Archive for the 'Chinese' Category

15
Oct
08

Research on Bay Area Chinese Churches

Just a quickie during my oil change at a Honda dealership. I came across this informative news thanks to DJChuang on L2Foundation on some findings on Chinese churches from the Bay Area Chinese Churches Research Project. They will report their findings at a 3 day conference in the Bay Area with pastors and church leaders. Register online before November 3rd for complimentary free access.

Here’s some highlights.

  • There are over half a million Chinese in the six Bay Area counties. Between 1990 and 2000, the Chinese population increased by 45%, compared with a 12% increase in the total population.
  • In 1950, there were 15 Chinese churches in the Bay Area. Our 1996 Study listed 158 churches, a ten fold increase. In 2008, the number churches had risen to 194.
  • In 1996, total attendance at worship on a typical Sunday was 21,435. In 2008, that number had risen to 29,960.

We need a collaborative effort like this on the East Coast. I’ll get back to that thought after I pick up my car.

10
Oct
08

Saying No to Casinos in Chinatown Part 2

Here’s some video that I was able to capture last night during one of the more vulnerable and emotional moments at the forum. This has certainly become a very volatile situation. There was no hearing last night, no dialogue. People were just very angry.

Whether these politicians and investors realize it or not building a casino at this location is institutional and environmental racism against the many minority populations in the Chinatown community. We can debate those terms but the point is that this cannot ultimately be good for the community. There may be economic gain but at what cost?

Read
Philadelphia Inquirer Article, Chinatown Residents Fear Lure of Gaming by Jennifer Lin
“Environmental Racism, Chinatown and the Gallery Casino” by Helen Gym
angryasianman.com picked up the news

I googled around looking for related things and found these links
• Great Asian American Resource page at the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

From an interview with Dr. Timothy Fong (whose name comes up in every search on this subject), Director of UCLA’s Gambling Studies Program. He said this in his findings,

What did the focus groups reveal?
Number one, gambling was a common thing that a lot of community members did. Number two, it was very socially acceptable. And number three, almost everyone knew one or two people that they knew had a gambling problem. It was a very common thread that they also didn’t know what to do about that person; where to send them, what to say to them, what to do about it.

What was also very interesting was that the casinos were very aggressive in marketing toward Asian communities. But they didn’t blame them for that. They didn’t say that that was a bad practice. This is just a reality. We learn about a lot of bus tours that were marketed for Asian communities. Fliers that were marketed toward that community.

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10
Oct
08

Saying No to Casinos in Chinatown

Tonight I attended a public forum as a representative of my church regarding a proposal to place casinos courtesy of Foxwoods at The Gallery in Philadelphia which is right at the entrance of Chinatown. This has gotten some press and after tonight’s meeting I’m sure it will get some more. There were some very angry people there. Typically you don’t find many Chinese folks speaking up about things much less political things but they were out in force tonight. In fact I’m very impressed with this gathering because it’s much more diverse than I had anticipated. There were many voices. Among them were educators, students, long time residents, church goers, business owners and community leaders. They weren’t just Chinese either. There were many non-Asians in the crowd.

Our church (CCCNC) officially took a stance of opposition against this proposal a couple of weeks ago and we’re trying to prayerfully handle this with much grace, wisdom and peace. We know we need to be a voice for the many aliens and poor in our community. We know first hand the effects of gambling among the Chinese as we counsel many compulsive gamblers and the families devastated by their habits. This is probably one of the most important things we’ve been involved in for our community.
Please pray for us.

Representatives from Mayor Michael Nutter’s office (Terry Gillen), Councilman DiCicco and State Representative O’Brien were receiving comments and arguments tonight at the Holy Redeemer School. It was not a good night to be in their shoes. If we want to build the next great American city, this is definitely not the way. The cost will be greater than any economic gain. This is institutional racism.

