|Posted by [email protected] on March 31, 2015 at 10:30 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by [email protected] on March 31, 2015 at 10:25 AM||comments (0)|
A TRIBUTE TO REV. DR. SYNGMAN RHEE
by Clifton Kirkpatrick
Syngman Rhee and I came from very different backgrounds, different cultures, different life experiences, and even different parts of the American Presbyterian family, but we quickly became friends, colleagues, and brothers in Christ. Syngman was my dear, dear friend who has blessed my life in countless ways and who has been a blessing to the church – Presbyterian, Ecumenical, and Global. He was a gift of God to us and a great saint of the Church. I will miss him very much, but I give thanks that my life has been enriched by this remarkable man.
We first met when we were working as staff members in the world mission programs respectively of the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. and the Presbyterian Church U.S. We quickly discovered in each other a common passion for the global Christian family and its work for peace and justice around the world. For a decade we were colleagues together in the Global Mission Unit of the newly reunited church.
When I became Stated Clerk and Syngman headed to Union Seminary, we stayed in contact as friends who were enriched by our diversity and who shared deep common commitments to ecumenism, world mission, and the renewal of the church. Then, in 2000 we found ourselves once again as close colleagues as Syngman served (with distinction) as Moderator of the PCUSA and I served as Stated Clerk. If there ever was a model of how a moderator and clerk can work well together, we had it that year.
I have also been deeply touched by Syngman’s deep love for his family – for Haeson, Anna, Mina, and Peter and his grandchildren. But he also had a family, including his mother and sisters, that he could never forget, who lived in North Korea and for which, like many of Korean ancestry, the walls of division between North and South Korea made it difficult to keep connections. But Syngman could not let that stand, and he became one of the most prominent and most effective advocates for reunification and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula. An experience I will never forget is meeting Syngman’s family in North Korea and realizing that Korean issues are not just political issues, but also deeply personal issues.
Syngman was a unique human being with whom God has deeply blessed all of us. It gives me great confidence, in the words of the Brief Statement of Faith, that “in life and in death we belong to God.” That great truth was at the core of Syngman’s being and is now his reality in a new way. Thanks be to God.
|Posted by [email protected] on March 25, 2015 at 11:30 AM||comments (0)|
We wish to express our most sincere gratitude to Union Presbyterian Seminary for preparing and hosting the Memorial Service in Honor of The Rev. Dr. Syngman Rhee.
The service is available for viewing on the Seminary's site -
You may download the worship bulletin here.
|Posted by [email protected] on March 19, 2015 at 10:15 PM||comments (0)|
March 11, 2015
A memorial service honoring the Reverend Syngman Rhee, former moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), retired distinguished visiting professor of evangelism and mission, and director of the Asian American Ministry Center at Union Presbyterian Seminary, will be held Monday, March 23, at 1:00 p.m. in Watts Chapel on Union’s Richmond campus. A reception will follow the service. Rev. Rhee was known for his lifelong activism for issues involving justice, reconciliation, and peace.
Born March 25, 1931, in what is now the capital of North Korea, Rev. Rhee was profoundly affected by the events that followed the division of Korea. His father, a Christian minister, was imprisoned and killed by the communist regime. Rhee fled Pyongyang to the south in 1950 with his younger brother, being forced to leave his mother and four sisters behind. After serving in the South Korean Marine Corps, he came to the United States in 1956. It would be 28 years before he heard anything about the family he had left behind.
"Syngman Rhee's tumultuous life experiences formed in him a deep understanding of God's redeeming grace and an enduring commitment to a ministry of justice and reconciliation," said Union Presbyterian Seminary President Brian K. Blount. "His example has been an inspiration to everyone who knew him."
As a campus minister at the University of Louisville in the early 1960s, he participated in the Civil Rights Movement with Martin Luther King Jr.
Rev. Rhee served 25 years at United Presbyterian Church in the United States coordinating mission work in the Middle East and East Asia. He was then named associate director for the PC(USA)’s Worldwide Mission Ministries. In 1998, Rev. Rhee was appointed distinguished visiting professor of evangelism and mission, director of the Asian American Ministry Center, and special assistant to the president at Union Presbyterian Seminary until his retirement in 2013.
