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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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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