For discussion

September 1, 2010 | Feature | Number 17
Canadian Mennonite |

1. How homogeneous is your congregation? How long does it take for “outsiders” to feel welcome? What extra challenges does someone from a visible minority have to feel accepted? What should Mennonite congregations do so that people from other cultures can feel welcomed and included?

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2. Do you think all Mennonite congregations should be intentionally multicultural? Why is it important? Can a denomination be called multicultural if it has congregations of different ethnicities, or does it require that most congregations have a good variety in the racial mix?

3. What are the barriers or challenges for congregations to become multicultural? Joon-hyoung Park refers to the style of worship and communion as “trivial practices” that we need to be willing to change in order to be more accommodating to those of other cultures. Do you agree? What role does language play in isolating cultures from each other?

4. How much do congregations that worship in a language other than English feel part of Mennonite Church Canada or their area church? Do you think English-speakers feel or act superior to Mennonites whose first language is something other than English? What needs to happen for Mennonite churches to become more multicultural?

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