Eugene Cho

faith and gender

Quest Church, the church I serve as lead pastor, is excited to invite you to join us for our Annual Learning Conference on October 10-11.  This year, we host Lauren Winner for a conference entitled, “Faith & Gender.”  Asides from a stimulating and challenging conference, one of our commitments is to make the conference as financially accessible to the larger Seattle and Northwest community.  Registration is ONLY $15 and $10/students but space is limited.  Register now and help spread the word by sharing this entry or the conference site on your blog or website.  Here’s the Facebook event.

Quest has always affirmed women in ministry but it has been a while since we have had a sustained discussion on why that is and how we can take discussion further to issues of what it means to be men and what it means to be women “in Christ” and how we can construct our ideas of gender from a Biblical perspective rather than solely from the messages our culture bombards us with.

On Friday, October 10 [7pm], Lauren will be speaking on Lessons from the Church Mothers and on Saturday, October 11 [11am], her talk will be on Male & Female He Made Them: Gender & the Triune God.   Lauren Winner is the author of Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life and Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity.

Issues of Faith & Gender have been discussed on several occassions here on this blog:

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Lauren Winner’s bio from her website:

Lauren F. Winner is the author of three books, Girl Meets God, Mudhouse Sabbath, and Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity. She has appeared on PBS’s Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, Publishers Weekly, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today. Winner has degrees from Duke, Columbia, and Cambridge universities, and holds a Ph.D. in history. The former book editor for Beliefnet, Lauren teaches at Duke Divinity School, and lives in Durham, North Carolina. Lauren travels extensively to lecture and teach, and during the academic year of 2007-2008, she is a visiting fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University. (While there, she’s revising her dissertation, which examines household religious practice in eighteenth-century Virginia, for publication.) When she’s home, you can usually find her curled up, on her couch or screen porch, with a good novel

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12 Responses

  1. Jordyne says:

    WOW! I NEED to hear this. I have been really wounded by the church’s response as to what a woman of God is. I have been discouraged from leadership even because of it and Im only in college.

    I am unable to fly out there b/c I live in NC and am in school, CAN YOU FILM OR RECORD THIS so I can listen to it? If at all possible, it would be incredible!

  2. Sue says:

    As you know, I’m no longer in Seattle but seeing this really makes me want to come back for a visit. Thanks again for your commitment to the holistic gospel.

  3. […] conferences there can be in the church.  I know that this will be a legit conference as I know Eugene Cho, Lead Pastor of Quest would never put on a conference for the sake of just doing a […]

  4. It’s nice to know that somewhere in the world they talk about these things!

  5. Randall says:

    Can’t wait. I love Winner’s writing, especially Girl Meets God.

  6. eugenecho says:

    and just fyi, there is going to be a three week “depth class & discussion” on faith and gender leading up to the conference:

    “During this three week depth class we’ll have small group discussion, lectures, and exercises to get us asking questions like: what is the Scriptural basis for Quest’s affirmation of women in ministry? we have the new identity of “brothers and sisters” in the church, but can men and women be friends? what does it mean to be women and what it means to be men “in Christ” and how we can construct our ideas of gender from a Biblical perspective rather than solely from the messages our culture bombards us with?

    The class will be Monday nights from 7-9pm at the Q Cafe on Sep. 22nd, Sep. 29th, and Oct. 6th. If you need a printed reader, there is a fee of $10, otherwise the reader will be provided as a PDF for free.”

  7. gar says:

    So I’m guessing instead of “Faith & Race”, this year will be “Faith & Gender”?

    Very interesting…

  8. eugenecho says:

    gar,

    faith & race moves to late winter/early spring this time around. we’ll see how that goes…

    u up for leading a group?

  9. Love what you are doing with this! It’s such a huge need in the church these days.

  10. gar says:

    PE>
    I assume you mean leading a group for Faith & Race? Sure, I’d be interested in leading group for that.

    Sadly, I’m not confident of my knowledge of gender issues & faith…

  11. […] faith and gender « beauty and depravity Lauren Winner is coming to Quest Church to discuss faith and gender. I'm planning to go, or watch the kids so Shannon can go. […]

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One Day’s Wages

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As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory) May our hearts break for injustice and exploitation - whether abroad or in our own backyard. Spending a few days for @onedayswages in Thailand. Along with one of our board members, I'm traveling with a group of 10 others to learn, listen and visit a few NGOs including one of our partners, @thefreedomstory. Couple days ago, we spent an evening walking through Soi Cowboy. On a given night, about 10,000 people are in the ring of prostitution in Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, and Patpong. Much of this is driven by the consumer demand. Approximately 70% of male tourists go to Thailand for the sex industry.

Human trafficking is complex. Anyone that says otherwise is lying or selling you something. 
To reduce it to simple terms, or simple problems, or simple solutions…cause harmful consequences. While we can all agree that it is sinful, egregious, evil, and wrong…there are many nuances and complexities. It would serve all of us to grow deep in the awareness not just of the larger issue but the nuances and complexities.

When people speak of human trafficking, they tend to be ‘attracted’ to the issue of sexual exploitation. Dare I say it, human trafficking has become trendy as a justice issue.

Clearly, it’s evil and egregious. But to reduce the entire issue of human trafficking into one form is not helpful. Because the mission is to fight the entire injustice of slavery. And if that’s the commitment, we have to not only combat sexual exploitation but engage in issues of poverty, forced labor, commercial exploitation in tourism, land rights and power abuses, organized crime networks, cultural and economic realities, etc.

Oh, it's so complex but we have to be engaged whether in Thailand or in our own backyards. May our hearts break for the things that break the heart of God... More thoughts to come.

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