Two pastors in the California-Nevada Annual Conference are among those taking leadership in the fight against gang violence in Monterey County.
The Rev. Robin Mathews-Johnson, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Watsonville, and Pastor Frank Gomez of East Salinas Family Center, are among some two dozen faith leaders, including Bishop Richard Garcia of the (Roman Catholic) Diocese of Monterey, who have formed the Alianza de Fe Por la Paz en Salinas, or Salinas Faith Alliance for Peace.
The Monterey County Herald reports the group will coordinate its efforts with the Salinas mayor's office to work for peace in the city.
"Both Frank and I marched at the peace rally led by Bishop Garcia, which is mentioned in the [Herald] article," notes Mathews-Johnson. "Pastor Frank and I challenge all the pastors in our Conference to bring in the role of fathers in fighting gang violence in their Fathers' Day sermons," she adds.
The newspaper quotes Gomez as saying many pastors are likely to "remind the fathers of the influence they have on their children. How what they model for their children can have a big effect on whether their sons and daughters will be attracted to gangs and violence."
Coordinating Fathers' Day sermons and homilies to focus on the problem of gang violence is one of the new group's first projects.
Gomez is chairman of the city's Clergy Council, which oversees the Faith Alliance.
For more information contact Gomez at East Salinas Family Center, 831.757.6504, or Mathews-Johnson at Watsonville FUMC, 831.724.4434.