By Rev. Mike Bealla
Director of Connectional Ministries
The Susquehanna Conference continues to strive for more diversity among its congregations, pastors, and conference leadership.
At a recent training event held at Mt. Asbury Retreat Center, the entire conference center staff and the Extended Cabinet attended training to better understand and practice cultural sensitivity.
The training was led by Rev. Giovanni Arroyo and Rev. Michelle Ledder, staff members of our General Commission on Religion and Race. Michelle is also a white pastor serving in an African Methodist Episcopal church, living out a cross cultural appointment.
Cultural Sensitivity Training is aimed at better understanding how our own cultures influence who we are and what we believe, as well as appreciating and understanding other cultures and ethnic groups.
Time was spent describing racism, how it works, and sensitizing us to what it means to live in a culture of white privilege. The Cabinet also spent time talking about cross-cultural appointments and how best to encourage and support this growing area of need.