Methodist Federation for Social Action

North Carolina Conference

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Jack Crum Conference on Prophetic Ministry 2019

The Jack Crum Conference
September 14, 2019 • Epworth UMC

Gospel Power vs Institutional Sin
exploring approaches to challenge corporate injustice and poverty

When corporate and civic institutions succumb to greed and societal discrimination, they rob society of its capacity to protect the poor and disadvantaged. They commit the sin of taking from the poor to enrich the rich. This conference will examine some of the strategies institutions use to do this and how they misinterpret the Biblical narrative to justify their practices.

This is less a conference and more of an experience in dealing with institutional sin. We will hear the history of civic and corporate indulgence in taking from the poor over all of history and how the challenges that Jesus made expose this institutional sin.

Using a real life case study and a series of current events in North Carolina that has reinforced segregation, poverty, and financial greed, we will participate in examining the root causes and practices of governance authorities, civic institutions, and even the church and examine ways to use the Power of the Gospel to challenge these institutions.

Register for the Conference

Childcare is available at no cost by emailing Amanda Wilson at awilson@epworth-umc.org by Thursday, 9/12/2019.

There is no cost for registration or food. Light breakfast and lunch provided. Please RSVP (Register) on by September 7th if possible.

North Carolina Council of ChurchesThe Jack Crum Conference on Prophetic Ministry is cosponsored by the North Carolina Council of Churches.


Brian HeymansOur Facilitator and Speaker is Brian Heymans, Chair of the Board of Church and Society in the North Carolina Conference of the UMC.

Brian is a retired organizational change business consultant and former CEO of a multi-national consulting company in organizational change and has a deep concern for the role of the church in creating a just society.

Originally from South Africa and a lifelong Methodist, he was for over 18 years a member of two congregations served by Dr. Peter Storey in Johannesburg South Africa and worked with him on the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s official newspaper, Dimension. He has served on several Connectional boards and committees in the South African church and in Texas. Brian has authored and run numerous training programs in advocacy methods and has published other work in organizational change, leadership development and church missional strategies. He created two JFON Immigration law clinics in Texas and is doing the same here in NC.

He has a degree in finance and commercial law and a master’s in business strategy and adult education. Married with five adult children, one of whom is Methodist clergy, his abiding passion is Australian beaches and Christian justice, of course.


Here are directions to get Epworth during street construction....

Directions to Epworth UMC Construction

For those approaching Durham via I40: Take Exit 274 and turn north onto Hwy 751 (toward Durham). Stay on Hwy 751 (also named Hope Valley Road) until you reach the intersection at Martin Luther King Jr Drive. You will see a sign - “Road Closed, local traffic only.” Continue past the signs, staying on Hope Valley Road - Epworth traffic is local! The last driveway on the left before the road closure is Epworth’s. Volunteers will be on hand to direct you.

Coming from downtown Durham, via University Drive: Travel west on University Drive to the intersection at Cornwallis Road. Turn left on Cornwallis, then make the first right turn onto Stuart Drive. When you reach the end of Stuart Drive, you are at Hope Valley Road and Epworth’s driveway is directly across the street.

Coming from north Durham or Chapel Hill via 15-501: Follow signs for Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Stay on MLK Jr Dr until you reach the intersection with Hope Valley Road. Turn left onto Hope Valley Road, going past the Road Closed signs - Epworth traffic is local! Epworth’s driveway is the last on your left before you reach the road closure.

Driving via Chapel Hill Road or University Drive (old South Square area): At the intersection of University Drive and Chapel Hill Road, turn south (you will now be on Dixon Road). Follow Dixon to Martin Luther King Jr Dr and make a left turn. Follow MLK Jr Dr to Hope Valley Road. Turn left onto Hope Valley Road, going past the Road Closed signs - Epworth traffic is local! Epworth’s driveway is the last on your left before you reach the road closure.

Download a printable Registration Form here

Gayle Felton Love Thy Neighbor Lunch 2019

The North Carolina Annual Conference chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action and Reconciling United Methodists and Friends NC are proud to sponsor the fifth annual Gayle Felton Love Thy Neighbor Lunch on Friday, June 14th at 12 noon at the Holiday Inn in Greenville.

This year’s theme is “Stand Your Holy Ground.” Our speaker is Bishop Charlene Kammerer.

Cost is $15 in advance and $17 at the door. For students: $10.00 and $12.50 at the door. Membership special $70 - membership and ticket to event.

Please RSVP by June 7th, space is limited. You can register online at Eventbrite (tap below) or mail checks payable to MFSA NC, PO Box 18311, Raleigh NC 27619-8311.

Eventbrite - Gayle Felton Love Thy Neighbor Lunch 2019

Bishop Charlene Kammerer

Our Luncheon Speaker Bishop Charlene Kammerer

Charlene Payne Kammerer was elected to the episcopacy at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina in July 1996, the first woman to be elected from the Southeast. She was assigned to the Charlotte Area where she served the conference for eight years. At the SEJ meeting in July 2004, Bishop Kammerer was assigned to serve the Virginia Conference. She served there eight years and retired in September 2012.

