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2011- Big Tent: Having what it takes: God commands service, provides resources, Asian-American Presbyterians told

INDIANAPOLIS (PNS) Faced with feeding a large crowd with just a few loaves and fishes, the disciples hear these words from Jesus: “You give them something to eat.”

“All they could think to do was to send them away. Either we believe Jesus didn’t know what he was talking about, or we believe that God, knowing what we have, gives us a command,” the Rev. Sunny Kang, a pastor from Southern California, told the National Asian Presbyterian Council Wednesday, June 29, at the Big Tent conference here.

Asian-American churches sometimes look at their resources – those five loaves and two fishes – “and think we don’t have what it takes,” he said. “But Jesus’ command was to go take care of people.”

The group also heard a series of five challenges for 2012 from the Rev. Mei Hui Lai, Asian congregational support staff:

    * Read the Bible through Jesus’ eyes, standing for powerless people;

    * Work to improve church membership, attendance and giving;

    * Recruit Asian members and pastors to translate PC(USA) curricula “to encourage every Asian congregation to fully participate in the PC(USA);”

    * Designate a liaison in each congregation to help build an Asian congregational network that bridges congregations and the General Assembly office;

    * Emphasize youth ministry and get youth to work together both locally and regionally.

“Don’t worry about where the money will come from,” she said. “Our God is so kind that God will provide.”

Mike Ferguson is a member of the United Presbyterian Church in Lone Tree, Iowa, and a reporter for the Muscatine Journal, the newspaper where Mark Twain got his start. A regular contributor to Presbyterian News Service, he is covering the National Elders Conference at Big Tent for PNS.