3.a. Resting & Growing

Progressive Asian American CHRISTIANS?

I just had the most incredible and rejuvenating time at the Progressive Asian American Christian (PAAC) gathering, hanging out with the awesome crew from the progressive UMC hybrid church HA:N (which, by the way, is a Sino-Korean term that’s all about liberating your soul from trauma)

Now, these aren’t your typical “church” communities. These friends here are not big fans of that label because of the past trauma we’ve had to deal with in those white normative, patriarchal, and homophobic churches. Instead, it’s all about being ourselves, no explanations needed. Comfort in our own skin is what it’s all about.

I can’t even begin to express how blessed I felt to be in a space where I could just be me. Everyone was incredibly kind and real, and there was this reassuring feeling of safety that allowed us to be our authentic selves without fear. It was like a therapeutic oasis where we all recognized the incredible contributions and sacrifices BIPOC, AAPI, and queer individuals have made in this country. This gathering wasn’t just for allies; it was a space where we became accomplices in something truly special.

As a lifelong Presbyterian and a “progressive” one at that, I couldn’t help but wonder: are we really on the path to a genuine transformation and reformation? Are we still out there protesting against injustice, with prayerful hearts in our every day, or have we started hoarding our resources with a scarcity mindset?

Image credit to Instagram @sunparkparksun
Image credit to Instagram @sunparkparksun

A good friend Laura Zhang Choi, whom I met at this PAAC gathering, encourages me to ask this question – if we’re looking at the world through windows or if we are gazing into mirrors that only reflect our small bubbles? We need both – diverse representations that mirror ourselves inside the big bubble and the windows we can learn from “others” outside the bubble.

And I know I’m not alone in thinking this way. There’s a whole community of witnesses who share these thoughts and feelings. Together, we’re on a journey, and it’s a pretty amazing one at that!