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Northern California Update (from Tim Tseng)

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Nov. 1, 2010

Our last event of 2010 will be a workshop entitled Five Cries of Asian American Young Adults (Saturday, Nov. 20, 9 AM – 2 PM) at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in San Jose. This workshop is co-sponsored by the Episcopal Amerasia Ministries and the Pacific Asian American and Canadian Christian Education project with the support of our Northern California member churches.

The “Five Cries” that will be presented will address:

(1) social-cultural impacts on Asian American Young Adults,
(2) retention of Asian American Young Adults, and
(3) attracting Asian American Young Adults.

Registration deadline: Nov. 14.

Click here for more information and to register.

Northern California Updates: Read more…

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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