Justice and Peacemaking School 3 begins September 27th

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<강사 및 강의 소개>

김성환 목사 (가디나장로교회 담임목사)

  • (Fuller Seminary), ThM (Homiletics, Princeton Seminary)
  • 개강예배 설교를 통해 이번 강의들을 함께하는 삶이라는 하나의 주제로 맥을 이어주는 시간이 될 것입니다.

이인엽 박사 (Spring Arbor University)

  • PhD (국제정치학, University of Georgia)
  • 풍부한 정보와 탄탄한 학문성을 바탕으로 하여 평화의 관점으로 한반도 갈등을 해석하고 실천의 방향성을 모색하도록 도울 것입니다.

서경란 (Fuller Theological Seminary & Azusa Pacific University)

  • MA & Ph.D. (Intercultural Studies, Fuller Seminary), MA (Christian Education, Talbot)
  • 화해(Reconciliation)는 하나님의 선교에서 중요한 주제입니다.  특히 한국 교회가 더 이상 개인주의적으로 축소된 복음이 아닌 전 우주적인 화해의 복음을 회복하되 회복적 정의를 통하여 깨어진 관계들이 화해를 이루는 사역으로 나가도록 도와줍니다.  이런 의미에서 회복적 정의의 렌즈를 통해우리 한국 기독교인들의 생각의 전환이 일어나고 삶 속에서 화해를 이루어감으로 우리 한국 교회가 하나님의 선교에 동참하기를 소원합니다.

Jill Shook  (Making Housing Happen의 저자)

  • (Denver Seminary).
  • 지난 2기에 이어서 이번 3기에는 downtown에 있는 affordable housing에 직접가서 실제적인 내용들을 듣고 배우는 시간을 갖게 됩니다. 이민자나 유학생 모두에게 구체적인 공동체성을 이루어가는 것이 어떤 것인지를 보여주는 시간이 될 것입니다.

Sue Park-Hur (ReconciliAsian co-director, MVMC pastor)

  • M.A.(Christian Education & Mission, Wheaton College)
  • 회복을 목적으로 하는 교육을 가정과 수업 시간을 통해 실행해 가는 철학과 방법을 함께 나누는 시간이 될 것입니다.

박지호 (Center for Conflict Transformation 원장)

  • A. (갈등전환학 과정 중, Eastern Mennonite University)
  • 미주뉴스앤조이 편집장을 하면서 많은 교회갈등을 목격하게 되었고, 그 해결책을 고민하다가 EMU에서 갈등전환학을 공부하는 중이며, 특별히 교회갈등을 어떻게 긍정적인 방향으로 전환해 갈 것인가 배우고 그 실행방안을 함께 고민하는 시간이 될 것입니다.

이태후 (ROCK Project director)

  • (Westminster Seminary)
  • 이태후 목사님은 필라델피아 빈민촌에서 가난한 이들과 함께 이웃으로 살아가고 있습니다. 매년 여름 흑인 빈민 아동들을 위한 캠프를 운영하면서 지역에 변화를 일으키고 있습니다. 미주뉴스앤조이에 이목사님의 연재글들이 실려있습니다.

James Krabill (Mennonite Mission Network)

  • (Centre for West African Studies, University of Birmingham, England)
  • James Krabill 교수님은 Cote d’ivoire (Ivory Coast)에서 18년간 사역하신 선교사 출신으로 ethnomusicology(민족 음악)으로 박사를 받으신 분입니다. 각나라와 족속에 하나님께서 부여해 주신 음악을 통해 계시록 7장의 위대한 예배의 장면을 이루어가는 비전을 평화와 함께 설명해 주실 겁니다.

허 현  Hyun Hur (ReconciliAsian co-direcor & MVMC pastor)

  • DMiss & M.A. (Inter-Cultural Studies 과정 중, Fuller Seminary)
  • 전체 주제들을 정리하면서 정의와 평화를 일구는 제자들로 살아가면서 각자의 부름받은 영역에 보다 더 전문적으로 참여할 수 있도록 방향을 제시합니다.

