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Korean church leaders set vision for next four years

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A UMNS photo by the Rev. Keihwan Ryoo

Bishop Jeremiah Park (left) serves communion during the United Methodist Council on Korean-American Ministries meeting.
Dec. 5, 2005

A UMNS Report
By Keihwan Kevin Ryoo*

A vision based on “Wesleyan tradition and Korean spirituality” will lead the United Methodist Council on Korean-American Ministries for the next four years, said the group’s new executive secretary.

“We need to focus on healthy growing of Korean United Methodist Churches as well as bringing hope to the general church,” said the Rev. Paul H. Chang. “I believe this is why the denomination supported the Korean Plan for four more years.”

Chang began serving July 1 as the council’s executive secretary, with offices in New York City.

“The Korean-American National Plan has worked with Rev. Chang, who brings new vision and insights for our ministry, to balance first-generation Korean-speaking congregation with the next generation of English-speaking congregations,” said Bishop Jeremiah Park, leader of the denomination’s New York Area and president of the council.

Meeting in September, council members decided to make their vision for 2005-2008, “Wesleyan tradition and Korean spirituality integrated in a way that enables and encourages all persons to be involved in discipleship.” Chang outlined that vision, which also includes identifying Korean United Methodist spiritual formation models that can be shared with the whole church.

“During the 2005-2008 quadrennium, the United Methodist Council on Korean-American Ministries will begin to move toward this vision by developing and testing models and resources that bring together aspects of Wesleyan tradition and characteristics of Korean spirituality,” the council stated as its goal.

The organization has a $1.8 million program budget for 2005-08, which includes:

  • Congregation development – 45 percent;
  • Next-generation ministry – 25 percent;
  • Leadership development – 20 percent; and
  • Korean ministry models and resources development – 10 percent.

The council adjusted the plan from the original $3.2 million approved by the 2004 General Conference due to possible reduction of income from apportionments and increasing administrative expenses.

The national plan will challenge Korean United Methodist churches to match $1 million to focus on church plantings in the United States, to pay annual conference apportionments in full and to support Board of Global Ministries mission initiatives.

Chang said the council’s Web site would provide funding guidelines, resources and meeting minutes in order to involve the Korean United Methodist community more directly. The council will hold its next regular meeting in September 2006.

*Ryoo is director of Korean Resources and editor of United Methodist in Service.

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

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