Eugene Cho

generations of faith and salvation

Last Sunday, couple folks were baptized at Quest. Their stories of coming to faith in Jesus always moves me. With permission, here’s the story of Rosalind – one of only 30,000 Karaite Jews in the world and now one of two Karaite Jew believers.  I want to encourage you to read it and be blessed.

quest church baptism

“The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. ‘I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’ So Abram left, as the Lord had told him…” Genesis 12:1-4

It feels like my faith journey began before I was born. I guess that’s why my testimony might feel more like a history lesson than a story about God’s grace, but the fact that I’ve made it here is almost testament enough.

I am a Karaite Jew; a sect of Jews that has been around since God passed down his laws to Moses. Originating in Mesopotamia, the area between the Tigris-Euphrates river system (present day Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc.), only 30,000 of us remain in the world today, 4,000 of which reside in the U.S.

My parents were born in Egypt and, like many of the Karaite Jews, were also imprisoned, and then expelled, Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: christianity, church, faith, Jesus, ministry, quest church, religion

all jesus wants is to eat with you

last supper by leonard da vinci

There are numerous significant theological and biblical meanings behind the Last Supper (Passover Seder) and while the pursuit of those meanings are worthwhile and powerful, here’s the most simple and as significant:

Jesus wants to eat with us.

Let me say that again.  The Triune God of the cosmos not only created the world and humanity but desires fellowship, communion, and friendship.  And when sin entered the world and humanity to wreak  havoc and choas, God intervened again – with the redemptive mission of restoring Shalom – all that which God intended for us.

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood (John 1:14 / The Message)

Throughout Jesus’ journey, he was eating with Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: bible, christianity, church, emerging church, Jesus, quest church, , , ,

the blog post no one wants to read

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Let’s be honest.  There are some posts you naturally want to read and there are others that just don’t interest you at all.  I can post about Rob Bell, Mark Driscoll, talk politics, or the uber traffic magnet – Mac computers – and attract at least 4000 reads/post.  But bring up something like homelessness and I might be lucky to get 200 readers.  That’s 5% for those that don’t have my mad math skills.  

So, I’d like to challenge you to do your good deed for the day and read this post about homelessness.  

There are two main things I have learned over the years of living and engaging in the urban context.

  • Homeless is a very broad word that unfairly is used to portray the totality of a very diverse group of people.
  • Homelessness is a very complex and real problem that will only increase in light of the economic downturn.

I don’t have all the answers but it’s simply not acceptable to not do anything.  Several weeks ago, a group of pastors I meet with regularly hosted a representative from the mayor’s office of Seattle to ask, push back, and learn about what the city is doing.   It was actually pretty helpful.  We learned that the city devotes 38 million dollars in various ways to serve the homeless and displaced.  But is it making an impact?

But how is the [C]hurch responding? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: quest church, seattle,

seattle pi article on church merger

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Goodness, these people work quick.  Here’s the article [huge front cover of the Local Section] from the Seattle Post Intelligencer on the Quest/Interbay merger and their observations from yesterday’s service. 

I tell this to every pastor that I encounter:  People are watching your church community more than you will ever now.  We have visitors that share about how they’ve been watching, following, and observing for months or even for years before they make their first visit.

Here’s the video we showed to honor the “Interbay community” at yesterday’s service and the ONE CHURCH newsletter [pdf].   UPDATE: here’s another article from the Covenant Wire.

Time to come up for some air.  It’s been a very BUSY past few months; a little more pushing in the next three months to pound out some “minor” building renovations in August and then a chance to rest in the Fall.  Transitions are very tough and through these transitions, trying our best to make sure that people [both from quest and the interbay community] don’t get lost in the transition and translation.

