What does God require of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in the 21st century? How do we live our faith as congregations of believers within an increasingly multicultural nation and world? What do we think and how do we feel about opportunities for crossing racial and cultural boundaries and barriers? What will be our responses to entrenched racism in the coming days? What models will we pass on to our young people who will become leaders for tomorrow? Then what is the vision that will inspire and guide us as we make our choices today?
These questions – still timely – open the PCUSA resource Living the Vision: Becoming a Multicultural Church, by Sara Parker and Raafat Girgis. The booklet isn’t new, but as the church continues to seek to embody God’s vision for the world, the principles it articulates are still relevant – including “recogniz[ing] and confront[ing] the pervasive and often unconscious roles of racism and privilege.” [p. 24] Being aware that diverse cultures have different communication styles is an important step.