I have been appointed to Mesa Verde UMC in the Orange County of California.
I am excited and extremely nervous.
This will be a unique experience for me.
The church is, according to their members, 90% white folks. And, they have a very traditional worship service with organs and choir. I have never been part of a church that uses organs as their main instrument. And, I have never been part of a church where I am the minority. And that does make me a little nervous. It’s not easy being a minority. I expect to experience levels of culture shock as I get to start working at the church. This is definitely going to be something totally different and new. That is both welcomed and feared. I really think this is going to be a great learning experience for me.
In going to Mesa Verde, I’m leaving the Korean church, something I was planning on doing eventually, but not so soon. I wrestled with it for a while. I was one of the people who believed that leaving the Korean church wasn’t going to solve the problems that we face as second generation pastors. So many second generation pastors leave the Korean church or ministry altogether. But in my prayer and discernment, I realized that this opportunity (Mesa Verde) would equip me (administration-wise, especially) to be a better pastor and leader for a church. At this point, I don’t intend to go back to an immigrant-Korean church. It’s really difficult and stressful. But there are a lot of English Ministries who are part of the Korean churches but fairly autonomous, such as Church on the Holliston, Troy Hope, and Abundant Life Community. And hopefully, I can be part of an English Ministry (or planting one) in the near future.
It’s a bittersweet feeling leaving behind Hawaii and a wonderful and great group of students. But I strongly feel that this is where God is leading me next, and who am I to disobey?