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.
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 — February 2018
New Immigrant Ministries Are Growing And Thriving in the PC(USA)
“…For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…”
— 1 Corinthians 12:13a
In the February issue of Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries E-newsletter we focus on the growing and vibrant new immigrant new worshiping communities and congregations in our church. Presbyterians from Korea, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America are worshiping, engaging in mission, proclaiming the Good News and teaching the Reformed faith in many languagues and through various cultural expressions. Rev. Lemuel Garcia is the Associate Director of Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries. Following are some of his reflections:
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is very blessed by the Christian witness, mission and outreach that our new immigrant worshiping communities bring to the church. In addition to their being the fastest growing worshiping communities, they demonstrate a life of faith that literally makes possible birthing new ministries by the power of fervent prayer. This life of faith is exemplified by the new immigrant Presbyterians’ tenacity in sharing the good news and offering Christ’s hospitality and love to their neighbors.
Our new immigrant worshiping communities in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) represent twenty-two nationalities speaking eighteen languages and dialects. How is that for a Pentecost experience happening in a community near you?
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place…” (Acts2: 1). People from many different lands speaking their own mother tongues started the Pentecost Church. And in Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries, we are truly blessed to partner with Pentecost worshiping communities in the twenty-first century. We work together with new immigrant worshiping communities “to achieve racial justice and resource the church in its mission to become more diverse and inclusive of racial, ethnic, cultural and language groups. These ministries engage in the mission to grow, transform, empower, lead and develop racial ethnic communities.”
When looking just at the names of our new immigrant worshiping communities one is struck at the rich diversity of their ministries. Here are but a few of the names: First Thai / Laotian Presbyterian Church, Love Community Vietnamese Fellowship, Cristo Salvador Latino Ministry, Galilee Korean Presbyterian Church, Grace de Dieu New Worshiping Community, Arab Christian Fellowship, Trinity Ghanaian Presbyterian Fellowship. But if one looks more closely and deeply at the life, mission and ministry of these new immigrant worshiping communities one discovers why they are the fastest growing in the church. As in the early church, the members of these communities “spend much time together…share with glad and generous hearts, praising God, having the good will of all the people.” No wonder God adds to their number. (cf. Acts 2:43-47).
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:
- Stated Clerk’s statement: ‘Are we complicit in the racism of the alt-right?’
- Presbyterian attitudes on race
- Living into the Confession of Belhar