Eugene Cho

weddings and communion

It’s that time of the year.  With 81% of our church being single, you can imagine that we have our share of weddings  – particularly during the beautiful summers of Seattle. 

It’s a great privilege for me but at times, it’s pretty overwhelming on my schedule which is why I tell couples from the outset that I can’t attend the wedding rehearsals.  Eventually, I know that the other pastors will be asked to officiate [and have been asked] as congregrants form more intimate relationships with other pastors.  In addition, there’s a very good chance that my family and I will be taking a three month sabbatical next summer.  But I digress…

About 10 days ago [7.07.2007], I officiated a wedding for Mike and Grace at Sunset Hill Park – overlooking an incredible view of the Puget Sound [incredible photos courtesy of HageCreative Photography].  The picture below pretty much sums up how perfect the day was…

hage1.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: marriage, seattle

“gracious as all f*#k”

I’m amazed how many people are tracking with the “gay conversation.”  Many folks have emailed asking if Dan Savage has responded to my email.  He said that he would a day or two after he received mine but no response yet.  Let’s not forget…he’s a big shot.  He’s an editor of the popular Stranger and has his own syndicated column that’s published in who knows how many places.  He’s got people to see, places to go, and blah blah blah so I’m not surprised or disappointed.  No biggie.

On the Slog [the Stranger's blog], he did mention that some of the Slog posters did such a great job responding to my doozies that he didn’t really feel the need to respond.  Truth be told, there really were some incredible comments and dialogue.  Several people have shared with me that they actually printed out ALL the comments, went off somewhere, and just read through them and in some cases, discussed them with friends.  [That's a lot of wasted paper...]

I feel somewhat obliged to Dan.  He has written, in my opinion, the best press about Quest through his “church review” and indirectly, given me one of the best compliments [I think] I have received.  In responding to my concerns about posting what I intended to be a personal email on the Slog, he apologized for the misunderstanding and wrote [there]:

We’re not in conflict about the misunderstanding. Cho’s not upset with me; the man is gracious as all fuck. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: emerging church, justice, religion, seattle

father’s day tribute

Happy Father’s Day to each of you.  My parents who live in San Francisco visited us last week.  We very much enjoyed our time and we were immensely excited to hear the news they shared with us:  they’ve decided to move to Seattle in the coming year.  After years of inviting, encouraging, and enticing, it appears our efforts will come to fruition…

From this past Sunday’s Seattle Times paper, I enjoyed reading a feature story entitled “The Heart of It: From His Dad’s Death, a Son Searches for the Meaning of Life.”  The story is written by Michael Ko who also happens to attend Quest.  He leads a community group with his wife, Liz.  I was privileged to be able to officiate their wedding about a year ago…

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Couple years ago when I attended Michael’s father’s funeral, it dawned on me that his father, Hi Sun Ko, was one of the first people I met in Seattle [couple years before I met Michael].  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: asian-american, family, seattle

i’m a sinister megalomania and another review

The infamous Dan Savage, the author of our church “review” in the recent Stranger article referenced this blog on the Stranger’s blog and bam – a spike in traffic and some interesting comments on their site. Here’s several for your reading pleasure:

[1]  I wouldn’t really call your 30 churches piece journalistic. It was more just “let’s make fun of christians”. 90% of your writers missed the point of church in the first place. I mean it’s understandable. Who doesn’t like a good church bashing from time to time. It’s so easy. Perhaps an intellectually challenging approach would have been a search for why these churches are either growing (the mega’s), or dwindling. and intellectual is actually why I have been an avid Stranger reader for 10 yrs. [merktuttle]

[2] In his review of Quest Church, Dan Savage mentions Jim Jones and David Koresh. Unfortunately — because of horrific tragedies like these — I always look at any new religious movements with suspicion. So, no matter how normal and hip and kind someone like Eugene Cho seems, I think: “Okay, where’s the dark side?” Maybe I’m pessimistic. But I just feel like people are too f%$##d up, in general, to do something like start a church — if they don’t have a deep and sinister megalomania. But maybe not. Maybe Eugene Cho and Quest Church are just good, spiritual people. [paul] Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, culture, emerging church, religion, seattle

all hell broke loose

“…What, we wondered, is going on in all those churches? What are they saying? What are they doing? What are they plotting?…”

The title is not a joke.  We received what I perceive to be the best press about our church – ever.  Bar none.  We’ve had our share of media from the local press.  Last week, there was a solid article and great pic of the merger story.  This past December, there was a dedicated “portrait” of my personal story  in the popular magazine insert called Pacific Northwest in the Sunday paper.  But this morning, someone sent me some info of a great article from The Stranger – the premier rebellious, hilarious, provocative, alternative, and very popular weekly newspaper [umm - in some circles].  They advertise themselves as the “only newspaper in Seattle.”  [It's a good paper - minus the raunchy over the top sex ads near the back of the magazine.]

