From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Event salutes Asians' contributions to PC(USA)

Date 20 Jun 2002 09:10:21 -0400

Note #7280 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


Event salutes Asians' contributions to PC(USA)

by Alexa Smith

COLUMBUS, OH -The June 18 dinner gathering of the National Asian Presbyterian Council (NAPC) was a prelude to the organization's 30th anniversary celebration, scheduled for July 25-28 in Los Angeles.

During that event, NAPC will recognize the contributions of the Asian-American community to the wider Presbyterian Church (USA).

"There have been so many contributions to the life of our church ... and we continually need to celebrate that," said the Rev. Syngman Rhee, a former GA moderator and an ardent worker for unification of North and South Korea.

Rhee, who attended NAPC's organizational meeting 30 years ago, recognized a number of Asian church leaders in the room, including Evelyn Hwang, the the PC(USA)'s associate for preparation for ministry, and Georgette Huey, the first racial-ethnic chair of the Presbyterian Foundation.

Rhee said NAPC has played a significant role in cross-caucus work as well, helping mediate issues between racial-ethnic groups in the church and in assisting immigrants to the United States, especially Koreans. NAPC also has helped preserve Asian heritage and tradition, he said.

The next task for Asian-Americans in the church, he said, is to develop enough confidence to seek pastorates in Caucasian congregations - and to teach presbyteries and synods to consider Asian-American candidates. He said those tasks have a pastoral dimension, in light of the denomination's shortage of ministers.

Kyung-il Ghymn, of Reno, NV, said Asians in today's church have more to contribute. He said the audience made him recall seeing light break through the stained glass windows of Notre Dame Cathedral on a visit to Paris. "It was not only beauty," he said. "It was God's light. And I see that light as we sit together here tonight.  I see it in the faces in the Asian caucus.

"Together we can form a beautiful (reflection) to show God's light in the PC(USA) and in this country."
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