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SBC 21 and Path 1 Joining Forces

By Bener Agtarap

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Amid an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, racial tensions, and social and cultural changes affecting people throughout the denomination and the world, Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (SBC 21) and Path 1 have entered this strategic covenant to pursue the shared commitment to fulfilling the mission of The United Methodist Church of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

This strategic covenant agreement is designed to help SBC 21 and Path 1 to work together to achieve these three objectives:

  1. Develop cutting-edge ministry tools based on study and research about leadership and ministry development.
  2. Promote best and current innovation practices and contextual strategies for church revitalization and new church development.
  3. Collaborate with denominational, ecumenical, and global leaders to articulate, resource, and champion initiatives for church renewal and social justice movements through a Wesleyan lens.

Fundamental values undergirding this process:

  • We believe strong Black churches are essential to the mission of The United Methodist Church.
  • We commit to reaching more people, young people, and diverse people.
  • We support the formation of anti-racist discipleship as central to disciple-making and transforming the world.
  • We affirm the value of cultivating and investing in healthy partnerships with cutting-edge leaders and ministry innovators for sustainable faith community development.
  • We believe everything we do must be undergirded with prayer, motivated by Jesus’ love for the world, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Together, SBC 21 and Path 1 seek to join to:

  • Accompany and support Black congregations to help them realize their WHY that will ultimately bring healing, help, and hope to congregations and communities.
  • Commend and use the Black Church Matters transformational process as a model that will strengthen and revitalize Black congregations and communities.
  • Transform and stand with ALL churches in the United Methodist connection that have a heart for justice, equity, and liberation and seek the formation of antiracist discipleship as central to disciple-making and transforming the world!

We invite you to pray and support us by joining our forces to fulfill the mission of making disciples and transforming the world in the Spirit of the Risen Christ!

We encourage you to visit the websites of Path 1 and SBC 21 to learn more about these two movements within The United Methodist Church.

Please contact Rev. Dr. Michael L. Bowie, Jr. at [email protected] and Rev. Dr. Bener Baysa Agtarap at [email protected] for questions or inquiries.

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