Christian Forum for Reconciliation in Northeast Asia Held Again in Korea

By Karen Luo, June 03, 2019 13:06 PM

Participants at the sixth Annual Christian Forum for Reconciliation in Northeast Asia prayd together on May 31, 2019.

The sixth Annual Christian Forum for Reconciliation in Northeast Asia was held from May 27 - June 1, 2019, in Jeju Island, South Korea.

Initiated by Duke Divinity School's Center for Reconciliation, Mennonite Central Committee, and colleges and institutions in Northeast Asia, the forum is held annually. The fifth forum was conducted in Japan.

About 90 Christians from the United States, mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea attended it. They refelcted on Corinthians 5: 17-20, about God's reconciliation of all things through Christ. The forum adopted the phrase "Word Made Flesh", examining the three critical dimensions that it contains: theological ("the Word"), contextual ("became flesh"), and practical ("and dwelt among us").

Chris Rice, from Duke Divinity School'sl Center for Reconciliation and one of the forum's founders, said that reconciliation was the story of hope. In the past, there was a history of pain, hatred, and murder. However, the participants gathered there had walked on the God's path of reconciliation, in that they had been strangers to one another but now had become companions on the journey. 

Continuing in the previous style, the forum started with worship and devotionals in the morning and ended with Taizé worship in the evening.  The hope was that misunderstanding and divisions could be eliminated when Christians from different countries and cultures worshiped, praised, communicated with each other, and reflected on Jesus Christ's spirit of "reconciliation" together. Activities included plenary and workshops sessions.

Morning plenary themes concerned the teachings on biblical "new creation", "lament", "hope" and "call". Afternoon workshop sessions covered the topics of a theology of reconciliation, women, scripture and the ministry of reconciliation, the criticalhistorical thinking of the history for church to pursue authenic peace in Northeasatern Asia, pastors and the ministry of reconciliation, reconciliation and creation care, applying restorative justice to critical challenge, reconciliation and the next generation, and minority peoples at the margins.  

In addition, a day's pilgrimage was taken during which the attendees visited local historical sites and ministries related to reconciliation and peace. The attendees paid a visit to Jeju's April 3rd Peace Park to know the painful history of the island and urgent need for peace.  

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