Diversity in the Valley

Ten California pastors gather regularly to explore how to increase their effectiveness in multiplying healthy multiethnic, bilingual and Spanish-speaking congregations.

The group is culturally and denominationally diverse, a mix of Anglo and Hispanic representatives from Christian Reformed and Reformed Church in America congregations.

Meeting as peers has helped them to focus on how belief in Christ breaks down cultural and organizational barriers, they say.

“We’ve learned valuable lessons about both Latino and Anglo culture,” says Pastor Zeke Nelson, coordinator of the Central Valley Multiethnic Church Planters peer group. “It’s exciting to be part of a larger movement.”

Alfonso Silveira, originally from Mexico, is pastor of Iglesia Maranatha, a CRC/RCA church plant in Delhi, Calif.

He says, “I am so happy to be welcomed by Anglo churches. Doors have been opened. I see something bigger in the future.”

Funding for peer groups is available from the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence (SPE) program. The next deadline for grant proposals is May 1. For more information, visit crcna.org/spe.

About the Author

Lis Van Harten is director of the Sustaining Pastoral and Congregational Excellence Programs (SPE and SCE).

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