Friday, January 24
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
New Praise Church, one of the 23 congregations of Hanmi Presbytery, began in 2012 when two churches merged. While each congregation had been surviving separately, hardship prevented them from effectively executing their missions on their own.
The church’s name, which was decided by a contest, was offered by the youth and college group drawn from each congregation. Deferring to the guidance of young people is unusual in the context of adult-centered Korean immigrant churches.
The young members of New Praise started an English-speaking Ministry (EM) as well as a café, to offer a place of gathering. They have begun Agape Meals as a way to spend time together.
The young members of the congregation are mostly children of the older Korean-speaking parents. They have seen how their parents have struggled. They have witnessed tears due to divisions and separations in the old congregation and have watched the faith of their parents persevere and keep the congregation together.
An EM member was installed as a deacon in 2013. It is expected that elders will be installed from among them in the near future. This joyful mission is creating much excitement.
The future of the Korean immigrant churches will be led by young members. As for New Praise, the children of the current pastors, elders, and deacons will continue their role as leaders of the congregation, singing the new praise. As the first-generation passes its faith to the second, much fruit will be borne.
—Rev. Yun Sun Byon, senior pastor, New Praise Church, Cypress, California
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
Our Father, the immigrant churches find hope in the young EM congregation as you prepare our future through them. We give thanks as we see our children become pillars of the church. Amen.