As Presbyterians seek to create spaces where diverse voices can seek God’s will together, a cultural flaw often stands in the way: implicit bias.
Confronting implicit biases – which the National Institutes of Health defines as “biases that occur automatically and unintentionally, which nonetheless affect judgments, decisions, and behaviors” – is the focus of the upcoming “Practicing Inclusion: A Leader Training Webinar on October 13. The webinar, for Past Leaders and Deacons, will run from 7-8:30 p.m. Eastern Time. REGISTER HERE before October 5 to attend.
In addition to showing how implicit bias hinders inclusion, equity, and access, the webinar will discuss ways church leaders can reduce its impact in their congregations’ decision-making processes, including conversations related to discernment and church governance.
Read the full description here: https://oga.pcusa.org/section/mid-council-ministries/leadership-formation-ruling-elders-deacons/year-leader-formation-webinars/
Jihyun Oh, Director of Intermediate Council Ministries (MCM) at the General Assembly Office, will lead the webinar. Prior to his work with MCM, Oh served congregations as Acting Pastor, Associate Pastor and Parish Associate. A trained administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), she seeks to “proactively imagine ways to bridge the gap between the Church that was and the Church that is and is still becoming,” according to the terms on the webinar registration page.
Martha Miller, Education and Ministry Support Manager at MCM, facilitates the Leader Training webinars.
She said the webinar was partly inspired by equity maps and other resources that became a topic of conversation at the 225th General Assembly. “Some committees have used them extensively and some haven’t,” Miller said. “But since the GA, we’ve heard from people asking if they can get the equity cards and other resources that their congregation could use.”
“I approached Jihyun about the idea, and she was very excited about it.”
Oh worked with the General Assembly Office Committee and other GA planners to integrate inclusive bias education and resources into the GA225 experience. In the spring, she gave leadership information training encouraging the use of equity bonuses by GA attendees.
“This is a step in the conversation about how to expand the use of equity bonuses and other resources,” Miller said, including the future modification of Equip formations for use in congregations. and other tips. “But the webinar discussion will be about much more than how to access equity maps. It will be about understanding how to understand the impact of implicit biases within congregations.
The October 5 registration deadline is one of the ways the webinar series creates accessible conversations for a wide range of leaders. Early registration helps the webinar team coordinate with global language resources so that live interpretation in Spanish or Korean can be available for those who request it.
In addition to hosting the webinars, Miller is one of two hosts for the new MCM podcast series “Along the Road”; she records and produces the shorter format “Feed” episodes designed for elders and deacons in power. Manuel Silva-Esterrich, MCM’s Appeals Process Support Manager, records and produces the longer-format “Encounter” episodes, which have middle council leaders and staff in mind.
“The Leader Formation series is currently focused on podcasts and webinars,” Miller said. “Launching Nourish simultaneously with the upcoming webinar schedule gives us the opportunity to engage with elders and deacons in power through different yet connected programming.”
Register for “Practicing Inclusion” before October 5 here. Learn more about training leaders here.