The 2016 Book of Discipline states in ¶425.4 “Annual conferences shall prepare clergy and congregations for cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments. When such appointments are made, Bishops, cabinets and boards of ordained ministry shall provide specific training for the clergy persons so appointed and for their congregations.”
In 2012, the Virginia Conference Cabinet and Board of Ordained Ministry appointed a Cross Racial/Cross Cultural Resource Team to raise the cultural competency level of the local church, district, and conference. Initial funding for the development of this ministry and training of the Resource Team was provided by a grant from the General Commission on Religion and Race.
The Resource Team is composed of lay and clergy leaders in the Virginia Conference who have spent many hours in training and preparation for their role on the Team.
The Resource Team has two primary responsibilities:
One is to be available, upon invitation of a district superintendent, to meet with a Pastor/Staff Parish Relations Committee and the pastor in a cross racial/cross cultural appointment. Often this happens soon after a new appointment is made, but could take place at a later time as well. One or two team members would provide leadership for this meeting to increase understanding and cultural competency between the P/SPRC and pastor.
A second responsibility is to prepare and resource clergy in cross racial/cross cultural appointments and to offer support systems for those currently serving in those appointments.
The Resource Team is divided into 4 specific regions: Northern Virginia, Central Virginia, Tidewater, and Southwest Virginia. Members of the Resource Team contact the clergy and them to a regional gathering for a time of prayer, bible study, and sharing. Participation in these groups is voluntary and intended to offer a safe place to share the joys and struggles of serving in this specialized ministry.
For more information, contact Clergy Excellence, email@example.com