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GC follow up article of the KA Ordination Task Force

 

By Rev. Grace Pak, Task Force Chair
June 4, 2016

As a result of the findings from the Korean American Ordination Task Force (created by the Korean Ministry Plan and the Korean Association of The United Methodist Church (KAUMC) Future Planning Committee) that the First generation Korean American Ordination candidates are experiencing difficulty through out the Ordination process due to language and cultural differences, the Task Force submitted a resolution to the General Conference 2016 via General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM).  The resolution encourages the dCOM and the BOM to be sensitive to the issues and needs of the candidates from other cultures and provide translators when needed.  It would have effect on two paragraphs in the Book of Discipline.  The Resolution was passed and will be reflected in the new Book of Discipline.

In the study, 50% of respondents indicated that it would be helpful to have a Korean translator during their ordination interview.  As a solution, the Task Force has recommended the resolution so that the dCOM and BOM can be more effective in supporting those candidates and to make the ordination process fair and inclusive.

Here are the resolutions that was included in the GBHEM Legislation Packet.

Translation and Cultural Accommodation for Candidates

Discipline Paragraph: 310 and 666

Amend ¶310.2b)(2) and ¶666

The district committee on ordained ministry through the Board of Ordained Ministry shall seek ways to consider cultural and ethnic/racial realities and language translations as candidates in meeting meet these requirements, including interviews, psychological assessments, criminal background, and credit checks.

¶666. Add after current ¶666.3 and renumber following sub-points.
4. The committee, through the Board of Ordained Ministry, shall seek ways to make reasonable accommodations for cultural and ethnic/racial realities and language translations as candidates meet the requirements for candidacy, including interviews, psychological assessments, criminal background, and credit checks.

Rationale: To honor the language and cultural realities of candidates who do not speak English as their first language and respond to the need for some candidates to need translation or other accommodation to successfully complete certain candidacy requirements.

I believe this resolution is a milestone for the KA community as well as in the United Methodist Church as it opens the hearts, minds and doors of our church to be hospitable and considerate of those who are called to Ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church from other parts of the world.   This resolution will help the church to be mindful of the challenges for the KA candidates as well as those who are from other cultures.

Also, this resolution will be a stepping stone for the UMC in being the Global church in welcoming and supporting all those God calls to ministry from all cultures and languages.

I would like to thank the members of the Task Force for their excellent work.  I would like to especially acknowledge the Rev. HiRho Park for her guidance in helping the Task Force submitting the resolution to the GBHEM.

The task force includes:
Rev. Grace Pak, Task Force Chair
Rev. Paul Chang of the Korean Ministry Plan
Rev. Kun Sam Cho
Rev. Eugene Han
Rev. Pauline Kang
Rev. HiRho Park of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry