Joseph Kim, conductor for the choir of Korean UMC of Greater Washington, directs his singers to sing with smiling faces.
Large crowd celebrates, welcomes Bishop Cho
Click here to view/download text of Bishop's Cho's remarks during the service (pdf)
Click here to view the service on YouTube.
Hundreds of United Methodists and friends celebrated the start of Bishop Young Jin Cho’s leadership of the Virginia Conference in a special service at Reveille United Methodist Church in Richmond, Sept. 22.
The service was a true celebration of Bishop Cho, who was elected out of the conference and returned to Virginia in an unusual assignment. There was lots of music, as the choirs from Reveille and Korean UMC of Greater Washington, the McLean church Cho served before he was appointed to the Cabinet, each sang an anthem, and came together at the end of the service for Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus. The Rev. Hung Il Moon, pastor of Urbanna UMC, sang a solo, and Rafael Scarfullery played a classical piece on the guitar.
The Rev. Jonathan Barton, General Minister of the Virginia Council of Churches, extended greetings from the ecumenical community.
Most of Bishop Cho’s family was present, including a brother and sister-in-law who had flown in from Korea for the occasion.
Representatives from across the conference presented Cho with the traditional symbols of episcopal ministry, from a shepherd’s staff to a copy of The Book of Discipline.
The most moving moment of the service came when Bishop Cho knelt to wash the feet of Lucy Thompson, a fifth-grade student from Reveille.
In his response to the “Charge to the Bishop,” delivered by retired Bishop H. Hasbrouck Hughes Jr., the man who said he wanted to be known as the “Praying Bishop” spoke a lot about prayer, saying that we must, from time to time, “call ‘time-out’ to consult with God.”
“We should begin (each day) on our knees in prayer,” Cho said. “In prayer we are changed, transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our prayer movement is spreading online, and many churches are taking part. That is a good sign. But this prayer movement must last more than 100 days. We must pray for our churches, and for the future revival of The United Methodist Church.”
Cho had asked, at the time of his election, all lay and clergy members of the Virginia Conference to fast and to pray an hour each day in the first 100 days from the start of his active service, which began Sept. 1.
He suggested that some had complained that an hour of prayer each day might be too much for the average person to do.
“How much time do we spend in front of our computers or TV screens?” Cho asked. “Can we not devote one hour each day in fellowship with God? If we love the Lord, then we should have no problem spending an hour each day with God. When I was dating (my wife) Kiok, one hour a day with her was never enough. Jesus does not ask Peter ‘Do you believe in me?’ but ‘Do you love me?’ If we love God, one hour will be a joy, not a burden."