May is designated as Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Bishop Ward and the Rev. Edgar De Jesus share thoughts on the recent violence against Asian-Americans.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ. May is Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. And it’s a joy to have a witness in this video from Reverend Edgar De Jesus, one of our clergy.
Thank you, Bishop Hope, for this gracious invitation. The month of May is designated as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month to recognize their contributions in our nation’s progress and development.
As an Asian-American, I remember my own story. I came to North Carolina following my parents and sister over 24 years ago. There was always a nagging question. Where do I fit as Filipino-American? Do I belong here? I always need to prove that I belong and am accepted as a part of the community.
The fear of the difference expressed in xenophobia and racism is a brutal reality among many Asian-American immigrants from generation to generation and even today. The most recent is the hate and violence against Asian-Americans across this country in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Christian and as an Asian-American leader in The United Methodist Church, I am in deep pain and want to speak out.
The Federation of Asian-American United Methodists crafted a very strong statement condemning this hatred and violence and it was overwhelmingly endorsed by our Asian and Asian-American bishops, General agency staff and Asian-American leaders and academics across our connection.
As we observe Asian/Pacific Heritage Month, may this be an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the great contributions made by our fellow brothers and sisters who are from Asian and Pacific descent. I invite my fellow United Methodists to pray for us and to join with us in strongly condemning the rising hate and violence against them and to be the church that is inclusive of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, social and economic status. Indeed, may the power of the Holy Spirit move us toward love, tolerance, and justice, all of which Jesus Christ modeled in His life, death, and resurrection.
Thank you Edgar for your strong witness. We want to join Edgar as strong witnesses against Asian-American Pacific Islander hate and violence. In this month, let us be vigilant as we learn, as we connect, and as we pray.