Multiculturalism: Creating a Church for all people


By Rev. Abra Lattany-Reed, associate director of Connectional Ministries

Interestingly enough, the last lesson for 2012 from the United Methodist Adult Bible Study Series for December 30 was entitled “Christ's Love for the Church.”

In this lesson, the writer, Jack Gilbert, states that in the last few years we have been puzzled by the influx of other nationalities and cultures into our American milieu. He asks, “are we a melting pot in which we all practice the same general customs, or are we a stew in which each culture retains its own identity, much as the carrots and potatoes in a stew retains their own shape and color?” 

According to Gilbert, we might think these are bogus questions. However, he states these are questions that have haunted people, especially those who live by the love of Christ, since the beginning.

As we see from this lesson, these questions have become more relevant and pressing as we move into 2013. Many of these issues were discussed in great detail at the 2012 Multicultural Conference at Lake Junaluska (see Rev. Michael Culbreth's article in this issue).  

The Office of Connectional Ministries has accepted this challenge and is seeking to find answers and solutions by focusing this year on multiculturalism and creating a church for all people. Our charge is to provide assistance to our congregations as we strive to create that church for all people. We want to begin by examining multiculturalism as it exists in our congregations today. 

Each of our communities are uniquely diverse and forever changing. Our goals over the next year are to share resources, provide tools and intentionally dialogue about how we are currently addressing multiculturalism in our congregations.

We want to hear what you are doing or what you would like to do in terms of multiculturalism.

We want to hear your ideas, suggestions and challenges as they relate to cultural diversity. It is our prayer that you will engage your congregation in this effort, and embrace and initiate meaningful dialogue immediately. We are counting on your help, your participation and your response. Let us hear from you.

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