., to the position effective Jan. 15. The commission, one of 13 general agencies of the United Methodist Church, advocates for full and equal participation of women in the total...
12 young adults descend on U.S. capital for social justice work placements
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Twelve people, ages 20 to 22, began work early in June in the Ethnic Minority Young Adult (EYA) Summer Internship program of the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS). They are working in nonprofit and nongovernmental social-justice organizations in the U.S. capital for two months. This year's group of interns includes one North Alabama young adult.
Young adults are selected annually, primarily from the five ethnic caucuses of The...
Birmingham-Southern College Faculty issue response to Alabama HB 56
At its November meeting, the Birmingham-Southern College faculty unanimously approved the following response:
Birmingham-Southern College nurtures the intellectual, ethical, and spiritual development of students from a variety of backgrounds. We seek to help all students engage in the global community by offering an education that develops understanding and appreciation for the larger world. An international community adds an important and valued dimension to the entire BSC campus. Because...
Upper Sand Mountain Parish Director among presenters at briefing on Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON, D.C. — North Alabama's Tayna Rains was among the leaders representing diverse faith traditions from eight states who took part in a briefing on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011, to underscore the importance of reentry programming for women and men following incarceration.
The luncheon briefing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill was hosted by the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society in collaboration with the Faith in Action Working Group, and the...
Who speaks for the United Methodist Church?
There has been much discussion on the North Alabama Conference website regarding Alabama’s new immigration law (HB 56). One question that was raised repeatedly in the discussion is “Who speaks for the United Methodist Church?” Rev. Mark Parris, pastor of Northport First UMC and a clergy delegate to the 2012 General Conference and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church serving as head of the North Alabama delegation, has offered a brief answer to...
"Another Captive Free" CD raises funds for new prison Chapel
Inmates at the St. Clair Correctional Facility have recorded a 15-track CD of gospel music to help raise funds for a new Chapel at the prison.
Each of the songs (tune and lyric) is original. The songs were written by the inmates and most are copyrighted. They were recorded at the prison during the spring of 2009.
The participants were selected by the Chaplain and Warden of the prison based on their example of being followers of Jesus Christ while incarcerated. All the inmates involved...
Church of the Reconciler to hold memorial service, raises awareness of city's growing homeless population
The Church of the Reconciler in downtown Birmingham is a multicultural, multiracial United Methodist congregation that has an active ministry with Birmingham’s homeless population.
On Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010, leaders from the Church of the Reconciler held a press conference to announce a memorial service for two homeless people who have died in Birmingham in the last few weeks. They also called attention to the growing homeless population in Birmingham and urged city officials and...
Fair Trade palms for Palm Sunday are now available
The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (NACEC) and the University of Minnesota Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management (CINRAM) are working together with the Rainforest Alliance TREES program, Smartwood, and TransFair to certify palms harvested from the forests of Mexico and Guatemala for sale to Christian congregations in the United States and Europe.
These Fair Trade palms are availble for order beginning January 4, 2010.
Make social and...
Chestnut Grove UMC Hosts Drug Forum
On Tuesday, August 25, Chestnut Grove UMC hosted the Southeast Madison County Meth Awareness/Educational Forum.
The Partnership for a Drug Free Community, under the leadership of Deborah Soule, wife of the pastor of Chestnut Grove, put the program together as a way of helping our neighbors deal with a growing problem in their midst. More than 100 people filled the Family Life Center to hear a panel of leaders share their expertise and to ask questions.
The panelists included Madison County...
"Serve God, Save the Planet" author to speak at Trinity UMC in Birmingham on August 23
Dr. Matthew Sleeth, Christian environmentalist and author of Serve God, Save the Planet, will speak at Trinity UMC in Birmingham on Sunday, August 23, 2009, during the morning worship services (8.45 and 11a.m.). He will also speak and answer questions during the Sunday school hour (10 a.m.).
Five years ago, Dr. J Matthew Sleeth and his family lived in a big house on the coast, had two luxury cars and many material possessions. As chief of the medical staff at a large hospital, Sleeth was...
Riverchase UMC members offer finance classes to help former inmates
Several men from Riverchase UMC have been involved with the Birmingham area ministry called The Foundry by offering finance classes as a ministry to help people as they exit the prison system and search for ways to live a normal life.
One of the big problems for many former inmates is the issue of finances and correct ways to handle money.
The class was the idea of Riverchase member and Board Chair, Jim Seale.
