Marissa Mattox Heffernan

MEMBER AT LARGE

Marissa Mattox Heffernan

Church: New Hope FMC

Conference: Genesis Conference

Elder

List experience related to the Member at Large position:

  • I have served as founding director & Chair of the Genesis Justice Network while serving as Affiliate Liaison on the board of the Justice Network of the FMC.  I am newly elected as Co-Chair of the Justice Network of the FMC.  I have served in ministry leadership for the last 11 years building and leading teams to serve various ministries of the church including but not limited to Worship, Finance (bookkeeper), Youth, Communications, Leadership Development, and Discipleship.

I think being a part of AHN would provide me with an amazing opportunity to hear, learn from and understand the experience, wisdom and perspective of the community of African American ministry leaders in Free Methodist spaces.  Over the course of one month, the number of Black clergy serving in the Genesis Conference dropped by half, leaving me standing as the only African-American clergywoman in my conference.  This grieves my heart!  I think this is a space where networks like AHN, Conexion Latina, the women's advocacy group, and the Justice Network could work collaboratively to support historically minoritized people serving in ministry leadership. I believe we can help annual conferences to set a better table for maintaining and recruiting these leaders and providing additional support while they're there. Together we can ask and help inform the denominational answers to the question: How do we turn  Love-driven justice, cross-cultural collaboration, and Christ-compelled multiplication of JUST spaces from aspirational core values into actual ones?

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