Andrew Samuels, Chief Executive of the SDB Missionary Society, and Carl Greene, Executive Director of the SDB General Conference of USA and Canada are continuing forward on a collaborative journey to build upon SDB unity with diversity. Andy and Carl share a passion along with the SDB General Council and the SDB Coordinated Leadership Team to provide opportunities for Seventh Day Baptists to come closer together as a people and to harness this unique season of cultural awareness and sensitivity to collectively experience unity with diversity.
As we have blogged previously, a key to this journey we are on is a culture audit—intentionally asking questions to better understand our diversity as Seventh Day Baptists. Andy and Carl are incredibly thankful for the people who are actively engaged in conversations to move us forward in this endeavor.
There are three groups at work. First, there is a team working on a theology of diversity statement. This group includes: Rev. Dr. Kenneth Chroniger, Rev. Nathan Crandall, and Rev. Dr. Barry Dailey. There are two working groups addressing a Culture Audit. Rob Appel is facilitating the group that is gathering data at the Conference level and completing the diversity assessment. Other members of this group are Keith Ashley, Danita Lee, Gabriela Alonzo, and Rev. Paul Andries. The second working group of the culture audit is focused on application at the church level. Facilitators are Andy Samuels and Carl Greene, members are Edson Barrett, Andres Jara, Michaella Osborn, and Jenni Wangsness. Consultants to this group are Pastor Mading Bol and Pastor Harold Smith.
Collectively, these three groups are continuing to reach into a series of questions: Who, How, What, When, Where, and Why of SDB diversity.
- Who are Seventh Day Baptists today?
- How aware of our own Seventh Day Baptist cultural diversity are we?
- What do we consider diversity? Ethnicity, age, geography, socio-economic status, gender, etc.
- When do our actions as individual SDB’s and as a General Conference reflect what we say, and when does it not reflect what we say or intend about diversity?
- Where does our organizational structure reflect our diversity, and where does it not?
- Why do we care about unity as Seventh Day Baptists?
Seventh Day Baptists have long cherished the diversity of who we are. It is a joy to look forward at opportunities to grow in this diversity, to experience unity with diversity in ways that God is calling, and to collectively celebrate Who God is calling us to be as Seventh Day Baptists. Please continue to pray with us on this journey, and to be expectant of hearing more from this initiative.
Grace and peace,
Carl Greene, Executive Director, SDB General Conference of USA and Canada