Intercultural Church Sunday is a time to celebrate God’s diverse, transformed community. In the beginnings of the multicultural church movement, people of different cultures came together and, with excitement and courage, began creating multicultural community. They sought to understand differences in cultures other than their own. Yet, even though other cultures were present, the dominant culture prevailed, and other cultures accommodated to the major culture.
About 20 years ago or so, we moved across cultures. In cross-cultural ministries, we tried to do more than just enjoy each other’s music, cultural clothing, food dishes, or cultural dances. We tried to “cross cultures” and gain more of an understanding of others’ ways of communicating, worshiping and leading. But this still wasn’t as deep an engagement as we felt that God calls us to in the church of Jesus Christ. So we are now engaging in intercultural ministries.
The intercultural model of community hopes to take us deeper than multicultural or cross-cultural models of community. In intercultural communities, there is mutuality, reciprocity, justice, reaching across boundaries and learning from one another. More than merely providing representation, intercultural communities address power balances, and no culture is deemed superior or inferior to another. Most importantly, no one is left unchanged in the intercultural process. In an intercultural community, some examine their own culture more deeply, some are changed through their interactions with others, and transformation occurs. Then the transformed people lead others toward transformed communities.
As children of God, we realize that moving toward God’s intercultural community and allowing ourselves to be transformed provides the possibility for the transformation of all peoples.
Rhashell Hunter, Director of Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Loving God, thank you for creating a beautiful diversity of beings in your image. For your intercultural community of faith, we are ever grateful.