Last evening my husband Steve and I welcomed some amazing people to our home for a BBQ: the Rev. Anna Olson, her husband Steve and daughters Lea and Naomi, the Rev. Ada Wong-Nagata and her husband Ronnie, the Rev. Joshua Ng and his wife Allison, the Rev. Peter Browning, the Rev. Barbara Stewart, Canon Robert Williams, Chris Tumilty, the Rev. John Kim, the Rev. Aidan Koh, the Rev. James Park (from Korea) and Archbishop Paul Kim of Korea. The purpose was to meet the Archbishop and to talk with him about ministry opportunities here in our diocese with the Korean community.
It was a relaxed evening, yet it was one in which mission and ministry was discussed and new friendships were forged. Among the most wonderful moments was when Lea, Anna's daughter spent time with the Archbishop and the Korean clergy -- she can understand and speak Korean as she is in a bilingual school in Koreatown! The Archbishop was MORE than impressed. All the Korean clergy were raving about Lea. It was wonderful!
I wonder what the Archbishop will find the next time he wanders back to Southern California? Certainly I'll be ready with another BBQ!
Friday, June 29, 2012
It happened last night in Koreatown. Members of the Diocesan staff and some clergy, the CEO of Good Samaritan Hospital, the Pastoral Care team at the hospital, and the Archbishop of Korea all sat down for a meal.
Why was this group together at a restaurant last night in Koreatown?This group came together as a result of a breakfast at the Hospital last year. The Reverends Jerry Anderson and Ron David invited me to breakfast. We met first with Susan Harlow, their boss. Over breakfast I asked them ,"What demographic do you have problems serving?" They told me that at any given time up to 30% of the hospital patients are non-English speaking Koreans. As I had just come from Korea where the Archbishop asked me to help him find a 3 to 6 month opportunity for his clergy to experience the American Church, the bells went off in my head.
In January of this year a priest and a seminarian came over for the six month Clinical Pastoral Education program at Good Samaritan. It was a match made in heaven.
During dinner, the CEO of the hospital and the Archbishop hit it off and quickly discovered they shared similar dreams of mission opportunities. Their faces lit up like Christmas trees as they spoke together. Listening to their conversation was like watching two long lost brothers meet and realize their lives were on parallel tracks. The Spirit was moving very quickly in the room!
I give thanks that I was able to pull this group together, but I give even greater thanks to the hospital, the Diocese of Seoul for embracing the original idea, the clergy in this diocese who embraced the women and made them feel that they are part of our diocese, and of course the two women who were the ambassadors for this project from Korea. Most importantly, I am in awe of the Spirit and her wisdom. For me, it was a dream come true.
I wonder what will happen the next time these two men come together and talk?