2011 MCC People of African Descent, Our Friends and Allies

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The MCC Conference for People of African Descent (PAD) & Our Friends and Allies will be held in Washington, DC, from May 19-21, 2011.  We are writing to ask you to join us in supporting this critically important opportunity for the people of our churches and communities.

Through these gatherings people from all over the U.S., Canada, South Africa, and England have participated in workshops, worship, and tremendous opportunities for education and networking.  Each conference has been dedicated to achieving our mission:

To provide a groundbreaking ministry experience for People of African Descent, their families and their allies within MCC that inspires all who are involved to continue their individual and shared journeys toward creating a truly inclusive spiritual community committed to social justice for all.

Peoples of African descent, our families, friends, allies, and loved ones are ALL welcome to attend the Conference!  If a person is descended from the indigenous peoples of Africa, he/she is a Person of African Descent.  It does not matter if that person was born, lived, or grew up in the U.S., the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Asian-Pacific or Africa. In addition, a person’s connection to the PAD community might be as a lover, a parent, or a child. It might be as a co-worker, a friend, or someone interested in striving with us to build the “beloved community.” Everyone is welcome to attend. Our hope is that all who attend the Conference do so because they love, respect and want to join us on our journey toward reconciliation, liberation, and joy!

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator of MCC, says:

“Attending this conference is important to me because People of African Descent in MCC are important to me and to the future of our Fellowship.  The gifts and ministry of People of African Descent need to be celebrated, uplifted, and increased!

Over the years, these conferences have been a source of inspiration, hope, mentoring and building relationships. It has been a time of learning about the issues of race and inclusion as they affect our churches, our Fellowship, our lives. All people can benefit from this learning, and this time together.”

This is the 7th MCC PAD Conference to be held since it was established in 1998. We are so excited about the plans for 2011!  Our theme is

“Loving Ourselves into Liberation”

which reflects our commitment to continue our rise from victimhood to victory and to lift others as we climb. To inform and empower us to reach higher heights, workshops and keynote speakers will focus on physical, political, and spiritual health and wholeness.

Our gathering in Washington DC will offer worship, fellowship, and a wide variety of workshops.  Topics to be covered include:

·        Responding to racism and homophobia

·        Justice ministry and spirituality

·        Clergy and lay leadership development

·        Healthy sexuality

·        Relationships with the Church

·        Issues concerning the GLBT communities

·        Personal health and wholeness

·        Spiritual development

Those who participate in the 2011 PAD Conference will have many exciting opportunities to get to know each other, celebrate one another, and find support for their dreams.  They will return to their churches and communities with tools and information they need to help  create more welcoming and nurturing spaces for people of color all over the world.

What can your church do?

  • Promote the PAD Conference through your church or organizational announcements and newsletter.
  • Sponsor the participation of people of African descent and allies from your church or organization
  • Contribute to the Pillar fund.
  • Place an ad in the program book.
  • Sponsor a conference event.

On the sidebar of this notice are links to materials/forms that we hope you will use to promote the conference in your church or organization.

Thank you so much for all you will do to support the 2011 PAD Conference.  It is churches /organizations like yours that can help make this event a life-changing opportunity for people of African descent, our families, and our allies.  We would be happy to answer any questions you have and to tell you more about how this Conference has made such a difference in the lives of so many and the ministry of MCC…

Peace and blessings,

Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, Conference Convener

Rev. Candy Holmes, Conference Chair