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Council’s conference starts today

JOHNSTOWN — The New York State Council of Churches will hold a conference from 1:30 p.m. today to noon Wednesday at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

The conference, “Bridging the Urban-Rural Divide,” is designed to help congregations draw on theological and practical tools to do justice and care for people in their community, a news release said.

The event will feature speakers, both religious and secular, to help develop models for community ministry, the news release said.

Some of the speakers include:

∫ Alison Collis Greene, associate professor of history at Mississippi State University. Green wrote, “No Depression in Heaven,” documenting how churches across the theological and racial spectrum in the Mississippi Delta advocated for the New Deal during the Great Depression.

∫ James Evans, professor emeritus of systematic theology and former president of Colgate Rochester Theological Seminary, Monroe County, and senior pastor of St. Luke’s Tabernacle Community Church, Rochester. Evans will talk about thinking theologically about outreach. Evans is the author of “We Have Been Believers: An African-American Systematic Theology.”

∫ The Rev. Karina Feliz, pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Highlands. Feliz will discuss approaches to hospitality and ministry with immigrant populations and rural communities.

∫ Dusty Swanger, president of Fulton-Montgomery Community College. Swanger will explore business and educational approaches to job creation and improving communities.

∫ Katie Cook, a high school teacher, farmer and rural activist from Condon, Ore., and a member of Condon United Church of Christ.

∫ Mark Emanation, who is the senior field coordinator of the Capital District Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.

To register, go to www.nyscoc.org, email New York State Council of Churches at nyscoc@aol.com, or call (518) 436-9319.

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