1.5 generation from Southern California are strengthened to follow God’s calling as they attended the special seminar prepared by the leading Chinese-based theological seminary in Los Angeles.
Around 200 young adults of 1.5 generation from over 16 Chinese churches gathered at the Evangelical Formosan Church of Los Angeles (EFCLA) on Saturday, March 18 for the featured seminar entitled, "The Forgotten Future Stars- 1.5 Generation Grand Gathering: Changing Water into Wine." The seminar was hosted by the Logos Evangelical Seminary (LES). Most of the participants aged from 23-30.
The content for the seminar on Saturday included worship music, drama, DVD, testimony and a keynote message delivered by Dr. Ekron Chen, the Academic Dean at LES.
For the drama performance, it was presented by students from the LES. It features real people, real scene and real story of the 1.5 generation, showing that LES is a 1.5 generation-friendly seminary, Dorcas said.
One of the 1.5 generation teachers from the seminary- Amy Lin- gave her testimony. Coming to the U.S. at the age of 11, Amy has learnt to become very independent since her teenage. She received her Ph.D. on counseling at the University of California, Santa Barbara and she was a Clinical Post-Doctoral Fellow at Azusa Pacific University. After she came to know God in the church, she wondered if she has achieved all these for God or for herself only. While she worked as a counselor at the hospital, she had a chance to provide counseling courses at LES. As she came to realize that God has allowed her to serve with both Chinese and English language at LES, she believed that was a calling of God and she began serving full time at LES. Amy’s testimony is very powerful to show that realizing the precious gift from God to the 1.5 generation is very important.
As the seminar aims to be a gathering for 1.5 generation across different churches to meet each other and help them appreciate their precious gifts from God, it has proven to be very successful. Around 10 pastors for the 1.5 generation have also involved.
Among all participants, about one third came from the Evangelical Formosan Churches in LA, Rowland Height, Hacienda Height, Orange County, Ivine, and the rest was consisted of the congregation from the Bread of Life Christian Church, the Chinese Evangelical Free Church, the Lutheran Church, the Baptist Church, Home of Christian Church, New Hope Christian Church and other local churches, according to Dorcas Siah advancement department officer at LES.
Many of the 1.5 generation are very encouraged to be able to meet many other brothers and sisters of similar background from other churches, breaking down their ideas of seeing themselves as minorities, based on the feedback of the 127 response card collected.
During the lunch fellowship after the seminar, all participants are being divided into 23 groups. Some groups are made of members from the same church, while the others are mixed. With a host from LES assigned to each dinning table, participants were able to have meaningful discussion and to seek for advices in a very relaxed environment, Dorcas explained.
LES has also celebrated that the seminar has helped the 1.5 generation appreciate their precious gifts from God. Dorcas reported that some 28 participants are willing to engage in further programs that will equip them for ministries.
"Some of the churches have not emphasized on giving guidance to the 1.5 generation, while some other churches do concern about them, but they don’t have enough resources. LES is committed to support the 1.5 generation who has received the calling from God. We train and equip them, and send them back to their churches. Hopefully they can become the leader of the church to guide others of similar background," Dorcas shared the very special vision of LES.
Dorcas added that there may have a lot of education resources and training programs for the first generation Chinese and the second generation Chinese, but resources for 1.5 generation are actually very limited.
"Our seminary wants to show the 1.5 generation that we care about them. And we hope that the Chinese churches will also realize the double blessings received by the 1.5 generation, who has a unique bilingual and bicultural background. They [1.5 generation] are the future of the church as well," Dorcas said.
When asked about how to continue the support for the 1.5 generation after this seminar, Dorcas suggested that mentorship program, discipleship program and workshops are going to be offered for them later, and those will be more focused trainings on biblical and theological knowledge; on Christian life and serving.