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Australia is one of the most diverse societies in the world. Twenty-six per cent of residents were born overseas, coming from almost 200 different countries. In Australia, more than 300 languages are spoken at home. Apart from English, the most common ones are: Mandarin 2.5%; Arabic 1.4%, Cantonese 1.2% and Vietnamese 1.2%.
Trinity Lutheran Church, Pasadena, in suburban Adelaide, and the Indonesian Christian Fellowship of Adelaide at the same location are taking cross-cultural ministry seriously as they reach out to our diverse multi-cultural society.
Where once the Indonesian Fellowship aimed to be a fully independent congregation with its own pastor, the two worshipping communities have now engaged in an open dialogue to explore a ‘unity in diversity’ of becoming one congregation at Pasadena.
The congregations have enjoyed two joint worship services so far, and Pastor Matt Huckel says there has been ‘wonderful results and feedback’.
‘Our services have been bilingual, and cross-cultural, as we have drawn on music, language and contributions from our African, Persian and Indonesian people. Each service has finished with food and fellowship’, he says.
Trinity Lutheran Church is a recipient of a Cross-Cultural Ministry grant, which assists with the employment of a lay worker, Ani Sumanti, who pastors the Indonesian community.
Cross-Cultural Ministry grants are available for congregations who require financial support for the growth and development of cross-cultural mission and ministry.
‘Our people are embracing our new identity as a multi-ethnic and multi-generational congregation and are rejoicing in that new vision’, Pastor Matt says.
More information on the grant is available at www.lca.org.au/cross-cultural-ministry
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