STORYARC INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS

Artists

Mondo Scott

Mondo Scott is the Creative Director at Pax. His other creative side hustles include design, photography and mentoring urban youth in the digital arts at AMP Los Angeles, where he serves on the Board of Directors. He also serves on the Pastoral team at Ecclesia Hollywood in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife Salena and daughter Selah.

Phung Banh

Phung Banh is a Vietnamese graphic designer and illustrator who is currently based in Dallas, Texas. As a Vietnamese woman with parents of Chinese descents, she was raised to embrace and celebrate other cultures. This upbringing now fuels her goal/efforts to represent women of color. Follow Phung at instagram.com/pb.journal

Sophia Park

A young girl in South Korea who loved drawing came to Canada when she was 15 years old. Sophia Park, now a freelance graphic designer and illustrator based in Edmonton, Alberta, is passionate about communicating God’s message in a creative and visual way. See more of Sophia’s work at sophiaparkdesign.com

Tasha Jun

Tasha is a biracial Korean American melancholy day-dreamer, wife to Matt, and mama to three little warriors. She’s lived and stood in places where cultures collide for as long as she can remember, and most days you’ll find her homesick and thinking about identity, belonging, and lost things becoming found. You can read more from Tasha at tashajun.com.

Writers

Aizaiah Yong

Aizaiah is a contemplative Christian Pentecostal minister, practical theologian, & international teacher who is passionate about works of peace, justice, & intercultural community. Aizaiah has experience serving in a variety of leadership positions within non-profit, educational, & religious institutions as well as in consulting roles with executive leaders seeking organizational change. He continues to publish numerous works related to issues at the intersection of wisdom-based leadership, pastoral theology & spiritual care, intercultural studies, and social innovation.

Andrew Rillera

Andrew joined the movement in 1999 when he left the Jehovah’s Witnesses and accepted the Triune God revealed in Jesus Christ. Andrew finds Pax by playing games with his family, reading, playing ice hockey and disc golf, and finding solitude. He has a Bachelor's in Biblical Studies (Eternity Bible College), M.A. in Theology and Ministry (Fuller Seminary), and is almost finished with a Ph.D. in New Testament (Duke). He co-wrote Fight: A Christian Case for Nonviolence with Preston Sprinkle and serves as an adjunct professor at Eternity Bible College. He and his wife (Karianne) and two kids (Eden & Zion) live in Durham, North Carolina.

Anna Faircloth Feingold

Anna Faircloth Feingold is a member of PAX's Board of Directors. She is a post-conviction attorney, policy advocate, educator, and mom. After many years in Los Angeles, she now lives in Somerville, MA, with her husband, their toddler, and their cat.

Brandi Miller

Based out of Seattle, Brandi Miller is the host of Reclaiming My Theology, a space to take out theology back from ideas and systems that oppress. She is a staff member and justice program director with a college campus ministry and works at the intersection of faith, politics and justice.

Brandon Wrencher

Brandon is a minister, organizer, writer and facilitator. He works across the U.S. within faith education and non-profit sectors at the intersections of decolonizing church, contemplative activism and local presence to build beloved communities. As a serial innovator and church planter, Brandon’s latest venture, with neighbors and friends, is starting The Good Neighbor Movement, a multiracial, queer-affirming, Black-led network of spiritually-rooted activist groups across Greensboro, NC.

Carlos Rodriguez

Carlos is passionate about reaching others with God’s radical love. He is a provocative preacher who serves communities and loves to pastor prisoners, young adults and anyone who dares to think differently. For 15 years he has been traveling the world reaching broken people with hugs, passion and the stories in Luke 15. He is the author of Simply Sonship, Drop The Stones and the upcoming, Proximity. His main passions are leading The Happy NPO and spending time with his wife, Catherine and their 3 adorable children. Oh yeah, he also wants everyone to know that he’s a Puerto Rican (living in Puerto Rico) and he can’t wait to host you there.

J.W. Buck

Josh is a co-founder of Pax. He has a B.A. in Biblical studies, M.A. in Ministry, and is working on a P.h.D. in Intercultural Studies. His doctoral work involves qualitative research that platforms the voices and stories that have experienced racially motivated violence. He is an adjunct professor at Eternity Bible College, was the co-founding pastor of Antioch City Church of Los Angeles, and is co-founder of an after-school arts program in L.A. called AMP Los Angeles. He has produced and directed documentary films including the life story of Dr. John Perkins. His wife Sarswatie and three kids (Aahana, Anaia, & Azariah) all live in South Bend, Indiana.

Jai Patel

Jai Patel (B.A. in Business, Communication and Philosophy, University of Texas San Antonio) is a first generation Indian American who is passionate about helping people experience their newfound identity in Jesus Christ and unpack the beauty and complexity of their cultural and ethnic heritage. Raised in a culturally Hindu household, he placed his faith in Jesus in the summer of 2014 and never looked back. He has served on staff with Cru, an international campus ministry, as well as a local church, discipling and equipping college students to rest in the finished work of Jesus, thrive in their walks of life, and usher in God’s Kingdom to a lost and broken world. Jai currently works as an editorial assistant for Pax and lives in Houma, LA with his wife, Priyanka.

