National Council of Churches Korea representatives visit Pyungyang November 2 thru November 5, 2011.
The NCCK (National Council of Churches in Korea) representatives visited Pyungyang on November 2nd (Wed) through November 5th (Sat), 2011. Above are Rev. Lee Young-Hoon (Moderator of the Assembly of God and the President of the NCCK; Rev. Kim Young Ju, General Secretary, of the NCCK; Rev. Lee Kyu-Hak, The Korea Methodist Church; Rev. Kim Jong-Hoon, The Korea Methodist Church, Seoul Conference; Rev. Yoo Jung-Sung Moderator of the PROK; Bishop Kim Keun-Sang, Primate of the Anglican Church of Korea; Rev. Bae Tae-Jin, General Secretary of the PROK; Rev. Choi Gil-Hak General Secretary of the Assembly of God; Rev. Lee Keun-Bok, Director, Ecumenical Training Center of the NCCK; Mr. Lee Chang-Hwi, Reconciliation and Unification Department of the NCCK.
'The Joint Worship service praying for Peace and Reunification by Christians in North and South Korea' took place in Bong-Su Church in Pyungyang, November 3rd. After greetings by Rev. Kang Young-Sup, chairperson of the Korean Christian Federation and Rev. Kim Young-Ju, General Secretary of the NCCK, Rev. Son Hyo-Soon, senior pastor of Bong Su Church led the worship service. The program started with prayer led by Bishop Lee Kyu-Hak, the sermon titled "Work of Oneness (Ephesians 4:1-6)" by Rev. Lee Young-Hoon (President of the NCCK), reading of the Joint Prayer by Rev. Bae Tae-Jin and one member of Bongsu church, offering, and song by the church choir, benediction by Rev. Yoo Jung-Sung.
Prayer meeting at the Chilgol Church: Welcome by Rev. Hwang Si-Chon, senior pastor of the Chilgol Church, the group had a prayer service. Bishop Kim Keun Sang greeted and spoke about the meaning of the visit, song by the choir, closing prayer led by Bishop Kim Jong Hoon.
The KCF (Korean Christian Federation of North Korea) has discussed with the Korea Methodist Church the remodeling of the Chilgol Church this discussion started a long time ago. The group visited the place of the construction of 'David Cho's Cardiac Hospital' in Pyungyang which was stopped due to the deteriorating relationship between the two Koreas and the impossibility of transferring the necessary items and equipment. The Korean Christian Federation has expressed its hope that the construction will resume, and Rev. Lee Young Hoon, Senior pastor of the Yeouido Full Gospel Church responded positively, expressing his committed effort to construction continuing. The group prayed enthusiastically for this accomplishment. There was also an opportunity for the group to visit Mt. Myohang, 'Daedong river fruit farm' and take a Pyungyang city tour.
The significance of the NCCK visit to Pyungyang
This visit by the NCCK church leaders to Pyungyang was important in the sense of that it was the first for Christians from the North and the South to get together since the May 24th measure by the South Korean government prohibiting a relationship between the North and South and cooperation after the Chonan warship incident. The significance of the visit is in the opening of a social and cultural relationship between the two Koreas which has been closed. During the discussion between the NCCK and the KCF, the NCCK church leaders' visit to Pyungyang every October aiming at holding prayer meetings for peace in the Korean peninsula was proposed and positively agreed. The NCCK has asked the KCF to come to Busan for the World Council of Churches (WCC) 10th Assembly and as well the KCF's cooperation for the realization of "Peace Train". Both have agreed to the continuous exchange of joint prayer texts commemorating the 'March 1st movement' and 'Easter Sunday', to observe the North and South joint prayer for peace and reunification of the Korean peninsula, and in addition to cooperate in humanitarian food support.
Regarding the construction of 'David Cho's Cardiac Hospital' in Pyungyang', the Full Gospel Church expressed its willingness to complete the outer frame before May 2012. About the Chilgol Church, the Korean Methodist Church expressed that they will make every effort for the remodeling within the church. These are very important in the sense of the social service relationship with the North.
Through this opportunity to visit Pyungyang, we hope that the North and the South will resume their relationship and cooperation actively like in the past, and the NCCK has an important task to accomplish these expectations. We pray that the day of reconciliation and reuniting of our nation will be soon through these active exchanges and cooperation as well as joint prayer meetings by Christians of the North and the South.
NCCK's Pyungyang Visit Report
Reported by the NCCK
November 6, 2011