ISAAC Newsletter for June 2014
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Bridging the Church and Academy to Transform Our Community

June 2014

Executive Director’s Recent Visit to Korea

My recent visit to Seoul, Korea, showed me the power of the Chinese consumer. From the airport to the subway, one can often hear Mandarin emitting from groups of tourists. South Korea is becoming more diverse every time I visit. One of the highlights was visiting an urban village called Sungmisan. Born out of a simple need for childcare among working urban dwellers, a retired faculty of Yonsei University started this village in the heart of Seoul. The child care facility grew into a preschool and eventually all the way into a high school. Many assume that Korean education entails high pressure and a cookie cutter approach and rote memorization. On the contrary, the Sungmisan school has developed an experiential and interactive curriculum that teaches ecological living, mutual responsibility, and civic engagement. For example, the roof features an ecological park and students grow their own vegetables. In a country that has gone through a rapid breakdown of the family unit, the Sungmisan Village offers urban dwellers a version of a traditional village that value community and humanity (for more information in English, check out Korea: Circles and Squares). While famed megachurches raise eyebrows with their exorbitant spending on exterior buildings, it was contemplative spirituality and ecological living that caught my attention on this trip.

The Need for Raising Bridge Builders

The generational disconnect among Asian North Americans results in historical amnesia, where even recent history is merely repeated rather than leveraged. Such historical disconnect undoubtedly stems in part from families neglecting to transmit our stories, as well as from the church’s focus on approaching biblical stories in a manner that glosses over our stories and our contexts. The relative scarcity of our stories and legacies this side of the shore further contributes to this disconnect. For these reasons, ISAAC exists to bridge this woeful historical gap and form alternative spaces to the assimilated mainstream. One such space is ISAAC’s Annual Symposium. The symposium provides a 3rd space of learning by gathering both scholars and church leaders for an invigorating series of discourses towards effective ministry that transforms our communities. 

See you all at the 6th Symposium, November 3-4, 2014, in Los Angeles!
Yours Faithfully,
Rev. Young Lee Hertig, PhD
Executive Director 
June 2014 Update of ISAAC Events and News

Keynote Speaker: Willie James Jennings, (Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School), as the keynote speaker.

Panel Response 1: Laura Mariko Cheifetz, David Choi, Kay Higuera Smith, Cecil “Chip” Murray, and Jonathan Tran.

Panel Response 2: Mimi Haddad, Charlene Jin Lee, Soong-Chan Rah, Annie Tsai, and Winfred B. Vergara.

Workshops: Michael Lee, Mark Whitlock, Sal Mendoza, James Yu (with English Ministry Fellowship) and others.

ANA Legacy Banquet: On Monday night, the ANA legacy banquet will honor an ANA leader who has contributed to both church and society. The nominating process will take place soon. Rapper Jason Chu and his band The Millennial will be also featured. The speaker for that evening is Damali Najuma Smith, an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) clergywoman and program manager of the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement. Please save the date—November 3-4, 2014—and look out for registration information on your way.

Sponsorship Needed
ISAAC’s symposia have relied on faithful support and sponsorship from individuals and ANA churches. We have dedicated volunteers who believe in bridging ethnic, generational, and gender disparities. Many who have supported all five symposia have made our intersectional conversations possible. Would you prayerfully consider supporting this year’s symposium and help foster rich dialogue between African American and ANA faith communities?

We appreciate Praise Church in New Jersey for sending the first donation, and believe that many more will sponsor the sixth Symposium.

Donations can be sent via PayPal (to: or check mailed to ISAAC, 826 Orange Grove Place, South Pasadena, CA 91030

New Board Chair: James Yu is ISAAC's second board chair. He has been involved with ISAAC's Symposium from the beginning and has been a faithful supporter. As an entrepreneurial pastor, he brings unique experience in the business world along with pastoral gifts. With his pastoral and entrepreneurial gifts, James will make ISAAC's mission more relevant to ANA churches.

We appreciate Russell Moy's leadership, which he has provided since the beginning in 2006 and to 2014 as a Chair of the ISAAC board. His fun-loving personality and relational skills have enhanced ISAAC's mission of bridging the church and academy. As a longtime member of SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) for more than three decades, he is a walking history of the guild.

New Board Members: Pastor Sam Koh has joined the board. Energetic and visionary, Sam pastors at Hillside Community Church in East LA, and is deeply committed to equipping the next generation of leaders. Sal Mendoza, SVP at City National Bank, also joined ISAAC board. He brings much needed gifts and expertise from the financial sector to the ISAAC board, and contributed to ISAAC’s 5th Symposium and the encore seminar. A native of Mexico, he carries his roots in his heart.
AAWOL News: Deborah Gin Hearn, Director of AAWOL and faculty at Azusa Pacific University, will be moving (as will her husband Michael) to Pittsburgh to serve as the Director of Innovation, Research, and Faculty Development at ATS (Association of Theological Schools). We rejoice with her for this coveted promotion and pray for her return in the near future, knowing that once an Angeleno, always an Angeleno.
ISAAC East: Milton Eng, ISAAC East Representative
Milton Eng, our ISAAC East representative, is partnering with the Bill Hybels' Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, August 14-15, and has joined the WCA to get the Super Early Bird rate of $149.  Anyone interested can purchase a discounted registration through ISAAC East at  
Registrants can attend at any one of over 300+ broadcast satellite locations, coast to coast.

A tenative workshop in the Fall will feature Amos Yong on the topic, "Should I Go to Seminary: Pursuing the Call to Church and the Academy."
ISAAC EXPRESS Blog: Contact either Russell Yee or Young Lee Hertig if you would like to contribute to the ISAAC EXPRESS Blog. Each month we select a different theme and contributions.
Copyright © 2014 ISAAC: Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity, All rights reserved.

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