Eugene Cho

we’ve blogged about it. now, let’s get together…

skin-deep
I want to follow up on yesterday’s post which I believe has broken the record for the longest title in history: “deadly vipers, mike foster, jud wilhite, soong-chan rah, chuck norris, joyluck club, angry asian man, wanna be ninjas and everyone else.” Yo, that’s how I roll.

I had some good dialogue with Mike Foster yesterday and then a conference call later in the afternoon with Mike Foster and Jud Wilhite (Authors), Chris Heurtz (Director, Word Made Flesh), Soong-Chan Rah (Prof., North Park), Kathy Khang (InterVarsity Multi-Ethnic Ministries Director), and Eugene Cho (Pastor, Quest Church). The conversation was facilitated by Nikki Toyama-Szeto (Urbana 09 Program Director).While I had to click out about 40 minutes into the hour conversation, I was encouraged by the honest conversations from everyone involved and the shared conviction that we did not want this to be a one hit (one chat & out) wonder a la Men at Work (remember them?).

As I shared in the post yesterday, I know there’s no ill intent and this is often the case but folks just don’t know how this kind of stuff indirectly and even directly perpetuates stuff that can be harmful and painful.

I know that what I am about to share is not directly linked to DV but I want to share a glimpse of my heart.

I love my kids dearly (now ages 11, 8, and 6) but when they come home and are occasionally distraught over “stuff” they’ve heard at their school (elementary school aged kids!) about their 1) chinky eyes, 2) where are you really from 3) why don’t you go back home, or 4) stories of being alone or eating alone – it tears me up in both forms of that word. I went through it but prayed to God that my kids wouldn’t have to endure through some of that stuff.

One of the comments yesterday (from one of our Quest congregants) got me choked up because my fear is that for some reason or another, they would grow to be ashamed of who they are:

Thanks, Pastor Eugene, for your accurate, thoughtful and gracious response. There are many others that can much more eloquently voice why this is offensive. All I can say is that when I clicked through the pages and graphics of the book on the publisher’s website, I had a strong emotional reaction that made me feel ashamed when I had done nothing wrong to have that feeling put upon me. Yes, please trust us. It’s offensive.

This is about all of us and not just demonizing the “White Privilege” of Caucasian men. I am capable of insensitivity, prejudice, and worse.  Our church is far from perfect. Our church bumbles and stumbles our way in the ministry of reconciliation but we’re committed to engaging in both conversation and actions – even if we know we’ll fall short. But we’ll keep trying because we know that the ministry of all things reconciliation is not an option but part of our discipleship. Currently, our church community is in the midst of a 3 week “depth class” with large group teaching and small groups. And on Saturday, November 14 (10am-2:30pm), we’ll be hosting what is usually our annual conference on Faith & Race. Here’s more info:

Quest Church is pleased to host another one day Learning Conference. In years past, we’ve had the privilege of hosting voices such as John Perkins, Lauren Winner, and Shane Claiborne to speak on how our faith in Christ engages such important issues such as Reconciliation, Gender, and Politics.

This year, we invite our friends, neighbors, and guests from the larger Pacific Northwest and beyond to join us for SKIN DEEP: a conference on faith & race in the church.

We’re all aware that our world including our very own cities and neighborhoods are changing around us. And while we all acknowledge and celebrate the biblical portrait of the WHOLE and DIVERSE Church, we often allow the culture to dictate who we are rather than the gospel to inform and transform us so that we serve as agents of Light & Salt to our world.

Whether we like to admit it or not, RACE and its complexities remain a source of tension and division. For that reason, the Church must be a voice of Hope and Reconciliation.

This year, we welcome Dr. Soong Chan Rah, author of The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity and professor at North Park Seminary, as our keynote speaker.

We’ll also have several important voices from the Quest Church community including Dr. Brian Bantum (Seattle Pacific University professor), Rebekah Kim (first female Korean-American public school principal in Washington), and Jason Rust (Community Groups Director at Quest). Lastly, we welcome your voice along with what we hope will be over 200 voices joining us. The agenda for the day includes several breakout discussions with hopes that we can bring people from around the Northwest to engage in both dialogue, friendship, and action.

We don’t want any barriers for your participation and per our usual practice, costs are very accessible. Registration is ONLY $10/general and $6/students and this includes lunch. Register here. // Facebook Event

I sincerely hope many of you can join us. I have the privilege of facilitating the conference and I promise you, we’ll sing Kum Ba Yah together. Ok…not really.

Soong Chan Rah

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Dr. Brian Bantum

Jason Rust

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16 Responses

  1. Jim says:

    i’m gonna wait to make-up with a bear hug at the idea camp…(jk)
    Thanks for being approachable and transparent. I appreciate our new online acquaintance and the fact that we represent WA state (holla!)

