March 17, 2005
Bishop Jeremiah Park
By Linda Bloom*
YORK (UMNS)—Bishop Jeremiah Park believes that Korean-American United
Methodists have gifts and resources that can strengthen the entire
who oversees the denomination’s New York Area, is the new president of
the United Methodist Council on Korean American Ministries.
council supports the denomination’s Korean-American National Plan, a
program of General Conference, the church’s top legislative body. The
2004 General Conference approved a budget of $3.2 million for the plan.
its beginning in 1903, the Korean-American United Methodist community
has grown to more than 420 congregations with 100,000 members, along
with more than 540 Korean-American clergy members.
will continue to serve the church by fulfilling the mandate that we
have from General Conference relating to the national plan,” Park told
United Methodist News Service. “But we really would like to present
ourselves as a council, that we are not just a funding body.”
One function of the council, he added, would be “serving as a think tank for the community and the church.”
members believe the Korean-American United Methodist community has
matured and is ready to share its gifts with the rest of the
denomination, according to the bishop. Those gifts, he said, include a
“spirituality forged in prayer life,” expertise at evangelism and
stewardship, and “a wonderful culture of hospitality and respect.”
“The council wants to be a catalyst for sharing these gifts and its resources with the church,” Park explained.
its organizing meeting in late January, the council set six goals that
incorporate the national plan’s “vision areas” of servant leadership
formation, next-generation ministries, and congregational development
and redevelopment of existing ministries.
strategy for servant leadership formation will focus on clergy,
professional staff and lay leaders for “first and next-generation”
Korean Americans. That strategy will include emphasis on the church’s
connectional system, community outreach and justice ministry,
intergenerational partnership, mission interpretation and cross-cultural
The council hopes to help the Korean-American community see “new possibilities” for work as partners in mission, Park said.
goals include leadership formation and integration for Korean-American
clergywomen; the establishment of 15 new next-generation congregations
and campus ministries; recruitment of next-generation men and women for
training and ordination through United Methodist-related seminaries; the
establishment of 15 new Korean congregations and strengthening of
existing congregations; and the expansion of resource materials and
national data on Korean-American churches and mission.
*Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in New York.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.