By Debbie Gin
Perhaps it’s because I’m a Sci-Fi nut, but I’ve always dreamed of how the future will look. Some call people who think like that “Futurists.” Okay, I’ll own that. Perhaps the most fascinating topic-to-date for me is the so-called “Singularity.” Briefly, it is the moment in the not-so-distant future where the exponential expansion of knowledge (i.e., not only is our knowledge expanding, but the rate of knowing is also expanding) reaches an event horizon, and our human capacity for that knowledge will not be able to accommodate any further increase in knowledge. (Check out the HuffPost Live interviews: http://ow.ly/glDj9)
I’ve also been fascinated by the Hebrew way of thought that focuses on the past —better put, where we’ve come from — in order to understand where we are today. Imagine rowing a boat or doing the backstroke. We mark today by observing the mileposts we’ve passed.
As the new director of AAWOL, I find myself looking in both directions: past and future. I’m grateful beyond words for what I’ve learned from my many mothers, women leaders who have taught me about integrity, guided me as I navigated through difficult waters, challenged me to consider beyond the provincial, and, in sum, shared their journeys with me. I can finally say I am not alone, and I am so thankful.
This first season of AAWOL has been about rootedness, finding, welcoming, and living into our various identities. Under the visionary leadership of our founder, Young Lee Hertig, the AAWOL core group and our multiple extended communities made great strides in bringing exposure to our mission, carrying our motto“Never Alone Again” to communities far and wide, including our book project to capture the stories of Asian American women leaders. Most recently, Azusa chapter meetings have been effective with a variety of topics surfacing (e.g., ordination, singleness and ministry implications for women, benefits and liabilities of the influence of Confucian philosophy and values, female rivalry, social anxiety, bamboo/glass ceilings, disappointment with God). In this very safe space we’ve created, each of us has been voluntarily open and transparent about our own baggage (i.e., old reference points and frameworks), firmly committed to authenticity, healing, and growth.
I see this next season as shifting from rootedness to blossoming. The chapter meetings have brought AAWOL to a place for exploration on thriving, living out of our newfound identities and into God’s sacred call to be leaders in our church and parachurch contexts. What this will look like, I too look forward to seeing! At minimum, we hope to establish additional AAWOL chapters for exploration in both rootedness and blossoming. If you’ve been longing for such a venue, contact me right away and let’s talk: firstname.lastname@example.org!
May your new year be a season of thriving, as you live out God’s call!
Dr. Debbie Gin is Director of AAWOL (Asian American Women On Leadership). She is a Senior Faculty Fellow in Faculty Development at Azusa Pacific University and an Associate Professor in Biblical Studies and Ministry at Haggard Graduate School of Theology. Debbie and her husband live in southern California.