GA-1923

GA-1923

RECOMMENDED LANGUAGE FOR PREVENTION OF HARASSMENT FOR GENERAL MINISTRIES OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST)

(Operational, Policy and Organizational)

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WHEREAS, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada (the Church) employs many persons, both clergy and lay, through its affiliated and recognized General Ministries; and

WHEREAS, the Church seeks to be a safe and just employer, ensuring that all employees may work in an environment free from harassment of any kind, and where all persons are seen as part of the creation of God; and

WHEREAS, the Church seeks to continually live into its commitment to Pro- Reconciliation/Anti-Racism; and

WHEREAS, the Cabinet of General Ministries convened a Human Resources Task Force to provide recommended language and minimum standards for policies on harassment, including sexual harassment, verbal harassment, anti-racism, and discrimination of any form; and

WHEREAS, the Cabinet of General Ministries has approved the recommended draft language and minimum standards presented with this resolution;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the General Assembly charge all General Ministries to revise and implement their Human Resources policies to meet the minimum standards drafted in the attached “Recommended Language” document; and

FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the General Ministries of the Church communicate their policies to all employees of their ministries upon revision of their respective Human Resources policies to be in compliance with this resolution.

Administrative Committee

 _____________________________________________________________________

 The General Board recommends that the General Assembly ADOPT GA-1923. (Discussion Time: 12 minutes)

 

Sample language

GA-1902

GA-1902

Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries
Rev. Lori Tapia, National Pastor for Hispanic Ministries
1099 N. Meridian St, Suite 700, P.O. Box 1986, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1986
Office: 317-713-2584, 2583 Fax: 317-635-3700
www.obrahispana.org

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I. Mission

The Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries’ (CPOHM) mission is threefold: to offer pastoral care to Hispanic ministers and congregations; to advice and counsel the different manifestations of our denomination about Hispanic Ministries; and to be an advocate for Hispanic people, congregations and their issues.

We, the Obra Hispana, belong to Jesus as one family, sharing our resources to grow together through our relationships. (revised identity statement, Dec. 2016)

 II. Personnel

The CPOHM has two persons on staff: the National Pastor and an Administrative Assistant to assist, communicate, organize, and manage finances and programs for the CPOHM and Hispanic churches.

III. Members of the Pastoral Commission for Hispanic Ministries (2018-19)

The members of the Pastoral Commission for Hispanic Ministries are:

Samuel Ramirez
Moderator, National Hispanic and Bilingual Fellowship (PSW)
Joel Saucedo
Past Moderator (SW)
Evangelina Perez
Moderator Elect (SW)
Israel Martinez
Vice-Moderator
Moderator, SC Convention
Rossy Ricart
Secretary
Moderator, MW Convention
Aurelio Lopez
Vice-Secretary
Moderator, AZ Convention
Soriliz Rodriguez
National Hispanic & Bilingual
Women’s Ministry President
Pamela Lira
Young Adult Representative
Isuí Vazquez
Youth Representative
Selena Reyes
Moderator, SE Convention
Vilson Hurtado
Representative, SE Convention 
Ruben Cruz
Representative, MW Convention

Karen Sarabia
Representative, AZ ConventionDelmy Amaya
Moderator, Pacific Convention
Pedro Valladarez
Representative, Pacific Convention
Jose Cisneros
Moderator, SW Convention
Isis Villaroel
Representative, SW Convention
Myriam Martinez
Representative, NE Convention
Chaim Rodriguez
Representative, NE Convention
Bernice Rivera
Moderator, NW Convention
Vacant
Representative, NW Convention
Rodolfo Acosta
Moderator, Central Convention
Jorge Vela
Representative, Central Convention
Vacant
Representative, SC Convention

General Board Representatives

Bill Rose-Heim
CRM- Regional Minister, GKC
Teresa Dulyea-Parker
CRM- Regional Minister,IL/WI
 Jackie Bunch
General Board Representative, Ohio
Judith Allen Dalton
General Board Representative, SW
Rogelio Martinez
Representative of the Hispanic Board of Directors/Obra Hispana Rep to the General Board

Ex-Officio Members

Teresa Hord-Owens
General Minister and President
CC(DOC) in USA and Canada
Lori Tapia
National Pastor
for Hispanic Ministries

IV. Future Vision

For the Obra Hispana, 2018 represented a historical moment with the election of the first female, first Mexican-American to serve as National Pastor. In addition, there are several historical moments that are vital to mention in this report to the General Board.

