Calvary UMC is passionate about participating in acts of justice and seeking God's desire for our world here and now.

Together, we are committed to:

making ourselves aware of our own bias, privilege and experiences while learning about justice issues around us and people who's experiences differ from our own...

building relationships with community partners, leaders and churches who we can support, learn from and center on...

following through on our commitment to justice through our giving, our action, our words, and our resolve to see all people have equal rights and access to a healthy, whole life...

To learn more about our justice ministries, please contact Rev. Ashley PBT at

National Coming Out Day: A Brief Tutorial

Written By: Larry Tobias, Calvary Reconciling Team Member

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) was inspired by a single march. On October 11, 1987, 500,000 people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, generating momentum that lasted months after the march had ended. During this period, LGBTQ+ identifying individuals gathered outside Washington, DC, and decided to create a national day to celebrate coming out.
This began on the 1st anniversary of their historic march.
NCOD gains popularity and participants every year. On the first NCOD, only 18 states participated, but it’s now become a worldwide event. And, since its inception, significant numbers of public figures, celebrities and persons from all walks of life have openly identified themselves as LGBTQ+ and yearly share messages of support and hope for those who are “in the closet” or may still struggle with acceptance, private and/or public. And “LGBTQ+” has grown to encompass bisexual, transgender and many other sexual identities, so NCOD impacts more people with each annual celebration.

The decision to “come out” is, of course, totally optional and personal to every member of the LGTBQ+ community, based on their own unique journey. But, unfortunately, for those that choose that step, it still too often involves risk, judgment, rejection or worse. NCOD is not intended to promote coming out or to assign labels that sometimes reinforce stigmas and amplify differences. Rather, it is intended to offer support to persons considering coming out or who have taken that step and to affirm that they are accepted, embraced and celebrated for being their true selves.
At its core, NCOD provides an opportunity to educate and stimulate dialogue in an effort to eradicate oppressive and homophobic views and dispel harmful stereotypes. In the context of Calvary UMC, NCOD also provides a focused occasion for our church family to demonstrate that ALL persons are welcome here, that we make no judgments regarding where anyone is on their personal and unique journey (LGTBQ+ or otherwise) and that we are committed to accepting and loving ALL persons, just as God first accepts and loves us each just as we are.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15-October 16

Article Written By: Carol Furrow, Member of Calvary's Racial Justice Team

Viva la raza!
Last Friday marked the beginning of what has been known since the 1970’s as Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 - October 16. This observance is split between two months because of the many important cultural dates that happen during this period. No less than seven Central or South American countries celebrate their independence between these two dates. In addition, October 12 is the celebration of Dia de la raza (or Columbus Day). That means there’s a lot to celebrate and a lot to learn during this month!

What does the name even mean? - Hispanic vs. Latino
The terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" refer to ethnicity, culture, and identity. They are groups based on shared culture rather than skin color, race, or other physical features.

Hispanic: Refers to people who speak Spanish or who have a background in a Spanish-speaking country. In other words, Hispanic refers to the language that a person speaks or that their ancestors spoke. Some Hispanic people speak Spanish, but others do not.

Latino: In contrast, Latino refers to geography: specifically, people from Latin America including Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Like being Hispanic, Latino speaks nothing about your race. Latinos may be White, Black, Indigenous, Asian, etc.

A person who is Latino may or may not be Hispanic. For instance, while people from Brazil are considered Latino (because Brazil is a Latin American country), they are not considered Hispanic because Brazil is a former Portuguese colony, not a Spanish one.

People who are Black and Latino often identify as Afro-Latino, while other Black people of Latin American descent forego the Latino/Hispanic labels all together. Latinx, Latin@ or Latine have been used more recently to address the issue of gendered nouns in Spanish.

Ways to celebrate:

Pick a country: A quick trip to the library, or an even quicker walk through Google can give you lots of information, in many different media, about a country. Find one you haven’t visited or know little about, and dive into the culture and history! While the countries have quite a bit in common (colonized by Spain, strongly Catholic, language) there are also a number of unique things about each country. Share what you learn with family, friends, or a media post.

Food: We may all have our favorite Mexican restaurants in Wichita, but there are also restaurants serving other ethnic foods that have a good reputation, and might be nice to experiment. You can find El Salvadoran, Peruvian. Catered Argentinian empanadas are also available. Sabor isn’t a hispanic/latino owned business but features cuisine from many parts of Latin America.

Books: The library and bookstores have many books of all genres that can help you learn about and enjoy the culture of Latin American countries. Consider finding a cookbook about Latin food and cook your own dinner!

Music: As with all of Hispanic culture, music varies among the countries. But it is almost always joyous and lively. Create a Hispanic month playlist on your music streaming app. Mexican mariachi, Argentinian tango, Merengue, Cumbia, Salsa, Here’s an article about the various styles and history of the music.

Movies: There are some wonderful movies that tell about the history and culture of Latin America. Here are some favorites, which may still be available on some streaming devices.
Tortilla Soup - American family with strong Mexican roots and their life in this country. Lots of great food prep!
Bajo la misma luna (Under the Same Moon) - Story of a boy who travels to the US to find his mother.
La Historia oficial (The Official Story) - Depiction of Argentina’s dictatorship and treatment of children through the eyes of a teacher and mother.
The Mission - Story of Jesuits in Argentina and their interactions with the Guarani

What is Restorative Justice? - Kelsey Rose - Calvary UMC Wichita

On May 7, 2023 Restorative Justice Coordinator for the State of Kansas, Kelsey Rose, gave a presentation at Calvary United Methodist in Wichita, KS on "What is Restorative Justice" and talked about some of the ways restorative justice methods and processes can bring healing among victims and their offenders and provide a bridge to wholeness for both victims and their offenders as well as society in general. (*disclaimer: the views and opinions shared are Kelsey's alone, and do not reflect the views or opinions of the Kansas Department of Corrections).
There were two videos she referenced in her presentation that are not shown in the video, but can be found at the links below:

The Oprah ‘Belief’ series came to Kansas to film a 2014 Victim Offender Dialogue that happened at Lansing Correctional Facility. The episode has multiple subjects and is 40 minutes long. But the portion regarding the KDOC VOD starts at 3:02 and ends at 14:30.
Restorative Justice: Why do we need it?


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