Kristina Gonzalez offers this short introduction to the ‘Equipping Leaders for Relational Community Work’ webinar series. Originally held in November of 2020 via Zoom, the three engagements are offered on this page as part of the Western Jurisdiction’s ‘Where Love Lives’ campaign.
The United Methodist Church is a 94% white and aging denomination. However, our collective visions – denomination and local congregations – express wishes for greater diversity in leadership, in the pews and in our work in the world. In this time of COVID-19, with a renewed uprising for racial justice, the church must act. But out of what mindset?
Three practitioners have agreed to challenge our thinking regarding mission, community engagement, and cultural humility to help us practice our way into beloved community. They will help us to have eyes and ears to past mistakes and support us in redirection. The learnings will be relevant to us all –Black, Brown, White, LGBTQIA+, immigrant generation, fully-abled or partly disabled – as our collective mindset for ministry has grown from a history of colonization and rescue.
‘Do No Harm – Decolonizing Mission’ with Dr. Soong-Chan Rah prompts us to clarify our context for ministry, apply theology to our context, and develop ministry practices that maintain dignity and equity.
‘Do Good – Community Engagement and Community Development’ with pastor, innovator and community activist Maria-José (Coté) Soerens gives us a window into community-driven transformation through relationship and among a population generally skeptical of Christianity.
‘Stay in Love with God – Exercising Cultural Humility’ with author, activist and practitioner Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove explores how being led from the margins transforms one’s leadership and promotes liberative movement for all God’s people.