NextGenerAsianChurch Spreecast # 2

We chat about the report released earlier this week from Pew Research Center, “The Rise of Asian Americans” on this spreecast with DJ Chuang, David Park, and Russell Jeung. Please join us on Spreecast every Thursday  WEDNESDAY at 7:00pm PT / 9:00pm CT / 10:00pm ET. (note: date changed from Thurs to Wed)

The religious identities of Asian Americans are quite varied. According to the Pew Research survey, about half of Chinese are unaffiliated, most Filipinos are Catholic, about half of Indians are Hindu, most Koreans are Protestant and a plurality of Vietnamese are Buddhist. Among Japanese Americans, no one group is dominant: 38% are Christian, 32% are unaffiliated and 25% are Buddhist. In total, 26% of Asian Americans are unaffiliated, 22% are Protestant (13% evangelical; 9% mainline), 19% are Catholic, 14% are Buddhist, 10% are Hindu, 4% are Muslim and 1% are Sikh. Overall, 39% of Asian Americans say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 58% of the U.S. general public.

NextGenerAsianChurch Spreecast # 1

We kick off a weekly group video chat for the summer, and David Park and DJ Chuang invite you to connect with us on Spreecast every Thursday Wednesday [Note: change] at 7:00pm PT / 9:00pm CT / 10:00pm ET. Watch this video of our introductory episode.

David started off with a sincere apology, cf. sorry is the new thank you. We chat about a variety of topics: RLTB (real life trumping blogging), pastoring in the 21st century, challenges in building a multiethnic community, identity, personal boundaries, becoming emotional healthy, etc etc etc.

Previously, we had posted a summary of this excellent article as “Differentiated Oneness and Implications for Asian Americans.” And, thanks to Christian Association for Psychological Studies, we have permission to post the article in its entirety:

Hung, Auris Huang. “The Concept of Differential Oneness and Implications for Asian American Families.” Journal of Psychology and Christianity (2006) Vol 25:3. Pages 226-239.

Copyright 2006, Christian Association for Psychological Studies, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

Mark your calendar, save the time slot, and join our next NextGenerAsianChurch Spreecast – you can watch the live video chat, join it in the chat room, or join via webcam too.

May 2012 is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

According to the NBC4 web page about the meaning of May being a month to celebrate Asian Americans:

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a month to celebrate and pay tribute to the contributions generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders have made to American history, society and culture.

… Why was May picked as the official heritage month? According to the Library of Congress, it was chosen “to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.”

A few things I found about this month:

President Obama’s Presidential Proclamation — Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2012.

UCLA compiles this 2012 Statistical Portrait of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders

The U.S. Census Bureau will host a forum with the Asian American Justice Center on the Asian population at the Rayburn House Office Building. This event will highlight statistics from the American Community Survey and 2010 Census, providing a portrait of the Asian population in the U.S. Following the presentation, an expert panel will discuss the statistics and their implications. When: Wednesday, May 2, 2012; noon to 2:30 p.m. (EDT) The event will be broadcast on the Census Bureau’s Ustream channel at Viewers will be able to submit questions via Facebook and Twitter (#ProfileAmerica)

Asian American & Pacific Islander Christian women leaders are gathering this week for the 1st national conference May 3-5, 2012 near Los Angeles. This event will empower women leaders through a safe, honest and challenging environment for women to grow their voice and to learn from other women leaders.

And to our team of contributors here at what makes our heritage as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders worth celebrating? What are you and/or your community doing to celebrate?

Memories from Asian American Equipping Symposium

Fuller Theological Seminary served as the venue for the 3rd Asian American Equipping Symposium this week Monday and Tuesday (3/19-20), thanks to the tireless effort of Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity (ISAAC). With 100+ ministry leaders from the worlds of academia, churches, ministries, and Christian counseling, the presentations and responses revolved around the theme of healing memories, in reference to the pains, scars, and wounds that are particular to the Asian cultural contexts. I was delighted to hear 2 of our NextGenerAsianChurch bloggers–Helen Lee and Kathy Khang— cited in a couple of papers presented.

These gatherings are few and far between, and much needed as so many Asian Americans in the church and outside the church are basically the walking wounded, needlessly carrying more burden and suffering than they ought. Yes, the healing that ultimately comes from God was referenced numerous times. The resources of talk therapy and emotional discourse had its share of mentions. And, again, the lament of the seemingly insurmountable difficulties of bring emotional healing to personal (and collective) wounds amidst shame-based Asian cultures.

Other good points were raised, these are just a few: what can we learn of social harmony and incorporating that into our understanding of shalom? What can we do if immigrants are not equipped (by Confucian-influenced Asian cultures) for emotional discourse? Why does increased church attendance directly correlate to lower self esteem? What would it look like for Asians to experience healing apart from talk therapy? What do we do when the notion of “boundaries” is based on a western individualistic model of the self doesn’t readily fit in an Asian/ Asian-American context? … I’ve included a sketch of my Day 1 notes below so you can catch a few sound bites.
I’d venture to say that a majority of those in the room were quite accomplished (yes, many letters behind the name were swirling around on business cards) and we already know much about these issues, and as such, to review what we’ve already experienced and known may have only been most helpful for those who are at the entry level and starting on their healing journey or beginning deeper ministry engagement. Much more is needed. Much much more. Nevertheless, events like these are notable and worthy.

How to have productive discussions about racism

What an impassioned discussion about race-based issues on ESPN’s First Take with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless after the ESPN headline incident where a racial slur was used and employees suffered severe consequences — one fired, one on probation.

While I agree this was a productive discussion on a sports television network, I wonder what it’d be like to have this kind of productive discussion in the Christian world / church context? Why is it so difficult to have this conversation that’s obviously much needed in American society at large, which in turns implies that it is at least just as necessary within the church?

And if an Asian American were at the table, in addition to the African American and Anglo Americans at that table, what would s/he have said?