San Angelo Concert Sparks Conversation on Death Penalty

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San Angelo Concert Sparks Conversation on Death Penalty

Post  Jennie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:41 pm

At a concert inside the First United Methodist Church of San Angelo Wednesday night, Singer-Songwriter Sara Hickman held her guitar onstage, swaying, and singing a song called “We are Each other’s Angels.” The audience gladly sang along, giving the impression of a Christian worship service or youth rally.

But these concerts are bringing more than fellowship and music across the State of Texas in their 12-month tour. They are bringing dialogue.

The Music for Life Concert Tour plans to visit 12 Texas cities in 12 months, with the goal of encouraging and facilitating dialogue on the death penalty. It is sponsored by the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and was co-hosted by the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo Criminal Justice Ministry. So far, they have visited Austin, Huntsville, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Houston, Beaumont El Paso and Denton.

The concert, besides performances by Sara Hickman and Grammy nominated San Angelo local artist Cindy Jordan, featured talks by Fr. Mark Miller C.PP.S. of Odessa and Lupe and Emma Fabela. The Fabela family, also of Odessa, spoke of their opposition to the death penalty, especially after the killing of their teenage son 11 years ago.

Deacon Bob Leibrecht, of St. Stepen’s Church in Midland, is the San Angelo Diocese Director for Criminal Justice Ministry. Leibrecht said he ministers to all those who are incarcerated, and he feels that discussion on the death penalty is particularly important in a Christian and community setting.

"Only He gives life," Leibrecht said. "Only He takes life."

He said that the death penalty not only takes away the opportunity for someone to make amends for what they had done but violated the true meaning of Christian justice, which is to restore.

St. Ann's Church of Midland Director of Religious Education Carol Ann Hunt also thought that the concert and discussion were an encouraging experience.

"It's nice to know that there are other people in the San Angelo area that feel the same way,” she said.

(source: Midland Reporter-Telegram)

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