Ben Torrey of Fourth River Project and Jesus Abbey to speak on September 15th

ReconciliAsian has invited Ben Torrey, the Director and CEO of Three Seas Training Center and the Fourth River Project, to speak at the Joint Prayer Meeting for NK at Fuller Seminary. Come and join us for this special event as Ben Torrey envisions reconciliation and reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

Time: Sep. 15, 2014 (Mon) 6:30-9:00 PM
Location: Fuller Theological Seminary Travis Auditorium (135 North Oakland Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101)

Speaker: Ben Torrey (Jesus Abbey)
YOU are invited. (Message will be delivered in both Korean and English)
Free dinner will be provided from 6pm.
RSVP is required (contact Hyun Hur at msjp04@gmail.com)

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Speaker Bio:

Ben Torrey grew up in Korea where, as a teenager, he joined with his parents, Jane and Archer Torrey, in pioneering Jesus Abbey, a community of prayer, high in the Taebaek Mountains of Kangwon Do.  Along with his father and ten other young men, he lived in a tent for six months while clearing land and erecting the first Jesus Abbey buildings.

From 1979 until 2005, Ben served as a bi-vocational minister (ordained in the Evangelical Apostolic Church of North America http://www.eacna.org) while working in the fields of computer systems development and knowledge management.  He also served as the administrator for The King’s School, a Christian Middle and High School in Bolton, Connecticut.  Associated with the school since its inception in 1994, he was Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1998 until his resignation in 2004 in order to devote himself fully to the work of preparing for the opening of North Korea.

In 2003, the members of Jesus Abbey gave Ben the responsibility of developing the Three Seas Training Center and the Fourth River Project.  In connection with this work, the Torreys also established The River of Life School, a Christian middle and high school preparing the Unification Generation.  They returned to Korea, living at Jesus Abbey, in 2005.  He was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of Jesus Abbey in 2012.

Ben has spent time in North Korea.  Initially, he went for a ten-day trip in 2007 touring medical facilities and rest homes.  Subsequently, he served as a food monitor for a U.S. food distribution program from September through December of 2008.

Ben has been a student of history, comparative cultures, economics, theology and related subjects for many years.  He has been writing and lecturing in these subjects for the past thirty years.

Mennonite Center Creates International Peacemakers

We want to thank The Mennonite for highlighting ReconciliAsian in the September 2014 article!

http://www.themennonite.org/issues/17-9/articles/Mennonite_center_creates_international_peacemakers.  This is a repost from The Mennonite.

The ReconciliAsian peace center brings peace and reconciliation training to the Korean-American community in Los Angeles.

Hyun Hur, Su Park-Hur, with daughter Lynn Hur (standing) and sons Yul Hur and Guhn Hur (at table), are co-directors of the Reconcili­Asian peace center in Los Angeles. Photo by John Roth.

Co-directors Hyun Hur and Sue Park-Hur, who launched the center in January 2013, say that the tools of peace and conflict transformation are gifts the Mennonite church can offer other denominations. The Hurs attend Mountain View Mennonite Church in Upland, Calif., where they were installed as co-pastors in January.

More than 600 people have participated in programs organized by ReconciliAsian over the past year and a half of the peace center’s existence. The couple has coordinated day-long seminars, month-long discipleship workshops, shorter seminars and weekly book club meetings. Every session addresses peace and conflict transformation from a Mennonite perspective and offers practical guidance on healthy ways to navigate conflict and work for peace.

“One of our primary roles of reconciliation is to create a space for these types of conversations that you wouldn’t normally talk about in the church,” says Sue Park-Hur.

When they started ReconciliAsian, they were pastors for their house church, Church for Others, in Temple City, Calif., the only Korean Mennonite church on the West Coast, and the Hurs felt isolated from the other Korean churches in Los Angeles.