For More Info:
Asian Americans United for facts, petition, links and more.
Casino-Free Philadelphia, dedicated to say no to any casinos in the city of Philadelphia
Foxwoods Casino PA

Articles
PlanPhilly – City Set to See Foxwoods Design
PlanPhilly – City Sees Foxwoods Design

Other Resources
Gambling, Addiction and Asian Culture
Casinos Aggressively Market to Asian Americans, But Few Services Help Addicts
California Provides Glimpse Into Asian Gambling Culture
Resources from The Conference on Assessment & Treatment of Compulsive Gambling Among Asian American held on October 26, 2007 via AsianMentalHealth.org

“There’s this interest in gambling among the Chinese that transcends anything you see in any other socioeconomic or ethnic group” – Gary Loveman, Chief Executive at Harrah’s



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19
Aug
08

Is Your Church More Chinese Than Christian?

More Chinese Than Christian?
photo credit by phil of posterchildforgrace.blogspot.com

I just recently discovered Andrew Lim and this nice piece he wrote from down under.
Is your church more Chinese than Christian?
From the article, 7 key identifiers for when Ethnicity supersedes Christianity
1. When the church becomes an excuse for a social club for a particular ethnic group

2. When ethnic/cultural unity is more important than gospel unity.

3. When ethnic-cultural values override Biblical virtues and Biblical truth.

Formally put: “In the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, Jesus has given us a culture-transcending and a culture-transforming dynamic which confronts ethical categories of all societies and ethnic groups. The Gospel calls into question all social mores and moral codes.” Informally put: God’s virtues trump our values.

4. When church is restrictive and exclusive.

5. When church becomes insular and inward focused.

6. When church becomes homogeneous, rather than heterogeneous.

“People like to become Christians without having to cross racial, linguistic, or class barriers…It takes no great acumen to see that when marked differences of colour, stature, income, cleanliness, and education are present, men understand the gospel better when expounded by their own kind of people. They prefer to join churches whose members look, talk, and act like themselves.” (Understanding (1980), p. 227)


This states in brief what has become known as the Homogeneous Unit Principle (HUP). Although it sounds obvious to anyone involved in evangelism, it has had significant consequences for the church. It has influenced the development of many churches with a heart for mission. As churches move more towards making mission a priority, the more they will have to deal with cultural issues that interfere with or distort the gospel, and so the more the HUP appeals. The problem with this approach is that homogeneous evangelism tends to create a homogeneous church.

7. One Final Story St Andrew’s Cathedral and Asian Bible Church. You have to ask Andrew about what this means.

this isn’t anything new or profound. we need to be reminded that we’re all in danger of doing these things whether we’re ethnic based or not.

19
Jun
08

Chinese in the Mainstream: Three Delivery? Sigh.

three delivery wallpaper
Next week (June 27) Nicktoons will premiere “Three Delivery“, a cartoon about three Chinese teenagers saving Chinatown from evil one delivery at a time…
I don’t know about this one.
Is three delivery a play on “free delivery”?
Why do Chinese always have to be associated with take-out and kung fu?

The artwork is somewhat nice. The clips off the site were so-so. Not as funny as The Notorious MSG. It hasn’t grabbed me. I’m still a little taken back by how it all seems very backwards in these times. We’ve come so far from this image.
Please, just don’t suck.

Links
Three Delivery.com
Official Nicktoons Site
Also check out…Why is TV so White? Entertainment Weekly pulls out a very interesting article on the topic of why there is such a lack of diversity on TV.

Related Posts:
Chinese in the Mainstream: Learning from Kai-Lan

30
Apr
08

On Chinese Nationalism

Beijing Olympic Torch Relay Ceremony Chinese FlagsNo doubt times have changed and China has most definitely changed but have our attitudes and ideas about her and her people changed with her? What exactly are the attitudes and ideas of those in the Chinese church and American born/raised children? The Chinese church is already such a complex creature. Now we’re starting to see something different, a devotion to the motherland that’s not about missions or the growing church. In recent weeks with a monumental election in Taiwan, riots in Tibet, and talk about boycotting the opening ceremony of the Olympic games amongst other things the fires of this devotion has been stoked. Generally I think we do tend to focus on the oppressive government and cast China as an evil force – perhaps even a bunch of “goons and thugs?” We think persecuted church. Nonetheless creating a dichotomy between the government and its people.

How do we reconcile the two?

