Asian and Pacific Islander

The vision of Asian and Pacific Islander Ministries is to grow in strength for ministry, using God’s gifts of culture, language and heritage to share the good news of Jesus Christ, and to love and serve our neighbor in a multicultural world. There are about 22,000 Asians and Pacific Islanders in the ELCA, representing heritages that are highly diverse. Some people have lived in North America for several generations; others have arrived more recently and comprise one of the fastest growing groups among all people who migrate to the United States. We believe that Jesus Christ compels and empowers us to be open and accessible within any community, within any context, and our work involves reaching Asians and Pacific Islanders and growing ministries within their communities.

Based on the current realities of Asians and Pacific Islanders, the majority of Asian and Pacific Islander ministry is still ministry among the “first generation.” Our strategy is to reach distinct, unique groups and communities of people, yet serve and support them as part of a common yet diverse Asian community. The ELCA has more than 100 Asian congregations and ministries, and a number of Asians and Pacific Islanders are members of multicultural congregations throughout the ELCA. These congregations and ministries are ministering in many languages and embrace a variety of cultures and heritages, including:
  • Cambodian
  • Cantonese              
  • English (Second Generation Ministry)
  • Filipino
  • Hmong
  • Indonesian
  • Japanese                
  • Korean                     
  • Lahu  
  • Laotian                     
  • Mandarin                
  • Myanmar
  • Sinhalese
  • Taiwanese               
  • Tamil
  • Thai                           
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese            
Please visit the ELCA resources available online and read the full text of the ELCA Asian and Pacific Islander Ministry Strategy as a downloadable resource.

Association of Asian and Pacific Islanders

The Association of Asian and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) is an autonomous organization that exists for and is led by Asian Lutherans in the ELCA, and is recognized by the ELCA. All Asian and Asian descent Lutherans in ELCA congregations and ministries are considered members of the Association of Asians and Pacific Islanders–ELCA.

As the Association of Asians and Pacific Islanders of the ELCA, we gather to:
  • Express the Christian faith from an Asian and Pacific Islander perspective
  • Encourage the special gifts brought by the Asian and Pacific Islander community
  • Facilitate the full participation of Asian and Pacific Islander members, as diverse people of God, in the inclusiveness and diversity of the ELCA
  • Facilitate and mentor the implementation of the strategic plan for ministries among the Asian and Pacific Islander community in the ELCA
  • Strengthen the unity of Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the ELCA