Monthly Message from Rev. Tony


– Creatively Creating a Multiracial Congregation

Dear Beloveds,

Our theme for this month is CREATIVITY! Fifteen of our members have taken the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Assessment which measures an individual’s or a group’s capacity to successfully understand and navigate different cultures. Later in the month (May 28th), I’ll spend a Sunday service reflecting on what we can learn from the IDI and how we might think creatively about becoming a more multicultural and multiracial congregation.

In 2018 I attended the “Revolutionary Love Conference” hosted annually by Middle Collegiate Church in New York City, where the lead Pastor is Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis (click here for more about her). Middle Collegiate Church is about as diverse and multicultural as a church gets. It’s racially diverse, economically diverse, has a substantial LGBTQIA+ membership, and every generation from the Greatest through to Alpha (born roughly 2010-2024) is represented in good numbers. Shortly after I attended Revolutionary Love, Rev. Dr. Lewis published a book called “The Pentecost Paradigm: Ten Strategies for Becoming a Multiracial Congregation.” I’m hoping the IDI will be one tool that helps think creatively about how to diversify the congregation. A good place to start is to consider Rev. Dr. Lewis’ recommendations. According to her, building a multiracial congregation involves:

* Embracing Call and Commitment
* Casting the Vision
* Managing Change and Creativity
* Creating Congregational Identity
* Building Capacity
* Cultivating Community
* Celebrating in Worship
* Understanding Congregational Conflict
* Communicating and Organizing
* Collaborating in the Public Square

We already engage in some of these strategies. We collaborate in the public square, we cultivate community, and we embrace the call and commitment For our next steps, we might begin by talking more with each other about our congregational identity – what it is and what it could be or what we want it to be – and thinking creatively about how we take those steps. The IDI may help us cast a multiracial vision. I’ll speak more about this during my sermon in late May. Have a creative month!

Rev. Tony