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PROK E-NEWS / April 2008 (2008-05-02 오전 10:00:54)

관리자(총… (서울북노회,베델교회,목사) 2010-01-29 (금) 01:30 14년전 5309  
 
PROK E-NEWS
April 2008
 
PROK in Focus
 
1.  Tribute to a colleague
 
The PROK and friends around the world mourn the passing of our colleague and close friend, Rev. Bae Gwang-Jin, who died suddenly and unexpectedly of a stroke on April 2nd while visiting our partner church in Myanmar on behalf of the PROK. He was forty-one years old. We particularly think of and pray for his family, particularly his 15 year-old daughter Eun-Myung, in their deep grief. Rev. Bae served as program staff in the Overseas Ecumenical Relations Department of the PROK General Assembly office for five years, and before that in the Domestic Mission Department for two years.
 
In response to our letter to ecumenical friends around the world, we have received over fifty messages of prayerful support. The letters give beautiful witness to the character and dedication of Rev. Bae:  “We have indeed known and loved Rev. Bae as a very committed ecumenical colleague and as a lovable friend.... We thank God for Rev. Bae's great contribution to the worldwide family of God and treasure the memories of our fellowship with him as a very gentle and humble brother and friend. May God grant him eternal peace, and may God comfort his family, his friends and the PROK who has lost an outstanding dedicated servant in God's Kingdom.” (EMS, Germany)  “…we got to know and appreciate him as a dedicated worker in the ministry of his church and in the ecumenical movement. His gentle kindness and the joy which radiated from him in every encounter, were a lively expression of his strong Christian faith. He was a dear colleague and even more a dear brother of Christ to all of us.” (mission 21, Switzerland)
 
The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Myanmar, which held a memorial service in Tahan on April 3rd, wrote, “…his name and good deeds will always be remembered and will continue to speak to the life of our partnership in mission work and be a new inscription in the history of the Presbyterian Church in Myanmar.”  The words of the PCM Moderator speak for us all: “Though [his decease] was very painful, it is a new challenge to us for our ongoing mission journey.”  Strengthened by so many prayers of love, Rev. Bae’s family, who particularly express their deep thanks, and we his colleagues and friends realize anew that in the worldwide ecumenical fellowship we are united within the embrace of the greatest Love of all.
 
 
2. PROK welcomes young Taiwanese intern
 
Under the “Peace Interns in Mission” program of the Council for World Mission East-Asia Region (CWM-EAR), the young members of the PROK National Youth Association (PROKY) have welcomed a new friend from our partner church the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT).  Initiated a year ago and first implemented this year, the program will “provide young leaders of CWM-EAR member churches with a deeper understanding and practice of justice and peace advocacy work which, in turn, will help the churches to develop an effective mechanism for continuous justice and peace work.” The 3-month internship includes the components of orientation, integration, field work, exposure and evaluation. In the later follow-up stage, the interns will share their experiences with their sending churches, and then put their learnings into practice by implementing actual programs approved and supported by their churches.
 
Ms. Yu-Ping Chen of the PCT, the first intern of the program, is experiencing a challenging and full 3-month schedule, February 13 to May 12, organized by the young leaders of the PROKY. Her activities include a) visiting PROK minjung churches serving and advocating for those who are marginalized and living in difficult circumstances; b) participating in a Peace Pilgrimage organized jointly by the Ecumenical Youth Council in Korea (EYCK) (of which PROKY is a member) and the youth desk of NCC-Japan; this Peace Pilgrimage includes visiting the ‘House of Sharing’, the residence for survivors of the Japanese military sexual enslavement of young women during World War II; and, among other activities, discussing peace issues of Korea and Japan; c) visiting ‘Durebang’ (‘My Sister’s Place’), a centre of the PROK National Church Women’s Association working with women from other Asian countries serving American military servicemen, and advocating for just laws relating to the issues of sex trafficking and networking with other related organizations; d) participating in a second Peace Trip including a trip to Kaesong in North Korea; e) giving presentations on Taiwan issues to young members of KSCF and EYCK. Through these and other activities, Yu-Ping and the PROK young people are being stretched in their thinking and their living as they experience and discuss these issues relating to peace and justice.
 
In the autumn of this year a young member of the PROK National Youth Association will in turn experience a similarly exciting and challenging internship with the young people of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan.
 
 
3. PROK holds conference on rural mission policy
 
On April 14-15 of this year, the Church and Society Committee of the PROK General Assembly held a consultation on the rural mission policy of the PROK, under the theme “The crisis of the rural community and cooperation between rural and urban churches”. About 100 ministers and lay leaders participated and shared their views and ideas for responding to the crisis and challenges the rural community faces. The participants reached a common understanding that a significant and urgent task of the PROK is to consolidate its efforts to resist the unsustainable development model accelerated by the urban industries and to sustain the life of the rural community. Particularly, the participants warned that the crisis of the rural community will be a total crisis of life for all people living in the cities as well as in the rural areas.
 
The participants urged the following suggestions and recommendations:
1)      Since the ‘diminishing population’ of rural areas is one of the major factors in the dismantling of the rural community, PROK member churches must be actively involved in the movement of ‘returning to the farmland’.
2)      The churches in rural areas must cooperate together to develop alternative models of rural ministry that will transform the current rural community into an alternative community upholding the values of life and peace. To achieve this, education of the members is needed. Therefore the Church and Society Committee of the PROK General Assembly must explore the possibility of establishing an educational institute to provide PROK constituencies with continuing education.
3)      The PROK General Assembly office must develop a system through which the churches in the cities and rural areas can build partnership based on mutual understanding, trust and respect.
4)      The PROK must elaborate on its holistic theology to fully address the question of life and integration of creation.
5)      Establishing cooperatives between urban consumers and rural producers can be an alternative through which visible cooperation between city and rural areas is realized.
 
The Church and Society Committee will meet soon to deliberate on these suggestions and recommendations and submit critical recommendations to this year’s annual meeting of the General Assembly in September for its approval.
 
 
Ecumenical Movement in Focus
 
International Symposium on Peace and Human Security
 
Organized by the Deutsche Ostasienmission (DOAM), Germany; the Tomisaka Christian Centre, Japan; and the Korean Peace Foundation, in collaboration with the World Council of Churches (Decade to Overcome Violence 2001-2010), this symposium was held in Seoul from March 31 to April 4, 2008. Some sixty leaders and members of churches and organizations participated from Germany, Japan and Korea. The PROK was represented by several participants, and staff provided logistical and other support to the organizers.
 
It has been a widely accepted notion that human security is the conscious and systematic effort of society to lessen, if not totally eradicate fear from perceived and real danger that may impede the realization of political, economic and cultural goals. The symposium participants veered away from this notion by focusing on the alternative understanding of peace and human security based on the ethical dimensions of the Christian faith. In the various presentations and discussions on the theme, they articulated their deepest concerns about the increasing alienation of states from their people because of states’ preoccupation and pursuit of national and international security policies, particularly those of the United States, the European Union, Japan and Korea, which show the violent and militarist posturing that threatens the peace and human security of vulnerable communities and groups in many parts of the world.
 
The participants correlated their ethical perspectives with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) definition of peace and human security. The UNDP 1994 development report stated, “the most fundamental necessity for building human security is to guarantee ‘freedom from want’ and ‘freedom from fear’. The concept of ‘human security’ is meant to be cooperative (internationally), comprehensive (personal, social, political, economic and environmental dimensions of security are interlinked), and common (different players are involved). People themselves should be empowered to contribute by identifying and implementing solutions to insecurity in order to overcome violence.”
 
Assessing this concept in view of recent international relations, the symposium participants came to the conclusion that states have misused the concept of peace and human security. They have narrowly defined it and made it a façade for violent and exclusive approach in annexing and controlling peoples, communities and nations. The participants emphasized that “the primary goal for Christians can never be to achieve a high-scale security at the cost of others, but rather to work for peace and to strive to overcome violence and insecurity for all, starting with the weakest of society.”
 
In a concluding “Letter to the Churches, to the World Council of Churches, and to our Governments”, the participants expressed their perception and resolve that peace and security must be pursued from the point of view of the weakest, those whose human rights are violated, the oppressed, the indigenous people, the refugees and migrant workers and even the environment that is severely threatened. In this letter the participants summarized their learning, reflections and recommendations under the three sub-headings, “See, Judge, Act”, portraying the prevailing threats to peace and human security, the ethical imperatives that will guide the mission of Christian churches and that somehow can be adopted by states as principles for peacemaking and protecting human security; the letter calls on churches, states, and the international community to avert violence, military aggression and other non-peace producing actions. The letter ends on a note of thankfulness for this opportunity for study, discussion and worship together in ecumenical community, culminating in the sharing of Holy Communion, “the feast of reconciliation”.
 
The symposium, including the full Letter, has been documented on the WCC homepage, at:
 
 
PROK E-News is a publication of The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK).
Editor: Rev. Yoon Kil-Soo, General Secretary

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