The article: 

Only a parking lot separates Interbay Covenant Church and Quest Church, but the neighboring Seattle congregations hardly seem alike on the surface.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, emerging church, quest church, seattle

we are one

Quest celebrated our first service together as ONE church yesterday [Sunday, June 3].  I was exhausted [mainly because of an intense trip to Detroit] but the gathering was momentous.  It almost seems surreal but the merger is now a done deal; We now enter the third season as a church community and missional ministry [The first season was the literal birth and planting of Quest and the second season was the founding of our non-profit community development – the QCafe].  The city of Seattle seems to be surprised and intrigued by this “merger” as well.  The Seattle PI published a huge Local Section front cover article [and front page photo] on the Quest/Interbay merger and their observations from yesterday’s service.  UPDATE: here’s another article from the Covenant Wire.

Here’s the video we showed to honor the “Interbay community” at yesterday’s service and the ONE CHURCH newsletter [pdf].  The photo below the video is from yesterday’s service [taken by Joanie K].  On behalf of Quest, I am presenting the first of many framed photos that will be hung on the church entrance as a “tribute” to the legacy of Interbay.  Pastor Ray Bartel, Interbay’s former senior pastor, is accepting the gift.  As of June 1, he joined our church’s pastoral staff.

On Saturday, my family and I, along with some of our church staff and leaders welcomed some of the folks from the “Interbay Community” to our home for a barbecue lunch.  It was great to enjoy some time with them outside the church Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, ministry, quest church, seattle

an incredible legacy

This past Sunday, Interbay Covenant Church celebrated their last Sunday together as Interbay.  It was such an incredible service.  They did a great job not only celebrating their 65 years of amazing history but more importantly, celebrating the creator of their ministry and community – Jesus.  Minhee and I and a few other Questers chose to worship with Interbay; I was invited to share a few words to invite them to our first Sunday together as One Church but my emotions completely overwhelmed me and I broke down in tears.  It wasn’t what I intended but as I looked out to the congregation and especially those that have been at Interbay for 20, 30, 40, or even 50+ years…  They weren’t tears of sadness.  Rather, tears of gratitude and amazement because of their courage, faith, and Kingdom mindedness.

As these two churches merge, Interbay will, by name, no longer exist as of May 31 and will join Quest.  However, their legacy will continue.  And Quest will do its part – to love, honor, and value each of the 50 or so folks from Interbay that will join us.  The two videos below is a small glimpse Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: christianity, church, emerging church, quest church

church merger transition

This upcoming Sunday is a fairly monumental day for Quest church [and Interbay].  Our neighbors – Interbay Church – also our landlords – will be taking their 2nd and final vote to decide whether they will merge with and into Quest Church.  During the first vote, 82% of their membership (total adult congregation = 60 folks) voted to move forward to work on a ‘Transition Plan.’  This upcoming Sunday, they will vote on the ‘Transition Plan’ and ultimately, on the merger as it will only require 51% of the members’ vote.  The past couple months have been filled with meetings, prayers, discussions, and lots of hard work on the formation of this ‘Transition Plan.’  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, emerging church, ministry, quest church

church merger – the possibilities?

As some of you already know, Interbay Church – a ‘traditional’ and older church with a history of over 5o years has decided to move forward in the process to merge with Quest Church.  Quest is a young (average age about 26-27), urban, multiethnic, and emerging church.  It is not a stretch to say that Quest and Interbay are as different as they come.  And yet, we’re not as different.  Regardless, we had our first ‘transition team’ meeting last night.  Six reps from each church met for a few hours to go through the details of ‘what will this look like?” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: christianity, church, emerging church, quest church

silent racism – there’s hope


the fact is we are all biased and prejudiced; all depraved [and beautiful] and jacked up. we’re certainly all ‘racialized’ in many ways. long story short, i’ve been following some drama with the folks at Youth Specialties (Zondervan) over a book published by YS called, skits that teach. well, one of the skits is outright racist as it parodies asians.   and yes, this is supposed to be educating the youth of america.    i re-posted the above video entitled, ‘silent racism’ because it is so appropriate.  it was created for an assignment during our church’s 2006 faith and race class.  for me, it speaks so much to the systemic racism that exists and how we’re all guilty and must seek to see the beauty and dignity God gave to each person, each tribe, and each ethnicity. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: asian-american, christianity, church, emerging church, Jesus, justice, leadership, ministry, pastors, quest church, religion