Seattle is infamously known as the most “unchurched city in America.”  The Northwest is the most unchurched region in America.  But it isn’t godless or spiritual.  It’s a beautiful place – full of life, questions, conversations, and such.  What I love the most about living in this city and this region is that you have to earn the right to have your voice in the larger marketplace of thoughts, ideas, and philosophies. 

Anyway, the Stranger staff sent 31 of their staff to visit 31 churches this past Sunday and they wrote up the most brutal and simultaneously, hilarious “reviews” of these churches.  Yes, all hell broke loose according to these authors.   I am so excited – honestly – that Quest actually made the list!  I feel so cool.  Like, I’ve finally been accepted as a true Seattle-ite.  Ahh, but this again confirms my point that people – more than you ever know – and more than they want to admit – are watching the Church.  They are watching to see our convictions, motivations, hypocrisy, compassion, or in our case, “insipid worship.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, culture, emerging church, quest church, religion, seattle

seattle pi article on church merger

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Goodness, these people work quick.  Here’s the article [huge front cover of the Local Section] from the Seattle Post Intelligencer on the Quest/Interbay merger and their observations from yesterday’s service. 

I tell this to every pastor that I encounter:  People are watching your church community more than you will ever now.  We have visitors that share about how they’ve been watching, following, and observing for months or even for years before they make their first visit.

Here’s the video we showed to honor the “Interbay community” at yesterday’s service and the ONE CHURCH newsletter [pdf].   UPDATE: here’s another article from the Covenant Wire.

Time to come up for some air.  It’s been a very BUSY past few months; a little more pushing in the next three months to pound out some “minor” building renovations in August and then a chance to rest in the Fall.  Transitions are very tough and through these transitions, trying our best to make sure that people [both from quest and the interbay community] don’t get lost in the transition and translation.

The article: 

Only a parking lot separates Interbay Covenant Church and Quest Church, but the neighboring Seattle congregations hardly seem alike on the surface.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, emerging church, quest church, seattle

we are one

Quest celebrated our first service together as ONE church yesterday [Sunday, June 3].  I was exhausted [mainly because of an intense trip to Detroit] but the gathering was momentous.  It almost seems surreal but the merger is now a done deal; We now enter the third season as a church community and missional ministry [The first season was the literal birth and planting of Quest and the second season was the founding of our non-profit community development - the QCafe].  The city of Seattle seems to be surprised and intrigued by this “merger” as well.  The Seattle PI published a huge Local Section front cover article [and front page photo] on the Quest/Interbay merger and their observations from yesterday’s service.  UPDATE: here’s another article from the Covenant Wire.

Here’s the video we showed to honor the “Interbay community” at yesterday’s service and the ONE CHURCH newsletter [pdf].  The photo below the video is from yesterday’s service [taken by Joanie K].  On behalf of Quest, I am presenting the first of many framed photos that will be hung on the church entrance as a “tribute” to the legacy of Interbay.  Pastor Ray Bartel, Interbay’s former senior pastor, is accepting the gift.  As of June 1, he joined our church’s pastoral staff.

On Saturday, my family and I, along with some of our church staff and leaders welcomed some of the folks from the “Interbay Community” to our home for a barbecue lunch.  It was great to enjoy some time with them outside the church Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, ministry, quest church, seattle

a good neighbor?

Couple months ago, a visitor to the blog posted this comment:

Eugene,
I too attended the Mission Learning Day and appreciated your comments. I’ve been meditating this week on our culture’s self-imposed isolationism, and I recall your story about going out of your way to meet new neighbors, yet never having had that hospitality reciprocated when you’re moved into a new neighborhood. I think that thought is right on point, and this “disconnect” between neighbors is a symptom, if not the root, of a lack of social responsibility. I’m curious whether you plan to visit this idea in future blog posts and/or sermons?

I’ve been meaning to respond to this because I’ve been thinking about it alot.  Why?  Because it’s an issue. 

