Busan calling

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A VISITING delegation of Korean Church leaders has invited the Uniting Church to share in the spirit at the 10th World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly in Busan, South Korea from 30 October to 8 November this year.

The delegation, which included South Korea’s first female Prime Minister Myeong-sook Han, took part in ecumenical services at United Theological College in North Parramatta, Wesley Uniting Church in Forrest, and St Andrew’s Gardiner Church in Glen Iris. There were also several services involving members of the Korean diaspora in Australia.

Senior bishops from Korea’s Methodist and Anglican churches were part of delegation led by Rev Dr Seong Gi Cho, the recently retired General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Korea – Korea’s largest Christian denomination.

In a meeting with UCA Assembly General Secretary Rev Terence Corkin in July, Dr Cho spoke warmly of his personal memories of the 7th WCC Assembly in Canberra in 1991.

He spoke of how initiatives at that Assembly had guided his life in Christ for many years afterwards. Assembly President Rev Professor Andrew Dutney will lead the Uniting Church delegation to Busan in October.

“The ecumenical work of the WCC Assembly is always a highlight for us as we seek to be a truly Uniting Church,” Prof Dutney said.

“In our Basis of Union we proclaim our willingness to bear witness to the unity that is Christ’s gift and will for the Church and specifically commit to WCC membership. So a commitment to ecumenism through the WCC is embedded in our Church’s DNA.

“Our shared Christian history with Korea started with the early work of Presbyterian missionaries from Australia. Today it has endured and matured to the point that we in the UCA are sustained and nourished by the faith and energy of our Korean diaspora congregations.”

The theme of the 10th WCC Assembly “God of life, lead us to justice and peace” was inspired by the diversity of Asian contexts and by a growing sense of urgency to care for life and seek justice.

A group of 25 theologians and activists including Dalits, Indigenous Peoples, the WCC’s Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network and the Global Ecumenical Network on Migration has prepared reflections on the Assembly theme from the viewpoint of those struggling against marginalisation, rejection and discrimination.

These reflections and other resources for the 10th WCC Assembly are available at http://wcc2013.info/

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