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MANAGING A MULTICULTURAL CONGREGATION

The man's eyes blazed with fire. He cast an imposing figure as he stood at the board meeting and slammed his open hand on the table.

Such anger, however, no longer alarmed me. I just sighed inwardly. I'd heard it before, different words but the same theme: "We must do something about those people!" Those people were the members of our Haitian congregation. "They need to pay their fair share of the expenses!"

Nods of agreement circled the table. Once again we were in danger of forgetting why the Haitians shared our facility. The issue, however, wasn't money but fear, fear for our congregation's future.

At one time, the neighborhood was white and middle class. Thousands of people shared a common background and upbringing. The church, founded in the center of this neighborhood, intended to reach out and serve the community with the gospel.

And it did! The church grew to be hundreds strong. The choir was large, the services well attended, the fellowship opportunities wide.

Thirty years later, a ...

July/August
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