Tag Archives: Bruce Reyes-Chow

A simple pleasure I am thankful for

Simple Pleasure - November 9

Coffee with a good friend at a new place – Philz Coffee

Traci Smith, author of Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home has provided a gift of the November 2018 Gratitude Every Day calendar. I am using it as an opportuity to revisit photos and post them as they speak to gratitude.

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Decent people

I oppose the death penalty for a number of reasons. Andrew Stroehlein, European Media Director of Human Rights Watch, expressed one of the most important reasons in these terms:

You don’t reject the death penalty because the criminals are decent people. You reject the death penalty because you are decent people.

 

 

Our position on the death penalty says as much about us and our characters as it does about the person and the character of the person facing the death penalty.

Brian, the wife of my friend Bruce Reyes-Chow,  was murdered at his place of work in 2008. In the wake of the execution of Kelly Gissendaner and the four executions (Richard Glossip’s execution was stayed until Nov. 6 due to questions about the lethal injection drug that would have been used) scheduled between now and October 7, Bruce shares some “Thoughts on the Death Penalty and Remembering Brian.” He writes in part:

We are that family who has lost a loved one and we do not believe that the death penalty is right, just, or humane. Did the killer of Brian extend the same compassion, justice, or humanity, no. Are there times when rage and sadness manifest themselves into wanting revenge, certainly. But we also know that responding to evil with evil, hate with hate, and murder with murder pays no honor to the person that Brian was or to the world that he hoped we would become.

So for the very reason that so many scream. “Death! Justice! Vengeance!” in honor of the person who has been lost, even in the midst of our own rage, sadness, and our own yearning for retribution, we plead, “Life! Compassion! Dignity!” in honor of the person we lost.

Our position on the death penalty says as much about us and our characters as it does about the person and the character of the person facing the death penalty.

I am honored that Bruce and his family have chosen to be friends with me.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Current Events, Death Penalty, Friends

BRC and Friends Interview on “Theological Reflections on Gangnam Style”

Check it out. My friend Bruce interviews my friend Grace about Theological Reflections on Gangnam Style, a book Grace wrote with Joseph Cheah.

Grace Ji-Sun Kim

Tweet-Steeple-Cover-300x400We have some really talented Presbyterian Ministers.  The Rev. Bruce Reyes Chow is such a person.

He is the author of Social Media in the Church and has his google plus hangouts.  On October 21, 2014, he interviewed Dr. Joseph Cheah and myself on our new co-written book, Theological Reflection on Gangnam Style.

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Bruce Reyes-Chow: “But I Don’t See You as Asian”

racecoversmallMy friend Bruce Reyes-Chow has written a book on race that I look forward to reading: But I Don’t See You as Asian: Curating Conversations about Race.

Bruce describes his reason for writing as:

If you’ve ever wanted to cultivate honest conversations about race, this book is my attempt at offering ways to help make that happen.

He reflects on his hope for the book in these words:

My hope is that by sharing my story – the joys and the struggles – this book will compel folk to enter a space where they can get at some of the assumptions, misunderstandings and intentions about race so that deeper connections and relationships can be had.

You can get a sense of his perspective as well as the flavor of his writing from some of his earlier articles:

Bruce notes that:

It is also my hope that you will find the time, faith and courage to jump into these conversations with an openness that challenges the expectations of the world around race.

I plan to take that jump. I assume that Bruce’s book will challenge my expectations around race. And I hope that I will be better equipped to engage in conversations that will help me challenge expectations around race and realities around racism. I will let you know.

Here’s how you can get a copy and learn more:

PURCHASE: [paperback $14.99] [kindle $9.99] [itunes $9.99] [nook $9.99] [signed gift copy $14.99]
CONNECT: [twitter] [facebook page] [reviews on Pinterest] [reviews on amazon]
AUTHORGRAPH: [Have your electronic copy signed]

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Antiracism, Books, Friends

My friend Bruce is writing a book

My friend Bruce is writing a book. I am supporting his effort. You can read why below or you can just take the plunge and become a supporter too.

