[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] After 20 years of prayers, hopes and fund-raising, a new Women’s Mission Centre will open in Seoul, Korea, this weekend. The idea for the centre was first mooted in a resolution from the Anglican Church of Korea’s Women’s Forum in 1993. The project itself was launched in 1995 but it has taken until now for the centre, in the Shinyoungdong district of Seoul, to be ready. It will be blessed at a special celebration event on Sunday.
“The centre will serve not only Anglican women but also all women in need by providing various outreaching programs and projects,” the project’s chair, Ruth Choi, said. “The programs will be retreats and Lectio Devina for small groups, Bible study, making Anglican rosary, marriage course, parents course, grandparents course, specialised programs for the elderly, youth camp, church leadership course for women, language learning course and so-on.
“Furthermore, the centre aims to be a hub for women in need and expert groups who can help them. From the beginning, the centre will begin the meeting of mums who lost their children, which a first-hand experienced individual will lead with specialist help.
“This kind of meeting program will be expanded to other areas such as single mums, eating disorder sufferers, care givers of people with dementia and so on.”
The centre will also develop a role as a referral and connecting centre, helping women with needs to be connected with appropriate experts for support and assistance. These will include released woman prisoners, defectors from North Korea and their children, and victims of violence and discrimination.
“To provide the required funds for operating the centre, the women’s group will continue its fundraising promotions and holding fundraising fairs, but long-term profitable business and stable support are needed,” Ruth Choi said.
The new centre has been welcomed by the Anglican Communion’s director for women in church and society, the Revd Terrie Robinson, who described Sunday’s launch as a “special and historic day as the hopes and prayers of two decades come to fruition.”
In a message, to be read out at Sunday’s launch, she said: “The centre will be a great gift to women’s organisations and a place from where women can be empowered to achieve their full potential, where women’s leadership can be nurtured, and where women and men can be sensitised to the many issues around gender that affect us all.
“And in providing a support system for deprived women and children the centre will serve those who are among the most marginalised, which is our Christian calling.
“I pray that the Women’s Mission Centre will be a place where all who enter find peace in the storms of life, fellowship and growth, and strengthening in the service of the Living Lord.”