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What are the top five cries of Asian American Christian young adults?

November 8, 2010 3 comments

The greatest challenge facing Asian American churches today is reaching and growing Young Adults who are healthy disciples of Jesus Christ. What do you think are five of the top concerns of Asian American Young Adult Christian?

Complete a quick on-line survey and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card from Barnes and Noble!

ENTER SECURE SURVEY

And then come to ISAAC Northern California’s workshop on Saturday, Nov.20th (9 AM – 2 PM) at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 5038 Hyland Avenue, San Jose, CA 95127. Join Tim Tseng and Peter Wang as they facilitate a conversation about the social-cultural impacts on Asian American Young Adults today,  a case study of successful retention of Asian American Young Adults, and observations of successful efforts to attract Asian American Young Adults. This is a workshop for church leaders and ministers who care about the emerging Asian American young adults.

The registration fee is $15 (discounts may apply to you). Thanks to the generous support of Episcopal Amerasia ministries and PAACCE, this workshop is now free!!

Please register on-line by Sunday, Nov. 14th Tuesday, Nov. 16th – go to:

http://bit.ly/fivecries

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Report: Art of Preaching in Asian American Settings workshop (NCal)

May 24, 2010 3 comments

The following is the report and raw data collected from the participants at the Art of Preaching in Asian American Settings workshop with Dr. Daniel L. Wong on May 13, 2010.

DOWNLOAD Art of Preaching Workshop raw data
DOWNLOAD Bibliography of Preaching in a Multicultural World, compiled by Dr. Daniel L. Wong

Over 50 participants attended this ISAAC Northern California event, which was held at the Chinese Church in Christ, North Valley. Most of the participants were pastors, ministry leaders, and lay preachers.

Dr. Wong provided a 20-minute presentation entitled, “Recent Trends in Homiletics and Implications for Preaching in the Asian American Church.” This was followed by a 45-minute discussion period where participants reflected on the outline and made recommendations for effective preaching in Asian American settings. Data from the eight discussion groups is found in Part 2 of the report. Rev. Dr. Karl Fung of Berkeley Congregational Church contributed a sermon that he delivered on Mother’s Day that reflected on how Christianity can engage Confucianism in East Asian cultural contexts.

Daniel has posted his outline, some recommended books, and links to his sermons and interviews relating to the topic of preaching. To view these resources, visit his home page at: http://www.tyndale.ca/~dwong/viewpage.php?pid=32

DJ Chuang interviewed Daniel shortly after our workshop at:
http://djchuang.com/2010/what-about-asian-american-preaching/ OR

Here is the link to Matthew D. Kim’s article on Asian American Preaching:
http://www.preachingtoday.com/skills/artcraft/53–kim.html

The general response of participants to the workshop was quite favorable. I think the opportunity to fellowship with fellow pastors and church leaders contributed to an enjoyable social gathering and a jovial atmosphere. Most also felt that we did not have enough time to engage the topic more deeply and therefore, were not able to “exegete” the Asian American distinctive carefully enough. I concur with this assessment. The large number of participants and short time frame made it impossible to get beyond the first question of declaring the importance of contextualized preaching in Asian American settings.

But that was not the only obstacle. Just about every Asian American ministry, theology, and scholarly gatherings that I’ve ever attended has been unable to get past the initial step. The fundamental challenge Asian Americans face is to create a relatively clear self-representation amidst our incredible language, cultural, and generational diversities. For example, using terms such as “yellow,” “Confucian,” or “shame” reflect East Asian contexts that South and Southeast Asian Americans do not share. I suspect that the only commonality we share is how we are treated or viewed by America. Our inter-generational challenges, our perceived foreignness, our shared history of anti-Asian discrimination are pretty much the only thing that we seem to hold in common. Can we truly create a new self-representation on this basis?

Another challenge relates to our theology. ISAAC and the participants in this workshop agree that contexualization is very much needed in our ministry and theological reflections. But to what degree do we contextualize? One generation of mainline Protestant Asian and Asian American theologians have come and gone (I think of Kosuke Koyama, C.S. Song, Jung Young Lee, Roy Sano, David Ng, etc.). Their theology is viewed with suspicion by many Asian American evangelicals for being too “liberal,” though I suspect most have not read these authors (their books are usually out of print and inaccessible). Without these pioneers in contextualized theology as resources, to whom can Asian American Christian leaders turn? No seminary in North America provides adequate resources for the development of contextualized Asian American theology and ministry (not even Asian language seminaries). So where can the next generation of church leaders in Asian American settings turn to if they seek to counter the assimilationist (and anti-global/anti-multi-cultural) assumptions in North American Christianity?