  • For more than a decade there have been six formally recognized Hispanic Conventions that are designed to provide support, fellowship and capacity building for the congregations located within these boundaries. The expansion of Hispanic ministries had created areas where these boundaries hindered participation for many. A realignment of these geographical lines to increase connectivity was approved at the 2018 National Hispanic Assembly, increasing this number to nine. The new Conventions are recognized as the Northwest Convention (Oregon and Washington), the Central Convention (Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska) and the South-Central Convention (Alabama, Northwest Florida, Tennessee and Georgia). Congregations in these areas are encouraged to connect in the new geographical area, but also to remain connected in the former as possible.
  • A revision to the Constitution restructured the elected membership to include a young adult representative (19-29) and a youth representative (16-18) as members with voice and vote. Additionally, the President of the National Hispanic and Bilingual Women’s Ministry was on the board in an unofficially named capacity as an at-large member and this revision placed this position as a formal (not at-large) member with voice and vote. These changes came into effect and were a positive contribution to the December 2018 annual board meeting.
  • To enhance the programming of the Obra Hispana, three new ad-hoc committees were developed at the December 2018 board meeting through of the CPOHM. Historically, Finanance, Personnel and Assembly Program Planning, have been the recognized sub-committees and the inclusion of these additional committees will enhance and strengthen the ministry of the Obra Hispana at the local, regional and general levels. These committees will be referred to the 2020 Hispanic Assembly for formal inclusion in the constitution as standing committee. New committees are: 1) Education, 2) New Church, and 3) Marketing.

Each of these areas are in alignment with the five priorities set by the National Pastor and approved by the Board and Pastoral Commission in December 2018. The five priorities are: 1) Pastoral Care, 2) Education and Capacity Building, 3) Youth and Young Adult Leadership Development, 4) Development of Contextual Resources, and 5) Branding for Strengthened Identity.

 V. Theological Education

The CPOHM is committed to increased access to quality theological education, which is accessible, affordable and relevant to the multi-cultural needs of the Obra Hispana in all its expressions. The Obra Hispana continue to focus on strengthening our present programs, while continuing to find ways to expand through new and innovative partnerships and by utilizing the gifts of members of the Obra with more intentionality.

While there are additional streams to capacity building and theological education, three programs provide structured theological education opportunities:

Disciples Seminary Foundation:

Certificate of Ministry Studies Program (CMS) is an intensive, two year program offered in Claremont and San Diego, California, and in 2018 expanded to Portland, OR. Students are engaged in continuous learning, and weekend intensive courses which are all offered in Spanish. The program is recognized by the PSWR as a high level educational opportunity and partnership with CST provides pathways to seminary for graduates of this certificate program. The Certificate of Ministerial Studies (“CMS”) is designed for adults who are interested in an introduction to the kind of studies found in seminary and is for recognized for completing the educational requirements for commissioned ministry, learning more about advanced theological education, enrichment for lay leaders, or any combination of reasons. CMS is a unique program focused on contextual learning for ministry today. Part of the richness of the CMS is that individuals bring their personal experiences and/or professional considerations to the program. An average of 60-70 students attend annually.

Diploma of Ministry Studies Program (DMS), implemented in 2018 to offer extended education beyond the CMS program, is designed for people who are interested in seminary level studies of the Bible, Theology, and Ministry and have already completed the Certificate of Ministry Studies Program (CMS). This program is ideal for commissioned or licensed minister, or a lay leader who wants to learn more about the Bible, Theology and Ministry. All CMS graduates, and anyone who has completed college level study or other Biblical studies and want to continue their education in a program that offers seminary quality classes should consider this program.

