Reflections from the General Minister and President, Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins.
Note: Rev. Dr. Robert Welsh, president of the Council on Christian Unity, provided the following as a guest contributor to Sharon’s Blog. You can read more about the Council on Christian Unity on their web site at www.disciples.org/ccu.
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One of the first experiences I had after arriving in Busan, South Korea for the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches was to be invited to attend a “traditional Korean meal” hosted by the PROK (Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea). It was amazing event! By the end of the meal there had been over hundred small dishes placed before us – involving several “courses” from the appetizer to the dessert. One would simply pick and choose what to take from the different bowls; it was all delicious in the blending of spices and sauces and textures. Indeed, for me, this meal became a symbol of the Busan Assembly in being invited to attend “An Ecumenical Feast.”Read more
Today back on a fast train through the Chinese countryside. “Hard-working” is a phrase that comes to mind looking at the neat, cultivated patches of earth for acre after acre.
We’ll see “hard-working” lived to fullest in the next two days as we visit the various projects of the church in Zhenzhou and Zhoukou. Some of our most important Global Ministries work in China has been to improve the lives of an HIV/AIDS cluster that developed here when the people decided to sell blood as income, but the blood was collected with an infected needle. HIV/AIDS in China, as in so many places, has a stigma that isolates those living with the disease. Our participation has included giving them goats, thus providing nutrition through milk but also income as baby goats are sold. The church leaders saw how the process could be improved and asked in the next round that we provide the goats to the church – thus giving an income source that would help underwrite the cost of church ministries. They would then provide goat offspring to persons in need like the HIV/AIDS patients. Win/Win.Read more
Today we visited Shaanxi Bible School – which we support with our DMF money – and I’m proud to say so. The principal there, Ms. Hong Wang, embodies the “three self” principles of the Chinese church: self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating. In the US we might call her “entrepreneurial.” Her school operates at the most basic of the three levels of Christian ministry training schools in China. But she aspires for more.Read more