Clergy to receive training in 'Vital Conversations' on race

GCORR's Vital Conversations series will be basis for this training

January 17, 2019

The Conference Commission on Religion and Race (CCORR) is beginning a series of trainings for clergy on how to have “Vital Conversations” about race and racism in their congregations.

​CCORR is piloting the training in three districts: Tri-State, Central MA and New Hampshire, and will then schedule sessions in each district. (See the schedule so far below).

The theme for the 2017 New England Annual Conference session was “Vital Conversations: Race.” The session kicked off a four-year cycle based on the General Commission on Religion and Race’s  (GCORR) Vital Conversations video series.

Members of the Annual Conference were given the GCORR materials at the 2017 session. Now CCORR wants to help ensure those materials are put to use.

The GCORR series features thought leaders, pastors, theologians, activists, authors, and scholars who share their stories, insights, and expertise on issues related to race, culture, tribe, and the global church.

The Vital Conversations videos and training materials, GCORR says, provide resources to facilitate, guide, and support discussions on racism and offer ways to move to "efficacy, justice, and courageous positive action."
Find GCORR’s Vital Conversations series
Rev. Effie McAvoy


The Rev. Effie McAvoy, who serves York/Ogunquit UMC in Maine, chairs CCORR. Rev. McAvoy said she understands that facing the issue of racism is not easy, and she wants her clergy colleagues and congregations to know they don’t have to do it alone. This training is designed to help them understand how to put the GCORR materials to work in their churches and communities.

In February 2018, Rev. McAvoy led an ecumenical effort to have “Vital Conversations” in the community of York, ME. At that time she said:

“A lie that we tell ourselves is that we don’t see color or color is irrelevant; that’s not true. So, let’s step outside that lie and say, OK, society sees color: How can I, as a person who strives to be a decent person in society, work so that all peoples’ cultures and heritage are given equal opportunity to be and to grow and become more. How do I do that?”

Upcoming Vital Conversation Training sessions
(check your district calendar for more)

Jan. 26, 2019 – Tri-State – Londonderry (NH) UMC
Feb. 2, 2019 – NH – Wesley UMC, Concord, NH
Feb. 9, 2019 – Tri-State – Hope.Gate.Way, Portland, ME
April 13, 2019 – First UMC, Littleton, NH