A Moment for Mission
“Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me.” – Psalm 66:16, NRSV
“I envision a Church of the Pentecost in which the Holy Spirit is igniting, gifting and empowering God's children of all ages, backgrounds, colors and personalities to glorify their Creator as passionate witnesses for Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar. “Such a church does not merely serve the poor, the left out, the different, but welcomes them warmly into its hearts, homes, and worship.” Elected to the episcopacy in 2004, he is resident bishop of the Boston Area.
The 6,806,331 United Methodists in the United States includes 91,808 Asian American and 14,613 Pacific Islander laity and 1,199 Asian American and 117 Pacific Islander clergy. Their numbers represent 1.58 percent of the total. Not included in this total are five Asian American active bishops, out of 46, or almost 11 percent of the total. A native of India, Devadhar is one of the five.
Their numbers may be small, but their members are mighty. The United Methodist Church has five ethnic caucuses, all part of the InterEthnic Strategy Development Group. One is the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists (NFAAUM), which includes 12 sub-ethnic caucuses: Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Formosan, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, South Asian, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern and Pakistani. The other is the Pacific Islander National Caucus of United Methodists (PINCUM).
In May – and every day – United Methodists celebrate the rich heritage of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders that are a vital part of our church.
– Source: General Council on Finance and Administration 2017 Statistical Review of The United Methodist Church
Loving God, you have done so much for us. Open our eyes to embrace the gifts of each of your children. Encourage and equip us to share your love everywhere. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Sixth Sunday of Easter — God of Power and Mercy, you have not deserted us; we have been tested, and yet we know we have never been far from your redeeming love. We celebrate your relentless caring, not only with the gifts we offer, but with our voices and testimony. We want the world to see what it means to live in the light of your love and mercy. Help us to guide our lives in your way. In the name of Christ, our Rock and Redeemer. Amen. (Psalm 66:8-20)
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, now officially “Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month,” celebrates the culture, traditions and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The month-long observance occurs in May.
The stories of immigrants from Asia and the Pacific and the native people of the Pacific Islands helped to shape the history of North America. While some of the earliest Asian immigrants arrived from China, India, Japan and Korea, immigration reforms tied to U.S. civil rights legislation brought even more groups to the United States. These include Cambodians, the Hmong, Indonesians, Laotians, Vietnamese and other peoples from South and Central Asia.
Today, five active Asian American bishops serve The United Methodist Church. They include Sudarshana Devadhar, Boston Area; Grant T. Hagiya, Los Angeles; Robert T. Hoshibata, Phoenix; Hee-Soo Jung, Wisconsin; and Jeremiah J. Park, Harrisburg.
We thank God for their ministry and for the many gifts of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in our church and our community.