Race relations and church

The Legacy of Hope - Moving Beyond Boundaries

Author
Temaki Carr
Abstract
The Legacy of Hope stares into the future, a future that seems riddled with change and transition, and ponders how best to serve a transforming community. Mt. Hope Baptist Church is a historically African American church nestled in a moderately rural Virginia community, which is in the midst of an enormous population, socioeconomic, and demographic transition. How will this community transition impact Mt. Hope? The purpose of the research was to determine what effect, if any, a relational meeting campaign and two multicultural, multiracial Christian education classes would have on incorporating multicultural, nonblack attendees into the life of Mt. Hope Baptist Church. The research determined that the threshold to incorporate multicultural, nonblack attendees into the life of Mt. Hope Baptist church has been traversed. The formal and informal relational meeting campaign with key leaders and nonblack worship attendees as well as two Christian education classes influenced the five measurement protocols towards a propensity of acceptance to multicultural ministry.

Baptismal Covenant and Antiracist Identity: A Phenomenological Study of Christian Antiracist Formation

Author
John Matthew Weiler
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore the role of confession, repentance, and baptismal identity within the antiracist identity of four white Christians to further the work of antiracist transformation and organizing in the local church. The primary methodology for this work was exploratory, utilizing phenomenological, semi-structured, in-depth interviewing with a sample of four, white Christians at Eastern United Methodist Church in Michigan. The thesis was that baptismal identity, and the Christian practices of confession and repentance in the work of antiracism liberates white Christians to joyfully make space for all people to experience the liberating love of God.

The Unity Process and Its Effectiveness In Decreasing Cross-Cultural Divisions In Society Due to Racism

Author
Pamela Y Fields D.Min.
Abstract
This case study dealt with determining the usefulness of The Unity Process as a tool in combatting the racial divisions in the Dallas area. Research tools included pre- and post-surveys and interviews. The results were compared with The Unity Process. The three major findings from the research are the reality of the systemic nature of racism became apparent as well as the lived realities of minorities. From this awareness and understanding, participants became able to engage with others from different races and cultures. Finally, participants felt more competent and willing to engage and be an active advocate for minorities in America.

CONGREGATIONAL DIVERSITY AS A SPIRITUAL STRENGTH: RECOGNIZING OUR COMMON IDENTITY IN CHRIST IN THE BIBLICAL METANARRATIVE

Author
David Kosobucki D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this research is to gauge the appreciation for diversity in the congregation of Horizon Christian Fellowship Central as a spiritual strength, based upon a common identity in Christ as expressed through the biblical metanarrative. The church in question is based near downtown Indianapolis. It is diverse from the standpoint of ethnicity or race as well as socioeconomically, meaning a full spectrum of class, income and educational levels are represented. It is also multigenerational, displaying an age range from high school students that come from the neighborhood without their parents to the elderly. Nonetheless, there are under 100 adults that attend on a typical Sunday, meaning this variety of people interacts on a constant basis.

The author delivered a fourteen-part series of teachings that went through the Bible from beginning to end. Seven messages came from the Old Testament and seven more from the New. These messages explored the themes of unity, diversity and our identity in Christ. The author concurrently led three rounds of focus groups consisting of three groups each, which met in homes to discuss the above themes as they appear throughout the Bible. Groups met before, during and after the teaching series.

In the focus groups, the church displayed an appreciation for the theme of diversity as it appears in the Bible. They seemed reluctant to speak in terms of the biblical metanarrative, though they saw the metanarrative as the foundation for their identity in Christ. They accepted this as their primary personal identity and something they shared with one another. Further, this congregation valued its own diversity, believing that it equipped them to relate and reach out to a greater variety of people. These views were reinforced rather than initiated by the teaching series, meaning people already held the views.

Making Room: Conversations About Race and Faith Between Members of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC and St. John's Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC

Author
Martha Dixon Kearse
Abstract
In this project, the candidate recorded personal stories from members of two different Baptist congregations: Friendship Missionary Baptist Church (a church made up predominantly of members identifying as African-American) and St. John’s Baptist Church (a church made up predominantly of members identifying as Caucasian). Using those recordings, the candidate created a podcast called “Making Room,” and invited participating group members to listen to each other’s stories. In addition, the candidate invited these same group members to participate in conversations about issues of race, especially as they present themselves in Charlotte, NC. The candidate and group members challenged themselves with the biblical ethic of hospitality and explored conversations about how each individual might help to improve relationships between African-Americans and Caucasian Americans using that Christian ethic.

Bridging the Latino--Anglo gap: A transition towards a cross-cultural church at First Baptist Church, Robbins, North Carolina

Author
Ernesto Robledo
Abstract
In its 2,000 years of existence, the church has remained mostly segregated in regards to the inclusion of other cultures within one setting. Christians from various traditions have spent centuries trying to be more like Jesus as they worshiped in many different settings. Even though the church has been active for so long, the reality is that she has been predominantly white. Through an intentional pastoral project, twenty-four individuals participated in a four-week bilingual Bible study and a community-wide missionary event. These purposeful interactions proved that the church can change her traditional ministry pattern by engaging members of the Latino and Anglo congregation in a cross-cultural experience at First Baptist Church of Robbins, NC.

