Following Jesus Together While Having Very Different Beliefs

How does kimchi relate to following Jesus? Facilitators Pablo Hyung Jin Kim Sun and Jinah Im were quite happy to explain last Saturday.

Group works together to mix kimchi ingredients.Kimchi ingredients (simple version)

  • Napa cabbage
  • green onions
  • chives
  • sea salt
  • red chili powder
  • fermented shrimp
  • anchovy sauce
  • onion
  • Fuji apple
  • Asian pear
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • sticky rice

Participant and instructor pose with kimchi ingredients.Congregational ingredients

  • Varying generations
  • varying genders
  • singing styles
  • praying styles
  • ‘heart’ language (first language spoken)
  • who is Jesus?
  • what is the meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection?
  • how do we live faithfully?
  • what does it mean to live justly?

Here are some of the lessons:

  • Participants sit and discuss.There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi, just as there are hundreds of varieties of congregations.
  • Most of us recognize cabbage kimchi, but other vegetables can also be used. Those of us in the workshop are ‘European’ Anabaptists, but often now our congregations include people from other parts of the world.
  • Group with finished jars of kimchi.Kimchi has evolved over the centuries; Napa cabbage and chili powder are more recent additions to traditional recipes. Our Anabaptist beliefs and understandings have also evolved over the last 500 years and hopefully will continue to do so.
  • Some ingredients in kimchi get blended together, some are left distinct. So too the ingredients of our congregations, some things get mashed together, some things stay distinct.
  • Kimchi needs time to ferment, to create that unique flavour, each day tasting a little sharper. Can we recognize how the church also needs time to ferment, how over time we can become more flavourful?
  • In Korea making kimchi is a community event. So together we learned how to make kimchi and how we might use diversity to demonstrate the vastness of God’s love to the world.