|Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow named SFTS Distinguished Alumni
|One of the leading voices of postmodern culture and its impact on the Christian church, Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow has been named San Francisco Theological Seminary 2011 Distinguished Alumni.
Reyes-Chow, who earned his Master of Divinity degree from SFTS in 1995, became the 15th member of the Seminary community to serve as moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), completing his two-year term in 2010. Besides holding the highest elected office in the denomination, he is also the founding pastor of Mission Bay Community Church, a young, urban and electronically connected Presbyterian Church located in the Excelsior District of San Francisco.
Candidates for the Distinguished Alumni award are nominated by the SFTS Alumni Council and approved by the Board of Trustees. The award honors a Seminary graduate who demonstrates exemplary dedication and service to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Reyes-Chow will be recognized during the spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 21, in San Anselmo and deliver a keynote address to graduating students.
Reyes-Chow is particularly passionate about the intersections of faith, justice, culture and politics as he continues to work with communities on everything from immigration, labor, racial reconciliation and poverty. Theologically progressive, he is part of a generation of emergent church leaders who are eager to see a church that engages in discourse that is not limited by traditional theological, political or ideological bounds.
This third-generation Filipino/Chinese American uses blogging and the social network to address the rainbow of issues enveloping faith, spirituality and culture. His most recent blog discusses the tension between “Liberal, Social Justice Christian, Progressive Democrats” and “Conservative, Evangelical Christian, Tea Party Republicans.”
“I reject this adversarial mentality because at the core of our discourse should not be an obsession with winning the future, but our common yearning to discover where God is leading us. We are at our best when we maintain a healthy place where disparate theological and political views can passionately wrestle. It is in these times of healthy conflict that I believe we most fully discover who we are and who we are becoming. But we must also be able to agree on a few things, not in the particularities, but in our general understanding of our common humanity.”
Reyes-Chow is also a contributing blogger to The Huffington Post and SF Gate, instructor on Social Media and Ministry at McCormick Theological Seminary and serves on the boards of Public Religion Research Institute and California Faith for Equality. Until October 2010 he was the co-host of a Weekly Internet Radio Show, God Complex Radio.
Most recently, Reyes-Chow was also appointed by California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer to serve on the Toyota NUMMI Blue Ribbon Commission charged with examining the impact of a car manufacturing plant in Fremont, Calif. He has also traveled to the Philippines on the behalf of the PC(USA) in support of church communities targeted by government authorities for torture and disappearances. In April of 2010 he traveled to Haiti to see the damage caused by the earthquake and meet with local church partners.
A native of California's Central Valley, Reyes-Chow has lived in San Francisco for the past 20 years with his wife, Robin Pugh, and their three daughters. In 1991 he graduated from San Francisco State with a major in sociology, philosophy and Asian American studies before attending seminary.
His mother, Sarah Reyes, earned her M.Div. at SFTS four years after Bruce graduated. Sarah is the pastor at Bethel Community Presbyterian Church in San Leandro, Calif.