Delegates Report on the 70th Annual Assembly of Kentucky Council of Churches: “Unpacking Power and Privilege”

 by Betty Hibler and Gail Wolford

We were privileged to serve as Union Church’s delegates to the KYCC October 19-20, 2017 gathering at Jeffersontown Christian Church in Louisville, KY. Rev. Kent (currently the President of the KYCC Board) and Carla Gilbert rounded out the Union Church participants.

As delegates, we attended two business sessions to receive reports from elected officers, standing committees, and the new Executive Director, Rev. Donald K. Gillett, II. KYCC is truly an ecumenical and diverse gathering of Christians, bringing together Catholics and Protestants, Blacks and Whites, men and women, from some twenty Conferences, Districts, Dioceses, Presbyteries, and even an Outlier — Union Church.

The Annual Assembly gathering is, however, much more than about the business-at-hand. There are workshops, keynote speakers, simulations, and worship — all centered on the Annual Theme, which this year was “Unpacking Power and Privilege.” The two keynote speakers (Jack Jezreel founder of JustFaith Ministries and Rev. Dr. Miguel De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies at Denver’s Iliff School of Theology) and the worship preacher (Rev. Traci Blackmon, UCC Pastor in St. Louis and Executive Minister of Justice & Witness Ministries of the UCC) brought our attention to local, national, and international challenges of crossing boundaries of race, nationality, and wealth disparities – which might be described succinctly as “building bridges, not walls.” There were also five enticing Workshops on issues of systemic privilege, immigration, environmental justice, health care, and rural/urban divides. With only two time slots provided we had to choose among them. The closing simulation, a group activity led by Bread for the World’s Marlysa Gamblin, was a powerful demonstration of how national legislation dating back to the Jim Crow era and continuing to the present, has disadvantaged people of color in our nation.

We thank you for the opportunity to represent Union Church at this year’s Annual Assembly.

Categories Newsletter item | Tags: | Posted on October 31, 2017

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