I admit I’ve never really had warm fuzzies about China. Hong Kong perhaps but not big mama. Those outside of the US may very well see us in a similar light, an evil capitalistic government and its lovely diverse people.

Those who come from China to study here in the US and attend our churches have a different view of China but we probably have not noticed in the years they’ve been here until recently. A couple of weeks ago there were disputes between congregation members about Tibet and Chinese nationalism. It just struck me as something new and odd.

Last year, there were more than 42,000 students from mainland China studying in the United States, an increase from fewer than 20,000 in 2003, according to the State Department.

China is their home not simply a mission field. They will return home once they’ve completed their coursework. They have also lived and benefited in the progress China has made in being an economic force. They’re pro-China and now they’re more vocal about their devotion to the motherland.

Did I think people would not have this kind of love and devotion for China?

The NYTimes report about this rising voice across the country on college campuses.
Here are some excerpts:

“But after I come here, my professor told me that I’m nationalist.”
“I believe in democracy,” Ms. Jia added, “but I can’t stand for someone to criticize my country using biased ways. You are wearing Chinese clothes and you are using Chinese goods.”

“We’ve been smothered for too long time,” said Jasmine Dong, another graduate student who attended the U.S.C. lecture. By that, Ms. Dong did not mean that Chinese students had been repressed or censored by their own government. She meant that the Western news media had not acknowledged the strides China had made or the voices of overseas Chinese. “We are still neglected or misunderstood as either brainwashed or manipulated by the government,” she said.

07
Apr
08

the fortune cookie chronicles

fortune cookie chronicles

Are Chinese restaurants more American than apple pie?
Jennifer 8 Lee thinks so in her new book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the world of Chinese Food. Here’s a quick review.

Did you know that there are twice as many Chinese restaurants as there are McDonald franchises. Somewhere around 40,000 in the United States there are more of these than the number of McDonalds, BKs and KFCs combined. How about fortune cookies? Are they Chinese or Japanese? I guess that depends on who you ask. Whowouldathunkit?

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles is a fun and insightful read. A must-read in the ABC curriculum. If you thought Chinese food and what goes on in the kitchens of Chinese restaurants were a mystery before….

We’d break open the fortune cookies for the message inside, rarely eating the cookie. The cheerfully misspelled, awkwardly phrased, but wise words of the Chinese fortune cookie sages gave me comfort. My parents’ bookshelves were lined with Chinese philosophical classics like Confucius’s Analects and the I Ching. For a girl who could not untangle the thicket of Chinese characters in those opaque and mysterious books, the little slips of insight represented the distillation of hundreds of years of Chinese wisdom.
Then came a shocking revelation.
Fortune cookies weren’t Chinese.

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles Official Site

18
Feb
08

Chinese in the Mainstream: Learning from Kai-Lan

Ni Hao Kai-Lan
I sat down to watch a few DVR days worth of Nick Jr’s “Ni Hao Kai-Lan” with my virusy family. It made it’s debut on Chinese New Year. (btw Xin Nian Kuai Le! 農曆新年) Jayden’s picked up more Chinese in one week than he has since he was born. The show is an interesting venture capitalizing on the bilingualism of Dora the Explorer and the play along think along techniques of Blues Clues. What’s more interesting to me is the emotional intelligence that Kai-Lan teaches. During the middle of the episode a character demonstrates some issue and Kai-Lan encourages kids to figure out why they acted in that way and find a solution. I can appreciate that and the Mandarin lessons.

The NYTimes has a good article on the show and its creator, Karen Chau. I found her relationship with her dad quite amusing and all too familiar.

Ms. Chao, who earned a degree in digital art from the University of California, Irvine, in 2000, didn’t quite follow the path her father preferred. “He set me up for an internship at PaineWebber, but I doodled on the cold-call sheets and taped the phone receiver down,” she said. “I wasn’t a very good worker bee, but Dad was ecstatic because I was wearing business outfits with shoulder pads and big pants. In Chinese culture criticism is love. So my dad must really, really love me, because he has a lot to say.”

Kai-Lan is timely. Kids are more influenced by Asian culture than ever before getting beyond Kung-Fu and Moo-Shu Pork of my childhood experience. Makes me think of all those years of Chinese school. To think, my parents were cutting edge then. It’s essential now to learn Chinese in American schools in order to prepare for a global economy.

