Korean Ministry Consultation Brings Salvationists Together for Planning, Training
The 11th Americas Korean Ministry Consultation brought 156 delegates to Atlanta’s DoubleTree Northlake Hotel and Conference Center May 8-11. Officers and local officers engaged in Salvation Army Korean ministry from across the four USA territories and Canada gathered for training as well as an exchange of ideas and encouragement. The theme of the four-day gathering was “Rise.”
The Korean Consultation is held every third year. The Western Territory hosted the conference three years ago. The event was coordinated by Majors Algerome and Teresa Newsome, territorial evangelism and adult ministries secretary and territorial intercultural ministries secretary.
Lt. Colonel William Mockabee, territorial program secretary, welcomed the delegates at the opening banquet, and Commissioner Don Bell, territorial commander, delivered the message.
Promoting a better understanding of The Salvation Army’s mission and values for God’s Kingdom was among the objectives for the conference, as well as a narrowing of the cross-cultural gap. The conference sought to provide a venue for discussion and evaluation of current Korean ministry and its place in an increasingly diverse society and how it is impacted by the needs of second- and third-generation Koreans. Finally, the gathering offered delegates an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences in ministry.
“The ‘Rise’ concept was, in our minds, a way to give encouragement to Korean corps to rise and be more coalesed,” said Major Algerome Newsome. “We tried to discuss various concerns in the Korean ministry and to outline to the administration where there are growing Korean populations that might have a need for a corps and Salvation Army services.”
Major Newsome added that the training that was offered at the conference was a key benefit for delegates. Because training materials in the Korean language are scarce, Korean Salvationists at the local level often must rely on verbal training with no written support materials. “We’re working on getting materials on soldiership and Salvation Army history translated, but it’s a slow process. So I think that the training we offered was important for the delegates.”
The officers in attendance received training in three areas: evangelism, mission outreach and preaching. Local officers were trained in holiness and the place of sacraments in Army life and in Salvation history and mission. The Southern delegation was comprised of 23 officers and seven soldiers.
One of the recurring challenges addressed at the conference was that of the diverse needs among the various Korean generations in the U.S., especially as it relates to the fact that many older Koreans do not speak English.
In addition to Commissioner Bell, speakers at the Korean Consultation included Lt. Colonel David E. Kelly, national secretary for program, Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, professor at Chicago’s North Park Theological Seminary, Hyun David Chung, pastor of Grace and Glory Korean Community Church of Forest, Virginia, and Soon Jin Han, director of KTEE Ministries.