Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team
February 5, 2019
Our diversity is a gift from God and part of what people appreciate about our church. Our Board is commissioning a team to promote healthy diversity, inclusion, and equity at Reservoir, for our health and joy, and our witness. To nominate yourself or another, submit interest statements to board member Brian Kang by March 1.
More information about the task force:
Reservoir Church Diversity and Inclusion Team
Background, Purpose, Reasoning:
One of our church’s five core values is everyone. (We seek to welcome people in all their diversity, without exception, to embrace a life connected to Jesus and others.) Another is action. (Love for Jesus compels us to act—to seek justice, show compassion, work for reconciliation, and hope for transformation in joyful engagement with the world.)
We know that Reservoir’s diversity is a gift from God, and part of what people appreciate about our church. We also know that truly multi-ethnic churches are not common. Even rarer are genuinely anti-racist multiethnic churches (those that use their diversity to accomplish something prophetic and transformative in their congregations and their cities). Our region longs for a church that, in our practices of inclusion and justice, lives out the deepest aspirations of our city— oft-given rhetoric but not so often lived out in community.
In staff conversations about unconscious bias, we have also learned that we are unlikely to improve what we aren’t measuring, and that the voices, stories and perspectives—and, especially, the leadership—of people most personally impacted by issues of diversity and inclusion are important in helping us improve.
We have a couple of other committee ministries: Reservoir’s partnerships and justice teams. These don’t replace community group involvement or regular ministry service, as they meet every 2-3 months only.
- Five to seven people, one of whom must be a Reservoir pastor and one a Board member.
- All five to seven must be Reservoir members. All are welcome to apply, but we are particularly interested in members of color, people who identify as part of the LGBTQ community, and those who identify as working class, or grew up poor to working class.
- Priority given to members with experience in diversity and inclusion initiatives and of trusted spiritual and relational history in our community
- People can nominate self or others. Board chooses membership from nominations. To nominate yourself or someone else, submit a single page statement addressing the above items to Board member Brian Kang by March 1, 2019.
- Meet quarterly for two years (Winter, 2019 through Winter, 2021)
- Pastors will identify topics and data for group to consider, knowing that the team is free to identify other areas they would like to address and consider as well.
- In response to areas of church life that are not fully inclusive, propose improvements.
- In response to areas of church life and leadership that don’t adequately represent our congregation, propose improvements.
- Identify further topics and conversations the church should be having that impact our membership that we aren’t having, and ask the staff and Board’s help in starting these conversations.
- Decide near the end of that time if the task force should continue for another two years or not. If yes, only two people from task force continue, and 3 to 5 new members come on.