According to a recent U.S. News & World Report and the most recent U.S. Census Bureau numbers, America’s racial and ethnic minorities now make up about half of the under-5 age group. This new data indicates that a white majority in the United States will disappear by 2043.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has launched two new funds development initiatives to meet the needs of the changing population. These initiatives directly affect the preparedness of racial ethnic and immigrant leaders in the church and provide for a more intercultural church body as both the church and the country grow in diversity. These funds will support training and resources for racial ethnic and immigrant leaders in the church, connect more racial ethnic people and new immigrants with leadership opportunities, and sustain racial ethnic and new immigrant worshiping communities.
Leaders say programs that serve diverse populations in the church and encourage the church to become whole by worshiping together are of great importance as the reformed church carries out God’s commandment to love one another.
The Racial Ethnic Leadership Development fund will provide financial support for the racial ethnic leadership development programs in the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries area, equipping leaders to become more effective in ministry and prepares racial ethnic women and men and new immigrants for service through leadership in all levels of the church.
New funds development manager for PC(USA)’s Racial Ethic & New Immigrant Ministries, Lydia Bailey Brown, has grown leadership programs for Fortune 500 companies, global think tanks, large-scale nonprofits, and church-wide initiatives for more than twenty years.
“The funds raised will be used for leadership development institutes, mentoring and coaching programs, and leadership program scholarships and grants to connect racial ethnic persons and immigrants within the church,” she says. “Growing the funds is a building process, not immediate, but highly important to the strength of church programs in sustaining visionary ministries.”
The Racial Ethnic & New Immigrant Worshiping Communities fund will provide support for the development of racial ethnic and new immigrant worshiping communities across the United States.
“For many, these race-, language-, or ethnicity-specific worshiping communities serve as more than just a place for worship,” says Bailey Brown. “They offer a place for immigrants and racial ethnic persons to gather in celebration of their faith, to learn about God, and to feel a connection with their heritage. We consistently witness that these worshiping communities create a sense of belonging and family where members can worship God in a language that is familiar to them with traditions that are meaningful to them. For some, these communities provide a place where women, men and children find new English language and job skills and acclimate to life in the United States. In short, many people find God and home.”
She adds, “In working for God’s mission, the church must reflect the diverse face of the country. We are all made to reflect God’s image. Living, working, and worshiping, we, together, make up the body of Christ. We are not complete without one another. And the diversity programs of the PC(USA) cannot be sustained without prayer, advocacy, and funding. Now is the time to make a united difference, disassemble walls of racism, serve the oppressed, and embrace change together. We urgently need support to make a difference.”
To learn more about the work of Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries and ways you can provide financial support, please visit www.pcusa.org/racialethnic.