By Stephen J. Hustedt, Director of Communications
Over the last month the second round of district trainings were held as a part of the year of action resulting from the Day of Learning at the 2012 session of The Desert Southwest Annual Conference. The focus of this and a previous district Day of Learning, held in the fall of 2012, was giving local church core teams real tools and skill sets to bring about the common good in communities they minister to. The primary means by which this was accomplished was the cycle of organizing. More information about the Day of Learning and the Cycle of Organizing is available at http://desertsouthwestconference.org/dayoflearning.
Following a brief prayer Rev. Dr. Tex Sample recapped the day of learning and the previous district training events with his trademark humor. “As John Wesley pointed out Social Holiness is somewhat similar to adultery. You can’t do either one alone,” Sample quipped.
In fact, much of the day was dedicated to building bonds and learning the skills of those gathered. Participants took time to do one on ones and share the success and failures they’ve had in working towards the common good.
In the fall 2012 District training participants learned about One on One Relational Conversations, House Meetings, and Research Actions. At these training sessions experts completed the cycle of organizing by talking about Civic Academies and Public Actions. Following Public Actions the Cycle of Organizing reboots and starts again with One on Ones.
The day concluded with churches gathering in the core teams and planning their next steps. At the 2013 session of The Desert Southwest Annual Conference the accomplishments of the year of action will be celebrated with Dr. Walter Brueggemann.
However, the focus on Social Holiness will not be coming to an end. Social Holiness is one of the key areas of the Conference Strategic Direction and it is fundamental to who United Methodists are. The focus of The Desert Southwest Conference and The United Methodist Church on Social Holiness cannot end until there are no longer any “Least of these brothers and sisters.”