"This is the church of William Scott," the General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea reminded delegates to its General Assembly in 2015. The General Assembly approved an agreement of Mutual Recognition of Ministry with The United Church of Canada. Unanimously approved by our 42nd General Council in August 2015, the approval in Korea heralds a new step in the partnership journey of our two churches.
The Rev. William Scott (1886-1979) was a Canadian missionary who answered the calling of global mission, arriving with his wife Kate Scott in Korea in 1914. He and the Rev. Chai Choon Kim became allies in challenging literal and conservative interpretations of scripture in Korean seminaries in the 1950s. Refusing to back down from their beliefs, they were expelled as heretics from the Presbyterian Church in Korea in 1952. In 1953 they joined with like-minded ministers and others to form the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea. The United Church of Canada supported this new denomination-the only global partner church in 1953 to do so.
The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea was founded on principles of inclusion and public witness for justice and peace. The church reaches out to the minjung-the oppressed, exploited, and despised people of Korea. It is also an active and prophetic voice for democracy, human rights, and reunification of North and South Korea.
The life and witness of William Scott is a reminder of the United Church model of partnership in mission, based on mutual respect and faith, and life together in a troubled world.
Please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith.