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 American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino-a, Korean, Middle Eastern and Native American 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.
DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE — November 2017
Middle Eastern Intercultural Ministries in the PCUSA
“…For in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith.”
— Galatians 3:26
There is a rich heritage and history of Middle Eastern Intercultural Ministries in the PC(USA). There are currently more than 50 Middle Eastern Presbyterian congregations and fellowships in the United States worshiping in the Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian and Farsi languages. Presbyterian Middle Eastern Americans trace the origin of their faith to the apostolic age and their Reformed roots to Presbyterian mission in the Middle East in the 19th Century.
Today, Middle Eastern Intercultural Ministries works in partnership with congregations and mid councils to assist in the development and growth of new Middle Eastern worshiping communities and to equip leaders in existing Middle Eastern congregations for effective ministry in the church.
We also partner with the National Middle Eastern Presbyterian Caucus (NMEPC) to coordinate leadership training events, equip Middle Eastern Presbyterians to witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, identify social justice inequities and act as a bridge for dialogue, promoting educational and cultural understanding of Middle Eastern issues. Rev. Magdy Girgis is Field Staff for Middle Eastern Intercultural Ministries in Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries. Following are some of his reflections:
A Beautiful Tapestry
As a field staff, I have the privilege to go around, like a free bird, to see God in action. I can see that God really is the sustainer and upholder of the world.
I could see a new worship community where the pastor and his wife, get in their cars, early on Sunday morning, and drive to the refugees’ houses to bring them to the church for worship. After worship, the pastor takes his portion of the worshipers as well as his wife to drop them off to their homes again. In between, you can see the smiles on faces of whom they had to start their lives and practice their faith again in a new place and new culture.
During worship, you engage with them in real singing, and as the pastor shares the word of God you can see its effect in their facial expressions. After worship, they put the food, which they brought from their homes together and eat their meals with gladness and singleness of heart. “Where did I hear that before?” I could see images and colors woven together in a beautiful story, skillfully woven, in a beautiful tapestry. These people entered God’s story with their own story, and they can see that God really is the sustainer and upholder of the world.
Magdy Girgis, Associate, Middle Eastern Intercultural Congregational Support
Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries
Rhashell D. Hunter
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 shine a light on diversity and reconciliation. Some of the articles featured in this issue include:
- The dismantling of immigrant & refugee families
- PC(USA) leaders issue apology to Native Americans, Alaska natives and native Hawaiians
- Hands & Feet mission initiative leads up to 223rd General Assembly (2018)