Resource, Webinar Recording

This webinar was recorded on: Wed, 10/30/2013 This webinar will outline the key skill areas of cultural intelligence and explore how CQ can help us engage across cultural lines for more effective ministry within our congregations and the communities we serve.

October 30, 2013 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

"Exploring Cultural Intelligence" will be presented by Pennylyn Dykstra-Pruim (designer and facilitator of the “Building Your Cultural Intelligence” workshop) on October 30. This free, one-hour webinar will outline the key skill areas of cultural intelligence and explore how Cultural...

October 8, 2013 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

Last week the Office of Race Relations was made aware of this comment, and felt compelled to bring forth this topic for discussion and dialogue.

[Posted on Wed, 09/11/2013 at 8:03pm EST as a reply to the first comment]

"the reason why the CRC was "...

September 19, 2013 0 1 comments

The report talks about increasing visible minority representation to 25% of staff and governance bodies of all denominational entities. T understand this clearly, we need to understand what this term means. At present women, while likely constituting significantly more than 50% of denominational...

November 5, 2012 0 8 comments
Discussion Topic
Hi all: We are coming up on the 2nd anniversary of the historic Prime Minister’s & Parliamentary apology to the survivors of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools (IRS). Last year I particiapted in the first celebration of the National Day of Reconciliation (June 11, 2009) commemorating the...
April 30, 2010 0 1 comments

This question rise a second question, and probably more, but, what biblical reconciliation means?

April 20, 2010 0 1 comments
Discussion Topic
The word "multicultural" is becoming very popular, and maybe to the point that is loosing the real meaning. It seems that's becoming a cool word to say. When we use that word in our context, I wonder what we mean by that. Does it mean to have POC coming to the churches? does it mean to have a...
March 11, 2010 0 1 comments
Discussion Topic
Greetings Brave Saints & Praise Be To God who is the Head of My life! When Christians begin to talk about reconciliation we must not begin with racial reconciliation. I believe we must begin this conversation with a new vocabulary. We must be reminded that Paul insists that we live out of our...
February 9, 2010 0 15 comments



Bill Wald, you're a breath of fresh air.  I'm 57, have practiced law for 32 years, and convinced people don't really know what they're are talking about (literally) when they use the word "race."  Eg., is "black" a single race?  What about "hispanic"?  How about Mexican, and is that a different "race" from Spanish, or Honduran?  How about "the German race"?  Dutch?  Dutch/American?  African American?  How about American (must we say "native American" for that to count)?  People from Sheboygan, WI (they talk funny), New York (talk about distinctive)?  What race is the "Ugly American" anyway?

Other questions: What race is someone who is 7/8th Korean and 1/8th Dutch?  What is Tiger Woods anyway?  Why do you need to be only a slight fraction of "native American" (whatever that exactly means -- I was born here, am I not "native American") to be qualified as "native American" (and thereby often be eligible for certain federal benefits)?  And why does "white" cover so many different people who are so many different cultures?  What do I not recognize so many "black people" as "black people."

Now, I do understand the term "culture," and think using that is meaningful, even though "culture" is composed of complex intermix of characteristics.  Thus, you can be "Iowan" in culture (that definitely means a number of things to me), or Japanese in culture (I have one of those in my house).  Or, you can be Japanese (in terms of looking like one) but be Iowan in culture.

Like Bill Wald, I often, very often, don't recognize someone's race.  I realize I didn't recognize it only because in a later interaction with or about that person, he/she or someone else tells me they are a certain "race."   And then I don't really know what to do with that information because it's so, well, meaningless.

My bottom line analysis is this: I think "race" is a cheap word (that is, not resulting from a lot of thought) that we continue to use predominantly because using the word adds to the users ability to sharply accuse or just get attention.  Our ears perk when we hear the word because it maybe means someone is being mean, or about to start a fight, or making a strong accusation, or running for political office and behind in the polls.