At least in the area of preaching, ISAAC Northern California’s next step will be to try to develop adequate resources. We would like to invite a few participants to meet, review the raw data, do some additional research, and draft outlines of resources that go beyond the first step. Please let me know if you’d like to be part of a small group to develop this preaching resource further! I look forward to hearing from you!

In the meantime, I thank all our participants for coming and making the workshop so enjoyable. I hope we will find more opportunities to fellowship and support one another in our ministries! I want to again thank our co-sponsors, the First Chinese Baptist Church of San Francisco, Chinese for Christ Church of Hayward, Chinese Church in Christ North Valley, Grace Covenant Community Church, Overflow Ministry, and Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church, for providing funds, resources, and hospitality for this event.

Again, our philosophy is to partner with you and your ministries in order to develop resources for ministry among Asian Americans – so we are counting on you to help strengthen this special work for God’s kingdom! So keep looking out for future ISAAC Nor Cal events and opportunities to partner!

Peace,

Timothy Tseng 曾 祥 雨
Executive Director, ISAAC
Interim English Pastor, Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church

ISAAC Asian American Continuing Education Seminar

March 21, 2010 Leave a comment

“GOD IS ROOMY: GENERATIONS, GENDER, AND THE FUTURE OF ASIAN AMERICAN MINISTRY”

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know the love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” — Ephesians 3:17

SATURDAY, APRIL 24, 2010, 9:00AM-5:00PM

FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Payton Hall, Room 303

Pasadena, CA

CO-SPONSORED BY THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF ASIAN AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY of SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ISAAC-SoCal) AND FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

As a follow up to the inaugural Asian American Equipping Symposium (AAES) held last November 2-3 at Fuller Theological Seminary, SoCal ISAAC is pleased to announce a one-day continuing education seminar for Asian American pastors, para-church leaders, and lay leaders.  Once again, Fuller President Richard J. Mouw will be with us to continue the dialogue we began last year and will address “The Future of Theological Formation.”  We will expand upon and unpack the content presented at the AAES, specifically the topographic analysis done by respondent Dr. Charlene Jin Lee  (Assistant Professor of Christian Education and Director of Student Formation, San Francisco Theological Seminary/Southern California) of one of the themes discussed by keynote speaker Dr. Jonathan Tran (Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics, Baylor University)–the “Roomy-ness of God”–to address gender, generations, and the future of Asian American ministry.  We look forward to seeing you all at this one-day event to experience God’s “vastness.”

THE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE

9:00am            Registration

9:30am            Introduction (Young Lee Hertig & Mary Hubbard Given)

10:00am          Future of Theological Formation (Richard J. Mouw)

10:30am          Q & A

10:45am          Roomy-ness of God and Gender in the Church (Charlene Jin Lee)

11:45am          Q & A

Noon               Lunch

1:00pm            Intergenerational Fish Bowl (Peter Lai, Kevin Doi)

2:00pm            Breakout sessions (generation, gender, and future)

3:30pm            Breakout session plenary and Reflection (Young Lee Hertig)

BREAKOUT SESSION QUESTIONS

The Roomy-ness of God and Gender in the Church:

  • Who is at your table?
  • Are we willing to image God and to speak and teach of God as beyond male?
  • Are we willing to image the ministry of God and theological agency entrusted to all made in God’s image?
  • Are we prepared to critically examine the male-bodiedness of our pastoral staff, of our sessions or governing boards, our elders, our leaders?
  • Are we prepared to widen the circle of our Theology and open the invisible gates in our churches to invite unintended, complex voices that might disturb and make messy whatever neat categories we’ve knowingly or unknowingly established?

The Roomy-ness of God and Intergenerational Relationships in the Church:

  • What pastoral traits does the pioneer generation want to impart to the succeeding generations?  (Peter Lai)
  • What are the most important issues that you want the pioneer generation to understand about your pastoral ministry? (Kevin Doi)

The Roomy-ness of God and Constructing Asian North American Theologies: The Power of Context, the Power of Story, “Historical Locatedness”

  • What are the priorities for God’s mission in today’s world?
  • Who are at the table of theological discourse?
  • Who are missing at the table?
  • What are the unifying stories?
  • Is there Asian American Christianity apart from European Christianity?

ADMINISTRATORS

* Young Lee Hertig: Director of SoCal ISAAC (Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity) and AAWOL (Asian American Women On Leadership)

* Mary Hubbard Given: Associate Vice President of Alumni/ae and Church Relations, Fuller Theological Seminary

PRESENTERS

* Richard J. Mouw: President of Fuller Theological Seminary

* Charlene Jin Lee: Assistant Professor of Christian Education and Director of Spiritual Formation, San Francisco Theological Seminary/Southern California

* Peter Lai, Pastor of Alhambra True Light Presbyterian Church, Alhambra, California

* Kevin Doi, Pastor of Epic Church (American Baptist), Fullerton, California

REGISTRATION

Regular registration fee: $50.00

Student registration fee: $20.00

(Note to M.Div. students:  This seminar can qualify for field education units.  Please contact your seminary’s field education office to apply.)

