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Intercultural Ministries Connection, June 2013

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Intercultural Ministries Connection
 

 

"Connecting the Body of Christ across cultural lines to express and advance the Kingdom of God in the city, the  region, and the world."

 

Inside This Issue:

updateAn Update on Intercultural Ministries...

There has been a lot trauma in Boston connected to the Marathon Bombing on April 15,  2013. In these times of upheaval and insecurity, it is good to know that "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold" (Psalm 18:2).

 Marathon Bombing Memorial Boston

As I reflected on this event, I realized once again how important it is to build bridges and relationships across cultural lines. In the aftermath of the bombing, I heard peaceful Muslim citizens expressing their fear of what will happen if the attack was executed by an Islamic terror organization. Or the quote of Tamerlan Tsarnaev (the brother who was killed), who once said that he had no American friends and did not understand the US culture. This shows clearly a disconnect, and many existing barriers and walls. As Christians, we are called to get involved in tearing down the walls of prejudice and fear. We are called to the ministry of reconciliation (2. Cor 5:18+19)

 

"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." 

 

My prayer is that you will join us on this journey of reconciliation. In their journey of reconciliation, Gregg Detwiler and David Kimball are building bridges to the Muslim community. Learn from Gregg's reflections what that means, especially after the Marathon bombings.  

 

God continues to move in New England. In the past several years, we have observed a growth of Ethiopian churches. I invite you to learn more about the Ethiopian Christian community, as we have just uploaded their report to the New England's Book of Acts website.

 

Moreover, we have started a series of conversations with esteemed experts about inter-generational relationships in immigrant churches. Watch the videos here.

 

In order to better equip the Church for this task, Intercultural Ministries offers several trainings. The first training (6/29) focuses on relating across cultural lines in general, and the second training (9/13) focuses on building bridges especially to the Muslim community. Another way to improve partnerships across cultural lines is to attend the 'Shared Worship Space' training on 10/12. Find more information about these trainings here.

 

The Intercultural Ministries trainings are embedded in EGC's mission to learn, connect, and equip leaders in Boston. This year we are celebrating 75 years of EGC's ministry and featuring 75 of our partners. Read more about the 75 leaders and get connected to EGC through the new monthly EGC 101 class.

Stephen Kakaira, EGC Intern 2013

 

I am also excited to welcome Stephen Kakaira to the Intercultural Ministries team, especially because one of his interests is in inter-generational relationships within the immigrant churches. Stephen is from Uganda and will intern with us for a whole year. He recently graduated from the Center for Urban Ministerial Education of Gordon- Conwell Theological Seminary.   

 

 


Intercultural Ministries could not fulfill its calling without your prayer and support. But we are also here to serve you. Please contact us if your church or ministry wants to learn how to embrace diversity within your congregation or in the community. We also have experience helping churches navigate through intercultural conflicts. 

Many blessings for you and your ministries!

Bianca signiture 

 Bianca Duemling, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, Intercultural Ministries of the Emmanuel Gospel Center

Reflection After the Marathon Bombing
What Were Boston Muslims Feeling After the Bombing?

by Gregg Detwiler

What were Boston Muslims feeling after the Boston Marathon bombing? This is, of course, a question that is impossible to answer in a monolithic manner. The Muslim community is -- as all communities are -- a diverse one, comprised of many streams of thought and different personalities.  
 
Nonetheless, I found a video piece that the BBC did a few days after the bombing very interesting and helpful.  In this short video, young Muslims from Boston's largest mosque were filmed discussing the bombing and expressing their deep feelings about it. I encourage you to watch this short video to gain a sense of what these young Boston Muslims were feeling; perhaps a different perspective than you might anticipate.  

Also, please pray for our staff as we are taking new, bold steps to engage with the Muslim community. We take these steps as fully committed followers of Christ.  We have no interest in watering down our faith; we want to live it out, expressing God's love and continue the ministry of the Prince of Peace in our violent world. 

