Embracing a rapidly changing American religious context in which diversity is on the rise across the United States, the Presbyterian Multicultural Network (PMN) is committed to exploring a “Pentecost vision” for the church by imagining and working toward a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) which truly embodies communities of all God’s people “together in one place.”

This important exploration will take place when the PMN – in partnership with the office of Multicultural Congregational Support of the Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries/Presbyterian Women ministry area – sponsors its second annual Multicultural Institute at Montreat Conference Center from November 8-11.

“As the world changes and the church continues to go through massive transitions, embracing a vision of multicultural church becomes a more and more obvious destination for Christians,” says the Rev. Marcia Mount Shoop, Ph.D., dean of the Multicultural Institute at Montreat and theologian-in-residence at University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill, N.C. “This multicultural vision is as old as Jesus’ ministry and was embodied in the first Pentecost moments of the church’s birth.  Jesus’ ministry and the post-Resurrection ministries that were born in his followers embodied practices and embraced visions that took their communities across social boundaries and into unknown territory.  The Multicultural Institute is intended to kindle that same vision and those same skills and faith to equip the contemporary church for such bold ministries."

Institute participants will learn important skills for ministries that engage the many layers of diversity across the U.S., enjoy dynamic worship, and benefit from critical cultural proficiency work. Available courses include offerings on facing race and culture, new leadership paradigms, raising “kingdom consciousness,” and a Spanish immersion course, which begins on November 7, one day before the event begins.

A 2011 institute participant described her experience by saying, “I used to be fearful, now I am hopeful.” Another said she came, “hoping to learn Spanish, and I am leaving with much, much, much more — connection with so many people, and a renewal of faith.” 

Online registration is now open. A limited number of scholarships are still available. Interested scholarship applicants are invited to email or to call Raafat Girgis at (502) 424-8049 for additional information.

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