Methodist Church

Korean Methodist Church elects new leader

BISHOP KANG HEUNG-BOK (above has been elected President of the Bishops’ Council of the Korean Methodist Church (KMC) at its General Conference.

His installation was held on Aug 20. He will lead the Korean Methodist Church until October 2012. He succeeds Bishop Shin Kyoung Ha who currently serves as an Officer of the World Methodist Council.

The World Methodist Council has conveyed its congratulations to Bishop Kang upon his election and offers its prayers for his leadership of the Korean Methodist Church. – World Methodist Council First Friday Letter.


Battle Hymn lyrics stir debate

NASHVILLE – Once in every seven years or so, Independence Day in the United States (July 4) falls on a Sunday and many churches again debate whether to include patriotic elements in worship: the American flag, Pledge of Allegiance, a colour guard, the national anthem, readings from our founding documents and patriotic choir music and congregational songs.

It is such a year in 2010. Controversy has often accompanied the use of the hymn, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” (No. 717 in The United Methodist Hymnal), in worship, even its inclusion in the hymnal, said hymnal editor Carlton Young in an article on the history of the hymn in the Companion to the United Methodist Hymnal.

Some southern Methodists opposed including it in the 1966 Methodist Hymnal, but it was included nonetheless. The 1989 Hymnal Revision Committee voted to delete the more militaristic stanzas two and three. Protests erupted across the church. The decision was subsequently reversed. – United Methodist News Service.