Korean pastors voice skepticism about One Church Plan

Bishops and leaders of the United Methodist Korean Caucus gather to discuss the current issues of the special General Conference. The meeting took place Dec. 2 at Calvary Korean United Methodist Church in East Brunswick, N.J. Photo by Thomas Kim, UMNS.

“If the One Church Plan passes, KUMC would have difficulty in accepting an LGBT bishop assigned to the Korean UMCs due to its cultural and moral traditions,” said the Rev. Paul Chang, executive director of the denomination’s Korean Ministry Plan. “The new definition of marriage also would be something KUMC would be struggling with in the future, too.”

According to a United Methodist News Service article by Thomas Kim, many clergy within the Korean Caucus specifically raised concerns about the One Church Plan during a Dec. 3 meeting at Calvary Korean United Methodist Church in East Brunswick, New Jersey, between five bishops and 25 other church leaders.

The One Church Plan is one of the proposals heading to the special General Conference on Feb. 23-26. It allows congregations to host same-sex weddings, and conferences to ordain openly gay clergy.

Bishop John Schol of the Greater New Jersey Conference made the case for the One Church Plan, which he claimed “gives us an opportunity for all of us to move on and to focus on the mission and on the other greater ministries.”

According to the news report, many of the bishops’ listeners were skeptical.

The Rev. Kwangtae Kim from the Chicago First Korean United Methodist Church asked the bishops whether they are aware of the impact of the One Church Plan upon Korean churches. “Those who want to break a church are using the issue of homosexuality as a good justification for their behaviors,” he said. “The crises that the Korean Presbyterian Church (USA) have now could happen to the KUMC.”

The Rev. Timothy Ahn of Arcola United Methodist Church in Paramus, New Jersey, asked for wisdom and advice from the bishops. “If the One Church Plan is passed, then how should I explain the meaning of a marriage to my congregants as a local church pastor?” he asked.

The Rev. T.J. Kim of Salem Korean United Methodist Church in Schaumburg, Illinois, shared his concern about the plan. “Protecting the family is one of the core values that the Korean church has. Maintaining this value is an important ministry. The One Church Plan can eliminate the foundation on which Korean churches stand.”

Thomas Kim’s entire news article can be read HERE.

Comments

  1. Looks like the One Church Plan is a tough one to sell among some communities. The upcoming GC looks to be a colorful one.

  2. A Retired U.M. Pastor says

    As I read this article my heart goes out to the very real concerns that are being felt and expressed by the Korean UMC, whether they are within the boundaries of the U.S.A., or abroad throughout the world. It would be nice to hope that the U.S.A. bishops will carry these concerns back to the greater gatherings of bishops. But as I read, I feel that this is the same concern being expressed throughout the U.S.A., that, as the last sentence of the article states: “The One Church Plan can eliminate the foundation on which Korean churches stand.”. I have been reading for months now about how people in the U.S.A. are seeing that the One Church Plan WILL eliminate the foundation on which our United Methodist Church stands. The bishops continue to insist and explain that the One Church Plan will ensure that everyone will be safe and able to “move on and focus on the mission…”. Are they REALLY hearing the voice of the People called Methodist, or are the bishops just trying to push through an imperfect plan, and merely listening so that they can find new ways to convince the U.M.C. to go in a direction that common sense and experience has indicated to be a disaster?

  3. This is how progressives in the UMC always act. They hold “listening sessions” where they actively promote their own agenda while claiming that they really are sensitive to and really do care about what others think. Then they completely ignore everything that was said and do exactly what they planned to do all along. Further, in their hard-heartedness, they claim a clear conscience since they did “take the time to hear from all sides”.

    We need to separate out from these wolves.

  4. Progressives are trying to sell this ‘one’ church plan as a way to end the schism in our church so we can move on with our mission. How much more misleading can they get? This is just another plank in their deceptive plan’s platform. This plan would essentially halt the mission of the church and is actually the diametric opposite of that if our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Instead, it is just another attempt to transform Jesus to the desires of the contemporary secular world in order to satisfy itching ears. How could a single one of our 864 delegates be fooled by this?

    • And, skepticism is a most generous and mild descriptor of the real and actual reaction that would take place if this ‘one’ church plan passes and kicks this schism into the laps of local congregations. This hit me right between the eyes yesterday during worship service, especially after our opening greeting and welcoming of each other. These are brothers and sisters in Christ who gather on Sunday inside our sanctuary from the world to worship God, and to ONLY worship God!! (Note: my church has NOT brought this schism up in any form, verbally or in its newsletters. We stick only very closely to Scripture and have worship services accordingly — thank God). It is beyond any comprehension that if this congregation was burdened with the task of “discussing” whether to host same-sex weddings and/or receive self avowed practicing homosexual pastors of how ANYTHING positive or Christian could ever come of that. I can only see an egregious disaster, destroying this congregation — not to mention all the individual case-by-case fractures of long standing relationships and friendships that would ensue. How can any bishop advocate such a thing?

  5. A retired pastor's wife says

    This is said so well that I have to reply. I think our local church in the West would be completely burdened by this plan. It would be a disaster! It is one of the largest UM Churches in Arizona.

  6. William Harrison says

    This is so sad. How can any church pass a non biblical rule. This will take this denomination and all church’s down. So sad.

  7. Again, below is the end game of the ‘one’ church plan. Skepticism needs to be giving way to alarm since this is where the UMC will head should that plan pass.

    https://juicyecumenism.com/2019/01/11/episcopal-restricts-bishop-gay-marriage/

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