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
These days, I feel like I’ve lost my sense of time. My new routine at home confuses me, so from time to time, I ask myself, if I have missed our ‘Re-entry Task Force’ meeting on Wednesday, 7 PM. Fortunately, I have never missed that meeting so far, but now I have a new habit, checking my planner every day, to see whether I have forgotten anything.
On every Wednesday, our leadership group gathers online and discusses re-entry plan. But it does not limit only ‘re-entry plan’, but we deal with other topics, pastoral and congregational care, joys and concern, member update, also we share committee reports.
As you expect, there have been on-going conversation about in-person gathering. ‘When can we come back to worship?’ ‘What is our priority?’
Honestly, we do not know when the best timing is. Baltimore County released announcements to adopt ‘stage-two’ steps. It says:
Beginning Friday, June 12, at 5 p.m., Baltimore County will adopt the following:
- Indoor dining at 50 percent capacity, with social distancing and following strict public health requirements
- Outdoor amusements and attractions, miniature golf and go-karts
- Outdoor pools capacity increasing to 50 percent
Then after June 19th, gyms, indoor fitness centers, martial arts and even casinos can open too. (of course, it stresses the importance of social distancing and fifty percent capacity) It sounds like things will settle down a bit. Every one of us hopes the same thing, back to our normal routine.
However, as you all know, churches should be more careful planning re-entry. We have elderly members and some of us have serious medical concerns. And also, during our church worship, we want singing, talking to each other, and Communion of saints with shaking hands, and a loving hug.
I believe it is not about the timing and the decision of the leadership group, but the way that we handle it. I believe every opinion matters and as the body of Christ, the church should pay attention to everyone and their feelings, too. That’s why we sent you survey, and invited you all in our Wednesday meeting.
We all dream of the day that we praise together and believe it will come. But until the time comes, we need a bit more patience and a communal wisdom to take care of one another in the given limited environment.
Be safe and do not hesitate to contact me if you have anything.
In Christ, 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