SECOND GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF ASIAN METHODIST COUNCIL: JOHOR BAHRU
Cooperate in mission endeavours
Minister to migrant workers
Plan programmes for young Methodists
THE Asian Methodist Council (AMC) will be developing programmes in the coming years to enhance its mission in three areas.
The AMC will:
■ SEEK effective ways to cooperate in mission through joint projects, endeavours and partnership;
■ ORANISE programmes for young Methodists to bring them together, to train and inspire them; and
■ LOOK into ways to minister to migrant workers in the various Asian countries, and to address their many needs through the council’s connectional network and partnerships.
In a statement released at the close of the four-day Second General Assembly of the AMC on June 27, 2008, in Johor Bahru, the delegates, representing 13 Asian Methodist Churches, asked their churches to also work with the AMC Executive Committee in seeking to address these three issues.
The 120 delegates also “noted with concern the extensive loss of lives and damage to properties, and the dire needs of those tragically affected by natural calamities in our region”.
The statement adds: “Most recently, we pray for the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and the earthquake in Sichuan, China. We commit ourselves to respond to such crises in the future.
“We are also concerned about global problems faced by the peoples of the world such as poverty, violence, conflicts, and other social ills, as well as serious problems such as global warming and environmental damage. We call upon our churches to pray and take the necessary action to seek healing, reconciliation and other solutions to these problems.”
The delegates, meeting from June 24 to 27, looked at various crucial issues affecting the ministry and mission of Asian churches and the world. The conference theme was “Let the Light Shine – Uniting Asian Methodists for Mission”.
Says the statement: “We praise God for blessing our churches and for challenging us to live up to our calling as Asian Methodist Churches in our needy world.
We recognise that our identity and vocation are deeply rooted in our Triune God and that they shape the way we live and carry out our mission faithfully and effectively within our Asian cultures and contexts.
“Together as Methodists in Asia, we seek to proclaim the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ, and live up to our biblical and Wesleyan ideals of personal and social holiness, and in so doing bring glory to God and advance the mission of God.”
The Second General Assembly began with an Official Opening and a Service at Hotel Selesa in the city area. Bishop Shin Kyuong-Ha of the Korean Methodist Church gave the message entitled “Let the Light of Christ Shine Upon Asia”. He told the delegates that as Methodists they should always sport a happy smile and let the world see their Christian joy so that the world will see Christ’s shining light.
The service closed with the administration of the Holy Communion, after which the delegates were taken on coaches to a Chinese restaurant for the Welcome Dinner.
The conference saw the transfer of leadership from Bishop Shin to Bishop Hwa Yung, Bishop of The Methodist Church in Malaysia.
The other new officers of the AMC are: Vice-Chairman: Bishop T. S. Sagar from The Methodist Church in India; Vice-Chairman (Lay): Mdm Lim Hye Sook from the Korean Methodist Church; Secretary: Bishop Nathanael Lazaro from the Evangelical Methodist Church, the Philippines; Asst Secretary: Mr Kim Seah Teck Kim from The Methodist Church in Singapore; Treasurer: the Rev Dr Prof Lo Lung-Kwong, President of The Methodist Church, Hong Kong; and Asst Treasurer: Bishop Enoch Kuey, from The Methodist Church in Taiwan. They will hold office for three years.
Members of the AMC Executive Committee are: President Lo Lung-Kwong and Mr Stuart Chen Seng-Tek (Hong Kong); Bishop T. S. Sagar and Mr John Hanchinmani (India); Bishop Amat Tumino and Mr Freddie Chandra (Indonesia); Bishop Hwa Yung and Mr John Ling Tung Chuang (Malaysia);
Bangladesh Methodist Church admitted as a new member, next General Assembly to be held in Hong Kong
President Za Hlei Kapa and Mr Ram Chhan Thanga (Upper Myanmar); Bishop Zothan Mawia and Mr Myo Myint (Lower Myanmar); Bishop Solito K. Toquero and Mr Carmelito B. Caday Jr (Philippines UMC); Bishop Nathanael Lazaro and Mr Rene E. Cristobal (Philippines IEMIF); Bishop Dr Robert Solomon and Mr Kim Seah Teck Kim (Singapore); President W. P. Ebenezer Joseph and Mr. A. Sumanthiran (Sri Lanka); Bishop Enoch Kuey and Mr Cho King Yu (Taiwan); Bishop Nibaron Das and Mr David Biswas (Bangladesh); and Bishop Shin Kyoung-Ha and Mdm Lim Hye Sook (Korea).
Bangladesh Methodist Church was admitted as a member of the AMC when the delegates at the General Assembly approved its application to join the council.
Besides the business meetings of the General Assembly, there were three morning devotions by the Rev Dr Li Ping-Kwong from Hong Kong, Bishop Han Chung-Suk from Korea, and Bishop Solito Toquero from the Philippines.
There were two theme talks, both of which were well received and generated lively participation from the floor. Bishop Dr Solomon (Singapore) spoke on “The Nature and Identity of the Church in Asia”, and Bishop Hwa Yung (Malaysia) dealt with “The Mission of Asian Methodist Church in the 21st Century”.
To applause, Hong Kong indicated that it would host the Third General Assembly in 2011.
At the Closing Service on June 28, Bishop Sagar (India) gave his message entitled “If you have … Then”, and after a farewell fellowship over lunch, the delegates departed for home.
Peter Teo, a member of the Singapore delegation to the Second General Assembly of the Asian Methodist Council, is the Editor of Methodist Message.