One Bread, One Body: Exploring Cultural Diversity in Worship

Hawn, Michael C. One Bread, One Body: Exploring Cultural Diversity in Worship. The Alban Institute, 2003.

C. Michael Hawn, together with a denominationally diverse set of researchers, explores aspects of cross-cultural worship through a study of how four Dallas area United Methodist congregation address the issue of cross-cultural worship. Together, these congregations reflected a diversity of socio-economic and ethnic identities. Throughout the year 2000, Hawn and associates met which each congregation’s representative team that included its pastor. Each congregation was studied through its theology, the context of its community, its culture and identity, and its processes and resources. <p> The book is divided into three parts. Part I describes the processes employed in analyzing a congregation’s cultural context. Part II details case studies on each of the congregations with a focus on the congregation’s worship ritual in the context of its history, neighborhood demographics, congregational constituency, and neighborhood programs. Part III examines the role of music in enabling multicultural worship and congregational singing. The book provides specific guidelines for congregations to pursue culturally conscious worship towards the end of Part III and brings together the insights gained through earlier interactions with each of the four congregations. Additionally, an extensive annotated bibliography offers additional resources for worship in different cultural contexts.