School of Theology and Ministry
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News and Events

  • Report from Faculty & MDiv Alum Visit to South Korea



    World Council of Churches 2013Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, Dr. Mark Lloyd Taylor and Master of Divinity alumna Maggie Breen have only just returned from a rich week of travel and engagement at the 2013 World Council of Churches in Busan, South Korea on behalf of Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry.

    Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, World Council of ChurchesLast month, Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon penned a preview of the visit here, which paints a vivid picture of the assembly theme and those gathering from all corners of the globe. Throughout the week in Busan, Dr. Mark Lloyd Taylor blogged in real-time via the school's Worship & Liturgy blog, with the posts accessible here. Kinnamon is pictured right in a photo taken at this year's Assembly.

    Dr. Mark Lloyd Taylor (pictured right in Busan) shares with us a bit about the experience in his own words here.

    Dr. Mark Lloyd Taylor, World Council of Churches"The World Council of Churches General Assembly is big! Think of a "United Nations" of churches and Christians, with 5,000 or so participating. Greetings were read from both Pope Francis and from Ignatius, head of the Syrian Orthodox Church, as well as greetings given from the Korean government delivered in person by Prime Minister Chung on behalf of President Park. Ironically, however, the assembly is also small. I sat one morning with two Scotswomen, a Japanese man, and a Swedish woman in a Bible study, discussing textual context from our personal, theological, and cultural contexts.

    My experience at the World Council of Churches assembly in Busan, South Korea was so rich, it’s hard to know where to start describing it.  So, what I’ll do is give you my top ten list from a single day, November 1, 2013, day three of the assembly. I hope this indicates something of the breadth of the experience.
     
    10. My favorite kimchi, so far, turned out to be "spicy intestines," not cabbage.
     
    9. Giving a "Seattle Chocolates" bar as a gift to an Ethiopian pastor (coffee from Seattle seemed inappropriate since his people invited the drink!).
     
    8. Receiving a holy card of St. Mark the Evangelist from the Greek Orthodox metropolitan of Zimbabwe (him not remembering my name until after he had bestowed the gift).
     
    7. Favorite word: Ichbezogenheit, from our prayer of confession prayed in German: "self-centeredness," yes, literally, "tied-up-in-I-ness."
     
    6. Favorite line from prayer (while a chorus of drums sounded): "Listen to the heartbeat of the people; listen to the heartbeat of the earth."
     
    5. Favorite name of a Christian denomination: Makhane Yesu - a dwelling place for Jesus (I drive by one of their congregations at Green Lake, but never knew what the name meant).
     
    4. Favorite quote from the Archbishop of Canterbury's talk: "When we look to God, our eyes go out to God's people and God's world."
     
    3. Favorite quote from the President of the Pentecostal World Fellowship's talk: "Whoever is not against us, is for us" (Gospel of Mark).
     
    2. Most ironic: The eighth century Hebrew prophet Amos visited the assembly and proclaimed in a loud voice: "God wants justice not applause." People applauded him.
     
    1. Most revelatory: the microphones and sound system for this morning's bible study on Amos, "let justice roll down like waters," only worked when the facilitator came down and stood in the middle of the assembled crowd."

    ~ Dr. Mark Lloyd Taylor 

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