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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People often ask, "How does one stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much. I like the rain. Keeps everything "evergreen" and clean. Keeps our air fresh. What's challenging is the gray weather. Give me a few more sunny days. 99 more days to be specific. 
Regardless, still love this city. Checking out Canada in case I need to move up North after the presidential election. Just saying, eh.

Downtown Toronto. Fascinating architecture. Amazed by the diversity of this city. We desperately want our children to not just be captivated by the beauty of creation...but more importantly, to the actual Creator of all that is good and beautiful.

Actually, we want and need this truth for our souls, too. What a privilege. This isn't possible without all those who give, pray, and support the work of @onedayswages. This week, I signed and mailed grants to three partner organizations totaling over $170,000. These grants will empower people by supporting maternal health care, refugee relief efforts, access to clean water, provide education, etc.

Sometimes, the brokenness of the world feel so overwhelming but let's keep running the race with endurance. Let's keep pursuing justice, mercy, and humility. Let's be faithful and may we be spurred on to keep working for God's Kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, thank you so much for your support for @onedayswages! My wife, Minhee, and I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers. I'd like to take a moment to honor my mother-in-law. It's hard to put words together to embody her life but she is a very special, anointed person. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother in my life.

She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

As she'll soon celebrate her 80th birthday, I'm especially grateful for the ways that she poured into and prayed over Minhee and her other children.  Even though she's officially retired, I'm inspired that the concept of retirement is not in her vocabulary.  She continues to serve the local church, evangelize and bear witness to Christ, and goes to the early morning prayer meeting at 5am everyday to pray for our family, our church, and for others. 
Jangmonim, we love and honor you. 어머니, 사랑합니다.

Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother.

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