Friday, October 24, 2008

Latest from UMC Board of Church and Society

More recent news from Washington, DC:

Word from Winkler
The gray areas
By Jim Winkler, General Secretary, General Board of Church & Society

Presidential candidates urged to stop divisive rhetoric
Council of Bishops sends letter
Bishop Palmer encourages prayer, further dissemination of message to focus on important issues

Fearfully and wonderfully made
A glimpse of women and abuse in Kenya
By Linda Bales, Director, Louise & Hugh Moore Population Project, General Board of Church & Society

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

An invitation to observe U.N. Sunday
Oct. 26
By The Rev. Liberato C. Bautista, Assistant General Secretary, General Board of Church & Society
Roosevelt’s four points should inspire fundamental freedoms enjoyed by all humans.

'Obsession' called deplorable
DVD depicts ‘Radical Islam’s War Against the West’
By Bishop Bruce Ough, West Ohio Conference
Bishop calls United Methodists to denounce detestable “disingenuous distribution” of hate-filled material

Global Ministries to start 400 churches outside U.S.
400 Fund is Advance Special
Atlanta woman pledges $400,000 for developing new congregations

Study of Letter of James
Who is my neighbor?
Study sets forth the proposition that when we lack love for our neighbor, it hinders us from performing peaceable actions in the world and doing justice to others.

Free abolish death penalty resource
Designed to educate, mobilize faith communities
CD-ROM offered to persons who will share their plans for its use

Conference call on abolishing torture Oct. 21
Ohio conference on taking the church into the world
2 events can help mobilize your efforts on civil and human rights

On hard times
‘Some good comes from every situation, regardless of how bad it seems at the time.’
—Richard B. Hearne (North Texas Conference)

From the Monastic Age to the Digital Age

Courtesy of the New York Times (via my father, who should probably be working rather than reading about medieval manuscripts):

Bringing a Trove of Medieval Manuscripts Online for the Ages
The Stiftsbibliothek — literally, the abbey library — in St. Gallen, Switzerland, will digitize and post its collection with the help of a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

FSU Graduate Symposium

For all you graduate students out there:

The Florida State University Department of Religion is pleased to announce its eighth annual Graduate Student Symposium, to be held February 20-22; 2009.Graduate students are invited to submit proposals that engage this year's theme, "Identity, boundaries and movement in religion". Topics may include but are not limited to: mirroring, migration of ideas and peoples, pilgrimage, polemics, and inter-religious dialogue. Other papers relevant to the study of religion are welcome under an open call.

Submissions are encouraged from all graduate students in religion or other fields with interdisciplinary interest in the study of religion. We welcome a variety of approaches, with particular interests in papers pertaining to the following subfields: 1) Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy; 2) American Religious History; 3) Religions of Asia; 4) Religions of Western Antiquity. Presentations should be approximately 15 to 20 minutes in length and will have faculty responses at the conclusion of the panel. An award will be given for the best paper.

Submission of an abstract (roughly 300 words) is required for review. Abstracts must be accompanied by a CV.

Proposals should be sent by e-mail to Lauren Gray at

The deadline for proposal submission is December 1, 2008. Final papers should be submitted by January 15, 2009.

Last year's conference was a great success. More than 50 papers from across the nation and several European countries were presented, and we look forward to hosting an equal if not larger number this year.

The conference is not limited to papers, as we screen a film relating to the conference theme each year. Additionally, a keynote speaker will be brought in to address the conference theme. In keeping with the spirit of hospitality, several meals are provided throughout the course of the conference.