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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"He must become greater; I must become less." - John 3:30 We have to remind ourselves of this truth every day lest we forget:

Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant.

Be faithful.

PS: Also, it helps to get some Vitamin D especially if you live in the rainy Northwest Thank you, Brooklyn, for the reminder. Umm, @jlin7 is a Christian but he wasn't very Christlike with me on the basketball court. He muscled me into the paint, dunked on me, mentioned my momma, and then said, "Stick with preaching." Just kidding. Kind of.

If you haven't heard, Jeremy Lin is donating his one games wages (approximately $140,000) and an additional $100 for every 3 pointer made to support Girls' Empowerment and Education through @onedayswages. That game is this Friday vs the Boston Celtics!

Join his campaign as he's inviting his fans to donate just $7. - http://onedayswages.org/jlin

Did you know that 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.

Did you know that every year of secondary school increases a girl’s future earning power by 20 percent.

Did you know that if all girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia had a secondary education, child marriage would fall by 64 percent.

We can't change the entire world but we can impact the lives of one, few, and in some cases...many.

#jeremylin #jlin #linsanity #onedayswages Don't be held captive to either praise or criticism.

Know who you are.
Know what you're about.
Know WHO you serve.

The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

This is not a misprint.
200.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
Sahara and her children all survived this journey. They survived because she persisted. 
In honor of Sahara...and so many other women who keep...keeping on.

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