Warning: A Long Post
The beginning of 2010 has been quite a whirlwind. Now that Tina and I are relatively free from traveling outside of NY the next few months, it feels settling. What’s kept us sane in all of this? Sabbath, church, and family.
With that said, here are some personal happenings over the past couple of months.
1) New Year’s Eve Party @ NLF – These parties are always epic, and this year was no different. Mike did a great job with the main stage, while Lillian did a fantastic job with the food portion. Plus, others on NLF’s staff stepped up big time. Mad fun. And mad food.
I think we’ve finally come upon a formula that works, although it can still get really crowded (roughly 500 people) and messy.
With that said, I’ve officially retired from planning these bad boys. I have one mega excel workbook that will be on someone else’s desk next year. 🙂
2) Epic Conference – Had a chance to speak to 120+ college-aged folks (mostly Asian-American) five times in Philly (Yes, listening to me speak five times is as tough as it sounds!). 12 of those folks were NLFers, and we had a terrific time eating cheesesteaks and then eating more cheeseteaks. In the meantime, friendships blossomed, young people went out to share the gospel, and hopefully, lives were challenged.
3) Rule of Life Weekend – 70 folks (predominantly NLFers) embarked on our first ever Rule of Life Weekend in Hauppauge, NY. It was quite an extraordinary time, and I think our recent discussions as a teaching team have been largely informed by what happened that weekend. We hope to be a church that aims for deep transformation, and we’re trying to provide venues for such. I’m so grateful to be part of NLF.
4) Pastor’s Prayer Summit with Concerts of Prayer, NY – This was a brief trip with Mike and Rich, but I’ve been grateful to have some follow-up conversations with the folks at Concerts of Prayer. Rich and I gave a presentation on Contemplative Spirituality, and I wish I could have stuck around to process more with other pastors and leaders. Either way, I’m looking forward to ways different leaders can work together for the good of our city. Plus, we got to introduce Rich to soondubu on this trip. He liked the kalbi better.
5) How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk/Jerkette – Over four weeks, I had a great time discussing issues of singleness and dating with approximately 80 singles (mostly NLFers). Hopefully a blog post is forthcoming about this very topic… but yes, I’ve had great subsequent conversations about the topic of Christian Singles and healthy dating/community.
6) Vacation in Los Angeles – Tina and I had an absolutely fantastic time in Socal. Aside from the gorgeous weather, we spent most of our time with family (both Hyuns and Parks). Thanks to Phil and Viv, we were able to crash at their place in Marina Del Rey, and Viv loaned us her car to use all weekend.
Our main purpose of the trip was to celebrate Caleb Taesung Park‘s 1st birthday, and quite frankly, he’s a real champ. His parents are really special too, and hanging out with them made it a sweet, sweet weekend. It was an awesome party and a great time with family – both Tina’s and mine.
Other highlights from our time in LA.
– Eating meals with family. With the exception of three meals, we had all of our meals with family.
– Hanging out with Dareyn and Sabrina over ramenya.
– Visiting Jiny, Steve, and their newborn daughter Addy.
– Visiting Mosaic West LA. It’s nice seeing how other churches do their thing. With that said, I missed NLF terribly.
– Hanging out with Stacey Meineke. It seems like our paths intersect in our three most frequented cities – NYC, Houston, and Los Angeles. She fit in seamlessly while snapping photos for Caleb’s cowboy themed party, replete with Texas BBQ.
I’m sorry if we didn’t get to see some of you in socal! Again, most of our time was spent with family with one trip down to irvine and then corona.
7) NLF Singles Retreat – Tina and I traveled up with 82 other singles (mostly from NLF) to retreat, bond with others, and ultimately, meet God. These retreats never get old for me, and I LOVE the kinds of connections and insights that come from these times together. My heart felt so full afterward. Special shout out to Karen Lapchynski and Roger Blum, our riding partners. There’s more stuff brewing for our singles community, so please be on the lookout.
8) Reconciliation Seminar – I posted on this a couple of days ago, but yeah, it was a really stimulating time. I think there’s a level of depth and sharing that’s still needed after the thoughtful presentations Saturday, but yes, thank you to Soong-Chan Rah, Pete Scazzero, Linda Johnson, Idilio Rivera, and Rich Villodas for leading the discussion. Here’s a link to Soong-Chan’s book. Whether you agree or disagree with him, I’d love to discuss the different opinions sometime.
The above list consists of some of the bigger time commitments we had over Jan-Feb.
There have been other speaking engagements such as NLF’s Men’s breakfast, a talk at NYU IVCF, and a visit to a couple of small groups, and every opportunity to touch base with people about God, community, and the city has been really fulfilling.
Sabbath-keeping has kept me centered during this time, and in my earlier years, the past two months probably would have really rocked me. But even amidst all the traveling and speaking, Sabbath has rooted me in helpful and more healthy ways. You can ask Tina if this is true. 🙂
Now that we’re starting this season of Lent and encouraging people to take a 24-hour Sabbath every week, I’m more psyched than ever, because of the type of contemplation, community, and conversation that Sabbath affords.
My prayer is that Sabbath-keeping will ultimately transform us into more loving people, ones who will bring peace to the world. It’s stunning to think about the way the world has changed in the last two months, with the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. In many ways, despite our own very full lives, there’s a connection between us and all that happens in the world – if we choose to be connected, that is.
Maybe Sabbath is a way of connecting us to many things – ourselves, God, and yes, even each other.
Bonus Pics from Jan-Feb: