The General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church (Global Ministries) and the Korean Methodist Church (KMC) mission board held a consultation at Global Ministries’ headquarters in August. The two-day meeting, which included the presidents of the councils of bishops of both churches, represented the first time the two boards have met together in formal consultation since 2001. The consultation was called to discuss mutual partnership opportunities for mission throughout the world, building on the shared history and current realities facing both organizations.
Your support of the World Service Fund apportionment supports program-related general agencies, which are especially important to the common vision, mission, and ministry of The United Methodist Church.
The consultation was composed of delegations from both agencies, resource people and guests from Global Ministries’ executive committee and staff. At the consultation’s opening banquet, Bishop Thomas Bickerton, president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), noted the deep-seated commitment to mission that brought the delegations together and expressed his hope that the meeting would offer an opportunity to live into a shared gospel. Bishop Chul Lee, president of the Korean Methodist Church, shared his hopes for cooperation, noting that, though cultures and ways of thinking for both churches are different, the Korean Methodist Church and The United Methodist Church can act in harmony and unity, called by God.
Bishop Hee Soo Jung, president of Global Ministries’ board of directors, expressed hope that The United Methodist Church and Korean Methodist Church might fulfill a shared mission to transform the world through a serving church and community.
Throughout the two-day meeting, delegates heard a series of presentations, including an historical overview of mission cooperation between the KMC and UMC and reviews of several mission efforts in areas of Asia and Africa. They also discussed longstanding challenges and opportunities for peace and reunification efforts on the Korean Peninsula, work paused by the global pandemic but which remains foremost on the minds of many Koreans because of the ongoing and painful separation of families and rising military tensions in the region.
Roland Fernandes, general secretary of Global Ministries and UMCOR, reinforced the long-standing practice of collaboration in mission at Global Ministries. Bishop Chung Suk Kim, chair of the KMC Board of Mission, acknowledged several common challenges facing world churches today – declining youth interest in the religious faith, polarization and resulting conflicts, and issues of peace. He acknowledged the long impact of The United Methodist Church in Korea and suggested that the KMC and UMC act as brothers and sisters in mission to build on their history of collaboration.
As the consultation concluded, leaders from both entities offered their hope for the future, agreeing to continue their consultation and work together to deploy a concrete list of opportunities for cooperation. Both groups acknowledged the mutual respect for one another and love of God that facilitated prayerful and thoughtful conversations throughout the two-day meeting.
The Korean Methodist Church Board of Mission establishes and implements mission policies in domestic, social and global mission areas, including church planting and growth; peace, reunification and humanitarian help for North Korea; global missionary policy, training and support; and mission relationships with other churches and denominations; among other responsibilities.
The General Board of Global Ministries, which includes the United Methodist Committee on Relief, is the worldwide mission, relief and development agency of The United Methodist Church, working with partners and churches all over the word to equip and transform people and places for God’s mission. Global Ministries connects the church in mission through the sending of missionaries, evangelization and church revitalization, global health and humanitarian relief and recovery.
excerpt from a story by Susan Clark, chief communications officer for Global Ministries and UMCOR.The World Service Fund provides basic financial support to program-related general agencies, which are especially important to the common vision, mission, and ministry of The United Methodist Church. Through World Service funding, agencies support annual conferences and local congregations in living out God’s mission for the worldwide Church. General agencies also provide essential services and ministries beyond the scope of individual local congregations and annual conferences through services and ministries that are highly focused, flexible, and capable of rapid response.