Dianne Glave: Ministry & Church

Posts tagged ‘United Methodist Church’

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.

Role in Diversity in the United Methodist Church

The Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church has rolled out two new positions, including my own, which focuses on diversity. Read more . . .

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I will “work with the Rev. William B. Meekins, Jr., the Bishop’s assistant, on issue related to racial diversity, multicultural and ethnic local church concerns. The work will include identifying and cultivating congregations with a potential for cross-racial appointments, developing support groups and working with churches and clergy in cross-racial or ethnic appointments.”

My positon will be part of a broader initiative of goal setting and implementation that includes diversity.

Ingomar Church: Goodbyes & Thank You

Dear Ingomar Church,

I recently learned that I am being reappointed to serve in the United Methodist Conference Center focusing on diversity. I will be supporting clergy and congregations in cross-cultural appointments, i.e., Korean pastors serving in white churches, white pastors serving African-American churches and black pastors serving in white churches. The new appointment begins July 1, 2015, so I will be leaving Ingomar Church in late June.

Reappointments and relocations often sound so practical and matter-of-fact, but each is tied to a full range of human emotions. I am saddened leaving this church and all the wonderful people.

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Looking back on my service here and observing the rich and lively God-centered ministries at Ingomar Church, I can truly testify that Christ is alive – past, present, and future in the church in our service together. I am grateful to visitors, friends of the church, members, the staff, lay leadership, and the senior pastor for all of the memories.
Among my many fond memories, the warmest is leading the children in prayer at the 9am and 11:15am services. I felt a connection to the children and by extension their parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers. I loved seeing the children run up the aisle, stand with such ease before the congregation, holding hands as we prayed together. I loved that the children asked me questions and made bold statements. I will also remember the joyful and quick responses of those who attend Together@10. Whenever I asked a question, I always received a collectively loud and lively response. I remember and appreciate every wonderful moment experienced at the church services, events, in the office, and even funerals.

Paul, the apostle, said to the church of Corinth, “Good-by, my friends. Do better and pay attention to what I have said. Try to get along and live peacefully with each other.” (2 Corinthians 13:11, Contemporary English Version). I will do better, pay attention, get along, and live peacefully in these last few months we spend together. I encourage all of you to do the same even when I am gone.

Blessings,

Pastor Dianne Glave

Trying to be Ordained

My hand wavered over the “Enter Title Here,” for this post. It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. And then, I started to type the list of things that have been keeping me busy but that goes back to why I’m so busy: keeping lists.

So as Sherlock Holmes once said in the recent film starring Robert Downey, Jr., “Let’s crack on.”

Yesterday, I officially became a provisional elder. I am grateful that I have been affirmed and encouraged through much of the process by so many people. I have shared heart-felt thank you’s over the last 24 hours by phone, text, and email. Praise God.

This whole ordination thing is a mystery to people inside the United Methodist Church (UMC), even clergy striving to become elders to be ordained. So for those of you who are not UM’s, here goes on the commissioning questions and interviewing.

Just know this latest hurdle has been difficult with written work submitted and interviews with five panels composed of clergy and church members. I delayed the written work to take a year to complete it because it required much research, thought, and energy. Being a full-time local pastor in a busy church of 1800 members was a challenge completing the questions. Know the interview process ran from 9a-3p. The process is to affirm the call by God among individuals seeking ordination.

Though I’ve made it through this hurdle in the process, it saddened me that one person was delayed in 2013 and was there again with me–approved finally, and another was delayed having to complete written work and interview again in 2015. When I explained all this to my father, my biological father, he was stunned. He said, “Should I come for the ordination this spring?” I said, “Nope. Maybe 2016.”

Keeping my dad’s response in mind, I don’t think people understand that the process can be draining and for those “doing well” and debilitating for those who don’t “score” well. That scoring could include the moving target of being evaluated as effective clergy on a day-to-day basis in the local church or “failing” the psychological exams. Some of the evaluative tools could be considered subjective.

So my heart goes out to those I know, those who have been delayed and worse those I don’t know who have been diverted from ministry or departed on their own weary steam.

Having used words like debilitating and weary, I am concerned that young people, women, and people of color including African Americans, just to name a few, finishing seminary are not opting for pulpit ministry in the UMC and other denominations.

Right now being so fully immersed in the ordination process–if all goes well I will be ordained in 2016–I pose these concerns but don’t have many answers. Do you?

Starting to answer the commissioning questions? Bibliography and other information.

DISCIPLINARY QUESTIONS FOR PROVISIONAL MEMBERSHIP AND COMMISSIONING

 Western Pennsylvania Conference, United Methodist Church

Questions may vary from conference to conference

See 2012 Book of Discipline for Questions

(1)            Describe your personal experience of God and the understanding of God you derive from biblical, theological and historical sources.

(2)            What is your understanding of evil as it exists in the world?

(3)             What is your understanding of humanity, and the human need for divine grace?

SECTION II

(4)             How do you interpret the statement “Jesus Christ is Lord”?

(5)           What is your conception of the activity of the Holy Spirit in personal faith, in the community of believers and in responsible living in the world?

(6)            What is your understanding of the kingdom of God; the Resurrection; eternal life?

SECTION III

(7)            How do you intend to affirm, teach and apply Part II of the Discipline (Doctrinal Standards and Our Theological Task) in your work in the ministry to which you have been called?

(8)           Discuss your understanding of the primary characteristics of United Methodist polity.

(9)            How do you perceive yourself, your gifts, your motives, your role and your commitment as a provisional member and commissioned minister in the United Methodist Church?

SECTION IV

(10)        Describe your understanding of diakonia, the servant ministry of the church, and the servant ministry of the provisional member and commissioned minister.

(11)         What is the meaning of ordination in the context of the general ministry of the church?

(12)         Describe your understanding of an inclusive church and ministry.

(13)         You have agreed as a candidate for the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world and the most effective witness of the gospel, and in consideration of their influence as ministers, to make a complete dedication of yourself to the highest ideals of the Christian life and to this end agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to bodily health, mental and emotional maturity, integrity in all personal relationships, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, social responsibility and growth in grace and the knowledge and love of God.  What is your understanding of this agreement?

SECTION V

(14)        The United Methodist Church holds that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal experience and confirmed by reason.  What is your understanding of this theological position of the Church?

(15)         Explain the role and significance of the sacraments in the ministry to which you have been called.

(16)         Describe the nature and mission of the Church.  What are its primary tasks today?

In the Bathroom: A Letter to Anyone on United Methodist Annual Conference?!

To Whom It May Concern,

I know this may sound odd . . . I know this may lack decorum but might I suggest we squeeze everyone into the bathroom with feet tucked into the sink and belongings carelessly scattered about for the many United Methodist Annual Conferences across the country. I know: scandalous.

We might face a logistical problem squeezing thousands into bathrooms but I think we can get around that for the sake of corporate intimacy.

On the agenda: What’s your name? Where are you from? Why are you here? I REALLY want to KNOW!

Legislation: On this day, June, 11th, 2012, everyone must climb up on the sink, sit down, and talk to this smart grown 17 year old woman at Annual Conference. We will engage her, and others like her, in conversations in the bathroom until she is sick of talking to us and wants us to go away at least for now.

We don’t even need to take a vote.

When I saw this young woman tucked in the sink, I thought of Johannes Vermeer’s The Girl with the Pearl Earring. Can Annual Conference be so luminous, so infused with life much like Vermeer’s painting, much like this teen in the photo? Can we take it to the bathroom, a place in which we are most stripped down and most vulnerable?

I wonder. I hope.

Photo by Dianne Glave on her iPhone

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