My name is Reverend Doreen Koffie-Williams. I am a presbyter in the Coventry and Nuneaton Circuit. I am also the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion officer (EDI) in Birmingham District. My role is to support our work, to help put recommendations into place and to act as a communication between the Connexional Team officers and local churches.
The 2021 Conference adopted a comprehensive strategy for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity as is rooted in Methodist theology, which presents an opportunity for a 'profound change in the culture, practices and attitudes of the Methodist Church'.
The aim of the strategy is to enable the Methodist Church to 'live according to our theological conviction' that God loves us all and God's universal love is a testament of our calling to discipleship in both the lay and ordained ministry.
The report is geared towards assisting the Methodist Church as far as possible, to become an all – inclusive church, responding to matters of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. It demonstrates that the Strategy for Justice, Dignity, and Solidarity is a shift from verbalising to acting out our belief through our living and discipleship.
What does this mean for us?
Birmingham District is fully committed to as far as possible achieving the strategy set out – amongst others:
'to eradicate all discrimination and coercive control within the Methodist Church, and for all people to be treated justly and with dignity across the breadth of the Methodist Church'.
'for a paradigm shift (a profound change) in the culture, practices, and attitudes of the Methodist Church so that all Methodists are able to be full participants in the Church's life'.
As such, the local churches, circuits, districts, and the Methodist Council, are now required to adapt 'a culture of justice and respect for all, as equal partners in the Gospel'.
To ensure the strategy is effective, we now need EDI officers representing the circuits, working collaboratively to support the implementation of this strategy across every sphere of the Methodist Church's life.
You can access the Strategy for Justice Dignity and Solidarity: Working Towards a Fully Inclusive Church at: Working Towards a Fully Inclusive Church
Also, the User Guide offers ways to pray about the Strategy for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity work, it gives an insight into the report adopted by Conference 2021, and it is a useful material for 'individually, worship, and small groups.
The User Guide to the Strategy for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity can be accessed here.
You can also order free copies (free plus P&P) from Methodist Publishing.
If you need to discuss either matters relating to the EDI officer's role in the circuit or the Strategy for Justice Dignity and Solidarity or The User Guide, please contact me on:
Rev. Doreen Koffie-Williams.
Minister at Earlsdon and Radford & Holbrook Methodist Churches
Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer, Birmingham District.
'For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being, many, are one body: so also, is Christ'. (1 Corinthians 12:12).
19th July 2022