Monday, 6 May 2013

Korea 4 - Sunday 5 May

Sunday 5 May

Today I preached at 4.30pm at Seongsil Presbyterian Church. I was picked up by a
couple of the young assistant pastors there at 2.30, as the church was a good hour from the hotel. The senior pastor of this congregation is Rev Youngbok Kim who has visited Lewis on two occasions. We had time to go round the church building. Amazing! Five stories high, complete with lift, and containing dozens of rooms and halls used for many church activities involving every age group in the congregation.

Seoul is a massive city of some 14 million people but remarkably there was actually a real, genuine Rudhach in the audience! They do get everywhere don't they! It was easy to pick her out as everyone else I could see were Koreans, but I did appreciate her coming to hear me from Anseong, about an hour's travel from Seoul.

Just look at what I came across  doing the rounds with Pastor Kim! Couldn't resist a photo!

Alongside the building is the old building, still used as a teaching and activities centre. A set of four houses for single assistant pastors stands in between the two buildings. There are four services every Sunday, three of them taken by Rev Kim, so we had at least one thing in common!

with Rev Kim
There are booths for private prayer, rooms for teaching children, giving guidance to young couples and for teaching new attenders. Last week they had 49 new attenders! New attenders are welcomed by individuals or couples in the congregation who are then "attached" to them until they are established. In addition they attend a 12 week course to teach them the basic aspects of the gospel.

At the conclusion of the service the group of newcomers who had finished this course today were formally presented and given a gift by the congregation. Rev Kim then prayed for them and after a photo with them I was taken to a room to meet them and say a few words. This was a real thrill for me and I could not help thinking how good it would be if we had enough newcomers at KFC every week to require such a course!

with newcomers
This congregation has 2,500 members, but what is impressive apart from its size is the volume and passion shown in its various services and activities. They have 15 assistant pastors, a social care unit where deprived and disabled people are cared for every weekday, and every Sunday 1,500 people have lunch in the church dining room!

Later Rev Kim and I met up for a meal with Rev Changwon Shu and his wife Myoung Ja, their daughter Jiheh and husband William, Rev Yong Oh Kim , who will be coming to the Free Church Assembly, and Prof Andrew McGowan. This was a most enjoyable time of fellowship after which Andrew and I were taken back to the hotel.

with Rev Yong, Rev Kim, Prof McGowan, Rev Shu and Myoung Ja

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