The United Methodist Church is called to the work of peace and justice based on a variety of sources including John Wesley's commitment to the poor, to women, and the disenfranchised-- the hope and good news proclaimed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ -- the steadfast and clear witness of the Social Principles. In each and every context of ministry God's people are called to engage their communities in the struggle for justice and peace.
The Advocacy and Justice Committee serves as a connectional bridge to the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) www.umcjustice.org for the California Nevada Annual Conference.
The work of the committee includes:
providing resources for local congregational ministries through peace and justice grants
facilitating education and training for peace and justice ministries
supporting and nurturing new peace and justice ministries
connecting our annual conference members to global peace and justice ministries
"With an historic commitment to justice and peace, and a strong foundation in the Social Principles and Book of Resolutions, Church and Society is devoted to amplifying the voices of United Methodists across the connection who are transforming their communities--and the world. The witness provided by our Church and by United Methodists everywhere is truly inspiring. I urge us all to continue to live out the Social Principles, engage in ministries with those experiencing poverty, and never stop living the faith, seeking justice, and pursuing peace. I hope you will join us in this vital work over the quadrennium."
Susan Henry Crowe, General Secretary
General Board of Church and Society
Task Force and Committees
Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for substance use and mental disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover.
In September (or any time), churches and congregations are asked to focus attention on addiction.
Sample Worship and Sermon (to assist you in providing education in your local congregations): PDF FormatWord Document
For more information, contact Addiction Recovery Ministry Coordinator, Rosie Bachand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of our task force is to advocate for persons with disabilities and their civil rights. Our goals include but are not limited to focusing on the needs of children in special education and increasing inclusiveness in our congregations.
The Book of Resolutions of the United Methodist Church 2016 states:
“We have too often overlooked those of God’s children who experience life in different ways from ourselves. We pledge ourselves to an inclusive, compassionate, and creative response to the needs and gifts of people with disabilities.”
Members of the Task Force are available to provide workshops for church congregations and to provide help and support for families with students in special education.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with your thoughts, questions, and concerns. We are here to help.
The Immigration Task Force has a three prong focus: justice, education, and advocacy. It’s overall goal is for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform. We have been active in submitting petitions to Annual Conference that deal with pro immigrant legislation. We have participated in Immigration Day, where participants talk with state congress people and advocate for the passage of pro immigrant legislation.We work with pro immigrant groups across the state to achieve favorable legislation for immigrants. Some laws that have passed are AB 60 - The Driver’s License Bill, The Trust Act, and the Due Process Law for Immigrants. On the Federal level we have been advocating for a clean Dream Act which allows over 800,000 immigrant children to have legal status in the U.S., since they were brought here by their parents without documents. These people have grown up in our schools and cities and towns and know no other country other than the U.S. Many have jobs and contribute billions of dollars to our economy. The current government wants to attach conditions to the Dream Act to build a wall on the southern border, to hire more Border Patrol and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). With the change in administrations we made a 180 degree turn in our policies. DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has been let go by inaction of our federal government. This means that previous legal status has now ruled these youth out of status and now deportable. We are working to keep families together and to allow a Dream Act to pass without strings attached. We have a luncheon with a speaker who can give testimony to what is happening in immigration.
A $500 DACA scholarship is available to a DACA student going into immigration law, political science, immigration issues, international studies or a related field. You may contact Linda Kuruhara at email@example.com if you would like to apply. Deadline date is May 1.
We try to keep local churches informed and to welcome the migrant in our midst to align ourselves with the ministry of the General Board of Church and Society. We have had three Sanctuary Workshops, so that churches can consider becoming a sanctuary for immigrants who come to them for help. We have had testimonies, legal advice and clinics in connection with the workshops. We are planning to have another workshop in Reno, Nevada. There is a monthly Immigration Clinic that has had workshops on naturalization or citizenship, know your rights, and service people with their documents. The clinic is held at Centennial UMC on the third Thursday of the month. You may call Sharron Williams at 510.288.8686 to set an appointment or if you have questions. She is our lawyer and is moving her office from Richmond to Sacramento.
A new goal is to align ourselves with the General Board of Church and Society, so that we see migration globally and to reach out and provide radical hospitality. We have recently hired a new communications person from some funds donated by the Watsonville First UMC, so that we can connect better across the Annual Conference. You may call Linda Kuruhara at 559.240.8318 if you would like us to come to your local church to discuss ways to provide radical hospitality to the immigrants in the midst of our communities.
