The United Methodist Church lost a strong and wise spokesperson and activist for justice. The Rev. Cynthia Abrams died on Friday, January 11, 2019. News of her passing saddened many whose lives and ministries were touched and enhanced by her faith and unwavering advocacy. Although Cynthia was a member of the California-Pacific Conference, I am sharing the news of her passing with you because she became a special friend and colleague in my years as President of the General Board of Church and Society.
I came to know her for her energy and her skills as a leader and a teacher. I recall her sharing her knowledge about drug and alcohol concerns. She was deeply concerned about the health and well-being of all persons, but especially our youth in the face of drug, alcohol, and tobacco addiction. She taught the General Board about the dire effects of flavored tobacco (I confess that until then, I did not know of such a thing!) and helped the Board understand more and more about these and other issues related to addictions. She was fierce in her advocacy for quality, affordable health care for all persons. As the staff person in charge of supporting one of the General Board’s working committees, Cynthia could be seen walking the halls of our meeting space reminding people to stop their fellowshipping because it was time to move to a committee meeting about health care or addiction. She was so passionate about these concerns!
Rev. Abrams offered her knowledge of Native American culture and values and worship with the General Board. She expanded our horizons and kindled our respect for all of God’s creation in the liturgies and stories that she made part of the work of the General Board. She loved the Church.
I join with many persons who give God thanks for the life and the ministry of Rev. Cynthia Abrams!