“We wanted to connect with other Korean churches,” says Hyun Hur. “We tried to think about what gift the Mennonites bring to other Christians, and we saw that we could build bridges through the peacemaking and conflict transformation work that Mennonites have done.”

All churches deal with conflict, and the Hurs knew of many Korean immigrant churches that had struggled with disagreements and had split rather than work through issues.

“Primarily, we want to help them know their new identity here as immigrants,” says Sue Park-Hur. “When you’re shaken up about who you are, you feel lost and like you can’t do anything. We wanted to teach practical things like ‘I’ messages and active listening skills, but we realized that to really touch the people and to reframe their understanding of conflict, we had to teach them Scripture and reframe their theology. We want them to see that their identity is to be an international peacemaker for God’s kingdom.”

Hyun Hur says they use scriptures such as 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, about God’s ministry of reconciliation, and Ephesians 2, where Jesus reconciles Jews and Gentiles. These teach people that a Christian’s mission on earth is to participate in Jesus’ reconciling ministry.

Korean leaders from different Christian denominations are now helping lead ReconciliAsian sessions. The spring justice and peacemaking discipleship school was held at a Presbyterian church.

These leaders also seek out the couple for their specialization. In July, Hyun Hur led a conflict and church seminar at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Calif., with 10  Korean pastors.

“Now [Korean pastors] see him as more than just a local pastor but as a director of an organization that talks about conflict—and who doesn’t have conflict?” says Sue Park-Hur. “Before, they never would have asked him to talk because he was a Mennonite, but now they see him as a resource person in this field and are more open to talk about the struggles in their church and ask for help.”

In July, the Hurs visited the Mennonite Church USA offices in Elkhart, Ind., to share about their ministry and to meet some Mennonite leaders. The tie to Mennonite agencies started at the beginning of their ministry, when they connected with Hannah Heinzekehr, who then worked as a church relations associate for Mennonite Mission Network.

“I was impressed with how passionate they were about Jesus’ call to peacemaking,” says Heinzekehr, who is now director of communication for Mennonite Church USA. “It was an opportunity for Mennonite Mission Network to support people who wanted to do mission in their community. They are genuine bridge-builders because they are so relational. They truly are mission workers in L.A.”

Grace encounters at Goshen and Chicago

To build stronger and deeper relationships with our Mennonite brothers and sisters who have been actively engaged in peace and reconciliation work,  ReconciliAsian board proposed that we needed to visit the Mennonite Mecca- Goshen, Indiana.  However, we didn’t know when would be the best time for such a trip.  When Hyun was invited to speak at KOSTA Chicago- a Korean Christian conference that focuses on Korean international students studying in the United States, we knew that this summer would be the time to make an extensive trip to the Midwest.

June 23-July 1: Goshen and Elkhart, Indiana

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Top left with Ruth and John Roth; top right with Sandy Miller and John Lapp; middle left with Andre Gingrich-Stoner; middle right with Dan Miller; bottom left with Allan Rudy-Froese; bottom middle with Saulo Padilla; bottom right with Rebecca Slough

Thanks to our amazing board member, Hannah Heinzekehr who organized our itinerary, our one week in the Goshen area was filled with meeting incredible people and organizations.  Some of the highlights included:

