Eugene Cho

thank god for george

No, this isn’t a post about President Bush although can read my latest one here about W.

About 8 years ago, Minhee and I sent an email to folks about our desire to plant a church in the city of Seattle  called Quest.  It was pretty scary not knowing who was going to show up – if anyone.  But seven people showed including two people that are still with us right now.  Over the next several months, about 30 people joined us of which about 5 people are still us with us.

Lots of changes.  People coming in and out.  Lots of pain.  Lots of growth.  Lots of joy.  Lots of memories.  And lots of “What in the world am I doing?”  There’s been lots of ups and downs and but through it all, Minhee and I have been privileged to have a handful of people journey with us for the majority of our journey.

In particular, I’m thankful for George and Jin – two brothers amongst the seven folks Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: quest church, seattle

I desperately need good news

communion

[photos by HageCreative]

Yesterday was a really sucky day.  A tough day for some reasons I won’t share here but I can share one thing.  I woke up to a phone call very early morning that our non-profit Q Cafe was broken into at some point in the middle of the night.  Whoever – broke in, made a little mess, broke into several office rooms, snagged a laptop, and took the cash from the cafe and live music venue.  We’ll get over the loss and damage but it just sucks bigtime to have someone rob your place. 

But in the scope of the bigger world, it’s nothing.  Even before the news of the break-in, I’ve been recently overwhelmed by heavy news: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: bible, christianity, church, quest church, seattle

worship at home | guide and video sermon

As you know, Quest Church canceled our church services in light of the current snow storm [aka Snowpocalypse].  This is the first time in the 17 years of ministry that I’ve cancelled a Sunday gathering so this is awkward but the other elders and pastors believed this was the wisest decision for all involved.  

But it’s cool.  The “church” doesn’t cease to be the church if it’s not meeting in a building.  I hope that numerous Questers are choosing to intentionally worship at home.  In that effort, the pastors have put together a simple worship flow to guide you as you see fit.  Here’s the worship guide which includes prayer, Scripture reading, communion liturgy, etc.

Also, I recorded my sermon Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, quest church, seattle, ,

quest church services are cancelled BUT…

Due to Seattle’s version of Snowpocalypse, Quest Church is cancelling all three services for Sunday, December 21.  With safety in mind for the 500+ people that drive, cycle, and walk their way to church, the elders and I prayerfully made this decision.  I have to share that I feel a little strange since this is the first cancellation in the history of Quest but this is also a great opportunity.

This shouldn’t b excuse for us to play pagan and do nothing except watch football games, consume christmas cake and egg nog, and shovel snow.  We want to invite you to carve out some quality time tomorrow to  “Worship @ Home.”  While it’s an amazing experience to gather with fellow worshippers from the Quest family on Sundays, you don’t need a worship team, program, or minister to worship the Triune God.

Tomorrow, I want to encourage you Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, quest church, seattle

know and love your city

Minhee and I moved to Seattle in 1997.  We are entering our 12th year in Seattle but it was only about 8 years ago when I really began to grow in love with the city of Seattle.  I was kayaking in Lake Union when I just gushed over the beauty over the city.  And I just started praying for the city and the hope – someday – of being able to plant a church in the city.  God honored that prayer and on occasion, I’ll trek over to Kerry Park [few mins from Quest] and lift occasional prayers for the city and people of this city.

It isn’t a perfect city by any means:  I wish there was more diversity; city remains ethnically divided;  the road systems are wacky; a subway system would be nice; our sports teams are dreadfully cursed, we need more sun, etc.  But there are also some amazing things about this city:  the topography is absolutely breathtaking; the local music scene is alive and well; everything is green and wet; the city is a creative force and is the hub of numerous companies, etc.

How about you?  Where do you live and what do you like or dislike about your city or town?

One of the regular chats I give when I’ve had the privilege of speaking at conferences or churches has been the importance of knowing, loving, and engaging your city.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, churchplanting, family, leadership, ministry, quest church, seattle, travel

caring: putting a “face” to the other

I had the privilege today to give a short chat in a class at Princeton Theological Seminary on the topic of justice and compassion and it’s intersection with the church.  The challenge of the church and its leaders is to raise the consciousness of the larger world – including the church – to a calling and purpose towards the reconciliation and restoration of ‘Shalom.’  We have to remind people that there are suffering and injustice in our cities and larger world – because many choose not to believe.  We know it’s there but we choose not to believe. 

We are competing against the principalities and forces of the world – compounded by the simple issue of human depravity – that prefers and chooses the stories of gossip and entertainment rather than the ways of Mercy, Justice, and Compassion.  The church struggles also with the church. We struggle with ourselves and our temptation to build up the Institution, Fame, and Programs of the church rather the elevate the Trinity and the work of the Larger Kingdom. 

Amongst many things that we can do, one that is absolutely critical is to put a “Face” to the other – or, to put a “story” to the other.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: quest church, religion, , , ,

a typical untypical work day

People occasionally ask me this sort of question:

So, I know you’re a pastor.  I know what you do on Sundays but I hope this isn’t rude…what the heck do you do throughout the week?  Do you pray all week?  Do you read the Bible constantly?  Do you spend five days preparing your sermons and practice your hand motions for your preaching?

Yes, I read, prepare, and pray but I certainly don’t do all those things each single moment of the week.  But I do want the world wide web community to know that I do pray for more than three minutes/day despite the rumors that are circulating. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: quest church, religion

thoughts on salvation

Well, I’m hacking another stimulating post for you to read, enjoy, parse, critique, and engage.  This is written by Randall A.  He and some of his friends trekked out from Hawaii to Seattle a year ago or so – partly to enter the foray of the Seattle music scene.  Randall and another band member, Miles, attend Quest.  They belong to a indie/pop/rock group called Harrison Band and got an upcoming show at the El Corazon on Sunday, October 21.  You can also see one of their videos on YouTube.  But, enough of me plugging their band. 

Randall wrote an incredibly though provoking post on the subject of Salvation.  We can easily or too simplisticly deduce salvation as one dimensional – “Do you accept Jesus or not?”  If we see the totality of Jesus’ life, salvation includes that but so much more.   Make sure you read the entire post [it’s worth the time] and share your thoughts – here or there on his blog entitled, LONE TOMATO.  It’s a beautiful thing to engage and seek to Love God with your heart, soul, body, and MIND. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: emerging church, quest church, religion

not your typical church sleepover

I’m stumbling my way as a quasi “project manager” for our church remodel. Ahh, add more lessons learned via planting Quest six years ago.   Ready or not, we’ll cross the parking lot and return back to our new “traditional” church building on Sunday, September 23. 

We’re about 70% done with what we need to do.  This would have been a far easier thing if we had the money to simply HIRE OUT for the entire thing but so goes the law of economics.  With 70K, we’ve needed to basically remodel the entire church building that was built almost 40 years ago: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, churchplanting, emerging church, quest church, religion

qcafe renovation

As we’re in the midst of a basic remodel of the church building we were recently given, I was just thinking that it was about 5 years ago in 2002 when not many of us at Quest [probably about 40-60] worked on renovating this Warehouse below into our place of Worship, non-profit Cafe, and space for some community engagement. 

We renovated it and rented the building for the past five years.  We now own the building and are busy renovating the church building right next door.  Lots of work.  I wish I learned something about construction when I was younger.  Below are pictures that demonstrate the transformation of the building…

copy-of-oldwarehouse.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

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

stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

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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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