Ministerial Association to host Social Justice Summer Series

24796780_10155251638201089_1380734310342703716_nStory by Kathy Haluska

Social Justice is coming to Brownsville this summer! At least, that is, a discussion series on some relevant social issues is coming. The Brownsville Area Ministerial Association (BAMA) is reaching out to tackle topics that have national impact and asking experts to talk about how these issues affect our community.

This novel series is being spearheaded by the Rev. Katy Yates Brungraber of the Fort Burd Presbyterian Church. Rev. Brungraber (also known as “Pastor Katy” in the community) recalls that several months ago, one of her elders approached her with the idea of doing a social justice series during the summer months, when the days are longer, the weather is warmer and folks are more likely to come out during the evening. As Rev. Brungraber explained: “Within a week after hearing from our Worship Committee Chair, I attended a BAMA meeting during which Sister Mary Ann Woodward from Rendu Services – unprompted, by the way – spoke up and said that we need to do something about social justice. Hearing that message twice in one week led me to believe I was getting a Holy Spirit nudge, so we called a meeting for prayerful consideration. I was joined by the BAMA president (a Church of the Nazarene minister), two Catholic nuns (Daughters of Charity), and my elder, with input from other local Presbyterian and United Methodist ministers. Ideas for social justice topics came easily – we had to narrow them down to four. We presented the concept to BAMA at their regular meeting and received enthusiastic support.”

The series, which is scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of June, July, August and September, will include nontraditional musical presentations along with the “Guest in the Pulpit” for each evening. Refreshments and discussion will follow the presentations where everyone will have an opportunity to meet the presenters, ask questions, and offer comments. The format of the presentations will give background on the issues, ways our community is affected, and offer answers to the question “How can I help?”

The series will kick off on Tuesday June 26 at the amphitheater in Brownsville’s Snowden Square Park with Will James as the speaker. Will is the owner of the Team Humanity othing Company and founder of The Team Humanity Games. Will grew up in Brownsville, spent ten years in the NFL, and returned home with a mission. You’ll have to come out on June 26th to learn more about that mission. Music that evening will be provided by The Outpost Band.

Subsequent anticipated topics in the series include Mass Incarceration and how it affects every one of us (July); Racism and White Privilege (August); and Youth Violence – Bullying, Suicide, Abuse and Weapons (September).

This series is intended to provide a first step to open discussion and encourage community involvement on these important topics, building on BAMA’s decades of shared ecumenical worship and mission. For more information contact Pastor Katy at Fort Burd Presbyterian Church (724-785-3080) or Kathy Haluska (724-550-0147). You also can find updates on the Brownsville Area Ministerial Association Facebook page. Photo (top): William James