Lake Junaluska, NC – The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) is offering a one-day seminar on how to abolish capital punishment Wednesday, Sept. 14, at Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center. The seminar, which goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will focus on “The Church & the Death Penalty: Winning New Victories in the Old South.”
Bill Mefford, director of Civil & Human Rights at GBCS, said this will be “an exciting day” of training for people of faith in the South to abolish the death penalty.
There is no cost to attend the seminar, which is being co-sponsored by People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, a nonpartisan, nonprofit, interfaith organization whose mission is to educate and mobilize faith communities to act to abolish the death penalty in the United States.
More and more states are either repealing the death penalty or reforming it.
“More and more states are either repealing the death penalty or reforming it,” Mefford said. “Unfortunately, almost all executions still take place in the South. At this kairos moment you can join religious leaders throughout the mid-South to explore, discern, and take action on the death penalty.”
The training will provide an interactive process on how to become strategically engaged with the movement for abolition, according to Mefford.
Subjects to be addressed at “The Church & the Death Penalty: Winning New Victories in the Old South” include:
- Understand the power religious leaders have to effect change on the death penalty
- Learn how religious leaders can best use their moral authority to advocate and lobby
- Trends among religious conservatives towards repealing the death penalty
- Scriptural resources for mobilizing people on the death penalty
- Utilizing mainstream and religious media
- Recent victories in other states – how they can help you
- How to generate and use resolutions to repeal the death penalty
- How to generate and utilize a national religious leader sign-on letter for repeal
- Learn about the National Weekend of Faith in Action
Most important, Mefford pointed out, participants will share a mutual learning and planning experience with peers from their own region of the South.
To register, go to http://www.umc-gbcs.org/ChurchAndDeathPenalty.
For more information, contact Mefford via email or at (202) 488-5657.
“The Church & the Death Penalty” is being offered the day before GBCS’s Board of Directors hold their fall meeting, which will be at Lake Junaluska also. Similarly, a pre-board educational event was held earlier this year in Fruitland, Fla., on criminal justice reform.
Editor’s note: The General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) provides information about The United Methodist Church’s unequivocal opposition to capital punishment at Death Penalty.
Founded in 1994 in North Carolina, People of Faith Against the Death Penalty focuses its programs on organizing among faith communities in the South.
Bill Mefford supervises a United Methodists Against the Death Penalty (UMADP) Action Network that provides legislative updates, educational resources and identifies opportunities to act on issues. He periodically sends out “Action Alerts” through e-mail.
Joining the UMADP Action Network is free: go to umpower.org or click on My GBCS on the General Board of Church & Society www.umc-gbcs.org. You can also join by contacting Donna Brandyberry, (202) 488-564