WHITE PASTORS AND MULTICULTURAL CONGREGATIONS: ELCA talks to clergyman serving diverse congregations.
(September 26, 2007) source: eurweb.com
Twenty-five pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) accepted an invitation to come together here for a consultation.
They are white pastors serving congregations in multicultural settings in Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland Heights and Columbus, Ohio, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Oakland and Riverside, Calif.
White pastors serve 100 of the 246 ELCA congregations where at least 20 percent of the members consider themselves to be of African descent, said the Rev. Julius Carroll IV, director for African American ministries, ELCA Multicultural Ministries.
The full release takes an in- depth look at ministries in Baltimore, Indianapolis and Houston. "I found the consultation to be a wonderful support for white urban pastors in multicultural settings. I appreciated the give and take of leaders who face similar challenges and opportunities," said the Rev. David A. Roschke, Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Houston.
"This is the first time in 11 years I have felt and believed that my contributions to the life and ministry of this Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and to its African American expression have been honored," said the Rev. Jeffrey M. Iacobazzi, First Trinity Lutheran Church, Indianapolis.
"I was encouraged by the experiences of seasoned pastors serving in African descent congregations, as well as by the resources our African descent sisters and brothers commended to us for study and immersion," said the Rev. Arwyn A.P. Gohl, Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Baltimore. Iacobazzi contrasted the help he received preparing for his ministry to that of a missionary who would get months of intensive training before being transplanted into an unfamiliar culture.
"We got none of that. We had to figure all of that out on our own. It was often an isolating and lonely experience," he said. In 1987 the ELCA adopted the goal "that within 10 years of its establishment its membership shall include at least 10 percent people of color and/or primary language other than English." At that point, about 2 percent of the ELCA's members were people of color. Twenty years later, the church claims approximately 3.1 percent of its members are people of color.
Whew! It's hard enough being a pastor...now add the mix of multicultural parishioners and you're talking about the patience of Job! Lawd, I'm black and I know some of our "ethnic" folks can be a trip! Be that as it may...only the strong can and have survived, and these men of God and others like them are in it for the long haul...to them I say "THANK YOU for not heading towards the nearest exit, but instead you decided to stick and stay!" God bless you!!
Family, you betta recognize and acknowledge the good job your pastor does. The pastors who don't make the news (cuz they're not pulpit pimps or perverts)--deserve some love too. And I mean brotherly love--SIT DOWN YOU JEZEBELS!