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Advocacy for Social Justice

Canterbury UMC to host Payday Lending roundtable forum on Feb. 19, 2019


The 2014 North Alabama Annual Conference adopted a resolution calling on the Alabama State Legislature to "pass appropriate legislation to curb the activities of predatory lenders." The resolution noted “protection of the poor and disadvantaged is a central principle of Christianity” and “the Bible forbids usury in dozens of passages.” (To read the resolution, see the 2014 North Alabama Conference Journal Vol. I / PreConference Book p 92.) In 2003, Alabama Legislature passed legislation which ...

GBCS members visit border, issue statement on immigration


Rev. Stephanie Arnold, a member of the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), recently spent time at the U.S.-Mexico border. Here are her insights and a video of her impressions of that experience. I had the privilege to be part of a delegation from the General Board of Church and Society in an immersion experience on the Texas/Mexico southern border at the end of October. This visit took place prior to our annual GBCS board meeting. Throughout the trip we heard, “We need more eyes ...

Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: Payday Lending


"What else could I do, you know?"  Last year Michelle, a single, working mother of three tried to explain to me how the issue of payday lending has transformed her life--and not in a good way. A sudden serious medical issue with one of her children caused her financial situation to rapidly deteriorate. So much so that she began having to make choices between caring for her other children and attending to the needs of her sick child. "I'm not going to look at my children and tell them they can't ...

Canterbury UMC to hold two-part social justice series “Payday and Title Reform in Alabama”


Would you take out a loan at an interest rate of 300 percent? Probably not, but over 45,000 Alabamians do so every week – some with rates as high as 456 percent. And many times, if the borrowers are not able to pay off the loan quickly, they take out a second loan to pay off the first. It’s a vicious cycle that can become a dangerous sinkhole of debt. And it’s a situation that sends more and more people in Alabama into a downward spiral of poverty every day. This is because our state currently ...

Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: Is Alabama's Moral Compass Working?


UPDATE:   For the first time ever, we have a six months repayment bill for those who take out these loans, versus having to start paying in fourteen days, and this would be paying 35% interest, versus as much as 456% possible now. The Senate Bill, SB 335, and the House Bill HB 531, are companion bills that are the same, and have been passed in appropriate committees and are now ready to be considered on the floor. What we need now, are contacts to the following individuals, asking them to get ...

Monte Sano UMC honors Civil Rights worker on Human Relation’s Day


Rev. Dale Clem, Evelyn Howie, and Dr. Sonny Hereford III, a retired physician in Huntsville who spoke at Monte Sano UMC on Sunday morning, January 18, 2015 about segregation and how the Civil Rights movements changed Huntsville. In September, 1963, Hereford’s son was the first black child to integrate an all-white school in the state of Alabama.    Human Relations Day, one of United Methodism’s six annual churchwide Special Sundays, was is Jan. 18, 2015. The congregation of Monte Sano UMC ...

Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: It Takes a Church to Raise a Child (and Care for a Mother)


This blog strives to help United Methodists connect our faith with issues of social justice and public policy as well as how we can strive to live into our social principles as a church. One of the most divisive issues not only in the church but in our country today is abortion. On one side, many feel that the life of unborn babies is not held in dignity. On the other side, many feel that the worth and dignity of women and the incredibly difficult decisions that many have to make concerning ...

Becca Stevens to discuss Human Trafficking on October 1


Just how close is human trafficking to you today? Come hear the answer to that question and find out how we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by it. Becca Stevens will be speaking about this tragic reality in the Birmingham area at Canterbury United Methodist Church on October 1, 2014,  at 6 p.m.   “It’s an overwhelming thought that is just hitting our radars here in Birmingham,” says Annie Skinner, Director of Learning Ministries at Canterbury UMC . “As part of a caring and ...

Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: What United Methodists can do regarding Domestic Violence


On September 8, the NFL indefinitely suspended Ray Rice after the video of him knocking his fiancée, Janay Palmer, out with a left hook surfaced. This is a reversal of their initial decision to suspend him two games. The Baltimore Ravens, Rice’s team, followed suit and voided his contract leaving him unemployed and ineligible to receive any compensation this year. His career is possibly over. However, the initial ruling by the NFL to only suspend Rice for 2 games sparked outrage from domestic ...

Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: Upcoming Events


Upcoming Events We have some great events that are in accordance with our call as Christians to do justice.  Here’s the information on how you can attend:   Brian McLaren at Canterbury UMC – Sept. 19-20, 2014.  Brian is one of the leaders of the Emerging Church network and has written extensively on how Christianity can bring hope to a broken, hurting world.  Brian calls us to remember that the gospel is indeed about good news for the poor and release for the captive.  The costs is $50 and you ...

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