Celebrating Episcopal Asiamerica Ministries
Beloved in Christ,
This week, the Episcopal Church’s Asiamerica Ministries annual convocation is taking place in Minneapolis. Hundreds of Episcopalians, representing a variety of Asian immigrant and Asian American ministry contexts, will gather for a time of prayer, celebration, and simply delighting in being with Jesus and one another. On Thursday morning, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will be preaching at the opening Eucharist at St. Mark’s Cathedral. We learned over the weekend that this liturgy is open to anyone who wishes to attend, not just registered participants. You can also watch it live-streamed on the Presiding Bishop or Episcopal Church's facebook page.
This gathering in the Twin Cities is particularly meaningful, as it has been delayed for the past two years because of COVID. Several members of our diocese have provided critical leadership to make this gathering a reality, and worked tirelessly with staff and volunteers from the Episcopal Church to pull this together. I’m so grateful for their efforts.
Our diocese is enriched immeasurably by the presence of the largest Hmong-majority congregation in the Episcopal Church (Holy Apostles, St. Paul), a number of Karen Episcopalians at Messiah in St. Paul. One of our Karen postulants is exploring the possibility of seeding new communities in several small towns in southern Minnesota. These and other Asian American siblings are leading the way in how we nurture a more vital church, with new expressions of how communities gather.
In recent years, we have seen an increase in hate crimes against our Asian American siblings, both here in Minnesota and around the country. Jesus was always about the business of breaking down walls of separation, fear, hatred, and bigotry, and replacing them with bonds of love. If we are to faithfully follow that Jesus, then we must always be about the same business, in whatever small and large ways we are able, wherever we are planted.
I hope you’ll join me in a prayer of thanksgiving for all that our Hmong, Karen, and other Asian American Episcopalians have brought to our diocese, and for a fruitful and joyful convocation this week.
Grace and peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya