Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2014

Children Aren't Disposable

I have been thinking a lot about children lately. (Not about having them. About the children who already exist.) Children coming across the U.S. border, fleeing violence. Children huddled inside shelters in Gaza, or playing on the beach, unprotected from the war raging around them. Children who become accustomed to running down to the bomb shelter when a siren goes off. Children who don’t have enough to eat during the summers when there is no school lunch program, or who go to school each day from a homeless shelter. Children who are unintended casualties of drone attacks in Pakistan. Children whose homes are more dangerous than their schools. We can blame it on their parents’ poor decisions, or their neighborhoods. We can blame it on their governments, whether those governments are Honduras or Guatemala, or involve Hamas. But too many people think of children as disposable. We would never call children disposable, not out loud. We love children, we say. People who block

God's Goodness in the Face of Suffering

I have had A LOT OF FEELINGS lately, and have found it difficult to blog. I hope to slowly creep back into the blogging now that I've moved from Georgia to Kentucky. 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. Psalm 65 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

Women and Power

The following are remarks I made during the PC(USA) General Assembly Women's Leadership Institute/Young Women's Leadership Development event on June 13th.              My name is Laura. I’m 35 years old, but when I started engaging with the national church, I was 21. I attended McCormick Seminary, and was ordained in the Presbytery of Chicago as a Teaching Elder in 2006. I’m a double-p.k. Both my parents are ordained Presbyterian Teaching Elders. I am here because of an accident – a mix-up in mailing lists at the Presbyterian Center, which resulted in my parents receiving a mailing from the National Network of Presbyterian College Women, which they passed on to me, a lapsed Christian who was done with church. I went to an NNPCW Leadership Event in 1999, and now here I am, a church professional. After seminary, I worked with a Lilly Endowment-funded program at McCormick, then at the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), an ecumenical Lilly-funded organization workin

Where and how do you think God is calling Asian American Presbyterians to go and be in the future?

For my readers:  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?" The first thing I remember my parents teaching me about my identity was, “I’m Japanese and Jewish.”