Charlene was born in Orlando, Florida. She spent her growing up years in Winter Garden, where her home church was First United Methodist. She graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia with an A. B. degree in Religion and Philosophy in 1970. Wesleyan is the first college in the world chartered for the granting of degrees to women. She obtained Master of Christian Education and Master of Divinity degrees from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. She was ordained Deacon in 1975 and Elder in 1977 in the Florida Annual Conference. She received a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1991 from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. She is the recipient of three Honorary Doctorates from Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach, Florida, Pheiffer University in Meisenhimer, North Carolina, and Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia.

Bishop Kammerer’s service in the church has included equal years in parish ministries and connectional ministries, including service as a campus minister at Duke University and as a District Superintendent of the Tallahassee District, Florida Conference. Her longtime passions in ministry include higher education, mission involvement, the spirituality of administration, and justice and peace issues.

Bishop Kammerer served as Chairperson of UMCOR, the relief agency of The United Methodist Church, on the Commission on the Status and Role of Women as a board member, member of the Commission on Pan- Methodist Cooperation, the Vice President of the Commission on Religion and Race, the President of the General Board of Discipleship, a member of the Board of Governors of Wesley Theological Seminary, Secretary for the Bishops Initiative in Children and Poverty, and a member of God’s Renewing Creation Task Force. She was presented the Va. Council of Churches Faith and Action Award, the Lifetime Ecumenist Award, and also received recognition as a Social Justice Maker from the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.

She is married to Leigh Kammerer, a native of Wisconsin, whose career was practiced in addiction counseling. They are the parents of one son, Christopher Hal, and four grandchildren - Christopher, Noelle, Elton, and Max.

In retirement, Bishop Kammerer has served as Co-Chair of the Lake Junaluska Peace Conference Design Team, and enjoys writing, reading, preaching, and practicing the art of being a grandparent.

Gayle Felton
Gayle Felton

The lunch is named in memory of late Reverend Dr. Gayle Carlton Felton who passed in 2014 at the age of 71. She was champion for the rights of women, African Americans, and the LGBTQ community. Here is more about her

Gayle was a native of Pinetops, NC. She graduated with a B.A. in History from North Carolina Wesleyan College where she was the first valedictorian of the newly opened college. Gayle taught high school history and civics in Edgecombe County before answering the call to ministry.

She received her Master of Divinity and Doctorate degrees from Duke University. After teaching religion at Meredith College for two years, she returned to Duke where she taught in the Divinity School for over a decade, guiding and influencing a generation of pastors and others serving the United Methodist Church. Gayle’s scholarship largely focused on the history of Methodism with special emphasis on the sacraments.

Among her published works are This Gift of Water, By Water and the Spirit, This Holy Mystery, United Methodists and the Sacraments, and The Coming of Jesus. She was also the editor of How United Methodists Study Scripture and the writer of numerous studies and other works used across the United Methodist Church. She was a frequent participant in United Methodist General Conferences and was appointed for many years to the General Board of Discipleship.

Gayle had a deep commitment to social justice, working to integrate the public schools in Edgecombe County and as a pioneer in building the Reconciling Movement, a group advocating for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the United Methodist Church. She was honored to serve as the national board chair of the Reconciling Ministries Network. Gayle also was a role model for women seeking ordination in the United Methodist Church, working tirelessly to remove many of the obstacles she herself had to overcome in becoming an ordained elder.

Reports of Inclusive Conversations / Petitions

Weekend of Inclusive Conversations

Wilmington: 5th Ave UMC. Thursday night, January 24.

Bill Braswell gathered the five panel members from the LGBTQIA + community to share their stories. Bill opened us up with prayer and explained that this would be a time of sharing stories, not a focus on the upcoming General Conference with the various plans being considered. Helen Ryde, Southeastern Coordinator from the Reconciling Ministries Network, helped to frame the conversations by utilizing the Gender Unicorn handout that explains Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Sex Assigned at Birth Physically Attracted to, Emotionally Attracted to, and one’s sexual orientation. A short time for questions was provided at the end. Bill closed the meeting in prayer and the panel members, and many audience members stayed around for conversations in the sanctuary of the church at the conclusion of the event.

Raleigh: Avent Ferry UMC, Saturday, January 26.

