On April 4-5, 2008, a group of San Diego pastors and ministry leaders (mostly from the area’s InterVarsity chapters) hosted the San Diego Asian American Leadership Conference. What stood out about this conference for me was the level of creativity, contextualization, and going above-and-beyond to serve the attendees (and to bring glory to God). For instance, Saturday’s buffet dinner had not only a wide range of pan-Asian cuisines but the dining room was decked out in beautiful candle-lit decor and ambiance! This really raises the bar for Asian American conferences!
L2 Foundation’s contributing writer, Cindy Hong, wrote up this excellent report about what happened there. This is an excerpt from “The Dragon Awakes”:
“Hoping to Awaken the Sleeping Dragon.” Such was the desire of the planning team in the conference brochure welcome message. For a generation that thinks, lives, and is inspired by metaphors, the image of a sleeping dragon waking up aptly describes the 2008 Asian American Leadership Conference. With 200-plus in attendance, the energy and excitement matched the fire of a roaring dragon: Asian Americans living kingdom-minded lives, making a difference for Jesus Christ, knowing that God has called and positioned them to change the world.
William O’Keefe, the senior director of advocacy for Catholic Relief Services, in Baltimore, an organization that receives federal money to provide overseas development aid.
Paul Lichterman, an associate professor of sociology and religion at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, and co-editor of the book Civic Life in American Religion.
Joshua Hale, executive director of the Big Shoulders Fund, in Chicago. The fund has raised more than $155-million to help defray tuition and operating costs for 93 of Chicago’s most-needy inner-city Catholic schools.
I just got word of this special event from Pastor Ken Fong of Evergreen LA . This conversation is especially for Southern California Asian American evangelical churches and they are making a short film about this for release in the coming year.
WE NEED TO TALK: A Conversation about Homosexuality & the Asian American Christian Church. Sponsored by the Christian Social Issues (CSI) group, an informal gathering of Asian American Christians who discuss wide-ranging social issues and how they relate to our Christian faith. Join three old friends – two straight and one gay – who will engage in a conversation that needs to happen more often in order to dispel ignorance, quell fear and hatred, and foster greater understanding. Debate about scriptural interpretation or scientific evidence is not within the scope of this dialogue. It is not our intent to resolve this highly complex issue. Though we may ultimately arrive at different conclusions, at the very least, we need to break the awful silence in our churches surrounding this subject. We really need to talk.
If you have a friend or loved one who is gay, or you are gay yourself, or you are a Christian who is concerned about this issue, please join us in this much needed and long-awaited dialogue.
Russell Jeung (Associate Professor of Asian Studies at San Francisco State University) gave 4 talks at the first Asian American conference hosted by Bread of Life Church in Torrance, California, March 7-9. We recorded the first talk from Friday night. (Videos from all the talks may be made available later, but no guarantees.)
With permission from Russell Jeung, we are grateful for being able to post the first talk online. Here’s the audio (mp3, running time = 75:41) and slides from his March 7th presentation titled, “Daniel 2: Asian American Values of Wisdom, Community, and Humility” >>
With permission from Russell Jeung, we are grateful for being able to post yesterday’s talk online. Here’s the audio (mp3 – run time = 42:17) and slides from his March 6th presentation about Asian American religious affiliation >>
Bread of Life is hosting me to present a series, “Asian Americans in the Lions’ Den: A Study of Daniel” in which I compare the Jews in exile to Asian American Christians. The series discusses how being Asian American relates to our faith. The titles are: