Marissa Mattox Heffernan is an ordained elder in the Genesis Conference and newly appointed as the founding Director of the Genesis Justice Network, the first affiliate group of the national Justice Network of the FMC.

The mission of the Justice Network is to extol and deepen the Free Methodist Church’s historic commitment to oppose oppression and restore God’s wholeness to those who have been disenfranchised both in society and within the church. Our vision, as the Genesis Justice Network, is to resource and catalyze Genesis clergy and laypersons toward life and ministry that intentionally, and unapologetically, opposes racial, ethnic, gender, socioeconomic, environmental, ability, and other injustices.

Issues around racial inequity and injustice have been a prominent part of our national conversation. Our faith calls us to create positive change in our community, and in our first initiative as the Genesis Justice Network, we want to better resource our pastors and churches to participate in this conversation. We have worked hard training facilitators to lead us through a curriculum called “Be the Bridge.”

“Be the Bridge” is a faith-based organization that aims to educate participants in regards to racial brokenness and systemic injustice. Once we understand that brokenness, we can begin to work toward racial reconciliation and healing.

Groups will be available for both clergy and laypeople. The first offerings are:

Be the Bridge 101 – small online group discussions, specifically designed for white participants, aimed at creating racial awareness and a conversational space where it’s safe to ask those awkward questions.

Be the Bridge: People of Color Guide (A BIPOC Guide to Healing Ourselves) – “With a practical plan for self-care, this discussion guides ministers to the needs of POC who work or worship in majority-white spaces.” for clergy and lay leaders

Courses will be offered throughout the year. If interested, please register HERE. Please join the Genesis Justice Network Facebook group for ongoing information.

If there are currently no courses being offered, email the Genesis Justice Network at and we will contact you when new courses become available.

For questions email us at

If you are looking for ways to introduce or further engage in the conversation around racial awareness in your congregation, Marissa is available to share a Sunday message catered to your community. For more information, contact Rev. Marissa Mattox Heffernan at: or (315) 288-8112.