Register online:  http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e2swg0rb4ffd593b

Report on the Asian American Symposium at Fuller Seminary: Young Lee Hertig

November 23, 2009 1 comment

November 16, 2009
Apologies to Young Lee Hertig for the delay in posting this report… Tim Tseng

The Inaugural AAES Epiphany
By Young Lee Hertig, Director of ISAAC-SoCal/AAWOL (Asian American Women On Leadership)

The dream of gathering one of the most scattered group, Asian American Christian leaders, came true when the inaugural Asian American Equipping Symposium kicked off on November 2-3 at Fuller Theological Seminary.  Initial idea came from ISAAC’S Executive Director, Timothy Tseng, who began lectureship circuits in Northern California with various Universities.  In implementing the vision, as fellow African American pastors would say, “When you don’t have teeth to chew, gum it” relying on daily divine whispers and riding along the whimsical wind of the Spirit.

The first whisper in implementing the dream came through a meeting with Howard Loewen, Dean of School of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.  When the Dean announced his fall Sabbatical, the new partnership emerged with Fuller’s Office of Alumni/ae and Church Relations turned  dream possible.  Tirelessly everyone in Mary Hubbard Given’s office devoted their time to the details of the two-day event—lecture, panel, breakout session, banquet, and luncheon.

The Program Highlights

The keynote speaker, Dr. Jonathan Tran, an Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics,  framed the lectures of the past and future of Asian American churches with “both and” paradigm, not “either or.”  It was the right frame to contain multiple facets of bridging the inaugural AAES aimed.  Bridging both theologies with the Asian American churches, the past with the future, and diverse intra Asian American ethnic groups, Tran walked us through the interpretive path that was so rich in its contents and candor in delivery.  Participants were captivated by vivid biblical narratives resonant with Asian American journeys.  The panel responses on Monday included three school faculty and Asian American pastors: Jehu J. Hanciles, Mark Lau Branson, Miyoung Yoon Hammer, Ken Fong, and Michael Lee.   We are so grateful for panelists taking their busy time off to deliver their insights.

Monday evening was the Asian American Leadership Banquet  and 160 people filled the room, Payton 101 at Fuller Theological Seminary.  At the 11th hour, the Women of Four (Mary Hubbard Given, Bert Jacklitch, Bonnie Stevens, and Young Lee Hertig) decided to change the banquet venue from the Rose Tournament House to Payton 101 to accommodate everyone who wanted to come to the banquet.  We apologize for those who didn’t have time to check the last minute email sent out when we changed the venue for the banquet.  At the banquet, President Rich Mouw almost turned his keynote address, Theological Imagination With Asian American Churches” in interpretive dance after Ashley Thaxton’s liturgical dance to the song, “In This Very Room,” sung by Debra Williams.  We almost believed that he might since Mrs. Phyllis Mouw was present

On Tuesday Tran covered why Asian American Churches are the Future.  The panelists were Charlene Jin Lee, Timothy Tseng, Charles Lee, Melanie Mar Chow, and Benjamin Shin.   Gender issues in Asian American Churches, addressed by Charlene Jin Lee, in particular captivated everyone.  Tran continued dialogue by email exchanges with Jin Lee even after his return to Texas.

The breakout sessions with Jonathan Wu and Melanie Mar Chow’s leadership, were divided into four To let you know, we will have four topics for discussion and strategic thinking:
1.  The future of AA pastoral leadership
2.  The future of AA women in ministry
3.  The future of the intergenerational AA church
4.  The future of theological formation in AA churches

Jonathan and Melanie expressed their appreciation of the deep level of engagement and learning happening in all of the groups as Jonathan Tran and the panelists paved the way for some serious interactions in our breakout groups.  We are grateful to you all for navigating the direction toward constructive conversations and substantive outcomes.  We deeply appreciate participants recommendations with the clarity to keep traction and momentum going forward.

Last but not the least, the inaugural AAES was possible through sponsorships of local churches, para-church organizations and friends.  ISAAC appreciates all of your financial support that made our collective dreaming possible.

Transitioning INTO Ministry workshop – Alameda, CA (May 30th)

Are you considering serving the Lord in ministry?

What does it take? What considerations are essential? Come to the ER Center’s next workshop on “Transitioning INTO Ministry” and learn from seasoned veterans in church and parachurch such as Louis Lee, Stephen Quen, and Ken Carlson. Learn from their journeys and better equip your church to send others into Christian ministry.

