The Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches is an American Baptist Region of churches in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Venezuela and Washington working together by consensus and organized by ethnic caucuses.
Consensus is when a decision is made by mutual agreement. We reach a consensus when all of us are ready to live with our decision. We do not all have to endorse it wholeheartedly, but we must all be prepared to agree not to work or speak against the decision once it is made. Until we reach that point, our tasks are to share our ideas respectfully, listen to each other with open hearts, and find together what God wants us to do.
Why Use Consensus?
· It leads to decisions more likely to be supported by everyone.
· It fosters the emergence of unanticipated, better solutions.
· It is more egalitarian and less patriarchal, and it promotes inclusivity.
· It encourages a collaborative spirit.
· It demonstrates the belief that everyone’s voice is essential.
· It shows that the people in the room are more important than the decision.
· It embodies the belief that how we work together is as important as what we do.
For more information about consensus, please refer to the book, "Sacred Decisions" by Rev. Dr. Marcia Patton and Nora. J. Percival.
Caucuses are gatherings of Evergreen members within our association according to ethnic identity. Currently, they consist of the Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, Asian Caucus, and Euro Caucus. Each caucus must be present to make a quorum in any decision regarding our association. Each caucus has equal voice and representation in all decisions, which must be reached through consensus.
We all agree by seeking God’s direction for the Evergreen Family of Caucuses. The people in the room are more important than the decisions being made. We intentionally take the time to humbly listen and respond to each other’s needs, desires, and hopes. As we do this, we provide a testimony to the world about Christ-centered unity.