¶ 632. Conference Committee on Ethnic Local Church Concerns
1. There shall be in every annual conference a conference Committee on Ethnic Local Church Concerns or other structure to provide for these basic functions and to maintain connectional relationship.
- It shall provide for these functions:
- a) Keeping the vision of ethnic local church concerns before the annual conference;
- b) Providing guidance and resources to churches in the annual conference as they minister with and to ethnic constituencies;
- c) Coordinating annual conference strategies related to ethnic local church concerns including general church emphases and initiatives;
- d) Providing a forum for dialogue among the ethnic constituencies, as well as with annual conference agencies;
- e) Providing training for annual conference and congregational leaders;
- f) Promoting and interpreting ethnic local church concerns to the annual conference; and
- g) Working with annual conferences to identify and nurture leaders, lay and clergy, of ethnic communities.
- The membership of this committee shall be nominated and elected by established procedures of the annual conference. The annual conference shall determine the number and composition of the membership of the committee. It is recommended that the committee be constituted so that the majority of the membership be representative of racial and ethnic people, reflecting the racial and ethnic constituencies and local churches of the annual conference (¶ 705.3). Care should be taken, where feasible, to ensure balance of membership with clergy and laity, men and women, youth and young adults.
Resources regarding Racism
The Rev. David Anderson Hooker outlines elements that hinder and help fruitful dialogue on issues of race in the “Meaningful Conversations on Race” video. In doing so, he traces how myths about race define how we function in life including work and school in the form of institutional racism. Dr. Hooker says by avoiding the hard conversations about race, we short-circuit any meaningful dialogue that can result in transformation in our lives and across the country.
In “Continued Struggles in Race Relations,” Dr. Phillip Klinkner confirms that the vestiges of racism for many people of color remain and has not been eradicated. Nor have the practices of institutions in the United States been aligned with democratic ideals of liberty for all. Dr. Klinkner argues that the advance of equality has been unsteady with brief and isolated periods of improvement and long steady stretches of stagnation and retreat.
All of us must seek the light of God, the light of truth in recognizing oppression. We begin to do so in this session, which focuses on the oppressive behavior that is born out of white privilege. Dr. Robin DiAngelo is transparent about white privilege couched in explicit and implicit biases in the video “Deconstructing White Privilege,” the first in a series of Vital Conversations on Racism. Dr. DiAngelo describes the most obvious and explicit aspects of racism and white privilege, while going beyond the surface of racism. Her video serves as a foundation on understanding racism and white privilege for the remaining six videos in the Vital Conversations series.
This free, downloadable resource will help students to determine where and how to start by encouraging them to acknowledge those things in our world that are neither right nor righteous; supporting them in theological reflection and exploration in order to hear God’s call for us to respond; and empowering them to take actionable steps to address bias, prejudice, and other injustices.
Dr. Pamela Lightsey explores intersectionality—the overlapping of social categories including race, class, and gender—in the context of her life as a clergywoman, a lesbian, and an African-American woman. In her video Intersections of Oppression and Experiences in Ferguson, Missouri, she uses her own history and experience as a lens for analyzing and understanding the racial strife in Ferguson, Missouri.
Contains useful resources such as additional vital conversation videos, worship resources, prayers, and links to resources on Intercultural Competency and Institutional Equity.
The main point is to move from talking about race and racism to living into an anti-racism or racial justice advocate stance. We all have the choice – every day – to decide on which side of racism we will stand. Silence is not an option; neither is standing by and hoping things will get better or “not touch us.” Racism impacts everyone in harmful ways. None of us is immune. We must decide. You, today, right now, are deciding. On which side do you stand?
Click here for a downloadable pdf of these resources.