Hello, Lincoln Park!

From Pastor Kyung Mo Koo

 

SunAe and I were so surprised by the hard work and dedication that the congregation was willing to invest for new pastors that many of them had yet to meet.

 

Pastor KyungI greet the Lincoln Park family in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. I thank God for giving SunAe and me the opportunity to serve God with Lincoln Park. First of all, I want to express my gratitude to some of you whom I met during the transition period. I thank the SPRC members for their warm welcome. You opened your hearts and embraced SunAe and me at our first interview. It was a heart-warming and encouraging meeting.

Dan Christopher, the Chair, kindly guided us in our first steps through a series of conversations, emails, and phone calls. Meeting Beverly Perella, the Music Director, was another inspirational experience. She explained in detail the Worship and Music Ministry, followed by a touching piece on the organ. It was a refreshing and rejuvenating moment for my soul. Under the leadership of the Trustee’s Chair, Todd Beamesderfer, more than 20 volunteers came to the parsonage and did an Extreme Home Makeover. SunAe and I were so surprised by the hard work and dedication that the congregation was willing to invest for new pastors that many of them had yet to meet.

We truly felt loved by Lincoln Park. Thank you for your warm welcome and hospitality. I already feel at home with old friends.

Lincoln Park has many strengths for mission and ministry. Now we are adding one more characteristic: we have become a cross-cultural/racial congregation. Not only do we have some congregants from different cultures, but we now have a Korean pastor! This is a new experience for Lincoln Park, and there will certainly be some concerns and challenges along the way, but I believe it will be a unique and blessed journey of faith for us all.

I want to share what cross-cultural/racial ministry means and also tell you more about my cultural and religious background.

Ever since the Korean Methodist Church came into being (as a direct result of The United Methodist mission work 132 years ago) it has become the fastest growing Christian country in the world. According to the 2005 South Korean Census, Christians accounted for 25% of the population. Now, Korea has become the second largest Methodist community in the world. According to Christianity Today (March 2006), South Korean Churches have sent almost 13,000 long-term missionaries all over the world, which means that they are ranked second after the US.

After the U.S. immigration policy change in 1965, which was favorable to immigration from Asian countries, a steady flow of Korean immigrants began to arrive in America every year. This brought about phenomenal growth and development of Korean ethnic churches in the U.S. There is a Korean joke, “When the Chinese immigrate to a country, they open a restaurant; when the Japanese immigrate to a country, they establish a company; when Koreans immigrate to a country, they build a church.” Currently, there are about 600 Korean UMCs in U.S. and about 150 Korean pastors, like me, who serve in cross-cultural/racial ministry in The United Methodist Church. As a result, in The United Methodist Church, Koreans are the second largest ethnic minority group, right after the African-American church.

The Church’s affirmation of diversity is grounded in the biblical witness; that God uses people to witness across racial, national, and cultural boundaries. The experience of cross-cultural/racial ministry testifies to the Gospel and God’s mission, which are not locked within any one culture or nation.

I come from a different culture, and have various, unique experiences to share with and witness to you. The presence of a Korean pastor can be viewed as both a destabilizing force and a source of creativity. However, I strongly believe that our cultural and racial differences will enrich our understanding of the Bible and expand our perspectives of the global nature of Good News of the Gospel.

Under the context of our cross-cultural/racial ministry in Lincoln Park, we will learn, be challenged, develop, and help each other mature through a unique fellowship and spirituality in Christ.

Welcome to Our New Pastors

From Dan Christopher, Staff-Parish Relations Chair

On Sunday, July 2, we welcomed the Rev. Dr. Kyung Mo Koo and his wife, the Rev. Dr. SunAe Lee-Koo, to Lincoln Park Church.

Kyung Mo will serve as full-time pastor, and SunAe has a 1/4 time appointment here, funded by the Eastern PA Conference.

The son of a Methodist minister in South Korea, Kyung met SunAe at the Methodist Theological Seminary in Seoul, South Korea. After they moved to the US, Kyung received his Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in 1999 and his Doctor of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2007. He has been in ministry for 22 years.

