Change in Evergreen Caucus System

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Change in Evergreen Caucus System

Postby Haruo » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:52 pm

At the Evergreen business meeting just concluded, we saw growth of a new kind. Not churches joining because other ABC regions wouldn't have them, nor the usual church plants, but a whole new caucus. Since its inception, Evergreen has been organized into 3 "ethnic caucuses": the Asian Caucus, the Black Caucus, and the Euro Caucus. (I think we should be the Dollar Caucus, but I was not given the opportunity to vote.;-) ) But today for the first time we had a Hispanic Caucus. It's a bit makeshift at this point, but it's there, and it's working both on a new church plant and on plans to offer theological education to the local Hispanic communities.

We also had a wonderful choral feast in this morning's worship, with four choirs, three of them from various refugee ethnic groups from Burma (Hakha Chin, Sgaw Karen, and Tedim Chin). Very enjoyable, and full of hope for the future of our Region.
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Re: Change in Evergreen Caucus System

Postby Gene Scarborough » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:08 am

Sounds like a worthy concept in a multi-ethnic urban area.

There are 2 things at work here:
1) A very strong desire, in a different culture, to establish something of value making you feel "at home"
2) The sense of joining with fellow humans who know what you had back home

I grew up in Atlanta---which is a most diverse metropolis. There are now places where all the street signs are in a foreign language. It feels more than strange as I visit my old home town!

The first multi-cultural era in Atlanta was between blacks and whites. I grew up in the small town environment of Clarkston some 15 miles from the heart of Atlanta, Five points. We had virtually no blacks there. The few had their own schools and churches so we didn't mix---and it was a naive upbringing for me.

Today, the area is a mass of people. Most of them now are black or from India. One of the biggest white churches in the area is now renting it's facility to a black congregation to keep paying their bills. A 500-member white congregation is still there, but that compares with the 5,000 who used to be there near the I-285 Beltline. Many have moved further out and Alpharetta is the "hot spot" for upwardly mobile whites of NE Atlanta. Of interest is how the downtown location for the Home Mission Board was abandoned for a swanky new campus in Alpharetta. Is it possible the "street people" became too offensive to the executives of the HMB???? It certainly makes no sense with the distance now to the Atlanta Airport tripled for executives who usually fly to their supervised areas around the country.

The bottom line has another aspect: Reverse Discrimination!

In other words, a white middle class congregation / church does not have what other cultures want in their religion! The same is true between the classes of people which develop in any given culture. Today's churches draw people for their more selfish desire to find "a church they like." Folks will drive 20-50 miles to find that church anymore.

I'm not sure that is really spiritually healthy. If we can't be confortable with people of other races or cultures, how are we to develop the Kingdom of God? Best I can tell, it involves all of God's created beings worshiping Him together.
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Re: Change in Evergreen Caucus System

Postby Ed Pettibone » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:15 pm

Gene S. Writes
The bottom line has another aspect: Reverse Discrimination!

In other words, a white middle class congregation / church does not have what other cultures want in their religion! The same is true between the classes of people which develop in any given culture. Today's churches draw people for their more selfish desire to find "a church they like." Folks will drive 20-50 miles to find that church anymore.

I'm not sure that is really spiritually healthy. If we can't be confortable with people of other races or cultures, how are we to develop the Kingdom of God? Best I can tell, it involves all of God's created beings worshiping Him together.


Ed; Gene, I do not think what you are talking about is truly reverse discrimination. Would you expect real worship if people attended a church they didn't like?

I have had occasion to visit a few different types of ethnic church and I have never felt unwelcome, And only in a few have I felt uncomfortable, that generally because I lacked familiarity with their way of doing things. But I would not expect them to change to accommodate me, or to make me comfortable. I have been in one church that had somewhere near what I think you might see as an ideal mix, it worked for them because the mix came primarily from the neighborhood within 6 or eight blocks each way from the church in that case most of we whites came from the outside but the basic core of whites where old timers who had grown up in that church, many of whom still lived in the area. The Church had made a deliberate decision to stay in a transitioning part of the city to minister. With we newbies who attended just because it met our wants and needs there was still a white majority and English was the "offical language". From time to time they had provided Language group activities for non English speaking attendees. And in fact where about to restart a hispanic SS class when moved from the area. In each case over time those who attend the ethnic specific activities split into two, those who learned and preferred to use English at least for church, and those who preferred their mother tongue. With the latter going nearby to form their own church some times with assistance from the "Parent Chrurch". I have heard of other similar happening in other cities. the secret of their success I believe is in, Allowing this mix and yes consciously accommodating it, but w/o programing to cause it.
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