Social Justice As Evangelism - Dedicated to Love, Equity, Liberation and Justice
by Caroline Cox
The United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina’s “Social Justice as Evangelism” event was held on Saturday, October 27that University City United Methodist Church in Charlotte. Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, the keynote speaker, delivered a powerful message to all those in attendance.
“With civil rights advocacy in his DNA, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III built his ministry on community advancement and social justice activism. As Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Ill., Dr. Moss spent the last two decades practicing and preaching a Black theology that unapologetically calls attention to the problems of mass incarceration, environmental justice and economic inequality. Dr. Moss is part of a new generation of ministers committed to preaching a prophetic message of love and justice, which he believes are inseparable companions that form the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was recently recognized as one of the ‘12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World,’ by Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary.” Source: Trinity Church of Christ in Chicago, IL
Financial support for the event was provided by a grant from the Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund which is housed at the United Methodist Foundation. The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund was established many years ago to fund initiatives which aim to make disciples for Jesus Christ.
The success of the event was due in large part to the contributions of the Foundation’s collaborative partners: the WNCC Justice and Reconciliation Team, the North Carolina Council on Churches, University City United Methodist Church, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, Girl Scout Troop 2873 (of St. Mark’s UMC), several of our WNCC District offices, representatives from the Community Relations and Engagement Department of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and representatives from the CMS Community Partnerships and Family Engagement Team.
In a reflection following the event, Rev. Dr. Stephanie Moore Hand (Vitality Strategist, Metro District) said, “The diversity in the room was wonderful. We had Methodist and other ecumenical communities, we had the civic and nonprofit communities, we had youth, children - all dedicated to Love, Equity, Liberation, and Justice.”
The day began with words of welcome from Rev. David Snipes (President, United Methodist Foundation), Ms. Pam Shoffner (Chair, WNCC Justice and Reconciliation Team), and Ms. Caroline Cox (Director of Reynolds Ministries & Programs, United Methodist Foundation). After Dr. Moss’s morning presentation, attendees heard words of encouragement toward action from Rev. Dr. David Hockett (District Superintendent, Metro District), Nicole Johnson (Regional Coordinator, NC Council on Churches), and Rev. Dr. Stephanie Moore Hand (Congregational Vitality Strategist, Metro District). During the lunch hour, attendees were engaged in intentional conversations facilitated by volunteers. Lunch-time discussions focused on how to actively respond to Rev. Dr. Moss’s challenge to “Love God, Live Justly, Liberate All.” Following Rev. Dr. Moss’s afternoon presentation, attendees were invited to received Holy Communion and worship God through a musical offering made by the choir of St. Mark’s UMC.
The United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina, Inc. is a ministry of the Church and for the Church whose mission is to build the Church for generations to come. To learn more about ministries of the Foundation, please visit www.umfwnc.org. For more information about grant funding available through the Reynolds Ministry Fund, please contact Caroline Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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