  • eating homemade veggie burgers with Joanna Shenk and Josh Kinder at the Prairie Wolf Collective at 10pm
  • touring around the MCC office with Saulo Padilla and seeing the active volunteers at work compressing blankets, and putting together the school kits and the hygiene kits to send all over the world
  • speaking at the MC USA office and thanking Sandy Miller and John Lapp of Mennonite Mission Network in person for the support that was impetus in the formation of ReconciliAsian
  • meeting Dan Miller of Indiana-Michigan Conference and the church planting work God is placing in the heart of the conference
  • having Larry and Wilma Miller open their beautiful home and hosting a dessert social for College Mennonite Church Homebuilders
  • speaking at College Mennonite Church where they warmly welcomed us to share about our journey towards reconciliation (you can see video of the sermon here:  http://collegemennonite.org/cmc_stream.php?filename=20140629) and having coffee time with Terry and Kay Shue after church
  • visiting Andre Gingerich Stoner of MC USA in South Bend and meeting the amazing members of their intentional community- many who are students of Notre Dame- who are transforming their neighborhood with their presence and daily witness.
  • connecting with Dean Rebecca Slough, Jewel Longenecker, and Allan Rudy-Froese of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and looking for collaborative work in the future
  • touring around the beautiful campus of Goshen College
  • spending time with Wilbert Shenk, Hyun’s mentor from Fuller Theological Seminary who was most influential in shaping Hyun’s theology of mission and church
  • coffee meeting at the Electric Brew with Wes Bontrager of Yellowcreek Mennonite Church and hearing his committed love for Korea and the Korean Anabaptists in Korea
  • reconnecting with a fellow Korean Mennonite, Saejin Lee, who attended Church for Others when she was in Los Angeles
  • spending a lot of time with our gracious hosts, John and Ruth Roth, who spoiled us with great food and rich conversations the entire week

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At Wilma and Larry Miller’s home with College Mennonite members who came to hear about ReconciliAsian

One of the most unexpected grace encounters came when we received a call from Gilberto Perez, the executive director of Intercultural and International Development at Goshen College.  He invited us to partner with Goshen College in promoting higher education among Asian American youth. We gladly accepted, and as a result received a portion of the Lilly Foundation grant that Goshen College received to promote diversity in higher education!  We are so grateful and honored for such collaboration.

July 1-7:  KOSTA at Wheaton College

From Goshen, we drove towards Wheaton, Illinois.  Every first week of July, Koreans from all over the United Sates gather on Wheaton College campus and hold an annual Christian conference called KOSTA.  This year was their 29th gathering and about 1,000 Korean students- most who are international graduate school students- came together under the theme, “Our weakness, His Strength”.  Hyun was invited to lead several workshops throughout the conference, and they were especially interested in his perspective as a pacifist and as a Korean Mennonite.photo (2)

Some of the highlights from KOSTA included:

  • seeing the staff and organizers’ spirit of volunteerism and deep commitment to serve and minister to the participants
  • recognizing that although our perspective in theology and practice may be different from the wider evangelical audience of the conference, we felt humbled that they wanted to hear our views and practices and gave us the space to share our perspectives
  • leading several workshops and recognizing that there is a growing interest in understanding restorative justice and peacemaking amongst the participants
  • being interviewed to give a brief introduction about the Mennonite values and convictions that undergird our commitment to peace and reconciliation.  (You can see the video clip here:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=869624183067554).
  • reconnecting with old friends who are scattered in the US as well as with those who came as speakers from Korea, and spending the whole week in fellowship together

Although the two weeks in the Midwest was quite intense, it was a time of refreshing and renewal.  As we had prayed in the beginning of the trip, relationships with people we knew deepened as we sat and broke break, drank coffee, and had ice cream together.  We were deeply encouraged by Mennonite faith leaders who have lived out their commitment to Christ and lived a way of peace sacrificially.  We recognize that we stand on their shoulders to continue the work of peace.  We were also excited to see a new generation of Koreans and felt hopeful about the possibilities of their future.

In a way, the direction of this trip- from Los Angeles to Goshen to Chicago- is the direction of our organization.  Although we have Korean American roots, we have been influenced by the Mennonites, and we are now moving towards the larger Korean American community to educate, equip, and extend the vision of peace and reconciliation.

Book club begins with Little Book series

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Conflict transformation, restorative justice, circle process- these are relatively new terminologies and practices for us that need to be fleshed out and contextualized.

Following the Justice and Peacemaking Discipleship School, ReconciliAsian book club was formed. Those interested in studying and applying these important peacemaking principles in our homes, churches, and communities have been meeting since late July.  We are going through the Little Book Series, and began with Jean Paul Lederach’s Conflict Transformation translated into Korean by Jeeho Park.  We will be discussing Circle Processes by Kay Pranis this Monday. If you are interested in joining us, contact us at reconciliasian@gmail.com.

