Artwork by Sheri Park

The Liturgy section of Diverging Magazine is where we publicly explore the multi-faceted and creative faith expressions of worship within the PAAC community. Here, we will have all kinds of pieces—from theological musings and visual/mixed-media artist reflections, to poetry and fiction stories to ponder, dream, and reimagine how we can communally respond to the world around us.

Without the power of imagination, we cannot envision a different past, present, and future… What we cannot imagine, we cannot live into and struggle for.”
– Kwok Pui Lan, Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology

Welcome to Liturgy. You will have the honor of reading and responding to the unique breaths that inhale and exhale within the PAAC community. Liturgy pieces are spaces where both writer and reader can ponder and reflect on the intertwining simplicities and complexities of life on this beautiful and broken planet. Here, we make room for everyday theologians creating a vibrant library of pieces that disrupt the oversaturated devotional market, their words and art birthing a new narrative for our faith community.

for I am about to create new heaven
and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered
or come to mind
Isaiah 65: 17 (NRSV)

Over the next 40 days, you will experience a variety of reflections created for this Lenten season. In its second year, the Lenten Devotional continues the legacy of the 2018 PAAC Lent Devotional in centering and uplifting a “fiercely Asian and Pacific Islander, American, feminist, queer, and progressive” narrative, and diverging from existing liturgical narrative with a resource that is equal parts refreshing, truth-telling, challenging, and most importantly, life-giving.

This Lent, the Spaces [Sacred + Profane] devotional starts a journey to reimagine the relationship between sacred & profane. We are jumping in head first to look at what it means to hold space in our worship this season for both the sacred and profane. Our contributors will sit and delve into a disruption of how we traditionally see Lent to to hold sacred and profane together as divine. My hope is that Spaces will awaken our theology to a sense that [Sacred & Profane] are closer much more than they are separate.  

Spaces [Sacred + Profane] is broken up into four phases: I. Presence, II. Movement, III. Within, and IV. Worship. In each phase, contributors respond to questions such as how would you describe your current space? How do you move from sacred to profane, profane to sacred? How do you create sacred within the profane, profane within the sacred? What does it look to worship in spaces sacred and profane? As you progress throughout the four phases over the next forty days, we encourage you to respond and share with us your thoughts with us in the comments!

I am especially grateful to our dedicated and fierce Lent editorial team (read their bios below)—Stella Won Phelps, Lydia Shiu, Edward Walrod, Esther , Liz Cheung, Victor Gan, and Surani Joshua for poring over these pieces; Diverging EIC Aimee for their support and input; and most of all, the 38+ writers and artists for sharing a breadth of rich reflections for our learning and inspiration.

Prayer To Send You Off

As we
Enter into Spaces
Where we will find
Untried Territory
places we had not dared
to even think upon
Let the holy spirit
Whisk us in
There will be
joy
There will be
discomfort
There will be
refreshment
There will be
challenge
There will be
awe
There will be
the unknown
Let all of those
sit together as our God
carries all of us into
Their loving embrace

Lent Editorial Team Bios

Man smiling with blue suit jacket and red tie against brick background.

Edward (he/him/they/them) is an avocado hating millennial Korean American originally from Seoul and is now in Washington D.C. working in communications and digital media. He is an aggressive PCUSA Presbyterian with a low tolerance for BS, conservatism, and a sushi-kbbq-boba addiction that will most likely kill him and the world’s oceans one day. He is truly grateful that the biggest theological influences in his life are amazing women (s/o to PAAC).

Woman with green beanie and black jacket holding a white chicken in their arms. Striped background

Esther 劉 (she/her) is a wannabe farmer, pro-Indigeneity Taiwanese American, and involved in this past decade of #churchtoo work and interfaith dialogue. @estherogen

Woman with black rimmed glasses smiling against blue background. Window in top left corner.

Liz C (she/her) is a graduate student in Peace and Conflict Studies at UMass Lowell. She currently works at a youth development nonprofit. Some of her favorite things are podcasts, baked 年糕 and Blogilates.

Woman with winter jacket and beanie smiling against a two-way road. Blurred background with trees, lake, and runner.

Lydia (she/her) | Pastor of Reservoir Church in Cambridge, MA | Ordained in the PCUSA | Co-founder of PAAC

Woman taking car selfie with purple highlights

Stella (she/her) is a writer, editor, and also serves as a moderator in PAAC. She’s second-gen, queerean, an old millennial and a homeschool mom in sunny SoCal. She loves books, co-op board games, making art, and connecting with the PAAC community whom she credits for teaching her to be salt and light. Her hair is rarely the same color.

Headshot of woman in blue shirt with glasses and curly black hair against gray background.

Surani (she/her) is a progressive Christian, a Quaker, a child of immigrants from Sri Lanka, and a PhD Candidate in math education. In her spare time Surani likes to read, write, craft, argue, and wear out her teeth enamel and stomach lining worrying about American education and the future of democracy.  

Man in pink shirt, glasses, and white brimmed hat taking a selfie with a small brown calf.

Victor (he/him) has been a physician-scientist in London and done public health analytics in Singapore, just finished a master’s in liturgy in Connecticut and am now in a hospital chaplaincy residency in the Bay Area. He is interested in the performance of theology without walls and sociological psychoanalysis.

  • Symphony (she/her) manages communications and PR for a nonprofit at the intersection of public health, urban planning, and the built environment. She lives in Brooklyn, NY but her heart is really for Manhattan’s Chinatown. Her current side projects are cheers to the mess and the Thin Heart Brigade (coming soon!). She is a plant mom and has recently picked up Chinese calligraphy.

  • Sheri Park (she/her/hers) is an interdisciplinary artist and graphic designer. She was born in the Bay Area, spent six years of her childhood in Japan, got her BA in Visual Art in New York, and returned to California to study art and theology at Fuller Seminary. When she's not doing creative work, she enjoys making breakfast, playing with her dog Hisone, and watching ducks by the lake with her husband Peter.