Hello Friends,

Here's a shout out to Quakers of Asian descent (either in Asia or in diaspora)!  

Are any of us interested in banding together (in whatever form that may take, or whatever you take that to mean) to discuss issues that pertain to us, or for general feelings of solidarity and fellowship?  "Asian" isn't just East Asian but Southeast Asian, South Asian, and West Asian.

I ask because I grew up in a Japanese-American church and miss that feeling of ethnic community and culture-appropriate spirituality.  Although my current Quaker meeting is pretty diverse for a Quaker community, Asian folks are noticeably lacking.  Where are we??  

Issues that might be of interest to Asian Quakers can include:  

--what forms of racism and other difficulties do Asians face, and how can the Quaker witness intervene?  What forms of racism and other difficulties do Asians experience in Quaker communities?  What about Quaker culture seems uninviting to Asians?

--is there anything in Quaker writings or theology that is inherently anti-Asian?  How do we discover and address this?

--how do our cultures, communities, and families of origin aid, inform, or hinder our spiritual paths?  What are our relationships to our cultures, communities, and families now that we've aligned ourselves with a religion that is--at least in North America--very white?  What do we miss about our cultures, communities, and families of origin?  Jesus says that we should deny our families and follow him, but in the context of a white Quakerism is denying our families essentially following whiteness?

--do traditional Asian spiritualities and cultural concepts inform our experience of what it means to be an Asian Quaker?  Can Quakerism be de-Westernized, de-colonized for us?  

--How can the Quaker witness speak to the Asian context?  How can Asian Quakers shape the way Quakers address issues, events, and struggles in Asia?

So: where are my Quaker Asian cousins?  Let's figure out what we have to offer!

Blessings

Stephen

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Hello, Stephen Nakeo!

Welcome to QQ!  As I understand it, one of the fastest growing groups of Friends in Asia is in the Philippines.

I believe that you would not have much difficulty in gathering a group of Asian Friends in the US, especially in areas where people of Asian descent are numerous.I speculate that most such Friends would be Christians.

A good place to start might be Southwest Yearly Meeting.  Try contacting Joe Ginder of the Long Beach Friends Church in southern California; I think Long Beach is largely Cambodian.  I am sure that he would be knowledgeable and anxious to help you.  If you are located in the east, try contacting Geoff Gilmore of Little Falls NY; he would know more about Asian Conservative-oriented Friends.  Friends World Committee should also be able to help you to network with other ethnically Asian Friends.

Bill Rushby

Hello Bill, thanks!  I've actually been with QQ a while, I just go am not very active. :)  Thanks also for the leads--I'm mostly located in Brooklyn, NY, so these eastern contacts are helpful.  But I actually grew up in Long Beach and spend a couple months every year there.  I've heard of the Cambodian Quaker community (my sister pointed them out to me)--one of these days I'll make a visit.  Wouldn't it be cool to have a gathering of Asian Friends from all over the world!

Stephen


William F Rushby said:

Hello, Stephen Nakeo!

Welcome to QQ!  As I understand it, one of the fastest growing groups of Friends in Asia is in the Philippines.

I believe that you would not have much difficulty in gathering a group of Asian Friends in the US, especially in areas where people of Asian descent are numerous.I speculate that most such Friends would be Christians.

A good place to start might be Southwest Yearly Meeting.  Try contacting Joe Ginder of the Long Beach Friends Church in southern California; I think Long Beach is largely Cambodian.  I am sure that he would be knowledgeable and anxious to help you.  If you are located in the east, try contacting Geoff Gilmore of Little Falls NY; he would know more about Asian Conservative-oriented Friends.  Friends World Committee should also be able to help you to network with other ethnically Asian Friends.

Bill Rushby

My friend Hye Sung Francis Gehring is of Asian descent and lives in Philadelphia. He is on QQ, and awesome!

"Friends in Asia-West Pacific" by Gerard Guitonhttp://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/qrt/vol123/iss1/4/

Thanks Adria--I hope we can connect at some point. :)  Thanks also William for the articles!  I've started on the first one right now.

Hello Stephen

Have you tried a shout out through FWCC AWPS newsletter/website? Excuse the acronym - Friends World Committee for Consultation/Asia West Pacific Section - www.fwccawps.org

I work often in Asia and have met for worship (and food and conversation and bushwalking and so on...) with Asian Quakers and Quakers in Asia at local Meetings in India, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. There are also Friends in Burma/Myanmar; China; Hong Kong; Cambodia; Japan; South Korea. Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand are also part of AWPS.

Visitors are most welcome to MfWs in-country. There's also a regular regional gathering of AWPS to which members of the wider Quaker community are also welcome.

It's wonderful to be part of such a culturally varied community; Friends held in our different ways by the same Light.

With greetings from wintery Western Australia.

Virginia

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