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-which includes one representative from each district- 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 four specific regions: Northern Virginia (the Northern Virginia and Shenandoah River Districts), Central Virginia (the Three Notch’d and Living Waters Districts), Tidewater (the Mission Rivers and Coastal Virginia Districts), and Southwest Virginia (the Valley Ridge and Mountain View Districts). Members of the Resource Team invited clergy and laity 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.
Resource Team Members
- Coastal Virginia District (CV) – The Rev. Gary Miller
- Living Waters District (LW) – The Rev. Nadeem Khokhar
- Mission Rivers District (MR) – The Rev. George Warner
- Mountain View District (MV) – The Rev. Reason Chandler
- Northern Virginia District (NV) – The Rev. Eugune Kim, the Rev. Dr. Brian Brown and the Rev. Emmanuel Nkrumah
- Shenandoah River District (SR) – The Rev. Bertina Westley
- Three Notch’d District (TN) – The Rev. Josette Franklin
- Valley Ridge District (VR) – The Rev. David Ryu
For more information, contact the Rev. George Warner, Chair of the Cross Racial Cross Cultural Committee: [email protected]