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By Casey Iwanaga

Photo by Ryk Neethling

How is God seen in the media?

Little sparks of likes on posts, mentions, retweets and 30 second shout-outs to God in speeches

The one verse “everyone” should know is John 3:16

There are over 31,000 verses in The Bible, but only one that “saves”,

 one “worth mentioning”

 and the “most important one to know”

John 3:16 is important

The problem is God can’t just be reduced to that verse and isn’t

just that verse

God is 31,000 verses

More than any post or mention in the media

What people see of God on social media are shallow snapshots

tiny keyholes that show how God can work

how God can love and protect

If we put God in every media post, He would widen our view

Instead of one verse, He would become 31,000 verses

Instead of little sparks in media, He would become wildfires

Instead of snapshots in our life, He would become our life

Then we would have 31,000 ways to describe God

Instead of one verse

Casey Iwanaga is a junior at the University of California in Merced. Her father is a retired pastor currently serving as Chairman of the OMS Holiness Churches.

By Sarah D. Park

Photo by Marc Wathieu

As a writer, I can’t help but hope that as many people as possible will read something I’ve written. A high quantity of readers is a clear confirmation that I’ve written something that connected with people. Because really, what’s the point of writing something if no one will read it?

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By Diana Kim

With the realization that media, particularly social media, is not going away any time soon, many churches have joined various platforms to promote outreach and inform their communities. Throughout the pandemic, there has been an exponential increase of churches utilizing various digital platforms, including Facebook and Youtube, to livestream their services and document various events, allowing members to participate in spirit. During a time when people could not physically gather together to worship, these media platforms seemed to be a godsend, allowing people to worship in their homes and “gather” for small groups, life groups, and Bible Study while social distancing. 

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By Wendy Choy-Chan

Photo by Nate Grigg

When the phrase “the medium is the message” was coined in the 1960’s, the “medium” was a little black box with an antenna in every living room. Today, the “medium” has exploded to mean computers in every room and cell phones in every hand. As long as there is an internet connection, there is the medium.

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By Liz Chang

Photo by Official U.S. Navy Page

During my first year of college, only 7% of students were people of color there. This was very different from the public school social life I had growing up in New York City. I remember during my freshman year of college, we were doing a classroom ice breaker activity with instructions to find someone who ____ and have them sign their name in that box for BINGO. When a white student came up to me, I said to her, “Oh, I know which one you need me to sign. The one that says find someone of a race different from yours, right?” Her response was, “No, I don’t see you like that.” 

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By Tina Teng-Henson

οὐκ ἔνι Ἰουδαῖος οὐδὲ Ἕλλην, οὐκ ἔνι δοῦλος οὐδὲ ἐλεύθερος, οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ· πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς εἷς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ

ouk eni Ioudaios oude Hellēn, ouk eni doulos oude eleutheros, ouk eni arsen kai thēly; pantes gar hymeis heis este en Christō Iēsou

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus“.

The Wikipedia article on Galatians 3:28 captures the range of interpretations and meanings latent within this powerful Pauline declaration. It describes how powerful arguments have been made from these words in favor of gender equality but against slavery and racism. It connects it to other Biblical passages from Genesis to other Pauline epistles, which declare that the unity Jesus Christ establishes among us has the power to supersede every single other self-identifier that divides humanity. The article references the fact that Martin Luther King Jr cited this Bible verse “in a pamphlet oppositing racial segregation in the United States” in which he wrote, “Racial segregation is a blatant denial of the unity which we all have in Christ.” (Which goes to show once again that Wikipedia is not a bad place to start when doing basic internet research!)

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By Emi Iwanaga





“Then Job replied to the Lord: 
“I know that you can do all things; 
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
...My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭42:1-2,5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Light, space, zest— that’s God!
So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. 
I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing:
To live with him in his house my whole life long.
 I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet. 
That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, 
The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic. 
Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs: 
“Be good to me! Answer me!” 
When my heart whispered, “Seek God,” 
my whole being replied, “I’m seeking him!” 
I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth.
 Stay with God! Take heart. Don’t quit. 
I’ll say it again: Stay with God.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:1, 4-5, 7-9, 13-14‬ ‭MSG‬‬


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By Jerrica KF Ching

When I learned that I would need to do a reflection upon God and race, I felt a sudden rush of conflicting emotions.  The past several months have been extremely difficult to process, understand, and work through, given the countless amount of attacks upon the AAPI community, particularly the elderly.  These events have had me unearthing memories of my own upbringing that feel completely fresh and brand new, almost as though I am looking through them with a fresh new pair of eyes.  This process has caused my emotions to run from one extreme to the other, from recognizing how racism was prevalent for me even at a young age, and how interactions with others as an adult were merely swept under the rug repeatedly.

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By Melanie Mar Chow

Photo by Kevin Dooley

But we all, with unveiled faces, looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:18 NASB)

I only needed to look in a mirror each morning to be reminded of who I am. My mom would tell me how she came to terms with being different in her school growing up. I remember being excited to go to school as a child. It was fun to be in a room with people the same age as me, the same size as me plus or minus 5 inches, height or width, at least in kindergarten. It didn’t take long for that excitement to wither away when a pointed word from an honest child told me that I looked different or did things that were different. Within a year, it changed. Why was my hair straight and long, not curly? What was the black paper I was eating instead of a sandwich? Why did I not have a chocolate cupcake in my lunchbox? Why was there was a cookie with a piece of paper?

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By April Yamasaki

Photo by Marco Verch Professional Photographer

Last year when my church switched from worshipping together in person to worshipping together over Zoom, we kept the same format as much as possible. Those responsible for preparing our Sunday services still prepared a full liturgy focused around the lectionary Scripture readings. As usual, our worship time began with a call to worship; included songs and prayers, a time of confession and assurance, an affirmation of faith; and ended with a benediction. We celebrated communion on the first Sunday of the month, and I continued to preach once a month, with other speakers taking turns as usual.

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