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This project is a unique compilation of theological reflections and stories of faith from Korean American women in various forms of ministry in the church. The main goal is to share their stories to provide a window of understanding into the trials of Korean American women in ministrya window that may serve as a mirror for other women who know what it is to be marginalized, overlooked, or prejudged based on their gender, ethnicity, culture, or appearance. The book's uniqueness is found in its various genres of writing—from sermons and theological reflections, to poetry and stories of personal journey—from women of various generations. Readers will be encouraged, inspired, and affirmation for other Asian American women called to Christian ministry. Their stories and voices add clarity, wisdom, and hope, enriching the overall landscape of writings in this field.
• A rare view inside the lives of Korean American female clergy as they experience the challenges and triumphs of ministry and life• A collection of reflections from Korean American clergywoman, including sermons which are prophetic, visionary, and biblical• Distinct voices that offer understanding of the wider immigrant and American churches
"One of the most significant insights coming from liberation theologies (black, feminist, womanist, etc.) is the importance of attending to and honoring the experiences of persons who face oppression due to power discrepancies. As a seminary professor who regularly finds himself teaching and working with Korean and Korean American women pursuing ordination, one of my persistent struggles has been finding resources to help my studentsall my students, not just Korean and Korean American womenrecognize and begin to address the contexts in which these women find themselves. The struggle is twofold: on the one side, there are far too few books that include reflections on such women's experiences. On the other side, such reflections need to highlight the particular contexts in which these women find themselves and also to provide stories with sufficient general "human interest" to help readers connect to those contexts. Here I Am: Faith Stories of Korean American Clergywomen succeeds on all these counts. Whether relaying stories of difficulties pursuing ordination, mothering, or connecting with family on both side of the Pacific or reflecting on the background conditions that make such difficulties distinct and acute, this book offers insights into the lives of a number of women who, in sharing their stories, help us all better understand our own stories and the complex ways we relate to people with other stories. If Amy Tan wrote stories about Korean and Korean American clergywomen, they might sound like this." Mark Douglas, Professor of Christian Ethics, Columbia Theological Seminary
"All of these stories are compelling and thoughtful, offering rigorous self-reflection that goes beyond the personal story to describe the way ministry is forged in the crucible of a "hybrid" life, a both-and existence in cultures where differences often lead to being demeaned or devalued. These leaders write of tenacious and examined faith rooted in difference, struggle, joy, and call. The accompanying sermons are solid examples of how stories can move proclamation toward Good News and help others reflect on their own stories as sites of God's grace. This book is a must-read in every context and across all the lines that divide us. I can hardly wait to use in it a course." Rev. Valerie Bridgeman, PhD, Associate Professor of Homiletics & Hebrew Bible, Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Founding President of WomanPreach! Inc.
"Here I Am is an engaging and inspiring read that brings together a diverse group of Korean American clergywomen to share stories, explore theology, and preach sermons. Each chapter reveals the unique challenges and joys experienced by these women. While educating those of us who are not women, clergy, or Korean American, the book also offers deep truths that can empower all of us on our journeys. Given the increasing diversity in the United States, this is a must-read for seminarians, pastors, and church leaders." Curtiss Paul DeYoung, Executive Director of Community Renewal Society (Chicago), Author of Coming Together in the 21st Century: The Bible's Message in an Age of Diversity (Judson)
Grace Ji-Sun Kim, MDiv, PhD, is an ordained minister within the PC(USA) denomination and Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Earlham School of Religion. She is author of ten other books, including The Grace of Sophia: A Korean North American Women's Christology and Theological Reflections on "Gangnam Style": A Racial, Sexual, and Cultural Critique, co-written with Joseph Cheah. Kim serves on several committees of the American Academy of Religion: co-chair of Women of Color Scholarship, Teaching and Activism Group, Research Grants Jury Committee, Comparative Theology Group, and Religion and Migration Group. She also blogs at Huffington Post, Sojourners and TIME.
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