Listening to the churchm.ag podcast and this quote echoed out to me, “You don’t know your voice until you use it…” (Jon Acuff).. and with recent activities I’ve been thinking on how the perception of Asian Americans have been shaped by stereotypes perpetuated by traditional and mainstream media. (I’m tempted to call this controlled media vs. uncontrolled media splattered across social networks.)
I’ve listed some of the more active bloggers and voices in the Asian American Christian world in the past at: Top church blogs by minority leaders (2010), connecting with multiethnic church bloggers (2011), and women Asian American Christian ministry leaders. Now there’s a comprehensive list over at AsAmChristian Blogroll, compiled by Huan-Zung Hsu aka Ghozt Writer.
Allow me to mention 5 bloggers who are particularly active and engaging during this season that I’m reading:
Peter Chin (peterwchin.com) -a Korean American pastor who is currently pastoring in a mostly African-American church in the very urban Washington DC. Peter’s very articulate in his blogging craft, and his educational background certainly helps. He’s had media exposure on the likes of Christianity Today, CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, Washington Post. And as a husband of a cancer survivor, Peter had drafted a manuscript to tell the story of his journey alongside of his wife’s battle while pregnant that took 3 years to find a publisher. I know his blogging pace will be competing for his time with urban ministry, family, and a book to write, but I love reading his perspectives.
Kathy Kahng (morethanservingtea.wordpress.com)- InterVarsity’s regional multiethnic ministries director, a contributor to “More Than Serving Tea: Asian American Women on Expectations, Relationships, Leadership and Faith” (InterVarsity Press), got recent media exposure for co-authoring (with Helen Lee) An Open Letter to the Evangelical Church on Cultural Insensitivity and Reconciliation in the Church from Asian American Christians United. Kathy shared the back story at The Open Letter, How We Got Here & Where We Hope to Go. Kathy was also one of the speakers at the Q Focus: Women & Calling event. Kathy blogs with an acquired-taste blend of everyday life and pointing out issues.
J.S. Park (jsparkblog.com + jspark3000.tumblr.com)- a Korean American pastor in Florida making room for “.. the honesty we all long for and the grace we all need. You have questions: let’s work through the answers.” I love the dialogue he’s fostered. I’m guessing he gets a ton of questions submitted via his tumblr ask page and/or in person. Noticed that he just delivered an entire sermon in spoken word!
Vivian Mabuni (vivianmabuni.com)- a veteran campus ministry leader with Epic Movement and Cru (formerly Campus Crusade) and writing a traditionally-published forthcoming book about her journey as a cancer survivor. It’s already got a title = Warrior In Pink: A Story of Cancer, Community and the God Who Comforts coming April 2014.
Anonymous J Lee (anonymousjlee.wordpress.com) – an Asian American minister who started blogging actively to process his ideas out loud after attending the 2nd National Multiethnic Church Conference hosted by Mosaix Global Network. (I don’t think I got to meet him there, and if I did, I wouldn’t know.) I’ve enjoyed his refreshing candor and honesty to raise questions and perspectives that are rarely ever articulated. He’s blogging anonymously for certain reasons, and when/if he’s ready to reveal his identity, that’ll help fill in the gaps in his narrative that is currently only occasionally alluded to. His quote “.. articulating what Asian American Christians bring is hard.. we need some space to figure it out” prompted me to write this blog post (since he doesn’t allow blog comments) — and, yes, we need space, and time, and I believe social media affords us unlimited space to use our voices, if only more of us will. (I realize we all have other responsibilities and day jobs etc etc, and you know what, so do I..)
What other voices have you noticed lately that’s contextualizing an Asian American Christian life? (Notice my use of the word “contextualizing” to denote the bicultural/multicultural perspectives of those who choose to identify with the English-speaking multi-Asian social location, recognizing there are also many Asian American Christians that self-identify with Americans generically or solely with their specific Asian ethnicity.)