Cyntoia Brown

This request comes from our friend, Preston Shipp:

In 2008, while I was working as a prosecutor, I argued that sixteen-year-old Cyntoia Brown needed to spend her next 51 years in prison, and the Tennessee courts agreed with me.  In 2009, I had Cyntoia in class in conjunction with Lipscomb University’s LIFE Program at the Tennessee Prison for Women.  In a remarkable twist that testified to her forgiving spirit, we became friends, even after we learned that we had been on opposing sides.  Since then, she has demonstrated a remarkable change.  She has revealed just how much potential for good we all have, particularly young people.  And her heartbreaking story has captured national attention thanks to the Twitter accounts of Kim Kardashian, Lebron James, and Rhianna.

Tomorrow morning, the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole will conduct a clemency hearing for Cyntoia to evaluate whether she should be granted early release.  The final decision will be made by the Governor.  Tomorrow morning, a decade after arguing that she needed to spend the rest of her life in prison, I will have the opportunity to argue that Cyntoia deserves a second chance.  Time and proximity are funny.  They can turn adversaries into allies.

So I would appreciate your prayers, particularly around 10:00 tomorrow morning.  Pray for Cyntoia, her lawyers, the other speakers, the parole board, and Governor Haslam.  Pray that our penchant for retribution might give way to something more life-giving, more beautiful and compassionate, and more in line with the gospel of Jesus, who proclaimed release for the prisoners and was always willing to offer second chances.

Molly Lyons

Congratulations to Molly Lyons, who received recently the Dominican Cross Award at her school, St. Cecelia! She completed more than 90 hours of community service since last July to earn the honor. Most of her service hours were with Vine Street ministries, including TNT, Room in the Inn, M&M Camp and the youth group mission trip to Memphis. Way to go, Molly, and thank you for all the ways you make the world better!

The Evans-Williams Family

Nancy Kleinert passes along a prayer request from Rosie Evans Williams, the daughter of the late Howard Evans, who was a member of Vine Street. Rosie asks us to pray for peace and healing for the family of her daughter, Mylena, who died suddenly Monday morning. Surviving Mylena is a devoted husband, a 13 year old son, and many loving family members who will all miss her deeply.

Visitation with the family will be today, Sunday, May 6, at Woodlawn Funeral Home from 4-6 p.m.

Thank You

We received the following note: "The Reed and McCabe families would like to express their appreciation to the members of Vine Street Christian Church for their thoughts, prayers and support during this difficult time. Thank you for sharing your stories about Nan Reed with us." Nan, a longtime member of Vine Street, died April 1.

Matthew Tarpley

Sara and David Tarpley ask for prayers for their son, Matthew. He was shot in the leg Sunday afternoon during an attempted robbery while Matthew was out for a run. He had surgery on his knee Monday to remove fragments and bone and shrapnel. Yesterday he was discharged from the hospital. Generally, Matthew is doing well; his ability to return to his full physical abilities will be determined over the next few months.

Prayers of the People

 Alex and Linda

Alex and Linda

During our prayers Sunday, we remembered the following folks—

We extend congratulations to Linda Edwards and Alex Brandau, who were married Saturday at Vine Street!

Thomas Kleinert’s mother, Anneliese, had surgery Friday after breaking a leg. It appears she is on the road to healing.

Lyn Doris asks us to pray for the family and friends of Kelly Lasley. Kelly died suddenly Thursday, shocking especially her husband, Marty, and their two sons.

We continue to offer prayers for the family and friends of Nan Reed. A graveside service remembering Nan was Sunday afternoon at Woodlawn.


General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

From General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens

I want to invite you to be in prayer for the meeting of the Administrative Committee and the General Board April 13-17 in Newton, IA.

In this non-assembly year, our leaders will meet in covenantal accountability for sharing news from the regional and general expressions of the Church but also to dream and share vision about our corporate life as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Please hold these leaders in prayer as they travel and also as they discern and dream together. You are invited to pray for each by name. (Names are listed below the prayer text.)

God of the great and small, the broad and deep, the small and delicate – be present with these leaders as they consider the work of the Church.

May the Holy Spirit bring them vision and hope.

May the love exemplified by Jesus heal over any discord. 

May they raise up your everlasting grace and love for all your children in every conversation and action.

They are called by you to this work and we pray that they each feel your loving presence in their coming in and in their going out.


