reSEARCHing Cross-Cultural Ministry

The Christ and Cultures Gathering has decided to have a presentation of papers on Cross Cultural Ministry. It has been called “reSEARCHing Cross-Cultural Ministry”
and the first of this will be on Friday 17 October. We intend to start at 9:30 in the morning and have 4 presentations, and finish the day with lunch. The program is as follows:

reSEARCHing Cross-Cultural Ministry – a day of academic presentation of papers

Date: Friday 17 October
Time: 9:30 am – 1:00pm
Venue: United Theological College, room G3.
Program of the day:

9:30-10:00 Presentation Cross-Cultural Leadership Levon Kardashian
10:00-10:30 Presentation Meals, Music and Mission: an approach to sharing stories to in the formation of eucharistic communitas Amelia Koh Butler
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-11:15 Presentation Lost in Translation Esther Kim
11:15-11:45 Presentation Christ the refugee John Jegasothy
12:00-1:00 Lunch

Cross-Cultural Leadership- Levon Kardashian

The fourth Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia (1985) adopted a statement entitled “The Uniting Church is a Multicultural Church.” This declaration is aspirational and is still in the process of being realised. In the practice of ministry frequent subjects that become the focus of attention are sharing property, managing cross-cultural conflict, and performing cross-cultural worship, weddings and funerals. Other subjects are not discussed either because they are not perceived as important aspects of the church’s life, or assimilation has already happened and the diversity is lost. The issues of leadership and discerning what makes for cross-cultural competency have not been explicitly explored. What might such cross-cultural leadership look like? What criteria might be used for the sake of discerning competency? This thesis is the first attempt to wrestle with these kind of issues in an Australian context.

Meals, Music and Mission: an approach to sharing stories to in the formation of eucharistic communitas- Amelia Koh Butler

We talk about unity and diversity, but much of our heritage is about holding diversity in separation and tension. Bringing people of different worldviews together and forming them into missional community involves the interaction between their stories and their engagement with story of the new covenant. The diverse community in Newcastle were faced with an adaptive challenge: how to be God’s mission people in this place? To respond to this, they needed to identify their differences and find a common story. By exploring their cultural songs in contexts of hospitality, we were able to move together into sharing sacred songs around God’s table, re-membering and re-covenanting with God and with one another. This project suggests strategies for bringing people from different culture together to form identity as a new community while still valuing the experiences and giftedness of each contributing culture.

Lost in Translation- Esther Kim

This presentation makes the case for migrant-ethnic communities to construct their own theologies of liberation in an Australian context. Esther Kim explores this task from the perspective of a Korean migrant. She considers the need for a new identity in a new land through a reading and use of Andrew Sung Park’s understanding of han. She draws upon the work of Anselm Kyongsuk Min’s work on a solidarity with others to consider how the Korean community might love new neighbours in a new land. Through the work of Jung Young Lee she argues the need for a Korean contribution to a cross-cultural theology.

Christ the refugee- John Jegasothy

Becoming and being a refugee is a continuous daunting traumatic experience one never forgets or cannot get it out of the system. I realised I need to live it and to live it I need to reflect on it. Having shared the life with the internally displaced people for six years leading to the civil war the time came for our family to flee the country. My belief in a God of justice and peace inevitably led me to be a human rights leader and advocate, the voice of the victimised innocent Tamil civilians calling for justice, working on the ground to settle IDPs which eventually singularly targeted by the armed forces as a threat to the Sinhala government agenda to marginalise, threaten by state orchestrated violence and oppression of the minority. But the threat to my life wasn’t the reason for fleeing but the lives of my children which were at stake due to my demand for justice. Taking the children aged one and half and three and half and escaping was like Miriam saving little Moses, but what about the other children who suffered and died I could not come to terms. Working with and for the asylum seekers and refugees in Australia have me some comfort and answer why God allowed the forced migration. Reading Good Samaritan story with the refugees certainly opened a window to see it more clearly what God wanted from me and from the rest of Australia.

If anyone has any questions about this seminar, please feel free to contact Levon Kardashian on or 0410 404 542.

Comments are closed.