Kukmin Daily Newsletter (Issue 30)


Kukmin Daily Newsletter (Issue 30)

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Kukmin Daily Newsletter
Issue 30
June 29, 2020
Seoul, Korea


This month we remember the Korean War, which broke out 70 years ago in 1950. Diverse programs and prayers express the deep longing to finally bring the war to an end; and the Korean churches have resolved to play an important role on the path to a peaceful Korean peninsula. This newsletter also includes the results of a survey on changes in the church since the start of COVID-19 and predictions of future prospects. And for the first time, we are sharing a praise song video clip. Isn’t music the international language? On our ‘C Code’ YouTube channel you’ll find additional praise song clips we’ve produced. May God’s comforting hands continue to heal and strengthen us all.

UCCK Statement on 70th anniversary of Korean War: “Come what may, let’s go forward on the big road to peace”

The United Christian Churches of Korea (UCCK) said on June 17 in its Statement on the 70th Anniversary of the Korean War, “Although the way to South-North reconciliation and coexistence remains far, narrow and steep, we must travel the road of peace, caring for one another… Regardless of the situation, let us clear the way and go forth on the big road to peace.”

The statement asks the government and political parties to do what is necessary for the establishment of peace on the Korean peninsula, and pledges the churches’ cooperation.

UCCK first requests the government to act more positively in converting to a structure of peace, and to smooth the way to a peace settlement through dialogue and cooperation with surrounding nations. It asks the ruling and opposition parties to reflect on their long misuse of the national issue for political maneuvering, and to restore trust, making arrangements for exchange and cooperation as key elements needed for national coexistence and the national interest. It calls on the U.S., China and other nations in the region to abandon self-interested policies that keep Korea permanently divided, and to guarantee exchanges among the divided Korean people and separated families.

The statement also expresses the Korean churches’ intent to devote their efforts to establishing a road to peace on the Korean peninsula. It says that while working in solidarity with civil society to open the way to peace, the churches will practice humanitarian love for their compatriots in the North in the spirit of Jesus’ love and teachings, will nurture young people as the unification generation to settle peace on the peninsula, and will do their best to carry out the national task of being a leader for peace in North East Asia and the world.

[Survey] Post-corona ministry would focus on on-site worship and restored fellowship

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Korea (Tonghap), with the assistance of JI&COM Research, carried out a “Post Corona-19 Survey” from May 28 to June 1 targeting 1,135 head pastors of the denomination, and announced the results on June 16. In the post COVID-19 era, the pastors indicated, they will promote fellowship among believers, elevate the power of their preaching, and emphasize gatherings for worship. Relatively few said they would strengthen online worship and online Bible study.

With regard to Sunday worship, 73.2% said “It certainly must be held in the church.” When asked, “What is the greatest difficulty caused to the church by COVID-19?” 39.0% replied, “Members’ weakened appreciation of the holy Sabbath, and a lessened sense of belonging.” Asked to name positive outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, 44.2% agreed that “It made people experience how precious on-site worship is.”

Responding to a question on how much church offerings have shrunk, 53.0% replied “20~40%”; 23.8% said “less than 20%”; and 17.3% said “40~60%.” Asked where they would scale down funds in the case of reduced finances, 60.2% said “to church events and operational costs,” 20.9% “to clergy and staff pay,” and 8.7% “to presbytery-related financial support.” The pastors showed a relatively strong will not to reduce “domestic mission expenses” (2.2%) or “education department finances” (0.3%).

Analyzing the results, Representative Ji Yong-geun of the Ministry Data Institute said, “Society shows a high demand for online activities, but the pastors are showing a relatively high preference for on-site rather than online worship… The dilemma is that if you suggest worshipping online, members probably will not come to church but will go to online worship; and if you don’t suggest going online, they will probably go to a different church online; this problem will likely become more serious in the second half of the year.”

Comforting song of praise “God’s World” (Bree’s version) - Hymn for June

Bree sings Hong I-sak’s original melody “God’s World” as an anthem of praise. We hope this anthem will bring comfort to those undergoing difficulty in life, especially young people who are seeking jobs and dealing with other problems. (Arrangement by Lee Shin-yeong)

박여라 영문에디터 yap@kmib.co.kr