Attendees were greeted as they entered the narthex to the sanctuary at Avent Ferry with a handout, rainbow crosses, and refreshments. As the program began, we were greeted by Rev. Donna Thompson. Rev Thompson shared about Avent Ferry’s journey of the All Means All group becoming a Reconciling Community and then the entire church becoming a Reconciling Church. Helen Ryde led those in attendance utilizing the Gender Unicorn like she did in Wilmington, NC on Thursday night. Helen continued the program by explaining the various options before General Conference 2019 delegates. She went through the logistics of General Conference including the planned schedule. She shared her story to the group attending the conference. After a short break, folks who were interested in learning more about how to create a Reconciling Community or lead their churches to become Reconciling Churches met with Helen Ryde. People in the audience shared how their churches had moved to become a Reconciling Church. Many people stayed afterwards to talk and share their stories.

Durham: Epworth UMC, Sunday, January 27. Journeying Toward Justice Event.

A sign on the street at the entrance to Epworth UMC said: “Helen Ryde, LGBTQ Stories of Hope, Jan 27, 3pm,” greeted attendees as they pulled in the driveway to Epworth UMC. Attendees were greeted at the door by a contingent of Epworth members. In Epworth’s sanctuary, Rev. Karen Whitaker began the Journeying Toward Justice event with a scripture reading and prayer. She briefly described Epworth’s journey in the area of welcoming LGBT folks to the church. The sanctuary was filled. Helen helped set the stage as she had done in Wilmington and Raleigh at the earlier events. Helen and Phillip Jefferson, member and administrative board chair at Avent Ferry UMC shared their stories by including their histories in the church utilizing the journey toward justice theme of the afternoon. They took turns taking the audience on their respective journeys. Phillip described growing up in the church in Florida and the 3 Methodist Churches on the island. He shared about the differences in those churches and how the church made a difference in his life as he went to college, selected a major of study, and began his career. Helen described growing up in the UK and how the church had influenced her life in many ways. A short time of questions and answers was held, and refreshments were served as individual conversations continued in the church’s fellowship hall.

Raleigh: North Raleigh UMC, Monday, January 28.

Rev. Duke Lackey and Rev. Alan Felton opened the event with prayer and preaching. Rev. Laurie Hays Coffman and Rev. Paul Stallsworth modeled how to be in conversation with each other, sharing their journeys in the church and stating their positions regarding the inclusion of LGBTQ people in the United Methodist Church. Participants were gathered around tables throughout the worship space with overflow chairs filled around the walls of the room. After Laurie and Paul spoke, attendees were encouraged to talk at their tables about what they had heard from Duke, Alan, Laurie, and Paul and to share with each other what they were feeling. A brief period of questions and answers was held and Sam Isley, a gay lay person in the United Methodist Church who was attending the event was invited to briefly share his story which included pointing out to the audience that the United Methodist Discipline declares that he is incompatible with Christian teaching. Conversations continued in the room after the event concluded.

--Sam Isley, Treasurer/Membership Secretary for MFSA NCC

A way people can act in light of the results of General Conference 2019 View and Sign Petition


MFSA NCC and Fairmont United Methodist Church are doing a one-day mission trip to Whiteville NC on Saturday April 6th. We will be working on cleaning up homes that were damaged by Hurricane Florence and hear about the intersection of climate change and poverty.

Sign Up for One Day Mission Trip

For further information they can call 919-606-5674 or email mfsancc@gmail.net.

Weekend of Inclusive Conversations and the Way Forward

MFSA RUMNC Inclusive Conversations Jan 2019 Helen Ryde Jan 2019

The North Carolina Annual Conference Chapter of Methodist Federation for Social Action and Reconciling United Methodists and Friends of NC, in association with Avent Ferry United Methodist Church and as part of Epworth United Methodist Church’s “Journeying Towards Justice” series, is sponsoring a weekend of discernment over human sexuality and where The United Methodist Church is headed with LGBT inclusion the weekend of January 26-27.

The first part, on Saturday, January 26th at Avent Ferry United Methodist Church, includes conversation on sexuality but also on the Way Forward (The United Methodist Church will meet in St Louis Feb 23-26 to decide on LGBT inclusion) and about to become part of the Reconciling Ministries Network. That is from 9 am-1 pm.

The second part, on Sunday, January 27th at 3 pm at Epworth United Methodist Church, will be about inclusive conversations around sexuality and gender identity conducted by Helen Ryde, the Southeastern Coordinator for Reconciling Ministries Network. She will also be leading the discussion on Saturday.

  • Avent Ferry United Methodist Church, 2700 Avent Ferry Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606
  • Epworth United Methodist Church, 3002 Hope Valley Rd, Durham, NC 27707

 

The Gift of Our Sexuality and the Church's Response

MFSA NCC, the Reconciling United Methodists of NC, and the Conference Board of Church and Society are sponsoring an Inclusive Conversations event “The Gift of Our Sexuality and the Church’s Response” at Fifth Avenue UMC in Wilmington on Thursday night, January 24 beginning at 7:00.

The event will be a time for LGBTQ United Methodists to share their stories particularly about their relationship to the church. Not designed to discuss or debate A Way Forward, this will be a listening, sharing event with opportunity at its conclusion for questions. Everyone is invited.