DEAR EAM-ACAM JOINT FILIPINO CONVOCATION

First of all, Thank you Cherrylin for this communication. The Schedule of Activities seems so well organized.  I hope everyone on “Angie’s List” (there’s a business company with this name but what I mean is the list of FilCon emails which Angie Cabanban generated from Registration On Line) has received this Schedule. Note: If anyone thinks there are other names to be included, please inform Cherrylin; do not hit “Reply All” but email her directly to: longidchearl@hotmail.com. (And if you must reply to my email, don’t hit “Reply All” but only hit “Reply” or email me directly wvergara@episcopalchurch.org.

I am just concluding my trip here in Minnesota, thanking God for a very successful Southeast Asian Convocation but I am already excited for the FilCon Event on August 4-6. Due to our limited subsidy from Asiamerica Office, we did not really advertise this event outside of FilCon Network but it is amazing that we have a list of over 100 registrants. We ran out of hotel rooms so to those who booked their own hotels or staying with relatives and friends, thank you for your kind understanding. Considering that you have to spend for your airfares and registration, we are just amazed at the level of interest from you. The theme of this event is “On Board the Jesus Movement” and it seems that our share in the cruise line is full. 

We thank God for the Rev. Wilmer Toyoken and ACAM, the Rev. Brent Quines, Jr. and the Rev. Gerry Engnan, our EAM FilCon co-conveners for organizing, planning and coordinating this event. The EAM Ethnic Convocations are sort of “on-the-job-leadership-training opportunities for the Conveners” and it looks to me that Wilmer, Brent and Gerry—and Cherrylin—are doing excellent jobs. This is an historic event as both Filipino-American Episcopalians and Filipino-Canadian Anglicans come together. (Last year we had the EAM Japanese Convocation and ACAM).

 I am grateful for the presence and support of Bishop Diane Bruce of the Diocese of Los Angeles; she is always very supportive of the whole EAM and the New Community. Bishop Melissa Skelton, due to previous commitment, is unable to make it but she is very supportive of this event and sending her representative, The Ven. Philippa Segrave-Pride, Archdeacon of Burrard who will welcome us on behalf of the Diocese of New Westminster. Canon Bruce Woodcock of Asia-Pacific Partnership may also be able to attend depending on his arrival from Asia. Most of all we thank the clergy and faithful of St. Michael’s Anglican Multicultural Church for hosting us and for providing additional subsidy for meals.

 Please note that communications regarding this Event be directed either to Cherrylin through her email (longidchearl@hotmail.com) or through call/text to Wilmer (604) 780-2419 and Brent (626) 622-8207 or me (646-510-6918). As we are all engaged in Digital Evangelism, I suggest we use #EAM-ACAMJointFilipinoConvocation as our common hashtag. Any photo, reflection, or information you send on Facebook or Twitter on this Event shall bear this hashtag. Let us pray:

 O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go: preserve those who travel (especially the EAM Filipino Convocation traveling to and from Vancouver, Canada). Surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger; and bring them in safety to their journey’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (From BCP).

 May God bless you, your families, your churches and ministries. See you soon

Fred+ 
The Rev. Canon Dr. Winfred Vergara
Missioner for Asiamerica Ministries
The Episcopal Church
(646)510-6918 Facebook: Fred Vergara (The Episcopal Church)

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What’s ahead in 2017

   CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2017

The Asiamerica & Pacific Islanders Ministries Office (APIMO) “inspires, coordinates, empowers leadership and allocates resources with and among the seven (7) Asian & Pacific Islanders Ethnic Convocations in partnership with the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministries (EAM) Council and communicates their works to the wider Church and vice versa.”

The following Ethnic Convocational Gatherings are scheduled for 2017:

1. Chinese Convocation: February 20-22 at Cathedral Retreat Center, 840 Echo Park, Los Angeles (Contact the Rev. Merry Chan Ong, Email: revmerry@oursaviouroakland.org)

2. Japanese Convocation: June 17-19 in Cathedral Retreat Center, 840 Echo Park, Los Angeles (Contact Dr, Gayle Kawahara, Email: gnkscdds@sbcglobal.net)

3. Southeast Asian Convocation: July 28-29 in Holy Apostles’, St. Paul, Minnesota (Contact Ms. Hahn Tran, Email: quevn614@gmail.com)

4. Filipino Convocation jointly with ACAM (Anglican CanAsian Ministry):August 4-6 at St. Michael’s and All Angels, Vancouver, Canada. (Contact: Rev. Brent Quines, Jr., Email: brentsbp@yahoo.com)

5. Korean Convocation – TBA 6. South Asian Convocation- TBA 7. Pacific Islanders Convocation -TBA

There are also Pan-Ethnic Events sponsored by the Ethnic Ministries of the Episcopal Church:

June 12-15:  Why Serve Discernment for Young Adults of Color (Venue TBA)
July 19-22: New Community Clergy & Lay Conference, Camp Allen, Texas

Among Church-wide events highly recommended are:
(Check out www.episcopalchurch.org)   
April 19-20: Genesis Gathering for Church Planters/Developers   
July 10-15: Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) at the University of Central Oklahoma
Sept 23-24: Revival in Diocese of Georgia Nov. 17-19: Revival Diocese of San Joaquin

For more information about APIMO, contact: The Rev. Canon Dr. Winfred B. Vergara, Missioner (wvergara@episcopalchurch.org) . Other Facebook is FredVergara3.

