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This I celebrate! Hyde Park Korean-American Campus Ministry

Posted: March 22 2022 at 02:44 PM
Author: Rev. Martin Lee, Dir. of Congregational Development and Redevelopment

Hyde Park Koreanumc

Hyde Park Korean UMC and the campus ministry celebrate paying 100%of their apportionments.

A Korean Campus Ministry is a fully realized expression of church where Korean international students gather together for worship, discipleship, and fellowship and become a community of faith.

Every new school year, the Hyde Park Korean-American Campus ministry, which NIC apportionments support, sends student leaders to O'Hare airport. They welcome new students from Korea to assist them in settling into the campus at the University of Chicago and building new relationships. They call this their "Airport Ministry." It is a highly effective way to help the incoming students feel at home almost immediately in their new setting. When Hyde Park Korean UMC was established as a Korean campus ministry, the community saw itself as a whole faith community, seeking to participate in every aspect of the life of the broader church, including mission participation with the broader UMC and the payment of an apportionment.

Most students receive financial assistance from scholarships and their families in Korea. Some students work while in school for the university or college they attend. This is often their only employment opportunity because their student visas do not allow them to work at an off-campus business. But these ministries are faithful to the broader connection both in presence and in giving. This is one of the unique qualities of Korean campus ministries nationwide.

When taking leadership of the community, Rev. Woo Min Lee who serves as the Korean-American Campus minister and pastor of Hyde Park Korean UMC, emphasized the importance of responsible stewardship and faithful giving as a building block of a rich and full life of faith. He prioritized this message to help students cultivate lifelong habits of generosity.  Full participation in the apportionment system is an important component of the community's discipleship program. Rev. Lee said, "It has been a leap of faith during the pandemic, and the students made a commitment to pay 100% apportionment."

The pastor and student leaders came up with an idea to raise funds two times a year to pay for apportionments in June and December. At the end of the school year in June, they gave thanks to God, and at the end of the year showed gratitude for the year. Hyde Park Korean apportionment payments went from 0% in 2019 to 100% in 2021.

"It worked for the year 2021," Rev. Woo Min Lee said as they look forward to growing in ministry in 2022.

This I Celebrate!

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