October 21, 2022
1:30 pm CDT
Present: Ryan Russell, Jim Searls, Paul White, Laura Witkowski, Curtis Brown, Lonnie Chaffin, Gail Burgess, Walker Brault, Kelly Brown, Dom Short Mejia, Cindy Gregorson, Nitza Dovenspike.
Chairman Ryan Russell opened the meeting and invited members to introduce themselves. He then led us in prayer. The minutes of the August 17, 2022 meeting were approved in a Jim Searls/Nitza Dovenspike motion which carried, 12/0.
Three grant applications for 2023 had been received. Ryan noted that the application from NCJ-VIM was actually a re-submission that had already been approved, so we did not need to act on it. The other two applications, from McKendree University in Illinois and Global Village in West Ohio, did not meet the requirement of being jurisdictional; both were limited in their outreach. Examples of jurisdictional entities would be NCJ-VIM and Midwest Mission Distribution Center which serve all of the conferences in NCJ. It was noted that Global Village deals with an important issue (multi-cultural ministries in historically Black spaces) and we should encourage this type of program. It was agreed that we can encourage them to expand their outreach and bring the proposal back to us to review again. Walker Brault moved that we deny these applications at this time. Kelly Brown seconded and the motion carried, 11 in favor and 1 abstention.
Curtis Brown shared an update on the 2021 Special Session motion regarding anti-racism that had been referred to Mission Council and will also provide an update on the work at the Conference in November. An Audit Steering Team that includes Curtis, Elaine Moy, Pam Hammond McDavid, Kevin Smalls, Scott Manning, Paul Perez, Brittany Stephan, Karen Cook and Wayne Steen has been formed. They will be contacting a consultant to provide a racial audit of the conferences. GCORR should be able to do this, but would need to be funded by us. Curtis moved that the committee be provided with an additional $5,000 ($10,000 total) to cover these expenses. Kelly Brown seconded and the motion carried, 12/0.
The College of Bishops agreed to follow up on the motion regarding White Supremacy and White Nationalism. Curtis noted that they have reached out to Conference Directors of Connectional Ministries, too.
Laura Witkowski shared that a committee had been formed following the Special Session 2021 motion regarding homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism and had met several times. They will present their findings in a worshipful setting on Friday afternoon of NCJ conference. Persons involved include Alex Plum as the worship leader and emcee, Angie Cox, Kiri Bereznai and Angie Cox as presenters. Each presentation will be followed with time for discussion.
Paul White noted that information on the NCJ Conference in Fort Wayne on November 2-6 is on the website. He will be meeting with the Conference Nominations Committee on Monday. Paul will be retiring as NCJ Secretary after this conference.
There was some concern about responding to questions that could arise regarding rules changes since Mission Council also has the responsibilities of the former Rules Committee.
It was agreed that all council members would provide Ryan with their phone numbers so he could text everyone, even those not at conference, if the need arose. All were asked to take at the resolutions/petitions in case we are asked to make a recommendation.
Ryan thanked everyone for their presence and their participation as members of the Mission Council.
Cindy Gregorson offered a closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at 2:30 pm.