Asiamerica Ministries

Assisting dioceses to start new Asian congregations and strengthen existing ones, and advocates for Asian empowerment at all levels of the church: seminarians, women, youth, clergy, and lay leaders.

Youth & Young Adults Leadership Training Camp

August 5, 2019
By: 
The Rev. Canon Dr. Fred Vergara

The recent Youth & Young Adults Leadership Training Camp held at St. Columba Retreat Center in Inverness, California last July 26-28, 2019 is one of the most organized camps I’ve ever seen. From start to finish, the event went on smoothly and with great results.

Sponsored by the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministries (EAM), the Anglican Canadian Asian Ministry (ACAM) in partnership with Asian Commission of the Diocese of California (ACDC). Most participants come from California, Minnesota, Hawaii and Vancouver, Canada. The event was an offshoot of the Youth & Young Adult Conference held in Honolulu, Hawaii last year in conjunction with the EAM National Consultation.

The event was so popular we had to turn down many other participants because our space was limited. We hope to have a bigger space next time. Coordinating the event was Ms. Carolyn Morinishi, assisted by her husband Ron. They donate their time, talents and treasure in helping make this event successful.

The youth assembled from many directions at Holy Child & St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Daly City. A generous member, Alicia San Juan offered to donate a hotel room for youth from Vancouver who arrived a day earlier. We were all welcomed by the HCSM vicar, the Rev. Leonard Oakes. Then together, we boarded a Bus to Inverness, stopping by the Golden Gate as the Canadian youth wanted to take photos.

Training began with “Servant-Leadership.” The three priests (Rev. Joshua Ng of True Sunshine in San Francisco; the Rev. Merry Chan Ong of Church of our Saviour, Oakland; and the Rev. Dr. Fred Vergara Asiamerica Missioner) served as cooks for the whole event. The youth and young adult assembled 90 Agape Bags which were later donated to the San Francisco Night Ministry to the poor and homeless.

Most of the learning are praxis: lecture and practice and often with fun-exercises such as Team Building via “unlocking yourself without losing connection” and “Escape Room” where the key combinations have to be searched by the small groups using coordination, communication, team building, trust and delegation of skills.

At the end of the learning processes, the kids had a fun night, applying biblical lessons via skits depicting their interpretations of Moses, Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark. They also depicted the various kinds of hospitality, bible study and other church practices that are sometimes incongruent to the needs and taste of the Millenials. I was even moved to contribute my share in doing “rap.”

The event concluded with a visit to Grace Cathedral where the youth assisted in Sunday School and participated in the worship. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!