This summer Lee and I had the opportunity to participate in the 2018 World Methodist Council meeting in Seoul, Korea. I continue to be inspired by this worldwide body that encourages unity in witness, mission and ecumenical relationships among Methodist, Wesleyan, and related churches. 80 million Methodist affiliates and members from 138 countries are represented by the World Methodist Council family. http://worldmethodistcouncil.org/about/
While participating in the Seoul meeting, I particularly appreciated:
- Worshipping with about 5000 persons in a 4:45 am prayer service at the Kwanglim Korean Methodist Church;
- Seeing the vision and sensing the hope for peace on the Korean peninsula;
- Enjoying great authentic Korean food, most of which I ate with chopsticks. Even though I do not have adventuresome tastebuds, I found the cuisine to be great!
- Reconnecting for dinner with a South Korean exchange student who lived with Lee, Leanndra, Andrew and me in 2008 during her senior year of high school;
- Receiving inspiration as Methodists from a variety of countries and ethnicities shared best evangelism practices;
- Participating as the guest preacher at the Kamlam Korean Methodist Church, pastored by Rev. Kee Woo Lee;
- Being reminded of the Thursdays in Black initiative which encourages World Methodist Council churches to speak out against violence in all forms, especially towards girls and women. www.oikoumene.org/en/get-involved/thursdays-in-black;
- Approving recommendations that will lead to greater representation of youth and young adult leadership on the World Methodist Council;
- Emphasizing shared ministry that addresses migration, racism, poverty and inequality.
I left the Council meeting with much gratitude for our sisters and brothers in the Methodist family around the world. My prayer is that the witness, mission and unity of the Wesleyan movement will grow in strength and impact as we serve together to make the world a better place.
As always it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
North Alabama Conference