Boston Episcopal Chinese ministry celebrates 35 years

The Boston Episcopal Chinese Ministry based at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul is marking its 35th year with a special anniversary celebration on Sunday, Oct. 9.  The Rev. Canon Connie Ng Lam, Canon Missioner for Asiamerican Ministries, invites the prayers and presence of everyone in the diocesan community for an occasion that is about honoring past, present and future.

confirmtaions chinese A confirmation service in October 2013, with Bishops Barbara C. Harris and Bishop Gayle Harris. "We honor our late Bishop John Coburn for his vision in appointing the late Rev. Dr. Benjamin Pao to be the first missioner of Chinese ministry in 1981," Lam said.  "Bishop John Coburn also graciously provided the Chinese Ministry with an office and ministry and worship space at St. Paul's Cathedral.  We thank God for the pioneering work of Father Pao with Chinese immigrants, which has been the foundation of all the achievements which were to come," she said.

The Rev. Peter Lai, the Rev. Edward H.C. Ho and the Rev. Thomas Pui-kong Pang succeeded Pao.  In addition to offering Sunday Chinese-language services, Sunday school, Bible study and fellowship at the cathedral church, each deployed an entrepreneurial spirit in his own way to identify needs of Chinese-speaking newcomers, their families and community and to develop outreach programs accordingly.  Over the years, these included an active music ministry, language classes, afterschool programs, jobs skills courses and community partnerships and advocacy to help address health care and employment issues. 

"As the present missioner of the Boston Episcopal Chinese Ministry, I thank all the clergy and laity who have been faithfully laboring throughout the past 35 years.  They started from scratch and have built the ministry up," Lam said. 

Lam was named the canon for Asiamerican ministries in 2013 and serves as priest to the Episcopal Boston Chinese Ministry.  She previously served in the Diocese of California.

chinese ministry The annual joint service with the Chinese congregation and the St. Paul's congregation. In addition to the ongoing Sunday worship services and Christian formation programs at the cathedral church, Lam said, the Episcopal Boston Chinese Ministry currently serves Chinese immigrants in the greater-Boston area with a variety of outreach programs, including language classes, afterschool tutoring for elementary and high school students, high school volunteer projects, community service activities and job training for older newcomers.

The community center ministry that the Boston Episcopal Chinese Ministry has operated since 2000 at St. Chrysostom's Church in Quincy is critical, Lam said.  "The growth of our congregation heavily relies on the outreach program in Quincy," she said.

"All of this outreach done in the love of God has brought vitality to our worship and social activities.  Our service projects brought many young people into our church.  These young people are the energy of our ministry," Lam said.

Many who joined the youth ministry years ago have now graduated from college and become parents, she said.  "We are now focusing on the young family and children ministry.  In recent years, our Sunday services have been blessed with the joyful noise of infants and the exuberant running of toddlers.  It is wonderful to see the future of the church in our midst," Lam said.

st chysostams tutoring Bishop Gates observes the tutoring program at St. Chrysostom's Church in Quincy. Over the ministry's years, people come and go, as in any church, Lam said.  "As I work with others on the plans for this anniversary celebration, I become more and more hopeful because I am reminded that this ministry has always been a place where people can come and have a chance to know Jesus and encounter the unconditional love of Christ.  Wherever people may go, they go to spread the Gospel," Lam said.  "Even when we have different viewpoints on theology, we are working with God together, and God will continue to bless this place."

All are invited to take part in the Episcopal Boston Chinese Ministry's 35th anniversary celebration, "Honoring the Past, Serving the Present, Embracing the Future," on Sunday, Oct. 9. 

Bishop Alan M. Gates will be the celebrant at the 12:30 p.m. service of Holy Eucharist at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, with the Rev. Eric H.F. Law preaching.  Clergy joining the procession will vest (red stole).

Following the service there will be a banquet at 3 p.m. at the China Pearl Restaurant (9 Tyler Street) in Boston, to which all are welcome.  Musical entertainment will feature the ancient Chinese instrument Gu Zheng.  Banquet tickets are $40 per person ($20 per child).  RSVP by e-mail to the Rev. Canon Connie Ng Lam at

View this anniversary gallery of photos collected by the Boston Episcopal Chinese Ministry.