Authentic Diversity Update

Greetings Siblings in Christ,

I want to begin this update by saying “thank you!” Thanks to each person who has sown seeds of love and justice in such a turbulent time in the world. Whether you joined the Reconciling In Christ (RIC) or Anti-Racism (ART) teams, gave gifts to Equipping the Saints (ETS) or Outreach for Hope (OFH), celebrated diversity in your worship, or even stood in the gap in prayer – it has been a benefit to the whole community. It has been essential as we lay the groundwork of creating an authentically diverse synod. In fact, all of what we’re doing requires our investment, so I encourage and invite you to continue this important journey or to begin! The time is ripe! Just as all creation is preparing for a new season of planting and growing, so too are we.

The heart for an authentically diverse synod and community, nation, and world has been a stated desire of the Greater Milwaukee Synod. And now after much planning, conversation, and legwork we begin to see how all that work has helped prepare our soil. Now we plant!

  • Our ART and RIC teams have been providing training and opportunities for growth, and building solid and safe relationships in our faith communities throughout the synod.
  • The Strategic Planning Task Force was formed to create a plan to direct us as we go, and it has been meeting since October 2023. (You may remember this group was recently commissioned at our Together in Mission event.) Using the six themes from our audit with Gold Enterprises, we are working in collaboration with the ART and RIC teams, Synod Council, and synod staff to identify SMART goals towards becoming an authentically diverse synod. The strategic plan will then go to the Synod Council and Synod Assembly this spring for approval.

We can see that the ground is ready for planting, and we can see that some of the hard work has already paid off. Many congregations are taking first steps or are already engaged in authentic diversity work. For example, some have formed teams to lead and engage their congregations to be aware of racial, gender and class injustice. Others have had adult forums to begin initial conversations with the help of synod staff.

We need your continued prayers, donations, and most importantly, your participation in this work. I am here to help in any way I can. So, please contact me at or 414-671-1212:

  • If you or your congregation would like to have beginning conversations on anti-racism.
  • If you or your congregation would like to expand the work you’re doing to create authentic diversity.
  • If you’d like to join the ART or get involved with the authentic diversity work the synod is doing.

Peace, Blessings, & Light,

Pr. Afi Dobbins-Mays

Assistant to the Bishop for Authentic Diversity and Leadership