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Five Streams of the Emergent Church January 22, 2007

Posted by peterong in Asian American Church, Emergent.
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So, I have dabbled and explored this emergent church movement as a remedy of what some the perpetual issues facing the Asian American church…and I find it provocative at best and sometimes irresponsible at worst. I like that vibrancy and the postmodernity of relevance but I find the lack of clarity on some things to be a bit aloof…but here is a good article that sheds some light on this from Christianity Today…

Five Streams of the Emerging Church

Key elements of the most controversial and misunderstood movement in the church today.

It is said that emerging Christians confess their faith like mainliners—meaning they say things publicly they don’t really believe. They drink like Southern Baptists—meaning, to adapt some words from Mark Twain, they are teetotalers when it is judicious. They talk like Catholics—meaning they cuss and use naughty words. They evangelize and theologize like the Reformed—meaning they rarely evangelize, yet theologize all the time. They worship like charismatics—meaning with their whole bodies, some parts tattooed. They vote like Episcopalians—meaning they eat, drink, and sleep on their left side. And, they deny the truth—meaning they’ve got a latte-soaked copy of Derrida in their smoke- and beer-stained backpacks.

 

Along with unfair stereotypes of other traditions, such are the urban legends surrounding the emerging church—one of the most controversial and misunderstood movements today. As a theologian, I have studied the movement and interacted with its key leaders for years—even more, I happily consider myself part of this movement or “conversation.” As an evangelical, I’ve had my concerns, but overall I think what emerging Christians bring to the table is vital for the overall health of the church. (more…)

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Class Divide in Chinese-Americans’ Charity January 22, 2007

Posted by peterong in Uncategorized.
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This is a New York Times article by Nina Berstein that caught my eye.  There are some great insights about values and the focus of giving or where the “treasure” is placed.

As a schoolteacher in New York’s Chinatown in the 1960s, when the government’s war on poverty seemed focused on blacks and Latinos, Virginia Kee noticed that many of her Asian pupils were too poor to pay $2 for a class trip. To connect community needs with public money, Ms. Kee helped found what is now the Chinese-American Planning Council, one of the largest social service agencies for Asians in the country.

These days, in an era of shrunken public dollars and booming philanthropy, as universities and museums showcase multimillion-dollar gifts by Chinese-Americans, Ms. Kee worries about a different kind of disconnect: a divide between the explosive growth of Chinese-American wealth and the unmet needs of a new generation of Chinese immigrants who have streamed to the city since the 1990s.

In the society pages, out of reach, Ms. Kee said, she sees figures of Chinese-American success at benefits that raise half a million dollars for the Frick Collection or $3 million for breast cancer research.

“We’re out of their orbit,” Ms. Kee observed wistfully. “We get donations from poor people that we’ve helped. We don’t get donations from the rich, who should be helping the poor.”

No comprehensive numbers exist to track charity by ethnic groups, let alone donors of Chinese heritage. Many people of all ethnicities keep their donations private.

But concerns about an uptown-downtown split are widely echoed by Asian-American groups serving the working poor in the sprawling Chinatowns of Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan; by scholars of philanthropy; and by Asian donors who have bucked the tide.

Those concerns have grown along with the influx of immigrants from China, up 53 percent in New York in the 1990s alone; today, among foreign-born New Yorkers, the Chinese outnumber every nationality but Dominicans.

Of course, many other immigrant groups have shown similar patterns of giving. The first generation typically sends money back to needy relatives and hometowns, while later strivers mark their success with gifts to mainstream institutions patronized by America’s patricians, or give to art and education to enhance wider appreciation of their cultural heritage. Even Jewish philanthropy, now often admired as a model of ethnic solidarity, was long divided by resentment between wealthy German Jews and penniless Jewish newcomers from Eastern Europe.

