Photo Credit The Post and Courier
Racial segregation is the de facto standard for American Christian worship, but some churches are making a concentrated effort to integrate their communities. Writing for the Post and Courier, Adam Parker and Jennifer Berry Hawes profile integrated worship at several churches in Charleston, South Carolina.
Parker and Hawes note that St. Mark’s Episcopal Church already has started a permanent integration effort, but that care has to be taken to prevent the church culture from being dominated by the newer white congregants.
The article quotes Minerva King, vestry member:
“People who encouraged white worshippers to join didn’t always know the history of the church and black culture,” she said. And when two cultures mix, it’s usually the dominant one that takes over. “All people should be able to retain their identity without fear of ideological colonization,” King said. […]
“I welcome everybody into that church,” King said. “But please don’t come with the idea, ‘Now that I’m here, let’s get the party started.’”
Does your church work towards integration in your regular services? Have you visited a church where the worshippers didn’t look like you? Are you conscious of the danger of cultural erasure when white congregants flock to a church they didn’t previously visit?
Posted by David Streever