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Asian Americans in the media August 29, 2006

Posted by peterong in Asian American.
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I wonder how this plays out in the way Asian Americans are seen in the mainline Christian community as outsiders and not innovators. Every Christian conference or training seminar I have been to rarely has an Asian American representative…we are almost invisible or a non-issue in this area, as if we have nothing to contribute to this. I believe that there are prominent and innovative Asian American men and women who have much to offer with both broader approaches to ministry as well as nuanced and particular narratives that capture the contextual aspect of the Asian American church. I remember that for a time, I felt like the token Asian American in meetings and in some ways brought a wave of celebrity that seemed a bit unwarranted. As I think more about the Asian American Emergent conversation that DJ Huang is developing, I feel we are making strides towards bringing to the forefront the gifted voices of leaders out there. I am hopeful.

Well ’nuff of that here is an article from Hyphen Blog

Asian Americans not ready for prime time

A report from the Asian American Justice Center and it says that Asian Pacific American regular characters on network prime time television have not significantly increased over the last two years, since the group’s last report.

Click here to download the report.

 

Click here to download the 2004 study.

Highlights from the report: (more…)

Super Duper Man July 21, 2006

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture.
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So, inspired by Bruce Reyes -Chow‘s posting about Superman (growing up I always thought Superman was asian…HE HAD BLACK HAIR) here is a really thorough (and I mean thorough examination of the Superman theme as paralleled to the gospel…by an Aussie)…if you have time and are a nerd check it out…also take a look at Hollywood Jesus for their always cool insights on the latest films.

Superman as Christ-Figure: The American
Pop Culture Movie Messiah

By Anton Karl Kozlovic
School of Humanities
The Flinders University of South Australia

Abstract

[1] Holy subtexts abound within the popular cinema. Superman: The Movie (1978) and Superman II (1981) were examined as a protracted secular analogue of the Jesus story. The literature was reviewed and twenty Superman-Jesus parallels plus eight Christic personalistic traits were explicated. It was concluded that Superman is not only a legitimate Christ-figure, but the American pop culture movie Messiah.

Introduction

[2] Superman is considered “a universal icon,”1 “the apocalyptic hero par excellence,”2 and “the most omnipotent hero ever invented.”3 Scriptwriter Mario Puzo originally constructed Superman: The Movie (aka Superman, hereafter S1)4 as a mythologic story based on “a Greek tragedy.”5 Later, other writers were hired and the script reshaped at director Richard Donner’s insistence.6 Donner initially disowned Superman’s religious origins. Presumably because of duress: “I had life threats, because people accused me of approaching Brando as God and his son was Jesus…we had Scotland Yard, the FBI, and the LAPD looking in to them. I literally had people saying that my blood would run in the streets for doing that.7

[3] However, many years later, Donner gladly admitted to the Christic subtext: “It’s a motif I had done at the beginning when Brando sent Chris [Reeve] to Earth and said, ‘I send them my only son.’ It was God sending Christ to Earth.”8 It was a dramaturgical decision that made good sense, for just as Superman was literally a super-man, Jesus was “the ultimate Super Jew of his day,”9 the “Christian super-hero,”10 the pop culture “God with us” (Matt. 1:23).11 Indeed, many Jesus-Superman parallels exist within S1 and S2 because both films were planned, scripted and partially shot back-to-back. (more…)

Welcome July 20, 2006

Posted by peterong in Uncategorized.
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Dear Friends and Family,

Welcome to the launch of my new ministry website where Asian collides with American! I hope that it is a forum of encouragement to you. I hope that as you journey with me, we will seek to explore dialogues (or monologues) regarding the Asian American ministry and churches. You will find some insights on serving, my personal rants on life and also some occasional stumbling on articles that are of (my or your) interest. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to browse through my links and engage with me in the comments section. Please also consider supporting the ministry.

Photos July 20, 2006

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coming soon!

