The Episcopal Church Asiamerica Ministry will celebrate its 40th anniversary June 20-24 in San Francisco CA. Focusing on the theme “EAM@40: Remember, Celebrate and Re-Envision Our Mission,” the conference will celebrate the 40 years of Asiamerica Ministry, from its beginnings when a handful of Chinese and Japanese clergy gathered in San Francisco on March 1973.
“What began as modest vision has grown into a conglomeration of diverse ethnic convocations of over a hundred self-identified churches---Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, South Asian and Southeast Asian,” explained Rev. Dr. Winfred B. Vergara, Episcopal Church Missioner for Asiamerica Ministries. “’Asiamerica’ as a word was coined by the pioneers and has evolved into three areas of ministries: ministries to Asian immigrants in America; ministries to American born Asian-Americans; and ministries of bridge-building to churches in Asia and the world.”
At the opening Eucharist two historical Asian American figures, the Rev. Hiram Hisanori Kano and the Rev. Dr. Winston Ching, will be honored along with the living pioneers. Kano, whose name is being considered for “Holy Women and Holy Men,” championed the cause of immigrant farmers in the 1930’s and became a spiritual leader in the infamous Japanese Internment Camps during World War II. Ching pioneered the EAM and sought to establish links with the Asian churches. Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves of El Camino Real will be the celebrant and Vergara will preach.
Conference speakers will include clergy and lay leaders who emphasize the memory of those who pioneered EAM. Among key conference events:
- Bishop Stacy Sauls, chief operating officer of the Episcopal Church Center will keynote on “Domestic Mission: Focus on Poverty.”
- Dr. Rodger Nishioka, professor of Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA, and noted motivational speaker, will keynote on “Global Mission: Focus on Asiamerica”
- The June 23 Eucharist service will feature a multicultural liturgy complete with Chinese dragon dance, Philippine gongs, Korean drums and colorful Asian cultures. Preacher will be Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori; the main celebrant is Rev. Dr. Fran Toy, first Asian American woman to be ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. The Rev. Gay Jennings, President of the House of Deputies, will address the multicultural banquet in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
For more information, contact Vergara.