Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Asia Updates: January 2009

KOREA : New Bishop’s plans

The Rt. Rev. Paul Kim will be installed as the 5th bishop of Seoul on 15th January. His grandfather was martyred during the Korean War when he remained in his parish in the area of communist rule. His father was also an Anglican pastor. He studied at a seminary in Toronto.
His theme after 8 years' of ministry is said to be 'church growth' and 'mission abroad'. It is compared to the 3rd bishop who stressed on 'church planting', and the 4th bishop who drove to 'ecumenical dialogue' and 'TOPIK – humanitarian support to North Korea'. 

The blue print of mission from the diocese is summarized in the booklet of the diocesan synod in 22 November 2008: "The diocese of Seoul sent about ten pastors to the Japanese Anglican Church, and will continue to send two or three pastors every year. A series of discussion is needed with CMS who has set one of their centers in Seoul and also some dioceses in US, to draw a plan to send young pastors, evangelist and lay MPs to do diverse ministry in diverse areas … To set a network of pastors and MPs and supporters; To partner with CMS, to set a policy of mission abroad; To form strong supporters at the level of parishes, organizations and groups; To have more close relationship with Korean pastors who work in other country"

This plan shows that he is open to CMS as a partner who can make the plan work. He invites CMS as the way of forming the policy of his ministry concerning oversee.……. If the new bishop is pursuing church growth, then Alpha Clergy, Diakonia Training Center and Cross Station will be the key groups for his ministry, and the results will strengthen the contents of mission.
‘To deliver the heat of Jesus' love, a flame should be started. I feel morning calm in Seoul. Harmony overwhelms discords.’                          Rev Simon

PAKISTAN: Priest Kidnapped 

“A priest of the Diocese of Peshawar, Rev. Tanzeel Zafar, has been kidnapped on his way home from the Diocesan Centre, Peshawar. 

Rev. Tanzeel Zafar is the Priest-In-charge of Charsadda and Shabqadar parish and is also Assistant in Mardan Parish, N.W.F.P. He left St. John’s Cathedral for his home in Swati Gate, on Friday afternoon. 
However, he did not reach there.”

(Frontier News Diocese of Peshawar, Church of Pakistan January 09)

UPDATE: ‘We wish to thank God Almighty that last evening (Sunday 11 January 2009) at about 8.00 p.m., the above named Priest was thrown by his abductors at the gates of St. John's Cathedral Church, 1-Sir Syed Road, Peshawar Cantt: He was immediately rushed to Lady Reading Hospital and given emergency treatment. He is deeply traumatized and has been severely beaten.

GAZA:  Love and the Enemy 

The events in Israel and GAZA have dominated the news. Tanas shares his response:

This morning as I sat down to have my breakfast, I switched on the television to watch the news of the Gaza crisis. As I watched what is happening, with many women and children been killed, schools destroyed and houses turned to rubble, my heart broke and tears filled my eyes. Violence is increasing on both sides, more Israeli soldiers are getting killed, many of the Israelis who live close to the Gaza border are in fear and it seems like more people are getting angrier, losing hope and wanting revenge. …
.…. in my role with CMS I am trying to respond in a creative way and find ways to help Christians in the region work together in mission. I have Palestinian friends losing loved ones. I have Jewish friends being called up into the army. I do not want to take sides, I want to be on Jesus’ side and have others join me. Yes, there are injustices that we need to address. But we need to learn how to address them with love. Only Jesus can help us act out his toughest commandment:                 “Love your enemy.”                                                                                   

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