From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
American Asian Disciples plan for the future
"Office of Communications"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
25 Apr 2000 13:10:10
Date: April 25, 2000
Disciples News Service
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Contact: Clifford L. Willis
on the Web: http://www.disciples.org
INDIANAPOLIS (DNS) - In a move aimed at enabling self-determination and
greater visibility, North American Pacific Asian leaders of the Christian
Church (Disciples of Christ) recently initiated a plan to establish an
autonomous pastoral office.
The leaders came to their decision in a March visioning conference here,
held by the executive council of the North American Pacific Asian
Disciples. The event attracted 46 persons, including regional, general
unit and higher education representatives.
The current office of North American Asian Ministries has been part of the
Homeland Ministries division since its inception eight years ago. The
office was initially lodged in the department of evangelism. It was later
added to the office of HM President Ann Updegraff Spleth.
At present, members of NAPAD are unsure of exactly how and where the
freestanding office will be placed. It will, however, continue to work
very closely with Homeland Ministries, said NAPAD Moderator Jeri Sias,
"It has been 10 years since evaluating where NAPAD is going," Sias said.
"We have met all of our goals, which included creating the office of
American Asian Ministries, calling a staff person and developing 50
congregations. It is time to move forward to see where we will be going
for the next decade."
"This is a really big step," said Spleth. The Homeland Ministries leader
expressed both joy and reluctance to let go of a ministry which has
strengthened her administrative division. "We'll be diminished when this
process is over, but the church will be strengthened," she said.
Sias sees the move as an opportunity for self-determination and increased
exposure for the organization. In addition, it can foster more equitable
relationships with general administrative units, regions and two other
ethnic caucuses in the denomination. The two groups are the National
Convocation, which is a fellowship of African American Disciples, and the
Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries.
The first step, approved by the NAPAD executive council, requests
membership and participation in the church's mission funding body - Church
Finance Council. The group also asked General Minister and President
Richard L. Hamm, in consultation with NAPAD leaders, to appoint a task
force on structure. The task force will develop a proposal aimed at
identifying the new administrative location for the North American Asian
"This is going to be a new design and creation," said the Rev. Geunhee Yu,
executive pastor for North American Asian Ministries. The new structure
will be marked by "autonomy as well as a close relationship," he added.
"We feel that we are mature enough to be a free standing, self-determining
In other action, the NAPAD executive council determined several future
priorities. These include leader development among youth and young adults,
and lay and clergywomen; new congregation development and congregational
revitalization, strengthening funding and structural partnerships and
enhancing theological education. In particular, NAPAD hopes to spark
development of a Korean language degree program at a Disciples-related
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