SunAe has her Masters in Divinity from Wesley and received her Doctor of Philosophy in Spirituality from Catholic University in 2012. She transitioned from Pastor’s wife to Pastor, with her own charge in the Delaware Conference.

SunAe and KyungMo have wanted to serve one congregation together as a couple. SunAe especially enjoys Bible study and small groups.

Our new pastors have two children. Their daughter GaHye is a financial consultant in New York. Their son Justin begins an appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point this month.

Please join us for worship and meet our new pastors!

Our Youth Group Goes Camping

SummitFrom Cheri Fallon, News-Linc Editor

Our Youth Group, Summit, went camping in June at Camp Ichthus in Palmerton, PA. They stayed in cabins, went horseback riding and rock-climbing. They played games; they worshiped. Daniel Antunes says, “ I had the best time! Kyle is very good at speaking! I loved the staff and the food was really good. There was a farm near the camp where we went horseback riding. There were small groups, too. It was a really good experience.”

Philip Antunes enjoyed the rock-climbing and the “King Swing,” which is a contraption between “two giant trees” including ropes, harness, and a pulley that the group pulls. “Think of it as a really big swing,” he says. Philip was surprised by how fast the weather could change there. It was very hilly. “You saw it sprinkling, then pouring, and the sun was out.”

Farewell to Pastor Dave

From Cheri Fallon, News-Linc Editor

Pastor Dave

Pastor Dave McMillan

The pews in our sanctuary were filled with well-wishers for Pastor Dave McMillan on June 18. It was his last Sunday at Lincoln Park before moving on to his appointment at St Paul’s UMC, North Wilmington DE, where he’ll live and marry his fiancée, Kim Walker, in the next year.

It was a bittersweet, combined service and farewell reception for a beloved Pastor, who has served at LP twice — as Senior Pastor for the last six years, and as Assistant Pastor in the early 90’s.

“It’s been all about the relationships,” says Pastor Dave, of his years at Lincoln Park. “I hope we’ve been able to provide pastoral care and a meaningful worship experience, reminding us of something larger — God’s grace over everything.”

The farewell worship included music from both the Praise Band and Beverly Perella’s Chancel Choir; a tribute from Worship Leader Becky Chadwick; and a presentation by Lay Leader Linda Lee and Staff-Parish Chair Dan Christopher of a pottery plate, commemorating Dave’s service here, and a scrapbook of pictures, messages, and memories.

Becky, in her heartfelt tribute, noted qualities that most of us know to be true about Pastor Dave: his “compassion, understanding, his commitment to his flock, his willingness to be open about who he is, his spiritual guidance.” Dave has, she says, “the ability to touch on what is wrong and help, lending a hand wherever it’s needed. And, with his sense of humor and strength of character, “He showed us how to try to be Jesus on this earth,” says Becky.

The messages in the scrapbook are telling of the fine relationships and meaningful connections Pastor Dave made with his flock:

 

You have been a friend to all.

— Nancy Villecco

Dave always remembered my Mom when she visited.

— Anonymous

Thank you for your empathy and your enjoyable, insightful leadership of our faith congregation.

— Tom Blakely

I love how you put a joke in every now and then when you spoke.

— Anonymous Youth

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your ministry and never had the desire to “sleep-in.”

— Beverly Ruffner

Pastor Dave gives a fresh perspective to well-known Bible stories.

— Anonymous

No one should be able to hit a golf ball that far.

— Dave Miller

With tears in our eyes and sweet wishes for Dave and Kim in our hearts, we say farewell to our Pastor. “How blessed our congregation is,” says Nancy Dettra, “to have had you as our pastor, twice!”

Thinking Out Loud – May 2017

I have always been prayerfully attempting to weave these moments together into a more intimate knowing of your story — your family, your aspirations, joys, and sorrows.

