Bishop Ward describes the different ways the North Carolina Conference will be working to understand the scope of and dismantle racism – from the Cabinet, to the local churches, to the individual.
View an interactive timeline of Intercultural Competency opportunities in the North Carolina Conference.
Grace and peace to you through Jesus Christ, who has broken down the dividing walls of hostility and made us one.
As we move into this quadrennium, living into the theme of Generosity in All Seasons, we find that this theme invites us to be deeply and continually engaged in dismantling racism and increasing intercultural competency.
This week, today and tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday, 50 people are gathered at the United Methodist Building in Garner for training led by Reverend Willard Bass, the director of the Institute for Dismantling Racism in Greensboro, North Carolina. I invite your prayers for these leaders as they become more equipped to lead conversations on intercultural competency across our annual conference.
We invite the participation of your congregation in these conversations and efforts, that we might dismantle racism and increase our capacity to live well across every division, every line of difference.
Next week, our Cabinet will meet with the Cabinet of the Western North Carolina Conference in Greensboro and we will engage in learning. We will visit civil rights sites in Greensboro, North Carolina and have conversations together about how, as annual conferences, we might partner in this effort.
We will, in this conference year, have opportunities in the districts to gather and to remember history, often painful history that informs our present. We’ll also hear stories of ways in which racial reconciliation has been engaged and increased. There will be writing opportunities across this year, as well, as you tell your stories – ways in which you have seen people come together in life-giving ways across racial divides.
In the spring, those moving toward ordained ministry will together experience a freedom ride across eastern North Carolina, being in places where they will hear stories that break our hearts and yet move us to action and to deeper commitment as reconcilers of all God’s people.
I hope your prayers and your engagement in these efforts will be energetic. Together, let us grow in the capacity to welcome all people and to celebrate God’s beautiful creation of a diverse humanity.
May Christ’s peace be with you this day.