Pastor Bart Smith welcomed several dozen clergy and lay leaders to a Cinco De Mayo
luncheon at St. Mark’s Presbyterian. Participants were from both Pima County Interfaith
Civic Education Organization and Southern Arizona Interfaith. Panelists Bishop Judd
Curtis of the Tucson Central Ward of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Rev.
Elwood McDowell, Pastor of Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, and Rev. Dan Acker,
Pastor of new member Northwest Community Church shared their observations and
thoughts on two readings: theologian Charles Matthewes, A Social Gospel for the 21st
Century and editorialist David Brooks, How Covenants Make Us.
In addition, Marc Sbar of Congregation Or Chadash and Dr. JJ Riley of St. Pius X did a
joint presentation and fielded questions on Education Proposition 123. The election will
be decided on May 17th.
Pastor Dan raised the issue of the difficulty all congregations have living out a Theology
of Justice. This seemed to resonate across all participants and may well be the topic for
the next clergy luncheon. A tentative date of Thursday, August 18 th is being proposed.
Lead Organizer Kevin Courtney also spoke about the influence of Dark Money in
Arizona elections and the need to have organized people of faith participating in our
community’s decision. For the summer and fall the organizations plans include training
and assemblies leading to a Poverty and Education Accountability Session tentatively
scheduled for Sunday, October 2nd.