A New Creed, The United Church of Canada

We are not alone, we live in God’s world. We believe in God: who has created and is creating,

who has come in Jesus the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit.

We trust in God. We are called to be the Church: to celebrate God’s presence, to live with respect in Creation,

to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope. In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God.

 

JOHN YOUNG-JUNG LEE: AN AUTO-BIOGRAPHICAL VISION STATEMENT

Prepared by John Lee for the election of the Moderator at the 38th General Council Meeting, The United Church of Canada

 

My relationship with the United Church goes back to 1959 in Korea, through Marion Current, a United Church’s overseas personnel who spent 37 years in Korea. As a young high school boy, I wondered “why” she left her home to dedicate her life in a remote land. The other tie to the United Church is through my father, Rev. Hai Young Lee, who was invited to Canada by the United Church in 1967 after finishing his term as moderator in the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK), UCC partner church in Korea. When he returned home after spending six months first in Canada, and then in the United States, he stated that “Canada is a land of opportunity.” I asked myself “How can it be so?” I found the answer to the questions of “why” and “how” through my life with the people of The United Church of Canada.

 

The United Church’s motto "That All May Be One" was a vision that invited me to present my perspective and unique gifts to be part of the process of “unity in diversity” as the body of Christ. Every painful step in our United Church history has affirmed for me that it is the same God who is with us all. God’s call through the signs of the time and my vow at my father’s death bed in 1976 led me to start a new journey to prepare for ordered ministry in 1990, and ordination in 1996 by Toronto Conference. My theological education including two years of advanced study towards doctorate and ministry training with continuing education refined my lay and ethnic perspective as a valuable and precious asset in ministry.

 

I am currently in ministry with Dentonia Park United Church in Toronto. My excitement is in welcoming new people and celebrating diversity by recognizing and valuing the diverse gifts of each individual. One of the fruits of this ministry has been tasted when we experience the Pentecostal message throughout the year by breathing together One Spirit with One Hope; and discover God’s beauty in each other and say to each other “You are beautiful.” I believe that this is a positive means for "healing and reconciliation" through building trusting relationships that bring  the holistic vision of God's reign to our church and to the world we live in.

 

My primary concern in ministry is the future of our United Church “in” and “for” the fast changing pluralistic world; and how the church can prepare for the  future. I served as a Theological Reflector for the Executive meetings of Ethnic Ministries Council during its first year of its inauguration (1996-97). My participation in the Global Consultation on Education for Church Leadership (ECL-CC, 2000), the Canadian Contextual Theology Conference (ECL-CC, 2001), and the Theological Conference of Canadian Ecumenical Jubilee Initiative (CEJI, 2001) have broadened my vision and taught me how to act locally with global and ecumenical partners and, at the same time, how differences and unique gifts can contribute to our journey towards unity in diversity.

 

My passion for sharing my vision and perspective has led me to serve the church in other ways. At the General Council level, I have been serving on the Mission Theme Task Group (1997-2003), the Education for Church Leadership Coordinating Committee (1997-2002) and I was a commissioner to the 37th General Council. I have served Toronto Conference as co-chair of the Worship and Liturgy Sub-committee (1998-99), as co-chair of the Ethnic Ministries Committee (1999-2001), and as a member of Executive (1999-2003). I have also served an ethno specific community as president of the Korean Association of The United Church of Canada (2000-2001).

 

My global participations are: International Network Forum on Multicultural Ministry (WCC, 2002) in Thailand; and a visit to our UCC partner churches and institutions in Hong Kong (2002). These are crucial experiences for holistic ministry and for navigating the direction of our church in the global context. My recent participation in planning for the Consultation on Ministry, Mission, Leadership and Congregational Development/Redevelopment in a Diverse and Changing Canada (SLM, EMU, FFEU, 2003) helped me to realize the urgent call for further development of multicultural ministry with deeper enactment of racial justice issues to reach genuine unity in our church’s mission.

 

My service as president of Toronto Conference (2002-2003) was a valuable learning experience that enabled me to taste the hopeful future from the concrete life situations of both pain and joy. We, The United Church of Canada, are gifted with remarkable diversity, and journey together as a welcoming community of healing and reconciliation with justice and peace. In this our journey, we can hear people saying, “Canada is a land of opportunity”; and we will affirm that “We are not alone. God is with us.”

 

 

 

 

Updated September 1, 2003

(c) Copy right by John Young-Jung Lee