What is your history with this church?
25 years ago, Living Stone Church and North York Presbyterian Church merged together. At that time, I came from North York Church. It’s been 25 years.
What were some thoughts and feelings you had when you joined this church?
The Minister of North York Church was leaving for Korea at the time. It was very unfortunate and sad. Our member numbers were very small at the time, so when I heard we were going to amalgamate, I thought it was a good idea.
I had positive thoughts regarding the amalgamation.
What was your life and experience at this church like?
At that time, I really wanted to know about God. I wanted to have confidence in my faith. I went to church for a long time, but I lacked assurance. I desired to have this assurance in faith, so I had a tremendous thirst for the Word. That is why I attended the Bible studies faithfully.
How did you become the first women Elder at our church and in the PCC?
I was always a part of the Presbyterian Church, so I was not familiar with female elders. But as to why and how it became like this, many people in the Presbyterian Church must have thought about how church life carried on without having female elders.
The first reason as to why I became an Elder was that my husband worked very hard for the church. But he didn’t want to be an elder.And secondly, Rev. Kim spoke about female Elders many times and encouraged it. So I think that also had an impact.The last reason was that a certain deaconess said that all our children attended this church at that time. So there are three reasons. I sympathize with these reasons. I think the church elected me as an Elder knowing that my husband was not willing to become one.
How did you feel when you were elected?
In the past, I was a very introverted person. I think that had an impact – I was very introverted, nervous and anxious. Although I could not express how uncomfortable I was with becoming an Elder, in my heart I thought that to refuse the Eldership was to disobey God. So although I was uncomfortable, I could not refuse.
What was your experience like as an Elder?
I was willing to do everything I had the ability to do. So one of my top priorities was doing church work. My children were all grown up at that time and did not need me to look after them. It was also a period of time when I really wanted to know more about God, so that’s why I was able to handle the work.
New Members Class
How did the New Members Class begin? What was your experience like?
Being an introvert, the one thing I really disliked while being at church was when I went to the fellowship hall after service. I didn’t know anyone and no one came to me either. I hated that aspect. Being a new member, I thought that was something we needed to fix at our church. I’m not sure about the men, they may not have been affected by that, but as an introvert, I thought that this aspect needed to be eliminated from the church. So when I started the New Members Class, I put this as my top priority – eliminating the marginalization of our members from the church. That was my goal.The second thing is that church isn’t the general society. So, we need to grow in faith. I thought the best way to grow our faith is through Bible Studies, so I thought that our members should learn about the Word at our church.So, with the purpose of accomplishing the two, and through many trials, the New Members Class was established.
What are some of your memories of the New Members Class?
Through leading the New Members Class, I became very close to the new families of our church. I got to know them very well. I even had worries that I wouldn’t be able to do everything and help everyone at that rate. With the people I worked with, we would go to meet members of the New Members Class. One still remembers working together and talks about it all the time.
What do you think our church should focus on when it comes to pastoral care?
What I hear from the new families might also impact my answer but:
The first is people – we must not be marginalized on a human level, especially within the church. That often happens when we are in society. But, when you are marginalized in the church, your faith becomes a second priority. So I think the first thing is for those people to feel loved in the church.
And since church is different from society, one’s faith must grow. Especially in our church, the way our faith grows is through the Word. Faith must grow through the Word. I believe that only then can we live a life of faith.
Table of Contents
- Community of the Word: 25 Years of St. Timothy Presbyterian Church
- Life and Ministry of Rev. In Kee Kim
- Early Years and Ministry
- Formation and Early Years of Living Stone (1992-1996)
- Amalgamation and North York Living Stone (1996-2000)
- Becoming St. Timothy (2001)
- Growing Roots and Growth (2001-2010)
- Maturation into Spiritual Community (2010-2020)
- Pandemic and What Comes Next (2020-Beyond)
- Hermeneutics and Approach to Scripture
- How the Community Shaped Them: Stories from Members
- Reflections from Rev. Jane Yoon
- The Message of St. Timothy
- Life and Ministry of Rev. In Kee Kim