A new network for immigrant and visible-minority Christians is seeking connection with Canadians.
The Global Diaspora Hub is an initiative of the Peace and Reconciliation Network (PRN) of the World Evangelical Alliance in partnership with the Tyndale Intercultural Ministries Centre (TIM) in Toronto.
"Diaspora" stems from a Greek word to do with scattering and gathering, and diaspora churches are often led by visible minority leaders or immigrants, or have a majority of congregants who are recent immigrants.
Organizers describe the association as a platform to equip and mobilize the intercultural Christian faith community to help move communities toward peace and reconciliation.
Timothy Tang is director of TIM and says, "Many diaspora leaders already go back to their home countries every year to evangelize and support development – many doing significant transformational work. Imagine a hub of leaders capable of harnessing these global trends, listening and learning from such initiatives, but also facilitating collaborative conversations and training woven into the Canadian context."
The early stages of the hub’s work included a survey of diaspora church members to discover what peace and reconciliation activities are already being done in Canada within this community, and what needs are evident for this work.
"The survey will help us understand the need, and also identify people with expertise and interest in this area," says Manuel Boehm of Ottawa, director of network development for the PRN. He encourages churches and individuals interested in the survey or the hub development to contact the sponsoring organizations (WEA.PeaceAndReconciliation.net and Tyndale.ca/TIM).
"We plan to develop workshops, seminars and other resources to help us further peace and reconciliation, particularly for churches in Canadian urban centres." Boehm adds although it is still early days for the Global Diaspora Hub, "We feel it is the right time in Canada to start exploring more intentionally what it means to be reconciled ‘glocal’ (rooted globally and still situated local) communities, doing the work of reconciliation within our contexts."