From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Minnesota United Methodists support printing of Hmong hymnal

From "NewsDesk" <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Mon, 2 Dec 2002 14:32:10 -0600

Dec. 2, 2002 News media contact: Kathy Gilbert7(615)742-54707Nashville, Tenn.

By Victoria Rebeck*

Minnesota United Methodists have given $5,000 to the Association of Hmong
United Methodist Congregations to help produce the first American hymnal in

The Hmong came from Laos, and their ancestors originated in southwestern
China. The United States has about 300,000 Hmong Americans, according to 2001
data. About 80,000 live in Minnesota, and another 80,000 are in Wisconsin. 

"I am pleased that we could provide substantial assistance to the Hmong
hymnal project," said the Rev. Jim Perry, director of ministries for the
Minnesota Annual (regional) Conference. "There are now as many Hmong people
in Minnesota as in any other state in our union. Their presence enriches both
our state and our annual conference."

Hmong United Methodists have been making do with hymnals that contain hymn
texts only, said the Rev. TsuKer Yang, a member of the Hmong caucus and
pastor of Hmong Asbury United Methodist Church in St. Paul, Minn. In 1993,
the caucus started work on a hymnal that would contain both Hmong texts and
musical notation. The caucus is asking the Minnesota, California-Nevada,
Wisconsin, and Western North Carolina annual conferences as well as the
denomination's Board of Discipleship and the Board of Global Ministries to
help fund the book's printing. The initial printing will be 5,000 copies.
Printing costs are estimated to be $65,000.

Once printed, the hymnals will be distributed to Hmong United Methodist
congregations. The remainders will be offered for sale to other Hmong
Christian churches.

"This hymnal is a tangible connection of the Hmong heritage with the United
Methodist heritage as a singing people," Perry said.  "Now, together, we can
be singing United Methodists!"
# # #
*Rebeck is director of communication for the Minnesota Annual Conference.

United Methodist News Service
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