BENEFITS OF MULTI-ETHNIC DIVERSITY FROM A MAJORITY CULTURE PERSPECTIVE AT A CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL IN VOUCHER PROGRAM: A STUDY OF WISCONSIN LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL IN MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN

Author
Kenneth Fisher D.Min.
Abstract
Entering the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP), a voucher program, enabled Wisconsin Lutheran High School (WLHS) to become a multi-ethnic Christian high school, fulfilling the Great Commission's call to "make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19) while offering its students the many benefits of ethnic diversity. In order to assist in the recruitment of a balanced multi-ethnic student body, this project explores the positive benefits from the majority culture perspective of Caucasian parents whose students attended WLHS in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The project's biblical exploration centers on the Great Commission's call for ethnic inclusion, as well as the biblical issues related to maintaining a healthy, multi-ethnic diversity in a high school. The review of contemporary literature explores the problem of school segregation; the demonstrable benefits of multi-ethnic schools for white students; the role parental perceptions play in school selection; and the special way a multi-ethnic Christian school can deal with racism and segregation as spiritual problems.

Key findings of the project included: white parents are more likely to listen to other white parents than objective data; diversity is more often a reason to reject a school than a factor in selecting a school; parents' positive perceptions of safety and academic rigor are vital; and parents' understanding of diversity's benefits grow as they reflect more deeply upon them.

Toward the Spirituality of Oneness: A Remedy to the Attitude of 'We versus They,' A Case of the Turkana and Pokot Communities in Lodwar and Kitale Catholic Dioceses, Kenya

Author
Jane Frances Nabakaawa DM D.Min.
Abstract
Abstract

The purpose of this study is to identify, examine and address the factors contributing to attitude of “we versus them” amongst human societies. We use the Pokot and Turkana ethnic groups as a case study. Through social analysis and the theological reflection, that is, the dialogue of the problem with Magisterium of the church about the spirituality of oneness based on our Lord Jesus’ prayer, “Father that may be one…” (John 17:21), it discusses ways of how humanity can eradicate this divisive attitude by learning how to live as “one” with the aid of Christian (Catholic) spirituality. On the basis of this examination, a number of Pastoral recommendations are proposed on ways in which the catechists as lay ministers at the grassroots can be able to contribute to the rigorous efforts of combating the sin of division to the unity in diversity which we focus on and term as the spirituality of oneness. Thus adding a new dimension of how humanity is to live as one as it captures the daily dynamics, transformative quality of spirituality as a lived experience linked to our relationship to the Ultimate, with others and society and the cosmic world.

The Spirituality of Fatherhood: Developing a Faith Formation Program for the Archdiocese of Chicago

Author
Willie Robert Cobb Jr. D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project set out to explore the current faith formation programs offered in the Archdiocese of Chicago and the experience of fathers within this context, to support the spiritual growth of fathers and to explore how the church is called to support that growth through faith formation. The meta-method employed for this thesis-project involves the four “movements” of the “pastoral circle” developed by Joe Holland and Peter Henriot, with two additional steps—engagement with theory and correlation. The process included both a broad approach and a personal outreach to those working in the African American and queer communities. Direct outreach to various parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago entailed making phone calls, sending emails, or stopping by a total of 32 parishes. In the end, three focus groups were conducted. The moderator completed all the necessary IRB paperwork and permissions prior to the session meetings. The moderator encouraged participation from each participant in order to elicit information from every single person in the group. To facilitate the discussion, questions were presented to allow the participants to reflect on and share their experiences. Genograms were used to help the participants consider the impact of their personal family history on themselves and their children for several generations back. The project presented and answered the following questions: Does the Archdiocese of Chicago play a role in helping fathers understand how to raise their children, how to fight stereotypes they face about their fatherhood, and how to share their spirituality with their children in a way that interrupts patterns of violence and confronts the social issues they encounter? A two-tiered program was developed to address the concerns that were presented through the course of the project to provide agency for fathers in developing their own spirituality.

Assessing the Value of Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers (USCCB)
as a Resource for Preparing White Ministers for Accompanying Latin@ Communities

Author
Megan Catherine Mio
Abstract
This thesis-project analyzes and assess the modular training workshop, Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers, published by the Committee on Cultural Diversity of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in both its print and online formats. This teaching tool is analyzed for its content, sourcing, purpose, and process. The critical lenses of intercultural training and education, the study of white privilege and racism, and Hispanic/Latin@ theologies and ministry are used to determine the ongoing value of this resource to prepare non-Hispanic White-Anglo ministers to accompany Latin@ communities of faith. This thesis-project also makes recommendations for any future revision or update.
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