One of my main concerns for the church is building a community of diverse peoples. This has been a concern of mine from childhood when one of my favorite songs said “red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.” I have wanted to bring all of God’s precious children together, but have struggled to envision how to bring that about.
Recently, I read about “Women’s Worship” and a Children First worship time. One common suggestion was to create a monthly worship service addressed around the needs of the specific community. Could this be a way to begin a worship time intended for an audience of many ethnic and cultural backgrounds?
First off, let me say that I am not trying to segregate the worshiping community. Ethnically and culturally, we are already highly segregated in worship. Even the congregation where I currently worship, which prides itself on its diversity, finds itself segregated from Hispanic and Asian worshiping communities that use its facilities. I am looking for a way to bring people together.
I envision a monthly service at a time separate from any current worship time. It would be a time to highlight the gifts of many in the community in ways that are not regularly done in the weekly worship services of any group. Yes, language barriers will need to be addressed. However, the purpose would be to worship God together with each other as the diverse people God made us to be. While we may not understand every single word spoken, we should be able to understand the love of God flowing through our neighbors.