Becoming a Multicultural Church


book
by Laurene Beth Bowers. Wipf and Stock, 2010.

This book tells the story of one mainline Massachusetts congregation which moved from being a “traditional” church of one social grouping to a multicultural and numerically much larger church. The story is told by the pastor for the benefit of other congregations learning from this experience. The book is organized around themes from the Exodus (segregated communities linked to the plague through to the promised land as a vision for the multicultural church). Each chapter analyzes a portion of Exodus, along with a discussion of one aspect of the journey to becoming a multicultural church, closing with a summary. Topics include leadership, multicultural images for God, resistance, and redistributing power. The ‘plagues’ section lists 10 characteristics of North American Euro-centric congregations in decline, and it is paralleled by ’10 commandments’ for a healthy multicultural congregation. Appendices include seasonal and liturgical resources, together with a list of significant historical events and holidays for different cultures. This book will be especially useful for mainline congregations interested in inclusive redevelopment.

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