This may sound a bit silly to some, but I think we should precisely define what we mean by the word "race" before we name committees after the word and have discussions about it.  Don't misunderstand, I don't mind having those discussions, but I do prefer to take one step at a time, in logical order, when so discussing.  Maybe the word has no real meaning anymore, and least for Christians.

I think Angeltp might agree???

I'm sorry Billwald , I believe our God is way ahead of us. His Church will survive according to his will. Our job is to look where he wants to take us. Nick, be assured that this will happen. Just look at history of the first church which we are part of and hoe different it was. God will prevail.

P.S. I'm not a pastor or officeholder of any kind except husband and father.

Mostly because we are the new kid on the block?  The Catholic Church excels in letting local congregations use local pagan customs in worship without losing the basic Catholic dogma, ritual, and symbolism. There is no visually mistaking a Catholic Church for some other denomination in any town. There is always the name and the cross. 

Look at the names of the new attempted church plants. Home Missions seems to want to plant stealth congregations with weird names, no reference to the CRC , sometimes no reference to Christianity in the name.Even old congregations are changing names so people driving by will not know they are CRC. 

The CRC was founded as a Dutch church and now any reference to our (yours, not mine - I never heard of the CRC until 20 years ago) heritage is considered evil by our leadership. The whole push is to become a non-denominational multi everything something. It is plan schizophrenic  to push the new  confession while maintaining a Korean classis and special subdivisions for other racial/cultural groups. Hispanic  is wonderful but Dutch is evil.

I'm no fan of generic "Christian" grade schools but what does the CRC have that earns it the right to be considered a Christian denomination? In other words, what do we do that other denomination don't do better? If we dump Dutch  culture the only thing is our emphasis on higher education, particularly Calvin Col and Sem, and the Dutch interpretation of John Calvin, which is vastly different than Presbyterian theology - and the political/social outworking of the theology is vastly different. Without emphasizing Dutch theology there is no point to continuing the denomination. I'm no preacher or scholar but if you preachers on this list can't see the difference and don't teach the difference then we might as well join the OPC.   

I've read maybe a dozen Bible translations cover to cover and for study, for accuracy, for poetry for the quality as English literature, the NIV is one of the worst! Yet some of our leaders say that it it is to difficult to read as a pew Bible. What does this say about  about the CRC Christian school system? 


It took me 30 years to find a denomination with which I agreed theologically and in practice. I signed on only to discover our leadership is dumping the old ways as fast as they can.  Enough rant for now





Thanks billwad, why don't you think Reformed churches  can't compete? How do you see Christs victory playing out with the new social norms. Thanks I love to hear other peoples perspective.

Prior to the Babel incident we were of a single culture. We must undo that damage. <G> It is being done. In the western nations thanks to population mixing the old cultural barriers are going down. The young generation is not restricting their pool of potential mates by race, culture, or religion. In a couple of generations North America will mostly be a nice brownish tan color with a generic Christianized national religion. The Catholic Church will adapt better than the Reformed churches but the Islamic call to worship seven times a day will never catch on.

If the old barriers are down on what basis will young people choose a mate? I suggest education, IQ, and ambition, also physical (sexual) attraction. I can see it happening. We will probably self-segregate into a new worker class and a new leader class. 


Hi Billwad,  How would you propose to bridge the hurt that exists between social, racial ,cultural groups of believers in Christ?

How about an honest conversation about "race?"

First step would be to eliminate special consideration for black, Hispanic, and Korean members. A special classis for Korean Churches? How about a special classis for Dutch churches?

In the press, any reference to "race" most always boils down to complaints from or about the social status of African-American, second, Hispanic people. Because of miscegenation, at least on the West Coast, "race" is self-designated except for very obviously dark skinned or very obviously Mexican/Central American people. In my neighborhood half the "black" or "Hispanic" people could not be visually identified. How can I discriminate against them if I can't visually identify them? They say, "I am a minority and you don't like me."

