Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Presbyterian Church of Korea
Presbyterians in the United States and Korea have a long history of shared mission as followers of Jesus Christ. Leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Presbyterian Church of Korea gathered from April 17 – 19, 2013 to pray and think together about future directions our shared mission might take.
The mission consultation occurred at a time of increased tension on the Korean Peninsula. Out of a shared faith and concern, the gathered group wrote a joint statement on the peace of the Korean Peninsula.
While each communion has spoken for peace and justice on the Korean Peninsula in the past, this marks one of the few times that representatives of the two communions have made a joint statement:
God shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. ~ Isaiah 2:4
Representatives of the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (PC(USA)), including the moderators of each denomination, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), the General Secretary of the PCK, and leading staff members in ecumenical relations and mission of each denomination, met on April 17-19, 2013, at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Louisville, Kentucky, to consult on our shared mission in the name of Jesus Christ. For more than 129 years Presbyterians in Korea and the United States have worked in a costly fellowship to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and to seek human rights, democratization, and peaceful reunification for all the Korean people.
This consultation took place at a time of escalating tensions among South Korea, North Korea, and the United States. The current crisis concerns us deeply and points to larger, unresolved issues, including the division of the Korean Peninsula after Korea’s liberation from Japan, the unended Korean War, the separation of families, and the presence of nuclear weapons on the peninsula. In response to Christ, we issue this joint statement that calls for steps that may lead nations and peoples in the way of justice-peace for life
In the short term, we call
For the long-term, we call
Recognizing the key role of people of faith, we call
We ask the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA) and the General Secretary of the PCK to communicate this statement to their respective denominations, to appropriate government officials in their respective countries, North Korea, the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, and Japan, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the members of the United Nations Security Council, and to the ecumenical community.
We affirm our commitment to walk in humility, with open minds, prepared to change our ways fulfilling the ministry of reconciliation as we follow the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. ~ Matthew 5:9
Participants from the Presbyterian Church of Korea included the Rev. Dr. Dal Ig Son, Moderator, the Rev. Dr. Hong Jung Lee, General Secretary, the Rev. Chang-bae Byun, Executive Secretary of Ecumenical Relations and Planning, the Rev. Dr. Jeong Kwon Lee, Executive Secretary for World Mission, and the Rev. Dr. Hyunju Bae, Professor at the Busan Presbyterian University. Participants from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) included the Rev. Neal Presa, Ph.D. Moderator of the 220th General Assembly, the Rev. Gradye Parsons Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, the Rev. Robina Winbush, Associate Stated Clerk for Ecumenical Relations, Office of the General Assembly, Elder Linda Valentine, Executive Director, Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Rev. Dr. Hunter Farrell, Director of World Mission, and the Rev. Mienda Uriarte, Area Coordinator, Asia and the Pacific, Presbyterian Mission Agency