April 6: Daniel G. C. Wu, Priest and Missionary among Chinese Americans, 1956
April 6, 2011 37 Comments
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Work among Chinese Americans in the San Francisco Bay area dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century, but ﬂourished under the leadership of Daniel Gee Ching Wu.
His story begins in Hawaii when Deaconess Emma Drant asked Gee Ching Wu to teach her Chinese in exchange for lessons in English. At the time, Wu was reticent toward the faith, but during their time together, Drant’s Christian convictions inspired his conversion. Wu was baptized, taking the name Daniel. Drant left for San Francisco where she began mission work among the Chinese and in 1905 called together a worshiping community to be called True Sunshine Episcopal Mission. After the 1906 earthquake, many residents of San Francisco, including many Chinese, ﬂed across the bay to Oakland, and a second Chinese mission took root there. Needing help, Drant called upon Daniel Wu, to come from Hawaii and support her missionary efforts.
From the time of his arrival in 1907, Wu managed the work of the two missions while studying for ordination at the Church Divinity School of the Paciﬁc. He was ordained in 1912 and became the Vicar of True Sunshine Episcopal Mission in San Francisco and Our Savior Episcopal Mission in Oakland, both of which were already thriving congregations.
Daniel Wu devoted his ministry to work among Chinese immigrants. He frequently worked the docks and points of entry, made contact with those newly arrived, and assisted in whatever way possible to ease their transition to their new home. To keep them connected to their heritage, Wu and the people of his congregations offered classes in Chinese to the children, and instruction in English to the adults.
They offered a variety of programs that helped newcomers to adjust to their new country without losing the culture and heritage of their homeland.
For thirty-six years, Daniel Wu and his people opened their hearts and their churches to generations of Chinese Americans and played a singularly important role in establishing the ministry of the Episcopal Church among those of Asian descent.
I We offer thanks, loving God, for the ministry of Daniel Wu, priest and pioneer church planter among Asian-Americans, and for the stable worshiping communities he established, easing many immigrants’ passage into a confusing new world. By the power of thy Holy Spirit, raise up other inspired leaders, that today’s newcomers may ﬁnd leaders from their diverse communities faithful to our Savior Jesus Christ; who with thee and the same Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
II We give you thanks, loving God, for the ministry of Daniel Wu, priest and pioneer church planter among Asian-Americans, and for the stable worshiping communities he established, easing many immigrants’ passage into a confusing new world. By the power of your Holy Spirit, raise up other inspired leaders, that today’s newcomers may ﬁnd leaders from their diverse communities faithful to our Savior Jesus Christ; who with you and the same Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Preface of Baptism
From Holy, Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints © 2010 by The Church Pension Fund. Used by permission.
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We invite your reflections about this commemoration and its suitability for the official calendar and worship of The Episcopal Church. How did this person’s life witness to the Gospel? How does this person inspire us in Christian life today?
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