He died January 14, 2015, in Atlanta at the age of 83.
Rev. Rhee’s legacy will be honored at Union with the development of the Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center of Christian Education. The center will be a generative resource for educators from other countries who seek support for their Christian education ministries. It will prepare international students, along with students from the U.S., for passionate and effective careers in mission work.
|Posted by [email protected] on March 5, 2015 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
MEMORIAL SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
A memorial service for Syngman Rhee will be held on
Monday, March 23, 2015 - 1:00pm
at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA.
The 1:00pm Memorial Service will be followed by a reception catered by the Seminary and Korean Presbyterian Women. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Watts Chapel (overflow with video feed in Lake Chapel)
Union Presbyterian Seminary
2401 Brook Rd.
Richmond, VA 23227
Live streaming of the service will be available - http://unionlive.org/
Memorial Service in
3401 Brook Road
Overflow seating and a live video feed available in
1106 Westwood Avenue
Reception in the Early Center
1106 Westwood Avenue
|Posted by [email protected] on January 19, 2015 at 6:45 AM||comments (1)|
January 19, 2015 - 11:00am
|Posted by [email protected] on January 18, 2015 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
아! 우리는 민족 화해의 큰 어른을 잃었습니다.
(English translation below)
-고 이승만 목사님 영전에-
백승배(범민련 미주본부 의장
전쟁중 존경하는 아버님 부음에.
남녘 반쪽조국 해병대를.
유학 길에 오르셨지요.
신학을 깊이 연구하며
우리의 주적은 밖이 아니라
우리 안에 있음을. 또한
사랑과 정의가 같이 동행해야 함을
그래서 마틴 루러 킹 목사의 민권운동에 참여하셨지요.
드디어 두고 온 북녘 조국을 찾으셨지요.
어머니, 아버지, 형님, 누님, 아우들 누님들
잃었던 우리의 부모형제 자매들이 거기 있었지요.
잃었던 반쪽 북녘 조국방문은
이 목사님의 생을 바꾸시게 했지요.
반쪽난 우리는 우리가 아니야.
동강난 강토는 불구의 강토야.
이렇게 사는 건
우리는 만나야 해
우리는 하나여야 해
우리는 대화해야 해“
민족 화해의 전도자가 되셨지요.
하나 되기 위해 다리가 되셨지요.
“다리가 되어야 한다” 고
경계선을 두려움 없이
저 갈릴리 스승 예수같이
“마음의 삼팔선을 무너뜨려야 한다”고
사랑하는 이 목사님,
지금도 이렇게 외치고 계시지요?
반공, 멸공의 적의를 버리시오.
잃었던 우리를 찾으십시오.
잃었던 자주를 찾으십시오.“
지금도 이 목사님 이렇게 외치고 계시지요.
공산체제를 무너뜨리고 교회를 세우려는 생각은
저 갈릴리 예수처럼
경계선을 두려움 없이 걷는 자가
다리 되기 힘들지요.
힘들어도 그 길을 가십시오.
저 나세렛 사람 예수처럼
민족의 십자가를 져
아! 우리의 목자 이 목사님!
이 격랑의 시기에
민족의 목자, 민족의 스승, 민족의 큰 어른이셨던
가는 우리를 축복, 격려하여 주시던
후배들의 큰 형님
이제는 그 크신 하느님의 품에 안긴
고 이 승 만 목사님
우리를 지켜보아 주십시오.
우리도 그 거북이 같이
승리와 인내와 충성된 걸음을 걸어가도록
2015년 통일염원 70년 1월 16일
교제 백 승배 드림
Our Beloved Rev. Syngman Rhee
By Seungbae Baik
You faced the tragic loss of your beloved father during the War.
Thus you chose to enter the Navy in the South,
in hopes of his death would not be in vain.
You went abroad to study,
In seminary you discovered the world and it's systems,
The depth of the spiritual and theological,
learned that the answer is in the inner being and not in the outer forces.
You learned that love and justice go hand in hand,
and therefore joined hands with Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement!
You then sought to find you long lost family in the North,
to be reunited with mother, father, brother, sister.
