It’s hard to imagine a world where everyone looks, acts, and speaks in the same ways. Where thoughts and ideas are prescribed to “classify” you as in or out. Where there is the notion that there is only one correct way of thinking and being. Yet that is what we are increasingly experiencing in both secular and religious communities.
The current issue of the “Anabaptist World” covers the Mennonite World Conference Assembly in Indonesia. Representatives from 44 nations gathered this year after last year’s postponement due to the pandemic. I can imagine God’s pleasure at the diversity and unity in worship during the assemblies. Clearly this global collection of Anabaptists challenges the idea that there is only one way to be an Anabaptist in this world.
MLT has the goal of becoming more interculturally competent. Each of us has completed an Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and is preparing an Intercultural Development Plan (IDP). My goal is to use this opportunity with my accountability partner to become more aware of how my responses in words and actions can improve my intercultural awareness and responses.
I have been blessed to be part of a diverse family and faith community. Out of our differences I have found strength and encouragement. Still there is more work to be done. I am not fully aware of the ways I relate across cultures. My prayer is to be open to God’s direction in whatever circumstances I am faced to extend God’s love, grace, and mercy to all those with whom I interact. To recognize and break down walls and barriers that I may have constructed either knowingly or unknowingly. To learn more about being a brother in Christ open to the Holy Spirits leading in the local global community.
By Duane Yoder, MLT Treasurer