Lexington Theological Seminary:

Certificate in Hispanic Ministries Program provides theological, biblical and ministerial training to men and women for leadership in Spanish speaking and bilingual Hispanic congregations. The program is co-sponsored by the Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries and courses in this program examine the 16 competencies as required by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as submitted by the GCOM. To accommodate the heavy schedules of clergy and lay leaders already serving, students attend a week long intensive training, covering three courses, once a year for four years. Each course is offered in Spanish, and students who successfully complete all 12 courses will earn a Certificate in Hispanic Ministries or CEU credit. 2016 was the pilot of this program with 42 pastors and lay leaders from across the life of the Obra Hispana attending. In 2019, over 30 individuals will become the first graduating class, witnessing the desire of the Spanish speaking community to enhance ministry through theological education and yet, this reminds us of the scarcity of this valuable resource for the whole church. Evaluation of the four year pilot program are presently undergoing and the program will be adapted to a two year, continuous learning program in the fall of 2019.

LTS Certificate 2019 program dates: June 3-7

Courses: Church Administration, Christian Ethics, Diversity in a Global World

Southwest Hispanic Convention:

Continuing Education Summer Program provides access to continuing education and growth opportunities for pastors and lay leaders in an intensive, week-long summer program held in partnership with Brite Divinity School. This program is for recognized by the Southwest Region for completing the educational requirements for commissioned ministry and is designed to meet the 16 competencies, as well as providing opportunities for learning more about advanced theological education, enrichment for lay leaders, and capacity building for a vital church.

2018 program dates: June 17-21

Escuela de Formación Ministerial (School of Ministerial Formation)

This program is designed to expose pastors and lay leaders to quality theological education, ministry formation and faith development in a three year (2 semesters per year), three level program that equips students to meet the 16 competencies of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). This Institute is registered with the State of Texas, and is recognized by the region and the convention. Each year an average of 25 new students begin the program.

CPOHM is determined to seek out help from our Disciples partners in mission, as we envision the future of theological education in new ways for the Obra Hispana and beyond. In collaboration with AETH (Association for Hispanic Theological Education) we are moving to have the above programs recognized and accredited in the near future.

SCHOLARSHIPS

The Domingo Rodriguez Permanent Fund provides support for scholarships for students seeking an M.Div from an ATS Seminary. The increased access to certificate and other programs has directly impacted the number of students seeking formal seminary education. In 2017, 7 Latinx students were awarded scholarships, while in 2018 this number doubled with new students requesting support for the Spring 2019 semester.

Hispanic ministries recognized the need to equip and prepare quality Latino and Latina ministers, not only for Spanish speaking and bilingual Hispanic context congregational ministry, but for the whole Church.

VI. The CPOHM & the Church-at-Large

Over the past several years, the rapidly changing climate of society has created a need to focus on advocacy, education and awareness beyond what the “norm” was for the Hispanic community of faith. Dialogue around politics, the ins and outs of our legislative systems, immigration reform, racism and more, were not the focus of most sermons and teachings. The need to engage and support has led the work of CPOHM into new and diverse relationship and partnership throughout the Church. Difficult circumstances related to the ongoing immigration crisis, violence and hate crimes, increased mental health issues, and more, has led CPOHM to increased advocacy and outreach. Below are some ways CPOHM has furthered the priorities our Church:

 

  1. Pro-Reconciliation: The National Pastor is part of the Reconciliation Commission. Collaboration with the Reconciliation Ministry, bilingual and bi-cultural (Spanish/English) individuals have been trained as anti-racism trainers/facilitators, increasing the opportunity for the Spanish speaking community to engage in rich and in-depth discussion around racism and create systemic change through increased awareness. This will additionally facilitate anti-racism training requirement for Spanish speaking clergy who are within regions that are unable to provide this resource. The number of Latinx clergy and lay leaders who have     been exposed to training has more than doubled over the past two years and this is expected to continue.   Anti-racism training has been an integral component to the #laObraNOW Young Adult Leadership  Experiences held in 2018, and will continue moving forward.

 

  1. New Church: CPOHM supports the growing number of Hispanic new congregations and networking with New Church Ministries, supporting leadership academy and other efforts. Formal relationship with the College of Regional Ministers continues to foster a spirit of collaboration when working with new church development. The CPOHM emphasizes the importance of partnership in supporting new church starts into relationship with the convención, region and Obra Hispana. Over the past two years, at least 4 new church starts have launched, with 7 more actively engaged in the pre-process.

 

  1. Transforming congregations: The different educational ventures of the CPOHM seek to empower and transform our existing congregations, particularly by helping our ministers to be better pastoral leaders. Increased access to training and resources in Spanish will continue to enhance the life of the church.

