Below is a summary of the major initiative The Race Conversation.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
John 13:34 NLT
What is the initiative and its purpose?
- The Beloved Community: to build a Beloved Community of inclusivity within the Annual Conference that cultivates cultural competency among us
- To initiate and integrate discernment and discussion surrounding the pain, fears and hopes regarding race relations
- An Office of Multi-Cultural Ministries has been established
- Ten critical success factors have been outlined to define this initiative’s success.
- We have invested in capacity building by training Multi-Cultural Resource Facilitators (MRFs) to facilitate ongoing Beloved Community training throughout the Annual Conference
- The majority of the full-time appointed clergy have attended a minimum of one three-day inclusivity training workshop
- The majority of Conference staff have participated in a half-day training session on inclusivity
- Beloved Community training is being offered to the laity of each of the nine districts, and training options have been offered during annual district training events
- The South Central District is organizing a multi-cultural team to engage and mentor its constituents in race and cultural relations
- We produced a teaching video that models how church and community members can dialogue about justice issues, and it has been disseminated throughout the Conference
- We have distributed resources offered through general church boards and agencies to our Conference members
- Cultivating an Annual Conference that understands and appreciates racial and cultural differences, with districts that foster open, honest and healthy dialogue regarding race relations
- Seeking to channel Beloved Community resources and guidelines conference-wide, including local churches
- Seeking to strengthen our voice as United Methodists in areas of economic vulnerability and racial tension and in statewide conversations about mass incarceration
- Assuring that every person (clergy and lay) has access to the training that will better position him/her to serve with others with respect, equitable access and full participation in the work and ministry of the Annual Conference
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:28 NIV
Tomorrow: The local church as a learning community