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Kyungho Peter Lee elected Bishop Coadjutor

Kyungho Peter Lee was elected Bishop Coadjutor for the Diocese of Seoul. He is former Dean of the Cathedral and currently serving Gansuk Parish in the Incheon Area.

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Fred Vergara – OPEN LETTER TO A FILIPINO AMERICAN FRIEND WHO URGED ME TO VOTE FOR TRUMP

Fred Vergara 
November 1 at 11:16pm · 

 OPEN LETTER TO A FILIPINO AMERICAN FRIEND WHO URGED ME TO VOTE FOR TRUMP

Dear ,
I am glad to hear from you. I am taken aback, however, by your urging me to vote for Donald Trump this coming November 8. In your letter, you compared and contrasted the two candidates, favoring Trump and concluded “which one would you choose, she who is for evil or he who is for good?”

This election has been one of the most divisive in history but it also generated a lot of interest. Both candidates are equally flawed and so my choice will not be based on their sordid past but on how they dealt with it. All of us have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. We are all sinners in God’s redeeming. Hillary acknowledged her carelessness in handling her emails and vowed not to make the same mistake; Trump was reported to have abused several women and instead of being repentant,he seems to be proud of it and vows to take these women to court.

As a shrewd businessman Trump lacks compassion. Part of our baptismal vows in the Episcopal Church is to “respect the dignity of every human being.” Trump not only disrespects individuals but also slurs racial and cultural dignity. Building walls instead of bridges, bullying and demonizing even his fellow Republicans, generalizing Mexicans as “rapists and criminals” and Filipinos as “animals” (when he should have specified it was the Abu Sayyaf he was referring to) are not the behavior of a Christian.

Although he cozies up with the Evangelicals, you don’t really know what his faith is. When asked what was his favorite Scripture he said, “the one which says ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’,” an ancient penal code abrogated by Jesus. Mahatma Gandhi said if we live with that code, “we will leave the world toothless and blind.”

I travel all over the states for my job and I sense people’s anxieties. Though they used to be passive, there are now many Asian Americans who are actively participating, and they would not vote for Trump. There are however some Filipino Americans who will vote for him and their reason is the same as some white men who are worried about the undocumented people taking their jobs. This fear of the other has given birth to racism and bigotry. Are some Filipino Americans suffering from internalized oppression, vestiges of Euro-American imperialism?

Whenever we think of racism, it usually connotes black and white and Asians seem to glory in the designation that we are “the model minority.” They call us the model because we do not make waves and we often suffer in silence. The truth of the matter is that there are at least three glaring racist acts against Asians by the dominant culture.

In 1880’s when they had helped the mining industry and built the transcontinental railroads, the Chinese immigrants were becoming prosperous, so the dominant culture demonized them as “the yellow peril.” Then in 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was promulgated. As the Europeans were being welcomed in Ellis Island in New York, Angel Island in San Francisco became the clearing house of mass deportation of Chinese immigrants.

The initial wave of Filipino immigration started in 1906-1930’s when we were colonized by America (it was in 1946 after WW II that we finally gained autonomy). There were two kinds of immigrants: students and farmers. The students (“pensionados” or fountain pen boys) were educated in America and sent back to Philippines to become colonial leaders of American style democracy. The farm workers in California were young Ilocano males. They were not allowed to bring their brides and prohibited from marrying by virtue of the “anti-miscegenation laws.” So a whole generation of Filipino Manongs lived and died as a “bachelor society,” not having the right and joy to have families of their own.

In 1942 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the onset of the Pacific War, some 250,000 Japanese from the West Coast, many of them American citizens were placed in concentration camps in remote places “because they looked like the enemy.” They were told it was for their protection but why was it that the guns were pointed inside the camps?

Trump’s profiling of Mexicans, Muslims and refugees resemble exclusionary movements of the past.

When Obama became president, it shattered the myth that “only Euro-Americans can lead this country.” If Hillary gets elected, it will shatter another myth that “only men can lead this country.” What is great in this country is that we continue to move forward in inclusion, not exclusion. I wonder what Trump’s slogan “great again” means. A return to Jim Crow?:

I believe that whoever wins next week (Trump or Hillary), should address himself or herself to heal and reunite this greatly polarized country. And it requires listening, compassion and humility. Which of the two has the greater sensitivity to these values will be the lesser evil or the greater good and will have my vote.

May God indeed guide and bless America.
Fred

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EAM Filipino Convocation Aug 5 – 7, 2016

Online Registration through this link

EAM Filipino Convocation

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