“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.”
Mosaic Mennonite Conference is committed to being a church that goes beyond surface-level diversity toward true racial justice for all people. While our world’s economic and governmental systems present differences among us as threats to be eradicated, we aim to develop multicultural communities of faith that show our broken world a new way of living.
We do not do this by pretending all people are exactly the same. We acknowledge, own, and celebrate our cultural differences, allowing ourselves to be changed by the relationships we build across cultures.
In 2012, the board of our Conference committed to developing intercultural relationships among communities of faith. Our conference has defined intercultural as
“…living out the mission of God across the cultural, racial, economic, ethnic, and national boundaries that tend to divide and stereotype people, toward the goal of being one reconciled people who are transformed by our relationships as we experience now the vision of Revelation 7:9-12.”
This certainly means we purposely bring people of different cultures and ethnicities alongside one another. We, however, are committed to something deeper than that. We strive for more than just a distant appreciation of one another, or other cultures accommodating to the dominant white culture. An “intercultural” commitment means we nurture “a deep understanding and respect for all cultures.” This means deep relationships, even if this means uncomfortable conversations, where “no one is left unchanged because everyone learns from one another and grows together” (Spring Institute).
What steps are we taking to begin to live out our intercultural commitment?
We are assessing current relationships and communities that have potential to move in an intercultural direction. We are committed to building strong relationships among ministries and congregations generally, strengthening our bonds and our ability to change. We are striving to make sure any cross-cultural relationship-building happens with mutual respect rather than one culture dominant over the other. We have developed an Intercultural Team with two dedicated staff that will help incorporate the conference board rep into the Intercultural team. This work is not easy, nor should it be. With God’s help, we can strive for a more just future for all of us.
- Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by E. Randolph Richards, Brandon J. O’Brien
- Intercultural Church – A Biblical Vision for an Age of Migration by Safwat Marsouk
- Intercultural Ministry – Hope for a Changing World Edited by Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Jann Aldredge-Clanton
- Dancing with God by Karen Baker-Fletcher
- Cultural Intelligence by David Livermore
- White Fragility. Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo
- Anxious to Talk About It – Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully about Racism by Carolyn Heisel
- Practice Showing Up: A Practice Guide for White People Working for Racial Justice by Jardana Peacock
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- Dear White Jesus: I’m Breaking Up with You by Dr. Joan Nicole
- What is Internalized Racism? by Donna K. Bivens
- Learning Together: PLAN Stories Of Change 2013
- 10 Ways to Practice Institutional Racism at Your Non-profit Organization by Korbett Mosesly
- Stop Talking About Racial Reconciliation and Start Talking About White Supremacy by Erna Kim Hackett
- White Privilege, Fragility and Vulnerability by Liliana Delman
- Racial Trauma is Real by Maryam M. Jernigan, Carlton E. Green, Leyla Pérez-Gualdrón, Marcia Liu, Kevin T. Henze, Cynthia Chen, Kisha N. Bazelais, Anmol Satiani, Ethan H. Mereish, & Janet E. Helms
- White Supremacy Culture by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun
- Intercultural Competence and Faith Formation
- “Where are you REALLY from?” Decoded
- Doctrine of Discovery – in the name of Christ
- Damascus Road Antiracism Training, Roots of Justice
- Loss of Turtle Island – Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery, Indigineous Vision Center, Mennonite Central Committee Central States
- Intercultural Development Inventory
“If the virus didn’t kill them, hunger would kill them. It was important for the church to ask itself how to help and find ways to do it.”
It sounds like I should already be retired by now but God still gives me the grace to be part of His story.
Resources, information, articles and updates during the COVID-19 crisis.
… my identity is as a citizen of heaven, and every believer in every nation is a co-worker, without being limited by national and political identity.
At the tender age of 22, I found myself ushered into a version of the gospel I still find appealing.
I am committed to ongoing accompaniment and advocacy for the Asian American members and communities across our Conference: the peace of our land is dependent on the recognition of God’s imprint on each person.
In intercultural worship, we learn to choose to continue to worship God in the styles and languages of others.
… kita percaya dengan komitmen, tekad dan kerjasama kita semua bisa menghilangkan rasisme, dan menjadikan perbedaan sebagai sebuah kekayaan yang bisa gunakan bersama-sama untuk saling bertransformasi menjadi ciptaan baru / … we believe that our commitment, determination and cooperation can eliminate racism, and make diversity a treasure that can be used to transform each other into new creations.
There was nothing we could do to get out of the 4-hour traffic jam—it was a tough test for someone as impatient as me.
“I believe that the nonviolent path of Jesus goes beyond refusing to be a part of wars and violence but also to work for peace with passion and commitment.”