Amy White Ezell
Statement by the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church Regarding Native American Ministries
LITTLE ROCK, AR (June 24, 2018) – In the 2018 session of the Arkansas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, the voting body overwhelmingly passed a resolution to reaffirm the recent movement in the United Methodist Church for repentance, reconciliation and healing with the native peoples, including Native Indigenous People in North America, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
Paragraph 654 of The Book of Discipline states that in every conference there shall be a committee on Native American Ministry or other structure to provide for these ministries, and, when possible, this committee shall consist of a majority of Native Americans.
The Arkansas Conference has not had a Committee on Native American Ministry as a part of our conference since 2012. Instead, it has existed as a subcommittee of the Ethnic and Language Concerns Committee. This resolution seeks to reinstate, effective immediately, the Committee on Native American Ministry while also retaining representation within the Committee on Ethnic and Language Concerns.
This committee will also be comprised of a majority of Native Americans, to accurately represent the work and purpose of the committee.
Bishop Gary E. Muller had this to say about the resolution, “There has been a long history in this nation of mistreatment of indigenous people. We, as the United Methodist Church, recognize the past actions of our country and are working toward repentance and reconciliation with our Native American brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Amy White Ezell
Arkansas Conference Response to the Department of Justice’s Separation of Immigrant Families at the Border
LITTLE ROCK, AR (June 21, 2018) – At the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church’s Annual Conference in Hot Springs, June 17-20, the body voted to pass a resolution urging the U.S Department of Justice to immediately discontinue separating children from their families due to the “zero tolerance policy.”
The United Methodist Social Principles includes an important section regarding immigrants, called the “The Social Community: Rights of Immigrants,” in which it states, “We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God…We oppose immigration policies that separate family members from each other or that include detention of families with children, and we call on local churches to be in ministry with immigrant families.” (paragraph 162.H)
Bishop Gary E. Mueller reaffirms the rights of immigrant families to remain together upon crossing the border, “I am grateful that the Arkansas Annual Conference adopted this resolution concerning the separation of children and parents at the border. It is my hope, and indeed the hope of the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church, that the U.S government would end its inhumane policy of family separation and recognize the lasting damage it causes children and their families.”
The Bible repeatedly and emphatically affirms in both the Old and New Testaments that we must treat others, especially refugee and immigrant, with respect and compassion.
The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church announced today that Michelle Moore has been named Developer of Clergy Recruitment for the Arkansas Conference. Her first official day in this position will be July 1.
Moore’s responsibilities in this part-time position will include developing and directing a coordinated system of clergy recruitment and tracking; working with the Cabinet, Conference Youth Committee, Board of Ordained Ministry, Campus Ministries, Center for Vitality and other groups to develop an effective support system for persons exploring or pursuing their call into ministry; and developing and implementing an intentional system promoting a culture of call within the Arkansas Conference.
While Moore will be taking on new duties, she is not new to the Conference staff. She served as Director of Program and Marketing for Camp and Retreat Ministries since 2015, a position that was eliminated by the 2018 Annual Conference due to restructuring. Moore will continue to serve as the Conference Youth and Young Adult Ministries Coordinator, a position she has held since 2012.
“Michelle’s previous experience working with youth, young adults and local church leaders, along with her familiarity with both our conference children’s ministry and campus ministries make her uniquely qualified to promote a call to ministry and create a unified system for clergy recruitment,” Bishop Mueller said. “Knowing that all clergy begin as laity, I am excited to have a lay person as qualified as Michelle to develop this important work.”
A 2006 graduate of Hendrix College in Conway with a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion, Moore also holds a master’s degree in specialized ministry with an emphasis in youth ministry from United Methodist-related Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, and a certification in youth ministry from SMU’s Perkins School of Theology.
When you woke up today, you probably started thinking about all you have to do, the challenges you face, the stress that is inevitable and all the opportunities to be grasped. It probably left you feeling excited, exhausted, challenged, anxious and overwhelmed all at the same time. And it’s why it is so important to remember that you’re not on your own, because God is going to walk with you all day long. Think what this means. Today is not just another day in a long progression of days. Today is a divine journey.
Caleb Hennington, Digital Content Editor for the Arkansas Conference.
The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church recently announced that Caleb Hennington has been named Digital Content Editor of the Center for Communication.
“We are very pleased to have Caleb join the Center for Communication. His experience in publishing along with his fresh perspective brings excitement in sharing the stories of our Conference,” Bishop Gary Mueller stated.
Hennington’s responsibilities will include creating, editing, constructing the layout, and publishing the strategic content of The Arkansas United Methodist: Living Our Faith. He will also work closely with the rest of the communications team to create engaging and informative content for the Conference.
A native of Hamburg, Arkansas, Hennington earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Arkansas State University, with a minor in English.
Previously, Hennington worked as a Content Strategist for a networking company as well as a Page Designer for The Saline Courier. He has also written freelance articles for various online publications. In college, he served as the Editor-in-Chief for the university’s student newspaper, The Herald.