  2. Josh Deng says:

    I totally agree! The followup is just as important as getting the issues on the table and understood. Hope you can be one to bring you guys together again and further the conversation 🙂

  3. dewde says:

    You make me want to move to Seattle and be a part of your church.

    peace | dewde

  4. Kacie says:

    Prof Rah is amazing. I heard him a few weeks ago and absolutely loved his message.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho and waynepark, Jim Gray. Jim Gray said: Great post this am from my friend @eugenecho "We've blogged about it.Now,let's get together" http://tinyurl.com/yepoe6x […]

  6. Kathleen Overby says:

    I’m a complete nobody, no platform, invisible, little voice. This whole conversation has been done so appropriately, that it is makes me think of coined phrases like ‘dangerous hope’, ‘ scandalous freedom’ etc. That the movers and shakers of the big family, the bride of Christ can do this important thing publicly is noble. We have always let our kids see us heatedly and intensely discuss important issues in our marriage. They got to see us fight fair, listen, empathize with the other and make up with intimacy and new understanding the reward. You adult to adult are showing the entire christian community how to do it. I’m crying happy tears. My heart is bursting with hope.

  7. daniel so says:

    Eugene – Thanks for your leadership & grace, and for sharing heartfelt words about your kids. My daughter is the same age as your youngest, and it absolutely kills me when she encounters the same kind of racism I endured growing up in the Midwest. It doesn’t matter that SD is a big city with a wide range of people, the same kinds of taunting/ignorance/hatred we grew up is still out there. The four things you describe have all happened to my daughter as well, and I can think of few things that pain my heart more than that.

    I wish I could join you for this Faith & Race conference. It looks incredible — I can’t wait to hear what comes out of this gathering. Thank you for being a proactive force for reconciliation, understanding and the Kingdom of God.

  8. Margaret Yu says:

    Appreciate what you had to say, Eugene. Thanks for your humility ,love and grace to all involved. I appreciate this as an Asian American learning to in touch of her own anger; but to do it in a righteous way. I sense God is teaching all of us to be like Jesus by learning to be angry and yet without sin…..to practice righteous anger with love towards our family of God. This is what it means to follow Jesus!

    Shalom!
    Margaret Yu
    Epic National Director of Leadership Development

  9. David Park says:

    you are the man, e.cho. thank you for your leadership and witness. wish i lived in seattle too, but then you would be too much of an idol to me. infatuation from across the country is much less detectable. 🙂

  10. Dawn Carter says:

    Eugene:

    Thank you for your words of grace & wisdom. Like @dewde said, it makes me want to move to Seattle and attend your church.

    Appreciate your leadership & transparency.

  11. “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!” We’re praising the Lord with you, our brother in Christ!

  12. […] Here’s the write-up from Eugene Cho’s blog […]

  13. If I were in Seattle, I would so go to this conference. Best wishes. Also, I attended Asbury College with Chris Heurtz.

  14. […] Eugene Cho, Charles Lee, David Park, Shaun King, Glennis Shih, Skye Jethani, Drew Hyun, Ed Cyzewski, Daniel So, Jim Gray, DK Daniel Kim, Kathy Khang, and more… […]

  15. profrah says:

    Thanks for your partnership in this Eugene. See you in a few weeks. Where did you dig up that photo?

  16. Eugene Cho says:

    @profrah // hey man. only together can we be a choir.

    found that on your facebook account – i think.

    look forward to you being here in seattle and hosting you at the home. we’ll watch korean dramas together.

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One Day’s Wages

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It. Still. Hurts.
#TamirRice Incredible news: @onedayswages is projecting to have our most impactful year as we grant out $1.3 million dollars! Thank you so much for your prayers and support...please read on to learn how you can join in our work.

As you gather with family, friends, and loved ones for Thanksgiving and the holidays, I wanted to share an opportunity. Often times, when I speak to people about the privilege of generosity, I remind them, "You don't have to but you get to." It's so true.

My wife and I (and our three kids) started ODW in 2009. We felt the Holy Spirit convicting us to give up our year's salary. It wasn't an easy thing to say "Yes" or "Amen" to but we made the decision to obey. As a result, it took us about three years to save, simplify, and sell off things we didn't need.

It's been an incredible journey as we've learned so much about the heart of God and God's love for the hurting and vulnerable around the world - particularly those living in extreme poverty. ODW is a small, scrappy, grassroots organization (with just 3 full-time employees) but since our launch, we've raised nearly $6 million dollars to help those living in extreme poverty: clean water and sanitation, education, maternal health, human trafficking, refugee crisis, hunger, and the list goes on and on.

So, here's my humble ask: As we do this work, would you consider making a pledge to support our work...so that we can keep doing this work with integrity and excellence?
You can make a one time gift or make monthly pledge of just $25 (or more). Thanks so much for considering this: http://onedayswages.org/give (link in bio, too) Don't just count your blessings. Bless others with your blessings. Here, there, everywhere. Be a blessing for this blesses our Father in Heaven and builds the Kingdom of God.

#ReThinkRegugees #WeWelcomeRefugees
@onedayswages Grateful. Still reflecting on the letters that I've received from classmates and students that have come before me and after me. Never imagined all that God would have in store for me. Lots of humbling things but in the midst of them, there were literally thousands upon thousands of daily decisions and choices to be faithful. That's what matters. Seen or unseen. Noticed or unnoticed. You do your best and sometimes you stumble and fumble along but nevertheless, seeking to be faithful.

Also, you know you're getting old when your school honors you with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Lol. 47 is the new 27. Or something like that. Here's to the next 47. In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply.

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