CELEBRATING GOD'S LOVE FOR ALL PEOPLE
I will be happy to have more conversations with you about my experience when I return, but in the mean time I thank you, as always, for all you do in your places of influence. Thank you for being faithful to the welcome we proclaim as people of Broadway. Thank you for living out your calling. Thank you for your prayers. Please know that I pray for you and will always be your partner in justice.
Dear Broadway Community,
“Where are you headed this time?” “I hope it will be a good break!” or “Is this vacation?” are some of the questions I often get, when I talk about my travel plans. Most of my travels happen to be to do the work of church in collaboration with other agencies, boards, commissions or committees.
One of the boards I serve on, the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), a commission of the United Methodist Church, was created in 1968 to address the turbulent and exciting unrest, dis-ease, hope and new possibilities unleashed as legalized racial segregation and separation were being dismantled in church and society. Now, “GCORR is building the capacity of the UMC to be contextually relevant and to reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
Our work is centered around three priorities:
• supporting and leading vital conversations,
• developing culturally competent leadership and ministries, and,
• promoting institutional equity while upholding the agency’s historic commitment to racial justice within the Church.
Besides serving on the Board of Directors of this commission, which meets twice a year in person, I also serve on one of its sub-committees that manages grants -- a program established by the General Conference for the empowerment of diversity, inclusion and racial justice work within and outside the Church. A lot of my travel is due to this work of reading and approving grant applications and then reviewing and assessing their progress. There are times when I am away to a different city but do not get to go outside of the hotel/building for days. And don’t get me wrong -- it is rewarding work and I love doing it -- but I wanted to give everyone a glimpse of what I am doing when I am not at Broadway.
Last month I was scheduled to go to the Democratic Republic of Congo to explore some funding possibilities with them, but I could not justify that absence from the church. Here is a report of the what came out of that visit, in case you are interested.
On Wednesday, I leave for Uganda, where we (me and a couple other board members) will be guided by a local person who also serves on our board, and will meet local people and groups to learn about the impact of tribalism in their country. After spending four days there, we will head to South Africa to meet the rest of the board and have our Fall board meeting and experience the effects of apartheid. I will return home on October 2nd, ready to jump into our Annual Stewardship Campaign.
I hope this gives you a glimpse of what I will be involved in while I am away from the church. Rick Newberry will be your preacher this coming Sunday, September 23rd and, by popular demand, we will have an ‘all church Hymn Sing” on Sunday, September 30th.