Last week, in the course of a conversation, I was asked, “What did you give up for Lent.” I responded, tongue in cheek, “Liver and onions.” The truth is that I still have dark memories of meals at home when liver was served. It was not a “pretty” supper-time at the Frese household. In the course of trying to endure this gastronomical test, I discovered a couple of pieces of wisdom. First, there is no amount of mustard you can add that gets rid of the taste of liver. Second, you cannot clean your plate by putting liver in your pocket and hope to get away with it. To this day, liver and its impact on my life remains distasteful. Not to be overly boastful, but I am 100% in keeping this Lenten vow.
I don’t mean to belittle devotional practices of sacrifice for the season of Lent. Giving up something that is valued or habitual and whose loss creates discomfort is a way of orienting our spirits to the sacrifice Christ made on our behalf. Not everyone gives up something. Some choose to add a devotional or missional practice during Lent. However, in most cases, whatever we forgo or add on during Lent, we pick back up after Easter. Though uncomfortable for 40 days, these practices are rarely transformational.
During the Lenten season, I invite and encourage you to embrace something that is truly transformational, take the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). This cultural competence assessment allows us to see the place where we most comfortably reside with our understanding and acceptance of those who are “other” to us. The IDI allows us to see both where we think we are and where we are in practice when it comes to encountering persons representing different cultures to us.
We live in a culture where issues of race surround us. We cannot escape it. We are socialized into racialized constructs. If we are to combat racism, we must begin with ourselves. This is hard work. It is holy work. It is necessary work. In order to grow, not only in accepting, but embracing those who are different than us, we need a clear understanding of who we are and how we view others. Before we can take “next steps,” we need to understand our starting point.
Participation in the IDI is a Conference wide initiative and over the next year all clergy within every district shall be participating in this process. (Please notice the “shall”. All clergy are expected to take the IDI. If there are leaders within your church who you would also like to participate, please let Sarah Carter know so that we can assure enough spaces available.)
The assessment itself is 50 questions taking 15-20 minutes to complete. After completing the assessment, each person will meet with an IDI coach who will help interpret the results and look toward next steps. (Given the sheer number of IDIs that will be taken and interpreted, the accessibility to the IDI may come in stages. However, during this season of introspection, please commit do doing this work now.)
Please use the link and code below.
Coupon code for Corridor only: COIDI2021
Each clergy or leader needs to fill out the form and include the “Discount code” to process their request.
After filling out the form, the pastor or leader will receive an email from the Conference Office of Race Equity and Justice Ministries with a user name and password to take the IDI.
(While some may have already taken the IDI, please take it again and use the results as an indicator of progress made.)
Thank you to the Office of Race Equity and Justice Ministries and Rev. Ernesto Barriguete for making this opportunity possible. Thank you, as well, to all clergy and laity who already are working toward racial healing and understanding.
I hope you will join me in this holy endeavor,
If you would like to view past editions of Moments with Mike, follow this link: https://corridordistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/