Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Moment (SEALS 2008)

A beautiful moment of generational reconciliation at the South East Asian Leadership Summit (SEALS), March 2008, Open Door Presbyterian Church, Hearndon, Virginia

As described in Chapter 6, I attribute the possibility of this moment in part to the attention we gave to culturally contextualized worship, such that these first-generation pastors could see that second-generation leaders were not forgetting who they were.

Elder Chiv Taing, translated by Pastor Amra Phou
On behalf of the first generation . . . 
We do have that dream
Of coming to the land of opportunity
And, you see, we came from a war-torn country
And we came here
And we tend to have that protectiveness, 
Not allow the second generation
Not allow, our children
To be led by the Lord
We tend to be too protective
And we failed to recognize the leading of God
To move to the next generation

And on behalf of the first generation
I would like to apologize for that

Let you go, let you go . . .

[ I want to cry too ]

I would like to seek forgiveness from all of you,
On behalf of the first generation
I should have recognized the power of God 
And allowed God's work within the church
To prepare the church, to build a bridge
For the next generation
And from this conference I will go back 
And educate my people
And let them realize that we need to let go of the next generation
Allow God to work
To build a bridge to bless throughout generations
Not just words, but I'm going to go back, and commit to pray to the God of Jacob
To lead you guys in the way of the Lord

You guys, its O.K.
God bless you guys from now on
And be strong

And I would like to bless you
And encourage all of you to continue to be the light of the world
And the way you continue to serve each other,
The first and second generations
And allow God to lead all of us
Thank you.

(Of course, the younger generation surely has plenty to ask forgiveness for as well. For an excellent reflection on the differing generations and what they can learn from each other and give to each other, see Ken Fong's Pursuing the Pearl, especially his "Three Letters" in chapter 9.)

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