Hi and thank you for joining us today. My name is Danny Chan. I am the L.A. Metro Region director for the Southern California Conference. You know, one of our core values that's meaningful to our conference is Unity in Diversity. And this makes sense, because the Seventh-day Adventist reach around the world is quite extensive.
But a few years ago, the Pew Research Center reported that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the most racially diverse religious group in America. It's quite significant that out of all the religious groups, including non-Christian faiths, Seventh-day Adventists rated the highest in their diversity metric. You know, North American Adventists enjoy tremendous diversity, and that's no more true than in the Southern California Conference.
North American Adventists enjoy tremendous diversity, and that's no more true than in the Southern California Conference.
Because of the diversity in Southern California, every continent on Earth is represented in our churches. Each week throughout Southern California Conference, we gather for worship and study each week in more than 25 different languages, including Arabic, Cambodian, Mongolian, Farsi, Indonesian, Portuguese, Serbian and Thai, just to name a few.
Now, diversity is great, but what does diversity look like within each region in our conference? You know, I'm blessed to lead the L.A. Metro Region, which is composed of of about 30 churches and about 34 pastors. And we see this diversity every single week in all of our churches. In addition to Anglo-Caucasian pastors that serve in our region, we also have four African-American pastors who lead churches in our region. We also have an Armenian pastor, a Cambodian pastor, a Colombian pastor, a German pastor, a Korean pastor, several Mexican American pastors, a Peruvian pastor, some Filipino pastors, a Samoan pastor, and even a Ukrainian pastor—all serving together in the L.A. Metro Region. In addition to ethnic diversity, we are also blessed by the ministry of several women pastors who serve in our L.A. Metro Region and throughout our conference.
We are truly proud of our diversity within each Southern California Conference region. But I have a question for you. Is having diversity enough? Does having diversity always lead to unity? You know, in the first century, Paul had to admonish the Christian church that he planted in one of the most diverse cities in the ancient world. Corinth was a gateway to various countries, and the church was also very diverse. But diversity was not equating to unity. A social hierarchy of influence inside the church mirrored the class structure that existed throughout the city of Corinth. Even during worship services, some members were receiving preferential treatment over others, and they were perverting the Lord's Supper that was meant to celebrate oneness in Christ.
Diversity is not enough. Equality is also essential in order for us to experience true unity in Christ.
So how did Paul address this? He begins by penning a letter to the church in Corinth, and we find that in 1 Corinthians 12, he begins to talk about the body, the body of Christ, the physical body, and how each part is so valuable to make up the complete whole. But then he says in verse 24, "But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other." You know, for Paul, equality required giving greater honor to those who had been neglected. For Paul, Christian diversity requires giving more honor to those who have been deprived of it in order to bring about true unity.
Diversity is a great, great blessing, and we experience it almost every single week here at Southern California Conference. But diversity is not enough. Equality is also essential in order for us to experience true unity in Christ.
Blessings to you and to your church as you consider how you can continue to grow in diversity, equality and unity in Christ. Thank you so much for joining us today. We invite you to leave a comment down below to share your thoughts on the subject and be sure to subscribe to our channel if you haven't already. And if you could please leave a like on this video. Blessings to you, and we'll see you in our next video.