The Eastern PA Conference’s North-West Region will explore Korean Methodism’s roots during a 10-day pilgrimage to Incheon and Seoul, South Korea, June 17-27, 2024. The Rev. Hun Ju Lee, North District Superintendent, is inviting clergy, laity and youth members on “a sacred journey” to his native land, “a land rich in spiritual history and Christian legacy.”
He describes it as “a unique opportunity to deepen our faith and unity as we explore the vital roots of Methodism in Korea, significantly influenced by the missionary work of Henry Gerhard Appenzeller.” Sent from First UMC in Lancaster, PA, Appenzeller was the first Methodist missionary to set foot on Korean soil in 1885. He played a crucial role in the spread of Christianity there, as well as “the introduction of Western education methodologies, and the overall modernization efforts during a pivotal period in Korean history.”
The pilgrimage will visit places where Appenzeller planted and nurtured seeds of Methodism, including the groundbreaking Chong Dong Methodist Church and Ewha University. They will tour the Nari Methodist Church in Incheon Partnership and the Youth Engagement and Cultural Exchange. Visitors will engage in worship services, cultural exchanges and discussions to “inspire mutual growth and global solidarity within the Body of Christ.”
The journey will also include visits to other historical landmarks, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas, Yangwhajin Foreign Missionary Cemetery and various cultural sites.
The cost for the trip, including transportation, meals and entrance fees, is being determined; but it is estimated to be $2500 to 2700 per person. Scholarships will be available, particularly for youth participants. Details about travel logistics, costs, accommodations, and preparatory meetings will be provided.
“Our journey is not merely a passage through geographical locations,” writes Lee, “but a pathway through the historical milestones of our faith, fostering a personal and communal transformation.” For more information, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.