Over the last three days, I was attending a strategic planning meeting on intercultural ministries. It took place at Queen of the Apostles Retreat Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. The place was gorgeous and beautiful. Every morning and evening I went to see the creek that runs right beside the centre. It was good to see the running water. (Not frozen one!) Surrounded by nature I joined 10 people for the work of evaluation of intercultural ministries of the church and for planning for the next 5 years.
The United Church made its commitment to become an intercultural church in 2006, the same year that I began a new life in Canada, and that I started working in the United Church. The intercultural commitment was offered as a vision of transformation, where there is mutually respectful diversity and full and equitable participation of all. (A Transformative Vision for the United Church of Canada. 2006) Such a vision has been an important part of my life and ministry since then. I have been involved, however, not because the church told me to do so, but because I believed that’s what God was calling me and us to do. So, the key question throughout the meeting I had was to discern where the Spirit was leading us to, instead of trying to meet the expectations of the denomination. We still face many hurdles to cross in order to truly live the vision out.