Growing together as an Intercultural Church
In this final piece reflecting on what it means to live our life as an Intercultural Church, Rev Charissa Suli speaks about some of the work of the Assembly Resourcing Unit in equipping the Church to live its life cross culturally.
By Rev Charissa Suli, National Consultant, Assembly Resourcing Unit
The Uniting Church seeks to be an intercultural and intergenerational church, with people of different cultures and ages being God’s people together.
But what does this look like in practice? What are the challenges? More importantly, how do we work towards addressing them together as the body of Christ?
The Assembly Resourcing Unit (ARU) has been developing a workshop and resources that respond to the growing diversity of our church and assist UCA members at all levels of our church to better understand what it means to be a multicultural church in practice.
The multicultural, cross cultural, intercultural and intergenerational church is more than just inclusion - it’s about a radical hospitality that calls all of us to welcome, equip and hold together the different generations, the life, ministry, decision making and leadership of the church.
Through an intercultural lens, we can learn from and enable diverse groups within the church to flourish together.
The ARU has purposefully explored what it means to be both an intercultural and intergenerational church, recognising that we are a church of both many cultures and multi-generations. These two areas of our life cannot be lived apart.
It is our hope to grow cross-cultural awareness by exploring our own personal stories and learning more about others’ cultural background and experience.
We also hope to give opportunity for participants in the workshop to identify barriers that exist because of our cultural differences and to become more aware of elements of racism in our own communities and in the Australian context. By taking the time to invest in these kinds of programs it helps us to reflect on the need for healing and justice, and to build communities that celebrate diversity and respect difference in Christ.
The ARU has also begun exploring the development of “master classes” and short and concise online gatherings that focus on specific areas of Intergenerational and Intercultural Ministry as we respond to the needs of the Church.
We invite you to join us as we delve into creating safe spaces of talanoa and sharing as we learn from each other the joys, lessons, challenges and our commitments to being an Intercultural and Intergenerational church.
We are excited to explore further how we can build up the amazing diverse leaders we have in the Uniting Church and help them to mentor the next generation.
As an old African proverb says: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far go together’. Without a doubt the greatest ‘resource’ that we have for travelling together in this intercultural, intergenerational ministry is the Gospel itself. It reminds us that only ‘in Christ’ do we have a unity that transcends all cultural difference (Galatians 3:28).
- What do we mean by multi, cross and intercultural?
- How we understand intergenerational; First Gen, Second Gen and Next Gen realities and identity
- Communication, conflict, cultural and generational intelligence
- Cross-cultural awareness
- How do we pastor a multicultural church?
- How to lead an intercultural Bible study?
- Intercultural worship
- Ministry and mission in an intercultural and intergenerational context
Below is an example of the discussion prompts and practical tips included in the workshop.