Ten delegates from the Connecticut Conference are preparing to travel to the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) to attend the April 24 Annual Meeting of the Gyeonggi Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Korea. The trip marked the 24th
year of the partnership between the CT Conference and the Gyeonggi Presbytery.
The Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ formed a covenanted relationship with the Gyeonggi Presbytery in South Korea in 1994. The churches committed to build a relationship with each other, learn about each other’s culture, and grow in faith together. Delegations travel to visit the respective annual meetings of the two churches to help retain and develop this relationship, while local churches actively take part by developing individual relationships with partner churches from the Gyeonggi Presbytery.
The 2018 CTUCC Delegates:
Rev. Kent Siladi—CTUCC Conference Minister
Rev. Lauren Lorincz—Colchester
Rev. Rochelle Stackhouse—Hartford
Rev. Christa Swenson—Mystic
Jean Green—North Guilford
The Rev. Lauren Lorincz is a first time delegate on this year’s trip. Lorincz is pastor of the Colchester Federated Church which has partnered with the Han Mok Church. In preparation for the trip, members of the Colchester church have been working to create some gifts for their partner church. Handmade bookmarks made by the Colchester youth and a quilted wall hanging will be presented to the Han Mok Church on April 22 when Lorincz will preach and give the children’s message. Last November, Han Mok Church’s pastor, the Rev. Dong-Jin Choi, attended Lorincz’ installation service in Colchester.
Lorincz hopes to spend some time with the Korean church leaders brainstorming ways the two churches can increase their contact with one another. She is also looking forward to learning more about the culture of Korea. Noting that Korea has been in the news often in recent months, she feels that being present allows one to judge the reality of the situation for themselves and to learn how best to help.
“At a time when certain people in our country are saying “America First” and “Let’s get more insular,” partnership likes this make us expand our horizons,” said Lorincz. “It’s important for Christians across the world from us to know that they’re not alone.”
Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi will be traveling with Lorincz and the delegates and agrees that the partnership is as important now as ever. He will deliver an address to the Gyeonggi Annual Meeting on April 24 in which he shares some of his reactions to watching the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, particularly the moment when both South and North Korean athletes entered the Olympic stadium together. That moment, he said, reminded him how important the covenant is between the Connecticut Conference and the Gyeonggi Presbytery in bringing peace to our world.
“We cannot leave the fate of our world and the lives of our children and grandchildren and future generations solely in the hands of the political leaders of our time," writes Siladi.