Advent Rising December 5, 2005

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“Here the impossible union Of spheres of existence is actual, Here the past and future Are conquered, and reconciled”-T. S. Eliot, from The Four Quartets

Hello Friends,

Happy Monday to you all. I pray that this finds you well and for all you East Coast friends, you had your first dose of snow. It is the second week of Advent as we reflect on the coming of the Lord in the form of a newborn child. During worship on Sunday, my heart was overwhelmed to tears to recognize the depth of my sin but more powerfully the measure of His love. That came in the desperate cry of a child in the company of confused parents:

“He has regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden,” said Mary when she saw, accepting her nothingness, the essential love of God and felt her flesh become the dwelling place and nourishment of the Word Incarnate. How wonderful that Mary’s nothingness should attract God’s all. What sweetness in her prayer when she recognized that she was at the opposite pole from God, where humility not only becomes the acceptance of love, but is one of its demands.”-Carlo Carretto, Letters from the Desert

I hope as Christmas approaches, we are reflecting on the advent journey of this child. I will be posting a reflection of Jesus as priest and king on a seperate blog on Wednesday. As part of my ministry, I wanted to have some writings and spiritual musing for expressing some of my thoughts and rants about ministry and my pilgrimage.

I want to thank you all again for the encouragement. I want to thank Jenny for giving me some funding leads and for always encouraging me. Also want to thank DJ Chuang for giving me some perspective on ministry and look forward to connecting with him and listen to his thoughts on Asian American ministry. I also connected with a youth pastor in GA who i hope to connect with soon. This blog is getting some exposure so that is great to know.

I am posting some support forms on the Yahoo Group so that it would make things easier if people want to support me. Thanks friends who gave me some advise on this.

Personal Items:

Tears: I cried at service…it started with songs that are familiar to me…but then realized the depth of my sin…my heart was reminded that 9 years ago…this prodigal son brought me home and then have blessed me so much in my life…even in the midst of so many hardships, God called…in the depths of my sin…he is so faithful.

Married life has been good. Jamie and I are attending a couples fellowship where we are studying Love and Respect Series. It has been a time of refreshing…there is great intimacy and affection in our relationship but also places of healing and restoration. Pray for us to be strengthened to be the man and woman He created us to be and that we may serve others.

Family We are planning to spend time with folks as we come back to NYC and then with Jamie’s parents in HK. Pray for interaction and reflection of the love we have for one another because of Christ.

Pray for my sister as she is going through transitions and raising the kids on her own. She accepted Christ a few months ago and still trying to sort out her faith in the midst of many trials.

Syracuse Alliance Church (our home church here) has asked me to come aboard to serve as an advisor to the youth ministry and also to observe on their strategic meeting. I am a bit ambivalent as it seems that there seems to be a great deal of struggles as the church seeks to move forward. I attended a SonLife Youth Ministry Strategy Seminar this past weekend and took in a lot of the challenges that face the youth ministry. Pray for servant heart and to allow God to use me.

Ministry Items:

-Funding:
I had some leads this week and that I will be able to follow through on those. Pray for boldness and sharing. I am meeting with the missions board of the Chinese Community Church of NJ this coming Sunday as I am speaking. I will be preaching on Christ as the fulfillment of Isaac.

-As I mentioned earlier, my friend Jenny gave me some names for me to pursue a partnership with. I hope that those meetings go well.

-I am praying that I could approach some individuals in Syracuse to connect and partner with them for this vision.

-I am trying to form a committee of intercessors who can pray for me and also serve as a sounding board to raise some funds. Pray that I ask with humility and wisdom those who are close to the ministry to join me.

-Praises! There were some more funding that came in but at this rate, I won’t be able to get paid till next year! But I have faith for He is the Lord who provides.

-Sending out my prayer support letter to Church missions board. I will also send another appeal letter to some of my friends and supporters.

-Speaking:
I have decided that I will speak at Teen Eastern Chinese Bible Conference if their first choice cannot speak. The theme is Hope…which is awesome! Please pray for discernment and passion as I prepare my heart.

I am still praying about the New York Summer Conference and their theme is persevering faith. The organizer and I are good friends and I served before there as a workshop leader and see how God has used the conference to do amazing things.

I had a good talk with Joel, a staff at Cornell who is facilitating the Grace Christian Fellowship retreat in January where I will be speaking. They are still developing a theme and expressed that they have several non-believers coming which is such a burden of my heart.

