Fighting racism a priority for Connectional Table

October 24, 2016

The Connectional Table held its first meeting since breaking for the summer on Oct. 8, 2016. A number of topics were covered, including the Northeastern Jurisdiction’s Call to Action on racism.
On July 14, delegates to the 2016 NEJ Conference unanimously approved a resolution that called for the church to do more to fight discrimination and confront racism.

Members of the Connectional Table have each been sent a copy of that Call to Action. The Connectional Table affirmed they will keep this issue at the forefront through a regular practice of including a speaker, book, devotion, etc. at its meetings in order to remain engaged in this conversation.

Further, members will invite some of those working on anti-racism efforts in the Conference to come to the next Connectional Table meeting and discuss the resolution. The bishop also said he would invite Erin Hawkins, General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race, to summit here with those invested parties and the Connectional Table.

There are some changes to membership of the Connectional Table. Rene Perez, Central Massachusetts DS, joins the table as the new dean of the Cabinet. Ron Wilson, who is serving as interim superintendent of the Metro Boston Hope District until June 30, 2017, will continue as a full member of the Connectional Table. There is one vacancy due to the resignation of Kim Macleod, layperson from Maine.

The Book of Discipline requires that the Conference Commission on Religion and Race be represented on the Connectional Table – something that was not addressed in the Strategic Plan. The Connectional Table will address finding a member; that person will have voice and vote.

Other items

Covenant Hills: Bernard Campbell, president of the Conference Trustees, reported that a number of groups used the camp facility over the summer. A small amount of money was realized from user fees. The Trustees have created materials for user groups, and it is expected a similar process will be used for hosting groups next year. The Vermont Task Force continues to work on long-term planning for the facility.

Asian Commission: Annual Conference approved a 2017 budget of $3,000 for the Asian Commission, which was named an official commission rather than a caucus. The funding for 2017 will come from the Connectional Table’s emerging ministries budget. The Asian Commission will be accountable to the Conference Board of Global Ministries in the new Conference structure outlined in the Strategic Plan.  

San man Conference, Korea: Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar reported on the visit to the leadership of San man Conference in Korea regarding creating a sister conference relationship. The relationship building is still in progress, but a verbal agreement was made that the respective bishops would visit each other’s annual conferences in alternate years. Bishop Devadhar will visit San man in 2017.
No date has been set for the next meeting of the Connectional Table. Find a list of members here.