Morningstar Christian Fellowship, Toronto, ON
Multiculturalism in Canada is official policy. Today more and more immigrants from vastly different cultures are making Canada their home. The idea of a distinct and enduring “Canadian” culture is being disputed. In too many cases this is leading to an unhealthy backlash of cultural protectionism or worse — superiority. With all this to say, how and why should the church embrace multiculturalism?
- Cling to and preach to yourself and to others the significance of the church as a “New Man” where nationalities and culture are subsumed into a new creation, a heavenly people.
- Understand the powerful witness of a multicultural church in a country where people do not feel “at home”.
- Make room in your leadership for new Canadians.
- Give people time to say what they want, how they want, for as long as they want. Eventually you will come to the mutual understanding you seek, but in a way that communicates respect.
- Sarcasm is a legitimate but risky form of speech, even for people who grasp the subtleties of your language and personality. It is simply not worth the risk with new Canadians who have experienced forms of harsh speaking that you can’t relate to.
- Enjoy friendly competitive nationalism during the Olympics and international sporting events.
- Many “old stock” Canadians are concerned that their culture is being given away or rejected. Understand that new Canadians for the most part want to be Canadian.
— Bob MacGregor is Senior Pastor at Morningstar Christian Fellowship in Toronto, ON.