The Multicultural Church for the Community in Kansas City, Missouri, started two new groups during the pandemic to reach previously overlooked demographics.

In 2020 Abelardo Rivas, pastor for the Multicultural Church for the Community met with several young adults in the church to discuss how the church could better support them.

“We never had anything specifically for our age group, and we really needed it,” said Gaby Suazo, REACH young adult leader.

After their discussions, the group ultimately decided to start a young adult group that would meet on Friday nights for activities and discussions. The group’s motto is to “Reach Up, Reach In, Reach Out.” Rivas said while anyone is welcome to attend, the programing is aimed toward young adults.

REACH Young Adult Leader Nataly Malma said the group has positively impacted her spiritual life and she now feels like she belongs in the church.

“At times it was hard to find contentment in going to church because the sermon topics were not necessarily aimed at youth,” said Malma. “Ever since REACH started, I feel like my spiritual life has improved and I’ve found something I enjoy being part of.”

Starting REACH inspired church members to start another ministry: BREAD.

The Multicultural Church for the Community is about 90% Latino, 5% Latino-American and 5% Caucasian, representing an estimated 15 nations, according to Rivas. The goal of the church is to “embrace every culture,” Rivas said.

“There is this general sense that we’re here for each other, we’re going to care for each other, despite any cultural differences we may have,” Rivas said.

After seeing the success of REACH, a group of English-speaking adults created a group with three main objectives: worship together, eat together and do both solely in English.

“As immigrants, which is the case for a lot of the people in the [Multicultural] Church, we understand how one can feel when you go to another place where you feel different,” Rivas said.

The church didn’t want any group of people to feel left out, so they provided a place for the group to meet, in hopes that those individuals would feel accepted and welcome in the church, according to Rivas.

While the church took a break from holding BREAD due to various factors, the group is happy to be meeting again.