Your trip to that homeland was life changing.
You began working for reconciliation of our divided country.
You refused to accept a divided homeland, a divided nation.
You said, "No, this cannot be, life divided is not worth living!
We must be reunited, we must be One!
We must engage in dialogue. We must!"
You became a passionate mover, shaker, and activist for reconciliation.
You were a bridge builder. You taught us ever so persistently to be a bridge builder!
Fearlessly you crossed many borders. As Jesus our teacher from Galilee showed us,
you taught us to dismantle our mental 38th parallels.
Dear beloved Rev,.Rhee,
I can hear you calling out to us,
"O, dear Christian friends, abandon your empty red-baiting,
free yourself of the age-old anti-communist rhetoric.
Be liberated from the shackles of red-complex
and embrace love of your neighbor and your people!
Let us find our soul again, let us discover ourselves as a people
and stand on self-determination!"
I can hear you shouting right now, "Fellow Christians,
true mission is not about shooting down communism to replace with Christian churches.
Like the Jesus of Galilee, those who can cross borders without fear are the true Christians.
Be a bridge, it is not an easy road, but walk the narrower road!
Like the Jesus of Nazareth, take up the cross,
the cross of the people of Korea, and liberate our people!"
O, dear shepherd, Rev. Rhee, our homeland's shepherd and teacher,
you've mentored us, however slow as turtles we've learned,
you've taught us to move steady and faithfully.
You've looked after us and blessed us.
Now you are in God's loving arms.
Now watch over us - for hope, faith and persistence to carry out the legacy of reconciliation
you are leaving us- watch over us and pray for us.
With love and warm embrace!
|Posted by [email protected] on January 14, 2015 at 11:15 AM||comments (8)|
January 13, 2015
From long-time friend and colleague, Dong Soo Kim -
It was only about month ago that Syngman and others worked hard to help release one of the Korea's General Assembly members (an opposition party) who were unduly detained by the infamous National Security Law. This is a picture taken on December 4th, 2014 at the Carter Center when he was leaving the Center after discussing the case with Dr. James Laney (former US Ambassador to Korea, left in the picture) and Dr. John Stremlau (V. President of the Center). He was always on the go for human rights, social justice, and peace. He has been truly an ambassador of Christian love and reconciliation. We all love him and thank him.
|Posted by [email protected] on January 14, 2015 at 1:00 AM||comments (4)|
At 5:00pm on Tuesday, 13 January, our extended family members joined together in worship and prayer around Syngman. Our family is spread far and wide so we came from northern and southern California, Michigan, St. Louis, Chicago, New Jersey, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland and Georgia to be with Mom and Dad.
We started with two of Dad's favorite hymns -
내 주 예수 주신 은헤
고통의 명에 벗으려고
(Out of my bondage, sorrow and night)
Scripture was read and thanks given for Syngman's life and ministry. We all offered prayers of praise and thanksgiving for Syngman. Although he couldn't speak, Dad was alert and listened through the entire service.
His condition continues to decline. We are tremendously grateful that he is comfortable and pain-free. Thank you for your prayers and support.
|Posted by [email protected] on January 12, 2015 at 5:35 PM||comments (1)|
Dad continues in hospice and is uplifted by your prayers and messages. It was comforting to know so many congregations included prayers for him in their worship services yesterday.
Thank you to Vaughn Earl Hartsell from the Abingdon Presbytery for sharing the following acrostic with us.
ACROSTIC PRAYER ON THE NAME
With Responses from the Letter to the Ephesians
Honoring General Assembly Moderator The Rev. Dr. Syngman Rhee
Offered at the Meeting of the Presbytery of Abingdon
Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.)
November 9, 2000
Creator of All Things, the mountains and the valleys in which we live proclaim your praise. You are the Living Stone from which we have been hewn, the River of Life who quenches our thirst. Today, we give you praise that we have with us today your servant Syngman Rhee, the Moderator of the 212th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.). It is to you, Gracious One, that we give our praise as we gather.
