|Lutheran News Briefs|
|President:||Rev. Yung Tse You, Allan|
|First Vice President:||Rev. Li Yat Shing|
|Second V.P.:||Rev. Chan Yuk Sun|
|Chinese Secretary:||Rev. Hui Ming Kin|
|English Secretary:||Mr. Poon Shu Kee|
|Treasurer:||Mr. Lam Kai Hing|
|Council Member:||Rev. Shen Jian Ren|
The 9th woman to be ordained in the GKPA, Bintang Lubis-ordained on August 3, 1997. Lubis' ordination was held in Padangsidimpuan and she will be posted as a parish pastor in Bunga Bondar, 45 km from Padangsidimpuan, the head office. Currently there are 40 male and female pastors working in the GKPA parishes and at the office. Besides Bintang, three church leaders, Tumbur Harahap, Todung Ritonga and Maruli Sinaga, were also ordained on August 3.
In 1957 following the second Arab Israeli war, LWF started medical emergency treatment through mobile clinic services in the West Bank (Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Nablus areas) with city clinics in Hebron, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Gradual reduction in these services followed. Whenever the Government opened a clinic, LWF withdrew from these clinics to avoid duplication.
Each clinic has a full time doctor, a half-time doctor, two staff nurses, and three practical nurses. The care provided is primary health care for mother and child and/or special groups such as diabetic and hypertensive; health education; and medical treatment. Each of the 5 clinics has the potential to develop into a village health center, and are located in the middle of a group of villages and provide the only or main medical services in the villages.
Pastor Yoshiro Ishida was one of five people who received the Luther Institute's annual Wittenberg Award on November 18 in Washington. The institute, an independent agency founded in 1983 on the 500th anniversary of Luther's birth, seeks to bring a Lutheran perspective to public policy issues. Japan became "very spoiled" by a rapid build-up of economic prosperity after the Second World War, he said. "The bubble is bursting. I think many people are beginning to realize that." Japan had an openness to the Christian message for about a decade after the war, and a large number of people came into the churches, he said. Then came a "plateau" period. The new phase of openness was, he said, not a matter of choosing one religion over another religion. Rather, he said, it was a situation more like the one Martin Luther found in the 16th century, a need not for "religion" but for faith and the message of the Gospel.
Ishida recently returned to Japan to help transform a women's junior college into the Kyushu Lutheran College. The new college, at which Ishida is now president, began its first academic year in April with an opening class of 195, Ishida said. Very few of the students were Lutheran since the Lutheran community of Japan was very small, he said.
"Luther Seminary-Korea may expect full accreditation and degree-granting status for its College of Theology as early as November of this year," said the school's business manager, Elder Sung-Hun Lee. This long-awaited announcement came after the ceremony for laying the cornerstone of a new US $2.9 million building on the Luther Seminary campus on August 12. With this building, Luther Seminary fulfills the last of the stringent requirements set by the Korean ministry of Education for the dae-hak-in-ga or degree-granting status.
"Our dream is nearing reality," said President Maynard Dorow in his homily based on Isaiah 28:14-22 at the worship service prior to the cornerstone laying. Worshippers stood in the not-quite-completed chapel area for the first worship service in the new building. Dorow called for trust in God as this dream unfolds, knowing that the school and all who go out from there to teach and preach, rest firmly and only on Jesus Christ, the precious cornerstone of all God's people.
Current enrollment at the Luther Seminary includes 170 in the four-year College of Theology and 10 in the post-graduate pastoral course.
Luther Seminary in Korea received its full accreditation with permission to grant the Bachelor of Theology degree at the college level. The Korean Minister of Education signed the application papers on December 5, 1997 and word reached the school just in time to be announced at the celebration service for a new building on campus that very day. The new name of the institution is Luther Theological University.
The first Concordia College (Minnesota, USA) - Luther Seminary (Korea) exchange took place in 1991 when the current President of Concordia, the Rev. Dr. Robert Holst served as visiting professor on campus in Korea during the spring semester. The next year he invited Luther Seminary-Korea to send four students for an intensive English language and culture workshop at Concordia College, St. Paul, Minnesota (CSP), during their long winter vacation from school. Since that time four or five students have been exchange guests at CSP under this program each year.
Now, Sarah Loewe and Adam Possehl have come from Concordia to Luther Seminary-Korea to study the Korean language, history, religion and Korean literature in translation. In addition they are serving as native speakers of English conversation partners in the English as a Second Language course.
Also, Luther Seminary in Korea has hosted a student from Taiwan for a year and expects to enroll an ethnic Korean-Chinese from Manchuria for the next academic year as it expands its cultural interchanges and seeks to serve Koreans throughout Asia.
The 27th annual General Assembly of the LCK convened on October 9-10 at Okssodong Lutheran Church in Seoul. Pres. Hae-Chul KIM welcomed the 45 delegates under the theme "A Church Preparing for the 21st Century."\par
Elections took place on the afternoon of the second day for all officers and positions on the Board of Directors. About half of the board members were re-elected. But changes included that of president, vice-president, and English secretary. The new president of the LCK is the Rev. Song HUH, 62, pastor of Wangshimni Lutheran Church. President-elect HUH graduated from the second class of the former Lutheran Theological Academy and was ordained in 1975.
Elected as the new vice-president is the Rev. Dr. Hilbert (George) Riemer, longtime missionary in Korea. The new English secretary is the Rev. Hong-Yul LEE who was ordained in 1975 and is currently pastor of Nambu Lutheran Church in Seoul.
Mr. Joon-Gong Kim, the Concordia Shya department head, submitted his resignation for personal reasons in November. No decision has been made as yet by the executive committee of the Lutheran Church in Korea for a replacement.
Asian advisors are: |
The head of the legal department of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Burkhard Guntau, informed the LWF trustees of a resolution passed by the Kuratorium of the Augusta Victoria Foundation (AVF) on Dec. 2. The Kuratorium offered the LWF ways the two organizations could cooperate to overcome the difficult situation caused by the hospital's deficit.
As regional consultant, Samuel will assist the Geneva-based Asia area desk in coordinating and facilitating church-initiated and LWF-sponsored activities and events. She will also assist in processing project requests from member churches for funding assistance. Being based in the region, she will visit churches and help in the monitoring of ongoing projects.
"It was like a miracle," said pastor Lytkin. However, those who are trying to close the church continue to be "very aggressive," he said. A government representative warned the pastors not to seek help outside the region. He said he received calls about the parish from representatives of Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's office in Moscow, and that other federal and district officials oppose the church. There has been no interference with services and other activities since the parish reopened, but the mood among members is tense, he said.
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