The Quest for Unity
St. George’s Church is now in the process of uniting its three communities (that of English, Spanish, and Chinese speakers) into a more congruous, collective congregation. While this church runs under one governing body, its religious services and church programming remain segregated. The main goal of the clergy and administrators of St. George’s Church, looking forward, is to bring greater unity to their church members and to the overall Christian and religious community in Flushing.
Reverend Shawn Duncan, current interim presiding pastor, and his fellow liturgical ministers hope to use their faith in God to “find unity in pursuing a common purpose”. They strongly emphasize that faith is not private, and that as members of the Christian doctrine, they have been entrusted with the task of building God’s Kingdom throughout the world. The world, for this congregation, begins in Flushing.
In an effort to increase cooperation among members of different origins, St. George’s Church celebrated Easter this year with a joint, trilingual Sunday mass. They were also instrumental in the creation of the new Flushing Deanery Episcopal Volleyball League, which brought together various Protestant congregations throughout the Flushing and Queens community. St. George’s Church has also striven to join their members through the hosting of events such as their annual Mother’s Day Celebration and through their regular, smaller events such as bake sales and boutiques.
Future and Continued Change
St. George’s Church is now in a particularly critical time in its growth because this year, a new pastor will be elected to the parish. In an effort to create deeper unity, the ideal candidate for this position will be bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish fluently. (The Church already currently employs a full time Chinese speaking pastor, Reverend Paul Xie.) The leaders of St. George’s Church strongly believe that “people should worship in the language they most comfortably speak”. Therefore, language is a major focus in the Church’s steps forward, and it will continue to allow for St. George’s Church to maintain an environment accessible and comfortable for the surrounding and diverse community.
Demographic trends seem to indicate that in future years, Flushing will continue to see an increase in its Chinese and Hispanic populations. To prepare for this continual shift towards non-English speakers, St. George’s Church must prepare now, and that is exactly what they are doing through increasing understanding and association between their diverse members.
A large part of St. George’s Church’s success as a religious establishment is its constant awareness of changing Flushing demographics and of its adaptation to meet its congregants’ needs. It is through this attentiveness and dedication that St. George’s Episcopal / Anglican Church will continue to be able to serve and expand its community for years to come.