Diversity Team Encourages Diversity in Search Process

The Diversity Ministry Team has sent a letter to church leadership strongly encouraging racial diversity in the Senior Mnister Search Committee and in the search process itself. The letter was sent to the Committee of Involvement (COI) and copied to the Church Council. The COI is responsible for recommending a slate of nominations for the Search Committee that the congregation will vote on at a special congregational meeting on August 3.

The Diversity Team is one of First Church's Ministry Teams and has been meeting over the last few years on a monthly basis to discuss a wide range of diversity issues. It seeks to discern how to respond to the pronouncement calling the UCC to become ?multicultural and multiracial.? It has also created a variety of programs for the church as a whole, including two book studies and a recent showing of the film Fruitvale Station. It has participated in direct action as well.

In the letter, the Team states: "?(W)e would like to affirm the statement in your (COI) recent letter to the congregation about the importance of diversity. As noted in that letter, there are many types of human diversity that are important in this process, such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and disability status. We would like to lift up the importance of race in particular, and suggest that the committee strive for a search committee that has multiple people of color as members. We further recommend that the search committee and the congregation as a whole actively seek out and encourage candidates for the senior minister position who are people of color."

The Team also celebrates the stated desire of the First Church community for diversity: ?During the Identity Study Team and Human Capital Campaign processes in 2008-09, diversity emerged as one of the areas important to church members?both honoring the existing diversity in our congregation and becoming more diverse, multicultural, and intercultural, in part by reaching out to the communities around us.?

You can read the full text of the letter here?

Questions about the letter can be addressed to Matt Reed (email and it will be forwarded to him).

Diversity Team members signing the statement are Angela Arnold, Alice Clark, Milt Fujii, Barbara Grady-Ayer, Kara Korbel-Chinula, Nancy McKay, Phil Porter, Matt Reed, and Anne Rowe.

Participation in the Diversity Ministry Team is always open. The group generally meets on the first Wednesday of the month from 6:30 to 8 pm in the Sunburst Room.