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북미 한인 기독교 평화 네트워크
(Korean Ecumenical Peace Network in North America)

Introduction

Since the 1970’s, Christian leaders across denominations have worked together towards peace, especially for the peace and reunification of the Koreas. In an effort to revive and affirm the peace movement amongst Korean Christians, twenty church leaders from five denominations met on March 9 and 10, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia to launch the Korean Ecumenical Peace Network in North America. These leaders saw the need to create a peace and justice based pastoral ministry environment among Korean immigrant churches and networks in order to participate in a peace movement for the Korean peninsula. This gathering and new network represents five denominations coming together, and includes the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, and Mennonite Church USA.

As their first collaborative initiative, the Network will begin a peace school to train local leaders across the country so that they may train others and run peace schools in their own local congregations. As a peace center that equips Korean church leaders to serve in ways that promote unity, forgiveness, and peace, ReconciliAsian has been invited to organize and facilitate this three day peace school in Flushing Korean United Methodist Church from October 12-14, 2015.

Introduction by Hyun Hur, Co-Director of ReconciliAsian. Hyun also co-pastors at Mountain View Mennonite Church in Upland, California with his wife, Sue. He lives in Pasadena, California with Sue and their three children.

 

북미 한인 기독교 평화 네트워크
(Korean Ecumenical Peace Network in North America)
REPORT

May 1, 2015

2015 is a significant and meaningful year as we commemorate the 70th anniversary of Korea’s independence from Japan and the end of the war. It is sadly, also the 70th anniversary of the division of Korea.

Since 1970, the Korean American ecumenical leaders in North America have addressed the importance of reconciliation and reunification of the Korean Peninsula. The first fruit of their effort birthed a gathering in Tosanso, Japan in 1984 initiated by the World Council of Churches where worldwide churches discussed reconciliation of reunification of North and South Korea. This was significant because it was the first time churches worldwide gathered to talk about the national division. This happened through the sacrificial commitment of first generation pioneers who helped to free the deadlock of ideological differences and gather for creative action. The gathering created a prophetic voice for peace and reconciliation and opened an opportunity for Christians in the North and the South first come and meet together in Glion, Switzerland in 1986. However, the ecumenical network of Koreans in North America has faced many conflicts with increasing difficulty.

With the desire to reignite and continue the prophetic voice of peace and reconciliation, a group gathered on March 9-10, 2015 in Atlanta and created Korean Ecumenical Peace Network in North America. Five denominations-UMC, PCUSA, UCC, Mennonites, and Disciples of Christ gathered together with the vision of creating a movement of peace amongst the Korean American churches and find creative ways to cooperate ecumenically.

Through this founding meeting, denominational representatives were appointed as well as two officers. Chongho Kim (UMC) was appointed as the President and Chung Seong Kim (Disciples) as General Secretary. The group created three action plan items:

First, we want to prioritize the establishment of a Peace School. We recognize the foundational teaching for local churches and the congregation to understand the core gospel message is the gospel of peace and reconciliation. Currently, the date has been tentatively set to open the Peace School in New York from October 12-14, 2015.

Secondly, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the division of Korea, a representative of Korean Ecumenical Peace Network in North America will join the UMC Reunification Committee to visit North Korea. As a representative of North American churches seeking synergy and reunification, our presence will be more than symbolic. This will take place on August 12-19th, 2015. Pastor Chung Seong Kim has been appointed to visit as the representative.

Third, in order to have an effective ecumenical network and cooperation with Korean churches in the US, Korean Ecumenical Peace Network in North America will work with National Council of Churches USA to set up a Korean Desk. We will also contact other ecumenical offices in our respective denominations to seek cooperation.

Our goal is to develop and extend the ministry of peace and reconciliation which is at the heart of the gospel. We pray that each denomination will work together for peace and reconciliation. Furthermore, we pray that it would overflow over our denominational boundaries and new and exciting peace ministries with be born and thrive!

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, (Ephesians 2:14)

Korean Ecumenical Peace Network in North America

President Chongho Kim
General Secretary Chung Seong Kim