Organizer for Synod Communities of Color is a mouthful. As I am sifting through my emails today, I consider short handing this title, but the OSCC doesn’t exactly ring with simplicity, and Synod Organizer is so generic that it elicits more questions than anything else. In light of the job description, one might think of this ministry, at its onset, as a listening campaign. My work initially will be to connect with my Teaching Elder and CRE colleagues of color in the synod; and to hear from congregations of color about their ministry and context, the support they need and their witness in the world. I am so excited about this role of listening. How lucky to bear witness to the many gifts of our diverse communities of color in the synod, to listen for the resonance of faithful bulwarks of tradition, next to the trill of new ministries emerging, and the resilience making and remaking a way out of no way.

This kind of witness can be found in many places across our presbyteries, but I especially relish the opportunity to celebrate and center the wisdom and experience of those communities who have historically been ignored and overlooked by the wider church and culture. Listener, maybe, could be my working moniker, or Synod Woman-in-Awe, as I track the Spirit’s movement in and among our connectional communities.

I am, of course, aware that in all the listening and connecting, not all of what I hear will be exciting or inspiring. There are many and varied challenges for people of color in every community, inside and outside of the PC(USA). Listening is not enough, so this ministry is also intended to make space for imagining, connecting, and building towards better, more relevant support that the Synod can offer leaders and communities of color, within our bounds.

The Synod of the Covenant has set four areas of ministry to work in this year: encouraging and supporting faith communities to be vital; eradicating structural racism and modeling inclusion; experimenting with new ways to be church; and connecting presbyteries, congregations, and leaders to reach these goals. Part of striving toward these goals involves building accountability with and representation from communities of color in our synod decision-making and governance, as well as creating communal ways that support the flourishing of people of color in our bounds and beyond.

Trusting Jesus’ words that the kingdom of God is among us (Luke 17:21), meaning the good stuff, the grace stuff, the reign of God stuff, happens where we connect and build together, I hope that in our connecting and sharing across our communities, some new strength, new resources, and new joy will be born.

So, friends, I can’t tell you which shorthand descriptor to expect when I introduce myself, but do expect to see me, headed your way this year, looking to listen, connect, imagine, and share this journey of faith and inspiration; and may God’s kingdom be revealed more and more in the places where we connect.

-Rev. Lindsey Anderson, Organizer for Synod Communities of Color

To watch an interview between Lindsey and our executive Chip Hardwick, click here: