Bishop Ward introduces Lisa Yebuah as the Spiritual Director and Advisor for Inclusion and Equity, working with the Cabinet and the Leadership Team.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
It’s a joy to share leadership in this season with Lisa Yebuah. I invited Lisa to take on a new mantle of leadership, new to our Annual Conference, as we seek to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ offering extensive, honest, lovely, and warm welcome to all people. Lisa is serving the Cabinet and the Leadership Team as our Spiritual Director and Advisor for Inclusion and Equity. Lisa welcome and thank you. Share a little of your heart for this work.
One of my favorite passages of scripture is John 10:10 where Jesus tells his disciples “the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy but I have come that you may have life and life more abundantly,” and I believe that as a clergy person and as a person who is a Christ-follower, I’m covered in the dust of my rabbi that my life has to be committed to those things that bring about life and life more abundantly, which means that I have to also interrogate those things in our world that steal, kill and destroy, and when we think about dismantling white supremacy or systems of oppression or patriarchy, then that’s where I want to invest my time and also my energy. I feel like this invitation on the Cabinet and with our leadership team helps me, alongside my colleagues, to interrogate those systems even within our Annual Conference that may actually steal, kill and destroy, so that we might be people who are about life-giving life.
We thought long and hard and prayerfully about Lisa’s title. She is our Spiritual Director and Advisor around matters of inclusion and equity. Lisa, open up those words for us a little bit.
Yes, I think it’s really important specifically with the Cabinet that we marry our head and heart. That we not only be about kind of mental exercises but that we believe transformation comes when the work that we’re doing, whether it be anti-racism work, whether it also look like us coming home to ourselves, that it also be heart and spiritual work. When our head and our hearts are married, then they begin to communicate to our hands and our feet that we not operate as personas as clergy persons, but we operate as people who know we can be redeemed by God. So I really do believe that the first step in doing this hard work of dismantling supremacy within so that we can be just in our districts actually begins with how we know ourselves as created by God. It has been a gift to have individuals who are so willing on the Cabinet to allow me to ask us hard questions and to do this good work together.
We are grateful to God for Lisa’s ministry among us. She helps us breathe deeply filling our lives, hearts, and souls with the Holy Spirit so that we might indeed live abundantly and invite all United Methodists to live abundantly also. May Christ be with you today and always.