Greetings to all in the Love of Jesus Christ:
I am just returned from a trip to Indianapolis for a gathering known as the Disciples Executive Leadership School. It was a gathering of General Ministry presidents and vice-presidents, regional ministers, and others to talk about leadership in our church. As always, I am impressed by the quality of people we have in our wider church family and their dedication to God’s love for all people and for all of Creation. I enjoyed dinner Monday night with 3 other Regional ministers and our General Minister and President, as we talked over issues related to ministry. We were also joined by other staff from the Pacific Southwest Region (PSWR) and were able to discuss the growing partnership between Arizona and the PSWR for church camp and children/youth ministries. And then on Tuesday evening, I enjoyed dinner with our Regional Assembly speaker, Rev. Dr. Juan Rodriguez, who had served as my advisor on my D. Min. project.
Among the highlights of the experience: I learned a new term: “Bias Interrupter.” During our Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation workshop, Rev. Sandhya Jha discussed several situations where bias is at play, and then asked: “What would it take to interrupt the bias, to be a ‘bias interrupter?’”
What is a bias interrupter, you ask? It’s someone who hears a demeaning joke about transgender people and interrupts the narrative to challenge the bias of the speaker and listeners. It’s someone who hears ugly slurs about migrants and lifts up the worth of all children of God. It’s someone who hears a search committee talk about their hopes for their next minister, saying “HE should be a really good preacher,” and suggests that we shouldn’t pre-judge the gender of whom God may be sending us as our next spiritual leader. Bias interrupters are not mere bystanders, allowing bias to exist unchecked. Bias interrupters INTERRUPT the bias, offer alternative ways of viewing things, more grace-filled and inclusive ways of viewing things.
What would it take for US to be “bias interrupters?”
Dios les bendiga!
Regional Calendar of Weekly Prayers
Join in praying for our Arizona Disciples Congregations.
View the full calendar at azdisciples.org.
1 – End to Racism and the Reconciliation Ministry Special Offering
8 – First Christian Church in Tucson led by Pastor Ailsa Guardiola Gonzalez
15 – Foothills Christian Church led by Pastor Bekah Krevens
22 – Iglesia Cristiana Ebenezer led by Pastor Sandy Flores
29 – Arizona Saints and Congregations that have come before us