Multi Ethnic Symposium 2012 – “Gifts of Hope”

Multi Ethnic Symposium 2012 – January 30-31, 2012

Featured Presenters include:  Rev. Dr. Leopoldo Sanchez, Rev. Ron Rall. Rev. Roosevelt Gray, Ms. Melissa Salomon, Ms. Yvette Moy, Rev. Andy Wu, Rev. Andrew Okai, Rev. Kou Seying.

Twice before and biennially, Concordia Seminary has partnered with the leadership of our ethnic communities to host a Multi-Ethnic Symposium, held within the Epiphany emphasis of God’s Light for all nations.

Those who attended have left with renewed hope.  This was encouraging, since the topic in 2008 was Expressions of Hope and in 2010 was Conversations of Hope.  The conversations, yes table talk, across ethnic and cultural boundaries were particularly engaging, energizing, and encouraging.

The next Multi-Ethnic Symposium will build on this foundation. Around the theme, Gifts of Hope, it will identify the gifts of cultural diversity that inform and enliven the fullness of the Body of Christ in a unity not bound to one culture but embodying the contributions of many cultures.

We will address the critical questions facing our church in this multi-cultural world, beginning with the intersection of theology and culture.  How do we express the unity of our faith and confession within the diversities of culture?  How do we allow for different cultural expressions within a common bond of faith and practice? Is diversity something to be affirmed and celebrated or collapsed into a common “meta-culture” of the church?  Is the vision of Rev. 7:9 something to be found only in heaven or already on earth, and if so, how is heavenly worship expressed within the incarnational realities of God’s people in space, time, and culture?

We will hear from those ethnic communities that remain a minority amongst us.  What has the expression of our Lutheran theology and practice brought to these different cultures, and what gifts come to our Lutheran unity from the diversity of cultures?

Finally, we will work together toward the future.  What will a truly multi-cultural LCMS look like in 2017, when we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation together?  What will it look like in 2037 and 2047? Or better and in the immediate future, in the 495th anniversary year, in 2012?

We have listened and learned of commonalities and concerns amongst “minority” communities.  But our gifts of hope need to cross the boundaries between “minorities” and “majorities,” including the ethnic community of Anglos and the richness of leadership and laity across the whole spectrum of our church.

Please join us for the third Multi-Ethnic Symposium, Gifts of Hope, January 30-31, 2012.

Meeting Highlights:

  • Begins with worship (seminary chapel) at 9:00 on Monday.
  • Concludes at 3:00 pm on Tuesday
  • Multi-ethnic worship service and celebration Monday evening
  • Time spent in group and plenary sharing and discussion interaction with seminary students, who will be attending

Keynote introduction on theology and culture by Rev. Dr. Leopoldo Sanchez, Center For Hispanic Studies, with reaction and further presentation from the perspective of the social sciences by Dr. Jack Schulz, Concordia University-Irvine, and from a missiological perspective by Dr. Douglas Rutt of Lutheran Hour Ministries.

Reflections from cultural backgrounds will include: Rev. William and Mrs. Patricia Main, co-directors of the Haskell Lighthouse Campus Ministry, Rev. Andrew Okai, Rev. Kou Seying, Rev. John Deang, Missionary-at-Large to African immigrants for Nebraska District, Ms. Melissa Salomon, Mission Planting team of Concordia Lutheran Church, Chula Vista, CA, Rev. Andy Wu, among others.

Discussion on best practices will be led by:  Mr. Melvin Butts, lay leader, Rev. Ron Rall, Ms. Yvette Moy, lay leader, among others.

Perspectives from district and synod leadership will be offered by Larry Stoterau, President, Pacific Southwest District, J. Bart Day, Executive Director, Office of National Mission, and Roosevelt Gray, Director of Missions, Michigan District LCMS.

The Symposium will be followed on Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m.by the 7th Annual Lecture in Hispanic/Latino Theology and Missions. The topic this year is “Dealing with Culture in Theological Formation.” The lecturer will be Rev. Gregory Klotz, Associate Professor, Taylor University, Indiana, former missionary to Latin America, professor of missiology and doctoral student in ethnomusicology. All are invited to remain for this lecture which will be held in Werner Auditorium free of charge. The lecture will be in English.

Plan now to join us for “Gifts of Hope”. Local hotel information available on request at ce@csl.edu.  If you have questions, please contact Kaye Wolff at kaye.wolff@aol.com or Rev. John Loum at loumj@csl.edu.  Download the registration form.

Multi-Ethnic Symposium Planning Committee

  • Kaye Wolff
  • Andy Bartelt
  • Quentin Poulson
  • Larry Stoterau
  • John Loum
  • Frazier Odom
  • Leopoldo Sanchez
  • Mark Kempff
  • Victor Raj
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