Kent Church Celebrates Unity and Diversity

August 01, 2010 | Sally Herigstad

Kent (Wash.) Church is a multicultural congregation. Guests often ask: “How do you pull this diversity thing off?”

“It wasn’t something we were trying to pull off,” says Greg Schaller, pastor. “We are just united in purpose and we encourage a diversity of people’s gifts and personalities.”

Schaller believes the Holy Spirit was involved in bringing together the people from all parts of the globe to Kent’s growing congregation.

To celebrate their diverse heritage, Kent Church declared April 10 to be International Day and asked everyone to come in traditional dress from their country of ancestry.

More than 20 countries were represented during this day of celebration, including Korea, Nigeria, Norway, Samoa, Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico, China and Uganda.

Members brought favorite ethnic dishes for potluck, from Swedish crepes with lingonberries to taro casserole.

The church listened to prayers and music in native tongues. After Pedro Ramos, Kent Church member, sang, he reminded the audience that they should all learn Spanish. “That’s what we’re all going to be speaking in heaven,” Ramos says.

From uniting in purpose, to encouraging diversity, to celebrating community, International Day brought out the best of Kent Church.