The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) offers resources for those starting ministry together in cross-racial or cross-cultural appointments.
Is your church welcoming a new pastor into a cross-racial and cross-cultural (CR/CC) ministry?
The Rev. Jerome (Jerry) DeVine, Superintendent of the Mid-Michigan District and consultant with the General Commission on Religion and Race, says there are “at least 62 cross-racial / cross-cultural appointments in The Michigan Conference.” Included are those appointed to conference staff or cabinet roles.
“When you consider the overall number of active clergy in Michigan,” DeVine observes, “this is a sizable percentage and it continues to grow most years.” He explains further. “A few of these appointments are truly cross-cultural but not cross-racial, such as an English Methodist pastor serving a white U.S. congregation, or a Liberian pastor serving a primarily African American congregation.” DeVine adds that most of the 62 appointments represent clergy of color serving predominantly white congregations. “We have a small number that are intentionally multi-ethnic and multi-cultural communities of faith,” he reports.
The Michigan Conference celebrates cultural vibrancy. Those entering a cross-racial or cross-cultural ministry are encouraged to use the following resources to help foster a welcoming and meaningful transition for the pastor and the congregation:
- 3 Ways to Honor Your CR/CC pastor suggests story-sharing, exploring cultures, and mutual respect are key;
- Communion Liturgy: Great Thanksgiving (Gift of a New Pastor). This liturgy celebrates the gifts of pastor and congregation as they come “to the table where none were strangers”;
- This is our Story, This is our Song: A small group study of six sessions containing reflections and stories from CR/CC clergy.
Find more resources on the website of the General Commission on Religion and Race.