Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries
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.
Meet the Director
Rev. Dr. Rhashell d. Hunter
The Reverend Doctor Rhashell D. Hunter is the Director of Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries in the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Prior to joining the Presbyterian Mission Agency, she served as Pastor of Community Presbyterian Church in Flint, Michigan, from 1998 to 2007, and she was Associate Pastor for Worship, Music and the Arts at Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, from 1993 to 1998. She is past Moderator of the Synod of the Covenant. Read more.
From The Director: Guest Column
Stories of Mission to the World from Our Neighborhoods
by Mei-hui Lai, associate for Asian Cogregational Support
A new Taiwanese fellowship group in the Seattle area was looking for a nest church in 2002 when Seattle Presbytery introduced the group to Mercer Island Presbyterian Church. One of the first questions the church asked the group was whether they wanted to be a partner with the existing congregation, or they simply wanted to rent out the church’s facilities. The group let the session know that they were interested in a true partnership with the congregation, to which the session replied, “If you want to be out partner church, you are most certainly welcome!” In partnership with the session, the Taiwanese church is now chartered. Read more.
Intercultural Ministries: The Next Stepping Stone to Diversity in the Church
While the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) continues to be largely European American, there is rapid growth in the church among immigrants and in some racial ethnic congregations. As the church evolves, we continue to explore what it means to worship and live in an intercultural context.
In order to define what it means to be intercultural, we must first understand the fundamentals that led us here – foundations that were laid in multicultural and intercultural communities and ministry.
In multicultural communities we live alongside one another, much like season ticket holders at a sporting event. We sit next to one another and cheer for the same team, sharing a common interest or identifier, standing or sitting side-by-side, at times in isolation of one another. In these communities, we value tolerance and celebrate one another’s culturally distinctive cuisine, dress, etc. in a polite social interaction, yet don’t necessarily address power differentials and don’t always allow for exchange between different cultural groups.
In cross-cultural communities, more effort is made to reach across boundaries. We try to build bridges between cultural communities by sharing, listening learning and being open to changing. Cross-culturalism is distinct from multiculturalism. Whereas multiculturalism deals with cultural diversity within a particular nation or group, cross-culturalism addresses the exchange beyond the boundaries of the nation or cultural group. However, power differentials still may not be addresses, and may only allow for limited learning or exchanges between groups. Cultural differences may be understood, but may also be managed in a way that doesn’t necessarily allow for individual or collective transformation.
Moving one step further, we shift to intercultural ministries. In intercultural communities, we find comprehensive mutuality, reciprocity and equality. Justice defines our societal structures, and we find respect, equality, understanding and celebration through mutually beneficial relationships among and between cultures. We find that people from intercultural communities interact with one another and learn and grow together.
As a denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) continues to work to create intercultural communities where everyone can participate fully. Through the work of a the Office of Intercultural Ministries, we will:
- Offer Intercultural competency trainings
- Provide workshops to assist in developing vision and strategic approaches to building diversity
- Identify resources for congregations and individuals
The Racial Ethnic Torch
In this issue of the Racial Ethnic Torch, we lift up women of color and continue celebrating the "Decade of Hearing and Singing New Songs to God" to recognize and celebrate the gifts of women of color in the church.
PCUSA's Young Women Delegates to the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministries Ministries
- African American Congregational Support
- All Women
- Asian Congregational Support
- Gender Justice Ministries
- Hispanic/Latino-a Congregational Support
- Intercultural Ministries
- Korean Emerging Ministries
- Middle Eastern Emerging Ministries
- Multicultural Congregational Support
- Native American Congregational Support
- Racial Ethnic Schools and Colleges
- Racial Justice
- Young Women's Ministries and Presbyterian College Women