 

Ethiopian Christian Community in New England

New chapter of New England's Books of Acts

Ethiopian Christian Leaders Gathering 

by Bianca Duemling   

 

Last spring we were able to connect with several Ethiopian church leaders in New England. First, we did research on the Ethiopian diaspora, the emergence of new Ethiopian churches, and the challenges they are facing. Today, we have five Protestant churches and several Orthodox churches in New England. More and more Ethiopian immigrants are coming to New England, and now the community has grown to about 25,000 people, according to the local pastors. The Ethiopian immigrants face many challenges, such as cultural differences, lack of English knowledge, difficult socioeconomic situation and tensions between the first and second generation. These needs of the Ethiopian community led to a strong desire of the Ethiopian Christian leaders to work together in order to better serve their people

 

Next, we gathered the church leaders to support them in putting their desire of collaboration into practice.  

 

We are excited what God is doing among the Ethiopians and invite you to read about the Ethiopian community in the new chapter of the New England's Book of Acts. 

Conversation about Inter-Generational Relationships in Immigrant Churches

Introduction to a video series 

 

by Bianca Duemling 

Over the past four decades, Boston has witnessed an amazing move of God referred to as "The Quiet Revival" by Emmanuel Gospel Center. The revival is called "quiet" because a lot of people did not know it was happening, but in fact, hundreds of churches were started during this time period, mainly among various ethnic streams: Haitian, Hispanic, Brazilian, Korean and many others.

While this Quiet Revival was happening, there was also another "silent movement" occurring at the same time, one that leaders from nearly every ethnic-specific Christian movement understand well. Helen Lee calls it the "Silent Exodus." "Many young believers are choosing to leave not only their home churches, but their Christian faith as well." This "Silent Exodus" is discussed within the broader context of inter-generational relationship, specifically how senior leadership in immigrant churches pass the baton of leadership to the next generation, and how the second generation is called to honor senior leadership. The conversation focuses on inter-generational ministry across the generational spectrum of the Church.
 
We have invited three experts to discuss this topic: Rev. Tom Lee, English Pastor, Boston Chinese Evangelical Church, Newton Campus; Rev. Thomas Idiculla, PhD, President, Agape Partners International; and Samuel Louis, Associate Pastor, Anointed Baptist Church. Rev. Dr. Gregg Detwiler guided the conversation through five sets of questions. This facilitated conversation is available through a series of videos, each of which is 10 minutes long:

Question 1: Introduction and Framing the Issue
Why is it important to you to address this issue of inter-generational relationships in the church? What is it about this topic that has personally motivated you?

Second Generation: Part 1  Introduction and Framing the Issue
 

Question 2: Challenges and Tensions Leading to the "Silent Exodus"  

Can you elaborate on the challenges and tensions that lead to such a "Silent Exodus"? How has your congregation addressed these challenges?
Watch the video.

Questions 3: Honoring the First Generation
What are some appropriate ways for the second generation to honor the first generation? In what ways does the older generation need to set the younger generation free to lead in their own way from their own experiences?

Watch the video.
Question 4: A Journey of Inter-generational Reconciliation
If a church wants to intentionally address the inter-generational challenges, what advice would you give? What are possible starting points to launch a journey of inter-generational reconciliation?

Question 5: The Future of Inter-generational Relationships in the Church
What do you hope to see for the future regarding inter-generational relationships in the Church?
Watch the video.

 

 Connecting with Emmanuel Gospel Center and Celebrating 75 Years....

Connecting and celebrating

by Bianca Duemling   

 

On April 6, we celebrated 75 years at EGC. We used that occasion to look back and honor 75 leaders EGC has impacted over the years. All 75 of the leader stories are available on our website.  

 

As we look ahead, EGC (through all its programs, including Intercultural Ministries) will continue investing in leaders -- the ones who know they are leaders and the ones who may not think of themselves as leaders. EGC's role has been and will continue to be to do what we can to learn how God is at work in Greater Boston, get to know the leaders God is working in and through, build bridges and make connections, and equip these leaders to help them be effective.

 

If you want to get connected with EGC and understand our

ministry approach more deeply and learn more about urban ministry in Greater Boston, we invite you to join the EGC 101 session on Tuesday June 18, 2013, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at EGC. This session will be offered monthly, so if you cannot attend the one in June, you can sign up for the next one.
Register and find more information here!