From the Pastor’s Pen – November 2021

I can’t believe we are approaching the Holiday season, Thanksgiving and soon Christmas. Even in this pandemic, it is about time we celebrate Thanksgiving with our family and give our thanks.

In this season of Thanksgiving, I encourage you all to take a break to stop and humbly say to the Lord “Thank you.” In 1 Thessalonians, 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is the way of Christian life no matter what happens.

I know some of us are facing life-threating illness, heart-wrenching crisis, and the death of their loved one. It is very difficult to say “thank you” when our heart is broken, and the pain is real. So, some questions are raised. “Does God know our pain? Why do we have to give thanks in our most difficult times?”

No one knows your deepest struggles and pains. But God knows you, your pain, and your struggles. God is already stretching out his hands toward you with His tender love even before you ask. You may not realize it now, and you don’t see it clearly at this time. But God is there to hold you and love you unconditionally. God does more than you can imagine. God is powerful and with God all things are possible.

God is good. His love is endless. No matter how awful and how much pain we are in, God’s grace is more. We get lost easily in tragedy, but we’re called to lift our eyes up to our God. Have faith in God and give thanks in your circumstances.

So, even in the midst of difficult and painful circumstances, no matter how bad things are, give thanks. God has made a way for us through Jesus. As you give thanks, you will become stronger physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You will overcome anything, and joy will come into our hearts.

I want to encourage you this month to stand tall and to give thanks for both the bad and good times, for both painful and joyful times.

Sister in Christ,
Pastor Soon Sun

From The Pastor’s Pen – June/July 2019

Soon we will be celebrating Pentecost, the day Jesus’ disciples were in the Upper Room in such terror and the Holy spirit came to visit them and fired their lives with power, helping them to live boldly and preach the Good News of Jesus Christ. That was the beginning of the very early Christian Churches. It was the gift of the Holy Spirit that made it possible for them to live without fear. On June 9, we as a church will celebrate the Birthday of the Church and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit into our lives so that we, too, can live with faith boldly each day without fear.

What is the Holy Spirit and how does it relate to our lives in modern times?

On the night Jesus was betrayed, he left a legacy of life to all His disciples through all the ages:

“Now I am going to him who sent me… It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:5-7)

The Bible gives these names to the Holy Spirit: Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocated, Intercessor, and Strengthener. Let’s look at what each of these names mean.

1. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter. We live in a time when the popularity of Christianity is at an all-time low. There are many people in the world who are almost militantly anti-Christian. We don’t have to watch too many marches to realize the hatred the world has for the standards we uphold. And yet, Jesus says, “Don’t panic. I have not left you comfortless and unprotected. I have sent you the Comforter.”

2. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor. If you don’t what to do, ask, He will give inner direction in a still, small voice that plants an idea in your mind. This idea will always be consistent with the Scriptures.

3. The Holy Spirit is our Helper. In times of crisis and decision, we have residing within us the very One who can deliver us safely on the other side. How else could Paul sing while in prison chains? How else could Peter, the original coward, preach with such great power on the day of Pentecost?

4. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate. Is the Adversary whispering lies to you again? Is he threatening to overcome you with negative thoughts about your past? Then call on the Advocate, who will always be on your side, pleading your case.

5. The Holy Spirit is our Intercessor. We can always be confident that at least two are praying for us – Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They stand before the throne of grace, praying with groaning that cannot be uttered.

6. The Holy Spirit is our Strength. When our own strength is exhausted and we feel we can’t make it through another day, the Holy Spirit provides strength to go on. He will give us an extra measure of energy to do His will today.

I don’t know what you are facing today. Maybe you are at the hospital keeping a night-time vigil with someone you love. Maybe you are reporting for work that drains you dry and is unfulfilling. Maybe you are sitting in a house that has never been a home because of broken relationships. Maybe the one you pledged to love and honor has turned out to be an enemy who would like to destroy you.

Whatever it is, my friend, Jesus says, “You have a Comforter, a Counselor, a Helper, an Advocate, an Intercessor. And when your own strength is gone, He will give you what you need.” Be grateful we have Jesus and our Helper, the Holy Spirit, every day!