By the way, in Snohomish County, WA, Korean people are not legally qualified to call themselves a minority. Why? Maybe because half the new business starts are by Korean-Americans. In this country, only those who are less financially successful or less educated than white people are "minorities?"

In the 1970's the City of Seattle decided to promote on the basis of race. People who had been white for years by some miracle turned into something else.

Truth, the US is the greatest country in the history of world for the working class of any "race." There is no economic reason why any adult with normal health and intelligence should be poor except for a stupendus run of bad luck an we don't believe in luck, right?

Shall I rant on? Time for church.

The Classis of Greater Los Angeles and California South, run a multi-cultural camp for middle school youth. The two-fold vision of the camp is to help kids grow in their relationship with Christ and to identify and weed out the seeds of racism in their lives. We do this by having kids and staff from many different ethnic groups come together under the Lordship of Christ for a week of outragous fun. Contact me if you want more information for potential campers, staff or to start something similar in your area.

Interesting question. To me (a Canadian living in Toronto, one of the world's most multicultural cities), multiculturalism ranges from a tolerance of diversity to the full promotion and celebration of multiculturalism. I believe that, in the context of the Church, we ought to be leaning more to the full celebration of multiculturalism end of the spectrum.

But what does it mean in practice to celebrate multiculturalism within the Church? I think that it must go far beyond have a few token minorities around. While respecting our roots, we should be moving forward to creating a welcoming environment for people of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. We should be careful that celebrating our Dutchness, for example, does not make others feel excluded and out of place.

My church in Toronto is quite diverse. We do sing songs from various countries (and the music director is quite adamant that we sing them properly, with a view to reflecting the traditional music of the countries of origin of the songs). Sometimes, on holidays, we have people bring greetings in various languages. Still, I think we are still pretty WASPy.

A true celebration of our diverse ethnic roots can likely only occur when we move beyond our own self-absorption to recognize that there are other, interesting people out there. We have to be willing to listen and not just talk. We have to get over our own insecurities and realize that sometimes eating food other than meat and potatoes is a refreshing change.

From my perspective, the fact that we are one in Christ notwithstanding our cultural, ethnic, racial and other differences is beautiful and powerful. We have never met, yet we have the same Saviour and are united in Christ. We share this bond with Christians around the world. I have more in common with you and Christians in China, Saudi Arabia, and Russia that I have in common with my colleagues at work. That's powerful. To discover how Christ has made himself known in Christians around the world is interesting, exciting, and, well, FUN.

Sometimes I think that the urban parts of heaven will be a little bit like Toronto: on any given day, you can walk down the street and hear three or four different languages being spoken. I buy groceries from an Indian lady, fruits and vegetables from a Chinese family, have my hair cut by an Iranian lady, and work with a South African ex-pat. I can eat Greek food for lunch and Ethiopian for dinner, which I enjoy with my friends who hail from Brazil, Singapore, Uganda, the US, Finland, Scotland, and Switzerland. Seriously. For me, this is what multiculturalism is about.

Thank you for getting this conversation started in this space, Angela! We certainly would benefit from extended and persistent attention to reconciliation in public conversation spaces in our denomination, especially when the process becomes heavy and difficult because of needing to examine our own weaknesses, indifference, and lack of faith.

My initial question is about hopes and expectations...does having a conversation about reconciliation in a forum like this shape what hopes or expectations we have for where this conversation might lead us or how vulnerable and personal we are willing to be?

Dear Angela, thanks for your thoughts. Reconciliation is more than just "racial". This one is a fruit of our reconciliation with God. However, we need to realize that "racial reconciliation" is not so popular because it challenge us to recognize our weakness and issues with others. Moreover, we can't just talk about reconciliation in general and not talk about the our cultural differences and how can we respect to each other and also to learn and walk together as disciples of Jesus Christ, our common Lord and Savior.

Rev. Ramon Orostizaga
Jersey City Mission, NJ