Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Chicago: Surprising Insights from 2006 Congress on Urban Ministry

Roger Johnson, Editor of CityVoices, reports on the recent Congress on Urban MInistry that took palce in Chicago, Phil

===>Click the headline to read the entire edition . . . Samples below...

The 2006 Congress on Urban Ministry took place here in Chicago. If you were unable to join the 650 people who gathered at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel in Chicago, this edition of CityVoices is for you.

Roger Johnson - CityVoices / SCUPE
(312) 726-12000,

Rev. Soong-Chan Rah: The Emerging Church

(Rev. Soong-Chan Rah is Senior Pastor of Cambridge Community Fellowship
Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a contributor to Growing Healthy
Asian American Churches, and was recently appointed to the faculty of North
Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois.)

Within a decade or so, the majority of Christians in the United States will
be non-white. I can say that with confidence because all the sociological
trends, all the ways the white church is declining and all the ways the
immigrant church, the African American church, the Spanish-speaking church
is growing by leaps and bounds. Within a decade, in every metropolitan
corner of the United States, we are going to see more non-white Christians
than white Christians.

Why is it that the leadership is still all white? Time magazine does an
article on the top 25 evangelical leaders. Twenty-three of those spots are
filled by white evangelicals. Why is it that the face of the "emerging
church" is always white? I look at invitations I get to conferences on the
emerging church, and it's the same old story. They'll have a leadership of
40 people, and one or two will be non-white. The message is that the next
generation of leadership that is supposed to come out of this emerging
church movement is a perpetually 29-year-old blond male with a goatee.

The emerging church is not that 29-year-old blond male with a goatee. The
emerging church is the young black male in the urban setting. The emerging
church is the young Latina female. The emerging church is the
second-generation Haitian American. The emerging church is the child of
Brazilian immigrants. That's the true emerging church. And when we talk
about leadership, we have to see that the leadership of the next generation
cannot be all white because that's what we've had to put up with for the
last 50 years.

The white captivity of the church means that there is time when those of us
coming from the boundaries, not in the existing power structure of the
American evangelical church, need to take on greater positions of
leadership. Even though we might feel we're not up to the task, even though
our self-image tells us we're not good enough, not strong enough, or not
white enough, it's time for us as young Asian Americans, Caribbean
Americans, Native Americans and Latino Americans to start taking on the
mantle of leadership.

Contact: Rev. Soong-Chan Rah, Cambridge Community Fellowship Church, 234
Franklin Street, Cambridge, MA 02139,

Rev. Dr. Yvonne Delk: The Beloved Community and Contested Space

Dr. Fred Smith: Shalom - Doing the Unthinkable

Gary Gunderson: Boundary Leadership at the Heart

Grace Lee Boggs: Imagining a New Kind of City

Jim Wallis: There's a Whole Generation Waiting!

Bishop Philip Robert Cousin: Looking Backward to Step Forward

Claudia de la Cruz: Manifesting God's Justice

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