Coming Together as the Family of God
by Michael Khong
Conflicts between different cultures can also be found in the church setting. The article of Case Study No. 7 is a good example of these. In the Riverdale community, there is an adult religious education program. In the past five years, people from Southeast Asia and Korea have migrated into that community. This short article talks about the conflict between Mr. John Kim, a Korean migrant, and Leah Watson, the Adult Religious Education Director. For this paper, I will summarize the article and a similar conflict in my home parish.
A certain Korean named Mr. John Kim came to pastor Ted Jones to complain about the religious education program. John Kim says that during the program meetings, they are asked to share very personal and emotional stories. He says this is a very American orientation and the Asians are uncomfortable with it. He requests that a separate program be created specifically for the Asian members of the church congregation, something that suits this conservative culture.
Leah Watson, the Director of the Religious Education Program, disagrees. She says they don't have enough money in the budget to form a separate group. Also, if they give in to John Kim's request, then they would have to give in to every request from different groups that would come along the way.