When Ramon Ulangca arrived to pastor the Indianapolis Glendale Church two years ago, he set out to create a community focused church, actively engaged in connecting with other area churches.
One of the first order of business was the formation of a children’s choir. Then, last Sabbath, another idea came to fruition, an “Asian Convocation.”
Choirs and speakers representing the various Myanmar tribes such as Burmese, Karen, Zomi and Mizo were united in a service of celebration and praise. Guests included Harvey Kornegay, Indiana Conference ministerial secretary; Steve Poenitz, Lake Union Conference executive secretary; VicLouis Arreola, North American Division director of Multilingual Ministries for the Asian/Pacific field.
“Tribes and ethnic congregations tend to isolate themselves from one another and it’s important to come together to collaborate on our common mission as a church,” said Ulangca, a Filipino born to missionary parents in Singapore and who was raised in Thailand.
As the Caucasian population has stagnated, Ulangca said it’s imperative to actively reach out to other immigrant groups such as Asians. “If you can build a multicultural community, you can grow,” he said, adding that Asians were 41 percent of the immigrant groups over the last seven years. “That’s the future of our church.”
The convocation was well received, and already other immigrant groups are asking to have a similar program. “This is just the beginning.”
Debbie Michel, associate director of Communication, Lake Union Conference