Meet Our Pastor --- Rev. Dr. Steven Sunghwan Cho
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.
Pastor Steven’s Three Core ministerial values are:
Equipping Laity Leadership
Sharing God’s Hospitality
God's Boxes by Arielle Perkins
I have in my hands two boxes, Which God gave me to hold. He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black box, And all your joys into the gold."
I heeded His words, and in the two boxes Both my joys and sorrows I stored, But though the gold became heavier each day, The black was as light as before.
With curiosity, I opened the black. I wanted to find out why, And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole Which my sorrows had fallen out by.
I showed the hole to God and mused, "I wonder where my sorrows could be?" He smiled a gentle smile and said, "My child, they're here with me."
I asked God why He gave me the boxes, Why the gold and the black with the hole? "My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings. The black is for you to let go."
What a beautiful poem! As Autumn comes, some of us may feel opposite feelings, inner loneliness VS marvelous seasonal change. Many of us enjoy this season, a season with cooler breeze and seasonal birds are heading to a new place to sit. But at the same time, we become calmer and even depressed. Not just because of the seasonal transition, but all the depressing news that we hear every day.
As I was conducting Rita’s funeral last Saturday, I was so glad to see our church members to support Lynn’s family and keep Cindy and Dave, Anya and Alex in their prayers. It seemed like we faithfully support each other as our Father God has taught us. We feel we are just like a real church family in God.
On the first Sunday in November, we have ‘All Saints’ Sunday’ upon which we remember our beloved members who are in God’s hand. I counted the services that I have officiated, since 2019. I found 8 names. Norma Hong, Cliff Carter, Carolyn Sundberg, Butch Parker, Donald Woodruff, Jack Balick, Bea Feezer and Rita Maclary. And I know we have lost more members. Sadness, and feeling of grief is the appropriate emotion as we remember them.
But we also remember the lessons and teachings that we have learned from the lives of our beloved ones. Maybe, it is so true that God gave us two boxes for our sorrows and joys. And God will give us more comfort and even confidence on the life to come.
In this season of meditation, I hope you have a great time to celebrate the life of our beloved church families, and remember their lessons and teaching, so that we see their precious spirits and souls to learn about a deeper knowledge of faith and life.
Pastor Steven Cho
Reverend Steven Cho's Monthly Message
- Pastor since 1992, ordained 2007 in Korean Methodist
- Church Planter, DC multicultural project church (2010-2016)
- Published Author, "Bible 101" series found on Amazon, and more books coming
- Novel Writer, "Sicarii", a Korean novel
- Life Coach, International Coaching Federation, ACC
- Enjoys- the tv show "This is Us", calligraphy, motorcycle riding, golf, and music
- Family: wife, Vivian Dongeun Lee, Pastor of Glyndon UMC and son, Won Cho, currently attends South Carroll High School, Jiujitsu player, interested in Bio-Med, violinist