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Photo by Renee Grayson

By April Yamasaki

When I first started my website, AprilYamasaki.com, I used the tagline “Spiritual Practice, Faith, and Life.” I really didn’t know what to call my new blogging venture, but I figured I had to start with something, and I could always change my title later.

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Photo by Scott Akerman

By Joy Wong

When it comes to my faith, it’s certainly not the first time I’ve felt lost. Like in college, when I was convinced that God had shown me my future husband, complete with divine signs and confirmations, only to find him engaged to someone else the following year. Or when I had left my evangelical Asian American church to join the PCUSA where women were encouraged to pursue ordination, only to find it supremely difficult to fit into any existing local PCUSA congregation. I remember telling my spiritual director that I felt like a football that was thrown, but then fumbled.

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By Ajung Sojwal

Photo by R Boed

In these uncommon times that we find ourselves in, I have come to realize how much I took for granted the practice of my faith in its liturgical and communal rhythm. Maybe because the spaces where faith got expressed in tangible ways seems to be shifting, maybe because a rugged cross, once again, got dragged through the crowd by a mob ready to kill for their version of truth barely six days into a new year, maybe, finally, I have learnt to listen for God’s voice — whatever it is, I find myself taking a serious inventory of all the people in my life, the place I happen to be, the things I treasure and the emotions within to understand the relevancy of my faith for this moment.

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By Angela Ryo

Photo by a.canvas.of.light

What does faith have to do with me and my life? How would I be different if I weren’t a person of faith? And what exactly do I have faith in? As I ask myself such questions, the person that comes to mind is the woman in the Bible who had been bleeding for 12 years. I had preached on it not too long ago and wanted to share an excerpt from my sermon:

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By Casey Iwanaga

Photo by Stock Catalog

“In God we trust” a phrase stamped on each coin, each bill, in speeches and papers that founded this nation, spoken by politicians who don’t mean it and people who don’t believe it. A phrase that gets tossed around during the calm and quickly forgotten during the storm, making us the hypocrites as we throw a fit. Asking God to change our circumstances, our politicians, our daily life, all to selfishly benefit ourselves just for a bit. How do we submit and genuinely mean that phrase when we wanna quit? We take a step back and let God work in us, bit by bit. Until we don’t need money, politicians or the world to remind us who we trust in. Until that phrase isn’t just relevant in our lives but ingrained in it, so when the calm or the storm comes we can wholeheartedly mean it.

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 Ricardo Franz

I am bothered when a church concerns itself about relevancy. That used to be quite the buzzword as we ruminated on how a church might be appropriate to its times and to the next generation.

But this past Sunday during church, my pastor spoke on the story of Eli and Samuel and by lectionary providence, she gave me the words to get to the bottom of my bother. Shame on me for only remembering the children’s Sunday school part of the story — when Eli helps Samuel respond to the voice of God — but Pastor Erina reminded us of the context before it, on why God communicated through Samuel of God’s coming judgment on Eli and Eli’s family.

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By Diana Kim

Photo by Marco Versch Professional Photographer

“Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.” -Karl Barth

Wednesday January 6, 2021 will go down in history as a dark day for democracy. The world was in shock — though unsurprised — to see thousands of Trump supporters storm the US Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. Described as a coup, domestic terrorism, insurrection, and sedition, the riot at the Capitol displayed the moral failings of our nation, as white men clearly marked in gear that depicts white nationalism and neo-Nazism claimed this to be the “beginning of the start of [the] White Revolution in the United States.”

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By Wendy Choy-Chan

Photo by Marco Verch Professional Photographer

2020 was a year of conflicts, here in many parts of the world including the US and Hong Kong. 2020 was a year of unrest, going through change after change with the Covid pandemic. 2020 was a year of testing of our faith, hoping that this time would soon pass. 

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By Tina Teng-Henson

Conflict is an apt word to reflect upon at the end of this tumultuous year of battling COVID, even though it is Christmastime. 

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By Liz Chang

Conflict is uncomfortable. Sometimes people embrace it and dive right into it gracefully or combatively. Other times, people do everything they can to avoid it or prevent it. 

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