Cross-cultural/cross-racial appointments: Profiles

March 28, 2017

There are 83 ethnic minority clergy (out of 399) actively serving in the New England Conference, according to the 2016 Journal. The Conference does not have data on the ethnicity of all congregations, so the exact number serving in cross-cultural/cross-racial appointments is not known, but many are.

“We like to make them,” Vermont District Superintendent Brigid Farrell said of cross-cultural/cross-racial appointments. 

“It gives us a chance to bring some diversity into a place that might have very little diversity,” Rev. Farrell said, adding that building cultural competency – the ability to interact appropriately with people of different cultures – is one of the perks of cross-cultural appointments, both for the congregations and the pastors.

We talked with four pastors who are currently serving in cross-cultural/cross-racial appointments about their experiences. Over the course of four weeks, beginning March 21, 2017, each pastor will share some of the joys and challenges of working across cultures as well as some advice for pastors and the congregations that seek to welcome them.

Find links to their stories below
Pastor Crystal Gardner
Whitman UMC, Massachusetts
Rev. Jinwoo Chun
Belfast UMC, Maine
Wanda Santos-Perez, Oxford UMC and Quinsigamond UMC

Rev. Shandirai “Shandi” Mawokomatanda,
Wesley UMC, Worcester, MA