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First Priest from Mainland China in Los Angeles Gives First Blessing on Jan. 13

(EMAILWIRE.COM, January 14, 2008 ) WHO: With the rapid influx of Asian immigrants in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and the favorable congregational funding in diocesan and national levels, Asian American mission in the Episcopal Church flourished. Evidence of this ongoing ministry is demonstrated by the ordination of the first priest from Mainland China in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, The Rev. Hui Liang "Thomas" Ni, 45.

WHAT: The customary First Blessing to those who may wish to receive it after the First Mass following Ni's ordination will be given.

WHEN: On Sunday, January 13, at 8:45 a.m. AND at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: St. Edmund's Episcopal Church located at 1175 San Gabriel Blvd, in San Marino, 91118

WHY: The Rev. Dr. Winfred B. Vergara, National Missioner for Asiamerica Ministries and Director of Ethnic Congregational Development of the Episcopal Church, headquartered in New York, said this ordination is significant because "it will continue to make our relationship with the China Christian Council even closer. Chinese from Mainland China are some of the new and emerging immigrant groups in the United States and especially in the West Coast and we are happy that we are able to raise clergy from that community."

The Asian American Ministry estimates there are 13 million Asians in the US. Eleven percent of the Los Angeles population is Asian for which Ni, current curate at St. Edmund's Episcopal Church in San Marino, has begun to formulate ministries that integrates the Chinese community.

"St. Edmund's is pleased to offer one of the few Mandarin language worship services in the Episcopal Church. We believe this will fill a real need in the San Gabriel Valley, and indeed, many of our Mandarin speakers drive from other areas in greater Los Angeles in order to worship in their native language," said The Rev. George F. Woodward III, rector of St. Edmund's.

DETAILS: First Blessing is after the 8 a.m. liturgy at the Altar Rail in the Chapel (scheduled at 8:45 a.m.) and at the Altar Rail in the Church following the 10 a.m. Eucharist (scheduled at 11:00 a.m.) To learn more about St. Edmund's, visit

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About St. Edmund's Episcopal Church
Founded in 1942, St. Edmund's Episcopal Church in San Marino, California is a mid-size church serving the West San Gabriel Valley with a mission to receive and share God's accepting grace, challenging wisdom, and transforming love. St. Edmund's is a progressive community, striving to build bridges and further understanding among the diverse populations of our area. Besides traditional Sunday services, parishioners participate in and support international efforts as well as local charities, such as Hillsides, a foster care children's organization, Union Station, a homeless shelter in Pasadena providing short-term care for the homeless, and the Pasadena Bad Weather Shelter, offering shelter and dinner to homeless families and singles throughout the Winter months. Parishioners also support The Kensington Home, Foothill Family Service, CristoSal, and a quarterly medical ministry to Tijuana called Healing Hearts Across Borders, serving 700 persons per quarter.

A doctorate student at the School of Religion at Claremont Graduate University, The Rev. Hui Liang "Thomas" Ni, 45, continues to pursue understanding of the history of Chinese Christianity. Born in Shanghai, China, The Rev Ni's formative years in Christianity are credited to his grandmother and aunts who were Christians. In 1972, he participated in his first Christian bible study, formed by his aunt. In 1990 he studied theology at the Anglican Theological College in England. Thereafter, he returned to China where he was invited by the Committee of The Sea of Words to revise all the Christian Protestant theological articles in the dictionary, which was published in 1999. In 1997, he came to the United States to continue his studies while pursuing priesthood in the Episcopal Church.

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