We in The United Methodist Church know the importance of diversity, of multiculturalism, and of the beauty of Pentecost people.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
As George Floyd’s body was brought recently to Raeford, we in the North Carolina Annual Conference have answered a summons to lament, to witness, to protest, and to promise. Thank you for all the ways in which your witness is making a difference in this time.
In the North Carolina Annual Conference, we have had, for eight years, a major Conference focus on anti-racism, on racial equity, on dismantling of white privilege, on creating communities in which all people have abundant life. We continue in this mission and as we do, we will offer space for the gathering of affinity groups to talk about racism. African-American clergy and laity will gather on the evening of June 18. Other groups are planning to gather as well to talk about these important matters that are before our country, to confess to one another, to lament with one another, to learn with and from one another, and to become strengthened in our witness for all people. Thank you for considering how you and the affinity group of which you’re a part might convene such a conversation and such a gathering.
The staff of the Annual Conference, the district superintendents, and I all are eager to support you. We in The United Methodist Church know the importance of diversity, of multiculturalism, of the beauty of Pentecost people and yet at times like this, it is important that we gather together in ways that help us move forward our own witness. So, young clergy, white clergywomen, men of various ages, young people, teachers of children, whatever affinity group you claim, may this be a place where you initiate a conversation about race. This is an important way to respond to the challenges of this time and to build a better world.
Thank you for all you are doing to follow Jesus Christ faithfully in these days.