But the Chinese diaspora in America has been even more fragmented by language, lineage, class and political history. In 1949, when the founding of Israel served as a unifying event for many Jews, the rise of Communist China further polarized the Chinese in America, noted Henry Tang, 65, a founder of the Committee of 100, an organization of prominent Americans of Chinese ancestry. (more…)

New York City Asian American ENGAGE Speaker Series Launches January 8, 2007

Posted by peterong in Asian American, Asian American Laity Ministry, Asian American Ministries, Asian American Youth, ENGAGE.
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Pastoral and Laity Ministries and Chinese Christian Herald Crusades Herald Youth Center are proud to present a Speakers Series called ENGAGE ((English-speaking Asian American Group Exchange): This Asian American Ministry Speaker Series will launch it first season in Spring 2007. This monthly series hopes to build, equip, assist and rebuild lay leaders who serve Asian American churches. The first series will focus on Asian American Youth Ministry and the implications for leadership and developing discipleship. We hope that you join us as we fellowship and hear from some of ministry practitioners.

We will have presenter Brian Hall, Area Director of Asian Younglife.

brian-hall.jpg

Incarnational Ministry for Asian Youth

Brian is the founder and area director of Asian Young Life in northern New Jersey, a Christian organization committed to making a difference in the lives of Asian American teenagers, especially the unchurched (see http://asian.younglife.org). He is also a high school social studies teacher at the Academies @ Englewood in Englewood, NJ, where he teaches World Studies, Sociology, and Chinese and advises the school’s Ultimate Frisbee Club and the East Asian Club/LiNK. Brian holds a Ph.D. degree in sociology from Rutgers University, where for his dissertation he studied the growth of Christianity among Chinese American college students. During the 2002-03 school year he was a Fulbright Junior Scholar in Taiwan, where he studied Chinese language at National Taiwan University in Taipei. He has written several published articles, including a chapter in the book Asian AmericanYouth Ministry, published by the L2 Foundation. In his spare time, Brian enjoys mountain biking and watching the TV show 24.

Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 7 p.m.

Where: Chinese Christian Herald Crusades (CCHC) Flushing Herald Center, 39-07 Prince St., Unit 4J, Flushing, NY 11354.

There are municipal parking lots available and street parking. It is easily accessible by the 7 train to Main Street and car. If there are any questions please feel free to call Peter Ong at 917-359-2021 or Ellen Hwang at 212-334-2033 x1603. All participants will receive a free copy of L2 Foundation’s Asian American Youth Ministry, edited by DJ Chuang. For each Speaking Series, dinner will be provided.

Please email peter@palmny.org  to confirm your attendance and participation.

Little Asia on a Hill January 7, 2007

Posted by peterong in Asian American, Campus.
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Here is an interesting New York Times article on the impact of development of Asian American presence on campuses, issues affirmative action, and the role of the public university in representing local communities. In the last few paragraphs about Jon Lee’s journey touched me as a young Asian American man who sought out to another community of color to change and impact…this gives us a glimpse of the challenges and celebrations of the Asian American community…how much is it too insular and how much is it an opportunity by “entering out.”

Skypecast for Next Gener.Asian Church on 1/21 January 5, 2007

Posted by peterong in Uncategorized.
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Hello Visitors…yes, yes, yes, I know that I have been on hiatus…so much of my energies and time has been on the road visiting family and friends during the holiday season. Sorry for the lack of content but I am back and hopefully be able to inspire some words into some comprehensible rambles and insights. Well, I am proud to announce that the Asian American Emergent Skypecast has been transformed into the Next Gener.Asian Church Skypecast…this was to garner a broader discussion and topics related to the Asian American church. Looking forward to hearing these wise brothers and sisters chime in on such topics (ooh you get occasional visitors from Long Island expressing their dismay at our “exclusiveness.”)There has been a handful of great skypecasts over the past months (Thanks to DJ Chuang 2 even got recorded: here and here). So come eavesdrop, voice drop, drop drop here:

Next Gener.Asian Church Skypecast
Sunday, January 21st – 9:00pm (Eastern) / 6:00pm (Pacific)

January’s hour-long Skypecast will revolve around the ever-present question about the legitimacy of an Asian American church. David Park framed it this way: Is the Asian American church — necessary, optional, or simply an unhealthy diversion? Read more over at Next Gener.Asian Church >>

I am looking forward to hearing this and gaining much…hope to see you there!