I’ve wrestled with the paralyzing fear that comes with waiting for certain diagnoses. I’ve also tasted a bit of chronic illness. And my life has on occasion been crippled by the anxiety and depression that hammers away relentlessly at the hearts and minds of those who struggle with illness or the possibility of it. When the imagination is left to its own devices during these times, it becomes a vicious tormentor that I would say is unparalleled in the human experience.
So as I’ve been in NYC for close to three months, I’ve come to an existential crisis. Haha, okay I only half kid. I’ve met many new, neat, cool folks but there is a dread in meeting new people in NYC because the conversation, without fail, always goes to…
Person A: “Where are you from?”
Me: I’m from Philly (Good conversation starter since “Fresh Prince of Belair” is often brought up. Sometimes people just start singing the song, “in West Philadelphia born and raised…” It stops there b/c they don’t know the rest of the words, haha – it’s okay, neither do I.)
Person A: “What do you do?”
Me: (Here is where my heart dreads the question) – I am an intern at a church.
Person A: “Oh…that’s awesome!” (The last part is to cover up the initial “oh,” haha).
Person A: “Part-time or full-time intern?”
Person A: “Oh.” (No “that’s awesome,” haha)
(By Garam Yun) As a recent undergraduate, I’ve oftenÂ feltÂ a yearning to belong in a close-knit community. I miss the familial manner in which I went about daily life back at campus, often meeting up with friends for a quick bite in between classes and reconvening with myÂ roommates once a week to share our weekly highlights. Since moving back home and entering what most people title post-college life, akaÂ ”the real world,” I’ve gravitated toward my Christian roots and searched to quench my desire for companionship within a body of believers at Calvary Vision Church (CVC) in Blue Bell, PA.
Like most other life lessons, I’ve discoveredÂ theÂ value of authentic charity without planning for it. This real commitment to othersâ€” Iâ€™ve learned from the dedicated leadership of my pastors and fellow church and community members. While I had my own intentions of attending my church to engage inÂ meaningful friendship, IÂ receivedÂ anotherÂ gift ofÂ meetingÂ inspirational individualsÂ equipped withÂ a real sense of caring for the needs of others.
There is nothing better than people coming together to worship Christ, fellowship with others, and reflect upon one’s inner self. It is some deep, profound stuff I’m talking about here.
I also love the iPhone.
It is probably the most important digital gadget that I need and depend on the most – a to-do list, calendar, email, texting capabilities, internet, and Â the bibleÂ app.
Recently, I’ve been noticing a very disruptive trend during the Sunday worship service. The pastor would ask the congregation to open theÂ bibleÂ to a particular chapter and verse(s). So I do – I’d turn on my spify iPhone and click on myÂ BibleÂ app.
(BibleÂ app is loading) Pastor begins to read the verses.
(Halfway through his reading, theÂ bibleÂ app finally takes me to the book via the iPhone app.) I then click on the chapter. [Read more...]
Grace Covenant Church (GCC) was founded in September 1996 with the purpose of reaching the campuses of the Greater Philadelphia area for Christ. At the time, there were just eight of us, including my wife and my one year-old daughter, embarking on this journey. I had no idea how to plant a church. Yes, I certainly had read books on church planting, but the more I read, the more I found out how wrong I was going about it. For example, most church planting books will tell you that you need to start with a healthy core group of members and to start planning at least six months to a year in advance.
We also had almost no financial backing. Because we were planting an independent church, we did not have any denominational support. On top of all this, during that first year, the only place that would allow us to use their facility was a church in North Philadelphia. So here we were, a church trying to reach the campuses, located nowhere near any actual college campus. I felt the only way that this church was going to survive and succeed would be by the grace of God and the promise that He had called me to plant a church. This is why I named our church Grace Covenant. Even to this day, it is the grace and covenant of God that has allowed GCC to exist and flourish. [Read more...]