Speak the truth in love
Webinar with Pastors Kevin Himes and Vikki Pruitte-Sorrells, hosted by Ann Jacobs (Recorded Thursday, February 18, 2021)
Request Mission Network guest speaker for your congregation to speak about racial reconciliation
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Love over Fear: Facing Monsters, Befriending Enemies, and Healing Our Polarized World by Dan White Jr. - Books on Google Play
When we hold false assumptions of people, we turn ourselves and them into monsters, because we entertain negative perception of people in our minds.
Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation by Latasha Morrison - Books on Google Play
Training assessments – MC USA website
The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) is an assessment tool that measures intercultural competence – the ability to engage effectively and appropriately with people who are different than ourselves. Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) | Mennonite Church USA (mennoniteusa.org)
In honor of Black History Month and in response to the Mennonite Church USA denominational mandate to support, build and cultivate peace across our denomination, Mennonite Mission Network was excited to host the Speak the truth in love webinar on February 18.
We desire to speak the truth in love, while celebrating relationships, to mend divides that caused primarily by fear and racial stereotyping. The leaders of this webinar claim this desire because of their commitment to the Gospel of peace.
In May 2020, shortly after the killing of George Floyd, Kevin Himes — a European-American pastor at Salem Mennonite Church, in Kidron, Ohio — called Vikki Pruitte-Sorrells. Pruitte-Sorrells is an African American pastor at Lee Heights Mennonite Church, in Cleveland, Ohio. Himes wanted to better understand the racial tension in United States. During the Speak the truth in love webinar, Himes and Pruitte-Sorrells discuss the dialogue that ensued over the course of the following eight months, with regards to such racial tensions. They were guided by Latasha Morrison's book, Be the Bridge and Ephesians 4:15: "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ" (KJV).
Join us as we witness God's peace that surpasses all understanding by working to bridge communities of faith.
Kevin Himes is the pastor of Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron, Ohio, where he has served in various roles for more than 16 years. He counts it a privilege to delve into the Word of God and preach each week and finds joy in practicing the presence of God through prayer. Prior to this pastoral position, he completed a Bachelor of Music from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, and a Master of Arts in Anabaptist Studies from Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio.
In addition to pastoring, Himes enjoys reading, writing music, playing in the eclectic folk band — Honeytown, being outdoors, and drinking a strong cup of coffee. Rumor has it that he also watches Star Wars movies repeatedly. Himes resides in Kidron with his wife, Jen, and four children: Isaac, Naomi, Hannah and Miriam.
Vikki Pruitte-Sorrells is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and is an ordained minister and lead pastor at Lee Heights Mennonite Church. She graduated from Regina High School and studied at the University of Akron (Ohio), receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English. She earned a Master of Science in Organizational Development and Analysis from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a Master of Ministry degree from Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio. Pruitte-Sorrells has served on several leadership boards, including Mennonite Church USA, Ohio Conference, the Ministry Development Leadership Team, the leadership team for PJSN, and as a Damascus Road Anti-Racism facilitator.
Pruitte-Sorrells is an educational administrator for Warrensville Heights City School and is passionate about helping others "grow in their relationship with God." She is the daughter of the late Robert and late Fannie R. Pruitte, wife of Mark R. Sorrells, and mother of Kamaal and Cynthia.
Ann Jacobs is a native of South Bend, Indiana, and a licensed minister. She has been inspired, in her work at Mennonite Mission Network, to further the call of God's mission of peace and reconciliation, in collaboration with constituents across the denomination. She is passionate in her call to teaching and preaching, prompted by the prophetic leading of the Holy Spirit.
She received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Davenport College in Mishawaka, Indiana, in 1982. She has been formed by her work in Womanist and Black Studies at Indiana University South Bend (Indiana), in 1990. Jacobs is currently working to complete her Master of Divinity (MDiv) in Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary's Christian Faith Formation Program in Elkhart, Indiana. Jacobs is committed to further God's reconciling peace and healing to the world!
Joe Sawatzky has spent most of his adult life working for Mennonite Mission Network, first as a teacher in a pastoral leadership education program in South Africa (2006-2014), and now as a Church Relations representative and international education liaison. He is passionate about mission, which he understands as crossing barriers with the good news of Jesus Christ, and teaching and preaching the gospel, which he understands as the power of God's love to create one new humanity in Christ (Eph 2:11-22). Joe lives in Goshen, Indiana with his wife, Anna, a social worker, and their four sons between the ages of 17 and 11. He enjoys supporting his sons in their many athletic pursuits.