Sunday-morning multiculturalism

Jonathan Downie

Paul Sanduleac
March 1, 2011

My church translates 2 out of 3 church services in romanian (from russian) every week. No problem.

March 1, 2011

We have so many Korean folks they they attend general services but have a service in Korean as well. We have several dozen refugees from Bhutan. Our pastoral staff is racially mixed, black and white. There are quite a few black folks that are scattered throughout the pews. My 77 year old mother teaches english as a second language to Southeast Asians. We have a rotating team that is constantly working to help rebuild Haiti. We are a pentecostal church (Foursquare) of 5000 and there is a real sense of the presence of God and a brother/sister relationship among our church of all races here in Oregon.

March 3, 2011

Sounds like a glimpse of heaven, Rickd!
The church in Bonn is blessed to have a mini-U.N. with translators, etc. for a simultaneous multi-cultural experience. Beautiful, but rare---yet another avenue for language studies.
The other route to go---Rickd's church in Portland apparently a fine example---is to purposefully be open, be missional to refugees, to immigrants, to provide ESL classes as well as worship services, to help with job searches, citizenship, etc. Also needed is purposeful and non-patronizing support, regular dialogue, program sharing, worshipping, praying, with sister congregations of different demographics, urban/suburban, white/black/Hispanic/Asian, etc. to develop awareness, partnering, fellowship, "at least"---if full integration isn't practical or possible.

March 3, 2011

Went to a Chinese Baptist Church in Wellington 30 years ago that transated from Mandrin to Cantonese & English, & also sign language! Very friendly church . There seems to be a real divide in so many churches these days not only racially but between young & old, Young singles goups, Married groups, Youth groups & Young Mothers groups ( are not the 'older Women' supposed to teach the young?' We even separate the kids out of the service so we can't hear them! How are they going to learn what & how Adults worship? The World is divided -The Church is One.

Jonathan Downie
March 4, 2011

Aside from the startup costs, there is no real reason why something like the CLW model could not be practised elsewhere. Slowly but surely, research s being done which will allow prospective church interpreters to be trained and supported. Also, in cases where interpreting is only needed into one other language, it can be done for free.

While offering English teaching is good, I would also suggest that, even when people are fluent English speakers, there is a different dynamic when they can hear the message and participate in their heart language. I am a fluent French speaker and use it daily but I am still more deeply affected by books and sermons in English.

I do, however, agree that a missional outlook and purposeful interaction with people of other backgrounds, ages and cultures is becoming an absolute necessity nowadays.

Adriana Feliz
March 11, 2011

There's a church in NYC called Times Square Church. They do simultaneous translation in around 5 languages. I loved to hear the amens in different accents. The problem with many churches is that in an effort to make everyone feel at home they group people according to affinities. This leaves little room to learning from diversity.

I translate from spanish to english in my home church.

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