Being a Multicultural Church

Finding new ways to build community

Summer Spirit held in WA Synod in February 2020

A report on multicultural ministry from WA

By Bev Fabb, Acting Presbytery Secretary and Co-ordinator of the Multicultural Network of WA Synod.

Every year in February the Presbytery of WA holds a two-day educational event called Summer Spirit. This year the theme was All of this is Us- Culture and Church. The focus was on ways to create a genuinely cross cultural and intergenerational church. We were fortunate to be able to hold this prior to the advent of COVID-19 restrictions. Keynote speakers were Rev. Dr Apwee Ting and Rev. Charissa Suli. There was good attendance from across the church and we enjoyed a Tongan banquet on the Friday night. Hopefully all participants now have a better idea of how to build relationships between cultures and generations.

Soon after COVID-19 hit us and this has had a big impact on all our churches. The Multicultural Network was not able to meet in April and we are unsure when we will be able to meet again. The plans for the Multicultural Network to host a birthday worship celebration for the UCA on June 20 have been put on hold.

However, most multicultural churches are in good heart and are finding new ways to build community and worship God. Leaders are however finding this a very busy time as they have to learn new ways of leading worship and keep in regular contact with members.  On the positive side, they have found that many people from interstate and overseas have been able to participate in their online worship and other activities and they also are accessing worship and other resources from interstate and overseas.

A brief summary of what is happening.

  • Beth Shalom Tongan church is livestreaming their Sunday worship via Facebook. During Holy Week they also had daily devotionals livestreamed at 7pm.
  • GKI Indonesian Church is livestreaming their Sunday worship and Sunday School activities through YouTube. They also are doing a weekly Bible Study via Zoom.
  • The Korean Uniting Church in Kardinya is livestreaming their Sunday worship via their website each Sunday. They are also providing an online Meditation Group each Tuesday and Friday early in the morning.
  • Perth Samoan Uniting Church is joining in the Zoom worship provided by Kalamunda- Forrestfield Uniting Church and also sharing in Samoan worship from interstate and overseas. Regular contact is being kept with members.
  • The Fijian Fellowship at Wanneroo Crossways is livestreaming worship fortnightly via Facebook, and also sending out daily devotionals to church members. They are also offering a Prayer by Phone service.
  • The Mandarin ministry at Nedlands is holding ESL Bible Study every Friday evening via Zoom and also running a Mandarin speaking Prayer Group and Bible Study group online.
  • The monthly Afrikaans worship from Trinity UCIC is continuing on Zoom.
  • The Niuean Christian Fellowship is offering fortnightly on line worship and also accessing worship led by Niuean ministers interstate or overseas.

There are some multicultural churches who are struggling to cope with the changed circumstances. The Presbytery is offering assistance to them as they find new directions.

Below are photos from Summer Spirit in Febraury 2020