March 15, 2011
DALLAS (SMU) – Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University welcomes the Rev. Dr. Medardo Gomez, Bishop of the Lutheran Church of El Salvador, as guest preacher for a special service in Perkins Chapel.
The service, which honors the memory of Archbishop Oscar Romero, will be Wednesday, March 23, at 11:30 a.m. At 7:00 p.m. that evening, Bishop Gomez will also present a public lecture at McCord Auditorium (306 Dallas Hall), in conjunction with the Embrey Human Rights Program at SMU’s Dedman College.
The chapel service and lecture highlight the last day of Bishop Gomez’ activities during his visit to Dallas on March 21-24.
Bishop Gomez’s commitment to defending human rights in El Salvador has made him a repeat nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. During the Salvadoran Civil War, Bishop Gomez received numerous death threats and was detained and tortured. According to Bishop Gomez, the persecution of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church stirred him to greater faith in the power of the gospel of peace, and to a deeper public engagement of the church in favor of the poor. Today, in different conditions, Bishop Gomez continues to lead the church as it speaks for the voiceless people of society.
The visit begins with a March 21 Faculty Symposium, “The Church in the Salvadoran Struggle for Human Rights” (“La iglesia en la lucha Salvadoreña por derechos humanos”), at Perkins School of Theology. On March 22, Bishop Gomez will participate in a seminary class led by Carlos F. Cardoza-Orlandi, Professor of Global Christianities and Missions Studies, as well as visit with students and faculty at Perkins. On March 23, in addition to preaching at the chapel service in memory of Archbishop Romero and presenting the public lecture in conjunction with SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program, Bishop Gomez will also address the Perkins School of Theology Executive Board. Bishop Gomez returns to El Salvador on March 24.
Bishop Gomez earned his Bachelor’s degree in Science and Letters at Colegio Oriental in San Miguel, El Salvador, before earning a theology degree at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores y Seminario Luterano Augsburgo in Mexico City. Honorary degrees conferred on Bishop Gomez include the Doctor of Divinity from Lutheran Trinity Seminary in Ohio (1984), Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania (1993), and Christian Theological Seminary in Indiana (2008), as well as the Doctor of Humanities from Augsburg College in Minnesota (2008).
Bishop Gomez has presided over the Lutheran Synod in El Salvador since his consecration as bishop in 1986. Additionally, he holds the office of Presidente, Iglesias Luteranas en Centroamérica y Panamá (President, Lutheran Churches in Central America and Panama). He has received numerous awards and honors for his commitment to human rights, and has led several human rights organizations across Central and South America. He was also the founder and rector of Universidad Luterana Salvadoreña (Lutheran Salvadoran University) in San Salvador.
Sponsors for Bishop Gomez’s visit, which is funded in part by the Henry Luce Foundation, include: the Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religions at Perkins School of Theology; the Embrey Human Rights Program at SMU; the Humbre Human Rights Program; College Hispanic Association of Students at SMU; Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc.; and L@s Seminaristas at Perkins School of Theology.
For more information about Bishop Gomez, contact Dr. Harold Recinos, Professor of Church and Society at Perkins School of Theology, email@example.com, 214.768.1773. For a map of the SMU campus, visit smu.edu/maps.
Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911 at Southern Methodist University, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Church Ministries, and Doctor of Ministry, as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.
For more information:
Roberta Cox, Director of Perkins Public Affairs
Tim McLemore, Associate Director of Perkins Public Affairs
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