A huge annual Bay Area Sunday School Convention has attracted the active participation of many pastors and ministry leaders of Chinese churches in San Francisco.
On March 2-4, Bay Area Sunday School (BASS) Convention 2006 will be held at Redwood Chapel Community Church, Castro Valley. It is going to be the 43th year such conference is held. While Bay Area is characterized by diverse ethnic mix, not only American churches will attend the event, but also some Asian American or Chinese churches are to be presented.
The Conference features a wide range of workshops tailor-made for various groups and ministries. There are workshops offered by experts to address a wide range of top issues related to cultural differences among Asian Americans.
General Director of MESA (Ministries for English Speaking Asians) Rev Louis Lee will give the lecture "How to Help Our Kids Become the Best Students They Can Be", which shares how to raise kids in God’s principles for many Asian parents tend to overemphasize on academic achievement and neglect their interpersonal development.
Winnis Chiang, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Founder and Director of Parenting ABC, will speak on "Parenting American Born Chinese" in Cantonese language. Many overseas born Chinese parents may find it difficult to guide their American-born with a Chinese style of parenting because American culture is very different; therefore the workshop aims to give some effective strategies.
Dr. Sam Leong, an experienced San Francisco-based Psychotherapist Christian Psychotherapy Services will address on "Where East Meets West: Connecting with Our Fathers." There are often relationship problems between father-son in Asia families. Through a combination of didactic and experiential means, the workshop helps participants to realize the lack of connection, possible reasons for it, and some suggestions for re-connecting will be covered.
Some workshops on children’s ministry are to be presented by some Chinese lay leaders as well. Christina Ho, a Field Worker from the California-based Child Evangelism Fellowship is in charge of the workshop "Transforming Children: Teaching Kids to Establish a Daily Quiet Time with God." Isabelle Ng from the Cumberland Presbyterian Chinese Church in San Francisco will teach basic balloon art and uses balloon sculpting techniques to present the Gospel. Participants will learn to make balloon snake, hearts, crosses, swords, crowns, and flowers to share God's love for sinners and our need for redemption
Speaking to Ada Chau, Children CE Coordinator of the Cumberland Presbyterian Chinese Church in San Francisco, she said around 30-40 lay leaders from different ministries in the Church would be going to the BASS convention this year. Actually, the Church has also been participating in the annual event every year and found it very useful.
"The quality of all workshops is different. Some of them are more detailed, some others, however are less focused. This allows lay leaders to have a wide range of choices. For those who are less experienced, they can go to entry level ones; for the more senior leaders, they can choose more complicated ones," said Chau.
In these few years, small number of Cantonese-speaking workshops has been introduced along with the majority English ones. Probably, according to Chau, it is due to the more active participation of Chinese churches in Bay Area.
Chau highly recommended the keynote speakers of the Conference, including one of America’s most effective pastors and teachers, Pastor Tony Evans from Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas, and Chip Ingram, Teaching pastor on Living on the Edge and President of Walk Thru the Bible.
Booths are set up at the venue for Christian publishers, camps, bookstores and organizations, to showcase their products and ministries. Chau suggested that will provide a lot of update materials for lay leaders in terms of ministry management.
Some church leaders from the 125-year-old Chinese mega church First Chinese Baptist Church (FCBC) in San Francisco, will also attend the Conference, according to Pastor Chris Otani, coordinator of Christian Education of FCBC.