Though the mountains be shaken … my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed. – Isaiah 54:10
From theme song introduced by the Filipino worship team to workshops by general ministries and others, the North American Pacific/Asian Disciples (NAPAD) of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) centered in on the idea “We are the People of Covenant”. Meeting from Aug. 1 – 4 at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., NAPAD welcomed more than 200 participants from across the United States.
Rev. Dr. Eric H. F. Law shared in his keynote teaching ways to tell God’s story of covenant using our own stories as well as showing our covenant in the way we interact with one another. For instance, Law used his own life and cultural background as a Chinese immigrant to illustrate the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 along with stewardship. General Minister and President Sharon Watkins spoke of how all the parts of the body are in covenant working together toward God’s reign. Workshops covered broad territory from immigration and human trafficking to leader development and education to health and social ministries.
Celebrations were in order for Rev. Dr. Geunhee Yu who retired as executive pastor of NAPAD in November 2011 after nearly 20 years of service as head of NAPAD. He also was honored with a special named fund to benefit NAPAD ministries. Rev. Dr. Jinsuk Chun has been serving as acting executive pastor since Yu’s retirement and was elected as executive pastor. Chun’s installation in his new office was celebrated with prayer and a laying on of hands by everyone in the chapel – family, ordained and commissioned ministers, laypersons and children.
One of the traditions of NAPAD is a Cultural Night and this biennial session’s installment included an array of traditional music and dance from members’ ancestral countries as well as European and other influences. The evening began with an original play, The Stone, written by Younglan Kim and performed by NAPAD members. There was a marimba performance that included historical images from NAPAD’s past, a piano/violin/clarinet trio performing classical European music, Samoan and Zo dance, Montagnard songs, traditional Chinese instruments and even a rendition of a Whitney Houston tune. Since NAPAD welcomes people of more than a dozen native languages, there was rich diversity in the sights and sounds of the evening.
Both as celebration and as education during the business sessions, Moderator Timothy S. Lee, PhD. shared portions of his recent research into the history of NAPAD congregations in the United States. His work is contained in the spring 2012 issue of Discipliana, a journal of Stone-Campbell history published by the Disciples of Christ Historical Society. In other business, new officers for the board of directors include: Janet Casey-Allen (moderator); John D. Roh (moderator-elect) and Deanna Scobbie (secretary/treasurer). The representative from the Council of General Ministries is Rev. Ron Degges, president of Disciples Home Missions.
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