pastoral health

I just got back from a quick visit to Phoenix, Arizona.  I’ve only been in AZ in the summertime prior to this visit (and it’s crazy nasty), but I now understand why so many folks choose to spend their winters in Phoenix.  It was about 70 degrees and warm with a slight breeze.  Anyway, I am part of a group of pastors that aid our denomination in the discussion and work towards building ‘pastoral health and excellence.’  Couple years ago, we received a grant from the Lilly Endowment Fund of about $1.7 million dollars.  Not exactly chump change. The funds go towards a variety of things that iIm still trying to understand but the issue is very simple:  the ministerial profession (life as pastors) is now considered one of the most dangerous or unhealthiest profession.  It’s usually rated last or second to last.  Nice. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, leadership, quest church

stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

41 years ago today, our family immigrated to the United States from Seoul, South Korea. I was six years old; the youngest of three sons. My father, when he was also six, fled from what is now known as North Korea. Just recently, he shared with me that he and some of his family had been in a refugee camp when war and violence broke out on the Korean peninsula. It's emotional thinking about what my brothers and I went through coming to a completely foreign country. It wasn't easy. And then, I think about what my parents had to go through:

They fled their homes near Pyongyang which also meant leaving some of their extended families.

They experienced unfathomable hunger and poverty.

They experienced the pain of war.

They immigrated again to the United States as adults with minimal resources and a handful of English words.

All in hopes that their children would have the opportunities that were never afforded to them.

I'm thinking of my brothers today. I'm thinking of my parents and honoring them for their sacrifice and tenacity. And finally, I'm thinking of refugees and immigrants all around the world that are yearning for family, peace, hope, and opportunities. Don't reduce Martin Luther King Jr. to a yearly quote on social media. Live out the dream. Seek first the Kingdom of God. Confront evil. Be a truth-teller. Seek justice. Love mercy. Pursue reconciliation. Build bridges. Love your neighbors. Forgive your enemies. Pray unceasingly. Live a committed life of peace, love, and justice.

The God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today.

Be brave. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here's the full context of his famous quote: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that." An important word for the Church... Oh, how God loves the nations. The Scriptures make this so clear. No one - let alone, the leader of a country - should ever disparage other nations with such a disgusting comment.

To the beautiful people of Haiti, El Salvador, and of the many countries of Africa: We are so sorry. Please accept our apologies on behalf of President Trump.

I've had the privilege of being in Haiti twice and numerous countries in Africa including Kenya where I took this picture during an afternoon drive near Kijabe. In many of these visits, I witnessed such creativity, courage, leadership, hospitality and kindness. To follow Jesus without obedience, repentance, self-denial, and dying to self is an oxymoron. In other words, are we more in love with the idea of following Jesus than actually following Jesus?

Grateful for an incredible Sunday at @seattlequest of beginning our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. I hate this: “We love the truth when it enlightens us, but hate it when it convicts us” ~ St. Augustine Woah. Deeply encouraged and convicted by @jlin7's vulnerable post today on IG. We all have setbacks and some of them are ones that we can never imagine or predict. How we respond to these setbacks says much about our character. Thanks Jeremy for being honest and vulnerable about your pain and emotional devastation after your season ending injury...and yet, in the midst of this, to witness your hope, faith, perseverance, and hard work: "Adversity forces us to reevaluate, adapt, improve. It forces us to ask the tough questions, to go the extra mile and push our limits...and let's not forget God always has a sovereign, perfect plan." - @jlin7

I see you, bro. Cheering you on and praying for you. And also, here's a pic we took last year after a game. Don't misinterpret my awkward smile...I'm grateful for our friendship. Lol.

Most importantly, grateful for our partnership got  the whole Gospel. Can't wait to share with others about your 2018 campaign with @onedayswages. #neverdone #jlin7 #linsanity

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