Bishop's Task Force Update

Task Force Update written by Dan Schwerin

The Bishop’s Task Force met Monday, Nov. 23rd and finished their reading and discussion of We Want to Do More Than Survive by Bettina L. Love. The Bishop’s Task Force reported and celebrated the meeting on October 6th of members of the Bishops’ Task Force with the Wisconsin Conference Anti-Racism Task Force and Connectional Table, Dan Dick, and Bishop Jung. That work was continued on November 19th  by the Wisconsin Conference Anti-Racism Task Force, Members of the Bishops’ Task Force, and additional Ethnic Caucus Leaders as well as Dan Dick in the episcopal office, and Sue D’Alessio, our Director of Connectional Ministries. That meeting featured conversation to establish what was needed to develop trust for our work, goals about what should come out of our meeting, and compiling a list of resource groups to help us with the work of assessing racism and exclusion, dismantling what excludes, and reforming our systems in the Wisconsin Annual Conference. This group of leaders agreed that a database of resources will be collected by Sue D’Alessio and this group will share a process to discern how best to proceed with systemic and structural change. Before the next meeting there was a shared commitment to engage one on ones to improve our relational bandwidth.
The Bishop’s Task Force then discussed its own growth and learning, its vision for next meetings, and how best to collaborate so as to empower and support representative groups in the conference structure.
Finally, the Bishop’s Task Force has worked on a glossary of terms we hope will help the annual conference pursue a goal of advancing radical inclusion and racial justice—and long term integration that makes Christ known. From time to time these updates will end with a term or group of terms with the intention that readers use them in a bulletin or newsletter or class or sermon. If edits are suggested, feel free to pass those along. Our terms for this time will be: ‘radical inclusion’ and ‘racial justice.’  The term radical inclusion is an excerpt from Bishop Jung’s laity Address on October 24, 2020.
Radical inclusion:  Radical means at our root, at our very core, as a full and true expression of our Christian discipleship.  Something radical defines our most deeply held value and our guiding commitment.  So, radical inclusion means we are a church of Jesus Christ for every person on earth – every person in our community, Christian or not, sinner or saint, believer or skeptic.  Radical inclusion says there is a place here for every person created in the image of God and that our systems must live into the integration that makes Christ known.
Racial justice: The systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable
opportunities and outcomes for all. Racial justice is not only the absence of discrimination and
inequities, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain
racial equity through proactive and preventative measures.[1]

[1] Center for Assessment and Policy Development, My Associates and World Trust Educational
Services. Race Equity Tools—Glossary. 10.1.20
Accessed October 1, 2020.