Seoul Day Five
Woke up to a beautiful day in Seoul -- the sun is shining, and the heavy rain yesterday has made everything sparkle.
The Rev. Bayani Rico addressed the group -- asking for those who attended the workshop on Social Ministry in Korea -- there are more social ministries in Korea than there are Anglican Churches in Korea -- it is a focus of their work in the world. The Foreign Laborers Center was awarded a gift of money from EAM -- Fr. Columba accepted the gift to support the ministry of the center. I had visited there four years ago -- it is a rich and complete ministry.
Korean churches responded to the disaster with relative silence -- not questioning what happened -- thinking it was an accident. They did not mourn with the victims families and friends. Easter Sunday fell just 4 days later -- most churches preached and celebrated Easter as usual -- they lost the ability of mourning and reflection -- the loss of the ability to mourn was a great issue. The chair of the Christian Council questioned later why poor students were going to Jeju Island -- a form of continued coverup of the truth of the disaster -- blaming the victims -- criticizing the victims and their families. Families are still wanting to know exactly what happened and what will change in the future. Jeremiah went on to say that we become real human beings when we develop the ability of listen, lament and mourn. God listens to those who mourn -- that is our model -- not sweeping emotions under the rug, but looking at the situation, listening to those who mourn -- lamenting and mourning with them, and then working to change the situation or structure that caused the pain. This is the work of the church. This is the starting point of transformation -- let us move to mission, restoring the nature of the mission of the church -- restoring our missionary heart, our mission shaped church, which listens to and mourns with those who suffer.
A question and answer session followed with the two keynote speakers.
We are actually on the South of the Island sitting in the church -- we will be heading out to a point farthest north where we can see North Korea.
North Korea). It was a sad song, and it kept repeating. It was absolutely beautiful up there after the rain -- and it was a peaceful scene on both sides. This tranquility was broken when I looked down towards the shore and saw barbed wire.
We left there about 9 pm for the hour long drive back to the cathedral and then the walk back to the hotel. It will be an early morning and a long day tomorrow. I wonder what the 125th anniversary Eucharist in the morning will be like?