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
O Come O Come Immanuel
The first week of December, the last month of this year just began. Some Christian radio stations have already put on air seasonal songs, and people seem to be excited at waiting for the season of climax, Christmas. At the same time, once in a while, some of us become sentimental and a bit emotional when looking back at our memories and events that happened last year.
Our church tradition has a different cycle, we call it the ‘church calendar’. Interestingly it begins in December, the month that people usually understand as ‘the end of a year.’ And it is Advent. Advent is a season in Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the coming of our Christ. The word itself is from a Latin word, meaning “coming.” A sister language in the Greco-Roman world, Greek also call this, ‘parousia’, meaning ‘second coming of Christ.’
Then why do we begin our church calendar with the coming of Christ and waiting for him?
It means that our Christ is in the center of the time and we believe God is the foundation of the world. The church calendar follows the life of Jesus, from his birth, life, ministry and lessons to his death and resurrection. Then after Easter, it continues the life of faithful Christians in the New Testaments. So, what the church calendar witnesses is that Jesus is the center of the Christian life and we should invite the holy spirit within us.
In our life, the Thanksgiving and Christmas season is one of the precious opportunities to see our beloved ones, and we remember the blessings from heaven through our families. What made me so impressed during my first Christmas season in the United States, was people asked me to join their Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas party. It was very gracious invitations that I have received every year. They invited me not just because they needed more friends to hang out, but because they knew most of my family and friends in Korea. It was such a precious experience with good friends.
I still believe God blesses us and pours out his mercies to the people of God here in the US. That’s because many people, and faithful Christians have proved their faith, and they always remember those who have fewer blessings and need help even when they enjoy and celebrate life. I believe this is such a wonderful way to show the love of God by expanding the hospitality to the world. Let’s keep doing something good for the world, until Christ comes in final victory.
O Come O Come Immanuel
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