In the wake of the May 25, 2020, George Floyd murder, GCI was compelled by love to do more to combat racial division and all other forms of disunity. In January 2021, we introduced the National Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) for the U.S. This council was convened to begin the work of discerning how our denomination could better reflect the oneness of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Building upon GCI’s past work to promote reconciliation, the Council was charged with making recommendations to Mike Rasmussen (Superintendent North America and Caribbean) that would help our fellowship heal from social divisions and be a place where people from all backgrounds are welcomed and treated with love and respect.
With approval and support from the GCI Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that GCI is implementing the first set of recommendations from the DEI Council.
In September 2022, nationally acclaimed author, trainer, and Pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego, CA, Miles McPherson will lead members of the GCI Home Office team, Board of Directors, Regional Directors, and DEI Council members through the “Third Option Similarity Training.” Based on his book, The Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation, Pastor McPherson will help our team increase our capacity to promote Christ-centered diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of the denomination. McPherson, also a former National Football League player for the San Diego Chargers, is a prominent and respected voice of unity within the United States. His training comes from a Christ-centered, gospel foundation that matches well with our GCI values.
This DEI initiative is not a passing fad. Rather, we intend it to be a permanent cultural shift within GCI, and the training will continue to be passed along to our U.S. pastors and churches over the next couple of years. It is our intention to participate with Christ more purposefully and actively in his ministry of reconciliation. It is our prayer that these positive steps will equip our leaders and churches to work together more effectively as peacemakers in their congregations, neighborhoods, and communities.
I want to thank the DEI Council for being led by the Spirit to get us to this point. I believe God has great things in store for GCI.