“For such a time as this,” said Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, keynote speaker at the 2013 Multiethnic Conference, after reading from the book of Esther. “Our call always comes to us in a specific context, in the historic moment in which [God] has called us.”
Salvatierra was challenging 100 attendees of the biennial conference to see their context in the Christian Reformed Church as one for such a time as this.
“In the church we don’t have a compassion problem, we have a vision problem. We often do not see what is happening in hearts and lives of people in our communities because some of us are more invisible than others,” she said. “It is not only unhealthy for the church if some of us are invisible. It is spiritually dangerous when people become invisible.”
Salvatierra particularly challenged American conference participants to advocate for reform of the immigration system. She shared stories of individuals and said that the same stories are repeated all over the country in the communities around churches. “This is broken system,” she said.
“What does it mean to live in democracy—voice, vote, and influence,” she said. “How are you going to be a good steward of the influence you’ve been given? Are you calling your legislators to do what God has called them to do?”
The multiethnic conference included a whole day of workshops, including topics such as raising racism-free children and learning from the global church.
Conference participants joined delegates to Synod 2013 for the president’s picnic hosted by Calvin College president Michael Le Roy and his wife, Andrea.
At the start of the conference, the Dante Venegas Award was given to Rev. Manny Ortiz from Philadelphia, Penn., for his work in cross-cultural ministry.
Synod 2013 is meeting at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. from June 7-14. For continuous Banner coverage of Synod 2013, please follow The Banner on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at www.thebanner.org several times daily. For CRC Communications releases, webcast, and live blogging, please visit www.crcna.org/synod. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.