Why are we more lonely than ever? Are we? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, culture, emerging church, seattle

blazers, sonics, and the nba draft

I’m sorry.  I have to indulge myself every now and then on what’s fairly a quasi “I take myself too seriously” blog.  I do have other interests like sports.  Enjoyment of sports is a nice way of saying I’m “a recovering sports addict.”  I couldn’t even hack playing Division II sports  so I have to indulge in pummelling people in fantasy sports or crushing [attempting] other Questers in basketball.  I even tried to dominate a basketball night of fathers from my daughter’s school about three years ago.  That domination led to a ruptured Achilles.

After being a fair weather Seattle Supersonics fan all year – and not caring if they’re going to move or not, I [along with probably many others] suddenly got very interested again.  In a change of fortunes, the Sonics nabbed the #2 pick in the upcoming NBA draft.  Even more incredible, the Portland Blazers got the #1 pick which = Greg Oden.  Suddenly, the Portland Blazers will be an automatic playoff team – even in the Western Conference.  Imagine a lineup of Brandon Roy, Zach Randolph, LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden, and for now, Jarret Jack.  The curse of selecting Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan is finally over for Portland.  Look for them to sign Chauncey Billups and they’ll compete with anyone.

But, I digress…this post is about the Supersonics. It’s obvious that they’re going to pick freshman sensation Kevin Durant.  So, here’s my suggestions as a wanna be GM for the Sonics… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: seattle, sports

what to do with church buildings

here and there, i get listings of churches forwarded to my inbox from friends who are real estate agents.  churches that were once thriving but left with very few choices.  most will sell off their properties and within a year or two, you’ll see condos, retail buildings, office spaces, and my worst fear – another starbucks store.  the sad part is that the while the Kingdom’s future is not contingent on that property, that ‘physical’ space will never return to be used for the Kingdom.

and the reality is that this is a very common story.  a scenario happening all around the country – especially in urban location.  this morning, i read about the long drama surrounding the building of seattle first united methodist church.   after what seems to be at least couple years of conversations, discussions, and drama, a decision has been made to preserve the actual sanctuary but demolish the church annex.  eventually, a 40 story tower will be built to add to the already very busy seattle downtown landscape. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, churchplanting, emerging church, seattle

seattle best eats?

Minhee and I don’t get to eat out too much.  Lugging around three kids limit our options a little.  For us, gourmet food is pho shizzle.  So, when guests and visitors ask us for our recommendations where to eat, we run out after couple contributions. So, we need some help:

  • Best or favorite places to eat in larger Seattle area?
  • Most romantic places to eat for couples?
  • Best kid friendly places?

Filed under: seattle

quest + interbay = one church

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[updated June 4] Quest celebrated their joint ONE service yesterday.  Relevant links:  video tribute to Interbay and Seattle PI article on the merger.

[updated May 6] This past Sunday, Quest also voted in favor of merging with our neighbors, Interbay Covenant Church. Two weeks ago, Interbay - an older, established church with 65 years of history, voted to merge with Quest – a newer [6 years], emerging, multiethnic, and missional church.   The ”merger” is amazing because while two equal churches are coming together, Interbay has chosen to join Quest and dissolve as a formal organization and institution. Their Kingdom vision has been humbling and amazing… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: christianity, emerging church, ministry, seattle

northwest travel: vancouver

we are in vancouver, british columbia right now to enjoy two days of rest and great food.  as most know, we love coming to vancouver several occasions/year.  it truly is a beautiful city and we try to encourage many folks to visit.  especially if you live in seattle or in the larger northwest, it’s a premier rest destination.  when you factor in costs for flying and the convenience of driving, vancouver should be one your top 3 places in the NW.  so, here’s what we did to save as much money as possible: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, seattle, travel

pho shizzle

my first experience with “pho” was about 10 years ago.  what is pho?  it’s the ‘traditional vietnamese beef noodle soup.’  i didn’t enjoy it.  nor did i the 2nd or 3rd time.  then things changed.  it has since grown to be ‘comfort food.’  i attempt to go weekly to a local pho restaurant called than brothers – seattle’s version of the soup nazi known for horrible service, tasty cream puffs, cheap prices, and damn good pho.  if you’ve never had pho, you’re missing out.  in fact, every new person i’ve introduce to pho suddenly becomes a pho-natic.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: seattle

