Articles for Church Newsletter


Take Note - October 2017

October 20, 2017

Again, the season of fall is coming back. Fall is supposed to be a harvesting season, and it seems to be especially true in Iowa.

When I eat my favorite, pork belly or fresh side pork, the Korean perilla (perilla leaf) is essential with lettuce. The strong aroma from the leaf goes wonderfully with oily pork meat. But, it’s not available at any nearby stores. So, I decided to grow it myself four years ago. I bought the seeds for this plant but they failed to grow.  The next year, I put the seeds in a Styrofoam container and moved them to a small vegetable garden area in our backyard. For the last three years of summer and fall, Miah and I have enjoyed this leaf dearly.

This year, though, we rarely enjoyed it. This was because I didn’t spend that much time pulling out weak plants to make good ones grow well in the early spring. They were also neglected during our trip to Germany this summer. I should have asked Grace and Solomon to water and take care of them while we were gone. I feel sorry for our poor harvest this year, but I learned a good lesson for next year!  In Korea, people compare farming to growing children. When we don’t pay attention and take care, the result is that we will see a bad harvest and, in the case of children, we will encounter lots of difficulties in our lives.

Now, our church year has just started. Like the same way farming works, we need God’s help, such as rain and the sunshine, that we cannot control. But there are still things on our side that we must try to nurture our ministries. I will try my best again to nurture our music ministries, and I would like to ask for your prayer and help. May God bless our music ministries abundantly along with our other programs this year again!

 

Take Note - September

September 3, 2017

We recently had our staff retreat, which was Thursday through Friday, August 17-18. This was my first overnight church staff activity out of town. We had a very exciting, fun, and meaningful time together thanks to Amy’s well-planned program, everyone’s active participation, great location, the wonderful facility of the retreat center, and our new staff member Stephanie, who joined us this year.

On the return trip, I was thinking about the retreat. What was the most important lesson I l...


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Take Note - August 2017

July 28, 2017

A long time ago, I was chattering with a lady who was a school music teacher as well as church musician.  She said one of her school band students quit band recently, and she asked me if I could guess why.  On my puzzled face, she said the student's mom said she valued her family time, and her son's practicing took away from it. After a brief pause, we laughed out loud together for a while.  The conversation, though, didn't seem like just a light joke to me after I thought about it more deepl...


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Take Note - July 2017

July 25, 2017

Our trip to Bremen, Germany was a great experience for many reasons. First of all, it was the first time I put my feet on the soil of a foreign country, except for when I came to the USA from Korea 20 years ago. Miah and I were part of the delegation that represented Americans after becoming US citizens just six weeks before the trip!

During the three-day conference and the closing worship with three different languages (German, English, and an African) on the third day of the trip, Miah an...


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Take Note - June 2017

May 25, 2017

Doing our best to make our life worth each day and every day should be our goal.  After a while, though, we should also have a pause and look back, to remind us where we are from, and look forward, where we will walk onward. This will help us see the big picture so that we will not lose our identity and can set the right direction to keep going in our long life journey.

I had a great chance to review the history and the current situation of Korean Christian churches at First Congregational ...


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Take Note - May 2017

May 1, 2017

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:16—NIV)

On a Friday afternoon after finishing my work, I was leaving the church using our new elevator. Right before opening the door going outside, I suddenly wanted to recall the old building structure around the current entrance doors and the elevator. I walked around the fire doors and looked around the stairs going to the kitchen area. I tried harder to picture the ...


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Take Note - April 2017

March 30, 2017

The day I am writing this article is the first official day of spring on the calendar.  During the last Spring Concert in May, I proudly announced that we were going to have a new elevator to welcome more people to this church.  Now we have it and our musical groups with some guest musicians are preparing our 6th Annual Spring Concert on Sunday, April 30 at 3 p.m.

The concert will be performed by both Celebration Ringers and Sanctuary Choir with some guest vocalists with brass, percussion, d...


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Take Note - March 2017

March 4, 2017

With witnessing the ongoing struggles and debates among people around the presidential campaign of 2016, I have been thinking about how hard it is to understand other people’s thoughts and to be in their shoes to see the world.

As a musician, my efforts to understand others has involved pursuing a variety of music for our services and concerts. For the last several years since 2012, our choir has sung repertories from the time of the Renaissance to contemporary music. Language-wise, we ha...


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Take Note - February 2017

February 5, 2017

The year of 2017 should be a memorable point in my life in many ways. I started my 50’s this year in January, this is my 20th year since I came to the USA, and I am almost completely sure that I will become an American citizen this year. Whether others recognize it or not, many things have changed inside and outside of me. But, there are things that will not change; God and me, and the relationship between us and God.

There is a movie, among many, that I will remember my entire life: “C...


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Take Note - January 2017

January 31, 2017

A few days ago, I found an interesting YouTube page provided by a young American man who is currently teaching English in Korea. His name is Oliver and first of all, his amazingly fluent Korean was so impressive. His many fun clips should be very helpful to many Koreans who want to learn English and more about America. While enjoying them, one video stood out to me strongly.

It was about the reality of America (literally interpreted as “the real face [without makeup] of America”), and h...


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