San Angelo Concert Sparks Conversation on Death Penalty
By Maggie Hyde
Published: Thursday, June 26, 2008 2:40 PM CDT
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 others 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 twelve Texas cities in twelve 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 eleven years ago.
Deacon Bob Leibrecht, of St. Stepens 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. Anns Church of Midland Director of Religious Education Carol Ann Hunt also thought that the concert and discussion were an encouraging experience.
“Its nice to know that there are other people in the San Angelo area that feel the same way, she said.