Eugene Cho

thank god for george

No, this isn’t a post about President Bush although can read my latest one here about W.

About 8 years ago, Minhee and I sent an email to folks about our desire to plant a church in the city of Seattle  called Quest.  It was pretty scary not knowing who was going to show up – if anyone.  But seven people showed including two people that are still with us right now.  Over the next several months, about 30 people joined us of which about 5 people are still us with us.

Lots of changes.  People coming in and out.  Lots of pain.  Lots of growth.  Lots of joy.  Lots of memories.  And lots of “What in the world am I doing?”  There’s been lots of ups and downs and but through it all, Minhee and I have been privileged to have a handful of people journey with us for the majority of our journey.

In particular, I’m thankful for George and Jin – two brothers amongst the seven folks Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: quest church, seattle

I desperately need good news

communion

[photos by HageCreative]

Yesterday was a really sucky day.  A tough day for some reasons I won’t share here but I can share one thing.  I woke up to a phone call very early morning that our non-profit Q Cafe was broken into at some point in the middle of the night.  Whoever – broke in, made a little mess, broke into several office rooms, snagged a laptop, and took the cash from the cafe and live music venue.  We’ll get over the loss and damage but it just sucks bigtime to have someone rob your place. 

But in the scope of the bigger world, it’s nothing.  Even before the news of the break-in, I’ve been recently overwhelmed by heavy news: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: bible, christianity, church, quest church, seattle

worship at home | guide and video sermon

As you know, Quest Church canceled our church services in light of the current snow storm [aka Snowpocalypse].  This is the first time in the 17 years of ministry that I’ve cancelled a Sunday gathering so this is awkward but the other elders and pastors believed this was the wisest decision for all involved.  

But it’s cool.  The “church” doesn’t cease to be the church if it’s not meeting in a building.  I hope that numerous Questers are choosing to intentionally worship at home.  In that effort, the pastors have put together a simple worship flow to guide you as you see fit.  Here’s the worship guide which includes prayer, Scripture reading, communion liturgy, etc.

Also, I recorded my sermon Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, quest church, seattle, ,

quest church services are cancelled BUT…

Due to Seattle’s version of Snowpocalypse, Quest Church is cancelling all three services for Sunday, December 21.  With safety in mind for the 500+ people that drive, cycle, and walk their way to church, the elders and I prayerfully made this decision.  I have to share that I feel a little strange since this is the first cancellation in the history of Quest but this is also a great opportunity.

This shouldn’t b excuse for us to play pagan and do nothing except watch football games, consume christmas cake and egg nog, and shovel snow.  We want to invite you to carve out some quality time tomorrow to  “Worship @ Home.”  While it’s an amazing experience to gather with fellow worshippers from the Quest family on Sundays, you don’t need a worship team, program, or minister to worship the Triune God.

Tomorrow, I want to encourage you Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, quest church, seattle

know and love your city

Minhee and I moved to Seattle in 1997.  We are entering our 12th year in Seattle but it was only about 8 years ago when I really began to grow in love with the city of Seattle.  I was kayaking in Lake Union when I just gushed over the beauty over the city.  And I just started praying for the city and the hope – someday – of being able to plant a church in the city.  God honored that prayer and on occasion, I’ll trek over to Kerry Park [few mins from Quest] and lift occasional prayers for the city and people of this city.

It isn’t a perfect city by any means:  I wish there was more diversity; city remains ethnically divided;  the road systems are wacky; a subway system would be nice; our sports teams are dreadfully cursed, we need more sun, etc.  But there are also some amazing things about this city:  the topography is absolutely breathtaking; the local music scene is alive and well; everything is green and wet; the city is a creative force and is the hub of numerous companies, etc.

How about you?  Where do you live and what do you like or dislike about your city or town?

One of the regular chats I give when I’ve had the privilege of speaking at conferences or churches has been the importance of knowing, loving, and engaging your city.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, churchplanting, family, leadership, ministry, quest church, seattle, travel

The oldest injustice in human history is the way we treat women.

Update [January 5, 2012] I read and saw this video yesterday and it tore me up. While perhaps this case and this girl’s situation may be extreme, the mistreatment and abuse of girls and women are nevertheless still common. It is and continues to be the “oldest injustice in human history.”

Don’t turn away. Read this article and watch this video:

Nicholas Kristof/NY Times

In every culture and in every part of the world, this injustice is present.  What is the oldest injustice in the world?

It is the way that “we” view, treat, and oppress women.

It would be erroneous for me to say that Asian culture is entirely proned to be against women but I can share my personal experience that as a young Korean man, I was influenced – partly through the Confucian culture and worldview that women were born to serve their fathers as young girls, their husbands when they got married, and their grown sons when they were older mothers.  Their lives and purpose – in part –  revolved around men.

As a person of the Christian faith, I learned – in bits and pieces (both in subtle and occasionally in direct ways) that women should be our “partners.” They should be quiet, submissive and know their place.  Obey and honor their fathers, love and submit to their husbands, and raise godly sons and daughters.

