The cities of the United States are becoming more and more like the United Nations. People from all over the world are migrating to other regions or immigrating to other countries. Advancement in transportation has enabled groups of people to relocate easily; hence, communities can change radically in the course of just a few years. The Christian Church has tried to reach the nations through foreign missions but now finds herself oftentimes in the middle or next to communities vastly different than the one that started the church. What is God doing to reach these new friends and neighbors?
This project attempts to understand what God is doing among the churches of the Evangelical Covenant Church and the Vineyard Community of Churches in the United States in the area of multi-ethnicity and diversity in the congregations. The hope is to celebrate what God is doing to bring all kinds of ethnicities and cultures inn unity under Christ, but also to address relevant Scriptures that speak to multiethnicity and multiculturalism. I see the engagement of the various ethnicities and cultures helping the churches become transcultural, i.e. each group is being enriched by virtue of serving, worshipping, and living life together in community.
This project seeks to speak to the inclusivity of God and the call for his people to do likewise. It also speaks to the behaviors and attitudes that help promote and sustain diversity. It addresses some of the needs for cultural intelligence by everyone in the church, especially those persons from a multiethnic church. Finally, it calls for the church to move toward transculturalism, which is much more proactive than multiethnicity.
There are terms that are used interchangeably by various authors. Some authors and practitioners use multiracial to describe their churches, while others use multiethnic or multicultural. In this project, the words used by the interviewees or authors will be used the way they use them. In some cases I will be interchanging multiethnicity and multicultural.