It’s quite hard to put into words what cross-cultural or multiethnic ministry at Trinity Pasadena in suburban Adelaide feels like. There’s something that feels wonderful and new, but also very normal at the same time.
Nine years ago in my job as a music therapist, I worked with a paralysed man with locked-in syndrome. We were able to make music together using an electronic machine to produce live sounds from his head movements, with me accompanying on guitar, piano, or lute. I discovered that he was experiencing spontaneous vivid colours in a condition called synaesthesia. When we added my music to his music a third thing was experienced: colour.
This is what our multiethnic ministry at Pasadena feels like because it brings a wonderful synaesthesia-like effect. When we combine the ‘music’ or cultural ingredients of a Lutheran community of European heritage with the cultures of Indonesian, Persian and African communities, you get the extra effect of experiencing colour, warmth and joy. I think it fills the Father’s heart with delight.
Our communities have grown closer as we have learnt the art of blending cultural and spiritual ingredients in worship, social activities and fellowship.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve tried to stay connected, reflecting our diversity in online services. For Pentecost we wove in video greetings from our people in different languages. And our website can be viewed in three languages.
The real challenge and gift from God is for us to synthesise all these cultural colours together to better equip us for cross-cultural mission to reach the lost in the wider community.
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