Bishop Ward affirms the commitment of the North Carolina Conference to be in ministry with and for all persons and to work towards peace and justice for all.
Let love be genuine. Hate what is evil. Do what is good. Thanks be to God for this strong word from Romans 12 appointed for this next Sunday in worship.
We in the North Carolina Annual Conference are strongly committed to anti-racism. In this, we join with all United Methodists around the world. We join across the Southeast Jurisdiction as we live into the plan adopted overwhelmingly at Jurisdictional Conference last July, a plan of mission that has at it’s center, anti-racism, education, and nurture and mission out into the world, welcoming all people into the embrace of God.
In the last quadrennium, we partnered with the General Commission on Religion and Race in a new initiative, to move forward in our anti-racism efforts. Two hundred people came, spontaneously, to the first gathering around this mission focus. We’ve also partnered with the Institute for Dismantling Racism in Greensboro and teams have been trained in every district. These district teams are putting in place opportunities for you to participate. These opportunities will help you learn and grow in becoming the person that God has called us all to be.
Recently, the Capital district gathered for a prayer walk in the area of our capital city, Raleigh, around Saint Augustine’s’ University. Exploring the history of this community of Raleigh was a rich experience as the group prayed together for stronger community in every place. The Corridor district last year hosted a freedom ride to Nashville, TN, one of the centers of the voting rights movement.
The Fairway district is hosting a trip to Washington, DC to visit the new museum of African American History and Culture and the Sound district has developed a remarkable partnership with the AMEZ church and together, black and white people are working as partners in Congregations for Children. Clergy from both denominations are gathering to learn and grow and together a remarkable witness is offered to the world.
The Cabinet of our Conference meets twice a year with the cabinet of the Western North Carolina Conference and anti-racism is a focus of our work. Together, we have visited the Greensboro museum where students protested, sitting down at a lunch counter and breaking open the movement of the 1960’s toward full rights for all people.
In these and many other ways, we are seeking to be God’s faithful people. We are seeking to do good and to hate what is evil and to live faithfully toward God. I hope in your local church that you will also make this a center of your engagement in nurture and mission. Together let us seek to do good; let us reject all that is evil; let us live into our baptismal vows and rejoice that God welcomes all people into the divine and eternal embrace.