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The vision for our Conference: God calls us to be A COURAGEOUS CHURCH: Loving like Jesus, Acting for Justice, United in Hope. There are many ways you can serve our entire body of Desert Southwest churches in the areas of justice and mission. Some of these opportunities are listed below. Most teams have both education and events as part of their ministry programming. If you would like to learn more and join a team, please contact Director of Outreach Billie Fidlin at bfidlin@dscumc.org or by telephone at 602.266.6956 x 221.

Church & Society Task Forces

Divestment: This is a new task force being formed under the Conference Board of Church & Society, dealing with issues of denomination divestment, and why we do so, lifting this advocacy to the local church.

Earth Care: This task force deals with helping churches become more aware of issues affecting the environment, helping churches become “green” etc. Chair: Wendy Kreider

Education: This is a new task force being formed under the Conference Board of Church & Society, which will examine the state of education in our Conference area, legislation and how our churches can help the children, youth and young adults in this area.

Economic Inequality: This task force examines this subject and helps to promote education as to how this affects all levels of society, especially in light of how Scripture calls us to respond to equality and equity for all. Chair: Dan Sagramoso

Gun Violence Awareness Task Force: Examines responsible ownership, legislation, who is affected by gun violence (ex. rate of senior suicide), gun safety trainings etc. Chair: Gerry Hills

Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force: Team is responsible for education and events that share the devastating effects of both sex and labor trafficking, which is prevalent in both AZ and NV. Chairs: Lynn Wallasky, Trude McMahan

Immigration Task Force: This group monitors both state and federal issues, law etc. and how the church can respond. Chair: Ella Rawls

Justice for Our Neighbors: The board is responsible for the establishment and management of our Conference’s first legal clinic to help with needs in immigration paperwork, advocacy and awareness. Chair: Chris Spencer

Prison/Criminal Justice Reform: This group examines issues that affect those currently incarcerated as well as re-entry. Also does work in death penalty reform. Chairs: Dean Richardson, Paul Bullis

Welcome & Reconciling: Group aids churches in becoming a welcoming place of inclusivity for all people, as well as education and event participation in related areas. Chair: Kim Scott

Children & Poverty: This team is responsible for raising issues that affect our states’ children and the poor. Each year leads a movie & discussion at Annual Conference in this area. Chairs: Patty Ek, Lita Johnson

Status and Role of Women:   Group is responsible for monitoring issues that affect women, clergy women and lifting up how we can best serve equality. The commission helps monitor Annual Conference and other major conference gatherings. Chair: Kristin Hansen

Christian Unity and Inter-Religious Concerns: This team works with ecumenical and inter-faith relations and education, and partner denomination work. Chair: Rock Fremont

disAbilities: This team helps our conference and local churches to attend to the needs of people with disabilities – the 2nd largest identity-based minority in many states. Chair: Valerie Lintz

Health & Caring Ministries: Among its many endeavors, Health & Caring Ministries is focused on helping our churches and clergy be attentive to Abundant Health, an initiative of the UMC: physical activity, nutrition, mental health and addressing substance abuse. Team also produces training videos in various areas. Chair: Winnie Fritz

HIV Caring Ministries: Programming includes education around HIV/AIDS, ministries of presence both in the local church and community, and Strength for the Journey camps. Chairs: Bill Butler, Linda Girard

Refugee Resettlement: This group helps churches prepare to become hosts for refugee families, or help other churches who are hosting families. Group also educates about the plight of refugees, and how our churches can help. Chair: Tina Olson

Religion & Race: The commission is responsible for examining the issues of race and racism in our Conference and our local churches and how we can continue to eradicate the sin of racism. The commission helps monitor Annual Conference and other major conference gatherings.

Senior Ministries: Senior Ministries is working in a variety of areas that affect seniors. Ministry to seniors should reach far beyond end of life care – there is exciting life as a senior. Group is developing programming specifically designed for seniors, veterans, and boomers. Chair: Martha Lundgren

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Author: North District

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