This year has seen a great deal of work from our Journey Towards Wholeness (JTW) team, Board of Trustees, and Ministerial team as we continue to address the concerns we have around inclusivity. Some of this work has been behind the scenes including a budget review to align with centering our anti-racism/anti-oppression work, and creating a Staff Hiring and Management Process that centers inclusivity and includes an inclusion competency tool for staff and lay leader awareness and growth just to name a few pieces of our work. Some of the work has been visible, including more intentionality of worship co-leaders within our worship services and including more reflections from people within our congregation.
The JTW work is shared within a Collective team of JTW, Ministers, & Board leadership and I want to thank all of them for their energy and leadership: JTW members Isaac Castro, Jan Garbosky, Steve Howard, Maggie Marshall, and Alpa Patel; Board President Rhiannon Smith, Board Vice President Sarah Ormond; and Rev. Tania Márquez.
A big part of the visible work has included the Beloved Conversations program. We’ve had over 60 people participate in this eight-week program. To learn more about Beloved Conversations read the program, listen to Rhonda Brown’s sermon or visit the JTW page at firstuusandiego.org/journey-toward-wholeness.
I want to invite you to join us for the winter session of Beloved Conversations program. There is a significant time commitment so we want you to have the dates now so you can be sure to participate in all the session. There are two components to the program – a weekend retreat and eight 2-hour sessions. Participants must attend the retreat and all eight weekly small group sessions:
Beyond these educational experiences, everything we do in our congregation is being assessed using an inclusive, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive lens as we live out our mission in 2020.
Thank you for considering participating in Beloved Conversations as a way to help us live our values as a beloved community committed to affirming all in our midst.
Kathleen, Jan, and Steve
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