my identity crisis

Quest gets its share of external visitors wanting to check out the church and the cafe.  They’re mostly local (the Pacific Northwest) but at times, folks are actually silly enough to spend money to fly into Seattle.  Although, I need to be honest here.  Quest is usually an ‘add-on’ to peoples’ church visitation agenda.  People fly to Seattle to usually visit Mars Hill or a few other known commodities.  I hate being a jerk but the visits take so much time and energy, we usually say, ‘Sorry.’   We occasionally do meet with folks – churchplanters, pastors, cafe starters, reporters, authors, etc. – and they usually fish from the same pool of questions.  One prominent question in some form or another is: “What’s been the most significant highlight in your ministry this past year(s)?” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, emerging church, leadership, quest church, seattle

broadening worldview

Two of our children are now in the public school system in Seattle and our third will be on his way in 1.5 years.  I’ve always been a fan of the public school system mainly because it’s all I know.  I entered Sherman Elementary School immediately after my family and I immigrated to San Francisco in 1977.  Philosophically, it makes sense to invest heavily into the public school system in order for ALL children in ALL neighborhoods to benefit.  On paper, it’s supposed to work but sadly, easier said than done.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: asian-american, justice, seattle

learning experience @ quest

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Quest Church invites you to join us as we welcome Dr. John Perkins for an evening of worship, teaching, and celebration.  This event takes place on Saturday, February 24 from 7-9pm.  Doors will open at 6.30pm and Q Cafe will be open for your enjoyment before and after the event. In addition to Dr. John Perkins, worship will be led by the Quest Worship Band and the amazing Danelle Daymon and Royalty Gospel Choir. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: seattle

one of my favorites at qcafe tonight


if you’re in the city, one of my favorites acts to play at Q Cafe is coming back from california to play the venue. come and check out tyrone wells at 8pm tonight.  it sucks that i won’t be able to make it out as i’m doing some stuff which i’ll post about in a day or so.  couple musicians are opening up for the main act. i believe the cover is $7. good or bad – tyrone wells will make it big in the next three years.

Filed under: Q Cafe, seattle

stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

My Instagram

What a joy to celebrate Dr. John Perkins' legacy this week. Like many others, he has been a deep inspiration to me. 
When I finished the first draft of my upcoming book, OVERRATED, he was one of the first folks I showed it too. 
He wrote back with the following endorsement: "We are called to give ourselves to our generation, and Pastor Eugene's work here in OVERRATED is exactly that. This deeply personal narrative takes readers on a lived journey of wrestling through the realities of being a justice fighter today. I've given my fifty plus years to this fight, and his story is my story. I believe it may be yours as well. I encourage all believers to read OVERRATED. It lays a course for how we must proceed as humble but faithful justice leaders in an unjust world." Needless to say, I'm humbled by his endorsement and words of encouragement. It was painful to complete (and I'm still working on final edits)...but I CAN'T wait to share the book in September when it releases. Wow. Blessed are the artists that help others reimagine the Gospel. #HeIsRisen #questchurch Amazing Resurrection celebration service. Especially love celebrating Communion every Sunday. Today, hosted a super Feast with bread from many different countries. #HeIsRisen Don't rush too soon to the empty tomb. Reflect on the cross. Thank you, Jesus, for your life & love. Thank you, Jesus, for you have redeemed this day of injustice and violence to be "good." You are truly the Light of the world. #GoodFriday Layover. San Francisco. Having grown up here, my heart still flutters. No other city like it. A quick, busy, & meaningful 26 hrs in Wash DC but managed to go for an hour walk for this view.

my tweets

  • "Don't mistake God's patience for His absence. His timing is perfect, and His presence is constant. He's always with you." - Deut. 31:6 || 9 minutes ago
  • Beautiful. 29 churches have raised $128K. Amidst the Oso Mudslide tragedy, humbled by collaboration and generosity: wp.me/pT6R-2WC || 17 minutes ago
  • About to preach in Minneapolis. Pray that in proclaiming the Gospel, I may honor God, be led by HolySpirit, & simply direct people to Jesus. || 4 hours ago
  • Be humble. Stay humble. Walk humbly. And kick butt. Then give God all the glory. || 15 hours ago
  • The book was painful to complete (and I'm still working on final edits)...but I CAN'T wait to share the book in September when it releases. || 18 hours ago
  • I nervously showed @JohnMPerkins a draft of my upcoming book, OVERRATED. He wrote the following endorsement: instagram.com/p/nJoXdUSWQy/ #Humbled || 18 hours ago
  • "Waiting time is not wasting time. Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life." ~ Henri Nouwen || 1 day ago
  • Bummer. Those Google glasses didn't help Krik Henrich with the free throws. #NBAPlayoffs || 1 day ago

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