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Race and Culture


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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 CHANGE WE NEED TO MAKE

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.
 

FOCUS AREAS AND KEY STRATEGIES

BELOVED COMMUNITY

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.

TRAINING AND ACCOUNTABILITY

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.

LEADERSHIP AND RECRUITMENT

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

EQUITY WORK

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

8. Develop equity plans across Conference-funding arrangements.
 

TIMELINE

Local Church Stories

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August 29, 2022
Building a Bridge
Lifebridge Creates Pathway to Change in Community

Read More →

August 29, 2022
Missouri Youth MOVE Through CIY
Christ In Youth aims to partner with the local church to create moments and conversations that call young people to follow Jesus.

Read More →

June 21, 2022
Churches Celebrate Juneteenth
A look at how a few of the churches around the Missouri Conference celebrated Juneteenth.

Read More →

Race and Culture Resources

View More Resources →

Check out the newest resources related to race and culture. For additional resources developed by the UMC General Commission on Race and Religion, visit the R2Hub.

Implicit Bias Course
In Missouri, we are committed to understanding our own biases. Our work in race and culture exists to help us become a place for people from diverse cultures and generations so that, ultimately, we become a Church for all God’s people. The Conference worked with the General Commission on Race and Religion to develop a customized version of their online implicit bias training for Missouri lay and clergy.

Recommended Reading on Race and Culture
A list of books specifically related to race and culture.

Juneteenth Resources
Resources for Juneteenth worship and celebration