A group of Asian American and Pacific Islander Christians who have recently formed a new group focusing on social justice issues has just announced plans to host a ground-breaking seminar to discuss the topic of gay Christians in the AAPI community.
The Asian American Pacific Islander Christians for Social Justice (AAPICSJ) asked Pastor Melvin Fujikawa to speak at a gathering on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St. (between Second and Third streets) in Little Tokyo.
According to organizers, the 56-year-old Fujikawa grew up at Gardena Valley Baptist Church and has served as a minister at various levels for such local churches as Union Church in Little Tokyo and Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles, and was most recently the senior pastor at Christian Layman Church in Berkeley.
Marian Sunabe, one of the leaders of AAPICSJ, stated, “Pastor Melvin Fujikawa is a well-known and beloved pastor in the Asian American community who has spent almost 35 years in active ministry. Pastor Melvin’s integration of faith and personal integrity make his story unique and compelling among gay Asian Christians, who often feel the need to abandon their faith when they ‘come out.’ The story of his personal journey will be life-changing for many — it’s a story that Christians in particular need to hear.”
Lawrence Joe, current chairperson of AAPICSJ, added, “AAPICSJ is not promoting an ethical position regarding the acceptance of gay lifestyle issues within the church, but rather the idea that Christian church members simply need to hear what their brothers and sisters in Christ are experiencing as they struggle with biblical scripture, modern mores, and real human emotions. I hope many Christians will come to hear Melvin share — and raise questions in an honest atmosphere without taking sides in what has been a heated and contentious issue.”