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East Region Update from Rev. Dr. Andrew Lee

August 30, 2010 1 comment

Dr. Soong Chan Rah at New York Chinese Alliance Church

Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah gave two talks on his award winning book, The Next Evangelicalism, on July 17.  He spoke in the morning to a racially diverse group that had assembled at New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NBTS).  His lecture was so well received that nearly his entire shipment of books was sold afterwards!

The evening audience at New York Chinese Alliance Church (NYCAC) in New York City  consisted of more church leaders and fewer ministers and professors. Nevertheless, there was a good response to Professor Rah’s challenging ideas.

ISAAC would like to thank NBTS and NYCAC for hosting and co-sponsoring these talks!

2010 interns with Dr. Andrew Lee

The ISAAC Summer Internship program was held over an eight-week period with five interns from churches in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and suburban New Jersey.  As was the case last year, it was a revealing encounter for these interns to experience church life outside their own neighborhoods and to share ideas about ministry with each other. Selected readings from the ISAAC Asian American Reader were discussed as well as studies on “calling.”  Special services on the concept of “call” were held at the participating churches at the end of the program.

Information on the Certificate in Asian American Youth Ministry and the Discernment Conference can be found at this link.

Rev. Andrew Lee, Ph.D [email me]
East Region Director
Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity
Adjunct Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary & New Brunswick Theological Seminary
718 317-7930

Summary of ISAAC 2009 Internship Program (East Coast)

August 27, 2009 3 comments

by Andrew Lee, ISAAC East Coast Regional Director [contact Andrew]

In order to help meet the need for leaders for second-generation English language ministries in Chinese churches, ISAAC initiated a paid internship program this summer in the New York metropolitan area. This program was funded by a grant from the Fund for Theological Education.   Students contemplating the prospect of vocational ministry were offered the opportunity to serve in their respective churches in order to sample a taste of full-time ministry.

ISAAC FTE internship program

ISAAC FTE internship program

The five ISAAC interns this summer were college students Rosalie Chung (Long Island Alliance Church), Jason Lee (Monmouth Chinese Christian Church), Daniel Shih (Boon Church, OCM), Jin Tian (Brooklyn Community Christian Church) and Joyce Wong (New York Chinese Baptist Church).  Jesse Eng (Grace Faith Church), a student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, joined the interns for their weekly meetings.

The congregations represented by the interns are geographically diverse, ranging from suburban New Jersey to inner city New York to suburban New York.  It was an eye-opening experience for the interns to visit each other’s churches to see how ministry was conducted in a different setting and to learn how church space could be utilized in a new manner.

pastors and mentors

pastors and mentors

The students were guided and mentored throughout the summer by their pastor, by a lay leader in their church and by ISAAC Eastern Regional Director, Dr. Andrew Lee.  At the weekly meetings led by Rev. Lee, the interns discussed selected readings from ISAAC’s Asian American Christianity Reader, deliberated on the meaning of call, and bonded together as they shared, encouraged, prayed and fellowshipped together.

As a result of this summer experience, the concept of calling took on new meaning for each intern.  For some, the end of the internship does not signal the end of their service.  Jason, a spring graduate of Rutgers University, informed his church leaders that he was quitting his part-time job and volunteering the rest of this year to serve full-time in his church because his part-time job “gets in the way of ministry.”  Likewise Daniel, a recent graduate of Gordon College, will continue serving at his church until he leaves for a two-year pastoral apprenticeship in Australia next January.   Jin, a junior at Philadelphia Bible University, committed to returning to Brooklyn each weekend to assist at her church.

The participating pastors and lay mentors also had uniformly positive evaluations of the summer experience.  Each felt it was a worthwhile investment of their time.  It provided them an opportunity to guide, teach and train their interns and to get to know them better.  In turn, their own skills were sharpened by the experience of mentoring another person.

Another facet of this summer program included a worship service at each church where calling was the theme for that day.  Each church was challenged to instill a culture of encouraging its own members to consider vocational ministry.  Here, too, the pastors and lay mentors believe their churches were positively impacted.  Moreover, the entire internship experience has opened the eyes of church leaders and young people to the potential of leadership through young adults.  ISAAC will offer this internship program in the New York City Metropolitan Area again in the summer of 2010.

ISAAC receives “Calling Congregations” Grant from the Fund for Theological Education

December 18, 2008 Leave a comment

ISAAC is delighted to announce that our East Region will receive a “Calling Congregations” grant from the Fund for Theological Education. FTE will provide $12,000 over a two year period for “activities and reflection designed to help congregations nurture the principles and practices that support vocational discernment, in general, and the call to ministry, in particular, among youth and young adults.”

Dr. Andrew Lee, Eastern Regional Director for ISAAC and author of the proposal, Calling Chinese American youth into Ministry, says that this program will be “a summer internship program in the New York metropolitan area for Chinese churches. College and High School students who are considering full-time ministry may apply to work as ministry interns in their respective churches.  The interns will receive guidance throughout the summer from mentoring teams.  There will also be directed times for them to meet together to process their experiences and to contemplate their potential call to ministry.  The objective of the funding grant is to aid churches in becoming calling congregations that are able to identify, nurture and raise up leaders for vocational ministry.”

The program will begin in the summer of 2009. ISAAC hopes to expand this program to other regions where Asian American congregations face the challenge of raising up young people to enter the ministry. Please direct questions to Dr. Andrew Lee.