In Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries, we engage the Church in its mission to become more diverse and inclusive of racial, ethnic, cultural and language groups, and we equip women for leadership in all ministries of the Church. We are blessed to see a vision of Pentecost every day. There are Presbyterian Mission Agency offices supporting, African American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino-a, Korean, Middle Eastern and Native American emerging ministries. The racial ethnic and new immigrant worshiping communities that we support regularly gather together, constructing a racial ethnic identity that stems from a common history, heritage and language. We work closely with racial ethnic and new immigrant worshiping communities through mid councils, caucus groups, and networks, engaging in the mission to grow, transform, empower, lead and develop communities. We create an awareness of institutional racism in the church and an environment where racial ethnic persons, new immigrants, and women can serve fully in ministry and leadership.
In our ministries we work to achieve gender and racial justice and equip racial ethnic women, men and young adults for leadership. We assist college-age and racial ethnic young women in their faith journeys and foster networks of support for them.
As we discover how to share the gospel in an increasingly diverse culture, we have a greater chance of living out the Biblical vision of a world where the humanity of everyone is valued and where God’s love is spread to every race, class, culture and people.
2018 Theme: Clergywomen Who Challenge Racism and Injustice
Basis for the Theme: Many of us are blessed to know clergywomen who have been advocates for racial and intercultural justice, with a respectful awareness and appreciation for each other’s different races, ethnicities, cultures and languages. At the Women of Faith breakfast, we will show gratitude and recognize clergywomen who are “woke” and who challenge systemic racism and oppression.
Purpose of award: This award recognizes clergywomen who challenge racism and injustice.
DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE — JUNE 2018
Meet me in St. Louis
Gathering for the 223rd General Assembly (2018)
“Then these just will ask, ‘When did we see you hungry and feed you, or see you thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in, or clothe you in your nakedness? When did we see you ill or in prison and come to visit you?’ The ruler will answer them, ‘The truth is, every time you did this for the least of my sisters or brothers, you did it for me.”
— Matthew 25:37-40 (The Inclusive Bible: First Egalitarian Version. The Priests for Equality, Sheet and Ward, 2007).
As the 223rd General Assembly (2018) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) convenes in St. Louis on Saturday, June 16 and concludes on Saturday, June 23, 2018, we are reminded that racism is still prevalent in our society, while the “Time’s Up” movement is a clear reminder that sexual misconduct is also widespread. We will address these and many other issues and business at this year’s General Assembly (GA).
At GA, there will be committee business related to racism, becoming an intercultural church in this new era, developing a letter to accompany the Confession of Belhar, repairing critical infrastructure needs of historic Native American churches, sexual misconduct, paid family leave, divesting from fossil fuels, climate change, Israel/Palestine, recognizing the prophetic witness of Henry Highland Garnet (former pastor of 15th Street Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C., and Shiloh Presbyterian Church of New York City), reports of the Way Forward Commission, All Agency Review, and the 2020 Vision Team, approving the institutional relationship agreements of Presbyterian Women, as well as the Historically Presbyterian Racial Ethnic Institutions, among other business. One of the first events to welcome the newly elected Moderator of the 223rd G.A., the Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries Reception, will be held the evening of Saturday, June 16, following the election. And, the Women of Faith Awards Breakfast, one of the most popular breakfasts at the assembly, will be held on Sunday, June 17. There are also many national racial ethnic caucuses and councils’ lunches and dinners, and staff of Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries will resource several GA committees.
As we gather together for the 223rd General Assembly (2018), we will continue praying that everything we say and everything we do we may do in the name of our savior Jesus Christ. May Presbyterians’ engagement in mission, governance, and leadership improve the lives of our sisters and brothers in the United States and around the world.
— Rhashell D. Hunter
Read the Racial Equity Torch
In the current issue of the Racial Ethnic Torch, we lift up the work that Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a whole, is doing to shine a light on diversity and reconciliation. Some of the articles featured in this issue include:
- Stated Clerk’s statement: ‘Are we complicit in the racism of the alt-right?’
- Presbyterian attitudes on race
- Living into the Confession of Belhar