DOTAC Racial Justice Journey

In 2020, and again in Lent 2021, 30-40 diaconal siblings gathered five times for emotionally and spiritually powerful learning, prayer, scripture study and discussion about being allies in racial justice. Representing an ecumenical spectrum, people attended from throughout the DOTAC region.

The anti-racism events begun in the fall of 2020 and again in Lent 2021, were continued this summer.  In June and July, Marlene Britton, David Rojas Martίnez, Hyerim Park, and Colleen Bernu, led 35 diaconal participants in this important listening and learning.  We are most thankful for their courageous vulnerability, clear challenges, and depth of spirit. 

Videos from the June Session


Marlene Britton is a diaconal minister currently serving the United Church of Canada. She received her theological training in her homeland of Jamaica, after which she was served 4 years in Belize, and 16 years in Barbados and 7 years in Canada. Currently she serves at the General Council Office of the United Church of Canada as the Program coordinator for Admission and Pastoral Relations.

David Rojas Martínez, originally from central Mexico, is currently living and working in Minneapolis, U.S.A. He serves as the Community Engagement and Education Coordinator for a Luther-an Church (ELCA) and is a consecrated deacon of the Lutheran Diaconal Association. His faith commu-nity and he have been at the forefront of responding to needs in light of George Floyd’s murder last year, the social unrest which followed, and the current climate of uncertainty in the Twin Cities of Minnesota as well as its suburbs. He is a graduate of Valparaiso University (’15) and Luther Seminary (’20).

Hyerim Park studies in the Diaconal Ministry program at the Centre for Christian Studies and the Mas-ters of Theological Studies at St. Andrew’s College. In 2018 Hyerim moved to Canada from South Korea. She has training as a teacher and taught in Korea prior to coming to Canada. She also has studied English in the United States and the Philippines. Over the years, she has played lots of sports, participated in the-atre, and even was in a rock band. An advocate for inclusion and diversity, Hyerim has been involved in, and very passionate about intercultural ministry, anti-racism training and the rights of sexual minorities.

Colleen Hankins Bernu was raised in Wisconsin, and now lives in Minnesota. Colleen’s desire to connect communities, her heart for the marginalized, and passion to lead others into meeting Christ through diakonia guide her ministry. As a mission developer, she led the devel-opment of Together Here, a ministry of mutual accompaniment with Ojibwe neighbors . Colleen is an approved Deacon candidate in the ELCA and the ELCA Deaconess Community. She is a descend-ant of the Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and lives with her family on the Fond Du Lac Indian Reservation.