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
How to use your new pastor
If your congregation received a new pastor, [if you are Methodists, you have new PASTORS more often than other churches] it is the great time to re-establish your relationship with your congregation and pastor. Here are the steps that you may check.
1. Test your new pastor if he/ she remembers your name
While you memorize only one name, the new pastor has to memorize all the names in your congregation. And usually the new pastor should check the whole membership including the members who do not attend on a regular basis. So, test your pastor whether he/ she remembers your name. Then your pastor will never forget you. The more you embarrass your pastor, he/she will recall your name when praying for the congregation.
2. Update your information
Whenever you need pastoral assistance, do not hesitate to contact your pastor. If you do not tell the pastor, he/ she has less chance to know about your need. This is why your pastor is here for. You may schedule ‘one-on-one’ meeting with pastor.
3. Use the pastoral care slip
In the sanctuary, every pew has a white card, entitled: ‘pastoral care request’. If you think of any member who needs instant pastoral support, fill out the form; name, phone number, reason to visit, and include your information too.
4. Accompanying lunch and dinner service
If you have lunch or dinner alone, call the Pastor’s hotline for requesting accompanying ‘lunch/ dinner service.’ Pastor will join and gladly pay for your meal, too.
5. Contact SPRC (Staff-Parish Relations Committee)
If you have any concern about pastor’s work, feel free to contact your SPRC chair or members. They are very diligently working with the new pastor, and the main function of the committee is to make a healthy triangulation between the committee, the congregation and the new pastor. You have the most reliable, and trustworthy persons in the SPRC. Talk to SPRC. They will listen to your feedback. Do not limit to the positive feedback. Negative feedback is also welcomed.
6. Last, but not least, pretend it’s funny, when pastor begins with a joke. If your pastor does not even try, your Sunday service will be more boring.
This is a short guideline that you can continue to grow in Christ with your pastor, and remember that your new pastor is always a great resource to receive spiritual care.
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