Passing along word about film project that might be worthy of your crowdfunding attention... The Ken Fong Project is a documentary about an Asian American pastor's journey and struggle to understand what it means for the LGBTQ community to be a part of the evangelical church.
The film, directed by Christopher Wong and Christopher Min, follows Rev. Dr. Ken Fong, Senior Pastor of Evergreen Baptist Church of LA in Rosemead, California, as he follows what he believes is the call of God to stick his neck out to bring LGBTQ folks and the Church together.
This has the makings of a fascinating documentary, and the filmmakers are seeking help via Indiegogo to fund the film. Here's the project's pitch video with more information:
And here's more, in Ken Fong's own words:
I'm straight. I'm married. And I'm fairly certain that I'm the dad of a straight teenager. Oh, and I'm tied to numerous evangelical Christian institutions that embrace “don't ask, don't tell,” that really aren't sure what to do with LGBTQ people except to keep telling them to repress their desires and inclinations and wait for God to make them all straight. So given my background, why in the world would I be sticking my middle-aged neck out to find a better way for openly LGBTQ folks and the Church to come together?I'm familiar with Ken Fong's valuable work in the Asian American evangelical community. I'm also a big fan of Christopher Wong's previous documentary feature, Whatever It Takes. This project looks just as compelling. I want to see this film, because I want to know more about Pastor Fong's journey and dedication to this issue -- his conviction, and its implications, could not have been an easy path to take.
In a word: obedience. I know, I know. That's got to sound strange, too cult-y, or perhaps just downright immature to some of you. All I can tell you is that back in January ‘07, I believe God told me to start spending whatever reputation God had allowed me to accumulate on convincing and convicting many Christians—especially in the church where I'm the senior pastor—that Jesus has always invited openly LGBTQ people to be part of his Church. That's not the same as saying, “come and then do whatever you want,” because that's never been the case when straight persons join a church. But it does mean everyone's welcome to experience unexpected grace and hospitality and to somehow all be changed in the process.
So I was already several years into this risky personal and pastoral journey when a few folks got together with me and suggested that this was important enough that my journey should be recorded and shared with a much wider audience. Honestly, even though I was persuaded, the thought of my being 'outed' as not-your-typical-anti-gay-Evangelical-pastor scared the pants off me. Heck, I'm so close to the end of my pastoral career that I can see the finish line now. I should be coasting safely to a stress-free finish, not risking my hard-won reputation on an issue that has only divided the Church and ruined other pastors' careers.
Oh wait. I already told God that I was willing to risk my reputation on this issue. Never mind.
If you agree that we can't stay where we are on this issue, then I hope you'll be part of looking for a better way forward. Once we make this movie, we hope it will be shown in film festivals, in denominational gatherings, on college campuses, in local churches, and even on PBS. But we can only make this film if enough of you join us in this effort. I hope you will.
Rev. Dr. Ken Fong
Evergreen Baptist Church of LA
The goal is to raise $60,000 by February 16. For further information about The Ken Fong Project, and to make a pledge to the film, go to the Indiegogo campaign.