Becoming a Church of Intercultural Transformation is
embracing the fullness of God’s image in every person and community
and intentionally and decisively making room for all of God’s people, by
disrupting the status quo, working to end racism, and working to eliminate
oppressive systems of power and privilege.
(see Appendix B for a Glossary of Terms)
A Church of Intercultural Transformation fairly represents the whole people of God, where confession, repentance, forgiveness, restitution, reconciliation, and redemption are made possible by following Christ’s path of self-emptying and sacrificial love for people of all races, cultures, and ethnic backgrounds, all of whom are created in God’s image. (cf. Phil 2:6-8 and Gen. 1:27).
A Church of Intercultural Transformation gathers in prayer, worship, and mission and commits itself to practices of mutual recognition and understanding of difference through intentional self-examination, relationship building, and equitable access to power.
Becoming a Church of Intercultural Transformation is gathering with people of different racial, ethnic and cultural identities, interacting with one another, learning and growing together, building relationships and becoming transformed and shaped from each other’s experiences.
In the Church of Intercultural Transformation, no one is left unchanged. Some examine their own cultures more deeply; some are changed through their interaction with others; many learn more about what it means to be in intercultural community together.
A Church of Intercultural Transformation addresses racial and cultural power imbalances, and people are able to learn from each other through the power of the Holy Spirit, leading toward the transformation of all people.
The commitment to become A Church of Intercultural Transformation is expressed when the church begins to live its faith by:
Celebrating and using God’s gifts of theological and liturgical richness that arise from all of God’s people’s racial, cultural and linguistic diversity;
Intentionally seeking ways to engage the genuine racial, cultural and linguistic diversity of all members of the church in all church structures, councils, agencies, and organizations;
Supporting the development and distribution of multilingual resources in the languages of members of the church;
Engaging in effective prophetic advocacy and public policy development on the issues of race, class, gender and sexual identity and expression, economic and environmental justice;
Expanding curriculum to educate about different racial and cultural heritages, histories and traditions in the church and society, as well as educating about racism, sexism, classism, power and privilege, cultural humility, and different ways of learning and practicing the Reformed faith;
Assuring that writers of church publications are of different racial, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds and that images used in denominational publications and promotions show Presbyterians of color as ministers, elders and leaders in the denomination, rather than relying on portrayals of people of color as objects or recipients of mission;
Encouraging ministers and leaders in the church to engage in white privilege recognition, cultural humility, and anti-racism training, and to participate in immersion experiences in other cultures and languages;
Including people of different races and cultures on Boards of Trustees, Finance and Property Committees, and in the planning and implementation of financial management and stewardship in the church, promoting faithful, equitable and just stewardship and sharing of financial and property resources by those in God’s intercultural community;
Incorporating an ethic of mutual accountability in relationships with one another at all levels of church governance by reporting to one another regularly on progress and areas of difficulty and obstacles to equity.
(Source: See One Body, Many Members, Uniting Church in Australia, https://assembly.uca.org.au/obmm)