On March 1, 2013, I was invited to speak again at OneWay IV’s large group — this time, it was for an invitational large group, specifically set-up to be friendly for newcomers. They’d spent the week doing Proxe Stations with a theme about “Faking It.” At U.Va especially, there are certain personas and images that students feel pressured to adopt. OneWay’s desire was to help refute those with the image that God has for us.
As I’ve said before, OneWay is another chapter of IV at U.Va specifically focused on black and African American students. I spoke on Luke 5:12-16 to help students see how bandaging up the wounds we have prevents us from receiving healing. I really enjoyed the chance to speak into an ethnic-specific ministry context that wasn’t my own, yet still see how my own unique Asian American identity and minority experience could really bless and resonate with students. You can find the audio of my talk here. Special thanks to Ting-Ting for recording it!
It was a joy to speak to OneWay twice this year!
In late January, I had the rare privilege of being invited to lead a seminar at the Mid-Atlantic Union of Vietnamese Student Association (MAUVSA) annual “Advance” conference. MAUVSA is the regional organization the my beloved U.Va VSA is part of, and it gathers VSAs from 9 different schools together for shared fundraising and advocacy. Their conference was about pursuing your passion as a Vietnamese/Asian American leader. The U.Va VSA president remembered my talk at ECAASU and thought of me!
It’s so rare that a campus pastor gets the opportunity to act as a leader or speaker in such a setting. I really wanted to bring something valuable to students based upon my own personal professional and spiritual perspective. Thus, my talk – “Asian American Leadership in a White American World” – drew from my own exploration of ethnic identity and the sociological realities of America. I included material from InterVarsity vice president Paul Tokunaga’s book “Invitation to Lead” as well as InterVarsity alumna Jane Hyun and her famous book “Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling.” I really loved being able to serve my own VSA students in this setting!
You can find the video of my talk here (apologies for the backlighting and angle, there wasn’t an ideal place to put the camera).
There was quite a turnout even despite the fact that all the U.Va VSA students came to my seminar!
(Courtesy of Kim Pham Clark)
Last Friday, I was thrilled to get the chance to preach at OneWay Christian Fellowship’s large group. OneWay is another chapter of InterVarsity here at U.Va ministering to and through black and African American students – they went before us in terms of doing ethnic-specific ministry here on Grounds! As sibling IV chapters, we staff love to serve each other, invite each other to lead or get to know our students, and share our ministry space as a family. Even in the midst of AIV’s intense fall outreach schedule, I was glad to serve my fellow IV staff worker Charlene as well as get to spend some time with OneWay students.
The inclusion of my story as a son of immigrants/being Asian, as well as a reference of many scholarship-recipients was purposeful. As ethnic specific ministries, we have to get into our context for the Gospel to take root. In fact, our whole sibling chapter/staff model of InterVarsity here at U.Va is very purposeful to engage with the ethnic heritage and context we come from and enter into through ministry. And when I said that OneWay set the tone for some of what AIV does, that’s not just a politician’s compliment, I really mean that. Much of what I learned as an intern, before I received the specific calling to minister to Asian students, was gained from observing OneWay! I can’t say enough how important cross-cultural learning and ministry is for us.
OneWay is in the middle of a 4-week sermon series called “Follow Me” discussing the real, nitty gritty nature of what it means to follow Jesus. No platitudes, no fluffiness, just direct messages and reflection upon what this call means. I was given Luke 14:25-35 as my passage, which is often subtitled “The Cost of Being a Disciple.” You can find the YouTube video of the sermon, embedded here!
Emphasizing a point
I wanted to share with you what to my knowledge is simply the best, clearest, most straight forward explanation of the relationship (and comprehensive value) of multiethnic and ethnic specific ministries. InterVarsity has both obviously. But what’s more surprising, or confusing, to some is the fact that InterVarsity has both because InterVarsity believes that they are working to achieve the same end. So, without further ado, read in laymen’s terms a post by another IV staff worker on how How Multiethnic and Ethnic Specific ministries work together featured in the IV national blog.
Speaking of the IV national blog, I’m working on a new post for them soon! I’m sorry for being so woefully absent from writing here in HSUVa as well as posting to the national blog! I’m hoping to get some done this weekend, which is UVA’s fall break! Looking forward to some quiet days here in CVille.
People wonder what IV staff workers do during summer since our students our gone. The answer: A LOT! My summer looks like this (and is pretty similar for lots of other IV staff workers):
- Raising support: Building more partnerships to support the new Asian-American chapter plant at UVa through prayer & finances since budget needs increase to match my new responsibility level.
- Training: From national-level staff on how to plant a new chapter, as well as through reading and working with other staff.
- Working with my partner churches: I’ll get to serve my partner churches by preaching and conducting seminars. I’ll also be recognized as a missionary partner by 2 of my churches.
The location-based version of the list is as follows. Particularly when I’m in MA and NC I am free to meet up and fill you in on the new ministry focus — I’ll have some updated materials by then (which I also hope to post online as soon as possible). If you’re in the/I’m in your area, contact me!
- June 9-22: MA (various CGCM events —
6/12 preaching for English congregation [9am] + missions board presentation [1pm];
6/17 seminar on “college prep starts in 1st grade” [8pm];
6/19 commissioning ceremony [10am])
- June 23-29: Durham, NC (friend’s wedding etc.)
- June 29-July 5: Madison, WI (staff training on how to plant a missional, vision-centered chapter from scratch)
- July 5-9: Durham, NC (friend’s wedding)
- July 10-14: Charlottesville, VA (working with the other UVa staff to discern and craft vision for multiethnicity and racial reconciliation)
- July 15-29: MA & NY? (various CGCW events + possible CFCNYC events —
7/15-17 keynote youth group speaker for CGCW missions weekend + Sunday congregational recognition as partner missionary)
7/22? – visit CFCNYC?
- July 29-31: St. Louis, MO (friend’s wedding)
- Aug 1 & beyond: Charlottesville, VA (move-in, area staff retreat, friend’s wedding?, school year begins!)
Sorry that this post isn’t so interesting but I wanted to fill you in / beg pardon for my lack of posting!
I am off to St. Louis for the much-anticipated IV national staff conference 2011! All active IV staff will be there to learn about how God wants to redeem not just individual students or build up a strong chapter, but transform the whole campus to reflect Him.
I will be in the Multiethnicity track — we’ll learn about how, as IV staff workers, we can demonstrate racial reconciliation and unity of the diverse Body on campus. So often the secular vision of diversity is only skin deep; God wants something better and I look forward to the chance to explore this topic.
I’m also glad to spend time with my other staff worker friends/colleagues, not only from the Blue Ridge region (VA, NC, SC) but those that I’ve met from all over the country!
Please pray that our learning and fellowship times will be used by God to enrich and energize us for greater love for Him and for our campuses.
My last national staff gathering was in Madison WI for training summer. I know God will use SC 11 to do great things in us and for our students.