Synod agrees to be a multicultural and inter-cultural Church
The Synod meeting has accepted a proposal to ensure multiculturalism is a part of the Future Directions project.
The proposal put to the Synod the commitment to a sixth direction for the church’s Future Directions, ensuring that the church is intentional and acutely aware of the diversity in the Synod.
According to the proposal, “By adding the sixth direction, “Living cross-culturally as a multicultural, intercultural church,” to the Synod’s future directions, we take a proactive approach towards our vision of being a contemporary, courageous, and growing Church.”
“This direction acknowledges our existing multiculturalism, urges us to engage in cross-cultural interactions, and sets the vision of creating intercultural spaces as part of our growing edge.”
Rev. Dr Sef Carrol spoke to the proposal.
“Multicultural, cross-cultural, and intercultural are terms that describe our journey together as the Uniting Church since 1985,” she said.
“And these terms describe our diversity. And that’s actually a gift of the Uniting Church that we are all these things in different ways, in different stages and at different times of our ecclesial life.”
“Future directions singles not only our commitment, but our accountability to work toward fulfilling this direction. It means a new way of being and doing and thinking Church,” she said.
“We also know that transformation and change cannot be merely cosmetic, and words are too easy and enough.”
“Deep and real transformation comes from structural and policy changes. Liberation theology teaches that intentionality is key to change, and internal intentionality requires commitment and practice.”
Rev. Hee Won Chang also spoke to the proposal.
“We all invite you to be part of our journey,” she said.
“Stop being a spectator, but be part of our journey. Because this is your journey. Don’t just enjoy our songs and food, but learn how to cook and learn to speak our languages because we have much to offer to you. This is our gift. This is our blessing that God has given to us.”
The Synod will set up a board to help advise the Synod Standing Committee on multicultural matters.
Membership will be considered by the Synod.
Clarifying questions taken during the meeting considered the underpinning theology, wording, and how the advisory board might function, and the session was extended by a further 10 minutes.
On day three of Synod the Proposal was passed that a sixth commitent be added to Future Directions, Living cross culturally as a multicultural, intercultural church and that points 5a and 5b with be worked through by Rev. Alimoni [Moni] Taumoepeau with Synod Standing Committee.