A MOMENT FOR MISSION
"I ask … that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." – John 17:21, NRSV
Like the intricate pattern and color in a stained-glass window when light shines through and the picture is illuminated, our United Methodist Church becomes more beautiful as we embrace the rich range of culture, language and custom in our midst. When we honor diversity in our practice, worship and discipleship, what shines through is a gorgeous representation of the artist who created it, a greater reflection of God's image.
During May, we celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month. There is no one Asian Pacific voice or one shared history among this very diverse group that includes our brothers and sisters that have origins from East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent as well as Hawaii, Guam, Samoa and the other Pacific Islands. Each group has a distinct story. Each has faced unique struggles in adjusting to life in a new country. Today we recognize that the journey is not always easy and we can continue to smooth the path toward unity amid diversity.
As we journey forward, we continue to find new ways as The United Methodist Church to connect with this community within our community. The 2012 General Conference approved the Pacific Islander Ministry Plan with goals of greater inclusion and support. As this plan comes to life, we pray that it guides us in discovering new ways to honor the gifts and presence of each of God's children.
Almighty God, together with our Asian Pacific members, we bear a greater image of you when your love unites us. Grant that we make your church one that serves and reflects you. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Seventh Sunday of Easter/Ascension Sunday - Everlasting God, we join with the angels to praise you and your Son Jesus. He has ascended to your heavenly throne where the light of Christ, the bright morning star, shines with your glory. We are grateful for your light that revives our spirits. Help us to tell our neighbors that salvation is a gift! Use our offerings to support the mission of this church to extend your light to reach people in need. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. (Revelation 22:12-21)
May is Asian Pacific Heritage Month. General Conference 2012 passed a comprehensive plan for Pacific Islander ministry in the United States. The General Board of Global Ministries administers its work.
Our Asian Pacific brothers and sisters cover a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds as they have origins in East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent as well as Hawaii, Guam, Samoa and other Pacific Islands. They represent 5.4 percent of the U.S. population. Asian Americans are among the fastest-growing ethnic groups in our population.
The arrival and motive of each group who leaves a country of origin and comes to the United States are unique. However, this diverse group identifies with some of the same struggles along the way. Limited English proficiency upon arrival and discrimination in employment and home ownership can make for a difficult and isolating experience.
Yet, our Asian Pacific brothers and sisters make great contributions to our United Methodist church. Their leadership and cultural gifts enrich our experience of the reign of God.