The Office of Multicultural Ministries and the Bishop’s task force on Diversity and Inclusion is happy to announce our new partnership with GCORR to create a strategic plan that will transform our Conference into a more inclusive, diverse and equitable church for our members and our community. This process has been ongoing for several months.
For many years, The North Carolina Conference has been working diligently to combat racism and address diversity and inclusion. We have sought to follow in the Way of Jesus and have sought to live these actions out at all levels of the Church. There has been some progress made through many efforts to raise awareness, take action, and to further develop ethnic leadership and congregational capacity. However, these actions have not brought us to a sustained, measurable, and long-term strategy. For this reason we have partnered with GCORR and are committed to support and resource the Church at all levels to build the contextually relevant ministry to reach more people and more diverse people.
Facilitate a process to create a road map of a unified vision and strategy with accountability that will help The NC Conference to move forward in the work of diversity and inclusion through cooperation by all stakeholders.
Six two-hour Zoom sessions over a period of 12 weeks with all stakeholders focused on conversations and activities to create a unified vision that will foster cooperation and concerted effort throughout the Conference. The outline below provides an overview of the themes and objectives for each of the Zoom sessions. This plan is Phase I in the process of fulfilling all objectives identified above. Phase I will focus on “clarifying the vision and direction for unified and concerted efforts.”
Guided by this plan, our efforts will focus on:
- Spiritual Practices and Worship
- Intercultural Competency
- Creating Anti-racism Environments
- Encourage Cross-Racial and Cross-Cultural Appointments
- Sustain Ethnic Ministries
- Foster Women’s Leadership
- Develop Multicultural Ministries
- Encourage Ecumenical Relationships
- Increase Recruitment of Ethnic Pastors and prepare an environment for success in their leadership
To move it forward, we will continue to need your help. We will need your prayers and the support of committed people from diverse backgrounds. We will require deep partnerships with others who share our vision of a more diverse United Methodist Church.
Thank you for your continued dedication and collaboration as we further our vision of an MÁS (More) Diverse North Carolina Conference.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
Rev. Ernesto Barriguete
Here are a few of the recent efforts we have made:
- Multiple showings of Racial Taboo and the follow-up gatherings.
- Sought to build active anti-racism teams in each district.
- All Cabinet, New Faith Community, Connectional Ministry directors, and Youth Operations Team staff have completed the Racial Equity Institute.
- Engaged multiple anti-racism breakout sessions at Annual Conferences and in clergy learning sessions with Rev. Willard Bass for the Institute for Dismantling Racism.
- Year-long reading program offered by our Bishop and Cabinet.
- Certified 15 persons to offer the Intercultural Development Inventory and began offering assessments.
- Developed and held two Crossroads Retreats for Justice bringing national leadership, including Deaconess Clara Ester who kneeled with Dr. King in the final moments of his life on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel.
- Engaged in the Pastores Caminantes (Duke Divinity School) – Laicos Caminantes
- With the Center for Leadership Excellence, Black leaders developed and engaged Renew and Connect retreats and coaching, bringing in national leadership for teaching and capacity building.
- “Freedom Learning Rides” through RIOM in new clergy development, learning about racism and its effects in North Carolina and the Southeastern Jurisdiction.
- Living the Word (Mission Team) coaching, in partnership with Churches Coming Together, created a multifaceted afterschool learning and entrepreneurial development program for highschool aged Black youth.
- In the current crisis of COVID-19, Black clergy leaders in partnership with Riverside Consulting Group, Multicultural Ministries, and the Mission Team have launched “Recover.Restore.Retreat.” a webinar series for Black clergy that will address: self-care, social media ministry, and social injustices pertaining to the pandemic. National leaders from across the nation will lead sessions. This was expanded to the Western North Carolina and the South Carolina Conferences.