GCORR Board Retreat Focused on 2016 General Conference

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More Effective Monitoring Practices Topped List of Priorities

Members of the General Commission on Religion and Race’s (GCORR) Board of Directors recently dedicated three days of prayerful discernment to GCORR’s ministry and work related to the upcoming 2016 General Conference. The strong focus centered on the important areas of monitoring, supporting delegates, and preparing legislation to help further the values of institutional equity.

Executive Committee members led vital conversations throughout the Feb. 27- March 1 retreat that resulted in the following decisions:

  • GCORR will evolve its monitoring practices to be more relevant and relational–with the key monitoring objective centered on building the beloved community of God.
  • GCORR will develop connectional and worldwide partnerships, which are essential to the Commission’s work.
  • GCORR will begin translating key programmatic materials and specific website resources into multiple languages to support our increasingly diverse and global Church.
  • GCORR is committed to fulfilling the global mission of the Church by supporting the election of delegates who showcase our diversity across race, ethnicity, language, age, and gender.

In 2013, the GCORR board decided to hold four meetings per year, with two face-to-face retreat-style meetings, which would include Connectional partners to discuss issues related to the mission and vision of the agency and the Church, and two online meetings to care for the operational and organizational matters of the agency.

The Revs. Amy Stapleton and Giovanni Arroyo

“The thoughtful discussions and effective decision making at this recent retreat created a strong platform for GCORR to use in supporting the growing ministries of our annual conferences, to further engage our central conferences in vital conversations about equity and cultural competency, and to fully prepare for our work at the 2016 General Conference,” said GCORR General Secretary Erin Hawkins. She added her wish that “we not cling to the past, but boldly create new paths to the future by building on the best and most helpful aspects of what has come before.”

General Conference Secretary, Rev. L. Fitzgerald Reist, II, attended the board retreat. He shared how much he values the input of all the Church’s agencies and commended the GCORR board members for rethinking the critical role of monitoring.

“The fundamentals of Christianity are not doctrinal, they are relational, so I’m delighted that strong interest exists in carrying out the important function of monitoring in a new way,” he said. “It often takes someone else to observe how we are behaving before we can understand our own actions. Monitoring is a very important function inside the Church. We need feedback to understand how we come across in our interactions with others and to help us change.”

GCORR Board President Bishop Minerva Carcaño commended board members for their advance preparation that helped focus conversations, discussions, and outcomes at the retreat around “how we lead the Church in strengthening its work in the important areas of institutional equity, cultural competency, and vital conversations.”

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GCORR is building the capacity of The United Methodist Church to be contextually relevant and to reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.