Response: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. (1:3)
RECONCILER and preacher of reconciliation, your servant Syngman Rhee proclaims our oneness in Christ, who has broken down all the walls of hostility separating brothers and sisters from each other. In his own native land of Korea, he has crossed boundaries to work towards the peaceful reunification of neighbors in conflict. In the United States, his adopted country, he has preached peace to all, reminding us that we are one in Christ Jesus, even when we are divided in our views and opinions. Syngman and his wife Haesun provide us an example of devoted service to church and world.
Response: For Christ is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility . . . . And Christ came, preaching peace to you who were far off, and peace to those who were near. (2:14,17)
HOPEFUL and humble, our Moderator comes with a message, not of his own making, but from the Lord and Giver of Life. In sermon and song, he draws from the rich lode of Scripture, always reminding us that we creatures must always give God the glory and praise. His proclamation is that the purpose of human life is to glorify God and enjoy God for ever.
Response: For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and earth is named, that he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit . . . that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith . . . (3:14-17)
ECUMENIST and keeper of the vision that your church is one, despite its divisions and united in Christ despite its many denominations, Syngman Rhee has tirelessly worked not only for Presbyterian unity, but for the unity of the Body of Christ. As a leader in councils of churches, and as a teacher of mission and evangelism, he has worked tirelessly, and with grace to seek that oneness for which Christ died.
Response: I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all loliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (4:1-3)
EDUCATOR and gospel preacher, our Moderator's winsome ways are seen not only as the Gospel is proclaimed, but as women and men, old and young are received with loving grace and warm humor. He is a friend of both priviledged and powerless persons, a pastor to those who seek direction and care.
We praise you, Source of Life, for the gifts you have given Syngman Rhee, and give glory to you, Creator and Sustainer.
Response: Be filled with the Spirit . . . singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for everything giving thanks in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. (5:18-20)
Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love undying. (6:24)
The writer Lawton W. Posey, H. R., is Vice Moderator for Quadrant 4 of the Presbytery of West Virginia. He acknowledges contributions to this prayer by Bridget Louise Posey, and Vaughn Earl Hartsell.
|Posted by [email protected] on January 10, 2015 at 2:15 PM||comments (25)|
We thank everyone for your thoughts, prayers, messages and phone calls. Many of your written communications have been shared with Dad. He expresses gratitude constantly for God's grace and powerful love that binds us all together.
Our immediate family, including grandchildren and Dad's precious brother, were able to gather around Dad on Thursday night for a prayer service. Accompanied by his guitar, Peter paid tribute to Dad with Vince Gill's song, "Go Rest High on the Mountain."
Our uncle sang one of Dad's favorite hymns and Dad joined in with that unique singing voice of his, words flowing easily from memory. We enfolded him in love, prayed together, recalled how Dad has touched so many through his life and minstry in the world. Individually, we told him how much we love him.
Today, Mom has decided to move Dad into hospice care. Treatments for cancer will cease and the focus will be on Dad's comfort for his remaining days.
Dad's spirit is strong but his body is weak. He feels so blessed and is at peace knowing that he is in God's loving arms. He is indeed a faithful servant who trusts in the Lord!
Be assured that Dad knows the community is praying for him as he journeys forward. Thank you for your continued prayers for Dad and for us.
|Posted by [email protected] on January 8, 2015 at 8:55 AM||comments (52)|
It is with heavy hearts that we share sad news about our father's health situation. Syngman was recently hospitalized for an aggressive cancer and his condition is rapidly declining. He has been extremely healthy all of his life, so this development was a surprise to all of us. He is in the care of the very best doctors in the world for his illness. We welcome your prayers for our father and for our family through this journey of body, mind and spirit.
Even in the midst of this situation, every day, Syngman expresses deep gratitude for his life in the church, in ministry, and in the world; and for his many relationships and experiences in ministry over the course of his entire life. They are very much on his mind and in his heart. He feels a sense of unfinished business but he knows that there are many who will continue on as God's church in the world for justice, peace and reconciliation.
We will try to post updates about Syngman on this blog. You are welcome to post messages, memories, and prayers for him, our mother Haesun, and our family, here as well, or send an email to [email protected]
God's grace is immeasurable and we are deeply grateful for God's gift of Syngman Rhee in our lives.
Anna, Peter and Mina Rhee