Last week, I was honored and humbled to be a part of the first Anti-racism/Cultural Humility Facilitators Consultation. Here’s a brief update and a warm invitation to you to consider how you can begin a dialogue or deepen your work to truly build the intercultural community that is Jesus’ peaceable kingdom or kin-dom, in your church, presbytery, and our Synod.
The first Anti-Racism/Cultural Humility Facilitators’ Consultation was held at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary from October 22nd to 24th. Anti-racism trainers and facilitators from throughout the PC(U.S.A.) gathered for shared learning and strategic planning for the future. Organized by the Office of Racial Equity and Women’s Intercultural Ministries and led by Rev. Denise Anderson and Rev. Beth Olker, we also benefitted from the Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter and Rev. Lemuel Garcia. We met and hung out with the newly appointed Rev. Shanea Leonard, Racial and Gender Justice. We got to hear some visionary thinking from Rev. Dr. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk, and the story of the research behind the new Anti-racism/ Intercultural Church policy from its writer, a Systematic Theology Prof. Shannon Craigo-Snell. Some of the most exciting sessions were those when I, along with others, also got a chance to lead/role play facilitation using the new manual: Building the Intercultural Community. There was also a very powerful afternoon when we delved into The Doctrine of Discovery.
The Consultation was informed by Item 11-11 from #GA223, “Declare an Imperative for the Reformation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in being a Transformative Church in This Intercultural Era.” This important directive instructs the PC(U.S.A.) to “Invest in training and identifying trained antiracism facilitators, who will provide a geographically accessible and affordable network for congregations and mid councils, and develop a process for connecting facilitators and congregations and mid councils who seek assistance.” Soon, the Office will be offering a directory of anti-racism/cultural humility trainers for churches and mid-councils who are looking for educational opportunities and to deepen their work.
I hope you’re as excited as I am by this vision of the Intercultural community. I think we can all benefit from increasing our proficiency, cultural humility, and learning tools such as power analysis. Anti-racism is a spiritual formation practice and a vital part of Christian discipleship for growing healthy thriving congregations. If you’d like to learn more, please contact me. Thanks!