What’s the Inclusivity Team Up To?
by Bruce Fest
The Inclusivity Team met on March 11. This was a pre-lockdown meeting. Our assignment was to come up with projects for the Mt. View family to live into our Welcoming Statement — to turn those beautiful words into the reality of abundant life. The Inclusivity Team drew up a handful of projects. Then a couple weeks later we were in lockdown. Some projects can be implemented. Others are on hold. And yet others are being revised. Things will certainly change further as events and developments dictate. Below is the current state of play.
1. We are donating $250 to the Reconciling Ministries Network. We joined RMN when we voted to become a Reconciling Congregation. As a member we have an obligation to support RMN, its goal or diversity and inclusion. The lockdown did not block our contribution to RMN. The $250 donation was paid out of funds from the grant to the Inclusivity Committee from the Permanent Endowment Committee. The RMN donation does not come out of nor will it impact Mt. View’s operational budget.
2. We have purchased reconciling congregation banners to be affixed to Mt. View’s three outdoor signs and to be placed in the narthex. The cost of rainbow banners is also funded out the PEC grant and does not impact Mt. View’s operational budget. The welcoming banners are already posted outside. Visit Mountain View to see them.
3. We planned to have sign-up sheets in the narthex on the first three Sundays in May for people to become individual members of RMN. The individual memberships are in addition to Mt. View’s membership. The lockdown on Sunday services has been extended. So this project is on hold. Sundays for signing up for RMN memberships are TBD.
4. We want to celebrate becoming a reconciling congregation as part of the Fall Kickoff on September 13. We are now uncertain what a fun and safe Fall Kickoff will look like. When that comes into focus so will our celebration plans.
5. We are planning a series of speakers beginning in the fall addressing the marginalized groups that need to welcomed and fully included in our church family. Topics may include dementia and Alzheimers, the homeless, aging, immigrants, LGBTQ+, Methodist clergy who have suffered harm, Native Americans, and former and current marginalized members of the Mt. View family who have suffered harm. We anticipate having one speaker each month during the school year.
Our leadoff speaker is Prof. Celene Lillie in the Religious Studies Department at CU. We have asked her to discuss the Christianity of the slaves and where they found meaning, hope and faith in the Bible. Frederick Douglass talked of “Moses, raised up by God, to deliver his modern Israel from bondage.” Can our sisters and brothers in slavery teach us lessons for this very moment when we are righteously protesting and rebelling in our streets against the oppression, violence, and death coming so casually and cruelly from the hands of authorities?
So that’s what the Inclusivity Team is up to. We welcome your input and ideas. We will keep you posted as our projects crystallize. Until we join together again stay healthy, stay safe and stay strong.