Ethnic Diversity Task Force

Why Ethnic Diversity?

You may have noticed that, as a movement, the Vineyard is pretty white. (Very white, in fact.) But that's changing in some fundamental ways that give us great hope for the future.

Of course, many of our urban churches are already quite multi-ethnic. (You can read about one of them in this issue of Cutting Edge: The River in Manhattan, which was planted out of the Greater Boston Vineyard. The church is pastored by Charles Park, who is Korean, and a multi-ethnic team. The church congregation is roughly one-third Asian, one-third white, and one-third black.)

And we've also begun to focus on multi-ethnic churches in various regional Vineyard conferences, as well. For example, the Southeast regional conference this year featured as its main speaker George Yancey, a scholar in race and community, and one of the worship sessions was led with Latino flair by a great worship team from the Miami Vineyard (itself a notably multi-ethnic church).

We're trying to take seriously the picture in Revelation 7:9 of "every nation and tribe and people and language" worshiping before the throne of God. We in the Vineyard are not tribalists. We hoping to become church communities that reach out across racial and ethnic lines and learn to re-experience our faith with a new kind of richness.

Discussions are starting on this subject with folks from around the country. You'll be hearing more about it at the national conference. And we'll be bringing you more on the subject right here in the pages of Cutting Edge, too. But, if you're looking to get a jump on things, you could start by reading the books Divided by Faith and United by Faith (an interview with a principal author of both books, the sociologist Michael Emerson, can be found in a previous issue of Cutting Edge) as well as George Yancey's practically-oriented One Body, One Spirit.

And if you'd like to get in touch with this fledgling task force, we'd love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail me at ethnicdiversity@vineyardusa.org.

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