Friday, August 8, 2014
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I co-led morning prayer this morning at the Presbyterian Center. I offered a very brief reflection before asking others gathered there for their reflections.
This psalm may have been used for thanksgiving celebrations during harvest times. We speak of God's mighty acts, of God's bounty, of God's unending goodness toward humanity.
All this goodness is difficult to comprehend when there is so much suffering in the world. God is good and generous and powerful, but still dictators murder those who disagree with them, soldiers shoot at children, families go hungry and homeless in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, religious minorities are driven out of their homes, and money buys elections. Still, the sun shines, we find beauty around every corner. "The hills are dressed in pure joy."
This psalm doesn't excuse or explain away suffering. This can be a reminder that stands up to the reality of suffering, and insists that creation is also joyful, people are also delivered from evil, that peace is the alternative to what we see around us. It is humanity that has decided peace is too hard, that human suffering and destruction of the earth are somehow acceptable, or inevitable. This psalm reminds us of God's desire for humanity and for the earth. It reminds us we are created to be more. It reminds us of the inevitability of God's love.
Monday, June 16, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
This is a piece I presented the 2nd Moderator's Convocation on Asian American Presbyterians, an event preceding the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly, which is a gathering of the highest governing body in the denomination. The 1st Moderator's Convocation on Asian American Presbyterians took place 14 years ago, when the first Asian American moderator of the PC(USA) was elected (the Rev. Dr. Syngman Rhee).
This event was in the PechaKucha style, a Japanese style of presentation that is image-driven, lasting only 6 minutes. It was really hard for me to find images! But all of these are either mine, or from friends/family used by permission, or from true open-source websites. (Just had to say that, since I work for a publisher.)
The topic I addressed, along with four other presenters, was "Where is God calling us to go?"
I have this great group of folks who, among others here, connected me with Asian American and Pacific Islander Presbyterians. I have always been Asian American. Having been grounded in the specificity of multiraciality and Japanese-ness, I had to learn how to speak to a broader Asian American Presbyterian experience.
This binary causes us to get trapped into thinking that men are the real or ideal pastors. Asian American church communities are bleeding women pastors to majority-white communities. The Asian American church needs to come to terms with the causes for this (patriarchy, Confucianism, colonial missionary imposition), and find a way to faithfully nurture women’s AND men’s leadership.