Asian people and the Episcopal Church

The Episcopal missionary work among asian people began more than a century ago in the western parts of the United States. Over the years the Episcopal Church has been key in creating evangelical foundations, worship sites and congregations that are specifically sensitive to the needs of asian american and recent immigrants.

Asian Week has a feature this week that covers the history of the Episcopal Church’s evangelism efforts in this area.

From the article comes the account of the most recent work:

“In 1973, the Episcopal Church’s general convention established the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry to serve the growing numbers of immigrants from Asian countries.

Today, the Ministry has 120 missions, congregations or ministries that are served by more than 100 Asian or EAM-related clergy, including two bishops. The Asian church members, including 18 Chinese congregations, comprise approximately 1.8 percent of the 2.5 million Episcopalians.

‘I see the rise of Asian American leadership in the Episcopal Church, the increasing level of their involvement in all aspects of the Church’s life and at all levels of its activities,’ the Rev. Dr. Winfred B. Vergara says. Based at The Episcopal Church Center of New York, Vergara has served as the current missioner for the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry since 2004.

Vergara also predicts a ‘golden age’ and the ‘flowering of Asian American ministry’ in the Episcopal Church. At its 158th convention, the Diocese of California adopted a five-year plan to develop multiethnic and multicultural ministries. The diocesan convention also called on Bishop Marc Andrus to install a multicultural commissioner by June 2008. California clergy and lay leaders were asked to complete two sessions of anti-racism training over the next two years.”

Read the rest here.

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