by Rev. April Johnson, minister of reconciliation
Anti-Racism Training is no longer lost in translation for Disciples Korean pastors of the Pacific Southwest Region. After one full year of research and translation as well as two years of planning, Pastors Young Lan Kim and Rev. Jun Yang conducted the first Anti-Racism training event for and by Korean Pastors. The event which occurred in late October 2015, leveraged the Pacific Southwest Region’s boundary training schedule to offer this training event. It was facilitated with an entirely Korean immigrant and socio-historic experience focus. The October event was the first half of a two-part anti-racism training program designed to prepare pastors for leadership in their congregations and in keeping with Disciples Pro-Reconciliation and Anti-Racism identity.
Recognizing the complexities of the content of the training program as well as its importance, Lan and Yang entitled this first “Awakening” in order to set the tone for an authentic yet introductory exploration of anti-oppression and reconciliation for the Korean immigrant community.
In a note describing the impetus for developing this seminal training opportunity, Young Lan shared the goal of the event with the following statement: “The main purpose of this training should be to ‘Awaken’ people to this issue and help them to build pro-reconciliation in their ministry as well as to become part of this movement.”
As is the experience with most trainings that confront difficult realities of mission and ministry, careful attention was given to create a format that balanced dialogue as well as information. Participants expressed sincere desire to continue the training for the benefit of more pastors/leaders as well as to educate and learn with the next generation of Korean Disciple leaders.
At the close of the five-hour session, one participant expressed pride in being a Disciple pastor having participated in the training and because the conversation and the ministry continues.