For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. (I Cor. 12:12)
The Asian American and Pacific Islander United Methodist Clergywomen Association (AAPIC) has scheduled its biennial meeting, "Connect, Commune, and Continue in Christ," for Oct. 29-31, 2012 at Cabrini Retreat Center in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Dr. W. Anne Joh, associate professor of systematic theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, will be the event's guest speaker.
Joh received a Doctor of Philosophy in Theological and Philosophical Studies from Drew University, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts from North Central College, with a double major in Religious Studies and English Literature and a minor in Political Science.
She has published a book and numerous articles in scholarly journals on a wide range of research interests, including postcolonial/decolonial studies, trauma studies, constructive theology, race, gender, and ethnic studies, immigration, globalization, and neoliberalism. Her book, Heart of the Cross: A Postcolonial Christology, was published in 2006 by Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. Her second book, Terror, Trauma and Hope: A Postcolonial Spectrality of the Cross, is forthcoming from Westminster John Knox Press.
The Rev. Motoe Yamada, pastor of Japanese United Methodist Church in Sacramento, was involved in forming the AAPIC. "During the Racial-Ethnic Clergywomen Consultation 2008, we formed the Asian American and Pacific Islander Clergywomen's Association – within 24 hours," Yamada explains.
The idea for the association began when she realized that the consultation schedule did not include Asian Americans. (Meanwhile, the consultation offered caucuses for Native American, African American, Hispanic/Latina, Caucasian, Korean, and Japanese women.) She talked with the Rev. Hikari Chang, the Rev. Flora Obayashi Wayne, and the Rev. HiRho Park about the possibility of expanding the Japanese American caucus to include Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. "I could not believe the positive reactions they had," she says now.
"With the encouragement of the group and with HiRho's help, we began forming an association for Asian American and Pacific Islander clergywomen," she continues. "We chose one representative from each ethnic group to serve on a steering committee to work on the bylaws.
"We met the next morning to vote on the bylaws and elect officers (one woman from each ethnic group). During the closing worship, Bishop Linda Lee of Wisconsin and our other racial-ethnic sisters blessed our new association.
"Since then, we have planned our biannual meeting and initiated conversations with other clergywomen associations. We plan to be [a presence] at General Conference, to endorse candidates for episcopacy, and to create a system to support young Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who feel called to serve the Church."
Register now for the AAPIC biennial meeting. Early registration is just $145 (if registered by August 31). After August 31, the late registration fee is $175. Registration fee covers meals (two breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners) and housing (single occupancy).
Commuter fee is $75, meals included (three days); $50 (one day participation).
Scholarships are available: There are eight $200 scholarships to help with the cost of the flight, and five $80 scholarships to provide registration assistance. Apply by August 15. Download scholarship form at http://www.aapicumc.org.
Email all necessary forms to AAPIClergywomen@gmail.com. Mail registration and payment to: AAPIC, Rev. Alka Lyall (Bethany of Fox Valley UMC), 1545 Sycamore Lane, Aurora, IL 60504. (Make your check payable to AAPIC, with "Biennial Meeting" and your name on the memo line.)