Korean students prepare for ministry via ''travelling theology''

Gyoung Ho Jeong: ''process of learning from life settings''

A Korean professor who has taken theology students to live with nomadic herders in Mongolia and with the urban poor in Viet Nam believes he may be creating a new branch of theology, one which he has dubbed « Travelling Theology ».

Gyoung Ho Jeong who teaches Christian social ethics at Youngnam Theological College and Seminary in Kyungsan is in Geneva for meetings of the executive committee of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (21-31 May).

Jeong described his novel approach to teaching theology in a review of initiatives by Reformed church institutions in response to economic and environmental concerns. In Mongolia, Jeong’s students learned from herders about living a lifestyle that respects the local ecology.

“The herders showed us that they could gather all their garbage for six months in one small plastic bag,” Jeong marvels. “Each time they cooked rice, they would put a few grains into the ground to say thank you to Grandmother Earth.”

Jeong laughs as he reports that students learned about caring for God’s creation by literally getting their hands dirty. “When the local people realized that we could not ride horses and would be of no use for herding, they assigned us to collect horse dung to enrich the soil!”

The Korean group observed that, despite the herders’ care for the environment, their drinking water is polluted by other sources and is causing high rates of kidney problems. The students left vowing to return with a kidney specialist. "This is a process of learning from life settings,” says Jeong. “It is not tourism.”

A second group of students travelled to Ho Chi Min City on a peace mission to bring apologies to local churches for Korea’s role in the American war in Viet Nam. Jeong says it is not widely known in Korea that from 1968 - 1971 there were Korean soldiers fighting alongside American troops.

“This involvement in the war effort helped Korea take off economically,” Jeong says. “We are now a rich country because of what we did. So we must apologize.”

The students were invited by the church in Viet Nam to visit congregations where they brought apologies, the first known to have been made by Korean Christians.

Seeing the poverty in the communities they visited, the students chose to eat frugally and to save their food money to contribute to a project which is building houses for the poor. The savings of USD $1500 will cover the costs of building three new homes.

“My job is to train seminarians who will work in the future world,” says Jeong. “These experiences will affect how their theology develops for years to come.”

Pressemitteilung des Reformierten Weltbundes (RWB) / WARC, 27. Mai 2009

USA: Die Reformierte Kirche in Amerika (Reformed Church in America (RCA)) übernimmt Belhar Bekenntnis

Anti-apartheid document finds new life in US Reformed Church Washington DC
(ENI/RNS). For some 400 years, the small Reformed Church in America has relied on only three confessional statements of belief, all of them forged in the crucible of the Reformation. This week, they'll add a fourth, and its unlikely origins - apartheid-era South Africa - speak volumes about the changing nature of global Christianity and its impact on one of America's oldest denominations, Religion News Service reports.


Eine Bewegung gegen den Strom: zwei weltweite Kirchennetzwerke schließen sich zusammen

Hauptauftrag der neuen Weltgemeinschaft Reformierter Kirchen: Einheit der Kirchen und soziales Engagement
Die beiden größten Netzwerke protestantischer Kirchen der reformierten Tradition treffen sich vom 18 bis zum 28. Juni 2010 in Grand Rapids im Nordosten der Vereinigten Staaten; um eine neue Organisation zu bilden. Das drückt einen neuen Stand der Beziehungen zwischen zwei Kirchenfamilien aus, die einst auch voneinander getrennt waren.

Kristine Greenaway (WARC), Genf (gekürzt), 7. Juni 2010; Übersetzung: Stefan Maser

Schweiz / SEK: Globalisiert reformiert

Wipf: ''Gemeinschaft sein ohne hierarchische Struktur''
«In Grand Rapids fällt ein historischer Entscheid: Aus der weltweiten Allianz der Reformierten wird eine theologisch fundierte Gemeinschaft», sagte Thomas Wipf, Präsident des Schweizerischen Evangelischen Kirchenbundes SEK, an der Tagung der Schweizer Reformierten vom 27. Mai 2010. Damit haben sie sich auf den Gründungsakt der Weltgemeinschaft Reformierter Kirchen WRK vom 18. bis 27. Juni 2010 in Grand Rapids (Michigan, USA) vorbereitet.

Schweizerischer Evangelischer Kirchenbund SEK, Medienmitteilung, Bern, 28.5.2010
A respected American Indian religious educator and cultural consultant is to be a featured speaker at an international gathering of Reformed churches in the United States this June. Richard Twiss, a member of the Rosebud Lakota/Sioux Tribe, will address the founding meeting of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) in Grand Rapids.

Reformierter Weltbund, 22. April 2010

WRK: Bibelarbeiten ''Das ist unsere Familie''

''Einigkeit im Geist durch das Band des Friedens''
Fünf Bibelarbeiten zur Vorbereitung auf die gemeinsame Generalversammlung des Reformierten Weltbundes (RWB) und des Reformierten Ökumenischen Rates (REC) zur Bildung der Weltgemeinschaft Reformierter Kirchen (WRK) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA vom 18. bis 27. Juni 2010. Als PDF zum Download auf www.reformedchurches.org

Barbara Schenck
An international panel of pastors and theologians is drafting a 'manifesto' on church unity and social justice for a new global organisation of Reformed churches. The text is to be presented in June to the Uniting General Council (UGC) of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) in Grand Rapids, United States.

Barbara Schenck

Weltgemeinschaft Reformierter Kirchen: Eine Stärkung des ökumenischen Miteinanders

Bukowski: ''Innerreformierte Aufspaltung in zwei Weltbünde wird endlich überwunden.''
Vor der ''Vereinigenden Generalversammlung'' von Reformiertem Weltbund und Reformiertem Ökumenischem Rat. Ein Gespräch mit Peter Bukowski, dem Moderator des Reformierten Bundes.
Leaders of two global networks of Reformed churches set to merge in June have issued a statement declaring their commitment to a continued focus on justice concerns following the merger. The text includes specific reference to racial justice.

WARC, 10 February 2010

WCRC: Uniting General Council

Newsletter Januar 2010
Volunteers Still Needed for Historic Merger - WCRC Uniting General Council Schedule of Main Events

Barbara Schenck