There’s Work to do in Paradise

This last weekend I went to Hawaii . . .

Immediately reading this you might be thinking:

  • Beautiful water, sandy beaches, warm temperatures—paradise!
  • Amazing culture, wonderful people!
  • It’s great to serve as the Bishop!

Now before I respond to those thoughts, let me share with you want took me to Hawaii: our incredible Hmong sisters and brothers from Holy Apostles and our amazing Karen sisters and brothers from Messiah invited me to attend the Episcopal Asiamerican gathering with them.

It truly was an extraordinary experience. Being steeped in this multi-Asian cultural ministry context, learning about God’s mission of the Beloved Community from their perspectives, was absolutely exhilarating.

Every one of the cultural groups gathered has historically been or is presently being oppressed. These histories include colonialism, Doctrine of Discovery, ethnic cleansing. And yet, all have gained strength in their faith and courage to be a part of bringing forth the Beloved Community for all of God’s people. All of us have much to learn from these sisters and brothers.

It was beautiful in this paradise-like setting, but as a Hawaiian theologian shared, “All is not well in paradise.” There is just as much work to be done to bring forth the Beloved Community in “paradise” as everywhere else. One of the things that I love most about being an Episcopalian/Anglican is the vast, rich cultures and contexts that make up who we are.

What makes serving as ECMN’s Bishop such a blessing is the people. To listen, share, and learn about history, the good work taking place, and dreams for the future is absolutely transformative. It makes almost every day in ECMN paradise. 😎

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