Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Tony Campolo headlines Church & Society retreat in March


Tony Campolo will bring his powerful perspective on social justice issues to Oklahoma when he headlines a United Methodist program on March 11-12 at Canyon Camp.

In the Bible, Micah asks, "What does the Lord require?" and the overnight retreat will seek to answer that poignant question for Christians today.

"Social Holiness: On Earth as It Is in Heaven" is co-sponsored by Peace With Justice and the Board of Church & Society. The event has funding help from the "Peace With Justice" Special Sunday offering received annually by Oklahoma’s churches.

The public is welcome. Register online and download a brochure at: www.okumc.org/church_society

Rev. Dr. Campolo is the author of 38 books and a highly respected media commentator on religious, social, and political matters.

Campolo "has a long history of introducing people to aspects of social justice and letting it transform them," said Kirt Moelling, chairman of Church & Society and pastor at OKC-Lakeside UMC.

"We hope this event will highlight some of our pressing social justice issues in Oklahoma and also encourage and equip individuals and congregations," said Rev. Dr. Moelling.

He noted the denomination’s mission: To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. And he pointed to a guiding question within the Oklahoma Conference Strategic Plan: How does your congregation encourage and support people to step outside their comfort zone and get involved in acts of justice?

"We believe this retreat is about ways disciples can engage," Moelling said.

Campolo’s work draws interest from people across a wide theological spectrum. "He pushes the Church to get out of old habits," Moelling said.

In 2010, three books by Campolo were released: "Stories That Feed Your Soul," "Connecting Like Jesus," and "Choose Love Not Power."

He is founder and president of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, and professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University, Pennsylvania. He has served American Baptist churches in that state and New Jersey.

Also providing leadership at the March retreat will be Bishop Robert Hayes Jr. and the presenters of eight workshops:

  • Dealing With Controversy, Neal Christie, UM General Board of Church & Society (GBCS)
  • Domestic Violence, Chrislyn Sperry, Hope Center, Edmond
  • What Our State Budget Says About Us, David Blatt, Oklahoma Policy Institute
  • Predatory Gambling, Les Bernal, Stop Predatory Gambling
  • Caring for Creation, Mark Davies, Oklahoma City University
  • Immigration, Richard Klinge and Margie Solis, Catholic Charities
  • Restorative Justice, Stan Basler, UM Criminal Justice & Mercy Ministries
  • How To Advocate for the Least, the Last, the Lost, Jim Winkler, GBCS

The retreat begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Early-bird registration is due by Feb. 1.

For more information, contact Bruce Davis, pastor at Altus-Grace and Blair, revbrucedavis@hotmail.com,  or Rev. Dr. Moelling, lakesideumc.pastor@coxinet.net.


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