CLERGYMAN'S JOURNEY OF FAITH; FORMER COMPUTER ENGINEER'S PATH LEADS TO VALLEY.Byline: Holly J. Andres Daily News Staff Writer
Some people dream of chucking their jobs for a carefree existence in a tropical paradise.
The Rev. Keith Hwang, a former computer engineer, shed his well-paying, high-tech career in Livermore, Calif., for a more simple life in Winnetka.
But the newly ordained or·dain
tr.v. or·dained, or·dain·ing, or·dains
a. To invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders on.
b. To authorize as a rabbi.
2. Hwang is learning to create an abode One's home; habitation; place of dwelling; or residence. Ordinarily means "domicile." Living place impermanent in character. The place where a person dwells. Residence of a legal voter. Fixed place of residence for the time being. of God every Sunday morning Sunday Morning may refer to:
``It was a faith journey. My wife and I felt that God was calling us and was leading us to serve people,'' Hwang said of his spiritual career change.
Hwang's wife is the Rev. Soomee Kim, an associate pastor at Northridge United Methodist Church. Kim also changed careers, having been a teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District The Los Angeles Unified School District (the "LAUSD") is the largest (in terms of number of students) public school system in California and the second-largest in the United States. Only the New York City Department of Education has a larger student population. .
Korean-born and of Catholic and Buddhist religious backgrounds, Hwang and Kim were searching ``to know Christ'' when they met in college in 1978. They were married in 1979.
Hwang credits his wife with the choice of the Methodist church. When Kim expressed her interest in the ministry, she found that this church was the most open in terms of female clergy.
Encouraged by their pastor in the Oakland Methodist church that the two attended while Hwang was employed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: see Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
(body) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - (LLNL) A research organaisatin operated by the University of California under a contract with the US Department of Energy. , Hwang and Kim made the decision to enter the seminary seminary
Educational institution, usually for training in theology. In the U.S. the term was formerly also used to refer to institutions of higher learning for women, often teachers' colleges. .
Kim was ordained in 1993. Hwang was ordained in 1996 after three years at the Claremont School of Technology.
St. John's in the Valley is Hwang's first pastoral pastoral, literary work in which the shepherd's life is presented in a conventionalized manner. In this convention the purity and simplicity of shepherd life is contrasted with the corruption and artificiality of the court or the city. outing. Leaving a predictable - and mostly impersonal im·per·son·al
1. Lacking personality; not being a person: an impersonal force.
a. Showing no emotion or personality: an aloof, impersonal manner. - corporate job, Hwang came to the ministry with certain expectations.
``It's been very rewarding. But it's much harder than a 9-to-5 job. There is an emotional investment. It's a very personal experience, for example, walking someone through a divorce,'' said Hwang, 41.
``I don't feel all the pain of it, but I do feel a significant part of it. I have had moments of pure joy when the people I've counseled are able to look back and say to me, I made it.''
Hwang pointed out some of the realities of modern life that he has been confronted with daily: rapid community change, breakups, financial and addiction problems.
``What worked 10 years ago in the ministry doesn't work anymore. The challenge of our church is to assess these situations, in terms of their needs, in God's love. My goal is how to express God's love in this changing environment.''
The new minister said the congregation at the 40-year-old church is very active.
``If you're looking to remain an anonymous churchgoer, St. John's isn't the place for you. People at St. John's are friendly and caring. I've seen incredible acts of charity and giving since I've been with them. They genuinely care for each other and other people. They've accepted me with open arms.
``The best part is being their spiritual companion on their journey. I am walking with them through their times of growth or their time of crises.''
Sunday service at 10:30 a.m. at St. John's in the Valley United Methodist Church, 20600 Roscoe Blvd., Winnetka.
PHOTO St. John's in the Valley is the first pastoral outing for the Rev. Keith Hwang, a former computer engineer.
Phil McCarten/Daily News