 

  1. Forming and reforming leadership: CPOHM continues its emphasis on leadership development. CPOHM also organizes and resources ministerial retreats, workshops and assemblies for Latino and Latina ministers. Many of these workshops and seminars take place during Hispanic Convention Assemblies and others during pastoral visits from the National Pastor where some Hispanic churches gather for a Saturday Additionally, support to local congregations who are experiencing difficulties continues the rise, and is a sign of the effects of a changing climate in which we live. Training and resourcing remains in high demand in the areas of immigration, healthy boundaries/ethics, leadership development and church administration.

 

  1. Ecumenical: The National Pastor is engaged in the ecumenical work of Christian Churches Together, with a leadership role in the Hispanic Network of CCT. These are Executive Hispanic leaders from the Historical Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic, Charismatic, Pentecostal churches, and Independent leaders who gather to discuss issues of unity, immigration, younger generations, poverty and more. Additionally, through Advocacy efforts on poverty, equality and immigration, increased ecumenical participation with other entities.

 

VII. Financial Statements

CPOHM finances are managed by the OGMP’s Treasury Services and has been positive and has fostered increased understanding of the fiscal position of the CPOHM. Year-end 2018 financial statements demonstrate an increase in giving from the local congregation, individual and others. The Obra Hispana continues to experience growth relationally and this in turn is reflected financially. We continue to invest for future viability of the Obra Hispana and hold funds with both Christian Church Foundation and Church Extension.

VIII. Conclusion

CPOHM is committed to serve the growing Hispanic Disciples constituency. Our strengthen identity has fostered enhanced connection and this has energized Hispanic ministry at the local, regional and general level. Strengthened relationship in and among the Hispanic community, and across the expressions has enabled the CPOHM to better serve our Church.

 

Recommended Action

 

The General Board receives this report from the Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries and forwards it to the 2019 General Assembly for consideration and discussion.

GA-1721

(Sense-of-the-Assembly)

A RENEWED COMMITMENT TO RECONCILIATION MINISTRY

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WHEREAS, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has committed to be a pro-reconciling/anti-racist church through the adoption of General Assembly resolutionsi, the 2020 Vision and its Mission Priorities; and

WHEREAS, this conversation, which started in the early 1960s as an open dialogue and church-wide prophetic commitment to the eradication of racism in all its forms; has become at times, a marginalized topic despite our continued efforts to include this as an imperative goal for the body of Christ; and

WHEREAS, in Resolution 6919 we affirmed the “oneness of all [hu]mankind demonstrated by Jesus Christ in his respect and self-giving for every person, regardless of the distinctions imposed by the social system” and acknowledged that “that despite our resolutions and pronouncements, our churches, have, with rare exception, failed to demonstrate a race-less Christianity, a community of once alienated persons reconciled and made one in Christ. We repent of our racism. We pledge ourselves by God’s grace to bring forth the fruits;” and

WHEREAS, Disciples have prophetically affirmed that we are one body of people (Romans 12:5), gathered at the Welcome Table who are commanded to love one another (Matthew 22:37-40), be reconciled to God and to each other (II Corinthians 5:16-21), and be a witness of God’s power to break down walls which separate us (Ephesians 2:14b); and

WHEREAS, we must reaffirm that the struggle against racism is not an optional endeavor but an intrinsic mandate we all must share; and

WHEREAS, we have seen the progress that the establishment of the Reconciliation Ministry office has made in advancing the church towards better providing minority groups with a clear focal point for community with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); and

WHEREAS, one office and a single funding source cannot expect to meet the challenge of dismantling racism alone, but rather all three expressions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) must join together as one to eradicate that which destroys the image of God reflected in all humanity;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, meeting in Indianapolis, IN, July 8-12, 2017, urges all expressions of the church to re-commit to “dismantle the pervasive evil of racism that keeps the community broken and fragmented [and] reconstitute the
table into a place where healing, remembering, and reconciliation take place”ii; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the General Assembly urges congregations, regions, and General expressions of the church to renew their support of the Reconciliation Ministry Offering and to explore the implementation of the recommendations of General Assembly resolution 0731 (attached) so that the funds allocated to Reconciliation Ministry will continue to sustain this ministry by providing sufficient support for a full-time staff person with administrative support and contracted professionals to provide on the ground training and education during pertinent moments of racial upheaval and reconciliation opportunities, as well as funds to support the pro-reconciling/anti-racist priority of the church; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Reconciliation Ministry, in consultation with the Office of General Minister and President, establish metrics that can narratively and numerically demonstrate progress toward becoming a pro-reconciling/anti-racist church and report back to the next General Assembly; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the General Assembly acknowledges that race is still an issue within our ministry context, affirms the removal of the marginalization of this work, fully expresses support for the office of Reconciliation Ministry and the mandate of its work and calls upon Disciples to provide the necessary pastoral and financial resources to move the church to become a Pro-Reconciling/Anti-Racist church where institutional and interpersonal sins of racism will be fully eradicated; and

FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that until then, Reconciliation Ministry will be absolutely necessary.

Centennial Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) St. Louis, MO
Webster Groves Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), St. Louis, MO
Memorial Blvd Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), St. Louis, MO
New Vision Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Kansas City, MO
Woodland Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Columbus, OH
East Sixth Street Christian Church, Oklahoma City, OK

The General Board recommends that the General Assembly ADOPT GA-1721. (Discussion time: 12 minutes)
 

i Resolutions about pro-reconciliation and anti-racism that were adopted by the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) include, but are not limited to: No. 6919, No. 6920, 6922, No. 8122, No. 9144, No. 9720, No. 0121. Reports have also been received by the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) that include background information and strong abhorrence to racism include, but are not limited to: No. 7148, No. 0113, and No. 0116.

ii No. 0113 Report from the Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Initiative of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Received by the General Assembly (Year Book Pages 247-250).

____________________________________________________________

ADOPTED

 0731 (OPERATIONAL BUSINESS ITEM)

RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING RECONCILIATION MISSION1

A Brief Background to the Formation of the Reconciliation Evaluation Committee

By early 2003, its existing funds expended, the upcoming Reconciliation 2005 Offering became the only source of funding for Reconciliation Mission. 2 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita aggravated the financial stress, for as a result of the ensuing devastation, our congregations understandably gave money to assist our sisters and brothers in the Gulf Coast region, thereby limiting their resources for other offerings. In the aftermath of these disasters, the Reconciliation offering dropped by twenty-five percent.

The continued insufficiency of funding resulted in staff reductions and severe curtailment in trainings. In light of this circumstance, Reconciliation Mission Commission formed an evaluation committee to assess its mission and make recommendations regarding its future. The Committee thus formed consisted of thirteen persons, plus General Minister and President as ex officio. The Committee included five women and eight men: five African Americans, two Asian Americans, one Hispanic American, and five European Americans.

To carry out its task, the Reconciliation Evaluation Committee devised two surveys on reconciliation ministries of the church.  Each survey consisted of ten questions, one geared toward regional and general leaders, the other toward congregational leaders of the church. Each Committee member then used one or both of these surveys to interview up to four active leaders of the church. Consequently, a total of fifty-one survey results were collected. In addition to these surveys, the Committee consulted the Shank Study, commissioned by Reconciliation Task Force in 2004.  This was an online quantitative and qualitative study based on 668 responses, the majority of which came from lay members throughout our Church. Recommendations in this report reflect opinions expressed in these data gathering efforts, with particular emphasis on the fifty-one in- depth surveys. The Evaluation Committee has met several times by telephone conference and once in person. Subcommittees met to help design the survey and draft the recommendations.

WHEREAS, in the year 2001, the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, approved the 20/20 vision for our Church, which included the mandate for the Disciples to become an anti-racist/pro-reconciling Church. This mandate was in accord with the original mission of Reconciliation, whose antecedent was established in the wake of significant urban unrest following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and affirmed our commitment to live up to a core Disciples value—unity—which cannot be achieved unless we value and practice diversity, which in turn necessitates that we value and embrace persons of all races—and keep ourselves and our institutions free of racism; and

WHEREAS, after focused and prayerful deliberation, informed by the above resources, we, the Reconciliation Evaluation Committee, believe that racism—especially institutional racism—remains a formidable force in our church, and that the resources the church has thus far provided to combat it have not been equal to the task. God calls us in Jesus Christ to “break down the dividing walls that is the hostility between us.” (Ephesians 2:14b) Yet, the walls of racism have locked us into a hostile system that blocks us from achieving the unity we fervently desire; and

