In Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural 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 American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino-a, Korean, Middle Eastern, Native American and African Intercultural ministries. The people of color and new immigrant worshiping communities that we support regularly gather together, constructing a people of color identity that stems from a common history, heritage and language. We work closely with people of color 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 people of color, new immigrants, and women can serve fully in ministry and leadership.
In our ministries we work to achieve gender and racial justice and equip people of color and young adults for leadership. We assist college-age and young women of color 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.
2018 Theme: Clergywomen Who Challenge Racism and Injustice
Basis for the Theme: Many of us are blessed to know clergywomen who have been advocates for racial and intercultural justice, with a respectful awareness and appreciation for each other’s different races, ethnicities, cultures and languages. At the Women of Faith breakfast, we will show gratitude and recognize clergywomen who are “woke” and who challenge systemic racism and oppression.
Purpose of award: This award recognizes clergywomen who challenge racism and injustice.
DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE — October 2018
Multilingual Cultures of the PC(USA)
“I now realize that it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis. Whoever fears God and does what is right is acceptable to God, no matter what race they belong to.”
— Acts 10:34-35,
Asian Intercultural Congregational Support Ministries
This month edition of the Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries focuses on the Asian Intercultural Ministries. Mei-Hui Lai is an associate/coordinator/associate director in Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries. Following are some of her reflections.
— Rhashell D. Hunter
By Mei-Hui Lai – Multilingual Cultures of the PC(USA)
The Asian Intercultural Congregational Support Ministry works with Asian constituencies to assist with issues related to Asian American ministries. We work to develop resources for leadership development, to help in new church development projects, to consult with issues in church redevelopment, to facilitate leadership training conferences and to provide staff service to the Southeast Asian Advisory Committee.
As the associate of Asian Intercultural Congregational Support, I work with members and churches from 12 different country backgrounds. Each congregation uses their own language, which are more than 20 different languages in worship and church activities. Indonesian Presbyterian Churches use more than three languages, Myanmar Presbyterian Churches use more than five different languages. Congregations purchase their hymnals or other curricula from their home country church. Most of their Sunday services are in their own language presented through a PowerPoint or on a DVD. Some provide English or other language translation with an earphone set for the second-generation individuals, spouses or visitors who cannot understand their languages.
Over the past 6 years, the office has provided translation for members with limited English to follow the Lenten and Advent devotionals of Presbyterians Today. The languages include Indonesian, Taiwanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese. Providing Asian translated
Each September I receive copy from the editor of Presbyterians Today for the Advent Devotional. I share the materials to with each of the different Asian congregational leaders and invited them each to organize their own translation team. After receiving the completed translation from any of the language groups, I edit the copy by using all original images and completed the making of each different language version in early November. In addition to publishing copies and providing to congregation in mid-November, I also uploaded the Asian languages version to Presbyterian Today website before the end of November so that people could freely download to read and to pray together with all the members of Presbyterian churches.
Rev. Henderika Wattimena, an Indonesian female pastor, has been the leader of a team of individuals who translate Indonesian materials. Rev. Wattimena has also proofread Indonesian translations over the past six years. She has invited six to eight members to translate each four to five days of contents. After Rev Wattimena proofreads and corrects the material, it was my turn to edit and turn it into the Indonesian booklet. Then it was printed and sent to all Indonesian Churches. Most of members never have had an opportunity to participate in a nationwide program, they are so happy that they are involved in the big family for the season of devotional together. Just a very short time of prayer together each day, it means a lot of the unity in Spirit with everybody in PC(USA).
Read the Racial Equity Torch
In the current issue of the Racial Equity Torch, we lift up the work that Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a whole, is doing to shine a light on diversity and reconciliation. Some of the articles featured in this issue include:
- Stated Clerk’s statement: ‘Are we complicit in the racism of the alt-right?’
- Presbyterian attitudes on race
- Living into the Confession of Belhar