Thursday, October 16, 2014

A journey to Korea

Bishop Jeremiah Park recently led a group of pastors and laity from the Susquehanna Conference on a cross-cultural experience in Korea, his country of birth. The trip included visits to vital and growing Korean Methodist Churches, opportunities for dialogue with Korean Methodist pastors and staff, praise and worship experiences (seen above), some sight seeing, and cultural experiences.

Bishop Jeremiah J. Park led a group of 34 pastors and laity on a journey to Korea in early October. The trip lasted twelve days including travel days.

The first seven days were spent learning, observing, and participating in some of the most vital and growing Korean Methodist Churches, with opportunities for dialogue with the pastors and staff of the churches.

Each morning began with worship and praise at 5 a.m., the way Korean Christians live out their discipleship — always starting with prayer and praise in their church before they go about their work and their day.

It is hoped that those who attended learned about the discipleship and spirituality of Korean Methodism, as well as how and why these churches are vital and growing. The group was also seeking to bring back helpful ideas to share with churches in each district.

The last three days of the journey were spent exploring the sights of Korea and experiencing Korean culture at its best.

Those invited to participate in the trip were members of the extended Cabinet plus two persons from each district. Some districts invited two pastors, some a pastor and lay person, some a pastor and spouse, intentionally focusing on those under the age of 40 in order to allow younger leaders to have this cross-cultural experience and receive valuable learning.

An article will follow in the December issue of Susquehanna LINK sharing some of what was learned on the trip.

A cenotaph (left) erected in honor of Rev. Henry Gerhard Appenzeller (from Pennsylvania), the first Methodist missionary to Korea, can be found at the Yanghwajin Foreigners’ Cemetery in Seoul, South Korea. His son and daughter-in-law are honored beside.

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