Thursday, October 26, 2006

A2 Session Four: David Ireland

Topic: Living in a Multicultural Reality It's fairly well-known that Dr. Martin Luther King said "11:00 Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America," in reference to the tendency of churches to be made up of primarily one race. David Ireland is the pastor of Christ Church in Montclair, New Jersey. Christ Church is a multiracial church. Their church is about 80% black and 20% Caucasian, Asian & Hispanic. "I want to encourage you...learn to discover each other." Our past shapes us, and if we don't invest the time to discover each other, we hurt each other because we communicate that we don't care. David's research shows that one of the key components to good cross-cultural relationships is the willingness to talk. Don't add people of color to your staff, so that you can be "diverse." -- at least don't do it, until you are absolutely committed publicly and privately to loving people that are different than you -- "I want to move the fence in my life to include others." Good story: two guys had a friend die, so they took him to a cemetery and asked the priest if they could bury him there. The priest told them "no" because it was a Catholic cemetery and this guy was a Protestant. The guys asked if they could bury their friend outside the fence and the priest say that would be okay. So they dug a hole and buried their friend. in the morning, they came back to put flowers on his grave and they couldn't find it...they looked all around the outside of the fence and they couldn't find their friend's grave, and so they found the priest and asked him what happened to their friend's grave. The priest replied, "all night long I couldn't sleep because I didn't like what I had said to you, so early this morning, I got up and I moved the fence." WE HAVE TO MOVE THE FENCE TO INCLUDE PEOPLE NOT LIKE US. "God did not call me to be ethnocentric, but to be ethnoconscious..." Our race is not the most important thing about us, but neither are we to be "color blind." Multicultural worship is one of the hardest pieces to pull together. Multicultural worship is about "planning for people that are different than me." The bullpen is lining up...

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