The following churches have declared themselves as a sanctuary church:
Buena Vista UMC - Alameda
Alum Rock UMC - San Jose
First UMC - San Jose
Watsonville First UMC - Watsonville
Napa First UMC - Napa
Supporting Sanctuary Churches:
Wesley UMC - San Jose
St. Mark’s UMC - Sacramento
The Table - Sacramento
5 church circuit: Lynnewood UMC, Pleasanton; San Ramon UMC, San Ramon plus 3 other churches
If you have declared yourself as a sanctuary and are not listed, please contact Linda Kuruhara. Also, if you have a ministry with immigrants please let us know what you are doing.
We live in anger and hostility toward each other, demonizing each other. The tension and animosity in and around the Korean peninsula and neighboring countries and the world. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to make peace in the world. We need to collaborate in spreading the culture of Christ’s non-violence and peace through our words and action. We believe we are called to heal the wounds of the suffering people and bring the culture of non-violence and peace to the Korean peninsula. We will work for peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula in response to God’s promise to lead us towards justice and peace as hallmarks of God’s reign. The task force is a connectional body for collaboration and coordination among active sisters and brothers in our conference for the peace, reconciliation and reunification in the Korean Peninsula.
The Peace With Justice Committee has small amounts of money to fund local efforts to implement and advocate for social justice. Individual congregations may apply for Peace With Justice Grants to help fund projects that address social justice issues such as homelessness, inequality, racism, restorative justice, etc. Projects must include advocacy as well as service. We normally fund 6 to 10 projects each year. Application deadlines are set for January and August and are publicized in Instant Connection. Ecumenical or multifaith organizations or coalitions of congregations may apply for Ecumenical Grants to fund projects that advocate for social justice. We normally fund 3 to 5 projects each year. The application deadline is in October and is publicized in Instant Connection.
Following a fact finding delegation to the Philippines led by Bishop Beverly Shamana, a resolution was brought forth by the Filipino American Ministry Caucus, to create the Philippine Solidarity Task Force (PSTF) in the California-Nevada Annual Conference in June 2006. The mission of the task force was to address concerns of extra-judicial killings (EJK) in the Philippines. Since that time, the PSTF has continued to provide public witness to the Filipino people’s ongoing struggle for equality, socio-economic stability, and the right to self-determination.
The PSTF seeks to educate people in the United States about the humanitarian crisis in the Philippines primarily through Bible studies and public events, both through local churches and community organizations. The PSTF also supports regular Pastoral and Solidarity Visits to the Philippines, in which clergy and laity from California and Nevada can see first hand the situation on the ground. These trips also serve as a means of relationship building, and expressing public support to activists and church people in the Philippines.
These trips also can serve as a catalyst for the relief/mission support work of the PSTF. Along with supporting those who have lost family members to EJK and politically motivated abductions, the PSTF also coordinates relief efforts for people displaced by the ongoing conflict, particularly in the southern Philippines. Perhaps most importantly, the trips also empower the PSTF to do the work of advocacy with the Federal Governments. Attendees of past trips, which have included Bishop Shamana and Bishop Warner Brown, have participated in public witness in Sacramento and Washington, DC, and have monitored how US Military aid to the Philippines may be used by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to carry out EJK’s and continue to oppress the Filipino people.
The I/P Task Force supports a vital social justice ministry. Our ministry is guided by the Circle of Concern and Response (CCR)* which provides a model for congregational involvement. Members and churches in the CA/NV Annual Conference and beyond are invited to join this ministry. Learn more by visiting our website at http://iptaskforce.weebly.com.
Advocacy and Justice Committee
Rev. Michael Yoshii, Chair
Rev. Jeanelle Ablola, Vice Chair & Chair of Philippines Solidarity Task Force
Mona Sargent, Secretary
Yvonne Turner, Chair Israel-Palestine Task Force
Linda Kuruhara, Chair Immigration Task Force
Joyceanne Beacham, Chair Disability Task Force
Rev. Hyok in Kwon, Chair Korean Unification and Peace Task Force
Jim Cramer, Co-Chair Peace and Justice Committee
Jean Reynolds, Co-Chair Peace and Justice Committee
Belinda Robinson, Member at Large
Jenny Kwon, Member at large
Rev. Hubert Ivery, Member at large
Rosie Bachand, Liaison to UMW and Chair Recovery Ministries