Meet the members of St. John’s Social Justice Task Force

With all the injustice happening in our world today, there is a lot of work to be done. We can use all the prayers and assistance the church can give. This is an important endeavor for St. John’s UMC, as we try to follow John Wesley’s example and …

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

We are the Social Justice Task Force for St. John’s UMC in Santa Fe, NM. We are broadly focused on working to end injustice and inequity in all its forms through awareness, education, engagement, coalition-building and activism. Our work will follow in the steps of Jesus, who consistently advocated for & ministered to marginalized and oppressed communities, and we are guided by the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church. 

Marilyn Galano taught vocational landscaping and horticulture to incarcerated youth for many years and later was part of a group charged with “changing the correctional culture” by redesigning every facet of staff training. In each of those capacities, she witnessed the very worst in human behavior, as well as the very best. Two things that became crystal clear are that human beings are not all dealt the same hand, and that social justice does not happen by accident. She retired in 2006 and moved with her family to Santa Fe where she worked for several years in leadership offices of the state legislature. Having served three missions to Puerto Rico through the UMC, she is certain that our church is now ready to roll up its sleeves and get to work helping share God’s love and bounty. 

Cynthia Rector is one of the members of the Social Justice Task Force here at STJUMC. She has worked as a Nurse and Nurse Practitioner in the Santa Fe area for over 40 yrs. The last 20 years she served rural communities as a primary care provider in areas underserved by health care. She and her husband Ed recently volunteered as health and community supports to the refuges of Myanmar who live in camps at the Thai/Burma border. Cynthia feels the time is now to work actively to make our world a more equitable place for all. She is excited to be part of this task group working in far reaching ways to end oppression in all its facets. 

Barbara Cooper is a relative newcomer to Santa Fe, having moved here seven years ago. Raised as an Air Force brat, she has traveled a lot, and doesn’t claim any one place as home. She is a licensed professional geologist and spent most of her career teaching geology and physics at Purdue University. She spent some years as an environmental consultant working on environmental audits and remediation. Having witnessed social injustice in many guises and places, she is eager to begin conversations and actions to help heal some of our country’s wounds. She believes we need to love all our neighbors, even when we disagree with them.

Rev. Dick Smith, a retired United Methodist Pastor, served 40 years in ministries in Oklahoma, Texas, Alaska, and New Mexico.  He was the associate pastor of St. John’s in Santa Fe for nine years, serving our church from 1989 to 1998. It was the second longest appointment in his pastoral career. While serving St. John’s, his wife Jane Smith, served as youth director for 7 years. Having felt so much support while at St. John’s it was only natural that the Smiths chose to retire in Santa Fe and make St. John’s their home church.

Lane Krahl has been a member of St. John’s UMC since 1989. For most of his professional career he has been an international environmental consultant, and has lived overseas for 21 years in Africa, South America and Mexico. New Mexico bills itself as a tri-culture state – Hispanic, Anglo and Native American. But all too often, each of these cultures remains in its own “silo” with little true interaction with each other. Lane dreams of a true tri-cultural New Mexico, where each culture respects and honors the other and where we can get out of our silos. He serves on the Task Force with the hope that St. John’s UMC can help make that dream a reality.