One of the "hot potatoes" of the 61st Session of the SEC was the debate on mono-ethnic churches in our conference, I was surprised at the strong resistance of what I thought was a no-brainer on this discussion. We here in Area 5 (at least High Wycombe) seem far removed from some of the bigger issues of the conference so thought it would be good to see how we felt on the matter.
As a taster for the subject, have a look at the link below from the SEC website and lets start talking.
Simple. All churches have English names, but list language/s of worship in the description and make clear if any translation service is provided. US churches are way ahead on this one.
Churches should meet the needs of the congregation, but for organizational purposes, legal rights, benefits etc. it may be more appropriate to use the language of the country. And yes, more inclusive.
It cannot be assumed that a Ghanaian would only want to go to a Ghanaian church, they may want to go to an English church to learn English. Likewise, an English person may want to experience a different cultural worship experience and should not feel excluded.
The minute we start dividing churches by ethnicity/culture, is the day we become segregated and lose our church unity. Florida has this issue and neither side is willing to merge.
It seems we've started on that path but maybe it can be changed with enough discussion and trying to meet the needs of the people. The Ghanaian churches (as well as other mono-ethnic congregations) have at this point opted to maintain their own language in churches.
The US with its regional conferences (black) is certainly not way ahead of us on that, I don't think we as a conference should ever aspire to that way of doing things.
I agree we shouldn't make assumptions but lets face reality, the position of inclusiveness (especially to the indigenous population) was voted down by the delegates, the preferences was to adopt a do nothing but wait and see position, how does this help?
Wycombe Community is predominantly a Vincentian church, (majority is first or second generation Vincentian), when we invite others to church, its usually family and close friends which just happens to be of a similar cultural.racial background. Are we any different than a mono-ethnic church? please elaborate.