Long Time, No Talk

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Announcing another NG.AC Skypecast Conference call for September 2, 2007 at 9pm Eastern /6pm West Coast. The Skypecast has been scheduled and can be accessed here.

It’s been more than a few months since we held a conference call (check out our past conversations) but it’s open to anyone interested (Asian American or not) in the topic at hand who doesn’t mind using some web technology to get there. Feel free to listen in or wait for a recording to posted later on, but honest and open conversation is always welcome. Trust me, you don’t have to be an expert, just share insights from your own observations and life. And the topic, you ask?

This month’s conversation topic: What role could / should / does ethnicity play in the Asian American church?

Here are a couple of appetizers for thought:

The church is challenged to reassess critically its own history and evaluate its own involvement in ethnic conflicts and in nationalistic desires for power. This is not a simple matter. It may involve a painful process of naming and unmasking diabolical and dehumanizing powers. Breaking down walls of division and being reconciled with another group is especially difficult when there has been long and bitter enmity between groups. Yet as the church listens to the Spirit of Christ, it will be challenged to abandon old ways and to move in new directions under the leading of that Spirit, growing closer together with the various members of its family. The term “kingdom [reign, realm] of God”, as understood by the various Christian traditions, should be explored anew as a key to understanding nationalism, ethnicity and the church.

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Our sixteenth century spiritual forebears affirmed that the true church is to be defined solely in terms of response to Jesus. It was not to be an ethnically homogeneous church…But historical and geographical circumstances and sometimes declining Christo-centrism produced situations in our history where we have had to struggle to maintain a clear Christo-centricity rather than an ethno-centricity. We have sometimes found it difficult to distinguish between our ethnicity and our commitment to Christ. As a result we have occasionally had difficulty incorporating others fully into our fellowship when they shared our faith but not our ethnicity. {77} Does that make us like the Jews whom Jesus was addressing?

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Ethnicity is the quality of belonging to a group. Ethnic groups are not races. Ethnicity is more precisely defined than race and logically different. Membership of an ethnic group does not confine you to a geographical place, or nationally or religion. This understanding focuses on shared origins and traditions – which may be objective or invented.

The United States took a different route to ethnicity than Colonial states like Spain, Britain and France in the 19th and early 20th centuries…USA stressed assimilation – the one out of the many – Society was a melting pot in which all immigrant cultures melted and changed. Only one identity was allowed to emerge: the American Identity

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For Chinese Christians in Chinese churches in America, three primary identities undergo construction or re-construction. As adult converts, they need to achieve a Christian identity. As immigrants, they need to achieve an American identity. They also struggle to retain a Chinese identity. Moreover, these three identities are not easily compatible with each other.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts on Sept. 2nd! Please feel free to add other links or ask questions regarding the call.

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Comments

  1. Hey man. Glad to see it coming back. Will try to call in. What about a facebook event invite?

  2. gar says:

    “This month’s conversation topic: What role could / should / does ethnicity play in the Asian American church?”

    Oooh… sounds like a great conversation topic!

    I don’t feel I have much to contribute personally, but I’ll definitely try to listen in…

Trackbacks

  1. djchuang.com says:

    does ethnicity matter in church?

    As summer draws to an end, people will be getting back into a more normal routine without scattered vacations getting mostly everyone out of sync. One conversation that’ll be picking back up is the Next Gener.Asian Church Skypecast Conference cal…

  2. […] the Webmaster Long Time, No Talk » This Summary is from an article posted at Next Gener.Asian Church on Sunday, September 02, 2007 […]

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