WHEREAS, in the light of this reality, we, the Reconciliation Evaluation Committee, conclude that the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) continues to need a ministry whose sole purpose is to guide the whole Church in eradicating the sin of systemic racism. We heard again and again that this is a priority of the church. We therefore recommend that the Reconciliation Mission Commission restructure and augment Reconciliation Mission, so that it may more effectively combat racism in our midst. In such restructuring, the Commission should keep in mind that the relationships between the congregational, regional, and general expressions of our Church are covenantal, and that this justice ministry deserves the support of the whole Church working in covenant, holding each other accountable. While 2007 is a very different time than 1968, we are aware that Reconciliation’s original purpose remains to be fulfilled, that purpose being the end of systemic racism and therefore we continue to work on that mandate;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Reconciliation Mission now be called Reconciliation Ministry and that the Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Initiative housed in Reconciliation Ministry be known as the Pro-Reconciliation/Anti-Racism Initiative.

Reconciliation Ministry should carry out its work under the direction of the Reconciliation Ministry Commission, which in turn should be supervised by the Administrative Committee of the General Board; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Reconciliation Ministry focuses much of its work on networking in collaboration with regions.  To this end, we recommend the following steps be taken:

a. Regions of the Church collaborate with each other to carry out the work of racial reconciliation, possibly focusing on the existing five clusters or with other regional configurations.

b. The clusters should consider sharing staff for the work of racial reconciliation.

c. The regions should assume primary leadership in enabling congregational involvement in the work of racial

d. Regional boards and clusters should be held accountable for the work of racial reconciliation, accountability determined with measurable benchmarks such as the number of congregations with active teams involved in the work of racial reconciliation.

e. Reconciliation Ministry maintain an office in the Office of the General Minister and President so that it may equip general ministries and educational institutions for the work of racial reconciliation and liaise between these ministries and institutions and regional

f.Reconciliation Ministry, housed in the Office of General Minister and President, develop resources and supervise core organizers and trainers and be available to regional clusters and other entities of the

g. Reconciliation Ministry, housed in the Office of General Minister and President, collaborate with regions to promote the annual offering; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Reconciliation Ministry better communicate the significance of its works among the congregations. Towards that end we have formed an interpretation task force whose purpose is to translate Reconciliation Ministry to people who have not experienced the anti-racism training and to aid the incoming Minister of Reconciliation in developing a strategy for ongoing communication regarding Reconciliation Ministry with the wider church; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Reconciliation Ministry obtain/develop varied resources for its work.  To this, end we recommend the following measures be taken:

a. Reconciliation Ministry identify multiple models for addressing systemic racism, recognizing that no one model will meet all

b. Reconciliation Ministry develop and resource the development of preparatory materials for racial reconciliation training; such materials should include models congregations can use to engage in the work of racial

c. Reconciliation Ministry develop materials and opportunities that support and encourage congregational, regional, and general ministries, particularly clergy, to engage in the work of racial

d. Reconciliation Ministry develop resources that can be used to educate Disciples about the nature of systemic racism, white privilege and power, and internalized superiority and

e. Reconciliation Ministry strengthen ecumenical partnerships for the elimination of systemic racism; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we recommend that funding for Reconciliation Ministry be revamped and augmented. To this end, we recommend the following steps be taken:

a. that general Reconciliation Ministry be supported by the Disciples Mission Fund. The Mission Funding Task Force will need to develop a timeline and mechanism for phasing in this budgeted item which will initially be funded by the Reconciliation Offering with the burden shifting over time to Disciples Mission Fund. The Mission Funding Task Force will report back to the General Board in 2008.

b. that funds allocated to Reconciliation Ministry be sufficient to provide for a full-time staff person with administrative support, and to develop educational, promotional, and training

c. that the Annual Reconciliation Offering, implemented in partnership with regions, be continued and that promotional costs should be

d. that the Annual Reconciliation Offering that is collected be allocated among regions and Reconciliation Ministry and that the regions and Reconciliation Ministry negotiate an arrangement that will enable the regions to receive 50 percent or more of the offerings, to be negotiated with the awareness that some clusters may even choose to invest in cluster Reconciliation

e. that the Annual Reconciliation Offering be used primarily to make grants to congregations, regions, general and institutional ministries for projects that focus on racial reconciliation. Congregational and regional grants will be allocated by regions. General and institutional grants will be allocated by the Reconciliation Ministry Commission as soon as the burden of funding the office of Minister of Reconciliation begins to shift to Disciples Mission Fund, and reported to General Board for approval.

