Towards an inclusive church: An interview with the Revd Dr Michael Jagessar

MichaelJagIn the latest United Reformed Church podcast interview, the Revd Dr Michael Jagessar, secretary for racial justice and multicultural ministry, discusses what it means to be an inclusive church and how we can work towards addressing issues of representation in order to live out the Gospel message of fullness of life for all.

In the interview Dr Jagessar addresses the question of representation of black and minority ethnic groups and women within the denomination, stating: “We strive to be inclusive but at the same time you recognise the struggle in it…

“There is a distinction between how we move from intention and how we make things real…I would want to say that the URC tries its best to ensure that a variety of people are included in its work and committees, but there is a challenge to all of this. Even though we try to find representation that would indicate the diversity in the church where we fall down is our inability to enable minorities to participate…”

Dr Jagessar, whose role within the URC focuses on multicultural church and intercultural habit, noted that in order to be a truly inclusive church, “it can’t be business as usual…we need to ensure that when people gather around the table – they can really feel part of that space, and they want to stay and own it – and those of us who come from a minority perspective, need to also be mindful that we are not excluding ourselves from participation in a group…

“All of us are obligated to ask the question – who is it that is missing from around this table?”

In what is a very relevant podcast for the contemporary church, Dr Jagessar addresses how the URC can progress in living out its good intentions of being inclusive and justice focused. You can listen to the podcast here.