By Wanda Clay
Does our faith call us to active involvement in public and political life? That is the question asked of many or a question asked to oneself. On Saturday, December 9th the public is invited to join members of NOAH Core Teams to take some time away to talk about that question. From 9 a.m.-2 p.m. the retreat will be held at Cedar Crest Camp, 7900 Cedar Crest Camp Road in Lyles, TN.
In June of this year, as part of leadership training with NOAH (Nashville Organized for Action and Hope), leaders from Edgehill United Methodist Church and Clark Memorial United Methodist Church began to have conversation on how to be most effective in their participation in NOAH given that they were both relatively small congregations. The two churches agreed to hold meetings together and invited pastors and leaders from Blakemore, Gordon and McKendree United Methodist churches, members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and NOAH’s leadership. Out of those meetings came the idea for a retreat. “We wanted to begin talking about engagement in public life and civic responsibility from a faith perspective, what that means and what it could look like,” stated Rev. Dr. Herbert Lester, Jr.
The leading facilitators will be:
Sophia Kristina R. Agtarap, Director of Communications, the Divinity School, Vanderbilt University, will lead participants in looking at the use of social media as a tool regarding the stewardship of our citizenship and in civic engagement.
Phyllis Hildreth, J. D., Academic Director, Institute for Conflict Management and Associate Professor at Lipscomb University and Chair of Metro Human Relations Commission will lead the discussion with Rev. Dr. Lester.
Rev. Dr. Herbert Lester, Jr., Senior Pastor at Clark Memorial United Methodist Church, will challenge participants to examine a faith-based model of public responsibility. Armed with this insight, we will investigate the campaign for a Community Oversight Board in Nashville as an example of civic engagement on the ground and how societal problems can be reduced to winnable issue to build organizational capacity.
Ray Sells, retired United Methodist Clergy and member at New Covenant Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), will lead participants in the “how to” of the “relational meeting” as a building block in “relational organizing.”
Onsite registration will be available at 8:30 a.m. and lunch will be included with the $25.00 registration fee.
For more information contact 615-329-4464.
The retreat is sponsored by NOAH Core Teams, Edgehill UMC, Clark Memorial UMC and assisted by Blakemore UMC, Gordon UMC, and McKendree UMC.