Baltimore-Area Event to Focus on Cross-Racial, Cross-Cultural Ministry

July 11, 2012

Register Today: Registration ends July 12

Washington, D.C. — Clergy committed to cross-racial and cross-cultural ministries can benefit from an exciting event to help them engage the new landscape of transition in church pews and communities, and connect with colleagues who see a similar vision.
"Facing the Future: A Clergy Network for Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural Appointment and Ministry" is an event that clergy across the denomination asked for, to help them effectively engage with the changing and diverse communities that make up The United Methodist Church of the 21st Century. Whether serving communities in the midst of gentrification or experiencing economic and social demographics change around churches, more and more congregations, lay leadership, and pastors recognize the need to interact in multicultural and multi-ethnic surroundings.
The Facing the Future event, sponsored by the General Commission on Religion and Race, runs July 26-28, at the Westin BWI in the greater Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. It is committed to these objectives: 
  • Creating a denominational network of education and support for pastors in cross-racial/cross-cultural (CR/CC) ministries AND clergy committed to multicultural ministries.
  • Introducing best practices in strategic planning, relationship building, and ministry; and,
  • Connecting pastors in CR/CC ministry sites and all clergy committed to multicultural ministries with the new intercultural competency initiatives at our UM schools of theology/seminaries.
Event leadership brings viewpoints on cross-racial and cross-cultural ministry from the Conference Cabinet lens as well as highly effective local church ministry sites – and includes the Rev. Stephen Handy, Senior Pastor of Nashville's McKendree United Methodist Church in the Tennessee Conference, the Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, Dean of Drew Theological School and a member of the California-Nevada Conference, the Rev. Dr. Scott Jones, Resident Bishop of the Kansas Area, the Rev. Dr. Tracy Malone, District Superintendent of the Northern Illinois Conference, and the Rev. Lydia Muñoz, pastor of new church start PlumbLine Fellowship in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
Workshop topics include Healthy Church Leaders - Key Factors in Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural (CR/CC) Appointment Sites; Managing Intercultural Conflict; Leadership Styles in Diverse Cultural Settings; and Developing Strategic Core Clergy and Lay Teams. A complete list of all the workshops and event leadership can be found at
The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits' Center for Health will sponsor a reception Friday evening, July 27, to review survey findings gathered during online registration. Three of the 13 factors from the 2011 denomination's Church Systems Task Force Report (Stressors of the Appointment Process; Relationship with Congregation; and Living Authentically) also will be covered in the abbreviated survey and discussed in the event workshop, Healthy Church Leaders. This event survey is part of the Center for Health's denominational research focused on evaluating the personal and work stresses that impact clergy well-being and the potential for effective ministry.
In addition to resources and training, participants at the Facing the Future event can also receive 1.6 Continuing Education Units (CEU) offered by the General Commission on Religion and Race for attending the Networking event. Application forms are available on line. For complete event information and to register, visit Online registration ends July 12.
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 Conferences (regional bodies) and congregations to achieve full, equal participation of its 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.