From Eliana Maxim, Director of Multicultural Ministries
“I am because we are”… begins the famous Asante proverb. Yet it does not end there; it continues saying, “and therefore we are because I am.”
The Seattle Presbytery is blessed to be located in a richly multi-cultural city, one that attracts Christians from every continent in the world. We are also blessed that our past can boast of having people within the presbytery who recognized this, and began nurturing fellowships within our diverse communities. How do we continue to partner with these brothers and sisters, not just so they can eventually charter their own PC(USA) churches, but also to help transform our established churches? Collectively, we are one body – the body of Christ. But, as the proverb urges us, we are also distinctly ourselves – our own cultures, languages and worship styles. How can we support the individuality of our ethnic fellowships, while also being sure we set a table that makes room for all?
Having a single model for multicultural ministries contradicts the very idea of the diversity. Together with members of the Catalyzing Missional Communities committee (CMC), community leaders in multiculturalism, and the General Assembly’s office on Multicultural Ministries and Immigrant Issues, I hope to encourage discussion that will lead us into “doing ministry” in ways that are sensitive to and appropriate for each faith community. This is a commitment to the Gospel and to our vision of the kingdom of God.
The CMC committee has been busily meeting with the presbytery’s various fellowships, forming relationships and learning how we can be better partners. Our goal is to begin finding ways to nurture ethnic communities in the presbytery, as well as increase awareness to how our churches can become more involved with the ethnic diversity in our communities. This can only strengthen our identity as the body of Christ.
I hope you will have chance to come by the presbytery office and stop by to chat. Or give me call. I welcome your insights and suggestions on how we can work together in service to our Creator.