July 17, 2022

The 1st Happy Seminar With Neighbors

A message of hope and support to your loved ones

South Korea

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The Church of God arranged a special event for those who have had a difficult time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the “1st Happy Seminar With Neighbors,” held on a nationwide tour. From 2018 to 2019, the Church of God had delivered a message of comfort and support to young people in their 20s and 30s, who are living in an era of unlimited competition due to job difficulties and heavy workload, through “Happy Seminar for Workers.” It has expanded the age group of the participants after the social distancing has been lifted, in order to create a platform of communication and support.

On July 17, the first event was held at the Homaesil Church in Gwonseon, Suwon, which had its dedication service in June. Over 1,500 people from Suwon, Hwaseong, Pyeongtaek, Anyang, and Osan, along with people from all walks of life, including Lee Jae-jun, the Suwon Special City Mayor, and Kim Ki-jeong, the President of Suwon Special City Council, attended the event.

Prior to the full-fledged event, Pastor Son Hyeong-han of the Homaesil Church in Gwonseon, Suwon, welcomed the attendees, saying, “As the Christ says, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Mt 11:28),’ I hope all those who long to find peace in their tired heart due to COVID-19 will have happy times in the arms of God through this event.” Lee Jae-jun, the Mayor of Suwon, in his congratulatory speech, mentioned “Our Mother” Writing and Photo Exhibition and the “Worldwide Blood Drive to Give Life Through the Love of the Passover,” which he had attended at the Church of God; he encouraged the members who had been dedicating themselves to carrying out volunteer services, and congratulated them for opening the seminar.

The event started with a performance by the Chamber Orchestra. The orchestra, which was composed of Church of God members, produced a sweet melody through various songs such as “Today, I Go to Zion,” “Amazing Grace with Bach,” and “OST La La Land.” The mixed choir sang the song, “Beautiful Country,” and the New Song, “Indeed, How Blessed We All Are,” touching the heart of the audience.

Then, the seminar was followed on the theme of “Family Is a Gift.” The story of a father who shaved his head for his son who lost his hair due to treatment for childhood cancer, a story of a mother who looked after her sons, doing all the house chores, despite the pain that seemed to cut off her nerves due to a herniated disc, . . . Those stories illuminated the love and sacrifice of fathers and mothers, weightily conveyed the message that the family whom we can rely on in times of hardships is the best gift in life. The hall, which used to burst into laughter from time to time at the witty host’s remarks, suddenly became quiet, and attendees with their families wiped their tears or held one another’s hands.

Additionally, various side events such as taking photos at the photo zone and presenting of calligraphy postcards gave a variety of pleasures to the attendees. Lee Ji-hyeon, who attended the seminar with her parents, said with tears, “When I asked my father to write a calligraphy phrase, he wrote, ‘Let us be all happy and strong. I love you.’ He and I usually talk a lot, but this is the first time for me to see him express his deep feelings.”

Kim Ki-jeong, the President of Suwon City Council, said, “I feel like I really did well to attend the seminar. I was greatly moved by the stories about parents. I think this kind of event that gives strength to and touches the heart of citizens is necessary at the municipal level, too.”

The ”Happy Seminar With Neighbors” will be held not only in Korea, but also overseas to touch the hearts of people in each country.