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Methodists Pick Korean 'Mission Pastors'

May 09, 1998|JOHN DART

The United Methodist Church has commissioned the first group of Korean American "mission pastors"--including eight Southland ministers--to help developing congregations officially become part of the denomination.

Since 1981, the rapid growth of Korean American congregations has accounted for half of the new churches entering the United Methodist fold. Korean American Methodist churches number nearly 300 nationwide.

The category of mission pastor was developed by the New York-based United Methodist Board of Global Ministries after the denomination's 1996 convention rejected the creation of a separate jurisdiction for Korean American clergy and churches. Most Methodist leaders prefer to integrate ethnic and racial congregations within the geographic jurisdictions.

"Korean Americans [in the church] see this as a major step forward," said the Rev. John McCullough, associate general secretary for mission personnel.

Los Angeles Times Saturday May 16, 1998 Home Edition Metro Part B Page 5 Advance Desk 1 inches; 32 words Type of Material: Correction; Column
In an item on the merger of Pacific Homes and California Lutheran Homes, which ran in Southern California File on May 9, the combined annual revenue of the two facilities was incorrectly stated. The revenue is close to $100 million.

The Southland ministers among the first 34 clergy appointed to three-year terms as mission pastors are the Revs. Myung Hwan Cho of Reseda, Chul Jung of Gardena, Ji Tai Kim of Riverside, Jin Mo Koo of Garden Grove, Joseph Won-Moon Lee of Burbank, Peter Chang-Hyung Park of Los Angeles, Yong Sam Park of Vista and Paul Suk-Yong Yang of Los Angeles.

The plan calls for an eventual 40 pastors and five superintendents in the first mission group.


Jesuit Father Thomas Reese, a Los Angeles native, has been named editor in chief of America magazine, the influential Catholic weekly run by the religious order. Reese, 53, is one of the most widely quoted sources today on news developments in Catholicism and at the Vatican.

Still attached to the California province of the Jesuits, Reese has been based in recent years at Georgetown University and has been the magazine's Washington correspondent since 1985.

* Donald E. Travis, a member of Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Los Alamitos, has been elected to a two-year term as president of the National Council of Presbyterian Men, the laymen's body of the Louisville, Ky.-based denomination. Travis is a former moderator of the Los Ranchos Presbytery, which embraces congregations from East Los Angeles to San Clemente.

* Rafael Vega, director of campus ministry at Providence High School in Burbank, has been named by Cardinal Roger M. Mahony to chair the Catholic archdiocese's Justice and Peace Commission. Vega, a commission member since last year, succeeds Joan Harper, who had served two years in the post.


Graduation exercises of Southland seminaries and religious colleges include the following:

* For the first time in 69 years, Mt. St. Mary's College will hold its commencement ceremony away from its Brentwood campus--taking the rites to the Shrine Auditorium at 7 p.m. Monday in order to relieve traffic congestion around the hillside college. Alice Bourke Hayes, president of the University of San Diego, will address the nearly 600 degree-earning students and herself receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

* Steven F. Windmueller, director of Hebrew Union College's Irwin Daniels School of Jewish Communal Service, will speak at the college's graduation ceremony at 3 p.m. Monday. Honorary doctorates will be given to philanthropist-community leader Dorothy Corwin and Maurice Stanley Friedman, professor emeritus of religion at San Diego State University.

* The Claremont School of Theology, which by tradition does not confer honorary degrees or feature a commencement address, will award graduate degrees to 68 students in a ceremony next Saturday at 9 a.m. on the Kresge Chapel Green.


Pacific Homes, formerly affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and California Lutheran Homes have agreed to merge into what company officials said will be the largest not-for-profit provider of retirement residences and skilled nursing facilities in Southern California. Pacific Homes, which went bankrupt in 1978, emerged in 1981 essentially free of church ties.

The two organizations together own and operate a dozen senior citizen facilities, all but one in the Southland, and have a combined annual revenue close to $1 million. The two groups created a venture in 1995 to manage six low-cost housing facilities.

Robert Chillison and Hewes Bell, board chairmen respectively for California Lutheran Homes and Pacific Homes, said in a joint statement that they hoped to complete the merger by the end of this year.


Attorney-television commentator Hugh Hewitt of Irvine, whose "Searching for God in America" about the country's religious varieties, was published in 1996, now writes from a traditional Christian viewpoint in "The Embarrassed Believer, Reviving Christian Witness in an Age of Unbelief" (Word Publishing).

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