No . . . where are you FROM?A Book on Race by Bruce Reyes-Chow

During a trip to San Francisco, when I served as the Presbyterian Church’s associate for antiracism training, I asked a number of friends, colleagues, and wise people who I should meet for conversations about race and racial justice. A number of individuals were named, but one individual was named on a regular basis.

Bruce Reyes-Chow.

I listened. I contacted Bruce. And, over coffee, we met for the first time.

Our conversation ranged across the landscape of the social construction of race and the deconstruction of the structures put into place by racism. We explored the different perceptions of race held by different generations … the different experiences of raced lived by different generations … the differences between racism as experienced on the West Coast and in the Mid West and in other parts of our county. And we experienced the commonalities interwoven within these distinctions.

In the short time we spent together, I developed a deep respect for Bruce, the seeds of friendship were planted, and I realized that he has a voice I and others need to hear on questions related to race. Of course, listening to each other applies to all people. The difference is that Bruce is writing a book.

Bruce will self-publish No … where are you FROM?  He is in the process of raising funds through Kickstarter. I am proud to be a backer – even though I will receive no Pittsburgh Steelers swag as a result – despite my many suggestions of how that would enhance the project to my San Francisco 49ers supporting friend (comments about the results of this weekend’s games will be deleted).

Bruce describes his reason for writing as:

If you’ve ever wanted to cultivate honest conversations about race, this book is my attempt at offering ways to help make that happen.

He reflects on his hope for the book in these words:

My hope is that by sharing my story – the joys and the struggles – this book will compel folk to enter a space where they can get at some of the assumptions, misunderstandings and intentions about race so that deeper connections and relationships can be had.

You can get a sense of his perspective as well as the flavor of his writing from some of his earlier articles:

Bruce notes that:

it is also my hope that you will find the time, faith and courage to jump into these conversations with an openness that challenges the expectations of the world around race.

I plan to take that jump. I assume that Bruce’s book will challenge my expectations around race. And I hope that I will be better equipped to engage in conversations that will help me challenge expectations around race and realities around racism.

Thanks Bruce for writing this book (even if you are a heretic and you talk to your cat – it’s on the Internet, it must be true).

I’m a supporter and I urge others to become supporters as well!

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Antiracism, Books, Friends, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Down by (or near) the Riverside

Saturday 30 June brought Riverside Conversations (the convention center is on the Allegheny) at the 220th General Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Commissioners, advisory delegates, and others gathered to consider a range of topics. Some conversations looked at issues before the assembly, some at broader topics in the life of the church.

My friend and colleague Irene Pak and I (our mutual friend and colleague Bruce Reyes-Chow took the photo for us) led an introductory conversation on the church’s need to address racism if we wish to live into the wondrous diversity God creates.

We started with prayer and then had participants (somewhere near 50 in number) introduce themselves and share an experience of diversity. A brief reflection on diversity, race (social construct built on the diversity God creates) and racism (people with power granting themselves privilege based on that construct) followed. We acknowledged that the Presbyterian Church has a mixed record on race and racism – as do all churches and institutions. We have helped create racism – we help perpetuate racism – and we help dismantle racism. A litany affirming God’s intention that we live together in diversity and reminding us of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s commitment followed.

The group then heard three remarkable stories of efforts to dismantle racism: the work of the Presbytery of Pittsburgh that began with a focus on slavery in Western Pennsylvania; the New Beginning Initiative toward reconciliation between the Alaska Natives and Presbyterians; and a range of efforts that focus on racism in the criminal justice system.

Participants then used Mutual Invitation to engage in conversations about what they had heard. The event closed with the song “I’m Going to Live So God Can Use Me” as our prayer.

In my closing observations, I noted that working to dismantle racism is a calling for a life-time. It is ongoing work. It is challenging work. It involves us in encountering other systems of oppression, privilege, and domination. It is a journey. But it is a journey God calls us to make. And it is a journey on which we have wonderful traveling companions.

See you along the Trail.

 

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Filed under Antiracism, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)