GCORR Legislation Aims at Helping Move UMC into New Era of Cultural Competency

March 22, 2012

Washington, D.C.—Fourteen new pieces of legislation from The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) will be considered at General Conference 2012, as GCORR seeks to continue challenging and equipping the Church to embrace all ethnic/cultural identities in its total life and mission.

"In order for The United Methodist Church to not only survive, but thrive, we must be relevant in an ever changing global demographic," states General Secretary Erin Hawkins. The legislation being submitted reflects the agency's Disciplinary mandate and a mission, begun more than 40 years ago, to ensure participation by racial ethnics throughout the Church, in all functions of the Church. "We've moved from advocating for three or four racial ethnic groups, to advocating for us all – we are all racial ethnic persons," Hawkins continued. "A new era defined by the most diverse generation in U.S. history* is helping us rethink our words and language to reflect our growing diversity, and embrace cultural competency."
Among the GCORR legislation pieces submitted:
  • A resolution to affirm and expand the Church's language by offering racial identification options that embrace more than one racial or ethnic background; another resolution recommends all Conference leadership participate in cultural competency training;
  • Two resolutions affirm the sacredness of Native peoples and support the rights of Native Americans' religious freedom;
  • A resolution that expands prior General Conference actions to end racial profiling, at a time when more states seeking immigration enforcement are being accused of using racial profiling to determine immigration status;
  • Disciplinary legislation submitted widens the scope of the agency's work to look at structural racism embedded in the policies and practices within the Church, as GCORR calls the Church to move beyond symbolic representation of racial ethnic persons and toward authentic racial equity for all;
  • Disciplinary legislation that seeks to clarify the role of Annual Conference Commissions on religion and race;
  • Disciplinary legislation that seeks to strengthen institutional discrimination policies throughout the denomination through an equitable process that utilizes existing relationships with the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women and the General Council on Finance and Administration.  
For a complete look at the legislation and resolutions being submitted, go to www.gcorrgc2012.org.  
*The millennial generation, defined as those born between 1979 through 1994, is the first generation to come of age in the new millennium and the most ethnically and racially diverse group in the nation's history. (Pew Research http://pewresearch.org/)

The General Commission on Religion & Race (GCORR) is one of six general commissions of The United Methodist Church charged with addressing specific, focused areas of concern. GCORR was established in 1968 to challenge and help the denomination's agencies, institutions, Annual (regional) Conferences and congregations to achieve full, equal participation of racial and ethnic constituencies in the total life and mission of the Church. GCORR strives to accomplish this task through education and advocacy and by reviewing, monitoring, and supporting The United Methodist Church's efforts to ensure racial inclusiveness and foster racial justice and reconciliation.