Multiculturalism and Undocumented Neighbors Task Forces provide resources
At the 2017 Annual Conference session, the South Georgia Conference approved two resolutions, statements that represent the position of the conference on a subject. The first, a “Resolution in support of a Coordinated Action on Behalf of Undocumented Neighbors,” called on the presiding bishop to form a task force to develop a strategy to educate clergy and laity about the history of immigration and human and civil rights concerning undocumented members of society and to encourage South Georgia United Methodists to engage in works of piety and mercy towards their undocumented neighbors. The second approved resolution, the “Multiculturalism Taskforce Resolution,” asked that the bishop appoint a diverse task force to consider the implications of multiculturalism education.
Over the past year and a half, these two Task Forces have worked to help churches address the issues of diversity and immigration with the church and with society.
At the 2019 Annual Conference Session, they presented to the Annual Conference a resource guide on Multiculturalism and a resource guide on Undocumented Neighbors as well as videos to accompany each. (View presentation from Annual Conference)
"These resource guides and videos are powerful tools for us individually and collectively," said Rev. Earnestine Campbell, Associate Director of Connectional Ministries. "They are tools for us to learn, grow and be equipped in applying Christian principles in our everyday lives in encountering those that look different than 'us' and for those who are considered 'strangers' but are really our 'neighbors.' It is a striking awareness of who we are as God's hand and feet to humanity and the world."
The resource guides offer printed materials, links to websites, suggestions to start conversations around the issues of our Undocumented Neighbors and Multiculturalism, and education around the history of immigration and human and civil rights. The guides are intended to help move people to a deeper understanding of these issues and identify resources within The United Methodist Church that a local church can use. An extensive bibliography is included that can help churches in developing training for small or large groups.
The Task Force has also made available videos focused on having authentic conversations around Undocumented Neighbors and Multiculturalism. The goal is to help people engage in courageous conversations about these issues in our Conference and communities within and outside of The United Methodist Church.
"The Multiculturalism and Undocumented Task Forces have been unfailing in their dedication to excellent work in fulfilling the charge of the resolutions," said Rev. Campbell. "There is more work to accomplish, and they will continue in their dedication to bring awareness, understanding, and education around these issues in the Annual Conference."
Members of the Multiculturalism Task Force include: Ariana Berksteiner, Columbus Burns, Patricia Burns (chair), David Diaz, Jamie Gallaga, Beverly Madron, Gloria Morgan, Jin-Won Park, Ashley Randall, Denise Rooks, Yolanda Sewell, Antonio Sutton, Patsy Thomas, Melissa Traver, Buddy Whatley, Earnestine Campbell (Staff/Liaison).
Members of the Undocumented Neighbors Task Force include: Elaine Chavez, David Diaz, Brett Maddocks (chair), Daniel Medina, Ivelisse Quinones, Isaac Salgado, Angelyn Tripp, Moises Velez, Earnestine Campbell (Staff/Liaison).
You can download and access the Resource Guides and videos at www.sgaumc.org/advocacy.