Have a great victory in Jesus Christ each day!

In Christ,

Pastor Soon Sun

P.S. – Please pray for our first Summer Programs which will start June 3 through 7, and 10 through 14. Pray for successful Summer Program.

From The Pastor’s Pen – April 2019

Hallelujah! Christ is risen!
Hallelujah! Death is defeated!
Happy Easter to all of you!

We are entering the month of April. We recognize that spring is really with us now! After more than our share of snow and cold days, and a fairly good hint of springtime, it is time to look around for buds, birds, grass and other really strong signs of spring. Some of the best signs of spring are the uplifting feelings of joy at the freshness and newness that are within us and around us.

Easter Sunday pulls our heart-strings. We hear the story of Jesus’ Resurrection, which reminds us of Jesus’ presence with us always, and what Jesus has brought to human life: hope, peace, renewal, purpose, joy and a message of love to share as disciples, as well as a world in need of healing and hearing of the love that is meant for all humankind.

May Easter bring more healing, peace, and hope for those who are in pain and frustration from unexpected news and the decisions by others or the Special General Conference of the MC.

May this be a time to feel the warm presence of Jesus’ love for us all wherever we are in our lives and in the church ministries! May Easter come with a sense of renewal that we witness around us and that we, in turn, are witnesses to a broken world, a desperate world, and a struggling world with love and care.

For a sense of renewal in the Lord and closer to Jesus Christ during Holy Week, you are invited for the 40 days early service, for Maundy Thursday at 6 pm to share our meal and have a drama service at 7 pm. We will have an hour-long service of remembering our Lord Jesus on Good Friday, April 18, at 7 pm. It will be a dramatic service based on the story of Pontius Pilate who was a witness of Jesus’ suffering. On Easter Sunday, we will have an early service (Sunrise) at 7:30 am at the Memorial Garden and Easter Breakfast at 8:15 am and Easter Celebration at 9:30 am.

We pray that you will come to join us for the Holy Week services and Easter Sunday celebration at the church!

As we enter into this season of joy and hope, let us join Mary Magdalene, Peter, James, John, Paul and all those who have shared in proclaiming the greatest words of salvation, “He has risen!”

He has risen, indeed!

Pastor Soon Sun

From the Pastor’s Pen – March 2019

We are now in the rich and prayerful Season of Lent. It starts with Ash Wednesday, this year on March 6. It concludes with the Holy Week, celebrating Good Friday on April 19 and Easter on April 21. This holy period gives us the opportunity to walk with Christ in His passion and death, and then joyously in His resurrection from the dead and His ascension to the right hand of the Loving God.

Lenten Season is a special time of prayer and fasting and serious reflection on the life and the suffering of Jesus Christ through Scripture readings. Also, it is a time for us to offer our good works to our neighbors/strangers in whatever ways they need us.

Please, take the time to make this Lent a special time for you, your family or friends. Just think of what a joy it would be to others if instead of spending your time watching TV/computer/phone, you spent time doing something with them, like reading the Lenten readings together or talking to your parents, or spending time with friends who are lonely or visiting a nursing home or maybe giving up fast food a few times a week and putting the money toward an offering to help others or church.

Consider the cross of Christ as an anchor in Lenten season. The symbol of the cross reminds us of the great passion and sacrificial love that Jesus Christ expressed for us during the Crucifixion. One of things you can do at home during Lenten season is that clear out your kitchen table and put a small or large cross and your Bible on the table. This will help you to focus on Jesus during 40 days of Lent.

Starting March 10, I will preach a Lenten sermon series is about “A Journey of Stones. Each Sunday there will be an invitation to place a stone at the foot of the cross in our gathering place as you leave church. Symbolically, we will lay at the feet of our Savior all of those things that separate us from him.

This is a journey for all God’s people that we stand together at the foot of the cross, lay down our stones and lay down all that holds us back from true commitment to Christ. We will journey together to and through the Holy Week and together proclaim the resurrection. The Holy Spir it will meet us there and we will be changed!

