I led the workshops with fellow National Consultant Rev. Charissa Suli at CTM in Melbourne and in the regional towns of Ararat and Echuca.
The workshops were organised by Children and Families Worker Chris Barnett from Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, in collaboration with the local Presbyteries, and were designed to equip local Uniting Church members and leaders to work across different cultures and age groups in their own context.
Participants came from congregations of different sizes as well as multiple generations and diverse cultural groups, including Tongan, Indonesian, Fijian, Hindi, Kenyan, Tamil, South Sudanese, Korean, First Peoples and Anglo.
The Uniting Church is blessed with a growing number of culturally diverse members and next generation leaders.
There is a great need for us all in the Uniting Church to be intentional in creating spaces where all cultures and generations feel welcomed. How do we value all the gifts that make up the body of Christ and share in mission and ministry together?
The workshop provided a framework for what this might look like in practice and offered some practical ideas of how we can work together more effectively.
- Who we are as a multicultural Uniting Church and how diverse groups engage with one another in building the body of Christ
- How we understand contexts of multi, mono, cross and inter cultural
- What is meant by being intergenerational and the experiences of different generations
- How we strategically develop an intercultural and intergenerational church
One of the highlights was seeing the different councils of the Church work together to make the workshops happen – they were hosted by local congregations, organised by presbyteries, supported by the Synod and led by Assembly.
It was wonderful to hear the many inspiring stories from local congregations who have embraced and welcomed different cultural groups and generations.