Canada has always been a nation of diverse peoples and worldviews. The aboriginal First Nations, spread across the land, represented unique histories and cultures to which were added the migrations of English and French peoples. The expansive geography of our land in which distinctive groupings of peoples could settle and still maintain their cultural identities with little disturbance (such as Ukrainians, Amish/Mennonites, Italians, Chinese, etc.) has contributed to our consciousness as a nation. In the present environment, the sustainable future of Canada is dependent upon continued immigration. In the past immigration has been primarily from Europe, but over the last few decades their has been a substantial shift to Asian immigrants.
Into this mix the Body of Christ is called to be an incarnational community — living out the meaning of the gospel in a manner that is understandable to the peoples and cultures amongst whom we live. The Free Methodist Church in Canada has ministry among a variety of ethnic communities across the country ( i.e., ethno-specific congregations, such as Tamil, Chinese, Haitien, Congolese, Ethiopian, etc.) These have emerged through the vision of Christian leadership within these cultural groupings initiating new congregations under the auspices of the Free Methodist Church. We also have a number of distinctly multi-ethnic congregations in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Edmonton. In many cases these have been churches with European-background heritage whose communities have slowly transitioned to become multi-ethnic. In some instances we are specifically encouraging the planting of intentionally intercultural churches.
At present we provide networking connections and teaching resources for individuals or congregations seeking to reach out in an intentional manner to other cultures.
- Principles for Developing Multicultural Churches
- Finding Our Way – Guide to Action 2015
- Planting and Leading Multicultural Churches
- The Cultured Palate – Developing a Taste for Cultural Differences
- Transitioning to a Multicultural Church
- Genuine Christianity – Wesleyan Theology and Praxis in a Multicultural Society
For practical help in developing intercultural competence skills:
Putting Culture on the Table:
Intercultural Skills for Multicultural Churches
This 3 hour workshop aids church leaders in developing intercultural skills necessary for involving people of diverse cultures in the life of the congregation. Some helpful definitions are introduced, as well as learning exercises and case studies regarding how cultural values shape our “church ethos.” Crucial skills for listening, understanding and working between cultures are practiced.
Facilitator: Dan Sheffield