A Note from Reggie Smith, Director of the CRCNA Office of Diversity:
I thought a trip to Los Angeles in December was the best gift I could receive to end the dreadful pandemic year of 2021. Unfortunately, when I arrived the weather resembled West Michigan more than the sunny southern California norm.
Although the weather didn’t improve, the collaborative brainstorming, dreaming, and conversations with key globalized leaders created the kind of warmth that was better than the weather. Our conversations bubbled with insights from the Spirit, and centered on creating spaces of safety and emotional freedom for leaders exhausted from their yeoman work in their ministry locations during one of the most stressful times to do pastoral ministry. The Lord spoke powerfully to denominational leaders about creating these spaces that will sustain current leaders for “a long obedience in the same direction” (Eugene Peterson’s book title).
In response, the Office of Diversity, along with Resonate Global Missions, is facilitating listening sessions with each of the six legacy groups (SEAPI, Black and Reformed, First Nations, Korean, Chinese, and Latino) of globalized leaders to learn firsthand their blessings and challenges. Once we learn of their needs, we support the gatherings that build, encourage, and develop these young leaders. We seek out the established gatherings formed by each group and help them continue to develop new ones—using restorative retreats and virtual check-ins frequently.
Pray for Joel Huyser, Marco Avila, Moses Chung, Joshua Jiang and I as we walk alongside these amazing leaders and develop new leaders for God’s kingdom movement underway in the Christian Reformed Church. Thank you!