Mutual transformation happens when we acknowledge, own, and celebrate our cultural differences, allowing ourselves to be changed by our relationships with God and others. The theme for the 2021 Mosaic Annual Assembly is “Mutual Transformation,” based on Romans 12:2-10.
“Christians are strangers and aliens within all cultures. Yet the church itself is God’s nation, encompassing people who have come from every tribe and nation. Indeed, its mission is to reconcile differing groups, creating one new humanity and providing a preview of that day when all the nations shall stream to the mountain of the Lord and be at peace.”from Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, Article 10
To be mutually transformed, we need to recognize our status as aliens and strangers in this world. We “do not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, but rather think of ourselves with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of us” (Romans 12:3, NIV). We learn to identify and locate ourselves in cultures, worldviews, families, and systems. Then we decenter ourselves, in order to re-center ourselves in Christ so that we can be reconciled to God and to others.
Mutual transformation within the framework of Mosaic Conference means that power and equity will shift around the table. Part of intercultural work is letting go of power and part of the work is empowering others.
Loosely calculated, in Mosaic Conference, 40% of our staff, 30% of our credentialed leaders, and 20% of our congregations are persons of the Global Majority (a.k.a. people of color) and that number is growing. (People of the Global Majority (PGM) is an emerging term surrounding race that is arguably the most universally inclusive. Unlike the terms “minority” or “marginalized,” the term People of the Global Majority offers Black, Brown, and Indigenous people – who are numerically in the majority all over the world – an empowering term that encompasses a global solidarity against racial injustice.)
“the term People of the Global Majority offers Black, Brown, and Indigenous people – who are numerically in the majority all over the world – an empowering term that encompasses a global solidarity against racial injustice.”
One of lesser-known components of fall Assembly is a gathering called, “Nations and Generations,” held for the leaders of the Global Majority (the leaders of color) in our Conference. Imagine an intercultural space where language, nationality, and cultural differences are recognized and honored. An “us” emerges from growing relationships and connections as similarities, shared experiences, and unity in Christ result in mutual transformation. Meeting together is one way for leaders to encourage one another, worship, build vision, and celebrate God’s work.
This year’s “Nations and Generations” gathering will be held virtually at three different events, in three languages (Spanish, Indonesian, and English). If you are a person of color/global majority within Mosaic Conference, we invite you to join with other leaders from our Conference, in the language of your choice, to share stories of mutual transformation and empowerment.
En Español | Dalam Bahasa Indonesia
May God bless us all as we meet together in our Annual Assembly!
May God continue the intercultural, formational, and missional work of mutual transformation in and among us!
This post is also available in: Español (Spanish) Indonesia (Indonesian)