|Korean-American caucus challenged to grow church|
United Methodist Bishop Jeremiah J. Park preaches during the annual meeting of the National Association of Korean American United Methodist Churches.
UMNS photos by the Rev. David Kwangki Kim.
By the Rev. David Kwangki Kim*
April 14, 2008 | ATLANTA (UMNS)
The new president of the Korean-American caucus of The United Methodist Church has challenged pastors and lay leaders to launch 500 Korean-American churches in five years.
The Rev. James Chongho Kim, elected president by the National Association of Korean American United Methodist Churches, issued the challenge during the national caucus meeting March 30-April 3.
Kim urged caucus members to "take advantage of a paradigm shift with which to see the church as a faith community and pioneer it in various ways."
The Rev. James Chongho Kim is
president-elect of the Korean
Currently, 295 Korean American United Methodist churches dot 42 states. The United Methodist Church has 648 Korean clergy with 330 serving Korean congregations––229 in cross-racial appointments and the remainder at agencies and centers.
Bishop Jeremiah J. Park challenged the 254 clergy and lay people attending the caucus assembly to recover their first love for the Lord and to raise a banner of mission for the nations.
"We are called to build a healthy and effective church that brings the message of hope to the world and that serves the world," said Park, who leads the denomination's New York Area.
The Rev. Hoon Kyoung Lee, outgoing president, asked attendees to make the caucus a leader in bringing the hope and the power of the risen Lord to a dark world.
During three evening services, the caucus demonstrated its support for mission with gifts of $10,000 each to Hispanic Ministry New Church Development in the North Georgia Annual (regional) Conference, Korean-American Ministry New Church Development of the Southeastern Jurisdiction and the Korean-American community in Atlanta.
Growth from pain
Retired Bishop Woodie White and the Rev. Walter L. Kimbrough discussed African-American spirituality and their experiences in The United Methodist Church. Reflecting on black history and life in America, they said African Americans grow from their pain and deepen their spirituality through worship.
"We have struggled to be who we are and whose we are," Kimbrough said. "The church is the place to come to have hope and find the meaning in life."
The Rev. Young Jin Cho, superintendent of the Arlington district in the Virginia Conference, honored such spirituality.
The Rev. Hoon Kyoung Lee challenges delegates to bring the hope and power of the risen Lord to a dark world. aaaaaaaaaaaa
"The church should touch and embrace the pain of our community," Cho continued, noting that the church has been the center of the Korean-American community since the first Korean immigrants came to Hawaii in 1903.
The Rev. Chan-Hie Kim of Claremont School of Theology encouraged those attending "to train and equip the laity, especially laymen, and include them in the church leadership."
"We also have to prepare for the second-generation ministries and nurture the second-generation pastors," he said.
In addition to celebrating the leadership of five retired Korean clergy, the caucus endorsed four Korean candidates for the episcopacy: the Rev. Bo-Joong Kim, Greater New Jersey Conference, and the Rev. Constance Youngmi Pak, New York Conference, Northeastern Jurisdiction; the Rev. Christina Back Eun Sung, Iowa Conference, North Central Jurisdiction; and the Rev. Youngsook Charlene Kang, Rocky Mountain Conference, Western Jurisdiction.
*Kim is director of Korean resources at United Methodist Communications, Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.
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