Senior Pastor Rev. Jim Savages says, "His efforts are to help...
2009 Louise Branscomb Barrier Breaker Award recognizes young adult's ministry in breaking down racial and economic barriers
This year’s North Alabama Annual Conference is focusing on the Conference priority of empowering a new generation of Christians. This year’s Conference winner of the Louise Branscomb Barrier Breaker Award is a young adult who has been empowered through the church and lives a ministry in breaking down racial and economic barriers.
The 2009 winner of the Lousie Branscomb Barrier Breaker award is Miriam Smith, a recent graduate of Birmingham-Southern College and founding member...
Flint Hill and Haven Memorial UMC's Take a New Approach to Building Bridges
On Sunday, April 19, the pastors and choirs of Haven Memorial UMC (an African-American church) and Flint Hill UMC (a Caucasian church), both in the Southeast District, exchanged pulpits and choir lofts. This action came about because of the connectional system, the friendship between the two pastors and, most importantly because of the love of Christ that tears down walls and builds relationships.
Reflecting on the experience, Rev. Tiwirai Kufarimai, pastor of Haven Memorial UMC, writes,...
Trinity UMC, Homewood promotes good stewardship of God’s creation
“Biblical faith teaches us that creation is a gift from God, and that God entrusts us to care for creation in the same loving way in which he would,” said Dr. Andy Wolfe, Senior Minister at Trinity United Methodist in Homewood. This sense of environmental responsibility has really taken hold of many churches, and Trinity UMC is doing something about it.
Recently, Trinity UMC committed an entire month to caring for God’s creation. March was Walk/Bike/Carpool to Church Month....
Highlands UMC's Community Ministry reaches out to homeless with love and hospitality
Highlands United Methodist Church at Five Points South, in downtown Birmingham regularly welcomes homeless men and women to a hospitality hour in the church fellowship hall.
Each day, Monday through Saturday, volunteers from Highlands and other United Methodist congregations (Pinson, Canterbury, St. Marks, Cahaba and Columbiana) offer a simple breakfast; telephone and mail service; toiletries; and even a laundry service for an average of 108 chronically homeless men and women. Many...
UM Churches invited to live out Wesleyan Heritage in ministry to newly released prison inmates
Asbury United Methodist Church in Madison (Northeast District) has been invited by the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) to assist in finding faith-based community support for newly released prison inmates.
The ADOC believes that faith-based community support is an excellent way to introduce former inmates to wholesome and meaningful relationships within the community. The component of this program focused on the need for inmate transition support from local churches...
Ethnic Young Adult Summer Internship application deadline is Feb. 1
Applicants, age 18-22, will work in social justice placements in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Deadline to apply for an Ethnic Young Adult (EYA) Summer Internship in Washington, D.C., is Feb. 1. The EYA program is for young adults, ages 18-22, who have an interest in exploring issues of public policy, social justice advocacy and social change.
Sponsored by the Inter-Ethnic Strategy Development Group and administered by the United Methodist Church’s General Board of...
Missionary-Immigration Lawyers Needed for Michigan and Tennessee
The United Methodist mission agency needs two immigration lawyers to provide legal counsel at up to three congregation-based immigration clinics in Michigan and Tennessee. The clinics are part of Justice for our Neighbors (JFON), a national network that expresses the church's concern for "sojourners in our midst."
More than legal skills are required of JFON attorneys. The legal advisor needs to be counselor, activist, and missionary with a strong Christian faith. He or she would...
United Methodist Ministry with the Marginalized gathering planned for February
The Wesleyan movement has a historic and far flung commitment to ministry. The North Alabama and Mississippi Annual conferences have been partnering with the Susanna Wesley Society to start new churches and to explore creative ministries among the poor and the marginalized.
On Thursday, February 19, a “Bishop’s Summit on Ministry with the Marginalized,” will be held at the United Methodist Center in Birmingham from 9 a.m. until noon to discuss challenges and new...
Bishop leads conversations on Iraq war
Practicing Christian conferencing in the Wesley tradition, Bishop William H. Willimon led Conversations on the War in Iraq in three North Alabama Conference churches this month. The format of these conversations included comments by Bishop Willimon, small group discussions led by facilitators chosen in advance, a worship service, and prayers offered by all participants.
In his opening statement, Bishop Willimon said that thinking about war is a challenge to Christians. Referencing Matthew...