Sue Morris, moderator

Beau Underwood, first vice moderator

Timothy Lee, second vice moderator

Belva Brown Jordan, moderator elect

Bill Bailey, parliamentarian

Terri Hord Owens, general minister and president

Class of 2019

Jim Barton, AZ, Arizona region

Ben Bohren, N-CAL/NEV , Higher Education & Leadership Ministries

Kevin Bowers, WV, West Virginia region

Jackie Bunch, OH, General representative

Timothy Butler, UMW, General representative

Zedric Clayton, GRR, Great River region

Jeanetta Cotman, MI,General representative

Judy Allen Dalton,SW, Southwest region

Deborah DeWitt, TN, Division of Overseas Ministries

Luis Gierbolini, IN, General representative

Nestor Gomez, CRM, Central Rocky Mountain region

Darla Goodrich, IN, Council on Christian Unity

Michael Hamm, N-CAL/NEV, Northern California/Nevada region

Darrell Hayden, KY, Kentucky region

Robin Hedgeman, OH, Disciples Church Extension Fund

Barbara Hemphill, MI, Michigan region

Alan Hilberg, KS, Disciples Home Missions

Linda Hull, FL, Christian Church Foundation

Clyde Hunt, TN, Tennessee region

Kelly Ingersoll, IL-WI, Illinois/Wisconsin region

Debbie Jennison, NW, Northwest region

William Jennison, NW, National Benevolent Association

Julia Johnson, IN, Indiana region

Angela Kaufman,SW, General representative

Mary Larsen, MT, Montana region

Maria Lopez, NoE, Northeast region

Rogelio Martinez, PSW, Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries 

Thomas Mason, NE, Nebraska region

Serbando Peralez, SW, General representative

Jana Quisenberry, PA, Pennsylvania region

Bernice Rivera-Martinez, OR, General representative                                      

Alison Ruari, OH, General representative                                        

Rosemary Simmons-Brown,SC, South Carolina

Rebecca Smith, OR-SWID, Oregon/Southwest Idaho region

Karen Georgia Thompson, OH , Ecumenical representative (United Church of Christ)

Caleb Wang, SW, North American Pacific/Asian Disciples 

Diane Watkins, KS, Kansas region

Class of 2021

Kristen Alstott, UMW, General representative

Shanell Bowden, IL/WIS, General representative

Robert Cayton, NC, North Carolina

Jeffrey Champeau, OK, Oklahoma

Shannon Dycus, IN, National Convocation

Norma Ellington-Twitty, MID-AM, Mid-America region

Justin Floyd, GA, Georgia

Katie Hays, SW, General representative

Daniel Hayward, CANADA, Ecumenical (United Church of Canada)

Matthew Hudman, SW, General representative

Archie Jenkins, GA, Disciples of Christ Historical Society

William Lee, VA, Pension Fund

Kathleen Moore, CAP AREA, Capital Area region

Eula Nicola Pagdilao, PSW, General representative

Laura Phillips, GKC, Greater Kansas City region

Stuart Price. AL-NW FLA, Alabama/Northwest Florida

Karen Ramos, FLA, Florida

Tom Stephenson, OH, Ohio

Kaeli Sweigard,, CANADA, General representative

Candis Wilson, OH, General representative

Christopher (Chris) Wilson, TX, Christian Board of Publication

Former General Ministers

Richard Hamm, IN

Chris Hobgood, CAP AREA 

John Humbert, FL 

Sharon Watkins, WV 

Ex Officio (without vote)

Charisse Gillett, KY, Higher Education - Seminary (Lexington Theological)

Beth Sullivan, IN, Corporate Secretary

Kelly Thompson, MID-AM, Higher Education - College (Culver-Stockton)

Todd Adams, IN, Pension Fund

Mark Anderson, MID-AM, National Benevolent Association

Gilberto Collazo, IN, Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation

Chris Dorsey, IN, Higher Education and Leadership Ministries

Timothy James, IN, National Convocation/Corporate Treasurer

Julia Brown Karimu, IN, Division of Overseas Ministries

Gary Kidwell, IN, Christian Church Foundation

Chung Seong Kim, IN, North American Pacific/Asian Disciples

Sotello Long, IN, Disciples Home Missions

Rick Lowery, WV, Disciples of Christ Historical Society

Brad Lyons, MID-AM, Christian Board of Publication

Rick Reisinger, IN, Disciples Church Extension Fund

Lori Tapia, IN, Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries

Paul Tche, IN, Council on Christian Unity

Greg Alexander, KY, Regional Minister

Thad Allen (Settled), WV/PA, (Acting) NoE, Regional Minister

Denise Bell, GA,Regional Minister

Joan Bell-Haynes, CRM, Regional Minister

Renee Bridwell,KS, Regional Minister

Nadine Burton, GRR, Regional Minister

LaTaunya Bynum, N CAL/NEV, Regional Minister

Ed Cushingberry, Jr (Interim), SC, Regional Minister

Don Gonzales Dewey, PSW, Co-regional Minister

Susan Gonzales Dewey, PSW, Co-eegional Minister

Teresa Dulyea-Parker, IL-WI, Regional Minister

Ruth Fletcher, MT, Regional Minister

Jennifer Garbin, CAN, Regional Minister

Betsy Goehrig, FL, Regional Minister

Allen Harris, CAP AREA, Regional Minister

Pamela Holt, OK, Regional Minister

Eugene James, MI, Regional Minister

Coretha Loughridge (Interim), VA, Regional Minister

Andy Mangum, SW, Regional Minister

Valerie Melvin (Acting RM), NC, Regional Minister

Sandy Messick, NW, Regional Minister

John Mobley, AL-NW FLA, Regional Minister

Chris Morton, NE, Regional Minister

John Richardson (Interim), OH, Regional Minister

Bill Rose-Heim, GKC, Regional Minister

Penny Ross Corona, MID-AM, Regional Minister

Richie Sanchez (Interim), AZ, Regional Minister

Bill Spangler-Dunning, UMW, Regional Minister

Richard Spleth, IN, Regional Minister

Christal Williams,TN, Regional Minister

Cathy Myers Wirt, OR-SWID, Regional Minister

Doug Wirt,OR-SWID, Regional Minister

A Sunday Update

We’ve learned Shirley Forstman had a fall last week, breaking a finger. In the hospital doctors discovered she has pneumonia. We pray for her healing.

Thomas Kleinert shares his mother, Anneliese Kleinert, broke her leg. She will have surgery this week, and we pray for her healing, as well.

Lord, Hear Our Prayers

Please keep McLean Chenault in your prayers. She had surgery during the weekend.

Steve and Nina Reed ask for prayers for the family and friends of Nan Reed, Steve’s aunt. A lifelong member of Vine Street Christian Church, Nan died Easter morning. Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements, which are pending.