Race and Culture



Why Work on Race and Culture?

The Missouri Conference wants to become a brave, empowering place for people from diverse cultures and generations so that we can become a Church for all God’s people.

We seek to do this by equipping Conference leaders and local churches for multicultural leadership, cross-cultural connection and healing justice.


The recommendations in this report exist to further three central changes needed for the Missouri Annual Conference to thrive as a network and community that is pursuing healthy ethnic diversity, multicultural ministry and consistent and intentional efforts in dismantling racism within our networks.

1. Cultivate welcoming environments at Conference and congregational levels by providing training in cultural awareness and resources for Conference staff and local congregations. 

2. Facilitate courageous conversations regarding the dismantling of racist theologies and practices within our midst. 

3. Initiate and activate change in policies, practices, networking and recruiting strategies to allow for greater ethnic and cultural representation at the highest levels of leadership.



1. Build awareness around the concept of the Beloved Community and equip United Methodists in Missouri for intergenerational conversations on bias, racial justice and Jesus’s understanding of loving God and neighbor.

2. Build appreciation for the diversity of the Conference by sharing Black and Brown people’s stories and encounters with racism, as well as hopes and ideas for combating it.

3. Assess Conference attitudes around bias, culture, race and privilege to create a baseline for how the Conference is doing related to diversity and inclusion.


4. Build a Conference-wide training plan for clergy and laity in the areas of intercultural competency, implicit bias, microaggressions and cultural blind spots.

5. Make diversity an integral part of the Missouri Conference mission, vision and expectations.


6. Develop processes for the recruitment of leaders that demonstrates a high value on diversity and inclusion.


7. Prioritize diversity for Conference staff and the organization of Conference work.

8. Develop equity plans across Conference-funding arrangements.


  • January 2021 – Episcopal Task Force on Race and Culture Named
  • January – April 2021 – Task Force Convenes
  • May 2021 – Task Force presents preliminary report to Bishop Farr
  • September – December 2021 – Cabinet and Mission Council works through preliminary report
  • January 27,  2022Presentation of the Recommendations on Race and Culture

Progress and Milestones

What the Missouri Conference has done to-date

Local Church Stories

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December 22, 2021
Where to Begin When You Don't Know Where to Begin
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

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July 23, 2021
Planning Worship to Unify the Body
By Nikki Lerner Worship music can be one of the most divisive or unifying tools in the church today. It amazes me how many conversations I have had with fellow worship leaders and pastors centering around the subject of...

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February 01, 2021
Celebrating Black Missouri Conference Leaders
We’re celebrating a few of Black leaders who were important to Missouri United Methodist History. Rev. Dr. John Doggett Rev. Dr. John Doggett answered his call to ministry on the west coast, where he started a ...

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Race and Culture Resources

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Check out the newest resources related to race and culture


Episode 30: 4 Pillars of a Multi-Cultural Organization with Nikki Lerner
Nikki Lerner is a singer, author, speaker, and culture coach based in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. She spent over 20 years leading and building a successful multicultural creative department of over 150 people in an organization of over 4,000 people. A professional musician since the age of 19, Ms. Lerner is classically trained and has a degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy. She uses music and creative arts as a tool to bring people together cross-culturally and share a message of unity and reconciliation in a unique and powerful way that lectures, how-tos, sermons, or books just cannot accomplish.

Multimedia Resources Related to Race and Culture
A list of multimedia resources specifically related to race and culture.

Recommended Group Studies on Race and Culture
A list of group studies specifically related to race and culture.