The CST community mourns the loss of alumna Cynthia Abrams, ’94, who died January 11, 2019 at the age of 58. A tireless and passionate social justice advocate, Rev. Abrams, an elder in the California-Pacific Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, led the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society’s work around health care, mental health, and addiction (including alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and other drugs).
Rev. Abrams’ work with Church and Society began in 1984 while she was still an undergraduate student at California State University, Long Beach. Rev. Abrams had been chosen to serve in Church and Society’s Ethnic Young Adult Internship Program, and was assigned to work with the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. While at CST, Rev. Abrams served as the executive director of the National United Methodist Native American Center, where she directed the production of a textbook on Native American theology.
Bishop Robert Hoshibata, ’77, Resident Bishop of the Phoenix Area, Desert Southwest Conference of The United Methodist Church and past president of the General Board of Church and Society, said, “She expanded our horizons and kindled our respect for all of God’s creation in the liturgies and stories that she made part of the work of the General Board. She loved the Church.”
President Kuan said, “Cynthia Abrams is a name well known in United Methodist circles. She is an alumna who created a difference in the world through her ministry and advocacy work. We are proud to have her as our alumna. She will be greatly missed.”
The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, Church and Society’s General Secretary said, “Cynthia’s impact on The United Methodist Church and the world was huge. I’ll miss her generous and hospitable spirit and the world will miss an extraordinarily passionate worker for justice.”
Rev. Abrams worked across the United Methodist connection, and her voice, compassion, and wisdom will be missed. The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries will honor her life and work with the establishment of the Cynthia Abrams Scholarship, to support a young Native American or indigenous person committed to advocacy and justice.
Memorial gifts to the Cynthia Abrams Scholarship can be sent to: Church and Society, 100 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 310, Washington, D.C. 20002
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. January 26, 2019 at Four Corners UMC, 1586 NY Route 438, Irving, NY 14081-9502
Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Melba Abrams at 4434 Naoma Ct., Fairfax, VA 22030
Rev. Abrams is survived by her mother, Mrs. Melba Abrams, her father, Rev. Dr. Marvin Abrams, her sisters, Robin and Ruth Ann, and her brothers, Joe and Don.