This webpage is for the people of the Toronto Conference for story sharing and networking.

 Autobiographical Vision Statement

By Rev. John Lee, April 25, 2002, for the 78th Annual General Meeting of the Totonto Conference of The United Church of Canada

"That All May Be One" is our vision that we have cherished in our hearts, and I am proud to be part of it. We have accomplished God's call to become "one" with unity in diversity as the body of Christ. Yet we are still in the process of becoming a living body as God's gift for the world. In this journey we find that "we are many and we are one," and we affirm God's gift of grace “We are not alone, we live in God's world.  I am grateful for the support of my congregation and of my lifetime partners, Young-Sook, my spouse, and Hannah, my daughter, who is studying at the University of Toronto. My excitement is in recognizing and valuing the unique gifts of each individual and in celebrating diversity as we together build trusting relationships. Through the life we experience God's presence in our midst and find joy in

becominga gift for the world. I am also part of the Anti Racism task group that works towards reconciliation and healing within our culturally diverse Church. All these commitments teach me that it is our eyes with Jesus' love and compassion that enable us to find hopeful vision in spite of the reality of many seeming impossibilities.

 

My vision has been refined and affirmed through my service for the wider church. My role as a theological reflector for the Executive meetings of Ethnic Ministries Council during its first year, 1996-97, called me to ask "Who are we as people with unique gifts of specific cultural and traditional heritages?”, and "Where are we to go in our journey towards unity in diversity?" My participation in the Global Consultation on Education for Church Leadership, the Canadian Contextual Theology Conference and the Theological Conference of Canadian Ecumenical Jubilee Initiative, and several Residential School and Anti-Racism events has challenged me to envision the future where God leads us, affirming who we are and where we are to go as The United Church of Canada.

 

The passion for sharing my vision led me to serve the church in other ways. At the General Council level, I am currently serving on the Mission Theme Task Group. I have served the Education for Church Leadership Coordinating Committee, and I was a commissioner to the 37th General Council.  I have served the Conference as co-chair of the Worship and Liturgy Sub-committee and as co-chair of the Ethnic Ministries Committee. I have also served as president of the Korean Association of The United Church of Canada and as an advisor of the Internationalization Program of Queen's Theological College. My learning through all these commitments is that The United Church of Canada follows in the footsteps of the disciples of Jesus, as it strives to respond faithfully to the signs of the times.

 

In our fast changing world, as we read the signs of the times, we find that Toronto Conference has the gift of remarkable diversity. This gift of diversity becomes a blessing when we recognise and celebrate it as God's gift to us. We venture further into the reign of God, as we connect with each other by sharing stories, hopes and dreams. Toronto Conference, then, will become a joyful home where we are blessed with God's gifts of diversity. My vision in this our journey is that, we encounter each other heart to heart, face to face, hand in hand, and sing praises: We are not alone. God is with us. Thanks be to God!

 

  

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