SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (PNS) The room was filled with sounds of praise and joy as the National Caucus of Korean Presbyterian Churches (NCKPC) celebrated opening worshiping service at its 46th annual meeting April 25. More than 500 people were welcomed to the “motherland” by the Rev. Byeongho Choi, caucus vice moderator and pastor of Bethany Korean Presbyterian Church near Atlanta.
The service began with elder Kwi Ho Lee, another vice moderator of the caucus, praying for Korea’s security and upcoming presidential election. A performance was then provided by Ictus, the Korean national Presbyterian men’s choir. The choir, part of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, visits the U.S. each year for continuing education at Princeton and Union seminaries.
Following the choir’s performance, the Rev. Pyung Jong Sim, NCKPC moderator, preached from Jude 1:20–21 on the theme “Let’s Build Yourselves.” Sim reminded the audience that “Our immigrant American dream is not built on materials, honor or knowledge. No matter how we build and plan well, may we wait for the mercy of the Lord, Jesus Christ. May Jesus keep us as NCKPC, contributing positive influence for the national church and our denomination.” Sim closed his sermon by saying, “We are in fear of the national crisis; may the Lord Christ keep us in his hands.”
The service also featured a traditional Communion, served with white gloves and linen.
Rhashell Hunter, director of Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries (RE&WM), which houses the Office on Korean Intercultural Congregational Support, spoke to the group as well. “A referral from the last General Assembly directs the Presbyterian Mission Agency to seek to lift up the heritage and history of Korean-Americans through events such as retreats or joint worship services. It also urges all councils of the church to actively seek to include diverse voices of the Korean community in their work,” she said, adding that “RE&WM will faithfully lift up your heritage and history.” Hunter committed the ministry to provide opportunities for the Korean church’s voice to be heard, to partner with the church on meetings and events and to promote Korean ministries in the PC(USA).
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) includes 400 Korean congregations with more than 50,000 active members.
by Gail Strange, Presbyterian News Service