January 31, 2020, 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Please join us for our annual MLK Shabbat as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life with special guest speaker Rev. Dr. Sheila Bouie-Sledge.
Her natural talents in speech and theatre led her to study at Missouri University in Springfield, Missouri, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree and toured Europe in USO programs. She later became the University’s first African American Homecoming Queen to date. She holds a Masters degree in Human Resources from St. Louis University, a Masters of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Ministry from United Theological Seminary.
Prior to her appointment to North Park UMC, she served as Associate Pastor at Salem United Methodist Church in the Ladue community for twelve years. In that position, she is responsible for establishing two new initiatives, The Many Faces of Fashion, (My Diversity Circle Project) and Salem’s Justice Ministry Team.
As her doctoral project at United Theological Seminary, she is the Founder and President of My Diversity Circle. She established this nonprofit organization after the 2014 Ferguson riots in St. Louis. “My Diversity Circle.” promotes the creation of a circle of friends of various ethnic, racial, religious, age, and gender backgrounds. The diverse members of the circle have permission to be imperfect with regards to diversity issues. They give each other permission to have misunderstandings but insist that they accept the fact that all people are a product of their culture. No one is to feel guilty about who they are or what they believe, but everyone must take responsibility for what they do.
The monthly meetings acknowledge that “differences” are valuable and that we are enriched to have them in our daily lives. We are committed to creating diversity circles in our lives, sharing our stories of diversity to a world that needs confirmations, increasing awareness of unity in diversity, and building a bridge to those who are not in your circle and include them. For the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. Sledge is Chairperson for The Commission on Religion and Race (Values Team) where she fulfills her desire to participate in justice ministry statewide. The Commission on Religion and Race focuses on bringing about full and equal participation of the racial and ethnic constituencies in the Missouri Annual Conference. The commission carries out its work through advocacy and monitoring the practices of the denomination. The mission of all is to “build the capacity of the United Methodist Church to be contextually relevant and to reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the
Additional work in justice ministry includes both the Interfaith Partnership and the Ecumenical Leadership Council. As a member, she helps to develop and support partnerships across lines of religions, fostering understanding and respect of all houses of worship and ethnic communities.
Rev. Dr. Sledge’s Human Resources experiences of thirty-plus years has included: Conducting accreditation research, emphasizing outcomes measurement. Providing information on program strengths and areas for improvement. Recommending and presenting strategies to enhance program planning and resource development. Providing consultation, education, training, and publications that supported organizations in achieving and maintaining accreditation of programs and services.