LaDonna Sanders Nkosi has resigned as director of Intercultural Ministries for the Church of the Brethren, and as staff of Discipleship Ministries, effective Dec. 31. She has served in the position for three years, since Jan. 16, 2020.
Who is already called to the work of racial justice, or is already active in any way? The committee is hoping to start with an accurate picture of what is already happening. It wants to connect with initiatives or individuals at any level in the Church of the Brethren (community, congregation, district, denomination) who are working on racial justice issues in any way (education, activism, healing, spiritual renewal, etc.), whether they are doing their work inside or outside of the church. The committee also is interested in getting to know people who have a passion for this topic but may not yet be publicly active.
A newly-formed Standing with People of Color Committee met via Zoom on Sept. 13 and 21 to begin work delegated by the 2022 Annual Conference.
On Wednesday afternoon, a group of nine Brethren young adults carpooled to Tri-Faith, a spacious campus home to Temple Israel, Countryside Community Church, and American Muslim Institute. The three independent religious communities are all connected by a circular walkway known as Abraham’s Bridge, surrounded by native plants and near a community garden and orchard tended by all three groups. It’s the only place of its kind in the world.
The delegate body on Tuesday, July 12, took action on “Query: Standing with People of Color” (new business item 2) from Southern Ohio and Kentucky District, which asks, “How can the Church of the Brethren stand with People of Color to offer sanctuary from violence and dismantle systems of oppression and racial inequity in our congregations, neighborhoods, and throughout the nation?”
The Standing Committee of district delegates from the 24 Church of the Brethren districts began meeting in Omaha, Neb., on the evening of July 7, through this morning. It was presided over by Conference moderator David Sollenberger, moderator-elect Tim McElwee, and secretary James M. Beckwith. One of its primary functions is to make recommendations on the new business items and queries coming to Annual Conference.
Over the last year or more, Greg Davidson Laszakovits has made a lot of changes, all by choice. Although it was a difficult year for many reasons, on a professional level 2021 was good—but “it’s not been tidy.” Tidy is not a word commonly used by those doing the work of healing racism, and Laszakovits is no exception.
The Church of the Brethren Intercultural Ministries has started an online Global Check-in and Prayer Series, which will welcome special guests to speak on various topics.
When pastor Dave Whitten of West Richmond (Va.) Church of the Brethren joined the Henrico Minister’s Conference (HMC) in 2021, he was seeking an opportunity to work with other local pastors to promote social justice and help meet immediate community needs in Henrico County.
We in the Southern Ohio and Kentucky District have always strived to be intentional about addressing the concerns in our society. For instance, during a Missional Renewal Team meeting shortly after George Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020, the conversation centered on that tragedy and the epidemic of violence against people of color, along with the systemic racial injustice in our country triggering this violence.