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World Methodist Conference set for July in Korea

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A UMNS file photo by Mike DuBose

The Kwang Lim Trinity Choir of Korea performs during closing ceremonies at the 2001 World Methodist Conference in Brighton, England.
Jan. 30, 2006

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) - Methodists from the far corners of the earth will come together July 20-24 in Seoul, South Korea, for the 19th World Methodist Conference.

"All Methodists worldwide have been invited to join with their Korean Methodist brothers and sisters in attending this momentous event and in praying with the Korean Methodists for peace in their land and for the reunification of the Korean peninsula," said the Rev. George Freeman, top staff executive of the World Methodist Council.

The assembly is the only event that specifically brings together people from all of the world's Wesleyan traditions. The theme will be "God in Christ Reconciling."

"This theme will be the focus of our time together each day," Freeman said. "We look forward to the gathering of believers in the Methodist/Wesleyan family and to the things which God will cause to happen as a result of this conference."

Conference sessions will be held in the 10,000-seat Kum Nan Methodist Church. The gathering will open with a 400-voice choir and full orchestra from Korean Methodist churches. A procession of representatives carrying banners from many of the 130 countries where Methodist and Uniting Church Christians live will wind its way to the altar.

Delegates will have an opportunity to become better acquainted through five days of Bible studies and messages brought by Methodist leaders from Ireland, Kenya, Sri Lanka, the United States, Israel, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore.

Gillian Kingston, a lay pastor from the Methodist Church of Ireland and chairperson of the program committee, said discussion and sharing that will take place in seminars and workshops will focus on crucial issues facing Methodists worldwide: ecumenism and dialogue; education; world evangelism; family life; social and international affairs; theological education; worship and liturgy; and youth.

"The uniqueness of Christianity will be apparent as participants gather in seminars Saturday afternoon," she said.

LINK: Click to open full size version of image
A UMNS file photo by Mike DuBose

Bishop John R. Bryant of the African Methodist Episcopal Church delivers the theme address at the 2001 conference.
On a daily basis, the program will reflect some of the diversity of the world's cultures. On July 21, the Korean Church will present Korean Cultural Night, with music and dance from the host country.

Michael Tan, from the Methodist Church Singapore, has designed the conference logo, which represents the four corners of the earth in the shape of the cross. The logo and theme symbolize the reconciliation that God offers all humanity through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The conference, representing 76 denominations with roots in the Methodist movement, meets every five years. The last gathering was held in Brighton, England, in July 2001.

Information on the conference is available by contacting the World Methodist Council, P.O. Box 518, Lake Junaluska, N.C. 28745, or going to Travel details are available by calling Travelink at (800) 227-5680 or (828) 252-8484 or going online to

*The World Methodist Council provided information for this report.

News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or

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