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NZ and Korean Methodists talk turkey

Visiting South Korea for the World Methodist Conference gave Methodist Church of NZ leaders the opportunity to meet with their Korean counterparts. Under discussion were issues related to Korean Methodist ministry in Aotearoa.

MCNZ general secretary Rev Jill Van de Geer, co-director mission resourcing Rev Nigel Hanscamp, and synod superintendent Auckland Rev David Pratt met with the Seoul South Methodist Conference Bishop Choong Sik Kim, general secretary Rev Lim, secretary Lee and translator Rev Paul Hwang. Paul worked in NZ at Beach Haven for four years and is familiar with MCNZ’s ethos and practice.

Nigel says there are currently 12 Korean congregations in NZ staffed by presbyters from Seoul South Methodist Conference. The meeting focused on future relationships between the two national churches and what the future of Korean Methodist ministry in NZ might involve.

At a meeting two years ago, the previous bishop raised the possibility of exchanging letters of recognition and friendship. It was hoped that this would mean Korean congregations in NZ and Korean presbyters serving them could participate more fully in the life of the MCNZ, attend Conference and synods as official observers, and receive training at MCNZ facilities.

At the talks in July it was agreed to:

  • investigate common protocols for ministry, with possible exchange visits between the Seoul South Methodist Conference and the MCNZ Conference in 2007;
  • invite closer cooperation between Korean presbyters serving in New Zealand and the synods where they work;
  • provide orientation programmes for Korean ministers coming to serve in NZ;
  • tighten the arrangements for those coming to work in New Zealand to give more information to the MCNZ;
  • invite a group of Korean pastors to come to Conference as official observers.