Multiethnic Conference: Something to Build On

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More than 90 people gathered in Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2007 Multiethnic Conference held in conjunction with synod.

Rev. Reggie Smith, pastor of Roosevelt Park CRC in Grand Rapids, challenged people at the conference to take up leadership roles within the CRC.

Norma Coleman, director of human resources for the denomination, issued her own challenge. “I started out in the Christian Reformed Church attending a conference, just like you . . . and I’m proof that you can get involved at all levels in this organization,” she said.

Rev. Peter Borgdorff, executive director emeritus of the CRC, explained to conference participants how synod works and answered questions on topics ranging from the finer points of church polity to the official history of women in office and at synod.

“I think the conference [helped] people of color from different parts of the country and from different national and ethnic backgrounds to come together and talk to each other,” said Gloria Sanchez, an organizer of the conference and also an adviser to synod.

 “This conference was great,” said Rev. Esteban Lugo, director of the CRC’s Race Relations office. “We’ve been on a five-year hiatus, and now we have something to build on. We see [the conference] as an enormous resource for equipping and empowering future and present leaders.”

About the Author

Mariano Avila works for Hope Equals. He is married to Kate Avila; their daughter is Isabel Paz.

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