May 18, 2022

Five Resources on Race and Multi-Cultural Congregations

This month we offer five resources on race and multi-cultural congregations. Please share this digest with new members of your vestry and extend an invitation to subscribe to ECF Vital Practices ​​​​​​to receive Vestry Papers, blogs, and the monthly digest.

Last year ECF hosted An Evening with The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, where she spoke about her latest book, The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for Beloved Community, which Church Publishing described: “The Church Cracked Open invites us to surrender privilege and redefine church, not just for the sake of others, but for our own salvation and liberation.”

Dr. Sandra Montes discusses how to have a bi-lingual vestry and provides examples and tips from faith communities that have succeeded in her article, Learning To Be the People of God—In Two Languages. ​​​​​​“The Rev. John Rawlinson says that his vestry meetings and minutes have been bilingual since the church’s first mixed vestry. If it is done in one language, it is done in both, is their firm policy.”

In We Need to Be Loved to Grow Spiritually, Andrés Herrera advises how members of minority groups can grow spiritually despite systemic obstacles. “However, we can all agree that we want to grow spiritually; have a richer and deeper spiritual life. The hard part is discovering how to achieve that much-desired growth.”

The Rev. Jemonde Taylor explores racial reconciliation and theology in his essay, Christ Beyond the Pale. He says, “If racial reconciliation means being reconciled to the West or to whiteness, then there will never be true reconciliation. There is hope if racial reconciliation means being reconciled to Jesus Christ.”

In his blog, Campus Ministry’s Unwitting Complicity in Systemic Racism, the Rev. Ken Howard explains how the Church’s concentration on four-year colleges at the expense of two-year colleges has systematically excluded poorer minority students. "The Pew Research study, A Rising Share of Undergraduates are From Poor Families, Especially at Less Selective Colleges, clearly demonstrates how our de facto decision to prioritize campus ministry at four-year institutions over community colleges systematically excludes racial and economic minorities.”