Rev. Dr. Steven (SungHwan) Cho is the pastor of Ward’s Chapel. Upon beginning his ministry at Ward’s Chapel, his focus was on ‘nurturing spirituality’, ‘equipping laity leadership,’ and ‘sharing God’s hospitality.’ His doctoral study researched the trend in the US, ‘spiritual but not religious’ and pointed out that this might mislead American Christians to lose precious religious traditions and cultural heritages. Pastor Cho said that the Bible basically teaches us, “spirituality is all about discipline.” As Jesus taught and showed, ‘prayer’, ‘meditating on the words of God’, ‘reaching out to the community’, and ‘heartful worship’ are the main components of spirituality. In order to re-establish those four components of the spirituality, Pastor Cho suggests that laity leadership and radical hospitality are the two critical keys.
Pastor Cho is a spiritual leader, preacher, life-coach (ACC), and published author. He is an ordained Elder in Korean Methodist Church and is in the process of being transferred to the United Methodist Church.
Pastor Cho earned his master’s and doctoral degrees at Wesley Theological Seminary in DC. While he was working on academic study in 2010, he was called to plant a worshiping community in DC, Alpha Community Church. The church focused on younger generations with diverse cultural background. They gathered at the heart of Washington DC and strived to look at their call from God, and what to do for the kingdom of God. After this ministry, Pastor Cho served at two churches, Stone Chapel (New Windsor) and Zion UMC (Westminster).
In 2019, Bishop Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Conference appointed Pastor Steven (SungHwan) Cho to Ward’s Chapel. He is excited to serve Ward’s Chapel, and the church responds to him with love and special welcome.
He loves, playing music, golfing, motorcycle riding, and Korean calligraphy. His wife Dong Eun Lee is currently serving at Glyndon United Methodist Church as a pastor and they have a son, Won.
Strange month, February
What is the shortest month of the year?
Yes, it is February.
Then do you know why? It is an interesting question.
The first challenge, when I came to the US for the first time, was that we use different units, mile
instead of km, pound instead of kg. I know each country has different systems and culture, and it usually
takes more time for the people who came from a different country to understand and deeply immerse
themselves within them.
The second simple mistake was so awkward, and I still make the same mistakes. I am confused by
the two months, August and October. So, I searched for some background history to fix my ongoing
Here is a bit of ‘trivia’ that I found.
1. Octo- from the month ‘October’ means 8. We know this, right? That why everyone understands
how many feet an octopus has.
2. The first month used to be March. The current calendar is originally from the Old Roman
Republic (even before Roman Empire), and they began the new year from March. Since they
worshipped the god of war, Mars, they resumed wars and battles again in the spring time. It
makes sense why the Roman conquerors begin with March as the first month of year. And it
automatically solves the problem that I asked, ‘why October is the month of ten, not eight.’
3. The first Roman emperor was so jealous. The Roman Empire celebrated the life of Julius Caesar by
naming the 7th month (it was the fifth) July. Then the first emperor Augustus was not happy
because his month, the 8th (August) had only 30 days, a day less than July. So, he took a day from
the last month which is February, made his month 31 days.
Isn’t this interesting?
Now, I look at my calendar. The most exciting month, February is coming. At the Bible study
meeting, Barb asked what season we like. And most of the members said ‘spring.’ I like spring, too.
In this month, we will have a new church season, the season of Lent. I have met each committee and
shared my plan for this year. Fortunately, we have strong and well-organized committees with devoted
members, so we have strong monthly and weekly on-going missions. Bible study, Sunday school,
fellowship meetings, choir, food pantry, and many more are going strong. The upcoming auction, and
scholarship ministry are very precious works as well.
“Wards’ Chapel, you have done well!!”
As your pastor, I will prepare more meaningful plans during Lent. Ash Wednesday, Lenten season
rituals, Good Friday meditation event, and more plans are already awaiting.
Let’s begin this exciting Spring with meaningful missions and precious rituals.
Pastor Steven Cho