June 2022 News Perspective Online

Alumni/ae Updates: June 2022

Perkins Alums Reflect on Uvalde Shooting

Two Perkins alumni/ae were interviewed in a recent WFAA-TV report on how faith leaders across North Texas were responding to the May 24 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas: the Rev. Dr. Lucretia Facen (M.Div. ‘01), senior pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Dallas, and the Rev. Dr. Edgar Bazan (M.Div. ’14, D.Min. ‘19), senior pastor of New World United Methodist Church in Garland, Texas.

“I reflect on how tired we all are of hearing this over and over again,” Facen said. “The question that comes up for people of faith, why is God allowing this to happen? Where is God in all of this?”

“It’s not even frustrating anymore. It’s just anger,” said Bazan. “We just keep praying the same prayers. Saying the same things. At what point do we change?”

Watch the WFAA-TV report here.

Aly Shahan Receives Award 

Every year the Commission on Status and Role of Women (COSROW) presents the Frances E. Willard Award to an individual who makes a distinguished contribution to the advancement of women in ministry in the Oklahoma Annual Conference. This year’s recipient is Aly Shahan (M.A.M. ‘22), Associate Director of the Wesley Foundation at Oklahoma State University. Her family serves Lost Creek United Methodist Church where her husband, Adam, is Senior Pastor. Her experience in the non-profit and United Methodist world includes three stints as a delegate to General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference, Administrative Assistant for Discipleship Ministries and Connectional Ministries of the Oklahoma United Methodist Church, Assistant for the Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Care program of Oklahoma Conference of Churches, Co-Chair of the Annual Conference Council of the OKUMC, Co-Dean of Camp Spark and Young Adult Spark, District Youth Coordinator for the Heartland District, and served as a Youth Director for over 10 years. 

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Pastor Ministers in Ukraine

The Rev. Jason Nelson (M.Div. ‘13) recently traveled to assist with the humanitarian crisis at the Ukraine-Poland border and minister to those in need.

“From the moment I arrived, to the moment I departed, my heart heard (even before translation) the intensity in the voices of the suffering as they shared their painful plight with me,” he said. “A Ukrainian mother described how she and her kids survived for weeks in a shelter within eastern Ukraine under Russian occupation by collecting rainwater, unable to retreat out of fear of being gunned down by soldiers in the streets… their children watching babies born in crowded rooms and walking over the corpses of the deceased whose bodies were unable to be moved.” Nelson is an ordained elder in the Texas Annual Conference, a published author and senior pastor at Rose Hill United Methodist Church in Tomball, Texas. “It was a privilege to help, support, listen to, cry alongside, and pray with the Ukrainian people,” he said. “Given the opportunity, I would to back in a heartbeat.” Read the story here or visit his website here.

Ouida Lee

God’s House of Faith & Worship Center recently hosted the Rev. Dr. Ouida Lee (M.Div. ’96, D.Min. ’04) for a book signing in May. Lee is the author of Sip from the Well and Simply Pray; her latest book is Wow, What A Ride. Lee is a retired elder of the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. She is host of the YouTube program “It Is Possible with Rev. Dr. Ouida Lee” and leads a weekly online prayer ministry.

Obit: William Del Valle González

William Del Valle-González (M.Div. ‘13) passed away on May 10. Services were held May 15 at Iglesia Metodista Ebenezer in Caguas, Puerto Rico, with burial following on May 16 at Monte Calvario Caguas, Puerto Rico. Another service will be held at Emanuel United Methodist Church in San Antonio at a later date.  González was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1968. He first received his call to ministry in 2007 while living in Kansas City, Kansas. From 2007-2009, he served at Nueva Vida United Methodist and St. Marks United Methodist in Kansas (2007-2009); Christ Foundry UMC in Dallas (2009-2011); El Divino Salvador UMC and Key Memorial UMC in Sherman, Texas (2011-2013); and Calvary United Methodist (2013-2014) in Las Cruces, New Mexico (2013-2014). He was ordained as a provisional elder in the Great Plains Conference in 2014, when he suffered a stroke. Gonzalez is survived by his wife, Maribel Vazquez (M.Div. ‘13) who is currently serving in the Rio Texas Conference at Emanuel United Methodist Church in San Antonio.

Obit: Wesley Wayne Kendall

Rev. Dr. Wesley Wayne “Wes” Kendall (M.Th. ’66, D.Min. ‘92) died April 28.  He met his wife of 58 years, Betty Luttrell (M.R.E. ’65) while at Perkins. Kendall served as a United Methodist minister at churches in Dallas, Houston, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Littleton, Wyoming, and Grand Junction. Kendall wrote a book, The Journey of Men, which he used in leading retreats and workshops throughout the country. Services will take place June 30 at Sunrise United Methodist Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Read his obituary here.

Obit: Diane Wood

Diane Marie Wood, 53, (M.Div. ’03) of St. Joseph, Mo., passed away April 20.

A member of the Gallatin Methodist Church, she held various positions during her lifetime, including nanny, elementary teacher, cashier, clergy and chaplain. She is survived by six siblings and many other family members. Services were held May 7. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to help with final expenses, which may be made payable to: Donna King, 26824 US Highway 69, Altamont, MO 64620. Please write Diane Wood Memorial in the memo. Read her obituary here.

Obit: Roberto Gómez

The Rev. Dr. Roberto Gómez (M.Th. ’72, D.Min. ’89) passed away on May 26 at St. Luke’s Hospital in San Antonio. Most recently, he served as senior pastor of La Trinidad United Methodist Church in San Antonio, until his retirement in 2013.  He had also served as a district superintendent for many years in the Rio Texas Conference.

At Perkins, Dr. Gómez played an integral role in the Mexican American Program  (later renamed the Hispanic/Latino Ministries Program) as well as the Course of Study School (COSS), where he taught for more than 30 years. He also served as  chair of the Editorial Board of the “Apuntes: Reflecciones Teológicas desde el Margen Hispano” journal.  He spearheaded negotiations with the American Theological Library Association to digitize Apuntes, so that libraries across the world could have access to past editions.

Gómez is survived by his wife Juanita, daughters Laura and Amy (Jeremy) and extended family. A Celebration of Life and reception will be held at La Trinidad on July 23 at 10 a.m. to honor him. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Raul R. Gomez scholarship fund at Southwestern University.