Academy
I am finishing up the surveys for the churches and also organizing a date for the academy. I was thinking of having an emphasis on youth ministry and leadership the first time around. But thinking of contextualizing it and partnering with Intervarsity and other institutions.

Website
I am in the midst of making a website for my personal ministry page. I have asked a good friend of Jamie’s to develop it and I should have it up soon. I hope to get it up before Christmas.

forthcoming November 28, 2005

Posted by peterong in Uncategorized.
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Hey friends and prayer partners,
Thank you for your emails and encouragement! It has been a source of great strength on this journey. Thanksgiving was great. Jamie and I spent it with the Leung Family as they hosted us and an international student Priscilla. Jamie and I had the pleasure of making some sugar cookies with two students from China but one of them left for a hot pot dinner (how I miss those). It was nice to be taken care of and spending it with a great family.

This past Saturday was the mark of one year when I asked Jamie to marry me. It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving of 2004 when I popped the question. Things move so fast.

It was a slow week but nevertheless, I had some things that have been in my heart for the new season…Here are some prayer items.

1. Funding: I am not sure how to approach this. I met with most of my prospective funders and there is little more that I can do. I am drafting up a Christmas letter for the churches and perhaps their missions committee would be able to support the ministry. But I am moving full steam ahead…regardless….single-minded. I received an message from my yahoo group…

“Your list of fundraising issues is fairly comprehensive, good to see your being sober. One more item that you may consider adding is this: Asian Americans on the whole have the highest median family income, and yet we do not see a proportional level of giving and donations and philanthropy among Asians. This suggests that perhaps our Asian heritage does not have yet have the understanding and motivation to give more towards Christian ministries and non-profits.”

Pray for diligence on my part to develop a good fund development plan and communicating the ministry goals. I will be meeting with a Mission Committee member at a church I will speaking at.

2. Preaching: Lately, I have been preparing a sermon for December 12th service at Chinese Community Church of New Jersey on Abraham. Speaking on the progression of faith as God calls us to growing faith and reversing our fortunes.

3. I have been asked to speak for New York Summer Conference for the youth track. I have enjoyed doing workshops there for past years. The theme is “Persevering Faith” from Hebrews CH 11 but more specifically the last 2 verses: 39-40. The dates are June 30-July 4th… it begins Friday evening and ends Tuesday noon. You’d be doing 4 morning messages (roughly 45 minutes each session plus one workshop topic, and 4-short 20 minute messages in the evening.) I am praying about this and seeing if God is leading me towards this. I have been less inclined to do “big” things since 2003 but I have to prayerfully consider it.

4. Jamie is on her final stretch of her semester and there are the collateral stress that comes with it. Pray that I can serve her during this time and that we can continue to seek His grace in our marriage. Last week, we focused our prayer on friendships and relationships that God has given us. This week we are focusing on vision and how God wishes to direct us towards His will.

5. The Herald Youth Center: They had their Herald Gospel Camp reunion this past Sunday and I am amazed how God continues to use this ministry to bring prodigals home. Pray that what was planted this summer will be part of their journey towards discipleship. Part of the reason why I am so passionate about laity is to equip the church to welcome this generation.

6. I am still in the midst of seeing how I can serve Syracuse Alliance Church, the local church Jamie and I are attending…They have asked that could be part of their strategic team and develop a mentoring model of outreach…I feel torn and yet excited about serving at a local church. Pray for wisdom and discernment, they asked that I attend a conference this weekend and also for me to be part of the debriefing meeting on Monday. But I am not sure if I could make it since Jamie and I were planning on attending a shower in NJ this Saturday.

7. I miss the engagement of faith and community. I find that it is hard to find people here in Syracuse who go “deeper” in their understanding of God. Something that struck me today in my devotion….

“The New Testament example of the Christian experience is that of a personal, passionate devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ. Every other kind of so-called Christian experience is detached from the Person of Jesus. There is no regeneration— no being born again into the kingdom in which Christ lives and reigns supreme. There is only the idea that He is our pattern. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is the Savior long before He is the pattern. Today He is being portrayed as the figurehead of a religion— a mere example. He is that, but He is infinitely more. He is salvation itself; He is the gospel of God!” Oswald Chambers

I am so hungry for that kind of fellowship…but yearning to be content where I am….