The Leadership Development Team is taking the lead on intentionally modeling racial unity, racial healing, and racial reconciliation. As a first step toward working in love and unity in the body of Christ, and toward the endeavor of ethnic equality, the Leadership Development Team seeks to ensure that equal opportunities are given, not only within the ministry of the LDT, but in actual leadership placement and practice for ethnic minorities.
On behalf of the Leadership Development Team, as we seek to elevate those who have been historically underrepresented, Rev. Shirley Canty and I will operationally function as co-chairs in leading the Leadership Development Team. Though there must be a chair and a vice-chair for structural purposes, Rev. Canty has agreed that we will work together as co-chairs until she is fully prepared to become the chair of the committee.
We will walk alongside one another to model racial unity in leadership. We will work together to ensure best practices for racial healing. We will work together for inclusiveness so that across the Conference when anyone looks to the Leadership Development Team, it will be evident that people of all skin color are represented and have access to partake of our mission which is “to build the capacity of ministry leaders to follow Jesus, make disciples, and transform the world.”
Psalm 133 begins with this phrase: “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” And this comes with a promise at the end of the psalm: “For there, the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” We are blessed when we set our goal toward unity as the people of God; and Jesus Christ has given us the Church to live out racial unity, healing, reconciliation, and redemption. I encourage all of us across the Connectional Table tonight to be intentional to discover what each of us can do in our sphere of influence to build unity.
To learn more about how the United Methodist Church and the Western North Carolina Conference are working to confront and dismantle systemic racism, visit www.wnccumc.org/antiracism.
Resources for Vital Congregations
GBHEM Leadership Resources
A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:
The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:
- Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
- Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.
We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at email@example.com.