Kathy Khang

Kathy Khang is the author of Raise Your Voice: Why We Stay Silent and How to Speak Up (IVP, 2018) and Alabaster Guided Meditations, Psalms Vol. 1 + 2 (IVP, 2020), a contributing editor for Sojourners magazine, and a contributing author of More Than Serving Tea (IVP, 2006). She blogs at www.kathykhang.com , tweets and Instagrams as @mskathykhang, posts at www.facebook.com/kathykhangauthor, and partners with other bloggers, pastors, and Christian leaders to highlight and move the conversation forward on issues of race, ethnicity, and gender within the Church. Ms. Khang has a BS in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and worked as a reporter in Green Bay and Milwaukee, WI before working more than two decades in parachurch ministry. She currently serves as the vice-chair for the board of Christians for Social Action.

Kristy Robinson

Kristy Garza Robinson is a Latina minister, activist, and author currently living in Austin, Texas. She is passionate about advocating for those on the margins and seeking to help people integrate all of who they are into their calling, especially their ethnic identity. She enjoys good food, good friends, and deep conversations. She has a Masters in Global Leadership from Fuller Seminary. Kristy and Eric are also parents to two beautiful daughters.

Lucretia Berry

Lucretia is the creator of Brownicity.com, a contributor for (In)courage.me, and a TED and Q Ideas speaker (Charlotte). As a wife, mom of 3, and former college professor, her calling to active antiracism led her to design the What LIES Between Us: Fostering First Steps Towards Racial Healing course and study guide.

Robert Chao Romero

Robert Chao Romero is an associate professor in the UCLA departments of Chicana/o Studies & Central America Studies, and Asian American Studies. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in Latin American History and his Juris Doctor from U.C. Berkeley, and is also an attorney. He is the author of Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity; The Chinese in Mexico, 1882-1940; Jesus for Revolutionaries: An Introduction to Race, Social Justice, and Christianity; and Mixed Race Student Politics. The Chinese in Mexico received the Latina/o Studies book award from the Latin American Studies Association and Brown Church was written with the support of a Louisville Institute Sabbatical Grant for Researchers. Romero is also an ordained minister and faith rooted community organizer.

Sarah Shin

Sarah Shin is the author of Beyond Colorblind (Intervarsity Press, 2019). She formerly served as the Associate National Director of Evangelism for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and is a speaker that connects ethnicity and biblically informed faith. Sarah has a master's degree in theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a master's in city planning and development from MIT. She, her husband, and daughter live in St. Andrews, Scotland, where she is pursuing more theological studies to better equip the Church.

Sherrene DeLong

Sherrene DeLong (MATS, Westminster Seminary California) is working on a PhD in higher education at Azusa Pacific University. She is a contributor to All Are Welcome: Toward a Multi-Everything Church and Hear Us Emmanuel: Another Call for Racial Reconciliation, Representation, and Unity in the Church. Sherrene lives in Virginia with her husband and son, and they attend Christ Church PCA in Arlington.

EDITORIAL  NOTE

There’s a lot of things I wish I had as a kid: pink highlights, an mp3 player, and a phone, to name a few of the items on my list. These were things that back then I thought would have helped me – as the sole brown-skinned girl in an all-white school – fit in a bit more. Even more than that, I wish I could have had a Bible as a kid that depicted Jesus as a brown-skinned man. I wish one of my pastors or Bible teachers would have told me that God created culture and ethnicity on purpose and as part of his design for human flourishing on this earth. And I really wished that someone would have told me that who I was, as a bicultural Indian American woman, mattered.

Some of you reading this know exactly what I’m talking about. Many of us were not taught to cherish, let alone celebrate, our cultural identities. Our journeys have been defined more by experiences of shame and intentional choices to hide who we really are; of sitting alone in the school cafeteria because kids thought our homemade ethnic food smelled weird and people making fun of the way we look and dress. If you are a person of color, it’s more than likely that at some point in your life (or perhaps even still now) you were made to feel like your culture, your skin color, and your ethnic heritage did not belong.

And for that I am sorry. This is not the way it was supposed to be.

Here at Pax we believe that God created you with a beautiful cultural identity that reflects God’s image in the world. In the beginning, God created all of humankind in His image, male and female alike (Gen. 1:26), each with our own unique ethnicities and stories to tell. As Trillia Newbell writes in her book, God’s Very Good Idea, “God’s idea was to make PEOPLE… lots of people… lots of different people… who would all enjoy loving him and all enjoy loving each other.” Each of us are cultural image bearers. Whether you have vanilla, chocolate or caramel skin, you were made on purpose and to delight in the uniqueness of your ethnicity, cultural identity and story.

These truths are foundational to who we are as human beings. But I also recognize that we are still having hard conversations about this as followers of Jesus. Not everyone approaches cultural identities the same way. Some people misquote Galatians 3:28 and argue that we shouldn’t talk about culture so much, since we’re all one in Christ. Others have been blinded by the lies of white supremacy and believe that the only accepted culture in the U.S. is white culture (an abstract concept that mostly just equates to an absence of culture).

The theme of our second StoryArc is cultural identity and we have created this as a resource by and for Christians of color as we navigate the spaces we are in. The stories, articles, poetry included here and more are meant as a tool to equip, educate, and empower you on why your cultural identity matters. We want to give you the biblical framework and language you need to develop your own cultural identity, to find healing, and to learn how to speak truth in love in the conversations on culture that you’re having with your family and peers.

Leaning into your God-given cultural identity will take time. The process may be slow and that’s OK. As you hear from fellow Christians, know that you are not alone. We see you and are here for the journey. 

MICHELLE REYES

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