A new beginning in our Conference's focus on Ethnic Ministries


Dear Friends,

New Beginnings UMC was the perfect place for this past Sunday evening’s worshipful launch of North Alabama Methodism’s new strategy for ethnic ministries. Why? Because Sunday was a new beginning in our Conference’s focus on ethnic ministries.

Revelation 21:5 says, “And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” How does this connect to Sunday’s worshipful launch? I am convinced that God is making us new as individuals, local churches and a Conference. I also believe that the new Ethnic Ministries Team will be a major player in the new thing God does in North Alabama.

Please be in prayer for the Rev. Dr. Richard Stryker as he leads this effort as well as team members. Members of the Ethnic Ministries team are: Jeanet Berruecos Xicohtencatl, Charles Calhoun, Dedric Cowser, Michael Freeman, Genia Garrett, Kenneth Harris, Tae Won Kang, Randy B. Kelley, Tiwirai Kufarimai, Claudia Lewis, Angela McKenzie, Rodney Parker, Lucreacia Venita Points, Rod Stallworth, Billy Weems and Linda Holland - Coordinator of Connectional Ministries and Communication. Also, join me in offering a prayer of thanksgiving for Dr. Thomas Muhomba and his leadership in this area over the past several years.

Finally, please pray for our Conference’s movement toward the goals that this new team has discerned. Here is how the team describes our new strategy.

“Leaning upon the historic role of the African American/Black church in bringing diversity to the Conference and in response to the need to reach this and other diverse population groups, the new strategy will seek to:

  1. Develop lay & clergy leadership;
  2. Build partnership with and between churches committed to being vital congregations;
  3. Advocate for new and work to revitalize African American, Multiracial, and other ethnic churches; and
  4. Respond to the need to improve ministry spaces as needed.”

God is doing something new in North Alabama Methodism. Sunday’s new beginning by our Ethnic Ministries Team is evidence of that. May this team play a significant role in God’s renewing work among and through us.

As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.

Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett

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