May 27, 2018
Leaders from across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) representing intercultural congregations, and the Presbyterian Intercultural Network, gathered at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, Kentucky, last fall to talk about their call, passion and best practices for intercultural ministries. Ideas for possible initiatives were shared on how the Presbyterian Church may become an intercultural church that is truly welcoming and inclusive, and that genuinely appreciates each other’s distinctiveness and values differences.
Out of this intercultural conversation participants affirmed that “we are living in an increasingly intercultural society that brings numerous challenges and opportunities for effective and relevant ministries.” A resolution, “Declaring an Imperative for the Reformation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in being a Transformative Church in This Intercultural Era,” was drafted and submitted to the Presbyterian Mission Agency for deliberation and recommendation to the 223rd General Assembly (2018).
The intercultural resolution is calling the church to commit to live as God’s community together where mutual recognition and understanding of differences through self-examination, relationship building and equitable access to power are not mere ideals but actual practices. One of the recommendations of the resolution is “to urge the sessions of each congregation, as well as each mid council, seminary, Presbyterian Women’s groups and other entities, to take action to be intercultural in their life, work and worship.”
While the resolution is asking the 223rd General Assembly to declare the period from 2020 to 2030 as the “Decade of Intercultural Transformation” by “focusing on transformative priorities and initiatives across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),” it is our hope and prayer that this may be the beginning of a new reformation movement in the church where God’s people who have already come from east, west, north and south and who are already living in our midst may openly, intentionally and joyfully be extended Christ’s welcome.
Lemuel Garcia-Arroyo, Associate Director of Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Today’s Focus: Intercultural Church Sunday
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
God of grace and love, may all your people find their rightful place at the the Lord’s table, where there is a welcoming space for everyone to partake, together in unity, of the bread of life and the cup of salvation. May we be faithful to the call of welcoming one another as Christ has welcomed us.