The World Council of Churches (WCC) is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. During the June 15 – 21 meeting of the WCC Central Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, there were two significant events: Pope Francis’s June 21 visit and the attendance of the Korean delegation. After our Wisconsin Annual Conference ended on the 18th, Bishop Jung traveled to Geneva to attend the Central Committee meeting and the Ecumenical Forum for Korea (EFK) meeting.

Pope Francis’s visit included a morning prayer service, lunch with council leaders, an afternoon session with the council’s Central Committee and a public mass. Bishop Jung called this “a historic moment for ecumenical relationships in the global Church.” He said, “His Holiness has influenced so many around the world, especially in his humility and Gospel-centered leadership. He reminds us to do ministry with the poor and marginalized. I felt his reminder to the ecumenical world about spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be significant.” Read Pope Francis's Address to the Central Committee.

In the UM News article Pope Francis models Christian unity at WCC, Bishop Jung said, “I was so moved and felt a strong responsibility as I saw Pope Francis blessing the Korean delegation from South and North Koreas before the ecumenical address. I believe it is a God-given opportunity for reconciliation and peace. I think the Korean Peninsula is the prayer and common goal of all people of faith in the world.”

Bishop Jung called the Ecumenical Forum for Korea a “powerful gathering with North Korea Christian leaders, South Korea, and world church leaders. It was about celebrating and mutual support for Panmunjum Declaration and Singapore Summit.” On June 23, Bishop Jung led a Bible study called “Reconciling Boldly” on Romans 5:1–11. In the Bible study, Bishop Jung says, “In a world steeped in economic inequality, threats of war and violence, political oppression and abuses of power, we need to hold fast to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our faith is the bedrock upon which our individual and collective identity is built. Baptism is more than a symbolic ritual; it is the essential act of unity and commitment – what God does for us in baptism cannot be undone by human agency.” Download the Bible study here.

There were several other United Methodist leaders at the Central Committee Meeting. Bishop Jung was with Bishop Sally Dyck, Bishop Marian Swenson, Bishop Rosemarie Wener and Thomas Kemper from the General Board of Global Ministries. He offers his great thanksgiving for the leadership of his colleagues. View photos from Bishop Jung’s visit to Geneva.

If you would like to read more about the meeting, there are several articles from UMCOM and the WCC: