Yet another reason to grieve …

It seems like there is no end to the reasons we have to express sorrow and dismay at “man’s inhumanity to man” as we witness the continued display of racially charged actions all around us. In seeing what has been taking place, particularly in the San Francisco Bay area relative to violence against Asian-Americans, my heart weighs very heavy to the point of tears.

Saying, “I’m so sorry” is trite … but I am, truly. In fact, I have felt sick to my stomach as I have watched some of the footage of what has taken place, particularly toward the elderly within the Asian-American community. Such raw disregard for life … such irrational hatred and contempt! It is truly sickening …

I will readily confess that my heart is not only heavy with sorrow, but my natural-man instincts are not particularly Christ-like right now. Candidly, I would like to see severe punishment inflicted upon those who perpetrate such violence against those who are vulnerable … particularly upon those who deserve our care, honor and respect.

I pray that we can all agree that such despicable actions are demonic and worthy of our strongest condemnation. I also pray that we will be paying attention to what is taking place and offer words of care and encouragement to our Asian-American sisters and brothers in Christ, but also to work associates, neighbors and other friends who have been jarred by this display of hostility toward those sharing the same ethnicity. Are we paying attention? Are we showing love?

Pacific Northwest Conference Superintendent, Greg Yee, has shared a moving reflection about recent events. I would encourage you to read what he has written here: Heavy Hearted this New Year.

Further, the Rev. Mary Chung March, NWC Pastor and President of the Covenant Asian Pastors Association (CAPA) and the Mosaic (Ethnic) Commission for the ECC, along with her husband, Rev. John March, shared a video this past weekend with their congregation at New City Covenant Church (Edina). I would encourage you to watch what they shared at: Beneath the Cross – Reflection on Anti-Asian Elder Abuse.

As Mary reflected in an email to me and also reiterated in the video:

“Someone asked me, ‘What do we do?’ There are so many things people can do (learn the history and read books of Asians in America, watch some YouTube videos or documentaries, get onsite and become friends with more Asians, sign petitions to stop AAPI Hate (Asian American Pacific Islander). But if that feels too overwhelming, I think if one just answers the following question, it is a start. ‘If your grandma or my grandpa was kicked in the face or as s/he walked the streets of her/his own neighborhood, someone shoved them down. What would you do? What would you do to make sure that couldn’t happen again?’ You would speak up, demand change, and show up for them as family does.”

Dear friends, how are we showing up for those within our family of Asian descent?

By Mark R. Stromberg, Superintendent