Thursday, 17 May 2018

WCC Asia President Welcomed to Australia

(L-R Rev. Dr Ji Zhang, Rev. Prof. Sang Chang, Dr Sureka Goringe, Mr Rob Floyd) (L-R Rev. Dr Ji Zhang, Rev. Prof. Sang Chang, Dr Sureka Goringe, Mr Rob Floyd)

Uniting Church leaders have joined ecumenical colleagues in welcoming Rev. Prof. Sang Chang, the World Council of Churches President for the Asian region to Australia.

Rev. Prof. Chang, who is also a former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, gave an address in Sydney on the birth and growth of the WCC.

She spoke of how changing contexts in the world influenced the themes and approaches of each of the WCC Assemblies, which take place every eight years. Particularly she described the changing membership of the Assemblies as the number of member churches grew, along with the proportion of women attending the Assemblies

Rev. Prof. Chang noted the shifting membership of the WCC from a predominantly global north body to a majority global south membership over the 70 years since the WCC’s formation.

Rev. Prof. Chang also gave a general overview of the growth of Christianity in Asia, and advocated for the need to broaden women’s leadership in Asian Churches.

As a Korean woman, Rev. Prof. Chang also shared about the prayerful involvement of the churches in Korea as they look with hope towards a peaceful and unified Korean Peninsula.

After her address, Assembly Associate General Secretary Rob Floyd, National Director of UnitingWorld Dr Sureka Goringe and Assembly Theologian in residence Rev. Dr Ji Zhang presented Rev. Prof. Chang with two books - a Korean translation of former UCA President

Rev. Prof. Andrew Dutney’s Introducing the Uniting Church in Australia and the UCA’s 40 Days of Prayer collection to mark last year’s 40th anniversary.

Rev. Prof. Chang is from the Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea (PROK), with whom the Uniting Church has a long history of partnership.