Issues in Cultural Sensitivity Workshop

May 17, 2003

Diocesan Ministries Day

Grace Cathedral



Participants: Toni Van Kreidt, Our Savior, Mill Valley; Anne and Zelinda, Incarnation, San Francisco, Michael Music, St. John the Evangelist, San Francisco; Richard Helmer, Christ Church, San Francisco, Vincent Jang, True Sunshine, San Francisco, Gordon Lau and David Lui, Our Savior, Oakland, David Ota, St. Ambrose, Foster City.


After introductions, those present listed different concerns they would like to have addressed in the workshop:


1. How to bridge differences between cultural groups – Toni Van Kreidt

2. Pronunciation of names – Anne

3. Get up to speed and bring people into the church – Zelinda

4. 2000 Census results and beginning a ministry with the people of South India, Bangladesh, or sponsor a priest from Southern India – Michael Music

5. Lack of ethnic clergy – Vincent Jang, True Sunshine

6. How do we deal with ethnicity? Richard Helmer

7. Fear of addressing another cultural group when the neighborhood is changing – Anne

8. Minister to people on other faith paths – Michael Music

9. Inter-marriage – Toni Van Kreidt

10. Web-site for the Asian Commission – Vincent Jang


Written papers on working with Filipino, Japanese and Chinese people were distributed for reading.


The participants then proceeded to address the concerns listed above:


How to bridge differences between cultural groups?


What is the experience of the liturgy from a newcomer and from a different culture?



Fear of addressing another cultural group when the neighborhood is changing.

There are several fears that rise up in both the host congregation and the newcomers from another culture:

When the neighborhood changes the host congregation is challenged to have the faith to move forward and form and embrace a new identity that includes the present congregation and the emerging congregation.


How do the Asian congregations minister to people of other faiths?

In the Japanese community, there is much cooperation on an inter-faith level.  In San Francisco, there is the Japanese American Religious Federation (JARF, which works on joint projects for the good of the Japanese American Community.  Currently they are working on an assisted living housing project.