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Power, Protest, Progress: How to Change the World in Two Easy Lessons
July 20, 2013 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Join us for a compelling workshop led by our summer Theologian in Residence Dr. Dorothee Benz.
Lesson 1: Saturday July 20 at 10am in the FUMC Parlor
Lesson 2: Saturday July 27th at 10am in the FUMC Parlor
Why do some social movements succeed, and others fail? We’ll answer this question by analyzing what gives ordinary people the power to make change happen, and then we’ll ask the question, “What power do we all have to make change in our lives and communities?” Jesus was all about making social change happen, but following him can be a little daunting – few of us can walk on water or feed 5,000 people. In this class we’ll take a fresh look at Jesus’ ministry and uncover ways in which his most humble acts, like talking to the woman at the well or touching lepers, were more transformative than the flashy fish type miracles and how we can be agents of change in our world today in the same ways. We will be discussing an understanding of power based on the writings of scholar-activist Frances Fox Piven, and drawing on examples from the labor movement, the civil rights movement and the Bible. Along the way, we’ll also ask, was the cleansing of the temple the first urban riot?
About Dorothee Benz
Dorothee Benz is a lifelong activist and organizer. Professionally, she has 25 years experience in social justice communications, and her writing and editing as a labor journalist have won numerous awards. She is currently the director of communications at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Benz has a Ph.D. from the City University of New York and her scholarly expertise is in social movements. She is a founding member and chair of Methodists in New Directions (MIND) and one of the architects of the current strategy to transcend the crisis caused by the United Methodist Church’s discrimination against LGBTQ people by organizing networks of clergy and laity to extend their ministries to all couples, gay and straight, on an equal basis in defiance of the rules. She is the winner of the 2012 Gwen and C. Dale White Award from the NY Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action. In her spare time, she pumps iron, climbs mountains and builds sandcastles.