Panel Moderator: Gena McCown Panel Contributors: Jenny Andrews, Aimee Nelson
Click Here To Listen to the Audio Recording of the Panel Session
PLEASE NOTE: We allowed questions to be submitted anonymously. We made the decision to read the question as it was written, we were not going to adjust the questions at all. This kept our session authentic. We all agreed to receive the questions with grace, and good intentions. However, the answers may have been adjusted as this is a learning opportunity.
The first question was missed, which was what is the correct terms to refer to people of other races/ethnicities. The answer begins with the uniqueness we have in S. FL as we are an entry point and home to many first generation immigrants. In S. FL. African American does not apply to everyone who has dark skin. The audio carries on the answer defining the various ethnicities we encounter in S. FL and the rest of the questions.
Unfortunately we were moved outside for the meeting, which inhibited our ability to video the panel, and hit the audio with some unexpected noises. Praise God we have this to share with those who couldn’t attend.
We have decided that this subject is going to be continued in future discussions.
Leaders from Women’s Ministries in St Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach Counties gathered for a special Women’s Ministry Council event. We began a conversation about race, diversity, and unifying our ministries and churches. This conversation is just the beginning, and we are going to continue working through this topic through articles and future meetings.
One of the overwhelming themes from this event was that if we want to be a part of a movement of change in our ministries, we must being within our own life. As ministry leaders, the practical steps are more obvious. Broaden the authors of your Bible studies to women from various ethnicities, as well as the speakers you hire for your brunches or retreats. Make sure you invite women to serve on the Women’s Ministry team that represent all the cultures in your church. Partner up with churches of other cultures for events or come together for a fellowship event.
Making changes in our personal life is a bit harder. It means stepping out of our own comfort zone. Have you invited someone of another ethnicity to your home for dinner or coffee? Are you reading authors or following influential speakers who are from another culture than you are? Have you made an effort to learn more about the other cultures who make up the community you live in?
- PERSONAL: Go to a women’s event at a local church that is a different culture/ethnicity than your own. LEADER: Go as a WM Team.
- PERSONAL: Read Bible Studies, books, or attend an event where the speaker is from another culture/ethnicity than your own. LEADER: Use these materials in your church. (I recommend Kristie Anyabwile, Trilla Newbell, Priscilla Shirer)
- PERSONAL: Attend local cultural festivals in your community. LEADER: Host a multi-cultural event at your church or in conjunction with other local churches.
- PERSONAL: Invite a woman from another culture out for coffee or to your home for lunch/dinner. LEADER: Invite a WM Leader from that church for lunch to talk shop, and see how you can partner together.
- PERSONAL: Intentionally build relationships with women of other cultures. LEADER: Intentionally build a women’s ministry team that is as diverse as your church.
- PERSONAL: Volunteer at a local culture church’s fundraiser or drop items off for their charity drives. LEADER: As a team, volunteer.
- PERSONAL: When a new friend of another ethnicity celebrates a birthday, send a birthday card and take the time to translate it into their native language (if they are fluent). LEADER: Send cards of encouragement or prayer to leaders at local churches, taking the time to translate it into their native language. Google translate is a help, but I bet you can find a friend online/facebook that can help too.
If you have made efforts to build bridges between the various cultures in your community, we’d love to hear what you have done!