Eugene Cho

ONE sermon challenge

I’m a supporter of the ONE Campaign.  I support them and thousands of others – regardless of their age, gender, religion, ethnicity, or organizational background – if they are fighting, singing, writing, advocating, and working towards eradicating extreme global poverty; If they are loving mercy and pursuing justice.  This isn’t just a Christian issue, it’s a humanity issue.  Everyone needs to be involved and NO ONE gets a free pass. Please read this loud and clear:  we have the capacity to eradicate extreme global poverty.

Recently, I spent some time with the ONE Campaign in Washington DC.  They interviewed me in this video talking a little bit about the opportunity that we have as pastors and leaders to utilize our voices to speak for the voiceless, poor, and oppressed.  Here’s what they wrote on their ONE blog about the ONE Sermon Challenge:

[original link] We’re inviting you to lift up your voice and inspire others to join and act with ONE in the fight against extreme poverty.

The ONE Sermon Challenge, part of ONE Sabbath, invites leaders and members of congregations across the country to create and submit sermons connecting their own faith to these vital issues and lift up the important role of advocacy as an act of faith.

Today we are faced with a global financial crisis in which the world’s poor are the first and most adversely affected. Yet we have proven solutions: Two million people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa receiving lifesaving medicines. Millions of families protected from malaria thanks to simple bed nets. Tens of millions of African children going to school for the first time. and YOU.

Continuing through May, the ONE Sermon Challenge will accept original and inspirational sermons, d’ivrei torah, and khutbas related to global poverty and collect them online at ONE.org. Through the ONE Sermon Challenge, pastors, rabbis, imams and other faith leaders have the chance to share their message to ONE’s millions of members and congregations nationwide, inspiring advocacy and action. At the ONE Sermon Challenge you’ll find inspirational preaching from many traditions, including original Christian, Jewish, and Muslim messages all lifting up a call for action against extreme poverty and treatable, preventable disease.

At the ONE Sermon Challenge you can read Rev. Abby King Kaiser’s inspiring word on the “Work to Do,” download and listen to Rabbi Eric Solomon’s reflections on the role of prophetic leaders like Martin Luther King and Abraham Joshua Heschel, or watch Imam Johari Abdul-Malik’s inspiring Friday khutba on the vital role advocacy plays in fighting global poverty and treatable, preventable disease.

Participants that send us their inspired message will receive a ONE Sabbath Action Pack, resourcing them and their local congregations with next steps to act with ONE.

Last week I caught up with Pastor Eugene Cho, of Quest Church in Seattle, at the Sojourners Mobilization to End Poverty here in Washington DC – he shares his challenge to you to do your part and join the ONE Sermon Challenge.

one-campaign-1

Filed under: , , , , ,

7 Responses

  1. ison3000 says:

    Sounds all nice and warm and fuzzy. Didn’t hear the name JESUS once. You can quote scripture till your tongue falls out. You can raise more money than Trump. You can feed more hungry mouths than Taco Bell. If it isn’t built on the cross, the sacrifice of death, that Jesus paid so that you could know God, then it’s empty. Good works and good intentions don’t count. Why? Because we have free will. And so does God. But He’s perfect, and we’re not. That’s our choice. Jesus makes it right. Jesus.

  2. daniel so says:

    Eugene – I’m with you! The people and things that matter to God should matter to us as well. We, as the church, are called to be a movement of redemption and hope. What’s good for us, as the church, should be good for our neighbors and our neighborhoods. Continued blessings as you share Jesus’ love through your anti-poverty campaign.

  3. Eugene,
    I found Quest on Google Maps looking for churches near Seattle Pacific University. I am very glad I did.

    I am excited to see a church so engaged in the surroundings, being the hands and feet, promoting the awareness of poverty…and doing something about it.

    If i ever attend SPU, or at least visit, I will definitely stop by.

    You have inspired me.

  4. eugenecho says:

    @ison3000: dude, relax.

  5. Matthew Svoboda says:

    Eugene,

    I appreciate what you and MANY others are doing with this campaign. But is that the only way you respond to ison3000? He is right, biblically, that Christ is not at the center than it is in vain. Who cares if they get a sandwich as we act like that is all they need? Start with a sandwich, sure, but if it never moves on towards us sharing Jesus then it is a big waste of time. It is even evil. “Being Jesus” by feeding the hungry does not mean anything if we are not also “proclaiming Jesus” to the hungry.

    I am disappointed that all you had to say on the issue was “dude, relax.” But don’t worry about me, I am relaxed.

  6. me says:

    @matthew: i’m not sure what else i could have said. he posted that exact same comment on several venues that were posted. i emailed him personally.

    it’s clear that you and i have different perspectives on being jesus in feeding the hungry. i don’t mind proclaiming jesus to the hungry. i care about what i will do when they say, ‘i’m not interested.’

    will i stay and feed or will i move on to the next person.

    glad you’re relaxed.

  7. Matthew Svoboda says:

    Eugene,

    Thanks for a kind, humble response. Of course, I would continue to feed. It’s not like I am promoting a “believe in Jesus or I won’t feed you.” What I am promoting is preaching the gospel to all, while you feed them. We aren’t being “like Jesus” if we only feed and never proclaim the “good news.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

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.

my tweets

JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK

advertisements

Blog Stats

  • 3,441,940 hits