People of Faith: Sept. 4, 2015

Amber Feezor

Amber Feezor

Feezor commissioned as a ‘US 2’ Global Mission Fellow

Amber Feezor of Dover United Methodist Church has been commissioned by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries as a Global Mission Fellow. She is one of 15 young adults from 11 annual conferences who, at a July 30 ceremony in New York City, received two-year assignments linking issues of faith and justice.

A native of Bentonville and a graduate of Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Feezor will serve as a seminar designer at the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society in Washington, D.C.

Global Mission Fellows is a two-year old program that builds on decades-old precedents. Fellows are between 20 and 30 years old, and typically are single, recent college graduates, although the 2015 class has the distinction of including three couples. Those who serve in the U.S. are called US 2s. The Global Mission Fellows program in all its facets takes young adults out of their home environments and places them in new contexts, where they become part of new local communities. One objective is to connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. Another is to encourage the young people to grow spiritually and socially, becoming strong leaders committed to building justice communities and a peaceful world.

“My job will be to create classes for groups that are centered around the home location of the group and a social justice issue they are interested in finding long-term solutions for,” she said, “as well as preparing groups to meet with their legislators in D.C.

“Each seminar will be tailored for every group.”

Feezor began her assignment Aug. 31. To reach her during her time as a missionary, send an email to afeezor@umcmission.org.

Michelle Morris

Michelle Morris

Morris contributes chapter to new pop culture textbook

The Rev. Dr. Michelle Morris, who currently serves as associate pastor of First United Methodist Church West Memphis, is among the contributors to Volume 1 of the new textbook God and Popular Culture: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Entertainment Industry’s Most Influential Figure. The book is geared toward use in college courses in religious studies or sociology, as well as seminary courses.

Morris wrote the chapter “Easter in Margaritaville: Evolving Christology in South Park.” In it, she addresses topics drawn from the long-running animated comedy series, where Jesus appears as a recurring character. Her writing deals with South Park’s general approach to religion, the show’s presentation of the humanity and divinity of Jesus, the influence of Postmodernism on how Jesus is portrayed and the consistent threads of how he has been depicted throughout the series.

At First UMC West Memphis, Morris leads The Bridge, a hybrid of Sunday school and worship that engages topics related to God and pop culture.

“My interest in writing for this book comes from a theological conviction that God permeates all aspects of our life,” she said. “We just sometimes need to take the time to reflect on what is of God, and what is not. There is much of God in South Park, even as much of it needs to be set aside.”

If we refuse to engage God’s appearance in what we may consider purely secular areas, Morris says, “we not only miss God, we lose the ability to talk meaningfully” with those who never directly encounter the Gospel through the Bible or God’s people, but only through avenues of popular culture.

Rebecca Davis

Rebecca Davis

PAUMCS certifies two from Arkansas

Rebecca Davis, administrative assistant for the Central District, and Cathy Hall Hughes, church relations liaison for the Arkansas Conference Center for Administrative Services, became the most recent Arkansans to receive professional certification at the 2015 Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) Institute in Nashville, Tenn., held July 19-25.

Sponsored by the denomination’s General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), the Institute provides advanced professional training and enrichment specifically for United Methodist church secretaries. Participants cover concepts required for understanding the financial operations of the church as well as relationships with the pastor, church staff and members. To become certified as a Professional United Methodist Church Secretary, a participant must complete the program and meet requirements set by GCFA.

Cathy Hall Hughes

Cathy Hall Hughes

This year’s PAUMCS Institute included a personality assessment using the Myers-Briggs-Type Indicator, courses on project planning, public speaking, working as part of a team and financial training. Teams of participants collaborated on special projects and made presentations on the final day.

Participants also visited the offices of GCFA, United Methodist Communications, Discipleship Ministries, the Upper Room Museum and Chapel and Scarritt-Bennett Center.

The Arkansas chapter of PAUMCS has a training session scheduled for Sept. 24 in Little Rock. Register or learn more