Please see the list of services and events during Lent, the Holy Week and Easter. Why not take advantage of some or all of the special services and moments as a means of deepening your faith and your attachment to Christ? Come join us in prayer and devotion as we look forward to Easter!

May Gob be with us this Lenten season! See you on Lenten Sundays!

Sincerely yours in the Lord,

Pastor Soon Sun

From the Pastor’s Pen – November 2018

The Beacon – November 2018 – From The Pastor’s Pen

What an exciting and memorable month November will be.
The time for the celebration of our 180th Church Anniversary is a few days away and we are ready to honor and praise God!

Nov. 3, 2018 at 5 PM: Gathering & Memorabilia display in the fellowship hall
At 5:30 PM – Live Music in both Fellowship Halls
At 6:00 PM – 180th Celebration Dinner
At 7:00 PM – 180th Celebration Program with Guests
Nov. 4, 2018 at 9:30 AM – 180th Church Anniversary & All Saint Sunday
At 11 AM – Birthday Cake and Coffee Hour Fellowship

Historical pictures and testimonies will be on display in the fellowship area.
They look to be memorable days so be sure to be there to celebrate and give thanks and glorify our loving God!

Remember! November is the month of Thanksgiving when we give our thanks to God for the blessings we have and to be kind to others who are in need.
God spoke to His people through the prophet Isaiah:

“I want you to share your food with the hungry and to welcome poor wanderers into your homes. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. If you do these things, your salvation will come like the dawn. Yes, your healing will come quickly. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the LORD will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.” (Isaiah 58:7-9)

Paul wrote to Timothy that all God’s people should be rich in good deeds and be generous and willing to share. Paul says that in this way we lay up treasures for ourselves as a foundation for the life to come. Praise the Lord and thank you for the many ways that you give to others.

I want you to save the following scripture. Put it on your mirror, on the dashboard of your car, on the cookie jar, on your phone, or on the TV remote! Put it somewhere that you will see it every day. For the months of November and December, I ask you to read aloud every day, with a grateful heart, Psalm 118, verses 28-29:

You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
You are my God, and I will exalt you.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
his love endures forever. (Psalm 118: 28-29)

On Thanksgiving Sunday, November 18, we give our thanks to God. I invite all of you to write a “thank you” note to God and bring it with you to that service. You will also can give voice to the thanksgiving in your heart for God’s grace in your life. Join us for a morning worship and thanksgiving.

Blessing to all of you, as you strive to be more like Christ,
Have great holidays!
Your Pastor Soon Sun

From The Pastor’s Pen – October 2018

The Beacon – October 2018 – From The Pastor’s Pen

The time for the celebration of our 180th Church Anniversary is a month away and I am so excited about getting together to honor and praise God!

Nov. 3, 2018 at 5 PM – Gathering & Memorabilia display in the fellowship area.
At 5:30 PM – Live Music in both Fellowship Halls
At 6:00 PM – 180th Celebration Dinner
At 7:00 PM – 180th Celebration Program with Guests

Nov. 4, 2018 at 9:30 AM – 180th Church Anniversary & All Saint Sunday
At 11:00 AM – Birthday Cake and Coffee Hour Fellowship
Historical pictures and testimonies will be on display in the fellowship area.

To help us mark this milestone of God’s goodness towards us, our Elgin District Superintendent, Rev. Darneather Murph-Heath, from the United Methodist Church, will be preaching. The representative from the American Baptist Church will be sharing a celebratory speech.

Our previous pastors, former members, Police Chief, Fire Department Chief, the Mayor and pastors in the surrounding Wauconda area are invited to celebrate with us. We hope and pray that many of them can join either (or both) the Saturday Celebration Dinner or Sunday Worship Celebration.

Our gratitude to God for giving us 180 years of life in the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be our focus on November 4th. The anniversary service will be followed by a birthday cake and coffee hour in the Fellowship Hall, where we will be able to greet and reminisce with our guests and one another about how good God has been to us. There also will be memorabilia on display. It looks to be a memorable day, so be sure to invite your family and friends to be in attendance and give God glory!

** Remember! Space for the celebration dinner on Saturday, November 3rd, is limited so please reserve your seat(s) with a $1 donation (per person) ASAP. You can do this by responding to our post card or sign up on the sheet in the Fellowship area by October 10. Money collected from the $1 donations (or more) will go to the Wauconda FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) since they will be helping at the dinner.

If anyone would like to donate to support the cost of our 180th Church Anniversary Celebration, you can write a check to the church with words “180 Celebration.”

Your sister In Christ,
Pastor Soon Sun

From The Pastor’s Pen – September 2018

The Beacon – September 2018 – From The Pastor’s Pen

For the short period of time that I’ve been with you at the Federated Church, I have felt an overwhelming feeling of love and care from you. I would like to say what a joy and honor it is to be the pastor of the Federated Church of Wauconda. The Lord has been so good to me and has blessed me in many ways.

As your pastor I want to say ‘thank you” for allowing me to be your Pastor. All of you are a real blessing to me and my family, for your hospitality and kindness and generosity, and most of all for making me a part of our church family. Your love and support have touched my heart deeply.

Not long ago, I found that our church will be celebrating its 180th year anniversary in November of this year. Since then I have been pondering and asking God to guide and help me to discern His will for us. I have been carefully listening to the voices of God through prayers and meditations as well as your voices through the meetings.

I have been hearing that the Lord wants us all to keep our focus on Him. I believe that’s what truly matters for us now. I want to encourage you all as members of the Federated Church to always keep “Jesus First” in all the work we do for Him, always thank Him for what we have and pray continually for the leadership of the Lord in the ministry of our church.

Let us build our relationship with God in Jesus as we gather for worship on Sunday mornings, Sunday School classes, and the small group Adult Bible studies. Let us invest our time to build our relationships with one another as a way to grow in love and faith.

I’m excited about all the things happening in our church, all the possibilities that God has for us, and all the opportunities for us to know who we are as dedicated and faithful Christian brothers and sisters in Christ.

My prayer for you is that we, as a community, begin to pray for how we can grow in faith and that we open ourselves to the unlimited possibilities that God can provide for us in transforming our church.

See you all on Sundays!

Your sister In Christ,
Pastor Soon Sun

From The Pastor’s Pen – August 2018

The Beacon – August 2018 – From The Pastor’s Pen

Life is mysterious. A week ago, I was in Durand as their beloved pastor, serving, loving, and caring for the Durand people and their community. Now I have been appointed to the Federated Church in Wauconda, ready to work, serve and build a relationship with you, all because of Jesus Christ’s call to preach His good news and care for His people.

Life is a journey. We move from one place to another for many good reasons. Especially for pastors, it is about sharing the Gospel, even if it’s a little stressful and challenging.

Certainly, in our journey, God has plans for every step of our life and our ministry even though we don’t know yet what our future holds. We just trust our God who holds our future and makes it possible for us.

So, I believe that our gatherings are very important. We are here to meet not by chance but by God’s amazing plan. We can make our gatherings a great opportunity for us to know each other in Christ. Through knowing who we are in spirit, we are able to find His call in our lives and serve Him with our hearts and love one another in a better way!

As I come as your pastor, I, a Korean-American, always think myself as a missionary to the church where God leads me to serve, love, and preach the Gospels in many different ways. We individuals within our church share much diversity yet are joined as one in the love of Christ.

So, moving to Wauconda is a great opportunity for me to love and serve you. I am very excited about meeting with you. I am eager to work with you, to get acquainted, and to dream our vision together.

I pray that you give me the time and patience I need to know you and serve you with my unique gifts! I hope to know all of you and your families through home visits in the coming months!

It is my prayer that we get to know each other, and you will prayerfully consider how you can become more involved in our ministry and missions.
I am so looking forward to meeting you all! See you on Sunday!

Blessings,
Pastor Soon Sun

P.S. I wanted to say thank you to the Staff-Parish Relations Committee and Melissa Pearson who had time to meet me while I was visiting the church. I felt very welcomed and can feel the hospitable spirit surrounding this church. Thank you so much!