2014 Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry

The Pan-Methodist Campaign works in partnership with the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) to prepare people of faith to be inspired and effective child advocates. The following announcement is submitted by CDF:

For many, summer is a time for family reunions, rest and renewal, relaxed worship services or summer revivals, and a time to step back from the year’s daily grind to focus on the big picture, dream new dreams, make plans for the year to come, and even learn something new. The Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, is the one place where you can do all that and so much more. Plan now to attend, whether for the full five-day Institute, as a one-day participant, or even just to stop by for one of the evening worship services featuring the Great Preacher Series that is free and open to the public.

In Weaving a Just Future for Children: An Advocacy Guide, Methodist child advocates Diane C. Olson and Laura Dean F. Friedrich describe their experience of the Proctor Institute: “One place both of us have felt the powerful presence of the beloved community is at the Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, sponsored every summer by the Children's Defense Fund. With equal parts of family reunion, spiritual renewal, and skills building, the gathering is an inspiring week of sermons, workshops, and reflection groups focused on the needs of children and celebrating our calls to advocacy.

Held at the lovely [CDF] Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, the Institute provides a hospitable learning environment in an atmosphere of inclusion and celebration of diversity. The Proctor Institute is a place where we can articulate our dreams for children and be ‘fed’ intellectually and spiritually so that we continue our advocacy journeys with joy and conviction.”

“Standing Our Ground: Justice and Equity for All God’s Children,” the 2014 Proctor Institute, to be held July 14-18 at CDF Haley Farm, will feature great preaching each night: Dr. Emilie Townes, Dean of the Vanderbilt School of Divinity (Monday), United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcano (Tuesday), author, activist and theologian Ched Myers of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries (Wednesday), Dr. James A Forbes, Jr. (Thursday) and United Methodist pastor and CDF Director of Haley Farm the Rev. Janet Wolf (Friday morning.)

Mornings will include powerful Morning Devotions preached by Civil Rights leader Dr. Otis Moss Jr. and pastor of Trinity Church, Chicago, Dr. Otis Moss III. Bible Study will be taught by Dr. Eileen W. Lindner, known for her humor, moving stories, and theological insights, and Dr. James Cone—in his first appearance at the Proctor Institute—lifting up important perspectives from his book The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Mini-plenaries on a range of Children’s Concerns will round out the morning as participants select from sessions including policy and action briefings on early childhood education, health care, and gun violence; discussions on dismantling the Cradle to Prison Pipeline; and delving into restorative justice, prophetic preaching, and ministry and movement-building from the margins around immigration.

After lunch, the afternoon will offer small group sessions in which participants will gain organizing strategies, advocacy skills, media training, and more in engaging, interactive sessions facilitated by noted leaders such as Civil Rights strategist the Rev. Jim Lawson, leaders from North Carolina’s Moral Mondays movement, former gang member and founder Faith For Change Romal Tune, and others. A Freedom School program on-site engages children ages 5 to 15, and older youths are welcomed as valued participants in the Proctor Institute sessions.

Campaign for Children liaisons will find the Proctor Institute an especially valuable opportunity to gain up-to-date information on children’s concerns, fresh inspiration, new skills and strategies, and a wealth of connections to others who are organizing and mobilizing on justice for children in poverty. Bring a team, if you can, to increase the impact and “take away” as you return to make an even greater difference in your district and conference.

Visit the Proctor Institute webpage to learn more about the extraordinary offerings and register so you can be a part of the beloved community. We hope to see you there.

 

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