We meet on Mondays from 7-9pm at the First Congregational Church of Pasadena (2nd floor).

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Little Book of Conflict Transformation translated by Jeeho Park was recently published in Korea

Justice and Peacemaking Discipleship School explores “Doing Life Together”

photo (12)From April 28 to May 27th, participants gathered at Gardena Presbyterian Church twice a week for five weeks to participate in Journey Towards Reconciliation, an intensive justice and peacemaking discipleship school.  We gathered centered on the theme of “Doing Life Together” and explored various topics with a peacemaking and justice lens.

Dr. Suh emphasizes the importance of reading the Bible with a restorative justice lens.

Dr. Suh emphasizes the importance of reading the Bible with a restorative justice lens. (photo by Daniel Lee)

We began the first session with worship acknowledging that we are followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, who gave us the ministry of reconciliation.  Our goal is to honor his name through our lives here on earth. The second session was led by Dr. Kyunglan Suh of Fuller Theological Seminary who clearly laid the biblical foundation for restorative justice.  She highlighted the importance of relating to one another with the goal of restoring the victim, and that this is especially important as we do mission work overseas.

On May 5th, Hokwan Seon, who is a missionary in Thailand, expanded on the concept of conflict transformation.  He emphasized the importance of normalizing conflict in communities or in churches, and taking these opportunities to engage in a third way.  Many of the participants enjoyed the interactive exercises through the workshop which emphasized teambuilding and collaboration.

Soekwan Seon led conflict transformation exercises

Pastor Soekwan Seon (second from the right) led lively conflict transformation exercises (photo taken by Daniel Lee)

On May 6th, Pastor Sunghwan Kim, the lead pastor of Gardena Presbyterian Church, began the seminar entitled “Handmade Life” emphasizing the incarnate Jesus who touched, made, and held people and things around him.  Jesus’ spirituality was not an abstract meditation, but one that engaged his surrounding and created and recreated throughout his ministry.   He invited the participants to practice the spirituality of incarnate living.

Pastor Kim displays the many hammers he made during "Handmade Life" seminar.

Pastor Kim displays the many hammers he made during “Handmade Life” seminar. (photo taken by Daniel Lee)

On May 10th, we had the privilege to spend the whole Saturday to hear Steve and Joy Yoon share their powerful testimony of living and thriving in Northeast Asia.  They shared honestly about the challenges of living in North Korea, but also the incredible grace of God they have witnessed in the land.  Steve beautifully shared,  “We engage spiritual warfare in this way: we fight the spirit of idolatry with worship acknowledging His lordship; we fight the spirit of pride with the practice of humility; we fight the spirit of unforgiveness with the spirit of forgiveness; we fight the spirit of division with the spirit of unity.”

Joy read a powerful reconciliation letter she wrote to the NK government

Joy read a powerful reconciliation letter she wrote to the NK government (photo by Daniel Lee)

On May 19-20, Jill Shook, the author of Making Housing Happen,  introduced the concept of housing justice.  If we really believed that God owned the land, how would that change the way we view our use of land? Shook challenged us to look at the theology of housing, land, ownership, and stewardship as the foundation to engage in creating affordable housing in local communities. Her workshop dared us to dream what it would look like for us to live together in creative and dynamic ways.

Jill Shook explains the biblical foundation of housing justice

Jill Shook explains the biblical foundation of housing justice (photo by Daniel Lee)

The final week of JTR was led by the dynamic duo, Ron and Roxanne Claassen from Center for Conflict and Peacemaking Studies at Fresno Pacific University.  How can you discipline so that it can restore?  What are the practical steps to take when conflict escalates in a classroom setting?  In the home?  These questions were addressed and we learned to create a respect agreement to promote a culture that is constructive rather than destructive.

