by Karen Young
The 2016 Multicultural Ministries Leadership Seminar at Central Territorial Headquarters provided a time for divisional multicultural ministries coordinators and field advisors to discuss multicultural ministries across the territory, including programs being implemented, resources being used and new initiatives for effective cross-cultural outreach.
The centerpiece of this year’s seminar was the African Heritage Ministries Consultation. The consultation brought together leaders of African descent (Caribbean, African immigrants and African Americans) who are serving in a variety of ministry roles and settings. Space was created for deep listening and sharing in order to explore leadership development, identify ministry challenges and share best practices, expectations and aspirations.
The Rev. Bernard “Chris” Dorsey, president of HELM (Higher Education and Leadership Ministries) with the Disciples of Christ Christian Church and assistant professor of theology and preaching at Western Theological Seminary, facilitated discussion around scripture and critical topics such as leadership development, authentic community, transformation and mentoring.
Throughout the consultation Majors Steve and Diane Harper served as chaplains and shared reflections on the time together.
In the closing message, Lt. Colonel Lonneal Richardson, Midland divisional commander, focused on the rebuilding of the walls from the book of Nehemiah. Sharing from his own life and ministry and through images of a desolate community in desperate need of rebuilding, he challenged delegates that until their hearts are broken, as was Nehemiah’s when he saw Jerusalem’s destruction, they will not act. But they must act, and God will provide help for the restoration.
Captain Enrique Azuaje, territorial multicultural ministries secretary, concluded, “It was an amazing experience to see Central Territory African descent leadership, officers, soldiers, employees, and volunteers, working together to find ways to renew and bring revival to the African heritage ministries in the Central Territory.”