The Korean Union Conference (KUC) designated February 25, 2017, as a day when Adventist children could participate in a Sabbath-keeping pledge. Over the three weeks from February 18 to March 4, each Korean local church held a Sabbath-keeping pledge ceremony. By the end of February, a total of 3,000 children from 300 churches across the country had pledged to keep the Sabbath.
The Junghwa-dong Church held a pledge ceremony on February 25. Seventeen children promised to keep the Sabbath and received a pin. Lee HyoMyeong, children’s ministries director of the church, said, “We are carrying out various programs for children so that the Sabbath will be a pleasant and enjoyable day for them.” He expressed his hope that children in the church will keep the Sabbath by their own choices, not obligatorily.
On the same day, Taereung Church conducted a ceremony with a participation of 40 children. Oh BeomSuk, pastor at Taereung Church, introduced the story of Desmond Doss, a World War II hero and the main character of the recently released American movie Hacksaw Ridge. During World War II, Doss saved many lives while keeping his faith as an Adventist and keeping the Sabbath. “As Doss followed lessons he learned in the Church, I hope our children follow God’s law and lessons from the Church so that their lives will be glorious before God,” said Pastor Oh. He also put an emphasis on the role of adult church members, who are children’s spiritual guardians, as well as the role of their teachers in church.
Pastor Min KyungChae, KUC children’s ministries director, revealed why he planned this kind of ceremony, citing Psalm 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Pastor Min said, “It is important for children to have a Sabbath-keeping experience from their early age. If they experience even a small sense of fulfillment, they will have faith and make good decisions when they become adults and face difficult choices.”