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CRCC Small Group Study: This is Our Story, This is Our Song (Religion & Race)

A small group study of cross-racial/cross-cultural ministry for congregations


Cross-racial and cross-cultural (CR/CC) appointments are appointments of clergypersons to congregations in which the majority of their constituents are different from the clergyperson’s own racial/ethnic and cultural background. There are a countless number of faithful persons throughout the Bible who responded to God’s call to go across the racial and cultural boundaries in ministry. The pastors appointed to serve in CR/CC appointments are continuing the legacy of faith to advance God’s work in the world today.

THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG includes their theological reflections and personal stories, offered to the church as a gift to build up the faith community and its ministry. However, these stories do not only belong to those telling them; rather, they are “our” stories and “our” songs, lifting up the Holy Spirit working in our midst to build up the realm of God where “there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!” (Colossians 3:11)

This series is designed for congregations, for either small group study or individual reading and reflection, to help raise awareness about the benefits and challenges of serving in or being part of a cross-racial and cross-cultural ministry. There are six sessions with theological reflections on cross-racial and cross-cultural ministry, the writer’s personal experiences in such ministry, and a set of questions at the end of the reading to guide reflective conversations.

This resource is recommended for laity-led teams in your congregation, including the Staff-Parish Relations Committee (SPRC), Administrative Council, Trustees, Worship Committee, or other groups. The learning engagements are instructive for both congregations who already have a pastor in a cross-racial or cross-cultural appointment, or for church experiencing cross-racial and cross-cultural clergy assignments for the first time. Additionally, this resource may also be used in congregations who are contemplating cross-racial/cross-cultural ministries in the future.