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globaLearning:

Understanding our Neighbours

In our globalized world, and in an increasingly multicultural Canada, it’s not uncommon to come into contact with people from different cultures than our own. You no longer have to travel across an ocean to meet people from a variety of countries and cultures; rather, you can find people from around the world in your own backyard. We often think of these people as somehow different from or “other” to us. But, as Dr. Charles Cook puts it, “we are all an ‘other’ to someone.” If we value the “others,” we need to learn to understand them and their culture. Culture is woven into the fabric of our daily lives and relationships, often impacting us in ways we do not even realize. These cross-cultural interactions take place in our churches, workplaces, and communities, so it’s important that we make efforts to learn to navigate these situations with skill. This past year, the Jaffray Centre has focused on a globaLearning initiative which prepares people for culturally sensitive service in a multicultural world. This project resulted in a series of seminars on Cultural Fluency and Cultural Intelligence, offered in Edmonton and Calgary. 4

...fresh ways of looking at God’s global mission

The seminars on Cultural Fluency emerged out of a partnership with the Millbourne Community Life Centre (MCLC) in Edmonton. In October 2016, Jaffray and MCLC hosted a conversation with leaders in churches and ministries serving New Canadians. The one-day gathering resulted in the creation of the “Millbourne Statement.” This statement called for churches serving primarily Caucasian congregations to work together with churches and ministries serving New Canadians. The group identified a need for training opportunities to equip individuals to engage more effectively with their neighbors and communities. To address this need, Jaffray and MCLC hosted four weekend seminars throughout the spring on ways to engage with our New Canadian neighbours. The topics included “Understanding Our Sikh Neighbours,” “Starting a Church-based Ministry with New Canadians,” “Diasporas, Migrants, and New Canadians,” and “Understanding our Muslim Neighbours.” Each weekend seminar was hosted by local experts in the field sharing what

“I feel I am a little more equipped and prepared to start up a conversation now. I am glad I took the training. If God will call me one day to be friends with them, I certainly will try. Thank you.” Sui-Fun Li

they have learned through years of ministry. These seminars were well received. One participant, Sui-Fun Li, commented that before attending the seminars she felt fearful when interacting with people from cultures different from her own, but she now says, “I feel I am a little more equipped and prepared to start a conversation now. I am glad I took the training. If God will call me one day to be friends with them, I certainly will try. Thank you.” Another participant, Anne Stephens, noted, “All the seminars opened my eyes to the task that God is placing in our paths to win the lost who are on our doorstep.” JAFFRAY CENTRE PERSPECTIVES

Perspectives August 2017  

fresh ways of looking at God’s global mission Perspectives is published twice a year for the Jaffray Centre for Global Initiatives at Ambro...

Perspectives August 2017  

fresh ways of looking at God’s global mission Perspectives is published twice a year for the Jaffray Centre for Global Initiatives at Ambro...