Search PNC News for stories of people and churches in our UCC Conference:

Global partnership connects UCC and Disciples to Koreans

The global partnership experiences as delegates and as hosts helps participants broaden their perspectives of the world. 

The ties with the East Seoul Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) are a regional commitment of both the PNC-UCC and the Northwest Disciples of Christ.

Mary Ann Teeters
Elder Yi with Mary Ann Teeters in Korea

Two years ago, Mary Ann Teeters, a member of First Christian in Bellingham, joined six UCC delegates.  She particularly valued home stays with two Korean families, one young, modern family and one traditional family.

The young family, who spoke English, lived in a high rise and would be hard to distinguish from a U.S. city family, she said. 

The older family had a son who spoke English, but he was not always there.  They had chairs at a desk and at a kitchen table, but otherwise they sat on the floor around a low table and the wife ironed on the floor. The family went to church four or five times a week and had a Bible study in their home.

“In worship, I realized even if I didn’t understand the words, I could understand the spirit and intensity of devotion in the praise and music,” Teeters said.  “We made a connection so I feel I have family in Seoul.”

“Trips to the demilitarized zone impressed on me how close their “enemy” is, yet how many want reunification,” she said.  “For me, the Korean War was ancient history.  I was a child then, but to them it’s something they continue to live.”

Teeters, who works in manufacturing sales, found she had more in common with Koreans than she expected, especially in faith.

“It was quite a spiritual journey for me,” she said, taking a leap of faith, being curious and asking questions.

“The week before I learned of the opportunity, I prayed, saying I was ready to do what God wanted me to do,” she said, learning about Korea outside history and TV’s “MASH.” 

Having lived on a farm in Indiana for 24 years, she wanted to know where their food came from and saw farms as she drove in the countryside.  At the DMZ she saw trees in the North cut for firewood to cook.

Lillian Moir of First Christian in Bellingham, helped Teeters in 2009 host Korean guests for worship and a potluck dinner to learn about their ministry.  For her, the experience reinforced what she knew from more than 35 years of serving in overseas mission and communication with the Disciples.

“We connect congregations with the world beyond to let them know we are part of one world,” she said.  “As we relate with people from around the world, we learn that life and faith are not just about our families and immediate neighbors.  These connections help us understand our common interests, hopes and dreams with people around the world.”

For information, call 360-778-1350 or email


Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © February 2010


Share this article on your favorite social media Bookmark and Share