Why didn’t I learn that women and men are both created in the beautiful image of God?  Why didn’t I learn that while we have different roles, we are also created equal in the image of God?  Why didn’t I learn that through Christ, women and men can do all things through Him who gives strength and grace.

I still remember this email that I received from a congregant couple years ago after a sermon I gave at Quest regarding women:

But at one point today, you said, “Women, you were created equal to men in the image of God.” I mainly write because I don’t know if you realize how powerful that statement was. I don’t know if you realized what it would feel like to hear that statement coming from a man — what it would mean to me, and possibly to other individual women and men. You didn’t even say it to me individually…I have never been told by a man, Christian or not, that I am equal to him. I have never been told by a man that I am equal to him. And equal in that we are both created in the image of God…I cried all the way home. How is it that I’ve never been told by a male person that I am equal to him? That I am equally beautiful and broken? That we are both created in the image of God?

…Women are deeply wounded by living in this world, and wounded that men don’t fight for us. Instead, they fight to rule us, and we…sometimes we fight, but most of the time we believe them when they tell us we aren’t worth our weight (sometimes taken literally). Today I felt like a man was fighting for me, not because I can’t fight for myself, but because he recognized the wrongs in a world and a Church that have benefited him unfairly.

So, I ask you a simple question for dialogue:

Why is it that women – across cultures, religion, and history – are oppressed? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: christianity, emerging church, family, quest church, religion, , ,

caring: putting a “face” to the other

I had the privilege today to give a short chat in a class at Princeton Theological Seminary on the topic of justice and compassion and it’s intersection with the church.  The challenge of the church and its leaders is to raise the consciousness of the larger world – including the church – to a calling and purpose towards the reconciliation and restoration of ‘Shalom.’  We have to remind people that there are suffering and injustice in our cities and larger world - because many choose not to believe.  We know it’s there but we choose not to believe. 

We are competing against the principalities and forces of the world – compounded by the simple issue of human depravity – that prefers and chooses the stories of gossip and entertainment rather than the ways of Mercy, Justice, and Compassion.  The church struggles also with the church. We struggle with ourselves and our temptation to build up the Institution, Fame, and Programs of the church rather the elevate the Trinity and the work of the Larger Kingdom. 

Amongst many things that we can do, one that is absolutely critical is to put a “Face” to the other – or, to put a “story” to the other.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: quest church, religion, , , ,

a story of depravity, grace, and redemption

With permission [and couple minor edits], I want to share a story of depravity, grace, and [ongoing] redemption. It may take you 10 minutes but it may be one of the most honest and hopeful things about being part of a church community and ministry you’ll read in a long time. 

This “faith story” was written by a woman at Quest as part of her journey to become a member – something we do not take lightly at our church since members constitute the base of our church’s leadership.

10 minutes.  Don’t bother to leave any comments.  Just read it… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: , quest church, religion

a typical untypical work day

People occasionally ask me this sort of question:

So, I know you’re a pastor.  I know what you do on Sundays but I hope this isn’t rude…what the heck do you do throughout the week?  Do you pray all week?  Do you read the Bible constantly?  Do you spend five days preparing your sermons and practice your hand motions for your preaching?

Yes, I read, prepare, and pray but I certainly don’t do all those things each single moment of the week.  But I do want the world wide web community to know that I do pray for more than three minutes/day despite the rumors that are circulating. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: quest church, religion

thoughts on salvation

Well, I’m hacking another stimulating post for you to read, enjoy, parse, critique, and engage.  This is written by Randall A.  He and some of his friends trekked out from Hawaii to Seattle a year ago or so – partly to enter the foray of the Seattle music scene.  Randall and another band member, Miles, attend Quest.  They belong to a indie/pop/rock group called Harrison Band and got an upcoming show at the El Corazon on Sunday, October 21.  You can also see one of their videos on YouTube.  But, enough of me plugging their band. 

Randall wrote an incredibly though provoking post on the subject of Salvation.  We can easily or too simplisticly deduce salvation as one dimensional – “Do you accept Jesus or not?”  If we see the totality of Jesus’ life, salvation includes that but so much more.   Make sure you read the entire post [it's worth the time] and share your thoughts – here or there on his blog entitled, LONE TOMATO.  It’s a beautiful thing to engage and seek to Love God with your heart, soul, body, and MIND. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: emerging church, quest church, religion

stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

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Unscientific research says that if you show a picture of a puppy next to your book, 78% more people want the book. :) Thanks to @alisonjmclennan for posting this photo. 
If you've got the book, would love for you to share a photo of it and tag me or use #OverratedBook. Wow. Good morning from Seattle. The view of Mt Rainier from our home. Prayer matters. It's a reminder of God's presence. Prayer sustained Kenneth Bae in a labor camp in North Korea for 765 days. After he came home, we prayed. (photo  credit: @no1camerauser) I love family reunions. Mother and son. Welcome home,  Kenneth Bae. It's all grace. Grateful for the opportunity to share at  #TEDxHanriver in Seoul, Korea and talk about our family, faith, and @OneDaysWages. Praying that many were fascinated by my Master. The epic view from up high at Nakuru National Park,  Kenya. #latergram

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