Forgiving Outside My Race, Forgiving Inside My Race

I’ve been meaning to comment on a recent article on the Faith & Leadership blog of Duke University by author, pastor and professor, (and also fellow ECC‘er!) Peter Cha. Basically the gist is this: “reconciliation issues occur not just between cultures or ethnic groups but also within them.”

I think he brings up pointedly the challenge facing immigrant churches, particularly (although not exclusively) among Asian-Americans, who are faced doubly with the challenge of racial reconciliation outside of our ethnic contexts, but also within.

He’s not white, with the history of being a slave owner. But he’s not black, with a history of slavery. He’s an immigrant kid, and he came to the United States when he was seven years old, and now he is learning in his own ministry that God has called him to be a senior pastor of this multiracial congregation. And he’s really working on issues of reconciliation. So right now multiple models of congregational leadership are emerging among Asian-American pastors. And that’s pretty exciting.

I relish this position. I think the challenge to maintain heritage need not be adverse to a missional orientation; rather, our ethnic heritage becomes a unique vehicle for a missional outlook. Sometimes in order to tell the Story we need to recognize our place in story (or, history). Maybe one of the shortcomings of modern society today is the amnesia of our historic heritage as immigrants and the capitulation to the mythical melting pot.

Take a moment to read this article and tell me what you think: via Peter Cha: My own Jerusalem | Faith & Leadership.

Published by Wayne Park

Asian-American clergyman thinking about issues of faith, place, race and culture-making in the vast city of Houston, TX

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