/Conference staff navigate the intricacies of cultural fluency at annual meeting in Indianapolis

Conference staff navigate the intricacies of cultural fluency at annual meeting in Indianapolis

By |2018-04-19T00:00:00+00:00April 19th, 2018|

The Annual All Staff Meeting is an opportunity for staff who work in Conference Center and throughout the INUMC Districts to unite in a day devoted to learning, interacting, and fellowshipping with lay and clergy colleagues from across the Conference. Bishop Trimble shared a thought encouraging staff to “Dare to be Kind” throughout their ministries and respective focus areas, as we continue to hone our focus on being fully missional by the year 2020. The Rev. Dr. Aleze Fulbright, Director of Leadership Development led a segment based on the book, “Fear of the Other” by Rev. William H. Willimon, former bishop of the North Alabama Conference, on the often misconstrued and dismissed aspects of “Cultural Fluency.” 

Cultural fluency is our ability to understand the basic norms and perspectives of people from other cultures, which, in part, includes recognizing social context and cues, and to proactively make an effort to adapt and respond in ways that promote shared meaning. In short, cultural fluency is the intent to explore other cultures without judgment, which often stems from fear. “Fear of the Other” serves as a spiritual guide that invites readers to love and not simply tolerate, the other — those on the margins of mainstream Christian culture. 

Attendees were then given opportunities to explore and challenge their understanding of what it means to be culturally fluent, as well as taking the initiative to act with the understanding that culture and race are different constructs. Staff explored how the practice of cultural fluency may benefit their ministries as well as the collective progress of the Indiana Conference. 

The gathering allowed time to adequately celebrate the commitment of those who, as a collective, have served the Indiana Conference for 120 years.

During his brief reflection, Bishop Trimble took the time to recognize the Notre Dame University Women’s Basketball Team on their second NCAA National Championship win in a dramatic final four showdown against Mississippi State, clutching the number one spot with a final score of 61-58. The bishop claimed, “As the bishop of Indiana, I make sure to support all of our teams.” 
View photos from the all staff gathering