Saturday, October 3, 2015

Seoul Day Six

The big day!

Little did I know when I woke up today that my day would turn out the way it did.

It was more than glorious, and very humbling. I hope to lay out some of the details below. What will follow are lots of pictures.....

All of the Bishops met with the Archbishop of Korea for breakfast -- it was great to be with everyone. The Prime Bishop of the Philippines sat next to me and reminded me that he wanted to begin a CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education Program) in the Philippines. I had just seen The Rev. Dr. Ron David outside our room at breakfast, and took the Prime Bishop over to meet him -- long story short, they are talking and hoping to work together to begin a program in the Philippines. Wow! All this before my coffee came.

We introduced ourselves around our tables (it was so good to see so many bishops present). We were given a present of stoles made for the event to be worn as we process and to keep. It is the symbol of a cross with a red top part and a blue bottom part -- with a spit between. It is a reconciliation cross -- the symbol for the bringing together -- in this context, the reunification of North and South Korea. I've taken a photo of the actual cross we were all given -- it is not the best representation of what is on the stoles, but I hope you get the idea.

We were asked to come an hour in advance of the service for vesting and to be ready for our time together. It was a prayer filled time -- so many friends to greet, so much love to share. We met as bishops at the convent and spent time talking and catching up some more. I gave some a tour of the garden at the convent -- we were greeted and treated so warmly. Here is a picture of the TEC Bishops. You can see the crosses I mentioned above on our stoles which were also given to us later to wear around our necks (and what I took a picture of). What a blessing.

We processed to the far area of the Cathedral and blessed a bust of the first Korean clergy -- an ancestor of several of the current Korean clergy, including Aida Kim who participated in our CPE program in Los Angeles at Good Samaritan Hospital. Here is a picture of the Archbishop in the process of blessing the bust.

We then entered the Cathedral -- it was a grand procession. It was a grand day! Beautiful music, a wonderful liturgy. I can't begin to describe the immense pride I had (I know it is a sin) -- I was proud to be representing the Diocese of Los Angeles. Proud to be there. Proud to know so many brothers and sisters in Christ. This is an incredibly important ministry in our context in Los Angeles, and the contacts here and the context we understand from being here helps immensely in our ministry together. Enough on that. But really -- wow.

As the Eucharist unfolded I was pleased to see our own Joon Matsumura as a lector at the service, offering a prayer. When I realized it was her and what was happening I jumped up and took a picture --
here she is, barely visible -- and here is the prayer that she prayed.

We then went on and with the service -- and more surprises. I was up front in the concelebration (one of the few perks of being short). After I received communion and sat down I realized that our own Anna  
Olson was in front of the altar distributing communion. And when my husband Steve came up for communion, I couldn't help snapping off a picture. 

After the service we were ushered outside for a clergy group photo -- WOW!!! so many, such a great blessing. AND the Diocese of Los Angeles was well represented both by clergy and laity with over 40 in attendance. 

After the service I hosted, as I have each year I am there in Korea, the women clergy for lunch. Here
we are, with the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies along with members of Nippon Sei Ko Kai and TEC. Wow -- what a great blessing!

A quick trip to Namdemun followed for a few that weren't there before, and then back to the Cathedral for dinner. 

Well, here was the humbling surprise. I was honored with an ackowledgement from the Archbishop for our work (it IS our work) in the Province of Korea. I was taken aback -- and when he handed me the
plaque (which weighs a TON (not really but you know what I mean)), I was flattered/humbled/honored ... we do this work because it is God's work -- and our response to God's love and grace. What else can we do?

Our own the Rev. Dr. Ron David also was honored and so very rightly so -- his unbelievably insightful, kind, hard, spiritual Clinical Pastoral Education program is appreciated by so many, and especially by the Province of Korea -- here he is with our Presiding Bishop -- a true gift. He has trained a good number of clergy in this Diocese and in Korea -- and every one of the lives he has touched has been transformed. Our Presiding Bishop is smiling here I think because she understands that Ron is one of the people responsible -- directly -- for making TEC known in different parts of the world in a way that is transforming ministry. He is extremely gifted -- in so many ways. 

Okay -- it was a very emotional day for me. From the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the bringing of Anglicanism to a country I love to being given this great recognition. Whew! But, of course I wasn't done taking pictures. Here are some pictures of our LA peeps, friends, Young Adult Service Corps Peeps and others... a great day indeed.

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