Learning & Leaving – Reflections after reading “Honoring the Generations:Learning with Asian North American Congregations” « More Than Serving Tea

Book review from Kathy Khang

And then that wonder turns into a hint of longing for what was once familiar, and that is exactly what happened for me as I read Honoring the Generations:Learning with Asian North American Congregations M. Sydney Park, Soong-Chan Rah, and Al Tizon, editors; Judson Press 2012.The stories of cultural and generational conflict and misunderstandings resonated deeply with me. I found myself nodding not to sleep but in agreement and affirmation, as if my nod would be felt by the authors and collaborators. Our ANA church history is your church an art museum or a hospital? p.88 is important to understand and know, not just for those of us who lived and live it but for all in the Church. I found myself nodding because even when I wanted more would it surprise you if I said I wanted more from chapter 6 on women and men leading together? I hoped that non ANA church leaders would pick up the book and learn.Some of the chapters provide more concrete steps for ministry practitioners to take to help move ANA ministry forward. Others leave more space and ambiguity. My personal preference tends to want more concrete steps – something I can either agree with and implement or something I can disagree with and move on.The book is divided into two main sections covering the ANA church from a generational perspective and a ministry issue/strategy perspective. Each chapter covers a different topic, and each chapter is written by a pair of authors who are using information and stories gathered from a group of ministry practitioners and scholars. In true Asian American form, collaboration takes the lead in shaping this book.Readers may find this approach, this collaborative voice, both informative and frustrating. If you’re not familiar with the ANA church the stories will be new and informative, and they may be frustrating because they don’t fit in your paradigm and experience. Creating new categories aren’t easy when they are someone else’s story, particularly someone else you may have considered as “White” as Asian Americans have often been seen by the majority culture.But for me it was like singing a hymn in Korean. It tugs at my heart because the hard memories continue to soften with time, and there is a longing to continue learning despite having left.

via Learning & Leaving – Reflections after reading “Honoring the Generations:Learning with Asian North American Congregations” « More Than Serving Tea.

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