California

OPEN WOUND, OPEN TABLE: A THEOLOGICAL EXPLORATION OF HOLY COMMUNION AS PRACTICED BY THE BORDER CHURCH/LA IGLESIA FRONTERIZA

Author
Seth David Clark D.Min.
Abstract
This study explores the Border Church, which worships across the San Diego-Tijuana border fence at Friendship Park, and how its weekly bi-national, bilingual, nonsectarian communion service, intersects with the lived realities of its borderlands congregants. Through participant-witness ethnography of my congregation and five semi-structured, open-ended interviews, I examine how God is experienced in Christian practices, especially communion, at the border wall. I conclude that borderlands experiences are not monolithic, which counters false groupings of and “othering” tropes about migrants, deportees, and activists. I also theologize about unity amid division and how to make the bread of the table even more open.

AN EXAMINATION OF SELECT PRACTICES IN CHINESE IMMIGRANT CHURCHES THAT ARE REACHING SECOND GENERATION AMERICAN BORN CHINESE

Author
Don Laing D.Min.
Abstract
The challenge of the Chinese immigrant church (CIC) in America is the ongoing departure of its second-generation, American-born Chinese (ABC), now commonly called the “silent exodus.” The Overseas Born Chinese (OBC) leaders of these CICs need to champion a clear and compelling vision of reaching these ABCs that rises above retention. In addition, these OBC leaders will need to incorporate two more practices to reach their second-generation: (1) embrace a biblical culture above either culture of origin and (2) create processes that empowers the second-generation in leadership. This research project evaluated these three practices within three churches that were determined to be reaching their second-generation.
This dissertation was divided into three parts. It opened with a literature review that examined each of the three practices relating to vision, culture and leadership. The dissertation then continued with the construction of the research procedure, utilizing the case study approach. Three Chinese immigrant churches were chosen for this study: Houston Chinese Church, Mandarin Baptist Church of Los Angeles and West Houston Chinese Church. The qualitative research method was applied to handle the field research portion of this study including but not limited to site visits, interviews, and the follow-up questionnaire. The findings of this project were discussed and evaluated regarding the significance of them and the recommendations for future study. The case studies affirmed the significance of each of the three hypotheses.
Subscribe to California