5th Conflict Transformation Workshop April 12-13 with Dr. Ron Hammer

We invite those who are interested in becoming a mediator to come to this intensive two-day workshop with Dr. Ron E. Hammer.  Dr. Hammer is a practicing pastoral psychotherapist and a former pastor who has been working closely with the Korean American community in Orange County.

On April 12th and 13th, Dr. Hammer will be helping participants to learn how to mediate with practical steps and guidance.  It will be a dynamic experience, especially for those who have attended previous conflict transformation workshops.  The workshop will be led in English with a Korean interpreter.  Registration fee is $50 for the two day workshop.

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Ecumenical Korea Peace Conference May 15-17 in Duluth, GA

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Thanks to Don Mosley, we are getting to know Korean Americans in the South who are working hard towards reconciliation in the Korean peninsula.  ReconciliAsian has been invited to attend the Ecumenical Korea Peace Conference to be held in Duluth, GA.  The title of the conference is “Embrace peace, pursue it: from armistice to just peace on the Korean peninsula”.  The key speakers include Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori of the Episcopal Church, Rev. Syngman Rhee of NCCUSA/PCUSA, and Bishop Hee-Soo Jung of United Methodist Church. We are very excited about meeting other Korean and American peacemakers through this conference.

If you are interested in joining Hyun to go to Duluth, Georgia from May 15 through the 17th, please contact us.  Early registration is March 28th.  The cost is $100 which includes lodging and food- a pretty great deal.  For more information about the conference, click here: poster_Peace_PrintBrochure_Peace_PrintRegestration_Peace_Print

New office space

We are so grateful to Pasadena Mennonite Church for allowing us to use one of their office spaces as our office.  We are slowly moving in the many boxes of books we have for the office, but we do not yet have enough bookshelves to organize these books.  If you know anyone who may want to donate their used bookshelves, please let us know.  We’d be happy to pick it up in 30 mile radius!Image

Pilgrimage to Reedley on the 94th Anniversary of the March First Movement

With Pastor Steve and his wife, Glena, who graciously hosted us through the weekend

With Pastor Steve and his wife, Glena, who graciously hosted us through the weekend

When Pastor Stephen Penner of First Mennonite Church of Reedley asked Hyun to come up this spring and share at the Reedley Peace Center and his church, Hyun requested that we go up on the weekend of March 1st- the date that marks the beginning of the Korean independence movement in 1919.

Reedley Peace Center

On the evening of March 1, Sue spoke at the Reedley Peace Center, a gathering of committed community members who, for the last ten years, have met on a weekly basis to engage in the peace and justice work locally and globally (http://www.reedleypeacecenter.org/).

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March First Movement: non-violent resistance movement

About 50 people gathered on Friday evening and Sue excitedly shared the significance of the March First Movement, one of the most effective non-violent resistance movement organized in history.  About 2,000,000 Koreans arose in a massive nonviolent demonstration for freedom against the severe treatment of the Japanese colonists.  The key organizers had insisted from the initial planning of the protest that it would be executed in non-violent means, so they made sure that everyone who participated in the protest strictly follow the instructions that read: “Whatever you do, do not insult the Japanese; do not throw stones; do not hit with your fists, for these are the acts of barbarians.”

Many of the protesters paid with their lives.  It is estimated that over 7,500 people were killed and over 46,000 arrested.  However, the movement eventually brought some significant improvements from Japan’s ruthless colonial rule and led to the establishment of the Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai. It greatly bolstered the Korean people’s struggle for independence and increased the world’s awareness of their strong aspiration for liberation.

The March First Movement affected many emerging leaders around the world during the early 1920’s-including an Indian lawyer. There are documents that show Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa was greatly impacted by the effects of the March First Movement as he strategized ways for the independence of India.

Reedley: a historical city for the Korean Americans

Dinuba Korean Presbyterian Church (no longer standing), one of the first Korean church on the mainland, was built in 1912.

Built in 1912, Dinuba Korean Presbyterian Church (neighboring city to Reedley-no longer standing), was one of the first Korean churches on the U.S. mainland.

It was also significant that we were speaking at Reedley, one of the first cities in the mainland where the earliest Korean immigrants came to work and live.  The first wave of Korean immigrants came to Hawaii from 1902 to 1905 to work at the sugar plantations.  About 7,000 people came during that time, but eventually about 2,000 of them who worked  in Hawaii looked for opportunities to work on the mainland; one of the earliest cities where these immigrants moved to was Reedley.

One of the most interesting Korean immigrant stories from Reedley we discovered was about the Kim Brothers (not related) who marketed and distributed the “fuzzless” peaches, or what we know as nectarines.  They became one of the very first Korean American millionaires in the 1920’s; with their profit, they actively supported the work of the Korean independence movement from the US.

It was very meaningful to have been able to share our heart for reconciliation and peace, right here in Reedley; the fact that it was the 94th anniversary of the March First Movement made it even more special.

Sue continued the talk spotlighting the formation and the vision of ReconciliAsian, and the many plans we have for this year.  Many of the members of the Reedley Peace Center shared our excitement for our work with the Korean American community and deeply encouraged us to continue dream big (and get funding!).

First Mennonite Church of Reedley

Hyun speaks at the First Mennonite Church of Reedley on March 3, 2013

Hyun speaks at the First Mennonite Church of Reedley on March 3, 2013

On Sunday, we were warmly welcomed by the church members- many of whom we had met last Friday.  Hyun gave a message from Isaiah 55, laying the context of which “shalom” comes from found in Isaiah 53.  We were able to have shalom and enjoy God’s grace because of the Suffering Servant who took our suffering and brought in the shalom into our lives.  Hyun closed his message with a testimony that prompted the urgency to work towards the ministry of reconciliation.   Many came up afterwards encouraging and blessing us with the invitation to come back soon.  They appreciated the new energy we brought into the community as Korean American Mennonites.

We feel deeply encouraged with a firm hope that we will be working with both the Reedley Peace Center and First Mennonite Church of Reedley more actively in the future.  It looks like a beginning of a beautiful friendship indeed.

ReconciliAsian 2013 Calendar

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UPCOMING IMPORTANT EVENTS FOR 2013

April 12-13:  Conflict Transformation Intensive Workshop 1

May 11:  1.5 ReconGeneration Table Talk

June 20-22: Conflict Transformation Intensive Workshop 2

Mid-August: One Korea Peace Camp

September 15-November 19: Peace in the Journey

October 6-8:Peace Festival

We will be telling you more details about the exciting events lined up for this year, so stay connected with us!