at the 7 a.m., 9:40 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
services. Hanshin is a large church
with 4,000 members. McDonald was
also a featured lecturer at the annual
Hanshin-San Francisco Theological
Seminary Symposium, where most of
the lectures were conducted in Kore-
an. McDonald’s sermons and lecture,
however, were given in English and
translated into Korean.
McDonald’s presence and partici-
pation in the conference was highly
anticipated. His image appeared on
banners, posters and other materials.
It was a heartfelt welcome. “The graciousness of the
Korean people and their hospitality was unparalleled.
Dean and I have never experienced anything like it! It’s
like we were royalty. They couldn’t do enough for us.
We were very humbled by the warmth and generosity
of the Korean people,” said McDonald.
McDonald presented a lecture on Faith and Public
Life before a capacity crowd of more than 500 confer-
ence attendees. He was asked by Rev. Dr. ChangBok
Chung, president of Hanil University in Jeonju, to
preach the closing worship service before a crowd of
nearly 1,000. Chung earned his Doctor of the Science
of Theology degree from SFTS in 1978 and was named
2012 Distinguished Alumni.
There were grand musical and theatri-
cal performances held at the conference
center that would rival Broadway. From
musicals to classical string quartets, from
a commissioned chamber orchestra choir
to Korea’s version of Elvis, the entertain-
ment was extraordinary. “The talent was
unsurpassed and the quality of the per-
formers was equal to what you would see
at the Met or on Broadway,” McDonald
said. “I especially enjoyed hearing the
men’s quartet sing, ‘There is Nothing Like
a Dame’ in Korean.”
Traveling to see the historic sites of
Korea with several of the country’s religious leaders and
dignitaries was deeply inspiring, as they bore witness
to elements of the nation’s war-torn past and the amaz-
ing progress the country has made, both economically
and socially. “The Korean War was devastating, and
the country has been rebuilding over the past 60 years.
Theirs is a remarkable story, with a remarkable testa-
ment to the Korean people,” McDonald said.
Among the other sites visited was the Confu-
cian Academy at the UNESCO World Heritage Site;
Gyeongbokgung Palace where they viewed the cer-
emony of the changing of the guard, established in the
early 15th century; a visit to the “Tin Can” church,
constructed of tin and turned on its side—a large mega
See Korea on page 29
“The graciousness
of the Korean
people and their
hospitality was
unparalleled.”
— Rev. Dr. James
McDonald
SFTS CHIMES | Fall 2012 9
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