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Exit Wounds: The Flight of Asian American Faith published! October 20, 2006

Posted by peterong in Asian American, Asian American Church.

Hey folks, if you have time…go to Asian Avenue and check out my article there…hope you enjoy! You can also read the text here…but I want to encourage you to go to the site and recommend it (if you think it is worthy so that there could be an awareness with the editorial staff that these issues are important to the Asian American community).

Exit Wounds: The Flight of Asian American Faith

by Peter Ong

A walk along boulevards in any major American metropolitan city, one will find that the church as the cultural center for Asian American ethnic communities. According to a 2000 Pilot National Asian American Political survey, Christians make up the largest Asian American religious group at 46 percent. This percentage is made up of the identification of “Christian,” “Protestant” and “Catholic” into one category. Despite the common faith there is an undercurrent of conflict between generational and cultural gaps.

Ten years ago, the publication of Helen Lee’s article “The Silent Exodus” posed a provocative question to the Asian ethnic church, “can the East Asian church in America reverse the flight of its next generation?” This definitive work underscored the conflicting issues of tending a spiritual home between first generation immigrant Asians and its westernized second generation. (more…)

Desi Hip Hop and a Distinctive Asian American Vibe October 17, 2006

Posted by peterong in Asian American Church.
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So I stumbled on this article on about Desi Hip Hop on Little India website (yes, I do sometimes stalk these websites…for inspiration and also feed my obsessed notions of Asian American faith and voice)…So it made me recall a discussion that I had with David Park, my new found soul blogger about the distinctives for Asian American worship…I felt that there was a real difficulty for Asian Americans to have that distinctive voice that is evident in latino, afro-american, and even caucasian churches…so we went around what are some Asian American distinctives in both narratives (yes, yes, the prodigal son stirs up a lot of issues for our confucian infused sanctuaries) and sound (Oh please not any of those Chinese Opera fusion music…or if I hear one more Korean drum…)…But, unlike Latino and African American churches, when you walk into an Asian American church, it sounds like a “white” church singing Chris Tomlin or Hillsongs….so we are left with a notion of co-opting these cultural styles and voices…so how does one recreate or reinvent itself? (more…)

Echoes of Rwanda… October 13, 2006

Posted by peterong in Social Justice.
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After watching Hotel Rwanda this past week (in preparation for OneHouse on October 21), my heart was stirred by the crisis in Darfur, Sudan…about three years ago…I felt a deep commitment to pray for this region and wanting to serve there…

Noura Silaman (21) cries as she does not have the food to take care of her niece Intesar Iesa Eltaher (9 months) in Jebel Mara Mountains of Darfur, Sudan. © Corbis

I came across this that silenced me…pause and found a story about an exhibition called “The Smallest Witnesses” about children drawing their experiences of the genocide there…

Please take a look at PBS report on this…(make sure you click on the video clip)

Here is an in-depth PBS site on the crisis…

Go to Save Darfur website and get the word out…

A recent article about U2’s Bono’s urging for action in Darfur…

A report from the Human Right Watch entitled “The Smallest Witnesses: The Conflict in Darfur through Children Eyes” (pdf file)

The world is closing their eyes…

again and who will speak for them…who will say…”stop…”

pausing among believing October 9, 2006

Posted by peterong in Rants, Reflections.
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“Sometimes doubting is not a lack of faith but rather an expression of it. Sometimes to doubt is merely to insist that God be taken seriously, not frivolously—to insist that our faith is placed in and upheld by something other than seeming conjuring tricks…In other words, biblical faith progresses by an alternating rhythm of yes and no, a taking hold and a letting go, a believing and a doubting. Peter represents that part of our heritage that says ‘I will believe though I have not yet seen.’ But Thomas represents the other, equally needed part of our heritage: “Unless I see, I will not believe.” More than ever, the strength of evangelical faith must draw from both sides of the heritage.”-Mark Buchanan

I love this quote…and it is so honest and find it refreshing to know that we are in the midst of this fallennes…and yet, we have sketches in the life of Thomas to bring us forth…to believe…know that there are moments of clarity in the midst of the mutedness. I feel that for most of church culture…they are so bound by the “faith will make everything okay” mantra that I feel like an outcast at times…but here is this quote…and I find myself at home again…

Evangelicals Fear the Loss of Their Teenagers October 6, 2006

Posted by peterong in Food for thought, Rants, Reflections, Youth Ministry.

Hey guys, I have been on a hiatus due to a bad cold and recovering from a pretty brutal trip to NYC where I preached and worked and had one too many chicken wings (I will share about that later..hehehe..) but this NY Times article definitely got me out of bed and back into the thick of things.

I am not sure how I feel about these statistics since I don’t know how you trace the narrative of faith…how do they know that later in life that God doesn’t bring them back? I find that these rallies are part of the problem and not part of the solution…and that is it gives them this injection of a “faith moment” instead of a “faith movement” calling them to a long obedience.

I believe that there should be directing the issues regarding the state of the church and the way many of our young congregants are not finding refuge, purpose, vision or the profound sacredness of God in our sanctuaries. Many of our ministries we “dumb” down to the youth and not provide a “God-sized” vision for these young saints. One of the questions often asked of me about what we need in Churches…is it leadership (yeah, Hitler was a leader), is it better resources (yeah, I am sure Mao was pretty well financed) but I find that what the youth of today need are “deep” people who have spirit healed scars…like a spiritual Rambo…who have been through seasons of torrential hardships and yet found the hope in the resurrection and the wonder beauty of the gospel…these brothers and sisters who have found that the story of the gospel is one that is filled with flesh and blood…that is truly alive because it has truly saved them from the despair and yet know that patience in the midst of hardship is filled with silence and tears…these “survivors” are the ones we should give to our youth and to empower to speak out against the world’s counterfeit appeals of what our soul desires…that is salvation…the words that we long to hear…”I no longer call you servants…” and “it is finished.” There is hope…these young pilgrims are finding hope…in their passion….unfortunately it is often muted in ridiculous parodies of discipleship that is filled with tribalism and failures to keep true to vision that they are truly a “royal priesthood…”

New York Times

By Laurie Goldstein

Despite their packed megachurches, their political clout and their increasing visibility on the national stage, evangelical Christian leaders are warning one another that their teenagers are abandoning the faith in droves.

At an unusual series of leadership meetings in 44 cities this fall, more than 6,000 pastors are hearing dire forecasts from some of the biggest names in the conservative evangelical movement. (more…)