¾È¼öÁý»ç ¾È½Ä³âÀ» ¸Â¾Æ – My Sabbatical as a Deacon.
Sometime back in Dec. of 2014, I ran across an article written by this Baptist Preacher. He wrote about his experience of not going to church for 5 weeks and what he learned in the process. After reading the article, I was inspired to try something similar – thus, addition to my bucket list.
The opportunity came along rather quickly. In Feb., there was some friction within my family members and some discomfort at my own church - using these as an excuses, I & my wife decided to venture out to see what is out there beyond Korean Baptist Church of San Jose (KBC). Here are our summaries of what we did and learned from those 6 weeks. FYI, for past 40+ years, I¡¯ve pretty much became a furniture at KBC. Except for some odd/weird situations, I¡¯ve rarely missed more than 2 weeks in a row – thus, missing 5 weeks was an adventure of in it itself.
Menlo Park Presbyterian (Rev. John Ortberg) – John being one of my (our) favorite authors, the message was exactly what we expected, and then some. He spoke with such an ease, the entire worship service was smooth and calm. We attended the 8:00 service, which I found out that older generation prefers, thus I coined the term ¡°white on white¡± – white hair (senior members) on mostly Caucasian (white folks). I was told that the latter worship service caters more toward younger/mixed audience; using my crude description, ¡°black on yellow¡± – black hair (young Asian members) on lots of non-whites (lots of Orientals). – most of what I learned, they¡¯ve escaped me; one thing I do remember is that – Caucasian does NOT mean White, the people of the Caucasus are rather dark like Turks/Kurds/Georgians and such.
Venture Church (Rev. Chip Ingram) – I grew up listening to Chip. If I remember correctly, he used to host a radio program called, ¡°living on a edge¡± – probably most applicable bible studies one can find. When we visited, Chip wasn¡¯t preaching, one of his friends from younger years preached. Thru which I learned that Chip was a sports coach to youth¡¦ Although we didn¡¯t get to hear him preach that Sunday, we got a treat to hear him preaching at different gathering the following week. We also ran into good friend of Nate at the church, Eric Hsu.
Avenue Baptist Church (Rev. Hoonie Kim) – A Typical church of today. Meeting at the home of the pastor, the small group takes pride in the fact they give more to the Co-op mission program than the most of the large churches. Especially, compared to my own church, they are giving many times over per capita. It is a multi-ethnic church with lots and lots of young folks. The day we attended was the first anniversary of the church being found.
Jubilee Xian Church (Rev. Dick Bernard) – Very Charismatic, but down to earth church. The service I attended wasn¡¯t a Sunday worship, it was more of a collective of all Bay Area Xian gathering. It was to bring the message of Jesus to all those in the Bay Area. Francis Chan, Chip Ingram and few other famous preachers from the area.
Community Baptist Church – A gathering of larger Korean Baptist churches in
the area for the purpose of fund raising for the Golden Gate Baptist
Bethal Church (Pastor, Greg ) – The Sr. Pastor actually remembered me from 3 years ago when he came to my house passing out the invitation to his church for some special occasion. I was so impressed with the fact that the Sr. Pastor of a mega church (2,500 members) was out walking the street to hand out the invitation, I asked a pic to be taken with me¡¦
Jesus Awakening Movement for America (Dr. John Kim) – this was very different kind of gathering. Unique in multiple level. First it was in The Queen Mary, where all expense was covered by Dr. Kim his group to help with the networking of folks in different areas, profession and interest. Very insightful cases were presented by Dr. Kim from his long time involvement with JAMA.
TtoKamsa Church – This was somewhat of a high point for my Sabbatical stunt. Without much planning nor hope, I was visiting the church where Howard Kim (long time student, employee, friend) attends. Nathan has been here before, so we went – where we ran into 6 of my former students. This was like KBC SoCal¡¦ awesome.
Cornerstone Bap. Church (Rev. Lee, JongYoung) – I met Rev Lee back in early ¡®80s right after I started my business. His church down in San Antonio, TX hosted a gathering of all Korean Bap ministers where I showed them the computer system for making their brochures and doing some database stuff. Also sold about 20 computers set then costing close to $3k with a dot-matrix printer and 360Kb floppy disk drives. 20Mb HDD were an additional cost¡¦
Semihan Bap. Church (Dr. Choi, ByungRack) – While I was visiting TX, a Sunday came around. Decided to visit the church where one of our previous revival preacher was pasturing. It also was the church my friend Wilson Osee was a founding member/deacon was attending¡¦ it all worked out well.