General Secretary of The United Methodist Church General Commission on Religion and Race Erin M. Hawkins is coming to the Great Plains Conference on Sept. 5-6. She will focus on helping clergy and congregations in cross-cultural/cross racial appointments and how to develop communication strategies with leaders in the congregation. In order to achieve clergy/congregational excellence, strategies must be in place for creating space for cross cultural appointments in places all across the Great Plains Conference.
Bishop Scott Jones said, “We will contact churches with cross-racial/cross-cultural appointments and invite the pastor, lay leader and Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) chair from each of them.” Bishop Jones will be present on Saturday, Sept. 5.
Hawkins is the lead official of the denominational agency that cultivates racial inclusion and the full participation of all people into the work, witness and life of the denomination. GCORR empowers church clergy and lay leadership to utilize the values of inclusion, racial equity and justice in the transformative work of vital congregations in order to build up the body of Christ. Hawkins works to share lessons in creating holy relationships with God by, “holding in tension our capacity for greatness that calls us, as Christians, to persevere in the struggle towards becoming our better selves, and to combat our worst tendencies, of racism, sexism and classism.”
Hawkins holds a masters degree in organizational development from American University in Washington, D.C., and a masters degree in public policy from Indiana University. She teaches an awareness of how system processes can perpetuate the sin of racism and how we carry that racism from the local to the global arena. Hawkins will offer ways to break that system of perpetuation of racism.