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:
Nurturing Spirituality
Equipping Laity Leadership
Sharing God’s Hospitality
What do you expect in 2021?

As I have been preparing my worship plan for 2021, I was wondering what will happen the new year. (We do not even need to mention about 2020. It was tough, right?) Then how about next year? Will it
change?

I googled it and found out lots of articles and predictions. They are mainly two things. People still expect some strong challenges from this pandemic outbreak will happen before it gets better. Another group of people, actually they are mostly the financial analysts working in Wall Street, predict theeconomy by using their own numbers and evaluations. I guess MONEY is one of the strong motivations that people become curious about in the future.

At the end of the year, just like other people did, I had time to ponder my life, ministry and the things that I had missed this year. Since the weather gets colder, and I have been hearing disappointing news, I become more sentimental, and unfinished projects seem like they are holding my legs. However, there is also a huge blessing that only people living in the four seasons can feel. Time goes on, and spring will finally come.

There are two Latin aphorisms that are my favorites, one is “Carpe Diem” and the second one is “Memento Mori”. “Carpe Diem” literally means ‘seize a day’. Now we interpret the meaning like ‘Enjoy life, while you can.’ The second, “Memento Mori” tells us another wisdom, ‘remember you are mortal’ or ‘remember death’. They sound like opposites, but I feel like they tell us about one lesson, of our life and faith.

We know, at the end of a year, we have Christmas. Christmas is a good example to show us the two opposite lessons of life. Historically people realized that the length of day and night always change. So, the winter solstice, which is the longest night of the year has always become the symbol of the frustration, and fear of darkness. Then Christians understood that even in the longest night of the year they had hope without fear because once the day passes, they would see the brightest light of the world, the birth of the baby Jesus, they knew.

Isn’t it the interesting irony of life? While we are in the deepest sorrow, we still find hope in God. Even if we are suffering from the worse pandemic outbreak, faithful people still see the hope for the future.

Because… only the ones who remember the most precious death of Christ (Memento Mori), can find the hope in the present day (Carpe Diem). Still we see the hope for tomorrow. This is the lesson of the new day! 

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