The table of Christ is one table filled with unique voices from every perspective. The Ohio River Valley district has begun Circles of Grace conversations around race relations. With so many conflicting perceptions of race and power in the United States, churches in the Ohio River Valley district are creating space at the table for all voices to participate in the conversation and move to the place to which Christ's love calls us. Circles of Grace communities were first embraced by Bishop Palmer last June during his episcopal address at annual conference.
The process launched Sunday, January 11 with a facilitated training session at New Vision United Methodist Church in Cincinnati. One hundred fifty people were involved including forty five clergy from the Ohio River Valley District and 105 laity from their congregations. Experts were brought in to facilitate the dialogue - Race Doctor, David Campt, an expert on harvesting dialogue, known for serving as a senior policy advisor on President Clinton's Initiative on Race; and Matthew Freeman, President of TMI Consulting, who specializes in diversity and inclusion strategies. The diverse groups were engaged, authentic and motivated with participants leaving prepared to lean into the next gathering on January 26. (photos on the West Ohio facebook page)
Come to the Table is a process (4 training sessions), an event (Martin Luther King weekend) and a dialogue (in your local community). If you are interested in any of these activities and are not currently involved, please contact the Ohio River Valley district office at 513.421.2057.
Clergy are taking the word out on Sunday, January 18th, during a district-wide pulpit swap on the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. A special message will be shared by guest preachers about Christ's table, mutuality, diversity and reconciliation. The churches participating are Anderson Hills, Armstrong Chapel, Batavia Faith, Bethany, Bethel, Blanchester Grace, Calvary Hilltop, Clifton, Clough, Deerfield, Eden Chapel, Epiphany, Gaines, Hamilton First, Hamilton Lindenwald, Hamilton Park Avenue, Hyde Park Bethlehem, Hyde Park Community, Lytle, Mason, Milford Calvary, Milford First, Mt. Healthy, New Vision, Oregonia-Harveysburg, Union Chapel, Westwood, Wilmington and York Street. Click here for addresses and worship times.
Please join us as we seek to meet at a place where every voice is heard, at the table of Christ's love.