Dianne Glave: Ministry & Church

Archive for the ‘diversity’ Category

Vital Conversations on Race, Culture and Justice

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Many thought that when Barack Obama was elected president, we were in a bright, shiny, and new post-racial period. Some thought racism had been dismantled, and there was no need to even talk about racism.

The year is 2017 and racism is more virulent than ever. In reality, the strides made during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s have been reversed with an escalation of hate crimes against people of color.

As a way of contributing to the hard conversations about dismantling racism with escalating rhetoric and violence, I authored United Methodist Church’s General Commission on Religion and Race’s Vital Conversations on Race, Culture, and Justice, Series 1. Much work needs to be done to create communities and conversations where God’s vision of justice and equality prevails. Organize a small group at your church or in your organization around this study that includes videos, questions, and prayer.

Hard copies are available for order here.

 

 

2016 NEJ Best Practices in Diversity and Inclusion Workshop

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A group from the Northeastern Jurisdiction (NEJ) of the United Methodist Church met together from September 15-16 in 2016. Though the topic of diversity development and inclusion is a difficult one, we had a lively and joyful time and discussion. We began with meditation, focusing in part on the call as Christians to dismantle racism echoing the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

We cannot be satisfied so long as the Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and the Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.

The meeting was facilitated by Dianne Glave–Coordinator of Diversity Development and William B. Meekins, Jr.–Assistant to the Bishop, both pastors in the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church. The guest facilitator was David Esterline, president of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

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Much was shared including:

  • Developing a covenant or norms as a group
  • Role playing from different perspectives about racism
  • Recommending resources like the United Methodist General Commission on Religion and Race facilitating conversations for a group as large as 600 people
  • Launching a diversity officer position in the UMC in a jurisdiction

Learn more about dismantling racism and developing cultural competencies in diversity development and inclusion for your churches through the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church’s Office of Diversity Development and Inclusion.

A White Church Works to Dismantle Racism

Reverend Ed Schoeneck understands the urgency of whites growing their cultural competencies in response to racism including white privilege and implicit bias. He is the pastor at Monroeville United Methodist Church in Western Pennsylvania.

On Sunday, July 17, 2016, he urged the predominantly white congregation to begin or continue their journey in dismantling racism in the United Methodist Church and their own neighborhoods in two ways: welcoming the new African American bishop, and taking some personal steps in learning more about racism.

Pastor Schoeneck had much to share with the congregation. He announced that recently, Rev. Cynthia Moore KoiKoi was appointed as the first African American woman to be bishop of the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church. He encouraged the congregation to pray for and welcome her.

Pastor Schoeneck gave Monroeville United Methodist Church concrete and simple ways to begin developing cultural competencies in response to racism:

MUM cultural competencies

Monroeville United Methodist Church 7/17/16 Bulletin

To learn about more ways to continue developing cultural competencies for your church, contact Dianne Glave, Coordinator of the Office of Diversity Development and Inclusion in the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church at dianne.glave@wpaumc.org.

With recent and mounting racial tensions with Dallas and Baton Rouge police officers killed by African American snipers and two African American men killed by white police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Falcon Heights, Minnesota the hard work in cultural competencies remain timely, as we continue the work locally including our churches.

Ethnic Clergy Gather Together

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The ethnic clergy in the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church gathered together for a spiritual retreat. This second retreat from March 4-5, 2016 was a important opportunity for most of the United Methodist clergy of color to meet.

marilyn_thorntonThe retreat was led by Rev. Marilyn E. Thornton who is an elder in the United Methodist Church. She serves as the Campus Minister/Director of the Wesley Foundation at Fisk University and a Lead Editor of African American Resources at the United Methodist Publishing House.

At the retreat, Rev. Thornton led the group in moving worship. She also facilitated the retreat. Rev. Thornton began with the lament as many of the ethnic clergy face racism. We then moved to hope in Christ who calls the clergy to pastor others even in difficult circumstances.

 

A Prayer Against Racism

The murder of eight people who were at Bible Study at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC moved me to share my prayer as part of worship at the 2015 Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in Grove City, Pennsylvania. The prayer . . .

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Our Lord and Our God,

We honor your holy name. We praise you in this traditional time of worship and also in the midst of conference business. May this gathering of people be open to the Holy Spirit in facing racism.

We often struggle to praise you Lord in our sorrow and pain some of which is a result of racism. God we are a nation and a community of Christian believers in terrible psychic pain as injustice sadly persists after centuries of racism. We bring our collective suffering, our pain to the altar, to the holy of Holies.

Lord God, you have blessed our country with core democratic values founded in life, liberty, and the pursuit of justice. Practicing justice eradicates injustice including racism. We seek you God because the idea of justice does not always match our reality in the U.S. and in our own churches. In Isaiah 1:17, your Word tells us: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” We cry out to you God to transform each of us in the name of justice fight for and protect those oppressed by racism.

We remember those who have suffered and continue to suffer out of the tyranny of racism.

Naming past and present injustices is a step towards healing in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord: Enslavement of Africans . . . Lynching of African Americans . . . Japanese internment camps . . . colonization of Native Americans . . . Native Americans relegated to reservations . . . polarization over undocumented immigrants including Latinos/as  . . .  the demographic shift from the white majority to an ethnic majority. I pray for all impacted by the tensions rooted in racism and a fear of diversity.

I remember people I have briefly encountered for just a few moments over my lifetime. Their faces are burned into my memory.

  • A middle-aged African American woman slammed on the hood of a car by a white police officer
  • A mentally ill African American man in an affluent white neighborhood surrounded by 10 police cars filled with officers
  • Police with guns and batons standing above teen male Latino and African Americans sitting on a curb

Some have stories of racism that are our own. Others have witnessed the racist acts and words against others. Let us us take a moment to silently in prayer lift up people who have been impacted by the history of racism and who experience racism today.

I pray for courage to defy racism. I pray for courage to speak up for justice. I pray for courage to speak up for equality. I pray for transparency and honesty with one another. I pray that the damaging acts that grow out of the ugliness of racism will be no more. I pray for our ethnic clergy and laity each of whom has their own stories experiencing racism first hand in this conference.

Finally, God heal this conference. And strengthen those who have long been in the trenches fighting racism and are now weary. We humbly bring these requests to you. Amen

Facing the Future: Clergy Cross-Racial/Cultural Network

As clergy, as a pastor, I am attending a United Methodist (UM) Conference. Doesn’t say much because I could be at any UM gathering anywhere in the country. Well, I am attending “Facing the Future: A Clergy Network for Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural Appointment Ministry” sponsored by the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) in Baltimore, Maryland from July 26-28, 2012.

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What a rich experience we are having together. I met a Tongan gentleman doing missions, and based in a suburb outside of New Orleans. I heard the Lord’s Prayer in Korean. I listened to a man from the Caribbean who cried out that the focus should not be limited to African Americans but that language and actions should more broadly integrate all people of African descent. A layperson who is in discernment about being ordained as a deacon serves at Kingdom House. His wife is a coordinator of The Mozambique Initiative.

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So many people . . . So many stories . . . So many opportunities for support one another in the next steps for ministries in diversity.

Watch videos of the meeting.

Photos by Dianne Glave

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