Everyone invited! African-American, Latino, Asian, Caucasian and Carribean churches will come together for glorious praise of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and share in a fellowship dinner featuring ethnic dishes.
Camphor United Methodist Church and First Korean Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia Plan Joint Multi-Cultural Fellowship
The two churches will celebrate their 21th annual fellowship with six other
ethnic congregations on April 26, 2009
Philadelphia, PA. Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church and First Korean Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia will celebrate their 21st annual fellowship in a joint worship and fellowship program with six other ethnic congregations on Sunday, April 26, 2009, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church, Philadelphia, PA
In keeping with the goal “to love our neighbors in this land,” the program will bring together the following churches in an afternoon of joint worship and praise with multi-ethnic and cultural dimensions: First Filipino Baptist Church (Rev. Kit Anotado), Vietnamese Alliance Church (Rev. Dao Viet Tien), Grace Trinity NNN-Multi Cultural Ethnic India Church (Rev. Chandra Soans), Cambodian Church (Rev. Vibol Touch), Saints Tabernacle Community Church (Pastor Milas Moser), Japanese Proclamation Church (Rev. Kee Sup Lee), Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church (Rev. Herbert Palmer) and First Korean Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia (Rev. Manwoo Kim).
Each church will present a short praise or cultural program and everyone is invited to wear cultural or traditional attire of their native country. The pastors of the churches will also come together in a song of praise. There will be plenty of African-American Soul Food, African food, Korean food and ethnic desserts for all to enjoy.
The Camphor-First Korean Fellowship began in 1988 while Rev. Paul Kim was Associate Pastor at Camphor pursuant to a special cross-cultural pulpit appointment by the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church. The African-American congregation at Camphor Memorial received Rev. Kim and his family with open arms and delighted in helping him with his English and learning about Korean people and culture. About this same time tensions were mounting in West Philadelphia between Korean merchants and the mostly African-American community. Camphor’s then Senior Pastor, Rev. Clyde Henry, and Rev. Kim were convinced that Camphor Memorial UMC could help alleviate the conflict by establishing a relationship with a Korean church where the pastors and members of all ages would worship together, discuss their mutual concerns, and share their cultural histories and experiences.
Rev. Manwoo Kim and his congregation at First Korean Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia enthusiastically responded to the call and the first combined worship service was held at Camphor Memorial UMC on April 24, 1988. The special afternoon service consisted of music presented by the talented choirs and musical ensembles of both churches in Korean and English languages and then the combined singing of the choirs and congregation of songs ranging from English hymns, African-American spirituals, and contemporary Christian gospel to folk music. The service was followed with a banquet of Korean entrees and Soul Food desserts. Since that time, similar worship and fellowship services have occurred on an annual basis on the 4th Sunday in April at First Korean Presbyterian and Camphor Memorial UMC in alternating years.
More than worship services have occurred. Over the years, Korean and African-American families from the churches have come together for dinner and family gatherings at their respective homes. In addition, both churches award a scholarship of $500.00 to a deserving student in the other congregation. In 1996, Rev. D. Watson Tatem, then Senior Pastor of Camphor, and Rev. Manwoo Kim traveled to South Korea under the auspices of the Philadelphia Church Council Program for the Korean/African-American Pastors Joint Visit to Korea. While there, Rev. Tatem extended greetings on behalf of both Camphor and First Korean Presbyterian to everyone she met. Her sermon to over 3,000 students at Yum Kwang Girls’ High School in Seoul erupted in praise and celebration and remains a beacon of goodwill and world ministry by two churches from Philadelphia.
In 1998, the 10th Anniversary year of the fellowship, Rev. Herbert Coe, Senior Pastor of Camphor Memorial, and Rev. Manwoo Kim returned to Korea in furtherance of the goal to introduce African-American pastors and churches to the Korean churches. The entire year celebrated the anniversary with Cultural Seminars on African-American and Korean-American history and culture, with the goal of discovering God’s mandate to the joint Christian community in the greater Philadelphia area for the present generation. The seminars were led by Rev. Dr. Cecil Gray, a former Associate Pastor at Camphor who obtained his Ph.D. at Temple University in Africalogy/African-American Studies specializing in African-American/African History and Culture and African/African-American Religion, Philosophy and Spirituality and Rev. Dr. Stephen Linton, Fulbright Scholar and Chairman of The Eugene Bell Centennial Foundation and Research Associate at the Center for Korean Research, East Asian Institute, at Columbia University.
The lectures were followed by a panel discussion led by the guest speakers and selected others on “The Role of Christians in Society”. The Peros Choir of the Kosin University in Korea, the Temple University Gospel Choir, Rita McKinley, soprano, George Braxton, baritone, Michael and Daniel Chong, violinists, joined the choirs of Camphor Memorial UMC and First Korean Presbyterian in an “Invitational Festival of Music” for an evening of sacred music. A Photo Gallery of the nine years of past worship services was displayed at the Joint Worship and Fellowship Program and slides of more pictures of the fellowship were shown during the Anniversary Banquet.
Additional information about the upcoming Multicultural Joint Program on April 26, 2009, may be obtained by calling Rev. Herbert Palmer at Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church at 215-747-2600 or Rev. Manwoo Kim at First Korean Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia at 215-549-6880.