This Commission meets monthly to review the actions and progress of the team members. In each Commission meeting there is a reflection on current events of the day. This is an enduring part of each agenda, so that we ensure our heads are lifted to talk about the impact of global events on our denomination, MCC churches, and people of MCC. Our discussion noted the diverse temperatures around the world. Some of us are experiencing winter while others are in summer. One thing that we have in common is that we are all impacted in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, these are challenging times, and we pray that hopeful opportunities are getting closer. Parts of the world have experienced national elections and unrest. On many personal levels, there are also mental health challenges that must not be ignored. We pray and we seek to act in ways that are important, meaningful and relevant.
As the Commission meets, we are reminded of the charter under which we are working and guided as a Commission. You may read the charter on the MCC website. The Commission has divided its areas of focus into two work teams, Organizational Change and Personal Pathways to Healing. The teams are focusing on the following:
- Racial equity survey. After training was provided to the MCC staff, Governing Board, and Council of Elders, a survey on race equity was conducted. This survey is also in alignment with the structure of becoming a Race Equity organization laid out in our guiding documents, “Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture” produced by Equity in the Center. The information will provide helpful “moment in time” information on the perceived race equity climate and culture within MCC.
- Curating information from past reports including the Office of Emerging Ministries Task Force on Race and Gender: Strategic Action Plan; the Diversity and Inclusion Recommendations to Senior Leadership; and Widening the Circle of Concern: Report of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Commission on Institutional Change.
- Next is updating the status of tasks that are completed and those that remain outstanding. Rev. Elder Ines-Paul Bauman worked with the Commission to produce a document that outlines the status of previous recommendations to a variety of leadership groups (i.e. GB, CoE, staff). The Governing Board met to set up a small working group to look at the recommendations document from Ines Paul.
Personal Pathway to Healing
- This group is working on constructing pathways for individuals to tell their stories. Those stories will be used as a basis of input to the Organizational Change team to suggest policy or structural changes. There will be a variety of ways to engage with the Commission.
As a part of its work, the Commission is also drawing on the equity, justice and inclusion work of other denominations to gain appropriate lessons learned and items that may be implemented throughout MCC. Invitations will be offered for representatives to have a dialogue with Commission members so that we may learn from the successful work that might be applied to MCC via this Commission.
Commission members participated in the Council of Elders Weekly Call to Prayer for the months of January and February. This was done with purpose to bring to the foreground additional attention and prayer in support of conversations on equity.
We are pleased to report that the Governing Board has appointed 2 additional Commission members.
- Mr. Kedric Brown is a member of Resurrection MCC in Houston TX, USA, founder of the G-Code Black Mens’ Discussion Group, community activist and Director of Resurrection’s Gospel Choir.
- Mr. Juan Garcia is a member of MCC Washington DC, USA who works as the Diversity Engagement Programs Manager for the American Red Cross.
Please keep the Commission members in your prayers.
In partnership and ministry,
Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow, MCC Detroit, USA (Co-Chair)
Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston, Moderator UFMCC (Co-Chair)
Rev. Cathy Alexander, MCC Staff
Mr. Kedric Brown, Resurrection MCC, Houston TX, USA
Ms. Clare Coughlin, Governing Board UFMCC
Mr. Juan Garcia, MCC of Washington DC, USA
Rev. Jakob Hero-Shaw, MCC Tampa, USA
Mr. Richard Norman, Good Hope MCC, South Africa
Ms. Ivana Warwick, ICM Sao Paulo, Brazil