The last group shot of JTR at Gardena Presbyterian Church with Ron and Roxanne Claassen

The last group shot of JTR at Gardena Presbyterian Church with Ron and Roxanne Claassen (photo by Daniel Lee)

The five-full weeks again challenged and transformed the lives of those who attended regularly.  19 participants who attended at least 7 out of 9 sessions were given a certificate of completion, and we celebrated the completion of another justice and peacemaking discipleship school.  We especially recognized Gardena Presbyterian Church who graciously and lavishly welcomed and hosted us for the five weeks with delectable meals and snacks.  Thank you again!

ReconciliAsian in Asia

ReconciliAsian at the Christian Forum for Reconciliation in Northeast Asia

On April 21- 25, 2014, forty-four Christian leaders, practitioners, and educators from seminaries, universities, para-church organizations, peace centers, and churches gathered from Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, and the United States to spend five days at the Pilgrim House in Gapyeong, South Korea.

Group photo taken at the DMZ

Group photo taken at the DMZ

The vision for this forum grew out of a December 2012 consultation at Duke University Center for Reconciliation when leaders from Northeast Asia came together to discern what was needed to nourish a Christian vision of peace and reconciliation in Northeast Asia.

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New friends and mentors were made

The goal of this forum was to build new relationships and worship together to discern what is happening in the Northeast Asian region and how a biblical vision reconciliation can lead and invite us to receive God’s gift of New Creation, God’s gift of lament, his gift of hope, and to form a deep spirituality that can sustain the ministry of reconciliation over the long haul as we deal with the historic and urgent challenges of conflict and pain.

It was a wonderful week connecting with many peacemakers from Northeast Asia, but the day that particularly stood out for me (Sue) was the second day when we wrestled with difficult stories of deep pain in the region. In the morning, one Hong Kong woman shared powerful stories of women while she was living in Afghanistan for seven years. She led us to view lament as a form of a protest- from crying out “how long” to “long enough.”  This was especially fitting because Korea as a nation was mourning the devastating tragedy of Sewol ferry and feeling utterly hopeless as the nation saw the lack of government response to rescue over 300 people, mostly high school students trapped in the ferry.  We also heard from a Japanese woman about the hopelessness she has felt after the tsunami and the nuclear reactor crisis that wiped out her hometown, Fukushima in March 2011.  As these stories were told and we listened to each other with deep compassion, we began to recognize that these were “our” stories, no longer Japanese or Korean stories. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we began to embrace these stories as our stories.

Fellowship continues in the late evening over Korean style fried chicken, walnut cake, and other goodies from Jae Young Lee and Karen Spicher of NARPI

Fellowship continues in the late evening over Korean style fried chicken, walnut cake, and other goodies from Jae Young Lee and Karen Spicher of NARPI

As a Korean American woman, I was unsure what my role would be in the NE Asia dialogue.  However, throughout the week, Chris Rice asked me to facilitate sessions and share my story, and through these unexpected opportunities saw that the gift that I can bring to the forum was to facilitate and create a safe place for dialogue to begin.  I appreciated Chris Rice’s intentional effort to step back as a white male leader in facilitating discussions and recognizing gifts in others who have the language and the leadership skills to lead, and through this process, I discovered my gifts.

Many opportunities to network with leaders from NE Asia were made throughout the week.  It was especially exciting to see that there were three Korean Anabaptists at the forum, and one Catholic woman who attended Eastern Mennonite University. One of the participants said that he had never considered himself as a Northeast Asian, but always Chinese.  To him, this new way of looking at himself has widened his perspective in working for peace.  The ability identify ourselves not only as a person of specific nationality, but to interact as citizens of the kingdom beyond the walls of national identity was very powerful and an important issue that we will continue to deepen through future meetings. The next forum will be in Nagasaki, Japan, and those who attended this forum will be invited to help organize the next gathering.  I look forward to the possibility of being part of this important gathering next year.