In Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries, we engage the Church in its mission to become more diverse and inclusive of racial, ethnic, cultural and language groups, and we equip women for leadership in all ministries of the Church. We are blessed to see a vision of Pentecost every day. There are Presbyterian Mission Agency offices supporting African, African American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino-a, Korean, Middle Eastern, Native American and Portuguese-language emerging ministries. The racial ethnic and new immigrant worshiping communities that we support regularly gather together, constructing a racial ethnic identity that stems from a common history, heritage and language. We work closely with racial ethnic and new immigrant worshiping communities through mid councils, caucus groups, and networks, engaging in the mission to grow, transform, empower, lead and develop communities. We create an awareness of institutional racism in the church and an environment where racial ethnic persons, new immigrants, and women can serve fully in ministry and leadership.
In our ministries we work to achieve gender and racial justice and equip racial ethnic women, men and young adults for leadership. We assist college-age and racial ethnic young women in their faith journeys and foster networks of support for them.
As we discover how to share the gospel in an increasingly diverse culture, we have a greater chance of living out the Biblical vision of a world where the humanity of everyone is valued and where God’s love is spread to every race, class, culture and people.
A time for celebration!
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”. Psalm 118:24 English Standard Version (ESV)
We all look forward to celebrations. They often cause us to reflect on the past and to recognize just how far we’ve come in this journey called life. Throughout the Bible we read about celebrations of gratitude for God’s blessing. As Presbyterians we have a lot to remember and to celebrate. Last month at the 222nd General Assembly (2016) the church celebrated two historic events—electing two women as co-moderators for the first time and electing the first African American as the PC(USA)’s new Stated Clerk, the highest ecclesiastical office in the 1.5-million-member denomination.
In this issue of the Racial Ethnic e-newsletter we remember those pioneering women who blazed a trail and made it possible for us to celebrate the 60th anniversary of women serving as pastors, teaching elders and in other leadership roles within the denomination. We celebrate the ministry of the First Thai-Laotian Church as the recipient of the 2016 Walton Award for its efforts to reach the un-churched and de-churched in Las Vegas. And, we celebrate the upcoming conference of the Presbyterian Intercultural Network. The Network connects and nurtures intercultural, multicultural, and cross-cultural ministries all over the United States and works to provide a voice for all ethnicities and cultures within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). I hope these stories inspire you to remember those who have walked with you on your journey and to celebrate all of the positive ministries within Presbyterian churches across the nation.
Rev. Dr. Rhashell D. Hunter, Director
Read the Racial Ethnic Torch
In the current issue of the Racial Ethnic Torch, we lift up the work that Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a whole, is doing to overcome racism. Some of the articles featured in this issue include:
- “Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community”
- “Churchwide Conversation on Race, Ethnicity, Racism, and Ethnocentricity”
- “Women of Faith”: 2016 Award Recipients