National Magazine of the Lutheran Church of Australia

Building inclusive communities

September 2018

Cross-Cultural Ministry exists to nurture an inclusive missional culture in the LCA/NZ.

Our aim is for new and existing cross-cultural communities to be developed, strengthened and integrated into the life of the church. We support the districts of the church in ministering to and with new arrivals, and we encourage the celebration of cultural expressions of the one faith.

One of the many LCA/NZ congregations engaged in Cross-Cultural Ministry within its community is Zion Lutheran Church Glynde in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs.

Barbara Mattiske, the congregation’s Cross Cultural Coordinator, explains how Zion members serve alongside people of different national backgrounds within their community and what this ministry means to them.

‘We feel blessed to be a part of our local community, and the many cultures who come here. I believe that the people who come here feel that this is a safe place to be, where they feel the safety and love of God.

‘Each month our church produces a paper with articles written by members of our community. It is a great way of communicating what happens here during the week or, as we call it, our mid-week church.

‘Our mid-week church starts on Wednesday mornings with Playgroup,
a small group with mums and dads from our Glynde church and our mid-week church, where we encourage parents to interact with their children through craft and play.

‘We also run a three-week DVD study series each term after Playgroup.

‘On Thursdays we have Mainly Music, with between 20 and 30 children attending. Following the structured section, we offer morning tea. God provides many opportunities during this time for friendships and openness.

‘On Fridays we have a parenting course and English classes with a crèche available. This is followed by Coffee and Chat at which people share many deep thoughts and concerns. So many “God moments” happen on Fridays. English classes are also held on Saturday mornings.

‘In addition to these, we have a Girls Night Out each term, a special time in worship when we say thank you to God for babies, and we share a multicultural Sunday together.

‘We also have special links with our Korean congregation and our Nuer Sudanese congregation, which worships within the Glynde community as well as having their own traditional language worship services.

‘How blessed are we!’