GBHEM - Korean-American clergy who are going to serve cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments for the first time will find a new publication, The Manual for Korean-American United Methodists Serving a Cross-Racial Appointment, to be a tremendous preparation resource, according to the Rev. HiRho Park.
Park is the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry's director of Continuing Formation for Ministry. GBHEM provided funding for the publication, which is written in Korean and English. It was published by the National Association of Korean-American United Methodist Pastors Serving a Cross-Racial and Cross-Cultural Appointment.
The editorial team - the Revs. Se Hee Han, J.T. Kim, Youngsook Charlene Kang, Paul Chang, and HiRho Park - put together 20 articles that explore worship, education and spirituality, pastoral care, evangelism, and administration. The manual also addresses the theological basis for cross-racial and cross-cultural ministry.
While the target audience is Korean-American clergypersons who are serving cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments for the first time, there are articles in English for the American audience. The manual also is designed to introduce the notion of cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments to Koreans in Korea, where it is a new concept.
"There are more than 250 Korean-American clergy who are serving cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments at this time within The United Methodist Church," Park said.
The 2008 General Conference approved legislation requiring Annual Conferences to prepare clergy and congregations for cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments.
GBHEM published the first book on Korean-American experiences of cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments in 1997, Witness from the Middle, by JongWoo Park, Grace Pak, and Phillips Soo Y. Whang. GBHEM also published Meeting God at the Boundaries: Cross-Cultural-Cross-Racial Clergy Appointments, by Lucia Ann McSpadden of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, and a companion leader's manual also by McSpadden.
"The bottom line is, often Korean-American clergy could be isolated and vulnerable to misunderstandings and mistakes in their cross-racial and cross-cultural ministries, due to cultural and language differences," Park said.