Who is this workshop for? It is for people considering ministry. It is for church leaders who want to help their churches be more effective in sending and receiving future ministers. It is for those considering seminary and those who may consider ministry as a future call. It is also for seminarians who would like to be learn from experienced pastors in Chinese and Asian American settings. In sum, it is for anyone concerned about the kingdom of God and its work through servants.

Date: Saturday, May 30, 2009
Time: 9:00 am – 2 pm (lunch provided)
Location: Bay Area Chinese Bible Church, Alameda Campus, 1801 North Loop Rd., Alameda, CA  94502
Cost: $30 per person ($24/member church)

How to register: Because of the very specific purpose of this workshop, we request that you register by sending an email to Johnson Chiu (email Johnson). Include in the email:

1. The name, email or phone number of a pastor or leader who can recommend you.

2. A very brief paragraph introducing yourself. Also discuss why you believe you may be called to ministry in Chinese and Asian American settings.

* * * * *

Tentative  Schedule

9:00 am        Welcome (Johnson Chiu)
9:15 am        Introduction of the topic (Tim Tseng)
9:30 am        Speaker #1 (Ken Carlson)
10:15 am      Group discussion
10:45 am      Speaker #2 (Louis Lee)
11:30 am      Group discussion
12:00 pm     Lunch Break
12:30 pm     Speaker #3  (Steve Quen)
1:15 pm      Group discussion
1:45 pm      Panel Q & A
2:00 pm     Close/Announcements

Tim Tseng’s Presentations at EFC’s Bridging Conference (Feb. 19-21, 2009)

March 1, 2009 3 comments

It was a delight for me to have the opportunity to give a plenary presentation and two workshops at the Evangelical Formosan Church’s 2009 Bridging Conference at EFC-Los Angeles (Feb. 19-21, 2009). I was impressed by the efforts of both immigrant and American-raised or born generations of leaders to cooperate, teach, and learn from each other.

This conference was an occasion for me to test some concepts about creating healthy inter-generational leadership cultures. Through ISAAC, I hope to develop training and consulting resources for helping bi-generational Asian American churches more adequately address the “silent exodus” phenomenon. I’ve posted my slide shows on this blog. Email me if you’d like the original slides. – Tim Tseng

Plenary Presentation
This is the plenary presentation that I gave on Thursday evening (Feb. 19th).  I attempt to interpret the history of Chinese (and Taiwanese) American Christianity through the lens of “faith, hope, and love” – and call for Chinese (and Taiwanese) American churches to move towards an ethos of “love.”

Workshop One: Creating Bridging Cultures
This presentation summarizes three tools that I argue can help create “bridging cultures” among church leaders from different cultural or generational backgrounds. It is still a work in process, but I’m eager to help church leadership teams develop healthy “bridging cultures.”

Workshop 2: Preparing for College
My wife, Betty, and I believe that healthy inter-generational ministry requires attention to one of the most critical stages in family life – the transition from high school student to college. Churches that provide practical support for this stage of life may find many opportunities for integrating discipleship with their family ministries.

The Growth of the Chinese Churches in the Bay Area – 2008 report available in November!

October 14, 2008 2 comments

ISAAC is pleased to announce that “The Growth of the Chinese Churches in the Bay Area – 2008 report of the The Bay Area Chinese Churches Research Project, Phase II” will be available this November! This report, edited by Dr. James Chuck and Timothy Tseng, is a follow-up study of Dr. Chuck’s 1996 profile of the Chinese churches in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The report will include an updated profile of Bay Area Chinese churches along with essays that explore the demographics of Chinese Americans in the Bay Area, the history of Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism, reflections on ministry, and essays that highlight issues in Chinese American ministry. Here is the report’s table of contents:

  • Chinese American Demographic Change in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1990-2000, by Russell Jeung and Dean Adachi
  • The Growth of the Chinese Churches in the Bay Area, by James Chuck
  • Report on the church consultations, by Donald Ng
  • “Faith, Hope, and Love” – Themes in the History of Chinese Protestantism in the Bay Area, by Timothy Tseng
  • A History of Chinese Catholics in San Francisco and the Bay Area, by Ricky Manalo CSP
  • Patterns in Development of the English Ministry in a Chinese Church, by Ken Carlson
  • Flourishing for More Than 3.8 Years in Ministry, by Johnson Chiu
  • From Surgery to Acupuncture: An Alternative Approach to Managing Church Conflict from an Asian American Perspective, by Virstan B.Y. Choy
  • The Search for Asian American Worship, by Russell Yee
  • Issues in Asian Youth Ministry, by Victor Quon
  • Bathsheba Transformed: From Silence to Voice, by Chloe Sun
  • Ministry is Like a Marathon, by Steve Quen

Information about how to order the report will be provided on the ISAAC website soon. You can also find out by attending one of the three “Growth of Chinese Churches” half-day research report conferences in November 2008. – Tim Tseng