The fourth Annual Christian Forum for Reconciliation in Northeast Asia took place May 29-June 3, 2017 on Jeju Island, South Korea.
Initiated by the Duke Divinity School Center for Reconciliation, the Mennonite Central Committee, and Christians in Northeast Asia from different denominations, the forum is held annually. The third forum was conducted in Hong Kong.
About 80 Christians from the United States, mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea attended. They meditated on Corinthians 5: 17-20: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. God reconciled the world to himself in Christ not counting people's sins against them and He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. The host believed that these verses were good news to us from the Bible and God entrusted the mission of reconciliation to Christians.
Chris Rice, co-founder of the Duke Center for Reconciliation, shared that the forum adopted a devotional and close-to-life style, hoping 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. "We come to Jeju from different journeys, contexts, and traditions. At the same time we share three "We's." First, we share a Christian "we" in the search for preace as God's reconciling mission. Second, we share a calling to serve our shared context of Northeast Asia. Third, we share a passion to strengthen Christian witness in the ministry of reconciliation and peace," said Chris.
The five mornings started with worship and devotionals and the evenings concluded with Taizé prayer services. Meanwhile, themed speeches that considered the journey of reconciliation from different perspectives including biblical theology, practical theology, and contextualization were given. Afternoon seminars covered the biblical foundation for reconciliation, the Korean Peninsula and Christians, reconciliation and the history of the Northeast Asia, programs in peace and reconciliation, Taizé ministry of reconciliation, and "men and women are one in Christ Jesus."
In addition to these, a half-day trip to the April 3rd Jeju massacre museum was arranged to learn the painful history of the island.
Translated by Karen Luo