A day of global pilgrimage with the Korean churches

By staff writers
November 2, 2013

Christians gathered from around the world at the World Council of Churches 10th Assembly have been sharing in a 'pilgrimage of peace' with their host Korean churches.

Some have embarked on travel to different parts of the country, including the border, while others remain in Busan, the location for the meeting of some 3,000 people – representatives of churches from six continents, guests, observers and media.

Much of the 30 October - 8 November 2013 Assembly takes place in plenary and in working groups. The weekend gives delegates and participants an opportunity to engage with the local context and to pray and reflect on the significance of it all.

For example, Padre James Bhagwan celebrated an early morning Holy Communion on the Haeundae Beach, Busan, with the young people of Pasifika Oikoumene. He is the Secretary for Communication in the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma.

Meanwhile, Niklas Eklov, Peace and Human Rights policy advisor in the Church of Sweden International Department, urged prayer for those feeling the pain of division from the border that presently separates the two Korean states.

"Thank you, Myungsung church, for an unforgettable cultural night full of music and dance!" tweeted Miriam Weibye from the Church of Scotland.

"Near the border, we realise what the division of the Korean peninsula means," declared four US and Canadian participants.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who had earlier brought a message to the WCC Assembly from the worldwide Anglican Communion, observed: "Good time at World Council of Churches. [The] breadth of [the] church [is] staggering. The Korean church [is] serving poorest all over Asia despite being poor."

As Sunday morning dawns, World Council of Churches Assembly participants are sharing in early morning worship with different congregations in Busan and other parts of the country.

* Pilgrimage resources: http://wcc2013.info/en/resources/prayer/a-pilgrimage-with-korean-churches

* Official website of the WCC 10th Assembly: http://wcc2013.info/en

* More from Ekklesia on the WCC and its 10th Assembly: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/wcc

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