Stained Glass Window

Does Your Presbytery Require English to Participate?

As the United States gets more and more diverse, the church remains almost entirely white. Step into most churches, and they look nothing like the communities that they serve. From Pentecost to the Great Commission to the responsibility of Matthew 25, God desires a vibrant, multilingual church.

Two keys to unlock full participation in your presbytery

Your presbytery can take two key steps towards unlocking full participation and belonging for those who speak and read other languages. These keys enable your presbytery and congregations to start welcoming people of different ethnicities and backgrounds to fully participate in and lead in the church. These keys also unlock a solution to churches that are growing older and dealing with the impacts of hearing loss, bringing all Presbyterians into the fold.

Key 1: Pass the Microphone… and Translate It

One of the most meaningful ways that churches and presbyteries can bring people of different ethnicities into the conversation is by handing them the microphone. When we offer people an opportunity to speak naturally in their native tongue to lead worship, offer prayer, and preach the gospel, it builds a sense of belonging.

You can also build an inclusive presbytery and support your local community by rotating the types of meals served as Presbytery meetings. Food brings people together. Imagine the kinds of conversations and relationships that your presbytery might have if it intentionally includes meals from different cultures in your community.

Translation Microphone Icon

Key 2: Caption Everything

Look around at our world today – from TV shows to YouTube videos to TikToks, captions are everywhere. Researchers have found that more than 50% of Americans use captions to better understand content especially as people get older.  Additionally, many non-English speakers find it easier to understand spoken language when it is captioned. As our aging congregations deal with the effects of hearing loss, it’s time for churches and presbyteries to bring live captions to our sermons, prayers, worship, and videos.

Closed Caption Icon

Spf.io is here to help.

Translation should not be an afterthought, but with spf.io, we make it easy for you by handling the translation process for your content (dockets, agendas, minutes, budgets, attachments, PIFs, MIFs, meeting recordings, presentation slides, and other videos), as well as your live real-time events. Whether you are meeting in-person, hybrid, or virtually, spf.io works for you. Real-time captioning and translation for presbyteries is made possible with our affordable and easy-to-use tools.

Translation is helping presbyteries like yours:

Seattle Presbytery Hosts Colombian Sister-Presbytery

Since 2016, Seattle Presbytery has partnered with sister-presbytery, Presbiterio del la Costa, in Colombia. Recently, they have begun inviting the Colombian church to lead prayer and worship in Spanish at Seattle Presbytery’s meetings, live translated into English. The special relationship between the two bodies has grown because they can authentically worship God together in their own language.

Captions Allow Older Members of NCCP to Participate

Jeri Viera Dahlke, Stated Clerk for North Central California Presbytery’s mom had always participated in NCCP’s presbytery meetings. It brought her great joy to see her daughter lead the presbytery. But as she got older, it became more and more difficult for her to hear and understand what was happening in the meetings. Jeri began to use spf.io to provide live captions at presbytery meetings. Captions allowed older members to participate in the vibrant life of the presbytery again, and brought great joy to her mom who could start to participate more fully.

Chicago Presbytery Translates Ordination in Korea

Chicago Presbytery ordained Rev. Hyeyoung Lee, a Korean mission worker. The actual ordination took place in both Chicago and South Korea over Zoom. Spf.io’s translation tools empowered Rev. Lee’s family and friends to join the ordination speaking Korean while her colleagues in Chicago spoke English. The celebration in two languages revealed the glory of God.

Want to Learn More?

We are happy to meet with you for a free discovery call to learn about the needs of your presbytery, and to share the many ways that spf.io can be of service to you.

Have doubts about AI generated translations? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Spf.io’s Translation for Presbyteries plan uses a custom AI-engine which is specifically designed to pick up on Presbyterian terms that other AI-based services miss entirely. Think of the denomination’s favorite words like ‘commissioner,’ ‘presbyter,’ ‘synod,’ ‘overture,’ ‘manse,’ ‘Book of Order,’ or even ‘Advisory Committee on the Constitution.’ Spf.io is specially built for Presbyterians and our sometimes-confusing vocabulary of acronyms.