f. that the Annual Reconciliation Offering be used for anti-poverty works only if such works contribute directly to the work of racial justice and reconciliation.  We understand that poverty and racial inequity often correlate, and that as racial equity is achieved, poverty will decrease.  We likewise recognize the biblical mandate to address poverty as a justice issue. We therefore encourage the church to find means to address poverty issues that are not directly related to race through additional venues (local, regional, general, and ecumenical); and

FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Fort Worth, Texas, July 21-25, 2007, join in prayer that may God bless this ministry as we serve together for all of God’s people. “What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

Current Glossary

Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Initiative: An initiative announced in the 1999 General Assembly to combat racial injustice; it has included training Transformation (anti-racism) Teams to work within various expressions of the church.

Anti-Racism Commission: This oversight body was formed in 2001 to give direction to the Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Initiative.

Reconciliation: The ministry that began in 1968 when the General Assembly adopted the urban Emergency program. Its mission was to work to dismantle racism in our church and society. In 1972, Reconciliation was reaffirmed as a permanent ministry of the church. “Reconciliation” has sometimes been used in a general sense to refer to the church’s work to combat racism and promote reconciliation.

Reconciliation Committee: For many years this Committee oversaw Reconciliation Fund and made grant decisions for Reconciliation at the level of the general church as well as working with the Director of Reconciliation to develop policies. In 2001, it and the Anti- Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Initiative came together under the Reconciliation Mission. In 2005, it dissolved.

Reconciliation Mission Commission: Established in 2005 by merging the work of the Reconciliation Committee and the Anti-Racism Commission, the Commission is responsible for oversight of Reconciliation Mission and thus the Anti-Racism/Pro- Reconciliation Initiative. The Commission is constituted by and accountable to the Administrative Committee and the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Reconciliation Evaluation Committee (also known as the Evaluation and Assessment Working Group): A committee created in 2006 by Reconciliation Mission Commission to evaluate the church’s work to dismantle racism and promote reconciliation. (Both this committee and Reconciliation Communication Committee were created in response to the termination of Reconciliation Mission staff in 2006 in order to discern and promote new ways of doing this ministry.)

Reconciliation Communication Committee: A committee (not mentioned in this recommendation) created in 2006 by the Reconciliation Mission Commission to develop ways to interpret more effectively and fully the work of Reconciliation Mission to the church.

(Both this committee and the Reconciliation Evaluation Committee were created in response to the termination of Reconciliation Mission staff in 2006 in order to discern and promote new ways of doing this ministry.)

Reconciliation Mission: A ministry created in 2001 to encompass both the Reconciliation Committee (the long-standing group overseeing the Reconciliation Fund and grant allocation at the general level of the church) and Anti-Racism Commission (charged with intentional organizing, educating and advocacy). In 2005, Reconciliation Mission was restructured, no longer awarding grants at the general-church level (therefore dissolving the Reconciliation Committee) and maintaining and focusing on the Anti-racism/Pro- reconciliation initiative (the former task of Anti-Racism Commission). This ministry is under the supervision of the Administrative Committee through the Reconciliation Mission Commission.  In 2006, due to declining funds, its staff was let go.

Reconciliation Evaluation Committee:

Eric Brown, Ken Hall, Bob Hill, Chris Hobgood, Timothy James, Sandhya Jha, Jane Lawrence, Marcus Leathers, Tim Lee (Moderator), Janet Long, Noemi Mena, Regina Morton, Ron Parker/Sharon Watkins (ex-officio), Chandra Haskett (administrative assistant)

1 This version of the document represents the edits and adaptations of the Reconciliation Mission Commission, which reviewed and adapted the Evaluation Committee’s recommendations on March 30, 2007.

2 For a more extensive background, see “Report of the General Board Task Force Administrative Committee January 2005 (abbreviated),” and “Reconciliation Mission Seeks New Approaches For Its Work,” Disciples News Service (April 28, 2006).