Breaking Barriers

South Korea native Sun-Ah Kang (MTS, ’13) vividly remembers the moment God called her to champion women in ministry. “When I was in high school, I went to this retreat and the guest speaker was a male, very old, retired pastor,” Kang recounted. “He talked about how sin came to the world through women. He said that all women have to apologize for their sins… So, that’s how I got really interested in learning the Bible… I thought ‘How in the world can we have such an extremely, violent oppressing teaching?’” Now, as part of the Angella P. Current-Felder Woman of Color Scholars program, Kang is breaking down gendered barriers in theology as a doctoral candidate at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Read her story featured on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) website’s Women of Color Scholars’ series here.

 

“Pastor to the Police”

When police officers say, “I’ve got your six,” it means they are watching out for each other. The Rev. Heather Gates (MTS, ’13), chaplain for the Galveston Police Department, wants to go a step further. She looks out for the officers’ hearts and minds. “That’s what I’m here for,” she said. Read the story in the Texas Annual Conference website here.

 

Questioning the Cross and Flame

Is it time to retire the United Methodist insignia? The Rev. Edlen Cowley (M. Div. ’99) called to replace the Cross and Flame of The United Methodist Church, a proposal now backed by the North Texas Conference. Rev. Cowley wrote a column this summer urging a move away from the Cross and Flame, saying the emblem conjures for him and other African Americans the terror of Ku Klux Klan cross burnings. At its annual meeting on Sept. 19, the North Texas Conference voted 558-176 to submit to the 2021 General Conference legislation drafted by Cowley that would begin the process of changing the insignia. Cowley is pastor of Fellowship United Methodist Church in the Dallas suburb of Trophy Club, and an alternate North Texas Conference delegate to the 2021 Jurisdictional Conference. Read the UM News story here.

Ubuntu Music Project

As founder of the Ubuntu Music Project, Nicole Melki (M.A.M. ‘17) works to give Hispanic immigrant children daily music lessons and academic tutoring. An urban ministry based in East Dallas, Ubuntu serves Hispanic immigrant children living below the poverty line and at-risk of dropping out of school or being pulled into the school-to-prison-pipeline. The Ubuntu Music Project partners with Grace United Methodist Church. Each day after school, more than 45 Ubuntu elementary school children receive violin instruction that empowers them to play at an exceptional level, as well as homework and reading support. Every Ubuntu program graduate has been accepted into competitive Magnet Arts middle schools and Talented and Gifted Academies, rerouting their trajectories to high-quality high schools like Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts and the path to higher education. Read the story on the North Texas Conference website here.

Obituary

Rev. George Holcombe

The Rev. George Holcombe (M.Th. ’59) passed away July 30, 2020, at the age of 87, after a three-year struggle with pancreatic cancer. Rev. Holcombe served churches in the Central Texas, Southwest Texas, Louisiana, and North Texas Conferences. He finished his active ministry as a Missionary to the Philippines for the General Board of Global Ministries. Memorial services are pending. Cards and notes may be sent to his wife, Wanda Holcombe, at 201 E. 17th Street, Georgetown, TX  78626.