Central Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va. (Virlina District), formed a Race Education Team in 2019. Through racial justice studies led by the team, Central’s congregation learned about disparities in educational achievements, particularly the ability to read well, in low-income schools with large Black and Hispanic populations.
The United Nations General Assembly, held Sept. 21-15 in New York, on day two commemorated the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA), which was adopted in 2001 at the world conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa. The trans-Atlantic slave trade, apartheid, and colonialism were recognized as sources of much modern-day racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance.
The above statement was released on June 19, 2020. In November of 2020, BVS was asked to take the statement down temporarily because some of the language was offensive to members of the Church of the Brethren. In the spirit of the 2009 Annual Conference statement “A Structural Framework for Dealing with Strongly Controversial Issues,” BVS staff took time to work at mutual understanding, doing much research, listening, and learning. After reviewing Annual Conference statements, referencing the newly adopted Mission and Ministry Board Strategic Plan, and in light of events that have occurred since its initial release, BVS staff feels the need to restate its stance on racism and recommit itself to working towards healing racism.
Twelve congregations and districts across the denomination have received mini-grants for Racial Justice and Healing Racism through the Church of the Brethren Intercultural Ministries:
The May offering from the Ventures in Christian Discipleship program at McPherson (Kan.) College will be “The Ministry of Jesus, Ubuntu and Cultural Competency for These Times” led by LaDonna Sanders Nkosi, director of Intercultural Ministries for the Church of the Brethren. The course will be held online in two evening sessions May 4 and May 11 at 6-8 p.m. – 8 p.m. (Central time).
The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren held spring meetings via Zoom on Friday through Sunday, March 12-14, 2021. Main items of business continued work on the board’s new strategic plan and received year-end financial reporting for 2020.
The Church of the Brethren Intercultural Ministries has announced the next two events in its ongoing series on healing racism, both online. The ministry also is extending the deadline for applying for a Healing Racism Mini-grant.
“Save the dates,” said an announcement of upcoming webinars and online conversations from the Church of the Brethren Intercultural Ministries. Drew G. I. Hart, a member of Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren, will be speaking as part of the upcoming “Healing Racism Congregations and Communities Series” that launches this February.
The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren held fall meetings via Zoom on Friday through Sunday, Oct. 16-18. Sessions on Saturday morning and afternoon and Sunday afternoon were open to the public via a published link. The main item of business was the 2021 budget for the ministries of the denomination.