Wednesday 30 October 2013

Blogging from Busan - Day One of the WCC Assembly in Korea

DAY ONE: After a long journey, we arrived at BUSAN in South Korea for the opening of the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) on Wednesday.

Other South Africans from ACSA include Bishop Jo Seoka of Pretoria, Canon Nangula Kathindi of Namibia, Mrs Lungi Makgoba and Professor Bev Haddad of the University of KwaZulu/Natal, all attending in various capacities.

We had a good "reunion" with other bishops and Primates from the Anglican Communion, as well as some clergy and laity, but the auditorium was too full to accommodate everyone for the opening plenary so we had to sit in the worship space and follow proceedings on a screen.

Jet-lagged and finding screens too impersonal, we decided to go to the conference's market place, where we were struck by many of the exhibitions - but chiefly by the ecumenical work which is being done for the disabled. I don't think that is an aspect of ministry which we as a province have spent much thought on, or are doing much about.

Then to the first business of the assembly, when we listened to the general secretary, the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the moderator of the Central Committee, the Rev. Dr Walter Altmann, and other programme directors present their reports or move for their reception.

What stuck out for me was the call by most for "Just Peace". The reports gave a synopsis of the work of the past seven years and the vision for the next under the assembly theme of “God of life, lead us to justice and peace.”

Parishioners at home should know of the longing by South Korea in particular for reunification with North Korea so that lasting peace is attained.

One objective of choosing Korea for the venue of the assembly was to support this longing, and to amplify the voices of the Christian minority to the majority, hopefully contributing to the achievement one day of lasting peace with justice.

God bless you,


THE PHOTO ABOVE shows a dramatic performance which narrated a history of the national and Christian mission in Korea.