An estimated 50,000 American children are being taught Mandarin in public schools, with an additional 50,000 studying in private settings. Next month the first 2,000 high school students will take the College Board’s new Advanced Placement exam in Mandarin. The number is small but an indication of big things to come, said Tom Matts, director of the board’s World Languages Initiative. “We expect to see growth in this course unlike any other introduced in the last decade or so.”

Also read Nick Jr on Ni Hao Kai-Lan

12
Jan
08

ABCs and Church

The L2 Foundation blog posted today about the alarming percentage of ABCs that attend church, less than 2% according to the recent Render Conference near Houston. [link:”Alarming Statistics About American Born Chinese“]

Less than 2% doesn’t surprise me as if any number would be comforting or satisfactory. If I have my numbers correct, there are roughly 3.5million Chinese in America and out of that number we have somewhere around 1.1million ABCs. So you do the math. 2% of 1.1million. You’d probably find many of these church going ABCs on the coasts.

The Chinese have been in America a long time (since the 1840s). So you have Chinese churches in practically every state. A Chinese church over 50 years old would typically have lots of ABCs in it and probably close to half of those churches would be found in California. However the fact of the matter is that these churches have been losing generation after generation of ABCs. Since the U.S. Immigration Act of 1965 those statistics would dwindle further since there would be a growing number of first generation immigrant churches/congregations under 20 years old. These congregations will have ABC children and eventually English speaking ministries. The ABC population will only continue to grow (approx. 30-40k a year). The need to reach them will also grow.

It’s easy to be complacent with who comes to our services. We need to ask how many “new” Christians or seekers actually come? Why don’t they? I believe most of the growth in our English Speaking Ministries is not new growth by conversion but from transplanted Christians. We have young mostly single ABC Christians coming and going. It’s a cultural phenomenon. The hard truth is that there are many Chinese or ABCs outside of our walls (over 95%). There’s so much work to be done.

Statistics on Chinese in America from US Census Data 2006

07
Jan
08

ACHTUNG!

WOW. How easy it is to allow time to pass by.
I know. I know. I’ve gotten messages wondering what happened?
It’s been over a month and a brand new year boys and girls. Other than the busyness of the holidays I’ve been engaged in ministry and rethinking some things about abcpastor.com. Sometimes we just need to press pause.
I promise there’ll be some exciting updates coming. Thanks for being faithful readers. Hang on for more.

ACHTUNG! **************************************************************************************
What’s really kept me completely occupied is a little labor of love called, ACHTUNG! the youth program of the Chinese Mission Convention (CMC) by Ambassadors for Christ (AFC). I have been privileged to coordinate this program for the third time. It’s just a blast for me to work alongside good friends like Peter Ong and Joseph Tsang. Also artist friends Neah Lee, Tim Be Told, and Victor Lin. Other stars include Philly natives, Hoon Kim and Dean Trulear. All phenomenal leaders that I had the pleasure of partnering with in challenging a new generation towards the cross. In ACHTUNG, we attempted to do things differently than your average youth conference. We don’t want the students to just sit in a convention center listening to talking heads, as good as they are, we try our best to take them to the streets.

The Chinese Mission Convention (CMC) is a premier tri-annual missions gathering for China following on the coattails of the Urbana Student Missions Conference. This year’s convention highlighted the 200th anniversary of Robert Morrison’s mission to China. CMC does what Chinese ministries do best, reaching the Chinese.

CMC ACHTUNG! 2007 Peter Ong

CMC ACHTUNG! 2007




abcpastor
[american born chinese pastor]
seeks to be that third place for those who are american born chinese [abc] in ministry.
[i]
here we may explore issues unique to the chinese church and doing ministry in that context
[ii]
expand the intersection of asian american culture and christian faith
[iii]
or simply expose what goes on in the mind of this abcpastor

this may be a bit ambitious or even naiive but i do hope that through the posts we can bring together different faith communities, passions for the advancement of the Gospel and the equipping of the body of Christ.

if you are an abc pastor or have any suggestions or would like to contribute to make this space evolve, just comment.

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