All those years I fell for the great palace lie that grief should be gotten over as quickly and as privately as possible. But what I’ve discovered since is that the lifelong fear of grief keeps us in a barren, isolated place and that only grieving can heal grief; … only by experiencing that ocean of sadness in a naked and immediate way do we come to be healed – which is to say, we come to experience life with a real sense of presence and spaciousness and peace.
– from Small Victories by Anne Lamott

Pastor Dave

Pastor Dave McMillan

The intensity of my grief may come as a surprise to some. Ours has possibly been an hour a week together on a Sunday morning, a hello and well-wishing at the front door after a service, a brief conversation in the Wagner Room catching up on children. For others, there have been additional hours spent in Bible Studies, Sunday School, over church meals, meetings, Trustee Workdays, and visits. But I hope you’ve known that for me it has always been more than this. That I have always been prayerfully attempting to weave these moments together into a more intimate knowing of your story — your family, your aspirations, joys, and sorrows. I hope you have known that when I look at you, I have always tried to see you whole.

There will be many things I’ll miss about Lincoln Park: my drive down the hill on Jefferson Boulevard into our tiny hamlet, our beautiful brick colonial church. An introvert by nature, I’ll miss my second story office (which was my bedroom for six years when I served as associate pastor) where I could escape to read, prepare Bible Studies, and write sermons, while listening to the sometimes steady flow of traffic below — of people stopping by to drop something off or speak with Marilyn. I’ll miss our sanctuary with its high white ceiling, tall window, and soothing green painted walls, the same paint used by the trustees in the parsonage living room and hallway, bringing everything full circle.

Of course, what I’ll miss most are the people. I feel fortunate to have been able to work with a gifted, dedicated staff. There has been many a Sunday when our Worship Leaders, Mark and Becky, and Bev, our organist, pianist and Music Director, have helped carry a service, especially when I’ve struggled. The Music Ministry at Lincoln Park, with our Praise Band, choirs, and special music has been inspiring. Marilyn, our Office Administrator and Bookkeeper, while often sleep deprived, has been a joy. Carl, our Sexton, is one of a kind. Kyle, our Youth Leader, has connected with our youth and has great promise. And our Nursery Attendants, Kathy and Kris, have been Godsends. What endears me most about our staff is that they love our church and it shows.

If I were to start expressing appreciation for members who’ve been special to me over the years, it would be a long list. Each of you, whether we’ve known each other for a long or short time, have been special to me in your own way. But let me say that I am very grateful for those of you who have accepted positions of leadership while I’ve been here. Your love and commitment for our church has made us a better people and has often made me look good in the process. Where would we be without those who are willing to accept the call to lead and serve in the church?

While I believe in my heart that my choice to move to a new congregation and soon marry is the Lord’s path for me, it is bittersweet. But, this only reminds me of what a meaningful and wonderful experience I have had here: how much I have felt loved. I will always have a special place in my heart for the folks at Lincoln Park.

A forewarning: I imagine several of you will be showing up in my future newsletter articles. If you do, please know that it will be with love.

Volunteers from Lincoln Park Join Others on Mission Trip to North Carolina

From Pastor Dave McMillan

Updated June 30, 2017

During the week of June 4–10, seven volunteers, including four from Lincoln Park, traveled to the United Methodist Disaster Response Center in Tarboro, North Carolina. Pastor Dave, Todd Beamesderfer, Dave Gehr, and Sue Race joined others there, working on 800 homes badly damaged by hurricanes of the past two years.

The United Methodist Church has committed two years to disaster relief in the Tarboro area. It also hopes to raise $15,000 for this cause, to match funds appropriated there by FEMA.

The “modest” homes there have been raised off the ground now, about three feet, but they have no walls or flooring, says Pastor Dave. “Our work — in the town of Princeville — included laying subflooring, dry walling, and putting in a kitchen. We got a lot done in a week. We met the families whose homes we worked on; it was meaningful.” Homeowners had little warning before evacuating for Hurricane Matthew, so they took little with them, and three weeks went by before they were allowed back into their homes.

The “quaint” town of Princeville was founded in 1865, the first town in America founded by freed slaves. “There’s a lot of Civil War history there,” says Dave.