From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Methodists ordain 10 in Cambodia

From "NewsDesk" <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Thu, 6 Feb 2003 15:12:51 -0600

Feb. 6, 2003  News media contact: Linda Bloom7(212) 870-38037New York

NOTE: A photograph is available with this report.

NEW YORK (UMNS) - Representatives of four Methodist traditions gathered in
Cambodia recently for the first ordination there of pastors within the
Methodist connection.

Officially recognizing the Jan. 17 ordination in Phnom Penh were Bishop
William Dew, representing the United Methodist Church in the United States,
Switzerland and France; Bishop Jun Yang Chul, Korean Methodist Church; Bishop
Robert Solomon, Methodist Church in Singapore; and Bishop Li Ping Kwong,
World Federation of Chinese Methodist Churches.

The 10 people ordained as deacons are serving a unified Cambodian church
based on all those traditions, according to the Rev. S T Kimbrough Jr., an
executive with the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, who also
attended the ordination.

"The idea from the beginning has been that we would not work separately in
Cambodia, but we would work together," he told United Methodist News Service.

The Cambodia Christian Methodist Association is registered with the Cambodian
government and serves as an umbrella organization for all churches and
organizations in the Methodist connection. The current number of
congregations and fellowships is about 150. 

Discussions for the collaborative effort began in the mid-1990s, and a
coordinating board of the Cambodia Methodist mission formed in 1997. The
first United Methodist missionaries were dispatched to Cambodia in 1998, the
same year that land and a building were purchased in Phnom Penh for a United
Methodist Mission Center. The Korean Methodists opened a Bible school in 2000
that is supported by all the partners. The first Methodist hymnal was
published in Cambodia in 2001 under the sponsorship of the United Methodist
Board of Global Ministries

Last October, the Board of Global Ministries approved the Cambodian church as
a "mission church," which provides an administrative structure for ministry
and offers a foundation for the possible formation of a provisional or
missionary conference.

In Cambodia, an advisory committee has been appointed to work on governance
rules for the mission, and the first annual called meeting is set for January
2004, Kimbrough said.

Those ordained as deacons were Joseph Chan Chhleav, Seng Dyna, Sok Sovandy,
Prak Vuthy, Hem San, Chan Hak, Ham Chheng Hor, Treoung Chan Bony, Ven Voun
Chhen, and Lun Sophy.
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United Methodist News Service
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