The Christ and Cultures Gathering is organising a workshop on Shaping Cross-Cultural Congregations.
We all agree that cross-cultural ministry is not just food, song and dance. Being church means different things to culturally diverse people. Tension exists when people of diverse cultures, with different views of being church, come together as one congregation for worship.
Leadership can also differ from one culture to the other. Being a leader or an ordained minister takes on different meanings for different people. The diversity of expectations of the people will create stress and conflict.
We reflect on cross-cultural ministry by telling the faith story of how God has formed, nurtures, guides and loves us and our community. We also tend to compare biblical studies trying to make sense of cultural differences. We need a safe place to share these stories and listen to the stories of others so that we may learn.
With the cultural diversity in our own congregations that is giving rise to some of the tensions, it is also important to reshape ourselves spiritually to become a truly multicultural church. For this reason, the Christ and Cultures Gathering has organised a series of workshops on Shaping Cross-Cultural Congregations to equip the church with the necessary tools for its ministry in the diversity of its congregants.
The workshop will be divided into three parts to explore the need, what we do, and how we do it. It is built to equip leaders with the necessary tools to build on. Each congregation will be different and will need different models of being church and leadership. Shaping Cross-Cultural Congregations aims at starting a journey in the pilgrimage of the Multicultural Uniting Church.
Shaping Cross-Cultural Congregations
Part 1: The call to be a multi/cross cultural church
The Uniting Church has made several statements on what it means to be a multicultural church and one which seeks to be sensitive to its linguistic and cultural diversity. In the course of this day we will become familiar with these claims and how we understand them in our own context. We will hear stories of what it is like to be a first and second generation migrant as well as a one-point-fiver. We will hear what it has been like to be a long time resident of an area and what might it mean for us as individuals and congregations to live cross-culturally. Who is our neighbour? What is the kingdom of God like? What might it mean for us to be a ‘citizen of heaven’ in the daily business of everyday living?
Date: 20 June, 2015
Venue: Northmead Uniting Church, 3 Hammers Rd, Northmead NSW 2152
Living in between cultures.
Part 2: ReSourcing ourselves
It is now time to consider the ways in which we ‘use’ the Bible. In the course of this day we will listen to the different ways in which we approach the Bible and let its witness address us. We will explore some biblical themes to do with hospitality and home, being aliens and strangers, guests and hosts. We will seek to interpret a number of texts as if our culture and experience is different from the ones we live by on a day by day basis. We will think out loud with one another what we hope to find in a ‘multicultural’ service of worship. What kinds of hymns will help us grow more into that space?
Date: 25 July, 2015
Venue: Ramsgate Community Church, 181 Rocky Point Rd, Ramsgate NSW 2217
How do we use the Bible?
How do we handle cultural differences in theology?
What might we do in worship?
Part 3: Exploring Models of Ministry and Leadership – Register
We will begin by accepting that there are always points of tension when more than one culture worships with another. We will name those and leave them parked for the day. We will then consider what it means to be a minister and leader within our cultural traditions. There are differences; we will name them and leave them parked for the rest of the day. We will then talk with one another about what we think are the values, the gifts of the skills, the skills required for a cross-cultural ministry and leadership.
Date: 19 September, 2015
Venue: Blacktown Uniting Church, 59-65 Bungarribee Rd, Blacktown NSW 2148
What does it mean in ‘my’ culture to be a minister, ordained, leader?
What models of leadership might a cross cultural ministry require?
Nurturing the congregation