Invitation to Authentic Relationships through Intercultural Competency

To download this video, click “Vimeo” on the image above. Then, click “download.”


Additional Resources

You can download the study guide created for this video here: GC2016 Erin Hawkins Study Guide

Study Guide

For leaders: Allow a minimum of one hour for this study, including the 10 minute video. If there are more than 10 people in the group, divide the group into small work teams to tackle the questions and report from the group.

View the video alone or in your group, then work as a group to discuss the following questions:

1. List three or four positive impacts made by The United Methodist Church in your community, the nation, and the world. Name one way your congregation or annual conference (or other ministry area) has made a positive impact on the community outside the church.

2. Recall two instances when The United Methodist Church has done harm. Ms. Hawkins points out the legacy of mistreatment of Native Americans and the effects of colonialism in Africa and other regions. What has your congregation conference or ministry area done to learn about these legacies?

3. General Conference brings together 850 delegates from around the world to set policy, financial priorities, and directions for mission and ministry in The United Methodist Church. What might the challenges be to fostering respect and agreement among those delegates?

4. What are some issues coming to General Conference that are sure to test the capacities of respect and compassion? How might delegates help one another disagree passionately but with respect for the faithfulness and worth of those holding opposing views?

5. Ms. Hawkins calls the delegates to enter into authentic relationships with one another, even being authentic about being “angry, wounded, and afraid.” What are some concrete ways the delegates can follow to show compassion, respect, and grace to one another?

6. In defining intercultural competence, Ms. Hawkins advises delegates to treat one another not as they themselves would want to be treated, but as the other person wants to be treated. What is the difference and how can delegates achieve this goal?

During the last 20 minutes, find someone in your small group—preferably someone you do not know well—and listen to her/his hopes for your ministry setting and The United Methodist Church as a whole. Then tell them your hopes and dreams. Share common hopes with your group and end with a prayer for humility, grace, and understanding.


Erin Hawkins is the general secretary of the Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church. During the opening session of the United Methodist General Conference, the official gathering held every four years, Ms. Hawkins called the body to “Authentic Relationships” in the midst of difference.


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