Archive for January, 2019

7ac08c17c433587de029f51f7ec9f56cThe following is an interview with Rev. Jack Hartman and the Korean Disciples UM Church in West Lafayette, Indiana…

  1. Tell us how and when you began as a UM congregation

Korean Disciples Church (KDC) began in July, 2013, as a non-denominational church to serve Koreans residing in the West Lafayette/Lafayette area, particularly Korean students attending Purdue University. The first service was held with 16 attendees, including the founding pastor Rev. Jong Hyun Jung, who was a graduate student at Purdue University at that time. Shortly later, KDC moved in the First UMC at West Lafayette, and First UMC generously offered KDC to share its facility. Due to the graduation of Rev. Jung, KDC initiated a nation-wide search and found a new pastor Rev. Kook Jin Yun. As Rev. Yun was a UMC pastor, KDC became affiliated with UMC as a plant church on his joining of KDC in July, 2016. Upon the unexpected dissociation of Rev. Yun from KDC in March, 2017, Rev. Steve Clouse, Director of Church Development at the time, started to provide the pastoral service to KDC. For the following seven months, Rev. Clouse not only led Sunday services but also reformed the decision-making process of KDC. Thanks to his dedication and exceptional efforts, KDC revived and re-strengthen trust among church members and between KDC and UMC. In June, 2017, KDC reaffirmed its affiliation with UMC through an overwhelming ‘yes’ votes in a congregational meeting.

  1. What is your vision?

KDC has five vision items. First, KDC spreads the Gospel to the world by worshiping together. Second, KDC makes disciples of Jesus by bolstering the spiritual growth of the members. Third, KDC provides a loving community by strengthening the fellowship between the members. Fourth, KDC nurtures young generations by awakening them spiritually. Fifth, KDC makes the world better by serving and helping the community outside the church.

  1. Describe your discipleship process.

KDC emphasizes small group activities in various forms. KDC has been building and supporting a vibrant college group named ELIM, which has grown to a significant body of more than 30 members in the past several years. The group convenes every Friday for worship services and conducts small group Bible studies. ELIM strives to create an atmosphere where people can experience the presence of God.

The Sunday school is one of the most important components of KDC’s discipleship process. Approximately, 20 children and youth attend the Sunday school weekly, and 6 to 7 volunteers devote themselves to assist the students with their spiritual growth. As many of the church members are young parents, the congregation always shows strong support to our Sunday school. Moreover, the Sunday school at First UMC provides KDC with generous support by sharing their facility and teaching resources.

KDC has also formed five small groups for families. Approximately, 25 adults regularly attend the bi-weekly small group meetings, where they reflect on Bible verses together and share their experiences and learning as Christians in everyday life. KDC also offers two Bible study sessions for adults. The Bible study groups meet weekly and study Bible with the guidance of Rev. Lee or his wife, Eunsun.

  1. Share about Pastor Lee.

Rev. Lee has an extensive array of experiences in young adult ministries. Rev. Lee obtained his B.Th. and M.Th. degrees from the Methodist Theological University in Seoul, Korea. After having served as a pastor at Broom-Tree Korean Methodist Church, a plant church in Seoul for three years, he was ordained as a full membership pastor in 2012 by the bishop of the Seoul Conference in the Korean Methodist Church. After his ordination, he moved to California and obtained his M.Div. degree in 2016. While pursuing his D.Min. degree, Rev. Lee accepted the leading pastor position at KDC. Before his move to Indiana, Rev. Lee had served as an associate pastor at several churches in the Bay area, including Bethel Korean UMC in San Jose, CA, with an emphasis on young adult ministry. His rich experiences in young adult ministry and his interest in campus ministry have acted as a driving force that leads KDC to move forward.

  1. What does KDC mean to its participants?

KDC is indeed a group of people who love God with reverence and awe. We had our challenging time, but by overcoming the challenges, we have learned who is truly the leader of this church and what the church members as the body parts of the Christ should do. Our Lord unified us, guided us, and taught us through the challenging time. I am so excited and also delighted by expecting what amazing things God will do with KDC on Purdue campus. – Minhye Hwang

I’m exceptionally fortunate to be a member of Korean Disciple Church and serve other followers of Jesus at church. As the name of the church explicitly states, we desire to be disciples of Jesus Christ and to spread the gospel of Jesus and God’s love to anyone. This church has offered me with a variety of opportunities to build a stronger spiritual life. I learned to spend time with God every day, early in the morning. Developing the habit of praying to God daily with other followers contributed to my spiritual growth and made me feel that God is with me all the time. If you are seeking fellowship with other followers of Jesus in such a home-like, supportive environment, this church would be the ideal place for you! – Taejung Ma

  1. What ministries are you involved in?

About 15 church members of KDC have been visiting dementia patients at Rosewalk Nursing Home in Lafayette every month for the past four years. They sing gospels along with the patients, have a conversation with them, and also share the Good News.

KDC is very proactive in supporting oversee missionaries. Since its inception, KDC has been supporting five missionaries in Africa and South America. Moreover, KDC has been supporting ten underprivileged children in developing countries through Compassion.

KDC recently started a new outreach ministry to support Korean students on Purdue campus. This October KDC women’s bible study group made 200 lunches and distribute them to Korean students and non-believers in town. KDC plans to continue this effort especially at the final weeks at Purdue University.

  1. What’s attendance like?

Because a big portion of our members are college students, the attendance fluctuates according to Purdue’s academic calendar. While the University is in session during a semester, the average attendance of KDC is 90, of which about 30 are Purdue students, and 20 are Sunday School children.

  1. What else would like to share?

Volunteerism is one of the key words at KDC. The majority of church members are willing to serve the congregation according to their ability and capacity. For example, we have meal together every week after our Sunday service. Members voluntarily bring whatever they can prepare or afford and share the meal with everyone. The meal is always full of joy and love whether the meal is sufficient or not. This spirit works in every part of the church activities in KDC and contributes to unifying the church.