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.

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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.”

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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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  • Make friendships more than transactions. There's a huge difference between "I appreciate you" and "I appreciate what you can do for me." || 5 hours ago
  • There's much to ponder in this article. Much to repent. Much to grieve. "Seattle's vanishing black community." - seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-mag… || 1 day ago
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